Chakra Therapy: The Root Chakra
The intention of this week is to bring healing to the root chakra through grounding, identity work, and unlearning family burdens while being grateful for family blessings.
This post is coming a little later than planned as I've been catching up from a weekend of travel! My best friend's daughter turned one and when she extended the offer for me to join the celebrations, it was a full body yes.
Yes, I also see what the universe did there. A week where my intention was to focus on grounding, security, and my connection to earth and I somehow end up thousands of feet above ground flying in an airplane.
This little trip taught me so much about grounding and the root chakra in a way that I didn't expect. When we think of grounding, many of us get an image in our minds of us standing barefoot in the forest with nothing but the trees and grass. On this trip, I got to practice grounding in the presence of others.
How I grounded on a weekend trip in a home with my best friend, her husband, baby, plus her mom, sister, and grandmother:
1) Said YES to being outside when it made sense to. Whether it was going to cut fresh flowers for the birthday party with my best friend or sitting with her husband on the patio. Letting the fresh air recalibrate my energy without too much effort on my part.
2) Stayed tapped into my intention of loving, relaxed connection and celebration. When we have an intention we can return to, it grounds our perception into the flow of energy that we actually desire to be in.
3) Slept. The first night we got in, I was exhausted from waking up early and the flight. Without any guilt, I excused myself and fell asleep around 9:00 PM. In the past, I would have talked myself into staying awake because it was such a short trip and I wanted to make the most out of the time that we had. Understanding how my body works, I now know that I require sleep in order to *truly* make the most out of our time together. It's become about quality over quantity which feels WAY better.
My favorite small identity shift
Since I was traveling with my friend's family, I didn't have the same level of control over the travel process as I do if it's just me or me and my husband. This lack of control was an invitation to be even more tense than usual or lean into not having to be the one in charge.
I made the choice to lean in. I challenged almost every thought I had about the type of person I am when I fly. I was the LAST person to board the plane on the flight home. I literally took a minute to go to the bathroom when they called my zone up. Me even a couple months ago would NEVER. I would have it in my head that I would miss boarding and the flight would take off without me.
But I remembered these beliefs were choices that I kept choosing. These were beliefs about myself and I was really, really tired of choosing them. I didn't want to be up-tight. I don't want to have to always be the responsible one. I don't have to always be assuming the worst and playing it all out in my mind.
When I sat there watching everyone stand in a chaotic line, I felt so calm. I used to be one of those people, but I didn't need to be in this situation. I didn't need to be in a rush, so I wasn't. I thought that it would have made me so anxious to do that, but it didn't.
If I could shift this, what else about my identity could I have fun with?
The universe even rewarded my willingness to try new ways of being with an OPEN MIDDLE SEAT in the row I was in!
For now, my flying answer looks like this:
When I fly, I am the type of person who checks a bag when necessary, gets to the airport at a reasonable time, and waits to be one of the last ones boarding.
My takeaway from the week
Identity work can be fun. When we decide to play around with perception and ways of being, we create the space for miracles to occur.
Your turn to answer the prompt...
When I travel, I'm the type of person who...
I have committed to taking myself through each week of the year of you and sharing my journey along the way.
How fitting that I would experience such a clear depiction of the success-failure cycle with this launch?
While having no one sign up for this program during it's first launch is a failure, I don't say that with a tone of pity, judgement, or resentment.
I'm actually REALLY excited to transmute this business failure into a personal growth success. When it comes time to share this program again, I'll be able to share what it was truly like to go through week by week. I'm listening to my own podcast recordings, meditations, doing the journal prompts and self-care work. I'm doing it all.
My Week One Experience
"Bring me the experiences that will bring me closer to myself" was the affirmation that I felt drawn to return to throughout the week. This showed up for me in so many ways. There are often times in life where I put way too much responsibility on myself and take things way too seriously. I can lose sight of the pureness of being and get caught up in things that aren't even mine to be getting caught up in.
One experience that brought me closer to myself was a simple warm afternoon on my back porch. I made a *perfect* iced coffee, had my Fall playlist music playing through my speakers, and my dog happily napping in the sun next to me. I let myself be present with the good. I didn't rush through it or write it off as insignificant. I got to become closer to the part of myself that knows that it is okay for things to be good and simple.
Another experience came through my journaling about the different cycles I am impacted by and reflected on the menstrual cycle and fertility. As someone who has struggled with PCOS and infertility, this can be an intense cycle for me to sit with. I viewed this cycle through the lens of my inner child and she came through with some of the most heart-wrenching questions that I have ever asked myself. She inspired me to include some of these questions in the shadow work course where I can hold people through answering them, so they'll stay between me and her for now.
Week One Takeaway
The more that I lean into trusting the cycles that we experience as humans, as spiritual beings, and in nature- the more I trust myself. I'm not nearly as afraid of failing because I completely trust that there is no way that I can fail forever.
There are so many reasons to attend a retreat. If you've yet to experience the miracles that happen during a retreat, here's a bit of insight...
All those little details, the how's, the what's, etc. has been all figured out for you! All that you have to do is show up. Retreats take the best parts of a vacation and remove the hassle of having to plan. It's an excellent practice in surrendering and going with the flow.
How many books do you have that are waiting to be read? The number of times you'd swear you'd take some time to journal, meditate, or be creative? A retreat creates the time for you. The inner work becomes a part of the sacred self care that is happening and you don't have to worry about finding space in the day.
Bonus: you'll have the mental capacity to do the inner work since you didn't have to spend so much of it figuring out what to make for dinner.
We're constantly tempted to stay in our comfort zones, but at a retreat you never know what experiences may happen. Each retreat has held some type of "first" for each guest.
The people you meet at a retreat are one of a kind. There is a certain type of magic that happens when groups of people come together under the shared intention of the retreat. While so many of our new connections happen via social media, the retreat brings back human connection. Even if you are shy or get anxious around new people, you can find some comfort in knowing this retreat attracted all of you for a reason.
The meals are prepared for you, the dishes are washed without you having to lift a finger or ask/tell someone to do them, and no one expected you to do anything to earn these things being done for you. Yes, you are worthy of this experience.
Since you didn't have to do the planning, you won't leave feeling like you need a vacation from the retreat. In fact, you may leave feeling more energetic and excited about life than ever. Retreats provide an atmosphere for personal growth and relaxation that you won't find anywhere else. You'll learn the type of self care you're truly worthy of and that makes a difference in your life, even after you leave
Are you ready to experience all of this for yourself?
Check out my current retreat offering: The Renewal Retreat happening May 2nd-May4th, 2022 in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
What is the Root Chakra?
The root chakra is located at the base of our spines and is considered the “I am” energy center. Physically, it is associated with the lower parts of our bodies including feet, legs, lower back. It is also connected with the endocrine and reproductive systems.
The root chakra is the center of stability, security, and safety. It is where we first develop the idea of who we are, especially amongst our family, and develop a sense of loyalty to that identity within the group. Manifestation, connection with nature, worthiness, and fertility are all themes often associated with the root chakra.
A story about Chelsie and her unbalanced root chakra...
At first, the main thing that interested me in the root chakra was healing the concept of worthiness in order to create financial stability. It was a cold winter day in the middle of January. I had checked my bank account to see that I had forgotten to re-certify my income-based repayment plan for my student loans and the provider had just withdrawn $1,300 from my bank account. That was about $1,100 more than what I had in my account, so of course, my balance was in the negative.
I called my bank with tears streaming down my face, searching through my purse for the card with my bank account info on it. As I pulled out every single thing in my purse, I realized that it must be in my car. I step out to the snowy, -1 degree New Hampshire day, walk to the parking garage…
and don’t see my car.
I walk both levels of the garage and my car is nowhere to be found.
The stash of unpaid parking tickets shoved in my glovebox flashed in my mind.
I basically run to the city office where they explain to me that I had to pay the parking tickets, towing fee, and lot fee in order to get my car back. It was a holiday weekend so I had about 37 minutes to figure everything out before the city office closed for the day and I was stuck paying 3 days of lot fees on top of all the fees I had already accrued.
I vividly remember standing on Main St., my feet soaked and cold, internally pleading to the universe to help me out.
By some miracle, I’m able to work things out with the bank, get the money redeposited into my account, pay the fees, and get my car back.
That was one of the first of many enough is enough moments for me. I knew that I needed to make some major shifts in order to make sure I was never in a position like this again.
I started to truly tend to my root chakra through energy work, hiking in nature, and unlearning the identity I had created. I started to see how my relationship with money, independence, and responsibility was being mirrored in my physical being and my external experiences.
I always felt like my body failed me.
[and if my body could fail me, who was to say that money, other people, etc. wouldn’t just fail me too?]
It was never pretty enough.
It was never skinny enough.
It was never fast enough or strong enough.
[and if I wasn’t enough in any way, how could I ever believe that I was worthy of wealth and health?]
When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2011, it felt like confirmation and validation of all that I had been telling myself and what others had told me.
Something interesting started to happen though… as I nurtured the wound of unworthiness, freed my identity from being rooted in trauma, and embraced the idea that I could be a co-creator of my reality, the pain began to lessen.
The daily pain wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. The flare-ups were happening less often and my recovery was much quicker.
My physical body began to reflect the spiritual and emotional shifts I was making.
How do you know if your root chakra is balanced?
When our root chakras aren’t balanced, it’s not uncommon to have experiences like the day I had above. An out-of-balance root chakra will often look like financial issues, chronic pain, and feeling disconnected from the earth. We feel depressed, stuck in all meanings of the word, and feel hopeless about figuring the way out. We may be overly focused on the material world or not want any part of it.
**Please keep in mind that as you are doing chakra work, some of what you experience is a direct result of a systemic issue and not a blocked chakra. For example, while I definitely had root chakra work to do, the issue of student loans is a systemic one and not just because of my individual energy. You don't manifest things like racism, sexism, etc.**
A balanced root chakra promotes feeling secure in who you are and your surroundings, it powers your connection with the earth and how you are meant to show up in it. Many people find that chronic pain issues, especially lower body pain, experience their symptoms being relieved. Balancing your root chakra might not be the end-all, be-all answer to some of your problems, but it is a place to start.
Looking for support in balancing your root chakra?
On January 22nd at 10:00 AM EST, I am hosting a Root Chakra Circle where we will engage in a root chakra healing ritual as a community. You’ll walk away from the ritual with a clearer understanding of the energy of your root chakra, how to connect with it, and bring it into balance so that you can feel grounded and inspired by your own presence.
This event is $22.22 or free for bridge members.
Inside the bridge, you’ll find just the resources that you need to support your root chakra including a root chakra healing meditation infused with reiki and sacred psychology of the root chakra training. The Bridge is a month-to-month membership that gives you access to a library of healing resources created by me with the intention to bridge the gap between psychology and spirituality to support you on your path to well-being. It is $15.99/month, cancel anytime, and includes community events like this one.
To register for the event, please visit: https://chelsieskowyra.as.me/?appointmentType=29476434
To join the Bridge and waive the registration fee, please visit: https://the-healing-room.mn.co/share/SeKQkaBTjD1lVYHG?utm_source=manual
If you have any questions about the root chakra, chakra healing, or bridging the gap between psychology and spirituality, leave them in the comments below!
What You'll Need:
You’ll need 6 pieces of paper (3 will be destroyed, so use scrap paper!), your journal/notebook, and a pen.
Optional: Oracle Card or Tarot Deck to use with prompts provided.
Optional Aromatherapy Protocol:
Cilantro: oil of releasing control
Kumquat: oil of authentic presence
Cypress: oil of motion & flow
Make a diffuser blend (1 drop Cilantro, 5 drops Kumquat, 3 drops Cypress) or dilute and apply topically to heart and base of spine.
This ritual will help you to use your emotions as guidance to finding what works and what doesn't work for you as you create your happiest, healthiest life.
Have on separate piece of paper for each prompt (*note you won't want to use your journal for this part*):
1. This is what is not serving my mind.
2. This is what is not serving my body.
3. This is what is not serving my soul.
4. This is what is serving my mind.
5. This is what is serving my body.
6. This is what is serving my soul.
Call on your angels and guides of the highest truth and compassion to be present with you now.
Spend some time in meditation, surrounding yourself with white light, and once you feel that connection, pick up your pen and papers and use those prompts to automatic write. If you feel called to use your tarot or oracle cards, now would be the time to draw a card for each prompt.
Remember, do not worry about grammar or spelling, just write.
If you need more prompting to go deeper, you can include sections for "people, places, things, beliefs."
You may wish to pause and meditate between each prompt or when shifting into what is serving and what is not serving.
Now, take out your journal. When looking at your list of what is not serving you, what emotions come up? What guidance are these emotions giving you? What are they showing you about what you do and do not desire in your life?
Shift into the serving and ask the same question, when you look at your list of what is serving you, what emotions come up? What guidance are these emotions giving you? How can you cultivate more of these emotions in your life?
Hold the papers of what is not serving you in your hands and repeat this prayer (using the terms that resonate with you):
"Universe, I surrender all of this to you. I recognize now that none of this is serving me and I choose to release all of it. Please guide me to show myself compassion as I release these attachments, beliefs, and create space for what is serving me. I am eternally grateful. Thank you."
Now, destroy the papers. Burn them (safely). Rip them up. Bury them. Feel the release of not bringing this energy with you into the next year.
Hold the papers of what is serving you in your hands and repeat this prayer.
"Universe, I am grateful. I am blessed. Thank you, more please."
These papers you may wish to keep somewhere visible. Where you place your intention, you amplify the energy. Constantly seeing reminders of what does serve you is powerful.
What was your biggest ah-ha moment? What will you add to your self-care in the new year with these insights? Leave a comment below or if you feel called, tag me in a post on IG @chelsieskowyra with your reflections from this ritual!
In the summer of 2017, I reached the peak of burnout and secondary traumatic stress. I was serving as the lead clinician for over 30 cases, supervising nearly 100 cases, and helping the agency build a new program to connect parents with their own services at a community mental health agency.
I had always heard the phrase, “leave work at work” but no one actually taught me how to do that.
They didn’t teach me how to leave work at work when I’m doing home-based therapy and witnessing the same events my client will tell their future therapist about.
They didn’t teach me how to leave work at work when I’m subpoenaed on a case for a 4-year-old and the judge dismisses me and places the child back with their abusive parent. They didn’t teach me how to handle the look of fear and betrayal when we share the news with the child.
They didn’t teach me how to leave work at work when a parent literally leaves their teenager in my office and tells me, “you figure out what to do with them” so you spend the next weeks driving the client to and from school from the only respite home that was able to take them in.
Since they didn’t teach me, the universe did. I did what any self-respecting mental health therapist who had just invested 1000+ hours of their life getting supervision and six figures for a master’s degree would do… I quit.
I not only quit, but I also quit without another job lined up and convinced my husband that we should move back to Michigan at the same time.
I took one interview back in Michigan that solidified that I could not re-enter the mental health world. I had to compose myself the entire time I was walked around the residential campus and cried the minute I got into the car. A student would later pass away from restraints that staff used which tore at my soul and reaffirmed my decision to trust my gut with not taking the job.
After that interview, I decided to fully commit to building my own business. Intuitive life coach and creator was the first title that I tried on. My first client signed up and I quickly realized that I’m not meant to be a life coach. Some parts felt aligned, but other aspects didn’t feel true to me. I struggled to find clients to serve and couldn’t clearly express to anyone what it was that I do.
Cue the identity crisis. If I wasn’t a mental health therapist and I wasn’t a spiritual life coach… what was I? Had I been wrong my whole life? Was I not meant to help people? Was this the universe’s way of telling me that I totally suck at helping others and should find something else to do with my life?!
There’s an old post I made for Instagram (see below) that has a Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between therapy and life coaching. As I looked at the Venn diagram, I knew this is what I did.
I could feel it in my bones- people are searching for the space in between. They aren’t in crisis, but they do desire support. They do want to examine their life, but they aren’t looking for a diagnosis. They want to work with someone who has the education, but someone who is also deeply connected to their intuition.
The path wasn’t clear because I was born to create it.
As soon as I began to own the title of a spiritual therapist, everything began to fall into place. I started getting asked to be interviewed on podcasts, consultations were being booked up, and my soulmate clients were being referred to me.
As a spiritual therapist, my work looks SO different than as a child and family mental health therapist. I’m not doing crisis management, I’m not doing thorough mental health assessments and providing a diagnosis, and I’m not providing traditional mental health therapy.
I am using evidence-based interventions alongside my intuition. I am providing loving support from a safe, trauma-informed space. I am encouraging my clients to build their spiritual practice and connect to their intuitive gifts so that they can transcend life’s challenges and emotional struggles.
The vision I hold for the future of spiritual therapy, the mental health system, and collective healing goes beyond any words I can type. I’m so glad you’re here.
To learn more about working with Chelsie, visit www.chelsieskowyra.com/services
Love, Your Favorite Spiritual Therapist
Learn more about bridging the gap between spirituality and psychology.