Expanded Thoughts

A Note to Readers – It might help to know that this post is an expansion of my thoughts from an article posted on July 16, 2021 on Chip Conley’s wonderful website, The Modern Elder Academy in his Wisdom Well blog. If you have come from that post, or have arrived here by intention or accident, “Welcome!” 


An exploration, an inquiry: having lived seven decades and entering my eighth, how has my life-force moved through my seven chakras?

Chakra: in ancient Sanskrit, chakra (pronounced with a hard “ch” like chime and a rolled “r”) means “wheel” and refers to energy points in our bodies. The seven chakras are thought to be spinning, unseen disks of energy.

The chakra energy centers are aligned via the Sushumna Nadi up and down the center of the spine and rotate freely without blockage for optimum physical and emotional health and well-being. The practice of Kundalini Yoga works to keep the spine open and flexible for life’s full expression and to develop awareness about our subtle/energetic body.

Birth to Ten Years: 1951 – 1961
The First Root Chakra: Muladhara means Base of Support at the base of the spine. The qualities associated with this chakra are grounding, stability, security and support.

My earliest memory: I am 4- 5 years old, sitting on Grandpa Winn’s lap. He is teaching me to tie my shoes. I feel secure and loved. I start school, I feel different from other children.

I want to stay home and play. I hate school. I have a dark secret…I like other boys. My grounding base of support are my parents, sister, cousins, aunts and uncles. I feel seen and loved. I am learning to depend on myself and continue to contemplate I may be the only little boy in the world who feels this way. I search for some kind of higher power to help me.

As a child what were your fears?

Ten to Twenty Years: 1961 – 1971
The Second Sacral Chakra: Svadhistana means Inner Dwelling Place at the reproductive organs. Qualities associated with this chakra are fluidity, receptivity, creativity and pleasure.

I am drawn to God, even at ten years old. I still think I may be the only boy growing into a young man who is attracted to the same sex. I have a girlfriend, we have sex.

At the end of this decade, I discover my full sexual expression with another man. I am 18 years old. It is indeed an inner dwelling place. I am creative, perceptive and learning to explore life’s pleasures. I am curious about the world and other people. Singing is my creative passion and the way I most honestly express myself. I am developing a higher sense of intuition.

What were your first sexual experiences and how did they impact you?

Photos from Decades: One & Two

Twenty to Thirty Years: 1971 – 1981
The Third Solar Plexus Chakra: Manipura means City of Gems at the solar plexus, our core. The qualities associated with this chakra are vitality, determination, conscious action and divine will.

College graduation arrives. I am in West Berlin, I enter the world stage as a performer: full of vitality, determination and very much connected to a higher power.

I observe myself and others feeling connected and disconnected at the same time. I travel seven years through Germany, England and the west coast of the U.S., performing without a permanent home, moving from one hotel to another. I have no sense of place or home because we are always traveling. Our contract is canceled in a Nevada casino, the owner”s girlfriend suspects my homosexuality. I retreat to the closet for the remainder of the decade. I am living out the heat of the solar plexus. I am not living my authentic life.

When have you felt the power of your gut? How did you act on it?

Thirty to Forty Years: 1981 – 1991
The Fourth Heart Chakra: Anahata means Unstruck/Unhurt at the heart center. Qualities associated with this chakra are love, compassion, empathy and forgiveness.

Throughout this decade I find connection. I experience love and all the positive and negative emotions associated with love. My heart is broken.

I feel abandoned and learn some of life’s biggest lessons: self-love, self-compassion, empathy, forgiveness and
ultimately self-acceptance.

My sales and executive career flourishes. My personal life spans three relationships. My life feels compartmentalized: a kind of don’t ask/don’t tell experience. For the first time I truly embody the metaphysical truth that my consciousness is like a radio station. I am continuously broadcasting my thoughts, feelings, impressions, intentions and I receive signals of like value.
I come roaring out of the closet. It is 1988 and another anti-gay ballot measure appears on the Oregon ballot. I am making that long 18-inch journey from my head to my heart.

When has your heart been broken? How did you grow?

Photos from Decades: Three & Four

Forty to Fifty Years: 1991 – 2001
The Fifth Throat Chakra: Vishuddha means Purification at the throat center. Qualities associated with this chakra are communication, expansion, discernment and purification.

AIDS purifies my spirit. The first two years of this decade are a deep dive. I feel it is work for my soul and this pandemic is way beyond the effects of my personality. I explore my own internalized anger and homophobia.