Coming Out Of The Cave: Spring Cleaning Your Chakras

Coming Out Of The Cave: Spring Cleaning Your Chakras

It’s been a long winter. Pandemic restrictions have curtailed most of the activity that enriches our lives throughout the dark months. We are hungry for connection, but out of practice in being together.

When mama first wakes from her winter sleep and lumbers our of the cave, she’s hungry. There isn’t much to forage for her and her little cubs, but the two-legged ones (humans) leave plenty of yummy food outside in large feeding barrels, and tasty seed in smaller feeders hanging from low branches. It’s more than enough to tide a hungry bear and her cubs over until the first berries.

I’m reminded of the brown bears of my realm. They will be coming out of hibernation soon. They’re stirring now, in their dens, mamas with little cubs ready to frolic into the big, bright world outside. I probably wouldn’t give the bears much thought, if it wasn’t for their mischievous behaviors.

The bears that tip over my trash cans and smash my bird feeders are only doing what comes naturally, as bothersome as it may be to me.

Coming Out Of The Cave

Now that spring is here we’re as anxious to come out of our self imposed hibernation as the bears. And with the availability of a vaccine that promises to slow the infection rate of the virus we’re venturing out in droves, hungry for connection.

It seems, though, that some of us have forgotten our manners during the long months of isolation. Like the bears crashing through back yards, kicking over trash cans, and smashing bird feeders in pursuit of satisfying their immediate needs, many of us are stuck in self preservation mode. We’ve been so hyper focused on safely getting through the task of the minute for so long, that it seems we’ve forgotten how to pay attention to anything outside our personal bubble.

A few days ago, driving to the grocery store, I came to four-way stop only seconds before the gentleman to my right. I waved for him to proceed through the intersection before me as he was going straight across and I was turning left. He waved back at me to go. His quick gesture and impatient expression said quite loudly what I was sure he was thinking, “You have the right of way.”  

I proceeded through the intersection and he followed. When I began to slow down for my left turn just a few blocks further along, he took to the shoulder and sped around my vehicle. By then I was positive he was shouting “Stupid woman driver!” through his closed window.

Short Circuited

At the intersection, I’d tried to be courteous but failed to connect. It irked me when he sped around me, his tires spitting up gravel from the side of the road. In my head I could hear him calling me a stupid woman driver.

“Yeah, well, stupid yourself! I retorted for my own ears. “If you were in such a hurry, you should have gone before me when I gave you the chance.”

I’d offered a gesture of kindness that was rebuked. Angered at not being appreciated, I projected my feelings onto him, putting words in his mouth. He, in such a hurry to get where he was going, became impatient with a driver wasting time instead of just sticking to the established rules of the road. Like the hungry bears, how easily we both turned an interaction between two people into taking what we needed, feeding ego and and breaking the circuit between us.

At my destination, before leaving my car I secured my mask over my mouth and nose. Inside the grocery store I noticed an increase in the number of those not wearing a mask at all, or covering only their mouth. I felt my outrage rising up from my solar plexus like a fire. It burned my throat with the harsh words I choked back. I fumed about inconsiderate people all the way home.

On the evening news, I watched stories of vaccinated grandparents reuniting with the grandchildren they hadn’t seen for months—hugs all around. The ache in my heart quickly turned to resentment. Why them and not me? It will be months before I’m able to hug my children or grandchildren again.

People Need People

We all need connections with other people, in our own measure, even those who are self avowed introverts. Just look to the studies of detachment syndrome among orphaned infants in overcrowded and understaffed institutions. Deprived of early human bonding, they struggle to find meaningful relationships in their lives.

After months of social and physical distancing, I believe it’s not only our physical bonds that have been weakened, but also our energetic bonds that have short circuited—we are being chakra blocked.

My overactive ego, indignant at not being appreciated is stuck in my root charka. My resentment for not being one of the lucky ones to receive a vaccine is coming from my strangled heart charka. The words I put in everybody’s mouths is guess work at best, faulty intuition in my brow chakra. I believe some chakra balancing work is in order.

All Is Not Lost

Our weakened relationship skills in the aftermath of a year of isolation, are like the leaves on a deciduous tree that wither and fall when cold air and dark hours cause the sap to descend to the roots. We are not dead. Our need to reunite with our family and friends, to reach out to our neighbors, and reconnect with our communities in meaningful ways is there, waiting to rise again


More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

Copyright © 2017 by Ada Limón. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 15, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

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Sunday, March 21

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Willow Rose

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