This is the third in a series of excerpts from How To Rule Your World From The Inside Out: The Art Of Inner Leadership.

4th Chakra: The dance of sovereignty and love

What are some of the challenges to sovereignty that you encounter in your fourth chakra?

The light of your soul shines in your heart. In what ways do you hide or dim your light?

Too often, we carry beliefs that who we are is either not enough or too much. So we strive to become more of what we think other people want us to be, or less of what we imagine they don’t want us to be.

These beliefs may have been acquired many years ago, in response to relationships and situations that no longer exist in your life. Yet they continue to shape your relationship with yourself, contract your energy field, and diminish your infinite potentials and capacities.

Think of a time, recently, when you shrank or diminished yourself in order to feel safe.

When you made yourself invisible even though in your heart, you wanted to be seen.

We need to be seen and loved for who we are. When we make ourselves smaller than we are, when we limit our sense of possibility and potential, we give up our crowns. We pretend to be something we’re not.

This pretense eventually damages your inner sense of yourself. It will cause you to mistrust your essential self-to mistrust your own feelings, thoughts, and your inner knowing about what is right for you.

Wearing a mask that’s too small creates conflict in your heart, between your essential self, which is expansive, loving and filled with creative possibility, and those internalized critical voices that attempt to keep you in a box. That override your heart’s inner direction.

You can address these voices directly, first by recognizing that they are not you, and then by asking them to leave the circle of your inner selves. Talk with the selves who have internalized these beliefs. Ask them to show you the truth that they carry in their essence, in their hearts. Affirm that essential truth, and let its clearer, stronger vibration dissolve the untruths that have led to contraction and fragmentation.

Remember, wholeness has infinitely more power than any force that divides and isolates.

Another challenge to sovereignty in the 4th chakra arises out of our need for love and appreciation. When you remember that these are spiritual qualities that reside within you, you can meet those needs internally first. You can connect with the Deva of Love, and the Deva of Appreciation, and ask for their help. You can fill yourself with the qualities of love and appreciation.

When you forget that you have direct access to these qualities because they are qualities of your soul, you try to fill the emptiness within you by looking to others for love and approval.

And when people sense your emptiness, lack and neediness, they contract away from you, out of their own fear and fragmentation. Which perpetuates the painful cycle of need and lack.

We respond to the unspoken thoughts, feelings, beliefs and energy of the people we surround ourselves with. When you’re with someone who loves you, who delights in you, who thinks you are wonderful, brilliant, hilarious, adorable, you feel like a shinier, more radiant version of your everyday self.

Conversely, when you’re with someone who judges you-who thinks you’re dull, boring, ineffective, or stupid, you will begin to feel that way about yourself too.

Thoughts, beliefs, judgments and so on exert a pressure on your energy field to conform to them. When your energy field is filled with your presence, external forces have less power to shape it in accordance with their vibration.

The solution is not to run away from anyone who doesn’t adore you, though you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time with people who don’t love and appreciate you.

Rather, it is to build a strong inner sense of love and appreciation for who you are. Cultivate a relationship with all of your selves. Cultivate the qualities of trust and appreciation, beginning with yourself and then extending those qualities to others in your life.