The Fifth Chakra

Since I started practicing yoga seriously in 2011, the chakras have come up regularly. In world of meditation and yoga, we study our 8 chakras. A chakra is basically an energy point in the body (check them out here). The fifth chakra is located in your throat and it supposedly helps you speak your truth.

Back in 2013-ish, I read the book The Eight Human Talents by Gurmukh, a famous kundalini yoga teacher (she owns Golden Bridge Yoga which has locations on both coasts). The studio in New York is on the Lower East Side and sadly, I’ve never been able to make it down there because on the weekends I’m usually a) busy, or b) lazy. 

In her chapter on the fifth chakra, she talks about wearing a blue pendant whenever she’s feeling weak in this chakra – having trouble speaking her truth or whatnot – because blue is the color associated with this chakra. I always really liked this idea and was always on the look out for a blue pendant that I liked. 

Throughout the years, I would walk past, especially when I was working in the Film Center building on 44th and 9th, a really pretty blue pendant in the window of this used jewelry store/thrift shop on 43rd and 9th. It was always there, sitting in the window. It wasn’t at all expensive but I would never let myself buy it, probably because I have so much other jewelry.

The week before Valentine’s Day, this necklace came up in conversation with my boyfriend. I honestly don’t remember how it came up because it’s such a random thing to talk about in a conversation. But it did and he asked if he could buy it for me because he wasn’t comfortable picking out jewelry for me on his own. 

On the day before Valentine’s Day, on our way to Brooklyn, we met on the corner of 43rd and 9th (also the corner of the apartment where he was living when we met) and the necklace was still in the same place in the window so I tried it on and that was that. 

I haven’t told him all the chakra theory because I don’t like to shove too much of my yoga/meditation/new age-y stuff down his throat. I don’t know if the necklace is having an affect on my ability to speak my truth, but it’s pretty and it’s meaningful and I like it. 

Happiness of the Heart

Happiness starts with your thoughts.

I’ve been going to a weekly meditation class for the past couple of months on Sunday evenings. It’s run by the Downtown Meditation Center for only $5. And I’m totally digging it. It’s nice to spend 90 minutes with like-minded yet diverse individuals.

After the 30-40 minute meditation there’s always a dharma talk and tonight’s was about happiness and happiness of the heart. We’ve all heard it many times before but it’s always for reinforcement. We discussed how our culture has conditioned is with if-then statements. Ie: “if I get this job, then I’ll be happy.” “If my relationship is this way, then I’ll be happy.” But we all know that’s not truly where happiness is found.

The group talked about happiness starting when you decide to change your mind. Instead of telling yourself that your life sucks, remind yourself that you just have a wish to be happy.

It sounds stupidly simple but it’s true. If you’re always reinforcing the notion that life sucks, life probably will suck.  This circles to something that one of my gurus, Gabrielle Bernstein, teaches which is “live with an attitude of gratitude.” It’s really hard to be bitter when you’re grateful.

Just some necessary reiteration.