A happy ending to my DMV ordeal.

sunshine

I need an antidote for last night’s list 23 Things I Hate About My Life, so I think this might do the job.

Today was a good day. The first thing that happened was I didn’t have to walk the 5 1/2 miles back to the car repair shop. I actually got picked up by someone from there this morning and brought in to pick the car up and pay for the repairs. That’s another little blessing I might have taken for granted in the past. They’re almost always there if you are paying attention.

Anyway, in order to put enough miles on my car to see if the check engine light would come back on (it did after 60 miles–which means I failed the second inspection but was able to get a waiver at the DMV almost right away, which means I can go get registered tomorrow–FINALLY!), I decided to drive to the Light Center in Black Mountain. I described my experience there last year. I’m not a New Age sort of person at all, but I found this place special and instinctively knew it was a good space when I first went last year. Rather than working against my Christian faith, I felt like it actually enhanced it. So since I had to drive a long distance today, I decided to go again.

The light therapy room wasn’t open yet, so I spent a little time in the prayer room upstairs, which is held in a geodesic dome. The acoustics are odd–everything echos but not in an unpleasant way. I sat down and spent some time talking to God and I felt He was there with me and that everything was going to work out today. I felt a sense of relaxation come over me and I didn’t even notice the pain in my upper back anymore (I suffer from back muscle strain from my day job). I took this photo of the inside of the prayer room:

prayer_room

In the light therapy room (which is free–everything is free of charge here), I sat down in one of the soft partially reclined chairs, grabbed a small blanket, and focused on the lights. The room is lit in order by seven colors ranging from red to purple. Each one represents the seven chakras (which as a Christian I don’t have a problem with–I believe the chakras exist). Soft music played. I started to feel a bit sleepy but then it was over. I got up, stretched, and felt very peaceful and centered.

labyrinth2 labyrinth1
2 views of the labyrinth.

I wandered around the grounds until I came to the labyrinth. I’m not sure what spiritual purpose a labyrinth is supposed to have, but I walked through its maze and looked around at the trees until I came to the center, where visitors leave “offerings.” I pulled out two small items from my purse and set them there, then walked back through the labyrinth to the parking lot.

offerings2 offerings1
Can you tell from the pictures which two items I put there? The first is the Before picture. Click to enlarge.

I drove back through the mountains and into town and as the traffic began to build up, I felt the stress return and my back and shoulders began to hurt again. Back to real life.

The check engine light also came back on almost the same moment I felt the stress return. Was this a coincidence or not? My stress level rose. I prayed for the feeling I had earlier today.

I took the car to the inspection station and got a second Failed inspection, which I knew I would get. I drove to the DMV and to my shock, was seen right away by a very nice man who looked at all my paperwork and issued me the waiver. So tomorrow I take that last step–going to the DMV’s registration office first thing in the morning and finally getting my car legal. Call me crazy, but I’m actually excited about that!

Life is so wonderful and weird sometimes.

Narcissism and chakra healing

manipura
Manipura (solar plexus) chakra

Even though I’m Christian, I subscribe to the chakra system of healing or that it can at least be helpful used in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy and medicine. I don’t think belief in chakras or chakra healing goes against Christian teaching. Chakra healing is not a religion, but an alternative method of medicine used in eastern traditions (drawn from Tibetan Buddhism) and popularized in the West fairly recently. I’ve seen evidence for myself that this works and meditation on the chakras can bring you a sense of peace, centeredness and a a feeling of being in harmony with yourself and the world. In my opinion, meditation on these physical energy centers does not involve playing with the occult, as some people have claimed.

Chakras are energy centers located in the body at seven points along the spine from the groin area to the top of the head. They correspond to the endocrine system of the body and each is associated with a different endocrine gland.

The seven chakras are:

1. Root Chakra – Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food.
(color: red)

2. Sacral Chakra – Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.
Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in.
Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, sexuality.
(color: orange)

3. Solar Plexus Chakra – Our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.
(color: yellow)

4. Heart Chakra – Our ability to love.
Location: Center of chest just above heart.
Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.
(color: green)

5. Throat Chakra – Our ability to communicate.
Location: Throat.
Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.
(color: blue)

6. Third Eye Chakra – Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.
Location: Forehead between the eyes. (Also called the Brow Chakra)
Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.
(color: indigo)

7. Crown Chakra – The highest Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
Location: The very top of the head.
Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.
(color: purple)

According to this article, Narcissists have problems with the third chakra (solar plexus, or manipura chakra), which is associated with self esteem and confidence.

Narcissists have an underdeveloped solar plexus chakra. They overcompensate for this by acting like they’re the greatest thing ever. “Inverted” narcissists (codependent people with low self esteem) also have an underdeveloped solar plexus chakra but instead of overcompensating, they act out their feelings of low self worth.

Meditation on the solar plexus chakra to strengthen it could be beneficial for narcissists, and also for their victims, who feel powerless because of the abuse done to them by their narcs.

In my own opinion, I think narcissists also have a malfunctioning or underdeveloped heart chakra (the ability to feel love). So I think meditation on the heart chakra could help them too.

There are many chakra meditations available on Youtube. Here’s a good one to start with. As you meditate on each one, try to focus on the corresponding part of the body listed above.

If you feel you are lacking in one or more of the chakras, there are other videos where you can meditate on just that one.

As for me, I’m “top heavy”–my 6th (third eye) and 7th (crown) chakra seem to be the best developed, and I’m seriously lacking in the first three (root, sacral, and solar plexus), especially the first and the third. This is typical for people who live inside their heads and focus on the life of the mind over practical, survival issues. I have very poor survival instincts. My heart chakra seems to be okay but could certainly use development. My throat chakra has been strengthening through blogging. I communicate best through writing; in speech, not so much.

If you want to read more about the chakras and how they work, Anodea Judith’s Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakras, is one of the best resources. It’s easy to read but gives an extremely detailed overview of the chakras and how they interrelate.

Interlude: a day filled with light

chakras

Before I get started writing about the last part of my journey with my psychopathic ex, I wanted to share my experience today because it was such a mindblowing one. There’s been so much darkness in these posts and doing the emotional work required can be painful and exhausting. I really needed a respite from that and today I got it.

A week ago I was reading about a place called The Light Center, in Black Mountain, NC (which is close to my home), a prayer and meditation center that among other things, focuses on using colored light to help stimulate and align the chakras for improved physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I know this sounds like an ad but it’s not. (If you’re interested though, I’ve linked their website above).
I’ve always been interested in the chakras and attracted to all things metaphysical so I was intrigued and thought I might benefit, especially after releasing so much negative energy while I was writing my blog post late last night. I needed something to offset all the negativity and recalibrate my chakras.

I mentioned I felt like I was dead inside for a long time. In a way I was. My chakras have been in a very sick overall state for a long time, particularly my lower chakras which I think were and are almost non-functioning. My root chakra (grounding–survival and security, animal instincts) is my weakest. I live inside my head, less so inside my heart (but I’m working on that) but I’m not grounded or in touch with physical reality much at all. Not long ago I took an online chakra test and scored highest in the Crown chakra (top of the head–spirituality, universal consciousness, release of karma) I don’t know exactly what all this means but it does tell me I have very poor survival instincts but a highly developed awareness of the spiritual. This does seem to fit my overall relationship to life.

The Light Center is a geodesic dome that sits near the top of a beautiful green mountain in North Carolina’s Black Mountains (part of the Blue Ridge). The highway to it is long and takes many sharp turns as it snakes its way up. As you begin to climb, a primeval silence takes over and you begin to feel disconnected from the hubbub of humanity and the mundane world of commerce and dysfunction that lies below. I was with my 21 year old daughter who felt she needed healing too (and had nothing else to do today). Finally, after what seemed an endless climb into the clouds, a sign for the center appeared. We turned onto a gravel road and the silence of very late summer closed in, the air cool and foggy with a hint of fall. The trees seemed to whisper. I got a great sense of the spiritual and when we turned a corner, we finally saw the top of the dome.

Inside we were met by a substantial woman in her late 50s or 60s who smiled and welcomed us. Something about her exuded serenity and love. She gave us a tour of the center, explaining its history and how it came to be. I liked the fact there’s no fee for their services, and the top of the dome, which serves as the meditation and prayer center, is open 24/7 except when the road is inaccessible.

Then she left us alone in the Light Room, which she had explained to us briefly. It was a silent sixteen sided chamber with completely white walls, and equipped with easy chairs and small blankets and pillows for comfort. The lights dimmed to darkness and ambient music began to play, and suddenly we were bathed in red light, which represents the root chakra. We spent five minutes under each of the colors, all the way up to purple (the crown chakra), with the lights dimming to blackness in between each for about a minute. My breath slowed and I tried to focus on each chakra as the corresponding colored light went on, and spent the moments of darkness in between thanking God for this experience, the beautiful day with my daughter, and for the mountains and beauty just outside. I thanked Him for helping me get back in touch with my creativity, my long-lost love of writing expressed through starting this blog.

But most amazing of all, I didn’t feel hatred for my psychopaths. This was a very new feeling for me. Unbelievably, I felt compassion for them. So I asked God to heal them, if not in this world or this lifetime then in the next. I realized that for psychopaths, all their chakras are closed off and disconnected from each other. Functioning chakras are necessary to utilize the life force and do good in the world. Psychopaths have them but they are so nonfunctioning they are really are almost dead inside. It’s like a 4 cylinder engine running on only one. The car won’t run.

If you could see the aura of a psychopath they would be very thin, dark, almost black. There’s nothing in the world we, as humans, can do to help the psychopaths in our lives. We have to let them go. Only God can help them, and only if they choose to let Him inside. I believe even the worst psychopath has moments, however rare, of clarity and truth and those are the moments God can heal them. In the meantime, we can pray for them, and pray for ourselves, and pray for a world that comes to know we are all connected and all equal in God’s eyes. I was humbled by this revelation.

On the drive back down the mountain, my daughter said she felt the same thing.