Guest Post by VYC 2015 Ambassador Kim Olmstead
The new year is a time where we make resolutions and promises to ourselves. The reality is that many of us break these promises. If you pay attention to astrology, it indicates that this January is an intense period of release and initiation. It is a perfect time to leave behind what is not serving you, let go of fears and start something new. I was thinking about this as I was on an airplane over the holidays and was reading up on the root chakra for an event I held. I wasn’t all that interested in the movies being shown on the plane but four hours into the fight I decided I would put my book down and give the kids animated movie “The Croods” a chance, and I am really glad I did. The story is about a family of cavemen who only leave the cave for hunting due to their fear of the outside world. The father teaches his family that absolutely everything new is scary and bad and that the unknown is dangerous and should be avoided because you survive by not taking any chances. In fact their family motto is “never not be afraid.” Then one day the very curious and questioning daughter meets a stranger and he shows them how to make fire or “the light.” This foreigner tells them that the Earth is changing and they must leave behind their old world in order to survive. They encounter many challenges and obstacles on their journey to this new world, but the more new experiences they have and the closer they get to the light, the less afraid they are.
Not only did I highly enjoy the message of stepping out of our comfort zones and facing our fears, but it also tied in completely with what I know and was reading about the root chakra. The root chakra is our chakra associated with survival, family/belonging, foundation and grounding; and fear is what weakens it. It is the most instinctual of all chakras and when it is strong we feel safe and secure. It allows us to see that we are connected to all other beings. A weak root chakra makes us feel afraid, unsafe, and disconnected with others, or like we don’t belong. Even if we are surrounded by people who love us, a weak root chakra can cause us to feel lonely or to feel a sort of “spiritual homelessness”. This got me thinking about fear and why we do what we do. What are we afraid of and why? The daughter in “The Croods” was different because she wasn’t afraid, she craved something new and exciting and she questioned why we are here. Cavemen obviously would have lived in state of constant fear, with survival being the number one priority. But even in today’s world people are constantly afraid. Governments have been accused of “fear mongering” in order to keep everyone in line, and the media continues to alter information to create fear. Many people live in constant anxiety due to the number of fears that have been ingrained into us as a culture. This stems back from our more primal days where we had to be connected to the Earth, seasons, and the animals in order to survive. But now our survival is indirect; we have replaced our fear of genuine survival with new worries about making enough money, what others think of us, or being irrationally afraid of things that are of no real threat to us such as the dark. Something that threatens our “survival” like being unemployed, catching a cold, or even the unknown can trigger our root chakra to swing out of balance.
But as the movie showed me (and as many of us have probably experienced), fear does not keep us safe…it holds us back. Being afraid to step out of our comfort zone and try new things, or fear of failure, is the biggest disservice you can do to yourself. “The Croods” followed the light and learned that with every sun comes a new day and new beginning. Considering it is the year of the Ram, a year of “activation” with an energetic theme, makes it a perfect time to set our ideas and goals into actual motion. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet? Why haven’t you started it? What are your fears and how are they holding you back? Are they rational or life threatening? Facing our fear can help revive our root chakra. Now is the time to let go of our fear, live and follow our light. You only get one life and this is it, so set a New Years intention. Maybe it’s a goal to achieve, or maybe it is simply to no longer live in fear and take more chances. Do what makes your heart beat the loudest and your inner light shine. As Alan Alda said “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover is yourself.”