Vibes, Chakras, and Power Dynamics

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I had to give a presentation at work this week. More like a lightning talk at the end of our weekly team meeting. We’ve set it up so that each week, a different team member will facilitate the meeting and give a presentation about anything they want at the end.

I decided to present on one of my favorite topics: The Hero’s Journey.

This is actually a HUGE topic. Which I knew, but…. phew 😅

The great thing about a big topic is that you can always revisit it and learn something new.

This time I learned that there was a script reader and story analyst named Christopher Vogler who drew inspiration from Joseph Campbell’s work. Vogler identified patterns in some of the most successful films and TV shows of the time that matched closely with the universal themes Campbell explored in the study of myth. Vogler created a memo outlining these patterns in a screenwriter-focused take on the Hero’s Journey, which ultimately became a book called The Writer’s Journey.

In the 25th anniversary edition of the book, Vogler added a new chapter in the appendix called “It’s All About the Vibes, Man” which goes into detail about how great storytellers can appeal to our emotions. Except he takes it a step further and filters these emotions through the chakra system.

For the unfamiliar, the chakras are a series of energy centers (7 in total) that move all the way up your body from your seat (the root chakra) to the top of your head (the crown chakra).​


Each chakra corresponds to a color and a feeling, emotion, or state of being. As depicted in the image above, the root chakra is red and corresponds with a feeling of basic trust (safety, security, basic needs are being met). If someone’s root chakra is out of balance, they may not be feeling any of these things. And so on and so forth as you move up through the chakras.

Now imagine some of the most memorable films you’ve ever seen. Memorable because your feelings were completely overtaken. Whether you felt fear, suspense, awe, anger, inspiration, happiness, sadness, or longing.

Horror movies, for example (and no thank you!), may depict characters or situations where safety and security have gone out the window (root chakra). You’ve probably seen films where people fall in love or act in courageous ways (heart chakra), or use their voice to speak on injustice (throat chakra), or even blow your mind with concepts that you never imagined (crown chakra).

But what about real life?

We have emotions, but we also have a body. Chakras can help us connect the two.

This is where things get interesting. Especially when it comes to interacting with others. Especially when it comes to forced social situations with thorny power dynamics… like in the workplace or certain community settings.

A long time ago, I used to work for a person who, whenever I’d be in the same room with them, I would have this inner monologue on repeat, “I hate you. OMG I f*cking hate you.”

Harsh, I know.

Not long before that, I had a boss who I would scream at in my dreams.

Ummmm so my throat chakra needed some work.

These seem like a distant memory to me because I learned how to use my voice and speak up. I learned how to communicate more effectively.

More recently, I’ve felt a sharp tightness in my chest when dealing with a certain person in my orbit. I put my hand on my heart and try to understand what is behind the feeling. Am I scared? Am I angry? Am I sad?

And then I try to imagine what they might be feeling.

I zoom out a bit and try to call in the feelings of love, compassion, and forgiveness.

It doesn’t always solve the problem immediately, but it helps me change my perspective and consider new options.

What about you?

  • Have you ever felt an emotion that felt closely connected to your body? What was the feeling, and where in your body did you feel it?
  • Are there certain films, shows, books, or other activities that you are drawn to when you’re in a certain mood? How do your feelings shift as a result?
  • Think about the different kinds of people you interact with on a regular basis. What kind of feelings do they stir up in you?
  • When you’re feeling some kind of duress, where do you feel it in your body? How can you see it differently through the lens of the chakra system?
  • Where have you formerly been out of balance? What kind of journey did you go on to arrive where you are today?

I dig your vibe.

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design strategist + researcher, coach, fun. she/her.

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roz duffy

roz duffy

design strategist + researcher, coach, fun. she/her.

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