Beautiful

So very beautiful! Inspiring words and a touching story.

At The Weeklings, Khirad Siddiqui reflects on wearing a hijab at age 13, as a young woman in Plano, Texas. She discovered “affirmation and reassurance” in the writings of Malcolm X, an American Muslim who too felt that his “peers failed to understand him as a complete and multifaceted human being.”

via On Wearing a Hijab for the First Time: They Never Really Did See Me — Longreads

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Root Chakra|Groundwork

I am supported.

This was a lesson I had to learn before I could truly learn any other lesson. Really, this lesson of support was like beating a rough stone in a river of unpredictability. It was one thing after the other; and I was that hard stone.

Life is this magnificent flow.

The flow can be tranquil, like a small river. It could be gushing and full, like a waterfall spilling into a steady body of water. There are times the flow of life is seemingly frozen on the surface, still and oddly beautiful, yet moving beneath the surface; silently plotting the outcomes of a life to come.

What I’ve learned is: life is; always.

The stages of life happen to depend on our perception. It is only stagnant when we believe it to be. It is only plentiful when we see it as such. It is only unfortunate when we think it to be. It took me loosing all sense of support and grounding to realize what true freedom and support was. Somewhere down the line of my life, I had told myself that in order to taste true freedom and security was to taste groundlessness.

Groundlessness led me to the beautiful soil in which I would gain insight and transformation into a world I had only ever dreamed of. Now, my dear friends, reality seems but a dream I am capable of directing. It was in this search for freedom, I found myself far-removed from my friends and family; alone. I was alone, and I am so grateful to it.

Life is now a flow of experience, end-less questioning and pondering, and self-discovery. In this moment of my unique journey, I find myself enthused with Spirituality and Eastern-Philosophy. Though I am new to it all, I desire to share it with you. Having gained my 200 hour training certification in Yoga, I am inspired to continue my education and share all I believe to be truth as I go along.

I am supported, because I find support inside, and that brings it to the outer landscapes of this colorful world. I am supported. You can be too.


Red.

The color red, is much of what I see when I look outside of me. A new found awareness has led me to contemplate why the color red is something I am drawn to, repeatedly. I own a lot of maroon clothing, I love to dye my hair red, and I enjoy seeing the flush of excitement, and the rush of emotions that flood into the skin of those around me. There is something very natural and comforting about the color red.

As a child, I was always a little bit “up in the air.” I smiled constantly, defied what adults called “limitations”, and laughed with my belly. Growing up, fear captivated me. Fear of all sorts: judgement, punishment, disappointment, etc. But it was because what was inside, seemed to not be received well. I thought differently, I saw differently. The only thing I grew to not fear was change; and that has been an abundant blessing in my life. Because change is the only constant I know of.

Red, so happens to be the color of the first, foundational, chakra: The Root Chakra (Muladhara). As it’s name suggests, it deals with feelings of security, trust, and feeling grounded in someone’s personal sense of being. I am not beginning with the first Chakra, because it happens to be the first chakra, but because this is perhaps the most challenging one for me to maintain.

Below, you will find information on this particular chakra, ways in which I have cleared and amplified it’s flow of energy, and my overall understanding of it. (Please, if any of you have more information do not hesitate to join in the conversation and leave a comment or email me). Before you begin, I have written a brief overview of what the Chakras are, here.

The information that follows is easily found in the book “Eastern Body Western Mind” by Anodea Judith, or “A Handbook of Chakra Healing” by Kalashatra Govinda, and is also paired with my own understanding. It is important to always soak up the information that rings true to you, not to others. Enjoy.

ROOT CHAKRA: root-support, or grounded.

Balanced Muladhara Chakra: A balanced and activated root chakra provides your body and spirit with feelings of basic trust and intuition. The energy that flows through this earthly chakra provides our being with a beautiful ability to form and maintain healthy, trusting relationships with others without sacrificing the needs of oneSelf. If balanced, and activated, feelings of security in oneself and being comfortable with alone time is enhanced. One does not fear being alone. One does not allow fear, when felt (because fear is a basic emotion), to control their situation.

Location: In the physical body this chakra lies at the base of the spine, near the pelvic region.

Symbols:

  • The color red
  • Alluded to the earth and physicality. The basics of a physical life.
  • A red square, or 4 petal lotus flower.

Reconnecting with the Root Chakra:

As this chakra deals with balance, maintenance, and trust with others, and ourselves, it is only natural that our outer world should reflect what our inner world is working towards. However, I believe that by working inwardly, we work outwardly. Physicality, and being comfortable in our physical bodies, is an important aspect to unblocking and uplifting the vibrations of this chakra. It is important to:

  • Spend time outside. Notice the beauty that is around you.
  • Clean your home, and create a space where your body can feel at ease.
  • Cook homemade meals, but more-so, become aware of how it feels when doing this.
  • Dance! Go out! Share your beautiful light with the world around you. Express the innate beauty that is within you; and all.

With an unbalanced, or under-active, root chakra life begins to dull out a bit. Feelings of depression might surface, lethargy, and even complacency. One might begin to fear many things, and this ultimately leads to inactivity. The best way to bring forth change and spontaneity is to do something; use your body. Don’t let your body use you.

I’ll end by leaving you with one of my favorite quotes. It is inspired by a friend who was once stuck, but finally found a way out. It is something that has kept me going, even on those days I feel as if I couldn’t possibly move.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. -Dale Carnegie

Journey On-

E.Sel(:)

There is always so much more to talk about! I will be posting some activities, yoga poses, and meditation techniques to help enhance the Root Charka’s flow. Look out for it, and thank you all.

 

Chakras|An Awareness

As this new year progresses, I find that time (most particularly, the pressure of time) is something we inevitably put on ourselves to achieve some level of perfection. Time is an important aspect of life, and should be balanced well; but it is not essential.

You do not have to wait for the first day of each year to set new goals, nor do you have to wait until the first of the month to start that new project.

Start now!

Begin now!

End when time enough has been spent.

With that being said, I am beginning a new writing series. I intend to write a collection of articles on the Chakras. Beginning with the one I have most struggled with, the Root Chakra. From there, I may follow them in order, I may not. I’ll let my intuition guide me when it comes time to make such important decisions.

Not only do I intend to talk about each Chakra, and the Chakra’s in general, but to provide a yoga flow, or meditation technique, that pertains to the current Chakra of choice. Not only will this allow me to share my new knowledge with you, but it will also allow me to learn more about the things that move me in this life.

I hope that as I share my knowledge and studies with you, that you do the same in turn; in whatever way feels right and true to you. This is a journey; a phase; a progression. I am a note, with a certain tone, in this music of life. Together we are chords, together our sound is increased and our song becomes that which is pleasantly varied.

Let’s create. Let’s learn. Let’s wonder.


THE CHAKRAS: (Sanskrit meaning: wheel)

Are defined as spiritual, energy centers that align along the spine. They provide a more subtle awareness of our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical states of being. Each of the seven, (seven, being the most widely accepted number I’ve come across in my own studies), chakras radiate their own level of energy and affect certain areas of the body and mind. Although they pertain to separate areas, they are all interconnected and feed off of one another. It is taught, that through these energy wheels we give/receive energy from our environment.

CHAKRA WORK:

Basic awareness and understanding of the chakras is something I have come to believe enables us to improve our lives in more ways than one. That being said, Charka Work should not be used as a sole form of therapy, and if needed, see a doctor or a professional for any form of serious illness. I will map out the basic advantages and impacts, which chakra work has had on my life, and share with you my experience. This is a personal journey, remember what works for one does not always work for all. Be patient and kind with yourself. More importantly;

Find your own truths.

I have found, along my path, chakra work to be gentle. It has been more like a focused meditation than studying for a college exam, or writing a paper. It has been, and continues to be, introspective; peaceful; emotional; and enlightening.

There are many ways to begin chakra work, but my intention is not to provide you with the ways, but a basic understanding of what the charkas are; both individually, and holistically. From there, personal study and courses are for you to uncover and unearth.

Benefits of Chakra Awareness:

  • Balance of the body, mind, and spirit.
  • Promotes positive thinking.
  • Becoming comfortable with one’s self.
  • Increased levels of the physical bodies processes.
  • Health and stamina can be improved upon and maintained.

and more, of course.

THE SEVEN CHAKRAS:

  1. Sahasrara: thousandfold; Crown Chakra
  2. Ajna: awareness; Third-Eye Chakra
  3. Vishuddha: purity; Throat Chakra
  4. Anahata: flawless; Heart Chakra
  5. Manipura: sparkling jewel; Solar Plexus Chakra
  6. Svadhisthana: Sweetness; Sacral Chakra
  7. Muladhara: Root Support; Root Chakra

I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, wherever life and the Universe (or God(s), beings) lead you. Remember, you are a being of light and love. You are pure and beautiful.

-Journey On(:)

-E.Sel

 

Rooted|Groundlessness

I just want to begin by congratulating you.

You made it through this year! This year has been more than just another year on the calendar, but a year of fast change. Fast change, which brought: fear, misunderstanding, and worry to many, but also love, acceptance, and hope to others.

Regardless, these feelings came on suddenly. These feeling not only overwhelmed us, but demanded our full attention. We all had to act quickly, and often, intuitively. So, congratulations on making it through, because many have not. Congratulations on continuing on.

No matter how slowly you may feel you are moving, you are moving…and that is a blessing.

It was the latter months of the year, September and on, where I noticed the greatest amount of change and commotion. It was where I encountered a very real, and often times, scary sensation of groundlessness.

Groundlessness sounds as if it’s a term of anxiety, confusion, and fear…but as I’ve made it through this year, I’ve begun to associate groundlessness as an important aspect to becoming grounded.

It’s learning to lean into our fears and anxieties.

It’s learning to appreciate our falls.

It’s learning, without support.

Leaning; rather than running.


The end of September marks the beginning of this vast change, and mid-December marks the ending of the crazed phase of my life. I was lucky enough to be enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training, which looking back on it now, was one of the only outlets I had to this sensation of groundlessness. Before Yoga even began, I had moved to a new city (and by moved, I mean relocated to the other side of the country), ended a long-term relationship with a man I truly loved, and just turned 21.

My journey was just beginning. In fact, my past feels like a distant memory. Faded and grainy. The things I learned through this fresh break-up, and my YTT, lifted me from a sleepless coma. I felt newly awakened. I just felt, new.

It was a beginning that led to an intimate re-self-discovery. It was not easy, and it is not over. Though, it is beautiful.

As my teacher training came to a close, I felt a nervous twinge slowly beginning to grow within me. At the time, I had thought it was an excited-nervousness. You know the feeling. It was actually a warning. Though YTT taught me a lot, it also uncovered and unearthed wounds that weren’t healing and any, and all, imbalances in my life.

This sensation was telling me that change, like I’ve never known before, was about to turn my world upside down.

Before I knew it, the beautiful rug, of new found opportunity and a new found self, was snatched from under my feet as the ground crumbled underneath my shaking legs. I was a weightless body floating in this world; groundless; fearful. Gravity had no hold on me. If you had asked me what Gravity was, I would’ve looked through you with eyes void of understanding.

I was changing.

A metamorphism; with no one here (family or boyfriend) to tell me who to be, what to be, or hold me to the things I was in the past, anything was possible. My old self was hell-bent on allowing me to accept this shedding of metaphysical skin. With this yearning to transform and understand who I was, also came an overwhelming sense of fear that captivated my being.

Anything was a possible.

Fear had convinced me of my insanity, by using what I love most against me, meditation. Meditation was no longer a moment of peace, but a stationary moment of caution. I was paranoid, mistrusting of spirituality, and most of all, mistrusting of what was dormant within. Dark and light.

I was scared of what was inside of me, to the point I sacrificed those once rewarding introspective moments, for distraction.I was scared to close my eyes; scared to listen. My mind was playing tricks on me. Talking to me, guiding me, and watching me. I led myself into the hedge maze of my own head, where I would remain stuck for weeks; yet it felt like an eternity.

“The mind can be a beautiful place of inspiration, but a horrifying place to dwell.”-Tamara Wright

I’ve never heard truer words in my life, granted I’m  only 21, but still. The mind is more than a beautiful tool, it is a very real aspect of our reality. When it is yourself who controls it, inspiration and beauty spark forth, but when it is you who are controlled by it, destruction and decay formulate. In this moment of chaos I was unable to take care of my physical body, which made my mentally and emotionally worlds difficult.

Reality seemed strange. Whether awake, or sleeping, I couldn’t distinguish reality. It was all because I ran. I ran from fear.


 

Life in 2016 was crazy, to say the least. It forced radical change on us all to create balance. Life has a very real, and incredible way at creating. This year, life just wanted us all to act. Act on our intuition. Accept and adjust. The risk that came with running from these new personal, interpersonal, and global transformations, was stagnation and elimination. Life has a very real way of eliminating those who don’t wish to adapt. It was a hard year for many, but it was an experience.

With all experiences and journeys come beautiful life lessons:

  • Leaning and accepting change and transformation is apart of the cyclic cycle of life.
  • Change is the only constant I’ve found so far.
  • Feeling and thoughts are just as real as the physical reality.

Groundlessness is just another aspect of the journey. How can one be grounded, if one has never known it was without? Change is an aspect of life that is natural, it is like the leaves in the spring and the leaves in the fall; growing, changing, wilting, falling. It is truth.

Truth which helps you unlock the mystery’s of this experience.

I challenge you all to sit down before the end of January  and write out the lessons and accomplishments you have experienced this past year. No mater how hard and difficult, or easy and fruitful, there is always something to be grateful for.

It was a crazy year. Accept, learn, and let go. 2017 is here and it will be just as full.

-Journey On!

Perfectly|Accidental

Here’s the thing.

In nature everything looks so imperfect and unscaled, but the formation is so beautiful. -Bhavesh Chhatbar

Perfection has ruled my life.

We all struggle with so many things, that is what this life is; struggle. This struggle is a beautiful thing. With struggle…comes set-backs…which bring forth new beginnings…and lead to new growth.

I’ve let this struggle with perfectionism stop me from progressing through this cycle in certain areas of my life. In fact, perfectionism has made it difficult for me to grasp my full potential in all the things that I do; especially writing. I remember, almost two years ago, how dedicated I was to writing.

Writing my blog.

Writing my novel.

Writing letters.

Writing goals.

Just writing.

I started reading blog posts from other successful bloggers and writers. How, writing was a dead-end, because only the “elite” and the “1%”, who have talent, make great writers. That writing was a set of rules, you had to know, and I mean know, grammar, read daily, write daily, and publish creations–not to mention, you had to have been doing it since you were a wee little one.

It’s almost as if you had to write as well as we all claim to know ourselves.

But here’s another thing:

So many of us don’t know ourselves, and even if we do know ourselves…there’s still so much of ourselves we will learn as life goes on!

Yet these words that I read, still affected me. For the longest time I would sit down to write. It would go well for about 10-15 minutes. Then, I’d have a thought: “Where is this novel going.” If I couldn’t have my idea all thought up in my head to the perfect comma and period, I’d bury the feeling to write away. Until it came back.

When it came back, frustration built inside my body; I’d be angry. Angry for not writing; angry for writing; angry for still trying.

Almost everyday, it was like a bad case of writers block.

No. It was a bad case of perfectionism, which spilled into all aspects of my life, like the splayed fingers of freed ink. I had no idea how tremendous an effect this little hiccup had in my life, but 2016 was a year that cleansed this hiccup; body, mind, and soul.

I could either learn to adapt and keep my life in my hands, or let life decide what to do with me.


2016 has been a year of intuitive decisions. There were moments my intuition decided before I even knew I was deciding, throwing me off a cliff before I knew there was a cliff.

Life served me some hard-ass groundlessness this year.

Life also served me some hard-ass lessons, and bad-ass blessings. I don’t know about you, but I think I was given a year of challenging intuitive decisions, because I was starting to ignore, and forget, about my beautiful ability: intuition. So, as we bring in the new year I want to make some promises to myself:

  • That I will do my best to listen to the intuitive sensations of my being.
  • That I will do my best to know perfection only exists in the imperfections.
  • That I will be, unapologetically, myself in this blog (and in all writing endeavors), my yoga practice, and my spiritual journey.

To remember, that being a writer isn’t about being the perfect writer. Just as being a yogi isn’t about being perfectly balanced, and spiritual. That being the best I can be isn’t about becoming perfectly me; but imperfectly me.

In so doing, I become closer to our sense of “perfection,” than I ever would be. I also want to promise you, that I will do my best to remain steadfast in my passion: To share. To share it all. The good, the bad, the ugly, the cracks, the flaws, the growth, and the depth.

I don’t blog about yoga and meditation because I want to be a spiritual wellness writer. I blog about those things, because they are big aspects of my life and I wish to share the knowledge I have with you all, in hopes that you will share your knowledge with me.

I don’t want to fall into a label as we fall into our inheritance. I want to fall into myself, like we fall in love with other souls; by pure accident.

-Journey On

-E.Sel(:)