Blog

Welcome to the Chakra Card blog

We started this blog to keep fans of the Chakra Cards up-to-date with the latest news, products and interpretations of the Chakra Cards. We encourage you to make it a place that you can interact with one another, to connect, holding space for others to be completely themselves.

The way the Chakra Cards work is to empower you to self-reflect. When you see a question, try not to get into your head too much, but instead, embrace the feelings that come up with the card. The blogs contain tips, research and further questions to help you to dig deeper. By sharing your story in the comments, others may be able to identify things that you haven’t but also it allows you to put into writing your story. When we are able to identify the stories, we are then able to own them and take responsibility for our role in them.

We encourage you to journal, discuss, reflect and connect because ultimately we are all our own healers and we are all here for each other.

In love,

Alyssa @ChakraCards

©Alyssa Curtayne 2017

Featured post

Is The Bachelor another way for us to break the sisterhood?

green-27july17.jpg

 

Green – Heart chakra – Air element – unconditional love and compassion, Goddess energy, archetypes, passion, gratitude

 

What does it mean to support your “sisters”? what does it mean to bring your “sisters” down”?

While shuffling this card stuck out and I stopped shuffling and decided to take it. The second card that fell out with it was ‘Which Gods/Goddesses are you drawn to?’

Ultimately this question is about how we treat our fellow humans. That is, the Sisterhood of Women. It could be sisters that were born, or married into your life, or every woman as an extension of our collective humanity. We live in a culture that constantly puts people down. We have a culture of criticism. There’s an excellent blog about women and the criticisms we face on a daily basis by Nikki Macfarlane on Facebook. But if we look more widely into modern culture, a programme like The Bachelor puts 25 women in a mansion to compete for the attentions of one very attractive male. Part of the “fun” of this programme is watching the women bitch about each other’s clothes, hair, make-up, personality and as the observer of the programme we join in the bitching; we become a part of the collective put down of all women. We make judgements on these women based only what the producers have chosen to show us. Make no mistake, we are being trained to find the bad ones, the beautiful ones, the perfect ones and find ways to put her down.

This question could literally be your birth sisters or your sisterhood of women just as much as it could be your treatment of the people who come into your everyday existence, either via media or in person.

Researching this topic was quite difficult as few academics have studied the effects of women competing against each other and how we compete. It is interesting, but just like The Bachelor, when it is just women in a workplace, there is an imbalance. I remember 20 years ago working in a primary school that was entirely women, apart from the PE teacher and one other teacher, it was by far the bitchiest workplace that I have ever encountered. Why do women feel the need to compete with one another? Why can we not support and encourage each other? You just need to look at what is said about female celebrities, female politicians, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs. They are just not supported as much as men are, and sadly it is other women who are contributing to this suppression of women’s brilliance.

Which brings me to the second card, which God/Goddess are you most drawn to? The best way to enact change is through role modelling. When you see someone with all the personal qualities that you (like a Goddess) would like you have two choices: you can learn from her, or you can bring her down so she’s on your level. Goddesses cannot be brought down. Which is why this card came up. This is not about feminism, but about supporting each other. If we think of Earth as a family and you put one member of Earth down constantly because she is too pretty, too fat, not dressed properly, behaves in a way that is not woman-like, or whatever, she’s going to shrink. She will hide or she will fight back and put you down too. That’s not a world that I am happy to continue.

Whether we like it or not there is always a woman who will be better at something than we are. We cannot and should not strive for perfection. Striving will always keep you striving.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

How do you feel about the women in your life?

Do you put other women down?

How does it make you feel when you criticise other women?

When you criticise, do you criticise the behaviour or the person?

Do you have a role model that you would like to emulate?

If you are a man, how can you contribute to the raising of the Sisterhood?

If you are a man, how do you contribute to the Brotherhood?

Within the Sisterhood of women, we are both our worst enemies and greatest support. With the rise of the Women’s circles and movements like the Red Tent, women are clawing back our support of each other. I encourage you to leave your thoughts (and any research) below, we would love to chat in an environment of support and respect.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

 

 

 

If you do this, you can change the world

White – Crown Chakra – Spirit – release – connection to the divine, Shiva’s descent, universal consciousness, true selves, divine union.

This deck of cards has a very spiritual focus, but with Earthly issues. This deck is particularly good for groups of friends who like to discuss the big issues in life with each other.

white 20july17

How are you connected to other people?

While shuffling I asked what does the world need to know at this time and this card jumped out face down, symbolic maybe of our societal disconnection and our apathy towards our fellow humans.

Ultimately this question is about how we live our lives in relationship to the other humans in it. Famous studies of the Romanian orphanages of the 1990s show that children who were given attention and non-sexual physical touch, such as cuddles, thrived compared to those who didn’t. Humans need connection. We are social creatures. We need to feel like we belong. In a study by Beumeister and Leary (1995) showed that humans need regular, positive relationships that are continuing. They went onto say that “belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment and well-being.” That is, that belonging, is not only important, but a strong motivator in behaviour and consequences.[1]

When we don’t feel like we belong, it has interesting outcomes for our mental health, such as depression and other mental health issues, studies repeatedly show that the solution for addiction (drugs, sex, alcohol) are meaningful connections.  Portugal appears to be the global leader in this as it relates to drug addiction. See this great article here.

Furthermore, studies have found there are four main motivators for connection: “social comparison, emotional support, positive stimulation and attention”[2], so upon reflection, the questions need to be asked, what are the motivations for the connections in your life? Are people in your life so you can compare your identity to them, are they for emotional support, do they give you positive interactions or attention?

The other level of this card is one of energy, HOW are you connected, implies not only the motivators above, but how you are connected on an energetic level. Is the connection a healthy one? Does it make you feel drained? Do you feel energised by it? When we connect to another person from an energetic level, we feel connected. Some theories hypothesise invisible cords that connect us to each other and personally I can attest to feel like a former partner’s energy felt like it trapped me like an octopus’ tentacles. Unfortunately, there is no research that I can find that confirms energetic connection, please share it below if you find any.

Whether we like it or not, the world has 7.4 billion human beings on it, we need each other to help fulfil our need for self-realisation and belonging. We are one species among many species on the planet that work together to create this biosphere that we live on. The more that we work together and stop attacking one another, the more harmonious our world can become.

Further questions to reflect or journal on for this card include:

Who do I connect with on a daily basis?

Who connects with me on a daily basis?

How do I feel about connecting with others?

Would I speak to a complete stranger? Why? Why not?

What sort of connections do I have with people? Do I keep people at a distance?

Do I feel energy around my connections to other people?

What connections do I have that no longer serve me?

How do I maintain my connections?

It is in connecting with others that we can find our greater purpose. In Bronnie Ware’s book, “Five Regrets of the Dying” she discovered that those in palliative care regretted not staying in-touch with friends. You don’t have to like everyone, that’s not what this article is about, but look after those connections that you do have, because ultimately how we live, here and now, is what defines us.

I encourage you to leave your reflections below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

[1] Baumeister, Roy F.; Leary, Mark R., 1995, The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation, Psychological Bulletin, Vol 117(3), May 1995, 497-529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497
[2] Hill, Craig A, 1987, Affiliation motivation: People who need people… but in different ways, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 52(5), May 1987, 1008-1018.http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.52.5.1008

 

Would you speak in public?

blue 13july17

Blue – Throat Chakra – Ether element – Expression –

Speaking your truth, finding your voice, knowledge.

How do you feel about public speaking, particularly if you had something personal to say?

On the very first shuffle, this card just turned itself over and sat there. I expected a question on singing or expression to pop up, but the cards are never wrong, as divination tools work in mysterious ways.

Everyone has a story. I see some of you blushing and saying that they don’t, but everyone’s story is unique, interesting and everyone has the right for their voice to be heard. We might not want to hear what some people have to say, but they have the right to speak their truth.

Ultimately this question is about how comfortable we are in speaking our truth, it doesn’t really matter who we are speaking to, whether it’s to ourselves in the mirror, someone close or an audience. The world is full of “spiritual” leaders, but the reality that they are only speaking from where they are. They are speaking their truth. This question may also relate to an issue that you might have in a relationship with a lover, family member, colleague or child. It might be that you have trouble speaking up about something quite personal.

According to Katz[1], up to 85% of people experience anxiety for public speaking and this includes experienced public speakers. Many jobs require some level of speaking in-front of others and the most common fears include embarrassment, making mistakes, being centre of attention or being judged. Other fears are about what we have to say; sharing our personal qualities, sharing us – our expertise, our experiences, our stories. Like many fears, social anxiety can create more of itself the more that we think about it and our confidence in ourselves. “A social phobia appears to be a strong desire to convey a favourable impression of oneself to others and marked insecurity about one’s ability to do so.”[2] That is, we worry about what others will think about us.

Whether we like it or not there will be lots of opportunities for public speaking in our lives. It may be to a massive audience, a small one or to individuals in our lives. Often, it’s easier to speak about ourselves and our deepest feelings to strangers, than to the people closest to us. As an English teacher, we provide plenty of opportunities for students to practice public speaking, as it is an important life skill. But for most adults, there aren’t many opportunities for practice apart from public speaking clubs such as Rostrum or Toastmasters.  But ultimately this card is about our fears around how we are perceived by others and how much value we place on other people’s opinions.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

Do I fear speaking in public?

What is it that I fear about public speaking?

What story of mine do I wish to share?

Who I wish I could speak up to?

How would it feel if I shared my story?

What’s the worst thing that would happen if I were to speak my truth?

There’s an abundance of tips online for practicing public speaking, but the best advice is finding underneath what the deep fear is. It is only through digging deep to find the fear that you can take the steps towards embracing public speaking.

I encourage you to leave your answers below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

 

 

[1] Katz, Louise, 2000, Public Speaking Anxiety, University of Tennessee at Martin Counseling and Career Services.
[2] Heimberg, Richard G. (Ed.), 1995, Social Phobia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment, Guildford Press

Tapping into your inner child

Yellow – solar plexus chakra – fire element – opinion and personal power – intuition, authenticity, self-image, willpower – the shadow.

yellow 6july2017.jpg

What did you dream of becoming as a child?

While shuffling this card poked itself out on a right angle, it was strange. I stopped shuffling, intuitively asked if it was the card, received an affirmative response and turned it over.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this card, as when I was shuffling, I was asking for the best card for everyone at this time. This card can be viewed in a number of ways, firstly, you can look at childhood and the effect your childhood had on your current path today, or you could look at dreaming. Dreaming could imply daydreaming, night dreams or goals or visions that you had/have for the future, either then or now.

I remember reading once that what a five-year-old wants to do is what they end up doing, or a job or career in a similar field. For example, they may want to be an architect, but end up working in graphic design, or a creative design field. That is where this card originates from. It taps into our inner child’s hopes and dreams and what we saw for ourselves before the reality of the world, our choices and our destiny – if there is such a thing – directed us.

This article here shows what kids in 2015 want to be when they grow up and as you can see many of those jobs – firefighter, doctor, teacher, veterinarian – are all helping jobs, they want to help others – whether it’s people or animals is irrelevant, those kids want to be of service.

A study by Trice and Knapp[1] looked at the relationship between children’s career goals and what their parents did. If you reflect on what your parents did for careers, is there a relationship between what they did and what you now do. I’m a teacher, my sister is and my Dad was. I imagine that at least one of my children will go into the helping professions simply because they’ve seen me role model it.

What we are exposed to as children definitely have an impact on our career choices. If we are exposed to quality art, literature or music or in the case of the study in Forbes, video games, our career choices naturally tend towards what we have been exposed. Another study by Trice and McClellan[2] found a direct correlation between what a child wanted to do and their achievement in gifted children. Gender roles also play a role in career choices.

For ourselves, I remember wanting to be two things; a mum and an author like Enid Blyton to create fantastical worlds for little imaginations to exist inside. My career choice was built on my early exposure to books and reading. Yet as I grew older, my parents introduced us to sport and my career turned to physical education and only now at 42 am I teaching English and writing my first novel.

As the solar plexus chakra, this question is ultimately asking us what ignites our inner fire, what gets us excited and how we can ensure that we don’t lose that passion, whether it’s for helping, science and technology, creativity, entrepreneurship.

Whether we like it or not our childhood directly impacts our adult choices and similarly as a parent we have a huge responsibility to ensure that our children have the opportunities to follow their dreams as best that we can offer them. They are not us and their passions will be influenced by us, but not directed by us.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

Am I doing what I wanted to do?

Am I happy in my current career?

How can I introduce more of that childhood passion into where I am now?

How was my childhood?

How did my parents support my passions? Did they put them down?

What impact did our childhood dreams have on our lives then? Now?

This is not about abandoning your current career and following this childhood passion, but seeing how you can integrate that same passion into where you are now, and that’s only if you want to create a change.

We would love to hear from people who knew just exactly what they wanted, or who have returned to that space or have never even thought about it. We encourage you to leave your answers below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

 

 

 

[1] Ashton D. Trice & Linda Knapp, 1992, Relationship of Children’s Career Aspirations to Parents’ Occupations, The Journal of Genetic Psychology Vol. 153 , Issue. 3.
[2] Ashton D. Trice, Nancy McClellan, 2016, Do Children’s Career Aspirations Predict Adult Occupations? An Answer from a Secondary Analysis of a Longitudinal Study, Psychological Reports, Vol 72, Issue 2, pp. 368 – 370, 10.2466/pr0.1993.72.2.368

 

You’re just selfish! Or are you?

red 1 15june17

Red – base chakra – earth element – grounding – spiritual energies – family – survival – roots – security

As the first deck in the Chakra Card series, this deck deals with our foundations, our roots.

Is it selfish to attend to your needs first?

Interestingly, my daughter needed me to do something today and I chose instead to write this blog. It is important for me to build a routine into this website and I know that the thing that she needed from me can wait until tomorrow.

Ultimately this question is about whether we are willing to acknowledge our own needs and fulfil them before helping others. One of my favourite examples about this is when you are on a plane, they require you to fit your own oxygen in the event of an emergency before helping others. Simply put, if we are incapable of breathing, we are unable to help others.

I spent many years doing lifesaving and one of the core principles of both lifesaving and first aid is self-preservation. It’s no accident that the D in DRSABCD is danger, that is, checking danger to yourself before assisting the victim. Two victims are a far worse outcome than one.

But not all of us think about tending to our own needs as a priority unless it’s an emergency situation. I remember years ago on social media, a friend of mine, a new mum, asked this very question and I said a resounding ‘no’, yet one of her friends harpooned me and said that the baby’s needs far surpassed the mothers, the mothers’ needs were secondary.

Interesting. Needless to say, we had healthy discussion.

Without a fully functioning, healthy mother, no baby would be able to get the best possible care. This is not about neglecting the baby. This is about ensuring that the baby gets the best possible mother it can. Yet many new mothers feel guilt at attending to their own needs first. Similarly, many partners feel guilt or are made to feel guilty for playing golf, fishing or catching up with mates. We all have needs and it is essential that we fulfil our needs so that we CAN help others. Playing golf or fishing might help a partner’s mental health and make them more able to cope with a noisy family. A new mother returning to work might need it for her own mental health or sense of identity or even for financial reasons.

The word selfish means; ”concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others”[1] the word itself even confirms that taking care of your needs IN ORDER TO improve the care of others is not the definition of selfish.

Studies done on mothers have found that the myth of the perfect mother can cause cultural and social expectations that can induce guilt[2]. We have these expectations about parenting that are so often unrealistic and based upon popular culture. So many people feel that it’s their right to comment on other people’s parenting style. It might be the fact that we are social creatures and we are, in effect, all part of raising the “herd”. These expectations then drive our own expectations of what is selfish and we have lost sight of what it means to be selfish.

Whether we like it or not we are driven by our needs and that survival instinct to take care of ourselves is a strong urge. Yet, caring for others is also innate in the human species. If we think more broadly as a species, is it selfish of us to attend to our needs for survival of the species at the expense of the diversity of life that exists on Earth? This card can be as simple or as global as you want it, but as always with the Chakra Cards, go with where it first takes you. For me, it went to parenting.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

What does selfish mean to you?

Where in your body do you feel selfish?

When is it empowering to be selfish?

When is it disempowering to be selfish?

Who in your life has been selfish? How have you been selfish to others?

Where do you see selfishness in our world?

I encourage you to leave your answers below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

 

 

 

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selfish
[2] Rotkirch, A. and Janhunen, Kristiina, (2010), “Maternal Guilt,” Volume 8, Issue 1, First published January 1, 2010  https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491000800108

Let’s talk about orgasm, yes, you!

pink1 8june17

Pink – Tantra – Fire – Awakening – higher consciousness – divine love – selflessness – deep heart desires

From the Divine Union deck

This deck of cards is specifically designed for couples to use in an intimate setting and asking each other these questions, but it is just as good to explore the possibilities with a wider community, such as a women’s circle.

How do you feel after orgasm? How do you feel after masturbation?

While shuffling this card fluttered to the ground like a feather. Yet, it took me two weeks before I sat down to write this article. There’s something so confronting about orgasm that is so very personal, yet we hide our pleasure from the rest of the world. It’s not socially acceptable to lie on a beach after a party and play with yourself as the sun rises, it’s not socially acceptable to make love in public places and in some parts of the world sex is punishable by whipping, as was the case for two men in Indonesia in May.

Ultimately this question is about how we value our bodies and the pleasure it gives us, but also how we, as a society, are still recovering and dealing with the influence of religions into our bedrooms. Historically speaking, during the European Middle Ages, sex was seen as primarily for procreation and in many ways, we are still recovering from this mindset. There have been times in history when sex has been freely accepted and then suppressed, this has happened multiple times. See this amazing book for an easy read of European sex history which influences Western society today. Many people feel guilt with orgasm and more often masturbation and it comes from these archaic beliefs ingrained in our culture and family stories that sex is for procreation. What is the point of this wonderful human body if it doesn’t allow us self-expression and pleasure? What is the point if we feel guilt in caressing our hands across our own bodies and melt into its infinite pleasure?

According to The Science of Orgasm, “orgasm is an intense, pleasurable response to genital stimulation: penile physical stimulation in males and clitoral or vaginal physical stimulation in females.” [1] The book goes on to highlight that other sensory stimulation can create an orgasmic experience in both genital and non-genital areas, including but not limited to breast, nipples, mouth, anus, ears, lips and through thought, imagery or visualisation. For both men and women, an orgasm can be described as a build-up of tension that is released. For those on a spiritual path, an ecstatic orgasm is a whole body, transcendental experience; spiritual ecstasy which does not require any touch whatsoever.

For men specifically, research shows that there was a decrease of cerebral blood flow during orgasm in all other cortical areas except in right prefrontal cortex, where the cerebral blood flow increased significantly [2] which shows the feedback system for where that release is felt in the brain.

In women orgasm secretes oxytocin into the bloodstream and generates a feeling similar to nursing and childbirth. However, there is no known biological function of orgasm, as opposed to men where the sperm is released. Historically speaking, women’s orgasm and indeed pleasure was suppressed and women who enjoyed sex were seen as being impure or whores or witches.

With the rise of film and pornography, orgasm is seen as the end-goal for sexual experience, however, it need not be. In-fact, you can have a wonderful sexual experience, either alone or partnered (or with others) without having reached orgasm. By making orgasm the peak of the sexual experience, it can diminish intimacy and your connection to yourself or your partner as you miss all those other moments of pleasure along the way.

Whether we like it or not people have sex. People orgasm. And this card, when used with a partner, offers open dialogue to talk about orgasm and masturbation in a way that doesn’t require one or both partners to “fake” it. If we aren’t feeling like our needs are being met, then we need to address it before it becomes a problem between us.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

Where do these feelings I have about orgasm/masterbation come from?

Have you always felt the same about orgasm/masturbation or have you changed over time?

Is orgasm just focused genitally?

How important is orgasm to you?

Have you ever experienced an ecstatic orgasm?

Has orgasm been different for you with different partners?

How is orgasm alone and orgasm partnered the same? Different?

I encourage you to leave your answers below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne and Chakra Cards 2017

 

 

 

[1] Komisaruk, Barry R., Carlos Beyer-Flores, and Beverly Whipple. The science of orgasm. JHU Press, 2008.
[2]. Tiihonen, Jari, et al. “Increase in cerebral blood flow of right prefrontal cortex in man during orgasm.” Neuroscience letters 170.2 (1994): 241-243.

 

Yoni gazing; learning to love your pussy

orange blog 2 1june17

Orange – Sacral Chakra – Water element – Feeling –

Relationships, sexuality, creativity, origins.

When you look at a vagina, what do you feel or think? Grab a mirror and gaze lovingly at it or gaze lovingly at a partners’.

While shuffling, this card flipped out on its own, and I immediately thought, ‘I can’t publish that on my website’, but then I realised how important this conversation is. It’s called lots of things: pussy, yoni, cunt, vajayjay, cock sock, hump hole, lovebox, fanny, poonanie and some of the more unusual; vertical bacon sandwich, bearded clam and fish sandwich but for the purposes of this blog, we will be using the anatomical term vagina to describe the vagina, labia and clitoris.

Ultimately this question is about body acceptance and loving the vessel that we are in, or if the card is selected for a man, loving the feminine. In the tantric tradition, it is called Yoni Gazing and is an amazing technique to build connection between partners. But this card could also be about sex and our experiences of sex and even for a gay man, this card is significant in how he may see the vagina. There’s an awesome video on YouTube about just that here. There’s something quite fun and innocent about exploring our bodies and just enjoying them for what they are. We have lost our innocence in exploration and curiosity, and are exposed to social expectations of what a vagina should look like based on fashion trends such as hair removal and photoshopped pornographic norms.

According to the latest research there has been an increase of 109% of labiaplasty (read more about it here)  in the UK alone.[1] This reflects a wider trend towards cosmetic surgery in western societies. From a very young age we are exposed to overt sexuality and there are two forms of women who choose to have a labiaplasty; those who have functional issues and those who want their vaginas changed for cosmetic reasons. However, according to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, surgeons themselves have ethical concerns about performing labiaplasties on normally anatomical women.[2] When we look at the psychological motivations for cosmetic labiaplasty, for the people who wanted the surgery, there was “increased dissatisfaction” about their genital appearance, “lower sexual satisfaction” and poor body image. There were a large proportion of women who met criteria for body dysmorphic disorder. [3]

One of the most beautiful artworks to appear in recent years was by artist, Jamie McCartney who made a cast called The Great Wall of Vagina in 2008, see his bio and artwork here, but is shows the incredible diversity of vaginas. There is no “right way” for a vagina to look, just as we all have different eye colours, different nose shapes or heights, our vaginas are different than others and that’s okay and this art piece demonstrates this beautifully.

The vagina is the entrance to a woman sexually but it is also the place where we birth babies (in a traditional sense), after giving birth to my first child, the nurse told me to grab a mirror and have a look. It was the first time I’d seen a vagina and only hours after birth, it was just a gaping hole! I can still see it in my mind today. Since then, I’ve learned to love my vagina in all its original beauty. This card is not about sex. Sex forms a part of this card and activity, but it is a conversation about how we feel about our bodies, or that of our partner.

For some women, letting a man into her vagina, means that he’s getting access to her most private self. Learning to look at our vagina, to touch it, to get to know it helps a woman to access her sensuality and feel appreciated. Whether we like it or not, women have vaginas! Whether you have one or not, it’s important to appreciate what they offer for both men and women.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

Do I like looking at my/my partners/a vagina?

What does it represent to me?

Have I/my partner/women in my life experienced vaginal trauma? How has that impacted me/them?

How do I feel when I/my partner gaze at my vagina?

What do I see when I look at my/a vagina?

I encourage you to leave your answers below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing. I’d love to hear some thoughts from the LGTBA community here as well.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

 

 

 

[1] http://baaps.org.uk/baapsmedia/docs/160813_daily_mail.pdf
[2] Rogers, Rebecca G, 2014, Most women who undergo labiaplasty have normal anatomy; we should not perform labiaplasty, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 211, Issue 3, September 2014, Pages 218–220, 218.e, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2014.06.020
[3] Veale, D., Eshkevari, E., Ellison, N., Costa, A., Robinson, D., Kavouni, A., & Cardozo, L. (2014). Psychological characteristics and motivation of women seeking labiaplasty. Psychological Medicine, 44(3), 555-566. doi:10.1017/S0033291713001025

 

 

When other people’s opinions matter…

indigo blog 1 25may17

Indigo – Ajna – Spirit – Intuition – Inner vision –

Bindu chakra – spiritual vision – connecting to the wisdom of the cosmos.

Do other people’s opinions about you matter to you? Why?

Ultimately this question is about whether you value other people’s opinions and how much influence they have on your own decision making and sense of self-worth.

This question is very weighted towards your sense of self. Because it’s asking about other people’s opinions about you. We are complex beings who really just want to be loved for who we are. When people judge or criticise us and we haven’t got a positive sense of self, then we are vulnerable. People can be persuasive and when we hear an opinion often enough, we start to believe it, regardless of the message. Of course, not all opinions are negative.

A study by Yaniv in 2004 found that people value their own opinions more than someone elses, but they also found that if they were knowledgeable about the topic, they would take their own advice and discount others. [1]  This means, that the more we have confidence in our knowledge about something, the more we would trust ourselves to make our own decisions. But what if someone is giving us unsolicited advice or their opinions about things like parenting, our intimate relationships and even or appearance? Surely, we know ourselves better than someone outside us?

It is normal to seek advice when making decisions but sometimes people’s opinions are unwarranted and unnecessary to our development. We know ourselves best, that’s why we made the Chakra Cards, to help people find their own power within. But sometimes asking opinions is helpful.

Should we listen to these opinions or discount them? According to Yaniv, when making decisions, “integrating even a few opinions is beneficial,”[2] but not at the expense of our privacy, or values. So then how do we stop unsolicited opinions and do we want to? One of the best ways to stop this is to speak honestly to people, “Thank you so much for your advice, I’ll take it into consideration” is a non-confrontational response. Not only are you validating the person whose opinion it is, but you are taking on-board their views. How you use their opinion it is entirely your choice but rather than turning it into conflict, you’ve both walked away being honest to your truth.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

Do what others say to and about you have any weighting on your life?

Do you remember the first time that you ignored other people’s opinions about you and your life and did it anyway? How did it work out?

When is accepting other people’s opinions okay? When is it okay to ignore them?

When have you allowed other people’s opinions to sway you? What was the outcome?

Are you in a situation now where other people’s opinions are influencing your behaviour, your thoughts or life?

Other people’s opinions can give us some sense of self of where we are in the world but it’s up to us to decide what values we take on of others that do not belong to us. It’s about taking responsibility for what is ours and what lifts us up and letting go of things that really don’t matter.

I encourage you to leave your answers to the questions below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

[1] Ilan Yaniv, (2004), Receiving other people’s advice: Influence and benefit, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 93, Issue 1, January 2004, Pages 1–13, Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2003.08.002
[2] Ilan Yaniv (2016), The Benefit of Additional Opinions, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol 13, Issue 2, pp. 75 – 78, First published date: June-23-2016, 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00278.x

 

 

 

 

 

How our mothers’ love affects us

20170518_103341

Orange – Sacral Chakra – Water element – Feeling –

Relationships, sexuality, creativity, origins.

Describe your positive and negative aspects of your relationship with your mother? Grandmothers? Aunties? Sisters?

While shuffling, this card flipped out on its own, so rather than inserting it back into the deck, I sat it aside and reflected.

Ultimately this question is about your relationship with the women in your life. The question identifies specific family members because they form our early close relationships and how those relationships form your early perceptions of women based on their behaviour, attitudes and values.

Many people have had a less than positive childhood, the reproductive strategy theory suggests that a stressful childhood and insecure relationships with parents results in behaviour problems, early puberty and “precocious sexuality,” whereas a supportive and connected childhood rears a more balanced child and therefore adult. [1] Other studies done on the relationship between parents and children show that attachment in childhood to one or both parents show our psychological well-being, self-esteem and life satisfaction directly correlates to our quality of attachment to parents. That is, if adolescents feel securely attached to the parents, they feel better about themselves and can cope with life better.[2]

Whether we like it or not, the women in our lives give us insights into the behaviours we come to expect from all women. Those early experiences shape our perspective of women. This question is for both men and women and affect our worldview and possibly who we are, women we attract into our life, who we become (for women) and how we parent and the fingerprint we leave on our children.

Further questions to reflect on for this card include:

How solid was my relationship with the female relatives in my life in the past? How solid is it now?

How am I nurturing those relationships today?

Do I continue to play out these qualities of my attachment to my mother/grandmother/aunties/sisters?

How often do I reflect on how I am today due to those relationships?

How did my relationship with them form who I am today and how I approach them, and furthermore, all women?

A further study assessed qualities of relationships in childhood and confirmed that parents followed by grandparents “were turned to most often for affection, enhancement of worth, a sense of reliable aid and instrumental aid.”[3] In our global community, so many of us are disconnected as adults from our mothers, grandmothers, aunties and sisters due to distance. We feel that absence. Our families are no longer multi-generational, but fragmented and scattered across the globe. I have lived away from my family of birth now for six years and I feel the distance keenly. There’s no doubt that they drive me nuts sometimes, but family is family. Ultimately, they love us and how they show it may not always be what we are accustomed to.

Similarly, this card points to our role as a mother, grandmother, auntie or sister (if a woman) or how women in our lives reflect those early influences (for men).

I encourage you to leave your answers below and we will hold space for you and offer a space of healing.

In love,

Alyssa @Chakra Cards

©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017

[1] Belsky, J., Steinberg, L. and Draper, P. (1991), Childhood Experience, Interpersonal Development, and Reproductive Strategy: An Evolutionary Theory of Socialization. Child Development, 62: 647–670. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1991.tb01558.x
[2] Armsden, G.C. & Greenberg, M.T. J Youth Adolescence (1987) 16: 427. doi:10.1007/BF02202939
[3] Furman, Wyndol; Buhrmester, Duane, (Nov.1985), Children’s perceptions of the personal relationships in their social networks. Developmental Psychology, Vol 21(6), 1016-1024.http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.21.6.1016

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: