I’ve never had much faith in non-traditional spirituality. Anything beyond reading my horoscope and the two beginner yoga classes I took in college went right over my head, until I was turned on to the benefits of knowing about chakras and what cleansing them could do — not just for me, but for my relationships with others. With a newly piqued curiosity for this practice and its benefits, I went to a friendship cleansing session to get rid of negative energy, and what I learned has honestly changed the way I look at myself, my friendships, and my entire life.
Chakras are, by definition, the seven energy points within your body. Each one represents a different function or property of the body, like your sense of groundedness, your sexuality and sensuality, and your ability to communicate. According to the International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP), chakras take in, incorporate, and emanate energy to keep us functioning at optimal levels. When one of your chakras is “blocked” or not functioning properly, it can derail your entire energy system and make you feel sick, unenergized, or just off balance. Our chakras can become unbalanced if we don’t physically and spiritually nourish our bodies, if we block our feelings, and if we don’t express ourselves, among other reasons.
Everyone’s experience with their energies and chakras is different. Just like we each have different things about ourselves we want to work on, chakras work the same, and you can focus on strengthening and nourishing each one. However, in order for your energy to be fully balanced, all your chakras have to be balanced, which is no easy feat. For my session, I really wanted to work on releasing any negative energy toward failed friendships that had built up over time.
A month after my high school graduation, my best friend completely ghosted me. She didn’t tell me why, or what I had done wrong. She cut me out of her life, and despite my various attempts to find out why, I never got the closure I thought I deserved. I thought this was a weird one-off situation until the exact same thing happened again, following my junior year of college, when a new best friend (one that I’d met during freshman orientation) also cut me out of her life. I began to wonder if I was just a bad friend, but eventually I chalked it up to growing apart. To this day, I still wonder what went wrong.
Hoping to let go of some of this negative energy and resentment, I visited Awakening Healing Center in Brooklyn, New York, for an aura/chakra cleansing with healer Mariola Jedynasty. I’ll admit I was skeptical. Although I didn’t totally buy into the idea of energy healing and was a little (a lot) nervous about the cleansing itself, walking into the center made me feel somehow both excited and at ease. The small lobby is packed with beautiful crystals from floor to ceiling, each one meant to fulfill a different purpose. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist who had me fill out an emergency healing intake form with my basic information and medical history. And then I met Mariola.
As a healer, her job is to help open up my chakras and teach me to breathe, relax, and balance my energies using unique methods she’s perfected during her career. This particular cleansing started with a simple conversation between us, where she asked me what I wanted to accomplish from our session. She wanted to know my background — not just about my friendships, but about my romantic relationships, and taking it a step further, my relationship with my family and what my life was like growing up.
After getting a basic understanding of my past and what I wanted for my present, we moved on to the active part of the session, which consisted of me stripping down and lying on a massage bed under a sheet. Mariola helped me relax by rubbing my entire body, section by section, with a scrub. I’m not going to lie; I felt uncomfortable, and she could tell. I already don’t like to be touched as it is, but Mariola told me to let my body react and to let myself feel my discomfort. My eyes were closed as I felt the room fill with different scents of sage and incense. She rubbed the top of my head with a soft oil and helped me release the tension in my body by taking deep, strong breaths. She helped me open up my throat chakra by releasing a strong, verbal “hah” with every exhale. She told me to imagine every inhale as breathing in light and positivity, and every exhale as releasing what didn’t serve me anymore. My senses were somehow acutely on fire, but my body was more relaxed than it had been in months.
For me, the hardest part about the two-hour session was making an effort to quiet my mind. I tried to focus on my breathing and imagined light and positivity entering my energy through my breaths. I felt all the negativity and resentfulness that had built up from my failed relationships just ooze out of me. After Mariola worked some sort of massage magic on my head (I actually felt the nerves at the base of my spine react when she put pressure on the back of my neck), I was sad when she told me to relax my breathing and open my eyes.
We talked for a while after that. From the 90 or so minutes she spent working on and connecting with my body through our energies, she told me things about myself that I knew, deep down, were true, but never wanted to acknowledge. She told me she thought my friendships had failed because I’m too hard on myself. I’m constantly seeking validation from others, and I feel the need to control everything around me. This is true. Hardest of all to accept was that this all stems from a sense of low self-esteem. I have to learn to love myself, she said. It’s the first step to fostering healthy relationships with others.
Mariola told me I have a good heart. She told me my aura is yellow (my favorite color), and that my solar plexus chakra (the one in your belly that’s related to power) is my dominant energy. According to the IARP, an overbearing solar plexus chakra can result in a kind of obsessive-compulsive control. Bingo. But, a healthy flow also allows you to accomplish your dreams and control your destiny — both things I’ve always considered myself pretty good at.
Moving forward, Mariola told me to work on balancing that overbearing solar plexus chakra by focusing on my throat chakra — the one responsible for expression and communication. I can do this by speaking my truth, reinforcing positivity within myself, or wearing some sort of blue-colored clothing or jewelry.
As a parting gift, Mariola gave me a rose quartz crystal, which stands for love, beauty, peacefulness, self-love, and emotional balance. Its purpose is to open my heart chakra by helping me open up to other people and discovering the ability to love myself. She told me to press it against my heart and remind myself to love and forgive. She reminded me that it’s normal to outgrow people, and that some friendships aren’t meant to last forever. That’s OK, she said. Forgive, let go, and move on.
It’s not going to be an overnight process. I’m going to have to work really hard to let go of the pain and resentment that’s built up after years of disappointing relationships. But experiencing a chakra cleanse taught me that it’s possible, and I feel good about taking the first step toward forgiveness and accepting myself for who I am. I’m grateful for this opportunity, for people like Mariola who just want to help people feel good about themselves, and I’m grateful for myself. I’m going to be kinder to myself now. Friendships come and go, but I’m stuck with myself forever. And that’s the most important relationship I have to foster from here on out.
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