It has long been known that music affects our moods and emotional behavior. Music can soothe the savage beast and can motivate us in ways that no other art can. The effect that different styles of music have on us is as varied as the music itself. Though there are common impressions that can come through, each of us responds a little differently to the same artist, song or genre.
In our individual lives, the events we experience are so personal that no other individual an ever truly have the same experience. Because of this, I have always found it difficult to accept that cookie cutter methods of healing and energy work can be effective for all people at all times. To a degree, there needs to be a personal variation based on individual circumstances and desires. This is vitally important when we seek to work on ourselves and balance our own energies.
There are a million and one self-help books, cds, videoes, and such out there with varying degrees of effectiveness. Some try to give very detailed instructions as to how to lift your spirits and be a better person. Others give convoluted advice that is more confusing than your original problem. But, the ones that I have found most effective are the ones that give you a basic framework for success and require you to fill in the steps with your personal details and action plan. After all, who know you better than you? This method does take more work and dedication on your part. But after all, if you’re not willing to work at being a better you, why the hell did you start down the path of self improvement in the first place?
Tonight we are going to explore a framework to help strengthen your chakras as needed using things you already have and love. It’ll take a bit of thinking and some contemplation on your part, but it also has the potential to have a profound effect on you moving forward. As we build this framework, I will tell you what has worked for me and why. This does not mean that it is going to work for you, I just want to present you with examples of how to connect certain songs or artists to the properties of your chakras. What I ask of you tonight is very simple; as I go through each chakra, I want you to think of and write down an artist, song, album, or genre that speaks to the highest aspects of that chakra. If multiple things come to mind for a particular chakra, write them all down. Variety is highly encouraged! Once we are done, you will have a list of at least seven triggers that will help you to activate and strengthen your chakras. If you are ready, grab your pen and paper and let’s begin!
Root Chakra -This is where our safety and security lies. When we speak of being grounded, it is a state of opening up our root chakra to the point that we feel as though we are a tree rooted in the Earth. Firm, strong, immovable in nature. Feelings of anxiety, fear, and insecurity are all root chakra issues and deal with a feeling that we are somehow not good enough or are alone in our pain. When we open this chakra, we are able to see that we are never alone in our struggles and that through our connection to the Earth and all it’s inhabitants we are able to overcome all challenges.
For me, there is one particular album that has been a go-to when I am feeling like this. Blues Traveler, “4″ has been my saving grace on countless occasions. The shift of emotions throughout this album, from happy to sad, loss to gain, anger to joy reminds me that there is no emotion that I am alone in feeling. This album activates triggers for me to process and work through each emotion that I am going through to see that there is power in numbers and everything is surmountable. Of all the albums I have purchased over the years, this is the only one that I have repurchased multiple times when I have lost or ruined it. More than likely, you already have a go-to like this in your collection. Something you that just calms you down and brings you back to earth when you feel like you are losing control. If not, this is a very important one to figure out quick.
Sacral Chakra- Located just below the navel, our creative forces come from within this chakra. This creativity includes our artistic expression, our out-of-the-box thinking as well as our sexual desires and pleasure. When we feel stuck in our jobs or unmotivated in life, our sacral chakra is often going to be found to be out of whack. This is also true in cases of artistic frustration like writer’s block. By activating this chakra, we are opening ourselves up to a creative flow that is inspired by the Divine flow of energy through us. Our motivation will be at it’s peak and expression will be fine tuned to present to the world exactly what we intend.
On the aspect of creative motivation, Celtic Punk (Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, etc.) is a genre that just lights a fire under my ass and get’s me going. Though I have recently tied some of my fascination with Irish culture to past lives, there is a very fiery and in your face feeling to this modern adaptation of classic Irish style that moves me like no other genre has. For your selection, think about what gets you moving, not only physically but mentally as well. Maybe it’s a band that you always play while your cleaning, or a station you like to listen to while working. Whatever it is, write it down and get your sacral chakra buzzing!
Solar Plexus Chakra – The heart of our personal power lies here in our solar plexus. When we are working from our “gut” and relying on those instinctual impulses to guide our actions, we are tapping into the power of this chakra. Signs of poor chakra health include overt shyness, seclusion from the outside world and constantly seeking direction from others. Stepping into our own power and sense of self is a key to maintaining the strength of this chakra.
There is no artist that speaks about owning your personal power to me better than Eminem. Through all the controversy, criticism and vulgarity, Eminem has never allowed anyone else to control his actions or words. Despite the frustration, pain, violence and drugs he has always strove to speak his truth, despite the inevitable consequences. Finding a path to your sacral chakra involves finding the music that speaks to your truth and power. Whether it is the truth that you have lived or simply a truth that you admire being spoken, if it makes you stand strong in who you are this is your solar plexus trigger.
Heart Chakra – You could call this our love center as this is the emotional center of our bodies and how we connect with others on the deepest physical level. Sadness and depression often sink in when our heart chakras are weak or closed. Broken hearts are quite literally the cracked connection between the heart chakras of ourselves and someone we have connected with. An open chakra brings with it powerful levels of emotional connection, empathy and love.
When I think of my heart, the band Sister Hazel speaks volumes to me. As the favorite band of my true love, it is nearly impossible for me to hear anything by them without thinking of her. Simply by connecting my love for her to the music she loves, I can access the power of of my heart chakra at will. To activate your heart chakra, look for music that evokes feelings of love in you. This may be a song that brings back a fond memory of love or something that sparks your vision of what love is.
Throat Chakra – This is quite literally our voice. Our ability to speak up for ourselves and speak our truths. When we feel stifled and silenced by others or our own fears, it is often a sign that our throat chakra needs our attention. Vocalizing our thoughts and emotions are great ways to help build the strength of the throat chakra and allow us to communicate on a much greater level.
To exercise my throat, I love singing. John Mayer is one of those artists that I find myself almost involuntarily singing along with. Not only do I find his music appealing to my ears, I also feel a connection to the message that is presented and many of his songs speak to things I wish I had the power to say. By singing along with his music, I can feel my own words being expressed and my chakra opening.
Third Eye Chakra – The center of our intuition and “second sight” lies right between our physical eyes in the center of our forehead. Focusing on listening to the little voice in your head and taking stock in dreams, both waking and sleeping assists in keeping this chakra wide open. One of the biggest complications I have found in third eye health, comes with dismissing the nudges you get from Spirit to take a specific action. We’ve all experienced that whole “hind sight is 20/20″ feeling but we most often get that feeling when we refused to accept the foresight we were given in the first place.
It has been difficult for me to pin down a specific example for this chakra as music in general helps me to stay centered enough to listen to my inner voice. However, it has been in my meditations with ambient sound based music that have been the most influential for truly accessing my second sight and intuition.
Crown Chakra – Our direct connection to the Universe and Spirit flows through this chakra. Many times this is not a chakra that we even think about working on as it seems to operate almost independently of our own thoughts. However, actively working to keep this chakra open allows us to feel the peace and serenity of Spirit. Closing off this chakra, closes us off from the collective consciousness and the power of the Universe. Like the root chakra, closing off our crown often leaves us feeling very alone.
The Doors have a profound effect on my crown chakra. There is a level of connection that I feel to other realms of reality and perception when I turn on their music. The power and emotion behind Jim Morrison’s poetry is enlightening and empowering for me. It is usually within the first few bars of a Doors song that I can feel my crown chakra tingling and my consciousness lifting.
Now that you have your list of musical triggers, you have the power to pump up specific chakras based on your immediate needs. If you haven’t been able to fill your list yet, keep working on it until you have at least one item for each chakra. Keep this list in mind throughout your day and access it as you need. Many times, just simply playing a song in your head when you feel a bit off will be enough to lift you out of your slump and get you back on your feet.
I encourage you to share some or all of your list with us in the comments below.