Own Your Power – Working With Your Third Chakra

It’s June, and for most of us (in the northern hemisphere anyway) this means summer! The sun is at its highest, the days at their longest, and light and heat prevail. It’s the perfect time to work with our third chakra, as the element of this chakra is fire, and it is in fact linked with the ‘fire in your belly’ – your personal power.

The focal point for the third chakra varies a bit depending on which chakra mapping you are using. In some traditions, the solar plexus is used, while in others the focus is just below the navel. I use the latter myself, but either way the third chakra is associated with personal power, will power, boundaries, self-esteem, and our ability to get things done and complete projects. It’s also linked to critical thinking and our mental constructs. While the first chakra is largely linked to our physical body, and our second chakra to our emotions, our third chakra is very much related to our thoughts, and how we relate to them.

When our third chakra is open and strong, we feel centered and comfortable in our own skin. We have a quiet confidence that we can accomplish what we need to, and that we can work through any obstacles that arise. We aren’t arrogant or controlling – in fact, when our third chakra is balanced we don’t feel a need to control everything. Owning our personal power is as much about knowing when to let go as to when to take charge. When we think we need to do everything ourselves, that others can’t possibly help, or that it all depends on us, we are in fact gripping in our third chakra, and this cuts us off from true power.

So the lessons of the third chakra are very much about striking a balance between taking control and letting go, establishing boundaries and opening to others, asserting who we are and accepting others as they are. It is often associated with the Western idea of ‘ego’ – the part of our psyche connected to identity, personality, and consciousness. Our ego is always negotiating between our own needs and those of others, our own desires and the realities of the world. The third chakra is very much the energetic counterpart of this function.

In current Western culture, where individualism and personal accomplishment is largely rewarded, I find that the third chakra is as apt to be overdeveloped as underdeveloped. We are conditioned to rely very heavily on our own personal power, and collaboration and community are less emphasized. External accomplishment – activities that gain us social respect or status – can often mask deep-seated insecurities. Those who seem the most self-sufficient and confident are often relying very heavily on their third chakra, to the detriment of other chakra energies in their being. This isn’t sustainable, and leads to exhaustion and stress-related health issues. The path to a healthy third chakra is balance, and discovering a true sense of self-worthiness, that doesn’t require external validation, or ‘going it alone’.

With that in mind, here are some of the ways third chakra blocks or imbalances may manifest in our lives:

Boundary Issues (both relational and energetic): We either can’t say no, and end up taking on much more than we should, or we always say no, and shut out the world, focusing solely on self-manifestation. Often, we swing between the two, while internally we also swing between a desire to be liked and a desire to cut everyone off. On an energetic level, boundary issues are more about the energies we pick up from the places and people around us. We may be too absorbent, taking in others’ emotions and thoughts, or too closed off, and therefore unable to connect with our natural intuition and ‘gut instinct’. Again, very common with third chakra issues is that we swing between the two extremes.

Control Issues and/or Passive-Aggressiveness: When we are gripping in our third chakra, we feel the need to control everything. It feels as if our world will fall apart if we are not micro-managing it. This may manifest as simple bossiness, or may crossover into hyper-aggressiveness and domineering tendencies. On the flip side, if our third chakra is weak or blocked, or if we tend to swing between extremes, we may entirely surrender control in certain circumstances or relationships. We may become passive, and let others take over our lives.

Inability to Execute Plans or Complete Projects: This is most commonly associated with a weak or undeveloped third chakra. Because our third chakra is linked to confidence, when it is weak we don’t feel certain enough of our own abilities to finish what we start. Not completing projects is often a way of avoiding what we fear is certain failure. Because this chakra is also linked to our mental constructs, we often also lack the organizational skills needed to get things done.

Self-Sufficiency Overdrive: On the flip side, when we rely on our own third chakra energies to the exclusion of other energies in our being, we may become unable or unwilling to accept help from others. We may strive to become entirely self-sufficient, to the point where we isolate ourselves, emotionally or literally.

Hyper-Criticalness (towards self and others): Our third chakra is linked to our mental abilities to categorize, sort, and prioritize – all crucial critical thinking abilities. But when these are hyperactive, and/or we have deep-seated feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness, this can manifest as being harshly judgmental of both others and ourselves. We may constantly be measuring others and ourselves against an idealized standard within our minds, and no one ever measures up.

In energy medicine, the third chakra is linked to our pancreas and digestive system, so digestive health issues are associated with energetic imbalances or blocks here as well.

The key to working through third chakra issues is to focus on balance and flow. Our tendency is to want to focus solely on empowering this chakra – to push through obstacles. And certainly, if your primary issue is a weak or blocked third chakra, you may need to do this. But for most of us, it is as much about letting go and accepting the flow of life as anything else. Then we can begin to accept what arises in our lives, and develop a quiet confidence that is based on allowing power to come through us, rather than trying to muscle through on our own.

The following 15 minute guided meditation will first help you center and build your third chakra energies with a fire visualization, then to project a healthy energetic boundary, and finally to connect your power to your other chakras and let go into the flow of life. I hope you enjoy!