It is our primal need to belong, to be wanted, to be accepted.
Through the prism of the chakra system, this is the muladhara chakra, the first of the seven major chakras in the Hindu tradition. Also known as the base or root chakra, it is located at the tailbone on the hipline and is associated with different body parts (muscles, bones, and organs in the area), immune system, adrenals, the colour red, earth element, the sense of smell, safety and security, and self-identity.
Relating to this is the muladhara endocrine energy, from the adrenals. These are our stress glands. They secrete hormones such as cortisol to support the fight-or-flight survival response. The build up of energy is then discharged through action.
What happens when we do not get the opportunity to fight or run away from the “tigers” that threaten our mortal lives? What if we are sitting in our car, and someone cuts us off? Or we are sitting at our work desk, and someone just plops down a pile of paperwork at the end of the day?
While physical threats are no longer on the level as they once were, our reptilian brain continues to identity many threats. In today’s world, people are actually in a state of chronic stress and we have seen increased rates in illness associated with the root chakra such as obesity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, skin problems, sexual dysfunction, reproductive issues, and addictions.
How a person is able or unable to deal with threats in those early years can set up patterns of behaviour and levels of well-being in their adult lives. We can overcompensate or avoid situations, responses that can become wired, and our chakras reflect this as deficient or excessive.
A deficient first chakra can be seen with being anxious, feeling unlovable, having poor boundaries, and financially lacking; an excessive first chakra, overweight, fatigue, and obsessive with security and material gains. For example, a child who feels insecure may grow up to be an adult who is overweight, using the excess weight to ground the body, to attune to the earth element of the first chakra, to feel more secure.
Whether a chakra becomes deficient and excessive is a mystery, according to Andoea Judith, who shares that it is linked to the amount of energy available to a person as they are growing up.
This is about energy and not conscious thought or desire. People can have constant reminders that “you are super intelligent. You are so creative. You are amazing.” and they may see or know it on an intellectual level but just not able to embody this belief. Something is stuck.
When the first chakra is balanced, a person feels secure and grounded, moves fluidly in the physical world, and is confident in looking after their material and physical needs.
It ultimately reflects the quality of the innocence, the pure and childlike joy that imparts honour, dignity, and a reliance on the love of the Divine Mother, who assists us in overcoming all enemies or temptations within us or outside us.
In Cyndi Dale’s 12-Chakra system, the first chakra is activated between womb and six months, and re-visited after the seventh chakra is activated (14 to 21 years old), in cycles of seven years. In Anodea Judith’s teaching, the time span is womb to one year and in the traditional Hindu system, one to seven years.
Emotional challenges that remain unresolved after the chakra first activated come up again later in life. The primal feelings of fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and joy and related survival reactions from resentment, abandonment, rejection, shame, longing, oneness show up through our relationships, external circumstances, personal challenges, etc and we facing these on the level they appear.
Like a tree, we need strong roots to grow tall and to fulfil our visions. If the forest is to grow and replenish and the ecosystem be healthy, the trees within need to be individually strong and having good earth and all the other elements to flourish.
What if we all ground more into who we are, while respecting everyone else’s right to be here as well? What if we can welcome and nourish each other? What if our root chakra is open and clear so that our survival and self-preservation instincts are balanced and our responses appropriate? What if we realize that to thrive, we need a healthy environment? What would our environment be like? What would the world look like?
Where in our own lives can we let go a bit more, trust more? How can we be more comfortable with change? How can we listen to our body more? The first thing we can do is to become more aware of our physical body, our environment, our coping strategies, our finances, our feelings about security.. and then look for support. #GetOutside and be in nature. Ground.