And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. – Kahlil Gibran
The second chakra is about pleasure, sensuality, touch, sexuality, creativity, fire, passion, life. Its essence is water. When open, there is an openeess to intimacy, an ability to express oneself freely, and a level of comfort with one’s sexuality.
When I was 25, living in the Midwest, I knew I was ready for a change. I wanted to move west and applied to several colleges in WA, OR and CA. I flew out to Eugene for a school visit and then drove down the coast of Oregon with a friend and landed in the Bay Area. We stayed with some friends of hers in Berkeley in a communal household that seemed like the “overground” railroad stop for dead-heads and free spirits. Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore. The beauty of the Berkeley hills, the smell of jasmine in the air, the bountiful potlucks and the constant stream of colorful people coming in and out of the house awakened my yearning for life, like a hibernating bear smelling the winds of Spring.
One day we drove to “Red Rocks”, a nude beach just south of Stinson. It was my first nude beach. We parked on a cliff and hiked our way down. Far below, I could make out tiny brown people playing Ultimate frisbee (naked!) in the sparkling surf. A few hours later, I was splashing in the waves, feeling the water on my bare skin and throwing a disc, leaping and jumping with abandon. I felt like I was “home” and free in a way I had never experienced before. I was sold. I flew back to Illinois, packed up my car, grabbed my cat and drove back to Berkeley to the purple house on Oregon Street to begin my new life in CA.
That was 24 years ago.
Along the way, there has been plenty of “life” to fill in those 24 years. College, Grad School, work, lovers, marriage, children, divorce, re-marriage, friendships, yoga teacher trainings, ceremonial arts training, Reiki training, hospice training, work, travel. Somewhere in all of that living, I think I lost sight of that free-spirit that is my nature. One day, sitting in a women’s circle, the facilitator asked “If you were to die today, would you feel like you had reached your fullest sexual potential?” I was shocked at how fast my mind screamed “NO!”
It’s virtually impossible to be a woman in this society and not have experienced unwanted sexual energy/attention at best, and sexual abuse at worst. At 13, I was my full height (5’9″) and looked much older than I was. I attracted male attention and had no idea what to do with it, I became overwhelmed and shut down. I also had an aura of shame about this attention, as if somehow I had done something to make these men think they could speak to me inappropirately or touch me intimately. I was confused and scared. A part of me – my second chakra – closed down. “The second chakra is water ruled. Water holds emotional memories of past hurts and sexual abuse. Deep healing is possible through this sacred vortex. With great love and care it is possible to reclaim one’s eternal innocence and purity.” (from the Triple Goddess Tarot)
This year, 2014, has been the year of consciously reclaiming my “eternal innocence.” I am rediscovering my true nature; which is a sensual, creative, free-spirited being. As I near 50, I ask myself, “If not now, when?” This is my one good life in this body and I want to make it memorable and potent! On the winter solstice last year, I set an intention to do the Level 1 training at the Human Awareness Institute. The Level 1 workshop is titled “Love is a Miracle” and focuses on opening the heart, accepting and loving your body, and experienicng love and trust with others, among other things. When I looked at their website, all I saw was “Love, Intimacy and Sexuality Workshops” and it was an edgy step for me to sign up to do this weekend – solo! I can’t speak highly enough of the caliber of facilitation, the sweetness of the participants and the potency of the exercises I was lead through over the course of the weekend. The other men and women who were in the training were sweet, courageous, gorgeous souls that I connected with deeply. It was life changing for me. Deep bow to my husband for letting this butterfly fly free and be there to greet me upon my return. I know he is feeling the benefits of my deeper love and kinder heart. I’m in love with the world right now, and it feels amazing!
Yesterday, in Santa Cruz, I went to the nude beach and met up with some friends. We played frisbee in the sparkling surf and I felt alive and embodied – sprinting across the sand, leaping in the air to catch the disc, diving in the waves. There were moments of pure joy of movement where the appreciation for my body bubbled up within and I laughed outloud. I felt ageless, beautiful and sexy. I thought to myself…”If I die tomorrow, I hope my friends remember me just like this.” This is my essence, my second chakra spinning freely, an orange disc. Afire with Shakti, sensual goddess, my passion for life dripping off of each strand of hair, empowered with Light and Creativity.
May all things move and be moved in me and know and be known in me. May all creation dance for joy within me. -Chinook Psalter