It took me five years to sing in front of my husband. Five whole years to get over my fear of singing in front of the human being I love and trust more than anyone else on Earth.
Not only did I have an intense aversion to singing; I was scared to express myself and speak my truth generally in life. Sure, I talked A LOT (and loudly) but I found it difficult to be my true self and speak authentically and from the heart. I became tongue-tied and obsequious when it came time to ask for what I wanted, needed and deserved. As you can imagine, this had serious implications in both my personal and professional life …
I found it hard to put boundaries in place with people who drained my energy (like those who would frequently come to me for one-sided support and advice).
I couldn’t properly communicate my needs to my husband or friends, leaving me feeling dissatisfied and resentful, and them feeling helpless and frustrated.
I couldn’t ask for sick days off, holidays or pay rises – things I was entitled to and deserving of.
All in all, I never felt truly satisfied. I had so many things I needed and wanted from others – alone time, uninterrupted time in the office getting projects completed and my loved ones to be fully present with me when I was being vulnerable and opening up to them – but my needs weren’t met because (a) people aren’t mind-readers and (b) I was too scared to speak up.
What I know now, is that my fifth chakra was severely blocked and creating massive disharmony and dissatisfaction in my life. After a lot of healing (we’ll get to that later) I now embrace expressing myself with confidence and vulnerability. I speak up for myself, tell people what I need from them, and celebrate them doing the same.
Balancing this chakra has helped me feel more like ME than ever before – a valuable human with her own individual needs, thoughts, morals and desires, who is worthy of speaking her truth.
But let’s take a couple of steps back, shall we? If you haven’t already devoured the previous posts in this chakra series, now is the time. Learning about the chakras is fascinating and life-changing. You’ll be amazed at the profound impacts balancing your chakras can have on your health, wellbeing and happiness. Grab yourself a cuppa and dive in!
Now you’re up to speed, let’s explore the first of the three higher chakras: vishuddha.
The fifth chakra, also known as vishuddha or the throat chakra because it is located in the area of the throat and is associated with the health of the lips, nose, ears, tongue, larynx, pharynx and thyroid. It’s probably not surprising then, that this energy centre is responsible for communication and self-expression (hence my difficulties singing and speaking my truth!).
When this energy centre is balanced and working to its full potential, you:
- feel confident and comfortable to speak your highest truth and express your needs and desires
- are able to communicate openly and honestly even when you’ve been mistreated, feel misunderstood, or when someone disagrees with your point of view
- know when to remain silent and simply step back and observe a situation
- listen to your inner voice and let it guide you
- live your truth, have a clear sense of purpose in life and are not afraid to sing your ‘Soul Song’
- feel comfortable to express yourself – emotionally, spiritually and creatively
- use your voice to create positive change in your life, the lives of those around you, and the world at large
- feel confident to make up your mind about what to think or do, without needing to consult or seek the approval of others
- listen well to other people and respect their personal thoughts and opinions
- feel comfortable being guided by your own clear ethical and moral compass and boundaries.
When this chakra is not working to its full potential, you may find that you:
- are withdrawn and quiet OR alternatively, talk too much, gossip and dominate the conversation
- fear being misunderstood, judged or discriminated against for voicing your opinions, needs and desires
- ‘swallow’ your thoughts, feelings and opinions OR bombard and ‘push’ your point of view on to others
- find it difficult to express yourself, both verbally and non verbally
- have rigid views and opinions and are unable to accept those of others
- have a tendency to think that you’re always right. You may be close-minded and resistant to change
- judge or make fun of how others express themselves
- avoid confrontation and difficult conversations
- feel frustrated at not being heard
- lie or manipulate the truth, or simply don’t ‘keep’ your word
- are indecisive and unable to make autonomous decisions
- say things you regret.
This chakra can be a bit of a doozy so try not to beat yourself up if it feels challenging.
As with all changes we integrate into our lives, we suggest integrating these strategies into your life slowly and compassionately. Just investing the energy into becoming more aware and having a desire to grow, is worth celebrating and commending. If you are ready to make some changes, here’s what I myself have tried and found to be extremely beneficial (they even got me singing – much to my husband’s despair! Haha) …
While the throat chakra is most often associated with sound and our ability to communicate authentically, we must not forget that communication is a two-way process. Not only do you need to be able to express your inner truth; you also need to be able to listen to it. It is vital to find time for quiet and solitude.
Each one of us is called to become that great song that comes out of the silence, and the more we let ourselves down into that great silence the more we become capable of singing that great song – David Steindl-Rast
I recorded this guided meditation as a way for you to melt into stillness and connect more fully with your inner truth.
You can use shankh or the shell mudra to enhance your meditation experience. Wrap the fingers of your right hand around your left thumb and touch your right thumb tip to your left middle finger. Then, place your hands on your sternum.
2. Use your voice in your own unique way
Chanting stimulates the throat chakra. You can use the simple mantra ‘OM’ or choose a mantra – in Sanskrit or English – that resonates with you. ‘Om Mane Padme Hum’, which is a mantra for peace, is a popular mantra you might like to try. Sam and I are obsessed with this mesmerising version (I’m listening to it right now).
If chanting isn’t your jam, try belting out a tune in the shower, taking singing lessons, going to kirtan or enjoying a spot of karaoke! It’s not about how good you sound, but rather, about your stimulating the throat chakra and bringing it back into balance!
Keeping in mind that not all expression is verbal, how else do you express yourself? Perhaps it’s through fashion, art, dance, writing or cooking. Can you dedicate more time to expressing yourself in this way?
The mystic always rises
As she let her soul sing to her, she let go of lifetimes’ worth
of silenced truth missiles cemented in the deepest caverns
of her soul. A voice snuffed out for centuries, for saying too
much, for standing up too much, for being too much.
– Rebecca Campbell –
3. Refrain from gossiping
Gossiping depletes our energy, lowers our vibration and generally makes us feel bad.
One of yoga’s key ethical principles is satya or truthfulness, a concept which very much relates to gossip.
Satya requires that you consider both the spoken and unspoken aspects of your words. Don’t gossip, even if the information you’re giving is true. Instead, speak only of the highest. Use your words to elevate the listener. When you do so, you elevate yourself in the process. – Hillari Dowdle, Yoga Journal
Whether it’s a day, a week or a month, make a commitment to refrain from speaking unkindly about other people. Embark on the challenge with kindness and compassion towards yourself. when you begin to refrain from gossiping, you may notice just how automatic this way of engaging with others is for you. Don’t beat yourself up. The fact that you’re reading this shows that you’re someone who wants to grow, expand and become a more compassionate person!
4. Survive the cold and flu season
Do you have a persistent cough? Locked jaw? Swollen glands? Sinus pain? If so, this energy centre, which governs the voice, throat, nose, ears and mouth, may be out of whack.
Give yourself the best chance to survive the cold and flu season with these natural remedies:
- Drop a flu bomb. Put one drop of the following essential oils into a small amount of water or, better still, an empty veggie capsule (so you don’t taste it!): Oregano, On Guard Protective Blend, Lemon, Frankincense, Tea Tree, Lemon and Ginger essential oil. It tastes vile but it’s effective! I use doTERRA essential oils – contact me if you want me to hook you up!
- You can never go wrong with fresh ginger, lemon and honey tea. Sore throat, be gone!
- Stay hydrated! As the weather starts to cool down, many of us start decreasing our water intake which is a big no-no! Your body needs an ample supply of fluids to ward off illness and function at its highest capacity!
- Eat fresh, whole foods that nourish you from the inside out. I especially love warming and spicy foods like lentil dahl at this time of the year.
5. Surround yourself with the colour blue
Because the colour of this chakra is blue, surrounding yourself with this colour will help bring it into balance. Wear a blue item of clothing, adorn yourself with blue accessories, eat blueberries, put blue linen on your bed, or put a blue crystal such as Lapis Lazuli or Larimar on your altar (or in your bra).
Nourish your throat chakra.
in the ocean of your truth.
Let its blue waves of energy
carry you to the safe shore
of your inner core.
Although simple, incorporating this colour into your life more will naturally make you more aware of this energy centre and help to harmonise it.