The Chakra System: Solar Plexus: Manipura

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

When I was 13, I had the brilliant idea to run for school class president.

I worked for weeks on my campaign.

I hung hand drawn posters on the walls of the Jr. High School and handed out flyers.

As the weeks closed in on the assembly day, I made sure to greet everyone in the hallways with a smile and a, “vote for me!”

The night before the assembly, I read my speech over and over. I wanted to have it committed to memory so that I could give my best presidential performance.

I laid out my most sophisticated outfit and I recall going to bed that night feeling prepared.

Finally, the long awaited day had arrived.

I had butterflies, fluttering around in my abdomen all morning, right down to the minute that the contestants were called to gather into the school gym.

We all sat in a row behind the podium where we would deliver our speeches.

As I watched every single child in my 8th grade class fill the stadium seats before me, those butterflies in my stomach turned into something much more foreboding.

All of a sudden it felt like they had morphed into one large stone that sat at the bottom of my stomach.

A knot that churned and made me feel like I might vomit, or faint.

What had I gotten myself into?

Before I even realized that the assembly had begun, the school principal was calling my name, saying that it was my turn to deliver my speech.

At that moment, all I felt was sheer terror.

I knew that this was not going to end well for me….but, what choice did I have?

I stood up and with what felt like lead feet, I made my way to the podium.

My brain started working in overdrive and I couldn’t stop focusing on all of the eyes that, surely were staring directly into my soul.

The speech that I had memorized the night before had conveniently fled from my mind, like an escaped convict, making a break for it the first chance it got.

I just stood there clutching the podium for dear life.

The longer I stood there without saying a word, the quieter the gymnasium got.

Finally, my brain decided to come back from vacation and I quickly sped through my speech, in what I am sure was a new record.

I sat back down in my chair and thought to myself, “OK… I just discovered my personal version of hell….good to know.”

Needless to say, I did not win class president.

Since that fateful day, every time I think about public speaking I can feel that pit in my stomach return.

This physical reaction is a stress response that happens in the solar nerve plexus.

The solar plexus chakra is located seven centimeters above the navel.

It sits in the portion of the vertebral column that is directly behind the stomach area.

This chakra is commonly referred to as “the brain of the body”, as it is the mind-body connection that allows our core belief systems to be reflected throughout our physical body.

It’s the energy center for our personal power.

Our mental activity.

Our self-esteem.

And our willpower.

Activated at the young age of between 2.5 to 4 years, this chakra helps us decide how we will interact with the world around us.

Our sense of value as a person is engrained into us during this time and our experiences throughout its activation determine the foundation of our self-esteem.

Self-esteem is powered by our inner dialogue.

The beliefs stirring within this chakra steer our thoughts and ultimately our behavior.

Earlier today I had a conversation with friends about bullying.

We discussed how often times people who bully others are trying to make others feel bad because they, themselves feel bad.

It’s like that old saying, “misery loves company”.

People who have negative internal dialogue and low self-esteem are experiencing an imbalance with their solar plexus chakra.

This imbalance is manifesting as a lowered sense of self-worth and they are expressing that physically when they bully other people.

The core importance of solar plexus is the development of personal beliefs.

Your personal beliefs are a product of thoughts, strung together accompanied by observation.

Because of this, your personal power can be affected by beliefs and emotions related to ego.

Go back to the story of my history with public speaking.

I was telling myself that there was something to fear in that situation.

That I wasn’t good enough to be speaking in front of others.

But, energy follows thought and since then, I continually put myself in situations that test my self-esteem in that way.

I keep pushing my ego to change negative patterns and instead replace them with positive ones.

In doing so, it’s easier for me now, to speak in public than it was years ago.