by Gail Allen
How’s your footing these days? With 2020 behind us, the Covid Pandemic hopefully drawing to a close, places and events reopening, it’s normal to feel a bit unsettled. What had become routine, now suddenly is being changed again. What had felt safe or somewhat safe is being pulled away. Our sure footing isn’t feeling quite as sure now. Not necessarily because of the pandemic, but just in general. So what does this have to do with Root Chakra? Well, as it turns out, structure is often what keeps us safe! Let me explain. If you have to climb scaffolding to reach the ceiling of a cathedral, do you want it to be old and rickety, swaying at the slightest movement? Or would you feel much *safer* with ropes, harnesses, and a solid foundation? If you’re mountain climbing, would you like to be on the mountain face with nothing between you and a certain death after a fall off the mountain face, or would you like some equipment? Even daredevil extreme sports fanatics who free climb usually train to build their skills before a major excursion. Structure keeps us safe. When the ground is shaky, we know to retreat!
But what if you didn’t? What if you couldn’t tell that it felt unsafe? What if everything felt unsafe? What if every step felt like the rug was being pulled out from under you, so you constantly were afraid of falling? What if it felt like ice was under your feet and you don’t know how to skate? What if you don’t have skates or your skates don’t fit? What if no one has ever shown you how to even put on skates, let alone taught you how to skate? Climbing mountains is hard. Skating is hard. Even for people who have the proper equipment and training, those things are challenging.
Well, the same is true for our Root Chakra work. In childhood, if we don’t have a secure attachment to our caregivers, don’t form bonds that feel safe, we often develop what psychologists have termed as emotional dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation refers to reacting to a stimulus or triggering event in an extreme way and not being able to return to a calm state in a reasonable period of time. Everything becomes a crisis. It's a symptom of many disordered thinking diagnoses, such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder, just to name a few.
We often learn pretty early on in school to mask those emotions, or to stuff them down. How many times do pre-schoolers and kindergartners get told, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset (or "pitch a fit" in the South!)”? As children, we are often taught that we should numb our emotions instead of feeling them and processing them. Those who don’t are often diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or at least labeled as strong-willed or “problem” children.
As we mature and grow, if we haven’t learned to process our emotions, bottling them up often works --- until it doesn’t. You know what I mean, right? You’re able to deal with everything... until you can’t. You ignore all the triggers - until there’s a lava explosion of all your emotions. Your fuse gets shorter and shorter until you’re suddenly wondering who has taken possession of your body and is screaming at the grocery store clerk for being out of yogurt. And *why* are you crying again?? Sometimes, we may even turn to addictions and self-harm to keep those emotions numb.
The more often this happens, the more our brains learn to stay in Survival Mode and we may not even realize it. How many times do you find yourself knocking things over and not even realizing you were near enough to the item to touch it? I often find bruises on my arms and hips because I run into the door or the counter! What about when you start your period "out of the blue" and haven't even noticed the subtle cues your body has been sending you that it was coming? Ever noticed that other people seem to know that they're getting sick, but you feel fine until you don't? Do you find yourself “flying off the handle” at the slightest provocation from your partner or your kids? How about at work when you just fired off an email to your boss that you wish you hadn’t sent? Are you accused of not having a filter between your brain and your mouth? Think of all the anger and intense emotions we’ve seen this past year - no matter which side of the divide. And it may not even be anger. It may be other intense, unpleasant emotions, such as anxiety or sadness that don’t seem warranted for the occasion, or at least not to the degree to which they are felt.
So what happens next? It’s beyond our control what happens to us in early life. Our caregivers may have had one such aforementioned disordered thinking, diagnosed or not, been abusive/neglectful, or may have even died before we could form bonds with them or have them teach us how to process our emotions. Maybe that's just how they were raised and that's all they knew. That’s not our fault. But surely...surely, we aren’t just stuck being, as Shakespeare said, “passion’s slave” to our emotions, right? We don’t have to just bottle things up or live constantly in Survival Mode, right?
Thankfully, no. There are medications that can help. Medications are often like bandaids, though. Bandaids are useful and necessary, but if we want to stop the bleeding, we may also need to do some self-work, instead of just reapplying more bandaids. In the 1980s, Marsha Linehan conducted research that led to the treatment method known as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, which is known to be quite effective in Emotional Dysregulation of both children and adults. DBT encourages mindfulness, being present in the current moment, becoming aware of your emotions, examining your thought and behaviour patterns, and noticing how you react or respond to stress.
Does this sound familiar? It probably does if you have begun to work on your Chakra Journey! Through verbal processing and talk therapy, yoga, journaling, meditation, Reiki and Brainspotting, we work together to regain your footing on solid ground! We have a mountain of healing to climb - let us know when you’re ready to get started! Our Root Chakra Journey Course is OPEN NOW! Click the LINK to learn more! I am also available for one-on-one intensive Chakra Healing, a personalized approach using the modalities available in our online course and energy healing, brainspotting, and regular sessions of talk therapy. Email me for more information! firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Allen, the creator of the Chakra Journey, is a Master Holistic Healer. She is a registered yoga teacher, Reiki Master and Teacher, Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist, and earned her Masters Degree in Counseling.
Gail Allen and Danielle Schwartz are both 500-RYT yoga professionals trained in Hatha and Kundalini Yoga. They specialize in Chakra Healing, Curvy Yoga, 8 Limbs of Recovery (yoga for recovering addicts), Reiki Healing, Aromatherapy, and other modalities of healing.