How Opening My Chakras has Changed Me

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“Growth through Wisdom” – artwork through Bindu Creative Wellness (found through http://www.radiant-women.com/inspired-self-healing-program)

It was a lazy Saturday afternoon after giving a talk in a seminar earlier that day for over two hours and my body felt like crashing when a notification showed up on my cell phone, telling me that I had a message on my Instagram account. I dismissed it as just another click of “like” on one of the pictures I posted. It wasn’t until later at night when I opened the Instagram that I realized it was a comment from a friend. The comment was made on the image of chakra meditation I posted a few days ago. It was an image I stole from the internet, not my own, to announce my newest interest in daily routine. Isn’t that the purpose of Instagram — that people use it to announce something about themselves, right? Anyway, my friend had inquired about my post and asked me the following question, “What specific needs did you get from it that other types of meditation don’t offer?” It was an intriguing question, and it got me to produce this writing after not writing for quite some time…and in English too.

It’s been a while, dear friends. To say that I’ve been busy in my life may sound like a cliché, but it’s true. I would love to be able to produce more writings, but my attention has been taken away to concentrate on my needs, on me. Sounds selfish, but self-healing requires perhaps a bit of selfishness. Nobody else is going to take care of me other than myself, so I decided to try some new activities as part of my self-healing. I don’t know where and how to start my story about my journey of self-healing within these past 2 or 3 months, or maybe even longer than that, but I will try to do it anyway. It has started somewhat slowly about 6 months ago when I got a chance to deepen my faith in my religion and did a deep soul-searching trip inside myself, asking many thought-provoking questions and daring to look into my past. Many people and activities I’ve done have helped me so far, and chakra meditation is just one of them. This essay is meant to answer my friend’s question, but also deeper than that. It’s my own recollection of my journey in improving my view of my self and the world.

I admit that I am not an expert in chakra meditation. I’ve only been doing it for maybe only 2 weeks so far, but on a daily basis. I can only testify as according to my experiences so far. I have known about chakra meditation before but never tried it. About two weeks ago, I went out of town and stayed in a hotel that uses some words explaining about chakras as part of its decoration. The name of the hotel is Good Karma, so that explains about the decoration. I took a picture of each of those 7 writings of chakra, and that still did not raise my interest yet to try them. About a few days later, I was browsing google play store on my phone looking for some peaceful meditational sounds or music to help me relaxing before sleep, and somehow coming across an app called Chakra Meditation and Healing after a series of installing many meditational apps beforehand only to uninstalling them right away again. Many of them were awful, trash, just full of advertisement. Some of them are just confusing to use. This chakra app though, has been accompanying me daily ever since.

What do I like about it? Probably because the guided chakra meditation is easy to follow, the human voice is very peaceful and soft, and then of course, the self-confirmation statements that are part of every chakra session. I have since tried to search on the internet and other chakra apps to see if self-confirmation statements are always part of chakra meditation. The answer is no. The one that I downloaded is the only one containing self-confirmation statements – sentences that I can repeat as positive messages to myself. Those statements were the first ones that hooked me into this chakra meditation. They made me realized that chakra meditation actually has a psychological aspect to it. However, after trying chakra meditation through the app over and over for several days, I realize that it is not only about self-confirmation statements. I truly feel something has changed in me, not just because of those statements, but also something else…within me, inside my body, in the way I think, how I feel about me and my body, and how I view my world. So then what is the conclusion of this? Could it be that the chakras in my body have opened up and become synchronized? I did not believe on those things in the past, but after experiencing everything that I have done, I’m starting to believe that there has been a renewal flow of energy inside my body.

What I have experienced is obviously unique and specific to me only. Others may not experience it the same way. Chakra meditation may not always work. I was a skeptic, did not complete believe fully in the concept of flow of energy within the body. I believe in the concept of prayers, in the practices according to my religion. I believe in the concept of thinking, feeling and behaving. But obviously, everything that I believed before was not enough to get me able to think as positive as I do now. Something was preventing me before. My mind could easily fall into a negative thinking, into endlessly worrying and distrusting people. A close person in my life, a special person, has been the blunt of my anger, worry, fear, and other negative thinking and feelings for these past 3 months, and even I at that time started to question myself on why did I continue to feel insecure about myself? Even after reading a book about Self-Compassion, I still could not love myself and forgive my past. I continued to be angry and fearful, and in that process, push people away. And I have tried everything too according to my faith and my background in psychology, but still to no avail. I could teach psychology, encourage other people to improve themselves, give them advice, but be pitiful in regards to my own life. I started to wonder too, and got tired of myself too. Why couldn’t I love myself? Why did I continue to doubt myself? Why couldn’t I forgive my past?

Then, something else happened too, something that I experienced a few days after I started the chakra meditation. I have been reading a book by an Indonesian back-packer traveler named Agustinus Wibowo. The book is titled Titik Nol or Zero Point. I believe the book has been translated into English and can be found on Amazon. One day as I was reading it, I came across a passage in the book.

“…hidup itu adalah sebilah cermin. Dunia di matamu sesungguhnya adalah cerminan dari hatimu sendiri. Caramu memandang dunia adalah caramu memandang diri.”

“…Life is a mirror. The world in your eyes is actually a reflection of your own heart. The way you view the world is the way you see yourself.”

When I met someone special or came across something that is powerful, such as the statement above, I always experienced this feeling as if my face had just been slapped, like I’ve just been knocked down on the ground. I knew when I read that statement that it was speaking to me because it hit me so hard. Nothing is coincidence in this world — I believe in it strongly. Therefore, I took it that my God, the God that has been my source of strength, wanted me to read that statement. However, if my mind was not ready to see that special message, I would not be able to understood it as something special. Luckily, I have been preparing myself through the self-healing journey I started months before, and God has allowed me to meet some people (or angels as I’d like to view them) that have shaped and influenced me positively along the way. Thus, when I saw that book passage, I was ready and my heart was open.

What was so interesting with that statement from the book? It actually brought me to the next questions, “How have I viewed the world all this time, throughout my life? How do I view my self?” I didn’t know the answer right away at first. It took a long afternoon walk in my neighborhood, under a beautiful sunset and with nature all around me, that I finally found the answer.

The truth is, would I be able to courageously look deeper inside me and admit my view of life and myself if it weren’t for the long self-healing journey that I have been on in the past few months? Including the chakra meditation? Well, I can’t say for sure yes or no, but I’d like to think that everything that I have encountered and experienced so far has helped me to get to the answer that has finally changed my view of this world…and more importantly, of myself. Though the self-healing process has been long and difficult because only a few people know the ups and downs that I have been through, I truly believe that every part of the journey was something that I HAD to go through in order to be able to get to this point. Without those many moments of anguish and tears and screaming, I would not be able to understand the message that God has sent me. And for all that I have been through and everyone that has helped, I thank you all, including that Chakra Meditation app.

And that is my answer to my friend’s question. A type of meditation can only be useful to you if it is meant to touch you. So find your own self-healing that fits you. It may be chakra meditation or it something else. Just start your own journey if you haven’t started it, and open your heart to those in life that are meant to be part of your healing process.

Keluar dari Zona Nyaman

Kesempatan untuk menyicipi suatu pengalaman baru yang sangat mengesankan muncul di depan mataku beberapa hari yang lalu. Beberapa mahasiswa di fakultasku membentuk suatu komunitas baru, yaitu komunitas teater. Mereka menamakan komunitasnya “Seniman 15 Menit.” Nama itu didapatkan karena pertama kali kelompok itu terbentuk (sebelum menjadi komunitas) adalah karena mengikuti lomba drama di suatu ajang perlombaan nasional antarfakultas psikologi se-Indonesia dan waktu yang diberikan untuk pentas adalah 15 menit. Jadilah inspirasi untuk nama Seniman 15 Menit. Kelompok ini awalnya tidak terlalu aktif. Beberapa bulan kemudian mereka sempat melakukan pentas kecil-kecilan di depan mahasiswa baru pada acara pengenalan kampus dengan tema perkuliahan di fakultas psikologi kami. Kelompok ini tidak pernah mengikuti latihan dan bimbingan teater, dan jarang sekali melakukan latihan sendiri karena tidak ada yang bisa melatih mereka. Untunglah, dengan bantuan Tuhan Yang Maha Kuasa, pada bulan Oktober 2016 mereka tergerak untuk membentuk suatu komunitas teater secara resmi karena kehadiran seorang pelatih yang mau membimbing mereka secara tidak resmi. Walaupun tidak resmi, tapi keberadaan sang pelatih ini dalam beberapa kesempatan yang tercipta sudah membantu banyak dalam membangun semangat dan motivasi mereka untuk berlatih secara teratur. Tantangan dan kesempatan untuk berkembang juga muncul saat mereka ditawarkan untuk pentas di hadapan masyarakat umum dalam suatu acara perayaan Natal yang diselenggarakan oleh RRI Surabaya. Nama naskah mereka adalah “Om Toleransi Om.” Suatu pengalaman yang luar biasa mengesankan buat mereka…dan bagiku juga. Aku rasa harapan bagi kami semua yang terlibat dalam acara itu sangat simple sebenarnya, bahwa kami berharap kesempatan pentas itu semoga menjadi suatu awal baru bagi komunitas Seniman 15 Menit yang dapat membangun kreativitas dan pengembangan diri mahasiswa. Terimasih yang mendalam kepada pelatih mereka, Pak Retmono Adi (yang lebih akrab dipanggil Pak Didik), yang sudah mau memberikan waktunya untuk datang ke Surabaya dan melatih mahasiwa yang pentas. Tanpa dukungannya, kebersamaan dan keberhasilan di pentas Om Toleransi Om ini tidak dapat tercipta. Kesempatan bisa saja ada, passion dan keinginan bisa saja tinggi, tapi tanpa dukungan dan bimbingan, siapapun itu tidak akan mampu memberikan karyanya yang terbaik.

Aku belajar banyak dari apa yang aku lihat dan alami selama mendampingi para mahasiswa dalam proses persiapan pentas Om Toleransi Om barusan ini. Melihat proses perubahan dari awal latihan sampai saat pementasan itu sungguh luar biasa. Semangat, kegembiraan, kebersamaan, kesederhaan berpikir, kerendahan hati, dan ke-kreatifan yang saling mereka bagikan itu mengharukan. Terus terang, aku sendiri tidak menyangka bahwa mereka akan bisa melangkah sampai sejauh ini. Pemikiran seperti itu muncul bukan karena aku meragukan kemampuan mereka, tapi karena perubahan yang terjadi menurutku cukup cepat dan itu tidak terbayangkan sebelumnya olehku yang naif dan buta mengenai dunia teater. Sungguh tak menyangka perkembangan mereka bisa secepat itu. Kredit juga perlu diberikan kepada pelatih mereka yang mampu mendorong anak-anak untuk keluar dari zona nyaman mereka dalam waktu yang cepat. Dorongan yang diberikan oleh Pak Didik memang tegas, kadang keras kadang lembut, diselingi dengan banyak diskusi dan refleksi, dan kadang dilengkapi dengan shock therapy juga, tapi mungkin karena itulah perkembangan mereka bisa menjadi terlihat cepat.

Momen paling menyenangkan bagiku adalah pada malam terakhir sebelum hari pentas. Sore itu mereka barusan kembali dari gladi bersih di Ruang Auditorium RRI Surabaya dan lanjut dengan latihan lagi sebelum ditutup dengan makan malam bersama di kantorku. Saat duduk makan malam bersama, kami mengobrol dengan hangatnya. Mereka bercerita tentang pengalaman gladi bersih siang tadi, suka duka dari pengalaman persiapan dan latihan selama ini, dan seterusnya. Sebagaimana biasanya ruang rapat, meja-meja diatur dalam keadaan melingkar sehingga kami semua bisa saling melihat.

Di tengah-tengah perbincangan itu, salah satu dari mahasiswa secara iseng mengambil gelas aqua di depannya. Sejenak dia melihat gelas aqua itu sedemikian rupa seakan mempelajarinya, memutar-mutar gelas aqua itu di tangannya, dan kemudian memeragakan sesuatu dengan memakai gelas aqua itu sebagai alat peraga. Beberapa mahasiswa lain kemudia menebak apa yang diperagakan. Hahaha…mereka berbagi tertawa bersama karena apa yang diperagakan itu memang lucu. Tidak ingin kalah, mahasiswa yang di sampingnya kemudian mengambil gelas aqua yang sama dari mahasiswa sebelumnya dan memeragakan sesuatu juga, diiringi dengan teriakan tebakan dari yang lainnya dan tawa lepas. Untunglah waktu sudah di atas jam kerja (sudah jam 6 malam lewat), sehingga tidak ada satu manusiapun lagi di kantor yang sedang bekerja. Suasana mulai menghangat. Gelas aqua itu kemudian bergilir dari satu orang ke orang berikutnya, termasuk aku.

Pertamanya aku tidak bisa berpikir apa-apa. Kepala ini rasanya kosong, dan juga, ada sedikit rasa malu dan sungkan karena aku tidak terbiasa melakukan hal demikian di depan orang lain. Aku memang tipe orang yang kaku dan sering merasa sungkan saat seperti ini, yaitu saat melakukan sesuatu yang membutuhkan kreativitas dan keluar dari zona nyamanku memainkan peran tertentu di depan mahasiswaku. Aku sudah terbiasa dengan suatu peran dan untuk memerankan peran lain butuh upaya untuk masuk ke situ. Gelas aqua itu akhirnya aku oper dulu ke orang berikutnya di giliran pertama, tapi begitu sampai pada giliran kedua, mahasiswa menolak untukku melakukan hal yang sama. Setengah memaksa 🙂 Tapi anehnya, di dalam hatiku sebenarnya sudah terjadi konflik. Di satu sisi, rasa sungkan dan tidak nyaman itu cukup kuat, tapi ada bagian dari dalam diriku juga yang ingin ikut berpartisipasi. Aku merasa penasaran sebenarnya karena ada keinginan untuk berbaur, tertawa bersama. Akhirnya secara sadar, aku melawan perasaan dan pemikiran takut dan cemasku. Aku mencoba akhirnya.

Awalnya terasa canggung, kagok, tidak nyaman, tapi setelah putaran kedua, ketiga, mulai terasa okay. Aku teruskan. Saat susah mendapatkan suatu ide untuk berbuat apa dengan gelas aqua itu, aku berhenti sebentar dan mencoba mengambil waktu untuk mencari ide. Aku tidak ingin menyerah. Aku beranikan diri untuk memperagakan hal-hal yang sedikit lebih sulit, yang membutuhkanku untuk berdiri dari tempat duduk, dan ternyata aku bisa. Iya, aku bisa. Muncul perasaan senang dan puas, walaupun masih tersisa perasaan canggung. Namun, aku juga perlahan-lahan sadar, bahwa sebenarnya mungkin tidak ada yang tahu, atau tidak ada yang peduli, kalau aku merasa canggung. Cuma aku saja yang peduli sebenarnya. Merekapun mungkin juga merasa canggung, dan aku mana tahu itu? Pemikiran itulah yang akhirnya mendorongku untuk terus saja melakukan, biarpun kadang yang lain tidak bisa menebak apa yang aku peragakan, seperti saat aku memeragakan topi melayang di cerita Harry Potter. Toh ini bukan mengenai kemampuan memeragakan untuk bisa ditebak secara tepat. Ini mengenai bermain bersama, berbagi suatu momen yang indah bersama, tertawa bersama. Dan memang, pengalaman indah itu sungguh sangat menancap di dalam hatiku. Bertahun-tahun kemudian mungkin aku tidak dapat mengingat secara pasti kejadian malam itu, tapi aku akan selalu bisa mengingat perasaan nyaman dan indah yang aku rasakan bersama mereka.

Malam itu, aku keluar dari zona nyamanku. Aku menyalurkan ideku, mengerahkan otak kananku — sesuatu yang mungkin karena tuntutan kerja menjadi sangat jarang untuk aku lakukan. Dan untuk itu, aku sangat bersyukur diberi kesempatan untuk mengalaminya. Lebih bersyukur lagi, aku mau untuk keluar dari zona nyamanku dan masuk ke zona baru. Pengalaman yang mengesankan. Bahagia itu memang sederhana kok.