As human beings, we are a beautiful mass of energy. And I don’t mean just spiritual energy, but physical, mental and emotional too.
To be well and whole, we need for that energy to flow freely and uninhibitedly through our psyche-soma-soul system.
As we grow up though, things happen that disrupt that free flow of energy -and they don’t need to be dramatic, or traumatic in the common sense. Those underlying, internal energy disruptions shape our personalities as well as our bodies in a profound way, and later manifest in the external world through the difficulties, symptoms and patterns we experience in our day-to-day lives.
And here is where the energy centres become very helpful: each centre is both associated with an area of the body, as well as with a specific phase of our development, a number of needs and processes that need to be fulfilled, and certain skills and qualities of our personality that need to be formed during that time.
My teacher, Anodea Judith, describes the energy system as “the architecture of the soul”. And that architecture lives inside the body.
When we look at our relationship with our bodies through this lens, we can more clearly identify where the roots of our difficulties lie; where in our lives and selves there may have been needs left unmet, processes left incomplete and aspects of ourselves that haven’t received support and expression, which make themselves known through the difficulties that we are facing with our bodies and/or food in the here and now.
The centres become our guide in recognising where our work of reparation, reclamation and whole-ing needs to be focused.
To make this clearer, let’s take a look at an example:
If, growing up, I was made to feel like my emotions were “too much” for people to handle and be with, my need for emotional connection, validation and support (a sacral centre need) would have been left, at least partly, unmet. In that case, I may respond in two main ways: either suppress those “too much” emotions as a way to protect myself from ever feeling that way again -or, identify with that perspective, internalise it and let it perpetuate inwardly, often in a shame-filled, self-punishing way.
How would that manifest in terms of food and the body?
In the first case, I may project the “too much” part of myself that I have disowned onto my body and try to be anything but. This usually involves excessive control and discipline in my eating and exercise, and/or convincing myself that I (should) have no needs and desires.
In the second case, I may engage in behaviours that are characterised by “too much”, “out-of-control” or helpless attitudes toward food and my body, acting from within that original label. This may look like emotional eating, binge-eating and having difficulty making conscious choices around food and movement. (Obviously, there is much more depth to these examples in real life)
Needless to say, this happens unconsciously -it is not an intentional choice.
Of course, when we experience the symptom itself, it is highly unlikely that we would be aware of what lies beneath it; if I believe that my body and/or my diet is the problem, that is what I will try to improve, fix, perfect. The two (my body difficulties and my unmet emotional needs, especially those originating from my past) may seem completely unrelated.
However, when we look at the symptoms (in our example: body shame, anxiety, and rigid or compulsive patterns around diet and movement) through the energy system lens, they immediately point us to specific energy centres, namely the sacral and solar plexus, and to the areas of our psyche they relate to:
and control (to name a few)
We know then that what we need to focus on and explore deeper is our relationship with those aspects of ourselves, the “energy” we carry around them, and the experiences that have created it in the first place.
Essentially, by working with the energy system as our map, we know where to look and what to look for.
I am currently working on a free tool to help you identify which energy centre you most need to focus on at the moment, to heal, transform and deepen your relationship with your body. I am excited to share it with you very soon!
For now, I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and/or any questions that you may have. How does this way of looking at your relationship with your body land for you?