The Third Chakra — the SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra

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The Third Chakra — SOLAR PLUXUS Chakra

chakra 3

The third Chakra is about self esteem.

The spot is direct­ly below the low­er ribs, a bit below where they meet. (At the Solar Plexus.)
Find it by fol­low­ing the ribs upward until they meet, then move down one inch, to a spot below the Xiphoid Process.

The colour of the third Chakra isbright yel­low.

The Third Chakra is at the solar plexus, just below the Xiphoid Process.

The third Chakra is the home of self esteem. This is the place where we feel anx­i­ety. It’s “in the pit of your stom­ach.” Anx­i­ety, then, is a self-esteem issue. It is you that is anx­ious, after all.

This place is also home to your good feel­ings about your­self. As Snoopy used to say, “Hap­pi­ness is a warm tum­my.” Block­ages will show up as mid back prob­lems, stom­ach and diges­tion prob­lems, and that “queasy feeling.”

The Development of a Self

The Chakras are metaphors, in addi­tion to being ener­gy cen­tres. As we work our way through the sev­en main Chakras, we will be return­ing to the devel­op­men­tal stages one can con­nect to each of them. 

Back on the intro­duc­to­ry page, there’s a chart that lists the sev­en Chakras, Maslow’s hier­ar­chy of needs, and Car­olyn Myss’ ideas of the psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­o­log­i­cal mean­ing of the Chakras. If you take a moment to look at the chart, you’ll see that there is a pat­tern of devel­op­ment that we ignore at our peril. 

The strength of the third Chakra depends upon the suc­cess­ful devel­op­ment of the first two. 

The First Chakra 

As was sug­gest­ed by Maslow, the first order of busi­ness for an infant is to become con­scious of his envi­ron­ment. (Chakra 1) This is a rudi­men­ta­ry con­scious­ness made up of sen­so­ry data (hunger / cold / wet / hot / sleepy / full, etc.) This is the pri­ma­ry state for infants for per­haps six months. 

The Second Chakra 

The sec­ond stage (cor­re­spond­ing to the sec­ond Chakra) is iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of me / not me. The infant begins to dif­fer­en­ti­ate from ‘moth­er.’ The object that feeds me goes away and comes back. This is rudi­men­ta­ry relating—as the child devel­ops social skills and begins to read facial expres­sions, tones of voice, etc. and to mod­i­fy him­self to have his needs met. This is also a pri­ma­ry self-explo­ration stage, as the child gains suf­fi­cient motor skills to explore her body, again dis­cov­er­ing ‘me / not me.’ Not coin­ci­den­tal­ly, the gen­i­tals become objects of fascination. 

The Third Chakra 

The third stage, which goes on for some years, (and is the key to the third Chakra) is the birth and estab­lish­ment of a per­son­al self-con­cept. We’ll short­hand this to “the ego self.” 

In Chakra the­o­ry, the first three Chakras are the phys­i­cal Chakras, and the remain­ing four the spir­i­tu­al Chakras. From a prac­ti­cal point of view, the top four deal with being and enact­ing, while the first three are about inter­act­ing with a phys­i­cal reality.

Developmental Stages

We do not nor­mal­ly think about the inter­re­lat­ed­ness of the stages of our devel­op­ment, because we actu­al­ly do not remem­ber much of it. Most of us only have fleet­ing mem­o­ries of our­selves pri­or to age 6 or so. What is going on, how­ev­er, is that par­ents and tribes are giv­ing the child an ‘ego-self.’ This is done by trib­al bless­ing of social­ly approved of behav­iours, while con­demn­ing behav­iours the tribes frown upon.

Bear in mind that such dif­fer­en­ti­a­tions are not ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ They are beliefs held by the peo­ple in charge of the the child (in a very real sense, in charge of whether the child lives or dies.) The child has noth­ing to com­pare the trib­al deci­sion to; there is no choice but to comply.

It is from with­in this milieu that all of us arose as ego-selves. We learned cul­tur­al­ly enforced sex-appro­pri­ate con­duct (The eas­i­est way to think about this is to con­tem­plate the way women are raised by var­i­ous cul­tures. There are quite bla­tant dif­fer­ences, again not right or wrong, but cer­tain­ly different.) 

body impressions

Cultural and moral issues are often programmed in

It might be said that the emer­gence of an ego-self is actu­al­ly a tight­en­ing down of the first two Chakras. Sex­u­al and rela­tion­ship rules replace the easy-going feel­ing of hav­ing a sen­su­al body. Rigid beliefs of tribe and cul­ture replace the wide-eyes won­der of child­hood. Right/wrong, good/bad dichotomies arise, and for many, nev­er go away.

Third Chakra Tensions 

self esteem

The cre­ation of the ego-self is com­plete by age 12–14 or so. It is also at this time that ‘stom­ach trou­bles’ flare up—I remem­ber being giv­en ‘stom­ach med­i­cine’ to treat a sick stom­ach that coin­cid­ed with a rough grade six expe­ri­ence (I lat­er dis­cov­ered the liq­uid in the bot­tle was cher­ry sug­ar water giv­en to me by a wise doctor…) 

Many are the teens who begin a life-long familiarity with queasiness related to self-esteem-busting things like speaking in public, nudity, arguing, etc.

The queasi­ness might be thought of as a war going on between the ego-self and the true-self. Teen rebel­lion is noth­ing more than the per­va­sive feel­ing of uneasi­ness that accom­pa­nies the real­iza­tion that ‘some­thing isn’t quite right here.’ Who I am told I am, and how I am expect­ed to act, does not ‘match’ who I intu­it myself to be.

For most, the bat­tle is short-lived. Most sur­ren­der to the tribe, behave, clamp down, tight­en, freeze the pelvis, and live stunt­ed and incom­plete lives, com­plete with tons of ‘some day I’ll change this’ lies. 

Opening the Third Chakra

I’ve found that the region of the stom­ach, below the xiphoid process and above the navel line, con­tains much repressed mate­r­i­al. It’s tricky for some clients to even let me work on this area.

There’s much to be gained, however,by work­ing in this area. There are real­ly only two ways to do so—one is to firm­ly grasp and squeeze the stom­ach mus­cles, and the oth­er is to work your hand in under the ribs. The lat­ter requires that the recip­i­ent relax their stom­ach mus­cles com­plete­ly, and “let me in,” a tricky propo­si­tion for most people. 

Most are quite defended in the belly region. 

under ribs

Breathwork is another tool that can help release the belly, especially if it is coordinated with a pelvic tilt.


I urge my clients to thor­ough­ly ques­tion their pre­sup­po­si­tions. I cov­ered a plan for iden­ti­fy­ing these pre-sup­po­si­tions in my book, “Liv­ing Life in Grow­ing Orbits,” which is now avail­able as a down­load­able pack­age. I’ve scanned two of the key pages for you to use to check out your beliefs! 

Per­haps one of the most impor­tant self-explo­rations is to iden­ti­fy one’s core beliefs—the items that make up the ego-self. This tends to be a scary process, as let­ting go of long held beliefs brings up exis­ten­tial anxiety—will I be shunned, dri­ven out, killed, once my tribe finds out? 

One of our friends is on her 40s. She’s nev­er had a func­tion­al rela­tion­ship with her par­ents, yet keeps head­ing off to remote places, try­ing to “bond” with her moth­er. It does­n’t work, but her core, or ego-self belief is that she ‘should’ love and like her moth­er. The old­er she gets, the more rigid­ly she believes what she believes.

The oth­er day, she was talk­ing about get­ting old­er and how her body is doing. 

She said, “I’m not as flexible as I used to be.’ 

I said, “And that’s your present life issue. You are not as flex­i­ble as you could be, and it’s not about your body.” Per­haps flex­i­bil­i­ty would be let­ting go of her belief regard­ing a rela­tion­ship with her moth­er. Hmm. 

Have a look at what beliefs you are hold­ing on to. Ques­tion every­thing. Ask your­self what you want to be, accom­plish, exper­i­ment with, and ask your­self what is hold­ing you back.

Then, breathe, let go, and give each thing a shot. 

You may amaze your­self with the results. 

Use the Chart, above, to view other Chakras, 
or click below to move to the next Chakra 

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