Sunday January 3, 2010: Today we drove home from Luray so I was back in my little home yoga studio for meditation. I was glad to be back in my own spot but I had some trouble settling in at first. I decided to work with the ham sa mantra and started working my way up the chakras but when I got to the heart chakra, my heart suddenly felt as if it were beating wildly. It was similar to what happens to me when I’m at home alone, maybe reading quietly, and I think I hear a strange noise. I sort of freeze a little, I strain to hear better, to decipher the sound, and I can feel my heart beat accelerating. I did not begin this meditation in an anxious state and I felt very safe and secure but this physical sensation was so similar to the physical sensation produced by fear or anxiety that it was very distracting. So, I decided to try to shift my awareness up to my third eye chakra (point described as between or just above the brows) to see if that would steady my heart beat. It did. And, as I stayed with that internal gaze at the third eye chakra, I started to see colors. I know some meditators often see colors but I have only seen them a few times during this past month of meditation. The colors and shapes I saw were very distinct. At first, I saw a small yellow circle within a larger purple circle. Then the outer purple circle bloomed into large purple flowers with small, yellow centers. It was soothing to watch these beautiful colored flowers so I stayed with it. Then, after a time, I decided to try moving the energy back down through the chakras. Although I could feel energy flowing down towards the lower chakras, I could still see the flowers blooming at the third eye chakra for most of the remainder of the meditation. When I finished meditating, I was curious as to whether those colors are associated with any particular chakra, or emotional or mental state, or both? So, I did some research and learned that purple is actually the color associated with the third eye chakra! I also learned that yellow is the color associated with the solar plexus chakra. I’m not expert enough to know what it means that I saw this combination of colors but a little research into the chakras and colors themselves gave me this information. The third eye chakra, I read, is associated with both rational intelligence and intuition, the ability to perceive information about people or things through emotional intelligence. It is also associated with the ability to see the truth about yourself. If this energy is grounded and balanced, it helps us set goals and work around obstacles by tapping into our open mind and creative problem-solving skills. We stunt growth at this chakra by denying our own behavior patterns and believing that we are independent and don’t need help or cannot learn anything new. But, if this chakra is over-active, it can lead to paranoia or hypersensitivity, a disconnect from reality and a feeling that everything is, somehow, about you. The solar plexus chakra is associated with determination and will. If this chakra is functioning well, you exude self-confidence, stand up for what you believe in, and attract good people into your life. And you have the discipline and stamina to get through tough times. But, if it’s over-active, you can be too controlling and impatient, determined to have your own way all the time. I’m not sure what all this adds up to exactly but as 2009 drew to an end and I tried to examine my choices and behavior and what I might change, I definitely returned again and again to several themes 1) how grateful I am for the many good, good people in my life and the opportunities I had in 2009 2) my desire for new challenges in 2010 3) how to nurture my better qualities ( determination, passion, curiosity, creativity) and stay vigilant about certain destructive tendencies (controlling, impatient, over-sensitive). And those musings might have left an impression on my subconscious that manifested itself in those purple and yellow flowers! My pounding heart is still a bit of a mystery but perhaps much as we welcome change, we also fear it?