Now we travel down to the fifth chakra, at the center of the neck, symbolized by the color blue.
This is where it all started, this meditation stuff, back in the fall of 2018, when I realized I was not being authentic.
My job, a job I was transferred into, didn’t feel right anymore. But I didn’t speak that truth to myself and certainly not to others.
Imbalances in the fifth chakra can show up as coughing when someone is speaking (a disagreement without words). Or as a sore throat. Or thyroid issues.
As for my thyroid cancer, I believe it grew out of my relationship with my father—typified by the night he tried to choke me and I let him*, and my relationship with my first husband—where I swallowed my anger, and my relationship with my creativity—where I told those creative itches to go away because they wouldn’t pay the mortgage.
We need to speak our truth.
We need to be authentic.
One aspect of authenticity is that when I say something about something, I speak my truth and the same truth no matter who is listening. Whether I’m speaking to a colleague or my boss or the CEO, they all get the same message. The words may differ, but the meaning is the same.
This is not the ‘authenticity’ of a teenager showing up for school (back when school was in-person) in ratty pajamas and a curled lip, whining, “This is my authentic self.”
That’s not how I see authenticity.
That’s not how I see us.
I spent a decade in a church that taught we were sinners needing to be washed in the blood of The Lamb. They said salvation couldn’t be earned but they laid heavy expectations for six days of the week (we had Tuesdays off). Buddhist teachers say we have two natures inside us, like two dogs—a good dog and a bad dog. Which dog we feed dictates which dog we become.
I have my own belief, not based on any theology or spiritual teaching, simply based on what I believe, and that’s probably based on what I believe I need to believe. I acknowledge that this puts me on thin ice. Maybe I’m already up to my knees in ice water.
What I believe is that we have one dog inside us, because if we have two, then I have a 50/50 chance of which one wins—maybe the bad dog will bite the good dog before I have a chance to feed the good dog.
The one dog inside is a good dog. The dog sits in front of two giant lakes. One lake is a clear pool of fresh water. The other is polluted, and the farther down you go, the worse it gets. There are razor blades at the bottom.
The dog chooses from which lake it drinks and bathes and how often.
When someone snarls, “This is my authentic self,” I disagree. That self is the dirty self, the one covered in grime from filthy, stinky water. The true, authentic self is underneath, and clean.
We have to be willing to wash the dirt off. We have to believe we deserve to shine.
My eyes are closed. I direct them to the place at the middle of my neck, and I say the words:
I am authentic.
*Here’s a short story I wrote about that.
Chewing the Cud of Good
Thankful for people who know how to fix broken things (like my brother, who leads a team that fixes airplanes).