After an evening of rich food and cocktails, I woke up the following morning in some discomfort. Yes, I was constipated.
Anticipating having to sit on the toilet for a while, I grabbed some reading matter to help me pass the time - if nothing else - off the top of my pile of unread books. It was Chakra Clearing: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal by Doreen Virtue.
This wasn't anything I had bought myself – it was one of those books that got given to someone as a present and then handed around from person to person. I didn't need to be psychic to work that out - the fact that it had “Happy Birthday” written on the flysheet and was dog-eared was enough material evidence.
I'd never read anything by Doreen Virtue before. Her stuff had always seemed a bit overly fluffy with titles about angels and dolphins, which I know are popular subjects but aren't really my thing. Nevertheless, I was quite happy to give this one on chakras a read, particularly as it hadn't cost me anything. And after reading a few pages while sitting on the loo something certainly cleared, though I'm not sure it was my chakras.
I was right in thinking the book was a bit on the sweetness and light side: “You are a being composed of light, love and intelligence” the book began. Sitting on the loo with gut ache, I was pretty certain I was composed of other things too. But, when you are feeling a bit s**t, sometimes a gentle feel-good book is just what you need to cheer you up.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Chakra Clearing has a lot of good stuff among the fluffy bits. It is essentially a book of meditations on the theme of chakras – which, it says, are energy centres in your body that relate to various thinking habits as follows:
Root chakra at the base of the spine, relating to basic material needs
Sacral chakra a few inches higher, relating to physical desires
Solar plexus chakra in the stomach area, relating to power and control
Heart chakra in the chest, relating to love and clairsentience
Throat chakra at the Adam's apple, relating to communication
Ear chakras above the ears, relating to clairaudience
Third eye chakra between the eyes relating to clairvoyance
Crown chakra inside the top of the head, relating to claircognisance and divine guidance
The book says that clearing and balancing these chakras will help you overcome any issues you might have in the associated areas as well as make you feel better generally.
Two of the meditations come on a CD enclosed with the book, so you can just sit back and listen to them. Some of the others are apparently available on CDs that you can buy separately – although you could just sit, read and visualise them.
I've done quite a few chakra opening exercises over the years – first at yoga classes. The exercises in this book are a little different to that, I found. Exercises and meditations I've done in the past usually involved drawing energy up from the ground to the base chakra and then through the body, passing out of the top of the head at the crown chakra and then flowing back down to the ground like a fountain.
In the meditations in Chakra Clearing the source of the energy is seen as divine light. I suspect this is because the book has an emphasis that feels more inspired by Christianity, or at least the concept of there being a single source of divine energy, rather than coming from pantheistic, pagan or nature-based traditions.
Once I was off the loo, I put the CD on and tried out the first of the meditations. I was suitably impressed. Fluffy and light it may be, but it was effective and certainly left me feeling much better than I was when I got up in the morning.
The book also recommends giving up booze and chocolate – apparently they are very bad for your chakras – but I'm not sure I'm ready to go quite that far...
Chakra Clearing: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal: Book + CD (Book & CD) is available through Amazon
Chakra Clearing: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal: Book + CD (Book & CD)