Recently, I rediscovered my sixth chakra known as the Ajna chakra: a.k.a. “seat of intuition.” After doing so, I realized how I’d lost touch with it but knew it well as a child.
It was on a recent trip to the redwoods in Northern California. I seized the rare vacation moment when I could walk and relax in the wheatgrass by the sea alone. I could smell the somewhat gritty scent, feel its dryness and just “be” in it, surrounded by patches of small evergreen bushes and other flora and fauna of this latitude.
These same bushes, said the park plaque, would grow and turn into gigantic redwood trees, one thousand years from now.
As I stood in the wheat, hair gently blowing, I attained a true feeling of complete serenity protected amidst the blades of grass. I asked myself what needed to be solved. Was there a problem I needed an answer to? What answers could I find here in nature earlier not known to me?
I remembered that as a child, I would get inspired by the colors in the crisp fall leaves of the Northeast and smell the dirt as I crunched piles of dry leaves with my boots. At the time, I would intuit nothing more than the inspiration to later draw these leaves on a sketch pad with a pack of new pastels. But I never questioned my next step. I simply knew I was to draw the leaves later – a simple, direct ‘care-free’ Action Item that came out of my meditation in nature.
I believe that this type of intuition (the kind that comes so easily to us as children) is easily lost as adults. As children we know nothing more than “I know it feels good to be here. I am safe and supported. I know I should stay here for a while. ” And, later: “I’m going to draw this moment.”
It all seemed so simple then. Then, life flourished. Responsibility, children, husband, jobs. As a child, I used to nestle in wheatgrass and found that place for peace and solace. What happened if I returned there for serenity now?
As a child, I recognized that the long strands of grass protected me from the harsh fall winds. But, here in the different season of summer, there seemed to be a new protection: one from the demands of the outside world, one from the niggling ‘inner critic’ that so often appears and shoots us down and makes us say “no” to our dreams.
I remember this place in the grass was the type of place to build forts in, where textures and smells from the brine and damp purple clover once energized and revived. The place when your folks were laying blankets down to enjoy a day sunbathing at the beach, a place to hide out in; a small child’s hiding place nestled in between the long tan blades.
Now, I was here again. This time feeling the soft warm sand beneath my toes and again, momentarily separated from the world. Then and now, this place was a place to feel safe and protected from the sound of the fierce crushing waves and instigative nature of circling hawks. For a fleeting moment, while feeling the warm sun, I recently intuited a familiar and greatly missed independent spirit who was simply honoring a solitary feeling and gathering a moment to the Self.
As a yoga teacher, it is my hope to work with people on a deeper level. To help them revisit sacred spaces (whether it’s the wheatgrass, somewhere completely different) and, more importantly, a place to come back to their Self. Whether that means helping them unblock their intuition through nature or helping them find their own form of spirituality as they negotiate movement with a sensitive hip– as I’ve said before, yoga means more to me than asana. My calling as an extrovert is to work with other people. To help them understand their path.
On the quest to further explore this calling, I stood at the same place where I stood to find meaning forty years ago. I believe that in between the grass our stories can unfold.
For me, after about an hour, my sixth chakra pointed to the archetype of the wounded healer. The grass surrounded me, the wounded child, and provided protection against the world. This archetype brings me the clarity to return to a place (vocation) where I know I need to help others.
The sacred space of the wheatgrass in nature helps me to arrive at my Self.
When have you trusted your intuition to guide you toward your next steps in life? If you have a sacred space in the woods, near the sea, in your garden, close your eyes and just ‘be.’ Then, see what transpires for you later, taking your cues from what you see in nature. For you, it may be watching a band of bees building a hive that later points you to creating a team for a project that needs tending. Or it may be that you see clover, Spanish moss, and raw huckleberries waiting to ripen still on their branches. This may serve as a reminder that all of these seemingly different plants all co-exist peacefully to produce perfection – maybe you too need more tolerance in a given situation. See where nature and your Ajna lead you, and let your story unfold.
Also by Jackie: How Partner Yoga Helped Us Reconnect and Rekindle Our Marriage
Related: Yoga for Opening the Third Eye
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Photo: Jacqueline Quattrocchi