Friday, March 30, 2012

Throat Chakra: Strangle with Care

Friendships between women are exhilarating, transformational, messy, necessary, life-giving and sometimes devastating. This past week, I made the decision to leave a friendship. Over the years, I felt less and less authentic. My emotional and physical health began to suffer – but I put myself second so I wouldn’t hurt her. Well, I did hurt her. But I’d hurt myself much more.

In dealing with my decision, I found a very interesting passage online about the throat chakra:

The throat chakra is the fifth chakra in the body’s energy system, and its purpose is to act as the voice that is able to speak your authentic truth. This chakra provides clarity between what is right and wrong for you. It helps to form the authentic truth in your belief system, and it enables you to be assertive in expressing that truth to others.

My first reaction to this passage was “Oh no! Someone’s had their hands wrapped around my throat chakra because I haven’t been able to speak my truth!”

Those hands were my own. Thank goodness, I loosened my grip before passing out.

In comforting me, my sister left me with this wonderful and fitting imagery. A garden choked over with weeds takes hard (sometimes painful) work to clear. But only by doing that hard work and preparing the soil will you know what new growth can occur.

I’m glad it’s finally spring. What kind of emotional and physical clearing are you doing this time of year?

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm Not Really an Extrovert, I Just Play One on TV

I’ve taken several personality/work styles tests over the past 20 years, including the well-known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Most recently, my employer had us take a test from Emergenetics. My results held no surprises for me:
  • Low on the social and expressive scales (I prefer one-on-one time to big parties; I prefer to work in solitude)
  • High on the structural and analytical (I meet and beat deadlines, I like lists and rules and order)
Several co-workers said my scores had to be wrong. (“You’re such an extrovert! You’re so creative!”) I never think these types of tests are wrong, or good/bad. I think they say more about our comfort level than about how we act and interact in our work and personal lives.
It’s the same with right brain/left brain theory. It’s no surprise that I “test out” as more left brain (more logical, critical thinker; retains information through words and symbols).
I think we possess characteristics from all personality and work types. We must choose when, where and with whom we show these traits. My hope is that we don’t pigeon-hole or stereotype anyone based on these tests. I believe we benefit immensely when we stretch ourselves and our comfort levels, and that it can make us better at what we do for a living and in our leisure time.
For example:
  • Mary is an accountant by day but is learning to play bass guitar at night.
  • Fred is a graphic designer who enjoys skateboarding.
  • Christina is a cyclist who teaches yoga.
I’m a writer/editor by profession but I love to decorate cakes and prepare gourmet meals. I feel I use a completely different part of my brain when designing beautiful cakes or following new recipes than when I write fiction. I think writing makes me a better cake designer and chef; and that my culinary skills help me be a better writer.
Do you stretch beyond your personality and work “types”? How does that work out for you?