I sat in a classroom with ten students, finding myself speechless for the first time in a long time. A student had just asked me a question about wellness and I had no clue how to express the enormity of the answer.
The question was "how do you get confidence?" and it was asked as a part of a larger conversation about body image, friendships, and all the other fun middle school things we dealt with (and let's be honest, stuff we deal with now too!)
I was totally stumped. Not only has it been a lifelong struggle of mine, but I was now seeing how desperately these students wanted to know the answer. They wanted to feel comfortable in their skin; they wanted to be able to stand up for themselves. I felt totally powerless to assist them.
Now that I've had a year to think about it, I'm closer to being able to answer their question. Here's what I've come up with:
a thousand tiny decisions during a day
standing up for yourself, because you like yourself
being able to go after what you want
cheering for others, because their success doesn't take away from your own
a full scale movement toward owning our lives
Thankfully, confidence is our monthly mind focus, so we'll have all month to break down these bullet points together!
Confidence & The Third Chakra
In yoga tradition, our confidence is linked to the Third Chakra. The location of this chakra is our Solar Plexus, which is the pit of our belly (see image below). In Sanskrit, it's called the Manipura Chakra. The associated color is yellow, and the element is fire. It develops between the ages of 14-21, the time when we are starting to discover who we are, separate from a group. A time when we form our own opinions, and begin to make our own way in life. It is a chakra of power, will, and transformation.
When this chakra is in balance, we:
know exactly what we want, and when and how to get it
actively pursue goals
When this chakra is overly active, we may:
take life with lots of force
push things all the time instead of being at ease
When this chakra is under-active, we may:
question every action
Pulling It All Together
The First Chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is our roots in the ground, our familial and group connections. When balanced, we feel secure, stable, and connected. In a garden, this is literally the roots connecting to the earth.
The Second Chakra is located a few inches below the navel. It is our creativity, passion, and state of flow. When balanced, we feel like ideas and relationships come easily. In a garden, this is the spark of growth, just before the bloom.
The Third Chakra is located at the center of our belly. It is our fire, will, and drive. When balanced, we know what we want and we go after it. In a garden, this is the bloom.
It takes confidence to bloom into the person we are, and I'm ready for it.
Can't wait to get started with you this month!