Fifth Chakra: By Josee Brault
WillowCreek Stables Nature Retreat
Throat – VISHUDDA
Sanskrit Name Vishudha Chakra
Symbol A lotus flower with sixteen petals
Verb To speak
Location At the base of the throat
Gland Thyroid gland
Physical Body Areas Governed Thyroid gland, throat, ears, parathyroid gland, trachea, neck and shoulders, esophagus, vocal cords, cervical vertebrae of the spine, mouth, teeth and gums
Emotions Governed Self expression, creativity, communication, self knowledge, faith, trustfulness, honesty; connected to our career.
Gemstones Lapis, turquoise, azurite, blue topaz
Essential Oils Frankincense, eucalyptus
Lessons to Learn To speak the truth and to be heard, to hear the truth from others
Each chakra can be studied explored and experienced using a variety of techniques. At WillowCreek Nature Retreat we use conceptual awareness combined with the presence and energy of horses to bring the awareness of these issues surrounding each chakra to you.
The Vishuddha – or throat chakra – is the area of the body we focus on when we are becoming aware of how we express ourselves, how we communicate our needs, our creativity and our personal boundaries. For most people, the challenges of each chakra as they ascend the body become increasingly complex. The horses will become more and more of a useful tool in identifying the issues you find surrounding this area as we go up in the chakras.
Communicating to a horse is a very specific thing. Being able to take this understanding out into your human relationships is the benefit working with conscious contact and engaged communication methods. Horses, amongst themselves, have a constant an ancient exchange of language and expression that we are only partly aware of. Each movement of a horse’s body is reactive, instinctive and meant to communicate a larger message to the herd it lives within. A horse is a prey animal, therefore can only survive if the herd is strong and communicating well together. There is strength in numbers and each horse has a role, assigned by the herd which benefits the protection and health of the group as a whole. Like a family. Learning how to exist in groups and express our needs is an important lesson shown to us by the horse and emphasized by a focus on the throat chakra.
One of the exercises you will be asked to participate is observation and roles in the herd. Bring a sketch pad is you’d like to do some expressive drawing while observing. Sketching (even if you don’t think you’re good at it!) increases our awareness of detail and subtlety.
Miguel Ruiz in the Four Agreements says we should be “impeccable” with our words. This doesn’t only mean not lying, it means being honest, which is an entirely different thing. Being honest means that you are first aware of your own motivations in a communication. Honest in this case is a harder proposal because we are rarely engaged enough with ourselves to know our own mind when we are reacting or making choices in our human relationships.
Awareness, conscious interchange and emotional recognition…
When you enter into an interchange at whatever level with a horse, you are compelled to be first aware of what you are intending to communicate. What do you want form the horse? What is your intention? What are you looking to experience? Maybe you are going to brush the horse, and so when entering the horse’s space, you are first conscious of being respectful of its hind legs and its enormous size vis-a-vis the position of its body. You are aware of the horse’s ears and what they are telling you about her state of mind. We are forced into awareness with horses because of their daunting size and mysterious communication. Often in a communication with a human, we tend to be less aware and less present of where the other person is at before we enter into an exchange – less mindful of the individual. Observation of body language in horses, even just time spent sitting on a chair, observing behaviour of the herd in the paddock, can significantly increase your sensitivity to the body communication of humans. Horses and humans communicate with their bodies mostly unintentionally and unconsciously. Horses are governed by the innate need to survive.
With horses, we have a responsibility to be clear and present with our communications. Sometimes, before people really understand the horse-human relationship, they may take a horse’s aloof or flight reaction personally. If you make a demand on a horse, and the horse’s reaction is “negative”, then you must find another way to communicate the need to the horse. This is clear and uncomplicated.
But, with a human, if you are setting a boundary or asking something in a communication and not getting what you want maybe you walk away? Maybe you place the responsibility for properly understanding the communication on the listener and not the communicator?
When I am teaching a student and they tell me that “my horse isn’t listening to me”, I always repeat the adage that was always told me to…
It’s never the horse – it’s always the rider.
I compel student to reassess HOW they are asking their horse for whatever action they require. I assure you, a horse will give you want you want, if it is reasonable and you are asking properly.
This is mostly true for the people in our lives.
There are three things we and horses communicate every day:
Sometimes we have to have difficult conversations – with our humans and with our horses.
Horses live in the present moment. Maybe you need to ask something of your horse that he does not enjoy, and you know he doesn’t enjoy it but it has to be done, like hosing a sore leg in the case of a horse that is hose shy. If something is good for someone, we are not so much concerned with the negative reaction as we are with their care and health.
In the case of communication with humans, we often concern ourselves with the thing that is most out of our control – their reaction.
You are not in charge of another person’s reaction to what you say.
However, you are in control of the meaning and intention and motivation behind what you communicate through a diligent attention paid to awareness and being honest inside yourself about why you say and do what you do. And remember what horses teach us – communication isn’t only in what you say out loud – there are many subtleties. This means be aware of how you use your words, your body and your mind – watch the effect they have on the world around you. Understand the need you have for boundaries and respect yourself – because if you don’t – you’ll surely get your toes stepped on.
All of nature functions in this paradigm. The paradigm of Perfect Balance – which is what we are trying to achieve wehn we begin to explore Chakras and other esoteric teaching.
In this exploration you are doing inside yourself you will find how much you are nature – and how nature can be the most essential aspect in bringing you back to your rightful balanced happy creative loving self.
The issue of communication and boundaries is a lifelong process.
Enjoy the ride.