So I’ve recently been doing some work with my solar plexus chakra, long overdue and at the same time probably perfectly timed. With my return to writing via this new blog and my work on my book, Plant Your Root, I’ve been confronted with the challenge of putting myself out into the world in a way I haven’t ever done before. As a result, my solar plexus has been throbbing for attention lately.
It makes sense. The solar plexus chakra is all about manifesting your purpose or your will. It’s about drawing from your inner source for confidence, courage, and life energy to accomplish your goals and dreams. The solar plexus acts like our internal battery or personal sun. When it’s charged and radiating with energy, we have what we need to take confident action. And, we can see more clearly what steps we need to take.
But strangely, I’ve never been drawn to work with it before now. I’ve focused on all my other chakras at one point or another, but not the solar plexus. It’s almost like I’ve had an aversion to it. As if, the solar plexus chakra were somehow less spiritually important than the others. And now that I’ve started to give it some attention, I’m beginning to see where this limiting belief sprung from. Ironically, it’s from the same place I’ve been avoiding all this time. My wounded solar plexus.
I suspect I’m not the only one who’s shunned solar plexus work. Even if you’re not familiar with the chakras, you can still be putting off this work that’s so crucial to your healing and wholeness. The stuff that’s going to help you truly embrace your purpose on this planet.
Why Do So Many of Us Avoid Solar Plexus Chakra Work?
One of the biggest ways the solar plexus gets out of whack is through energy theft. There are a variety of ways energy theft occurs, which we’ll discuss later, but when it happens, the result is the same. The person who’s been robbed is left with a feeling of disempowerment. If enough energy is stolen, through repetition or the severity of the experience, we can lose even the energy we need to step up and reclaim what’s been lost.
It’s like we’re working from a deficit. The energy we lack, in the form of confidence, courage, and empowerment, is precisely what’s needed to believe our solar plexus chakra is important to begin with. And for those of us who had power taken in our very early years, this deficit can be even more deeply rooted. It can become a part of our core beliefs about who we are and how we fit into the world.
For me, this emerged as a basic belief that my worth was bound up in what I could do for others. I became a people-pleaser without ever consciously choosing it. The discomfort of conflict or judgment felt unbearable, so I found ways to be okay with what other people wanted, rather than asserting my own needs, will, or desires. I cast myself in a supporting role every time I had the choice, because it felt safer there. I didn’t want to be seen, much less shine.
It’s no wonder, then, that I would see solar plexus work as less valuable. To really heal this part of me would require a shift in values I’d long held deep within my psyche. It would mean I’d have to acknowledge my own needs, will, and desires were just as important, if not more so, than those of others. And I’d have to actually follow through by putting myself out there to be seen and heard. To risk failure and loss. I’d have to believe in myself enough to withstand the discomfort that might come from displeasing, or being deemed unworthy, by others.
For many years, I’ve looked at the solar plexus chakra’s assertion of personal will and empowerment as an egoistic pursuit. Far better, I thought, was it to focus on my heart (love) or my crown (spirit) or my third eye (wisdom). Ironically, as I’ve sought healing in my solar plexus, I can see it was egoistic self-protection that held me back from this work all these years. And I acknowledge that with great compassion for myself, because I know why I needed that self-protection. It’s just now, I know it’s time to break free from its chains.
In this article, I want to get real about energy theft. What it is, how it perpetuates, and what we can do to step out of its destructive cycle. If you’ve ever been abused, shamed, or otherwise made to feel “less than”, you’ve had energy stolen from you. Working with your solar plexus chakra can help you reclaim your personal power.
A Few Words About the Chakra System
Some of you may already be well aware of what chakras are and how they work. If so, please feel free to move on to the next section. For those of you who haven’t heard of them before, here’s a brief introduction to familiarize you.
The concept of the chakra system originated in the yoga and Hindu traditions thousands of years ago. Through meditation and body work, the ancient sages became aware of energy centers that run along the spine up through the crown of the head. Each chakra supports the flow of energy along the spine, between the chakras, and is located around bundles of nerves and major organs, supporting not only physical but also emotional and spiritual health.
I like to compare the chakras to the western construct of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, because each center focuses on specific needs we have as humans. From the most basic, our survival needs, all the way up to our more spiritual, self-actualization needs. When the chakras are balanced and this life energy is flowing freely, we function at our best at all levels – physical, psychological, and spiritual. But when one or more chakras gets blocked or imbalanced, we struggle.
The Seven Main Chakras
- Root: located at the base of the spine, provides for our sense that we have what we need to survive in this world.
- Sacral: located in the pelvic region, relates to our creative self-expression and sexuality.
- Solar Plexus: located between the naval and the breastbone, supports our personal power, will, and self-confidence.
- Heart: located in the heart region, supports our capacity for unconditional love of self and others.
- Throat: located in the throat region, helps us speak with clarity, truth, and wisdom.
- Third Eye: located on the forehead between the brows, opens our mind’s eye to intuition, wisdom and vision.
- Crown: located at the crown of the head, connects us to our higher self and the Divine.
If you’re interested in learning more about the chakra system, you can read more here. Of course, in this article, we’re focusing on the solar plexus chakra. This center energizes the part of our body-mind-spirit system that gives us self-confidence and personal empowerment. It’s the source of energy that allows us to really show up for life and fulfill our highest potential. If someone has stolen our personal power, they’ve literally dipped into this inner reservoir and taken some of the life energy we need to express our purpose, to achieve whatever it is we feel called to achieve.
What is Energy Theft?
Energy theft is just what it sounds like. One person stealing energy from another. That may sound intangible, but if you’ve ever experienced it, you know when it’s happened. When it’s a whammy, like a physical, verbal, or sexual assault, it can feel like a punch in the gut. It can feel like the life has been sucked out of you. Or, like you want to crawl into a hole and disappear.
Smaller, often times repetitive, offenses function like a slow suction. There’s a gradual syphoning of your energy that occurs over time. This can feel like a slump in energy whenever you’re around certain people or in certain situations. It can be an overly critical second-guessing of your words or actions. It can even surface as anxiety prior to time spent with those people or in those circumstances where you’ve felt the energy drain before. You’re weakened before you even get confronted with the theft.
Forms of Energy Theft
Energy theft can take many forms. The most harmful, hardest hitting ones arise from abuse. When you’re abused, whether it be physical, verbal, or sexual, someone has aggressively violated you. It’s as though they’ve reached into your being and ripped out your energy. The forceful nature of the theft can leave you feeling especially disempowered.
Other types can be just as insidious, though, particularly if they’re repeated over time. Examples include bullying, discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, ignoring, belittling, nonconstructive criticism, and any form of shaming. In all of these cases, the person steals energy by inflating their own sense of self-worth through the act of placing you beneath them.
Why Do People Steal Energy?
Energy consumption makes this world tick. Whether it be eating, fueling our cars and homes, or bartering labor for money, we have to exchange energy to exist. That’s just a fact of life, whether we like it or not. And of course, there are healthy forms of energy exchange between people. Ways that we support each other and give love to each other. These are energy transfers we agree to. But there’s a difference between consuming energy because we need it to survive, or because it’s been freely given to us by others, and stealing energy because we’ve got a hole in our own bucket that keeps it from ever being filled.
People Steal energy from each other because they’re lacking in some way.
This is how the cycle of energy theft perpetuates. One person steals energy from another person. Now, that person is lacking. They either find a way to compensate internally, or they look for someone else to take it from. If they’ve got a hole, some wound that hasn’t been healed, they might walk through life stealing energy from anyone they can. They never get enough to make them feel content and whole.
My intention here isn’t to psychoanalyze why people steal energy from each other or to place judgment on them for doing so. There are countless reasons, many of which have psychological diagnoses to accompany them. I have compassion for anyone who’s lacking the life energy they need to feel healthy and whole. The truth is, we’ve all stolen energy at one point or another. Including me, in moments of ignorance, weakness, or heightened emotions.
But, that doesn’t make it okay. It certainly doesn’t undo the damage or restore the energy taken. My intention here is to explore how we can fix the problem at its source. We have to take responsibility for plugging our own holes and finding the source of life energy within ourselves. Not only so we can avoid stealing energy from someone else, but so we can ensure we have the energy we need to live our best life.
Ways People Compensate for Solar Plexus Chakra Imbalance
If you don’t have healthy coping mechanisms, it can be easy to compensate for energy theft and solar plexus imbalance using unhealthy strategies. As mentioned previously, one of those ways is to steal energy from other people, using any of the mechanisms we’ve discussed. If you’re regularly engaging in these sorts of behaviors, it’s a sign your solar plexus chakra is out of balance. This article is for you too.
Other forms of compensation include substance abuse, overeating, and compulsive shopping. There are also a number of ego defense mechanisms that, when used excessively, can interfere with a balanced, fulfilling life. Some examples include projection, displacement, repression, denial, and intellectualization.
Working with our solar plexus chakra can help us tap into our internal source of life energy, so we don’t have to seek it in other people or things. We can form healthier relationships with ourselves and others. The kind that allow energy transfers to arise from mutual agreements and leave both parties feeling supported and energized.
How to Reclaim Personal Power through Solar Plexus Chakra Work
The first step toward reclaiming your personal power is to recognize it’s been stolen. For me, that happened within a few minutes of focusing on my solar plexus chakra. I’d made the decision to do solar plexus work because of my recent endeavors in writing. For the first time in my life, I’ve been focusing all my time and effort on the dream I’ve had since I was in the sixth grade. It’s what I’ve always felt was my true purpose, but I just haven’t nurtured this dream through most of my life’s work.
Regardless, most people who know me would say I’ve accomplished a lot. From the outside looking in, it might appear my solar plexus couldn’t possibly be imbalanced. I’ve actually thought the same thing myself all this time. But something changed when I started writing and putting my work out into the world.
I think there’s a difference between doing what it takes to push a ball forward, even if that work is meaningful and rewarding, and doing that thing your heart can’t stop calling you to do. That thing that, were you to fail at it, would hurt the most, because it’s the truest expression of yourself. There’s a different level of investment and exposure involved.
I knew I was touching that thing with my writing when I started getting nervous and shaky every time I was about to push the publish button. It occurred to me, based on my knowledge of the chakras, this might be a good time to focus on my solar plexus.
My Solar Plexus Work Wasn’t What I Expected
I had this notion about the solar plexus in my head. I knew it was the go-to chakra for accomplishing one’s purpose. What I didn’t know was how deep the work would go. How quickly I would see the real nature of the imbalance. It wasn’t the surge of empowered energy suddenly filling me with self-confidence that I’d expected. Instead, it was a recognition of all the ways my personal power had been stolen from me over the years.
After using my chakra tuning bowl (more on that in a bit) and sitting in meditation, I experienced a rush of memories. Some were more vivid and painful than others, but all of them were times when I’d had energy taken from me. The memories triggered a deep aching in my solar plexus region. And then I knew. It was like a blindfold had been removed, and suddenly I could see what had been there for so long.
Without going into details, I’ll just say I’ve experienced different forms of abuse and shaming from a very young age into adulthood. Despite this, I’ve prided myself on being a warrior, a survivor. On never giving up and always putting one foot in front of the other. On turning my pain into compassion and love. And while I still think that’s healthy and wise, and I wouldn’t change it, I realized in that moment I had to acknowledge the reality that energy had in fact been stolen.
I couldn’t only identify with my strength and resilience, as though nothing had been taken from me. It had. And acknowledging that was the first step toward reclaiming what had been taken. My personal power.
You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Know is Broken
Many times, when people have been subjected to abuse, trauma, neglect, or any of the other forms of energy theft we’ve discussed, they find their way forward by minimizing the hurt. They set it aside or put it in a box, and though they may revisit it from time to time, they don’t fully acknowledge what was taken from them. It can feel too vulnerable, too weak, or too scary. They try to leave it in the past without realizing how they are, nevertheless, carrying it into their present and future.
When I faced the reality of the energy that was stolen from me, felt it physically in my solar plexus, I realized I’ve been surviving for a long time without the full flow of life energy I have access to within me. All those moments of disempowering energy theft impacted my solar plexus chakra. And, not only did those experiences take personal power from me in those moments, but they stuck with me over the years as a resistance to doing solar plexus work. The very thing that could heal me.
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. When we avoid looking at how our power has been taken from us, or the extent to which it was taken from us, we leave ourselves in a powerless position. To acknowledge it doesn’t mean we have to dwell on it or relive the memories. We just have to accept that we’ve been working from a deficit, so we can take the steps we need to take to reclaim our power.
If looking at this brings up memories or emotions that feel too big for you to handle, please reach out for professional help. I’ve been doing this kind of work for years and feel comfortable working with these issues myself now. But I’ve definitely worked with counselors at different times over the years when needed. They can provide a safe space and guidance when working with difficult emotions. In fact, a supportive relationship with a counselor can be a very effective way to repair damage from unhealthy or abusive relationships.
Solar Plexus Chakra Healing Techniques Can Help
There are a number of modalities and practices that work directly with the energy center of the solar plexus, meaning they are energy techniques. Certainly, working with a counselor is also an option, but what I’m going to focus on here are the energy-based modalities you can come back to again and again, whenever you need it, to give your self a boost of solar plexus energy. And not only to access your life energy now, but also to help you keep this energy-center balanced over time.
When you’re aware of your solar plexus energy-center, you’re better able to prevent future energy theft. You can pick-up the signals when someone’s trying to steal energy from you and do what you need to do to put healthy boundaries in place. You can choose to limit or halt your exposure to it, or you can see it for what it is, and consciously tap into your solar plexus to keep it charged and in balance.
The following energy-based modalities can help build this awareness at the same time as they work to reestablish balance in your solar plexus chakra.
Solar Plexus Yoga Postures
Yoga helps balance your whole chakra system, but there are specific poses you can practice to focus on your solar plexus. As you’re doing them, it can be helpful to focus your awareness on what’s happening in your solar plexus region. Note that there may be some discomfort or edginess at first, and that’s okay. Pay attention to your edge and honor it. This work doesn’t have to be completed in one session, and likely, it won’t be. If you get to a point where the edginess is too much, come out of the posture and practice some self-care. Give yourself kindness, compassion, and patience.
The following poses can be used for solar plexus work:
- Any twists
- Reclining Bound Angle (using a bolster)
- Supported Hero (using a bolster)
- Supported twists (using a bolster)
Because you’re working on reclaiming stolen energy, it’s important to come to this practice with a self-nurturing spirit. Spend some time in child’s pose and knees-to-chest, both of which feel supportive and almost like you’re giving yourself a hug. Remember this is a time to be offering yourself loving energy. This further supports you in finding and trusting your own internal source for life energy.
Chakra Tuning Bowl
Tuning bowls, also called singing bowls, create sound when struck or scraped along the rim in a circular motion. They can be made from metal, as the traditional Tibetan bowls, or from crystal. The singing is actually a resonant vibration of a specific musical note. Different bowls produce different notes.
Each chakra has a specific musical note that corresponds to it. For the solar plexus chakra, the note is E. Working with your solar plexus using a tuning bowl is a form of sound therapy. While sound healing originated as an ancient practice used in many cultures, it has not been studied using modern clinical standards. However, many people who work with it swear by its potential for results.
I’m one of those people. It was in fact through working with my tuning bowl that I experienced my big moment of healing for my solar plexus chakra. It’s definitely an option worth considering.
Reiki is a Japanese energy healing modality in which a Reiki practitioner places their hands on your body to free up the flow of life energy within you. I have received Reiki before, and it was a powerfully healing experience. It’s also a technique we offered at our residential addiction treatment center, and the clients absolutely loved it.
A Reiki practitioner can work with your entire chakra system, including your solar plexus.
In the yogic system, life energy is connected to our breath, or prana. Working with pranayama, or breath control, practices can help free up the flow of life energy in your body-mind-spirit system. An effective way to use breath to work with your solar plexus is to focus on diaphragmatic breathing. That’s because the diaphragm is located in the solar plexus region.
To practice diaphragmatic breathing, start by focusing on your natural breath. After several breaths, bring awareness to your diaphragm and focus on expanding it on your inhale. You can place your hand over your diaphragm to help you notice it more. After a few more breaths, continue focusing on expanding your diaphragm on your inhale and also start focusing on contracting it at the end of your exhale, expelling all oxygen.
Do this for as long as feels comfortable for you, or at least ten full breaths.
Solar Plexus Crystals
This is another ancient healing technique that has not yet found merit through modern scientific studies. However, many people use crystals for their healing properties and swear by their effectiveness. I myself use crystals and find them to have a positive, healing effect.
Crystals can be carried, held in your hand while meditating, or placed on specific chakras. Here are several stones that can be used to work with your solar plexus chakra:
- Tiger’s Eye
- Lemon Quartz
- Yellow Jasper
Your Own Healing Touch
We all have the power of healing touch, and we can give it to ourselves whenever we want. An effective way to work with balancing your solar plexus chakra can be simply placing your own hand over it. Focus your attention on your hand, your solar plexus, and the contact between the two. Breathe deeply and absorb the sensation of your own touch.
You’ll probably notice your hand becoming warmer, maybe even hot. You might also notice unusual sensations in your solar plexus, such as knots or burning sensations. Stay with it and just keep breathing, giving yourself loving touch. Do this as often as you feel you need it.
Solar Plexus Chakra Affirmations
While doing any of the techniques above, you can include affirmation statements, spoken inwardly or out loud. You can also work with affirmations all by themselves. Not only can solar plexus affirmations help balance your chakra, they can start to shift the patterns of thinking you may have adopted due to solar plexus imbalance over time.
Here are some affirmations that can help with solar plexus issues:
- I have a purpose on this planet, and I am aligned with it.
- I have what I need to accomplish my goals.
- I have my own inner source for life energy to give me strength, courage, and confidence.
- I am a reflection of divine light, and that light is manifested through my purpose.
- I am strong. I am brave. I am capable.
- I express my power and celebrate when others express theirs too.
- I honor my unique purpose on this planet, and I honor the unique purpose of all others on this planet too.
If none of these feels right for you, come up with one of your own that works. Say it several times in the morning and throughout the day when you need it.
Spend Time in Nature
Nature is one of my go-to healing techniques. Out in the quiet stillness of nature, I can better tune into whatever’s happening for me. But it’s more than that. There’s something about being close to the trees, the flowers, the birds, and bugs that helps me put everything into better perspective.
Recently, as I’ve been working with my solar plexus, I took a break from a hike to sit on my favorite rock ledge and just admire the wind rustling through the yellowing leaves above me. The wind was blowing and the leaves were shimmying, as if in dance, and it occurred to me that’s exactly what they’re meant to do. They don’t put thought into it, don’t get all hung up on how they do it or what anyone might think of it. They are, at all times, a perfect expression of what they were put on this planet to be.
I found comfort in that. It connected me to that same spirit of pure expression within myself. I’m not so different from the tree, or from the birds who sing their songs or the dung beetles who roll their dung. We’re all expressions of divine imagination, unfolding our essence, our purpose in the best way we can. There’s beauty in that. And when we know that, when we’re connected to that truth, no one can take it from us.
Nature abounds with life energy, and being out in nature helps us tap into not only that boundless energy all around us, but into its abundant flow within us too.
Sometimes it seems, as I watch the news and witness interactions on social media, that energy theft is an epidemic. From the macroscopic societal level down to the interpersonal relationship level, it so often seems people are scrounging for their energy, snatching it anyway they can. It’s a vicious, self-feeding cycle. I’m a firm believer that change begins within the individual. In the end, it’s all any of us truly has control over.
So, for me, I’m stepping out of the cycle of energy theft. I’m finding my source for life energy within myself, knowing that as I do, I will have even more to generously share with others. And, in a way that’s healthy for both them and me.
May you also find your abundant source of life energy within and free the flow of your solar plexus chakra. May your expression of your purpose be empowered and your inner light shine to its fullest potential. Namaste.