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The Key To Balancing Your Energy Might Be Aromatherapy

This is how to keep your seven chakras in alignment.

Wellness

Our fast-paced, microwaveable ass society often pushes us to our limits, forcing us to grind day in and day out to make a living and hopefully afford some of life's luxuries. It's common for many of us to juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meet while attempting to maintain balance within other areas of our lives, including our relationships, hobbies, school and oh yeah—me time (which often gets pushed to the back-burner up until we reach a point of exhaustion, forcing us to replenish ourselves).

It's that reason alone that we need to be more proactive than reactive when it comes to our energy. Most of you are probably familiar with the oh-so-popular buzzword, chakras. If this word is new to you, here's a quick crash course about chakras. In Eastern medicine, it is believed that the human body is comprised of energy centers that help regulate all of its processes, ranging from the way we digest food, how we process emotion, and even how we connect with God. There are seven main chakras, which include the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras. Each chakra has its own unique vibrational frequency that is associated with a specific position on the body, color and functions.

So how do you know if your chakras need to be attuned?

Well, this imbalance of your energy can show up in different ways. The most common symptom of blocked chakras is extreme fatigue and a general sense of sluggishness. Other symptoms can include persistent financial issues, low self-esteem, hella toxic relationships, chronic anxiety, a lack of direction in life, and a whole bunch of other detrimental side effects that make your life way more difficult than it needs to be.

As the sensual creature that I am, I love to indulge in my senses—specifically smell because I know how quickly a scent can change my mood. Since I was a little girl, my parents were big on burning incense, especially on Saturday morning cleaning days. My love of incense eventually carried over into candles and essential oils as well. It has even been scientifically proven that fragrance can be used to "enhance health and promote feelings of well-being." (Yale Scientific Magazine)

Check out more information below on how to balance the seven main chakras using aromatherapy.

ROOT CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The root chakra, also known as Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine and is one of the most important energy centers due to it being the foundation of your chakra system. It is physically correlated with the legs, feet, colon, and the adrenal glands. This particular chakra is associated with our sense of security and stability within the world. It represents your basic needs for survival (food, water, shelter) and it represents your physical body and experience. Think of it as your more primal nature.

When your root chakra is out of balance, you can experience feelings of fear, anxiety, and greed. Most of humanity is stuck operating from an imbalanced root chakra due to financial strain and feeling the need to compete for resources.

It's important to practice grounding techniques, such as earthing, to attune this particular chakra. Patchouli is a musky-earthy aroma that is used to calm anxiety, alleviate fatigue, and help you stay grounded when it comes to pursuing your goals. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way and adding just a few drops to your favorite carrier oil for a foot rub can be just what you need to gain a sense of safety within your body and the world.

SACRAL CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The sacral chakra, also known as Svadhishthana, is located a few inches below the navel and is associated with the emotions, creativity, and sensuality. Physiologically, this chakra is associated with the reproductive system. It represents the element of water and is known as a more feminine energy center. The way that we relate to others is dictated by how balanced the sacral chakra. Symptoms of an imbalanced sacral chakra include codependent relationships with people or substances, being overly emotional or completely numb to your feelings, overindulging in sexual fantasy, and even lacking a sex drive altogether.

This sacral chakra is associated with how we experience pleasure. For many people, there is a lot of shame surrounding sexual desire and even just enjoyment. If you have a hard time letting loose, you may need to bring this chakra back into balance. Ylang Ylang is a dense, sweet, floral scent known to be an aphrodisiac and is popularly used in many perfumes. This essential oil, paired with a carrier oil, can be used for womb massages to get the energy in your sacral chakra flowing properly. It can also be used to get you and bae in the mood for some sexual healing.

SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The solar plexus chakra, also known as Manipura, is located in the upper part of your stomach where your diaphragm rests. This chakra is associated with digestive system and metabolism. Its element is fire and it is often associated with the Sun. The Solar Plexus governs your will power, confidence, and independence. Imbalances in this chakra can result in a misuse of your personal power through manipulative or abusive tactics (on the opposite end of the spectrum, this can manifest as a sense of helplessness and irresponsibility), a lack of clear direction and purpose in your life, and making a shit ton of plans that you can't seem to practically follow through on.

When this chakra is balanced, we are typically capable of achieving our goals more easily because we feel capable of doing so. Self-esteem is associated with the solar plexus and without it, none of your dreams will be actualized. If you find it difficult really going after what you want in life because the voice in your head is constantly trying to bring you down to size, you could benefit from balancing this chakra. Bergamot, a citrus fragrance, can be used to revitalize your energy and boost your spirit. I personally like burning this in oil in a diffuser or making a homemade spray that I can use whenever I need a pick-me-up.

HEART CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The heart chakra, also known as Anahata, is located in the middle of the chest. Physiologically, this chakra governs the lungs and cardiac system. The primary functions the heart chakra serve are compassion, forgiveness, and love for self and others. When this particular chakra is healthy, we have an easy time receiving and giving love to others. This serves as your sense of connection to the people in your life. However, when the heart chakra is out of balance, you may have a tendency to hold onto grudges, feel extremely jealous, and even completely withdraw yourself into isolation due to fear of being hurt or seen in a more vulnerable space.

This particular chakra is important as it serves as the link between the lower and upper chakras, helping us to integrate the spiritual and physical experiences more effortlessly. If you find yourself living in one dimension more than the other, this can signify an imbalance in the heart chakra. As you begin to balance this energy center, you'll feel more meaningful relationships due to your ability to look beyond your ego. When we are living from the heart, we transcend the limitations of our identity and recognize the common thread between all of humanity. This ultimately increases your capacity to love unconditionally. Rose oil is one of the most common scents used as the fragrant flower is often associated with purity and love. Put a few drops of rose or jasmine oil in your bath for the perfect self-love ritual. If you're feeling witchy, try doing this on a Friday (the day of the week associated with Venus—planet of love).

THROAT CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The throat chakra, also known as Vishuddha, is located at the base of the throat. It is related to the element of sound, driving our communication and personal expression. This particular chakra is associated with the mouth, jaw, and thyroid and it's also linked to the shoulders and neck. Characteristics of the throat chakra include the propensity to express your truth, your ability to bring forth creative ideas to reality, and realizing your purpose in life. Both the throat and sacral chakras are naturally connected as the sacral houses the emotions and creativity, while the throat chakra actually gets it out there.

When this chakra is out of balance, it can manifest as dishonesty, shyness, and a lack of connection to your purpose. On the opposite end of the spectrum, this imbalance can result in an inability to listen to others due to excessive talking and not being able to hold water, as my grandmother would say. Peppermint oil can be used to stimulate this chakra while lavender can be used to calm it. Try making your own anointing oil by setting some intentions for how you would like to communicate. Whenever you have an important conversation, meeting, or interview, dab a little bit of your oil on your throat to help you express yourself clearly and gracefully.

THIRD EYE CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The third eye chakra, also known as Ajna, is located on the forehead between the eyebrows. It is commonly associated with intuition and foresight, governing the way that we perceive the world. This is probably one of the most well-known chakras, given its notoriety within various spiritual communities and conspiracy theorists alike. Physiologically, it governs the pineal gland which regulates our biorhythms, including both sleeping and waking times. This particular chakra is a key player in activating spiritual awareness and, in some cases, clairvoyance.

When in balance, this chakra helps us perceive the world beyond the veil, granting us access to deep wisdom and insight. It is often the guiding light when things don't make much sense in the physical world and it can serve as a powerful tool during times of transition or the unknown. When your third eye is out of balance, you may feel stuck in the mundane day-to-day activities of life with little to no capability of seeing the bigger picture. There may also be a lack of clarity and inability to tap into the vision for your life. You may also have a tendency to reject any and everything spiritual. When this chakra is overactive, you may fall into the trap of fantasies that easily classify as delusions. It's important that your lower chakras, particularly your root chakra, is stable as you attempt to open yourself up more psychically. Frankincense, commonly referenced in the Bible, is a woody aroma that can be used to activate your third eye chakra. You can either burn some incense or meditate with a chakra candle to help you develop your inner guidance.

CROWN CHAKRA

Mandala Soul Designs

The crown chakra, also known as Sahasrara, is located at the top of your head. It governs your connection to higher states of consciousness radiating outwards into the ethers to receive insight from God/Spirit/the Universe. This chakra is associated with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which regulate the endocrine system. Due to its placement, the crown chakra is associated with the brain and nervous system as well.

When in balance, we can experience the blissful ecstasy that is felt when we're essentially at one with God and all that is.

When the crown chakra is out of balance, it can manifest as being disconnected from Spirit and overly critical of anything not rooted in the material plane. On the other hand, an overactive crown chakra can result in being way too in your head and not grounded in reality. There could even be a bit of an obsession with spiritual matters, causing extreme disinterest in your day-to-day routines. Cedarwood is a rich, woody aroma that the ancient Egyptians used in their spiritual practices as it helps keep you grounded as you activate higher states of consciousness.

Featured image by Shutterstock

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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