A student recently asked me about the throat chakra. At first all the usual information came to mind, the color blue, the element of sound, communication. Anyone can read about these in a book, but how can we apply this knowledge about the throat chakra to our daily lives? How can we make use of this very powerful Chakra?

I brought these questions into my meditation and this is what showed up. We are social animals. We need community, companionship and family. But each of us is contained in our bodies, and consciousness with unique experiences, so community is not possible unless we are willing to share and open up. If we don’t open up at least a little then we remain isolated. The throat chakra is our primary means to share our selves with the people in our lives and the world at large. Every voice needs to be heard.

Fear is toxic to the throat chakra, suppressing and quieting the energies of communication. This fear stems from the fear of rejection or judgment; that our inner experiences won’t be accepted if shared. This was a huge hurdle for me, as I was getting ready to step forward as a Yoga teacher. Growing up as a very sensitive kid I was painfully shy, too shy to speak up for myself. I was so shy that I couldn’t read out loud in school. I was so worried about making a mistake that I could barely speak. Never mind public speaking.

When I had the realization that it was my dharma to teach Yoga, that I needed to stand up in front of a group and speak…out loud… for 90 or more minutes, this fear came up strongly. Also at this time I felt ready to step out of the spiritual closet and let people in on some of the realizations that brought ease and excitement to my life.

This opened me to a very vulnerable place. Even though it was very scary, I knew it was important for my growth and forward movement. My first teaching experience was in front of 40 fellow students during my 20-minute practicum in Hatha Yoga Teacher Training and again I found I could barely talk. The fear kept me from speaking loudly and projecting my voice. Technically my teaching was strongbut that didn’t matter if no one could hear me. As hard as it was for me to project my voice and be heard I knew it was important. Something that has been with me my whole life, watching over me, was telling me that I needed to do this. So I felt the fear and choose to do it anyway, and did it again and again until it started to feel more normal and more comfortable.  Until I found myself on the other side of the fear, no longer ruled by it, and confidently able to speak up in public in groups small and large.

This is where we come to the power of vulnerability. I believe that we are everything, every person, place and thing. We are the totality of spirit. Fear acts as a barrier. Separating us from the width and breadth of who we really are. In order to connect with everything, we need to allow everything. Drop the judgments and the fear of being judged. Then we can truly open to all that we are, becoming vulnerable in the process. The fact is that not everyone is going to like what you say. In fact some people might be downright hostile about it. When we stop trying to please everyone and instead speak from the heart knowing not everyone will accept it, we can let go of the fear. Self-acceptance is key here.

It’s very important to become present to how you are using the energies of the throat chakra. The energy of communication can be used to hurt, judge or put down. It can also be used to uplift, teach and love. How are you using your voice?

We are all in this together, as one. To be one, we need to connect. To connect, we need to open and become vulnerable and speak loudly from our hearts. Even and especially if its not part of the norm or what’s already accepted and common.

It’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to open the throat chakra, to speak, and to put yourself out there. Every experience is valid, needed and necessary if we are to evolve, connect and move forward as one.

Abe Cartland