The third chakra, also called Manipura, is the energetic center of emotions in humans, located around the solar plexus of your body. In horses, the third chakra is the center activated in forming relationships within the herd and is located along the spine behind the kidneys.
Emotions in horses and humans differ in a fundamental way: because horses do not manifest an ego like humans, they don’t see each other as separate. They function naturally as a unit – behaviours born of survival instinct. This is so important to observe when you have a chance to be around a group of horses. In this way, horses have certain advantages over humans. They can have relationships with their “feeling of the moment” rather than projection into the past or future. No guilt, no shame, no fear, no regret – just presence.
Horses do have emotional relationships, but not in the same context as humans, again because of the lack of ego, they don’t function on expectations the way humans do. They do not seek to reinforce themselves through their herd mates approval of their actions. Approval, in the horse world means that a member is permitted to stay within the safe confines of the herd. Non-approval, is when a herd mate may be acting dangerously (doing things that could attract predators and invite danger). In this case, the herd will push the offender out of its ranks until it realizes its mistake and puts its nose clearly to the ground as an apology.
I read a story once in an equine psychology book about a large herd of horses where a few of the mares had given birth around the same time, so there were a few babies who were all young and playful.
One of the young ones however, just wasn’t getting that there were times when the herd had to stay quiet, and playing was not appropriate. It seemed the others got it, but this one just was full of piss and vinegar and would cause a ruckus at the very wrong times when he could attract dangerous predators. So, his mother and the other female horses in the herd, his aunts and sisters – pushed him fifty yards from where the herd was eating. The little horse, only a few weeks old, was in perilous danger in the mountains so near to a forest. He tried to re-enter the herd, running back belligerently but the herd was united and wouldn’t allow his return. The night came and the little horse was afraid, staying as close as he could to the moving herd without making a noise. When the morning came, he stood at the periphery of where the mares would allow with his nose down and approached his mother who allowed him back into the herd. He had learned a hard lesson.
This story had a profound effect on my parenting.
One night my son, who had never said a sideways word to me in his life, shocked me after having had a bad day at school snapped meanly at me at the dinner table. I was shocked. He had never done anything like this. My own sense of unacknowledged parental guilt, post divorce, moving the kids to a farm etc… had worn me down and I found myself feeling guilt and shame and leaving the table and going to sit by myself in the garage while my seven kids and husband sat at the dinner table confused.
My son had been rude and had tested a boundary with me. He had also won. Not that it was a contest, but in the garage I remembered the story about that little horse and how important it was for him to learn the lesson of boundaries. I also realized I was the mare of this herd and I had allowed the herd to push me out – no one would benefit from this reaction. I understood my guilt and why I had retreated, but at that moment, my kids needed me to set boundaries, and I was too embroiled in my ego and personal hurt to see what the more important thing to do was.
I returned to a tense table of confused people and sat down quietly and told my son to go to his room and not return until he speak more kindly. There was an audible sigh of relief. Things were back to normal – mom was mom. Boundaries are a part of loving people. Letting people step all over you is only a sign of how you treat your self and it teaches kids a bad lesson.
Observing Your Own Chakra:
Body language is important in horses, as it is in humans. Horses use an understanding of body language as a form of constant communication between one another. Actually, humans do this as well, but we remain unconscious of it most of the time.
Someone who speaks but keeps their hands covering the solar plexus area of their body is clearly trying to protect themselves emotionally. By being aware of this in yourself or in another person, you can become conscious of a way to put yourself or them at ease by simply recognizing that something is there that is blocking them.
The third chakra deals with issues of willpower, ambition and action and is weakened by all forms of shame, embarrassment and self-consciousness.
Shame and related emotions come from how we feel about the opinions of others – the perception of the outside world on us.
It makes sense that we are concerned with what others think of us. After all, humans learn to survive by imitating the actions of adults and learning survival skills. During our growing up, if we weren’t concerned with imitating our parents and gaining their approval to understand we were on the right path for understanding, our chance of survival would be greatly lessened.
However, there are certain things we learn which may have been functional and helpful as children which, as we grow up actually evolve into patterns of behaviour which inhibit making choices that promote our happiness or well being. So, being aware of (conscious) how much we govern our actions based wanting to have the approval of the outside world, is an integral part of spiritual maturity. By needing to gain the approval of the world, you became defined by what others told you about yourself.
The most important step anyone can take towards conscious emotional balance, is to prioritize loving themselves. I don’t mean in an egoic manner, putting all your energy into filling your “wants”. I mean becoming centered and paying attention to your NEEDS. Needs and wants are not the same. WANTS are often distractions from NEEDS. WANTS are negotiable – NEEDS are not.
How do you figure out your needs? You listen to your emotions.
Emotions have been described to me as “energy in motion”. This means emotions are your way of communicating your needs. The problem is, we exist in a society where we do everything in our power to avoid our emotions – alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, books, movies, music – we have developed some very intricate ways to avoid our feelings over the centuries. In turn, we have developed immense technological capacity to fulfill our every desire. And the result is a planet in complete chaos, both at an individual and a global level.
So many people around the world now are turning to eastern spiritual belief to develop a more satisfying way to live. Studying chakras is an effective way to connect to a higher sense of yourself. You will find that you can develop a more solid and peaceful experience in your day by staying focused on what your emotions are trying to tell you rather than what you can do to rid yourself of them.
Meditate – don’t complicate!
To connect to your most important feelings meditation is crucial. Don’t complicate it. Many people don’t meditate because they have complicated it for themselves. Just sit there – breathe. If you have a thought – just have the thought. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just a thought. Meditation is when you cease fighting anything just for a while in your day. If you’re sad – be sad. If you’re mad – be mad. Allow yourself to go beyond the first emotion to the real reason why it is there. There is always a reason behind the reason. Keep looking – you will find at the base of it, there is something you are not taking care of for yourself. No one can do that for you. Not a therapist or your spouse or friends or family. Only you can find the thing inside you that needs to be taken care of. Happiness cannot be found through evasion. Daily meditation – just sitting and being with yourself – is fundamentally important as your life progresses in this way. Eventually you will find that it is much more effective to sit with your emotions, and do nothing to avoid them than it is to evade through chasing your wants. One option is exhausting while the other is peaceful.
The more people choose peace and connection, the more peaceful the world will become, one person at a time.