Decluttering on the road to joy


I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being. Hafiz

After publishing my last post, for days after, there was a sense of nothingness. No ideas, no burning desire to write. Feeling my inspiration had dried up, I began to wonder if I’d ever write again. So dramatic!

I remained calm, remembering how the words had flowed so effortlessly only days before. Having suffered at times from long bouts of writer’s block – an uninspired mind does fill me with panic.

It has been a sad couple of weeks, it seems appropriate to not be running around with a mad zest for life under the circumstances.

Coupled with this sadness is the recent realisation that my emotional default setting is somewhat primed towards fear, sadness, loss, and disappointment. On well-worn neural pathways, these old afflictions march out like an indefatigable army of sadness.

In fact, the world itself seemed to be a perpetual source of fresh ammunition: war, hunger, destruction, greed, and hatred paraded across my consciousness with neon placards. Hope seemed a futile and meaningless endeavour in the face of this onslaught.

The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts. Alain de Botton

Now I’m not saying I should suppress these feelings, or be rid of them entirely, they are a natural reaction to life at times, and I need to let them flow through my experience.

Positive thinking can be effective but there’s no need to be Pollyanna all the time – how irritating would that be –  however it’s unhealthy to have these emotions as my default setting. Languishing in these heavy emotions drains me, causing physical fatigue, and my vital flow is hijacked as these old patterns of thinking and feeling squander all my energy.

Life is sad sometimes, but I don’t want to get stuck there.

Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything godlike about God, it is that. He dared to imagine everything. Henry Miller

I saw that I had to be rid of these old patterns if I was to ever truly embrace manifesting the things I desired in my life. These two states of being were incompatible. How I could I manifest abundance in one hand whilst holding on to disappointment and self-loathing in the other? I couldn’t.

When it got to five days with absolutely zero desire to write I thought I’d better go looking for my spark. Instinctively I meditated on the next chakra and intention on my list, which was the sixth chakra and joy. Joy! Of course that was exactly the shift I needed.

I saw that joy can co-exist with sadness, and will alleviate despair and disappointment. I could grieve for my friend whilst finding joy in the memory of her smile, and her creativity. I could be sad for my friend who lost his partner while laughing with him at a memory of their topsy-turvy life together.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Viktor E. Frankl

And joy allows me to harmonize what is beautiful and good in the world with what is sad, because really it’s all one in the same. Flip sides of the same coin. Loving makes us joyful at times and sad at others. This is the wheel of life.

Even my writing often has the tinge of sadness, regret, disappointment. My thinking – especially when I’m tired or sad – can be very much along the lines of “I should have,” “if only,” or worrying about the future.

Noelle Oxenhandler talks about growing up in a family where worry was used as a talisman to ward off evil. My Irish mother is an A-grade worrier, and I certainly learned from a young age to agonise over every possible misfortune before doing anything – by then I was usually so mentally and spiritually deflated I didn’t want to do it anymore!

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning. Gloria Steinem

Notice she says ‘dreaming’ not ‘worrying’!

Joy is invigorating to spirit, it energises, and I now believe it is a talisman, for if like attracts like, joyful energy is certainly the frequency I wish to put out.

It’s as if my compass is always a little off, a little to the left – a little West – and all this intention-making is about trying to direct myself to my True North. The world knocks me a little to the West, meditation brings me back to North.

Intuition means exactly what it sounds like, in-tuition! An inner tutor or teaching and learning mechanism that takes us forward daily. It is a resource that, where recognized, has infinite potential. Sylvia Clare

Sure enough, a seed began to germinate in my consciousness. As is often the way, something I wrote in my previous post feels unresolved or like shifting sands, metamorphosing, emerging, revealing something new.

Seemingly out of nothing comes this inspiration. A niggle as something takes form in my mind, the seed bursts open, and shoots out, nudging its way through the topsoil of my consciousness, to reach the light of intuition. Then it’s ON!

Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out. Malcolm Gladwell

Of course it’s not really out of nothing, like the big bang itself, all creation is co-creation with what already is, expanding, reconnecting, catalysing. If you believe – as I do – all is one, then everything that is, ever has been, and ever will be is available to us at any and every moment. If we are open to it. If we are conscious and awake and ready.

The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination. Emily Dickinson

The seed that sprouted this week was the realisation that my intentions thus far have been a little hazy. I wrote about this in my last post, as I began to really feel the expression of my purpose to write, and discovered that what I really had so far were intentions for intentions, and that the desire to write was beginning to manifest as some very clear ideas about what I wanted to create in my life.

The sixth chakra, known as the third eye chakra, is the home of visualising intentions. In search of clarifying my inner vision, I rewrote out my intentions in greater detail, asking myself what do I need to be seeing in each vision for my life?

We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognize and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us. But there are other senses – secret senses, sixth senses, if you will – equally vital, but unrecognized, and unlauded. Oliver Sacks

The third eye chakra is known in Sanskrit as Ajna, meaning the centre of command, perception, and summoning. It is associated with intuition, “the sixth sense”, imagination, visualisation, illumination, dreams, and insight.

This is your database of where you create your reality. This is your mission control. Caroline Myss

This chakra governs mental functions of sight and visual recall, including the memory. It is located in the centre of the forehead – inside the head, radiating inwards, it’s focus is self-reflection and inner sight.When something is seen in the mind’s eye, or in a dream, it is being ‘seen’ by Ajna.

Close both eyes. Look from the other eye. Rumi

You can feel this chakra by focusing your consciousness on the space in the centre of your forehead. Imagine in this space, within your head, the entirety of the universe. Visualise stars, galaxies, nebula. Feel the qualities of this energy centre; vastness, clear sight, inner perception, and spaciousness.

It is this gift of seeing – both inner and outer – that is the essence and function of chakra six. Anodea Judith

Healing practices for this chakra include the creative arts, visual stimulation, meditation, dreamwork, and hypnosis.

Intuition is seeing with the soul. Dean Koontz

Just as the previous chakra, the throat chakra, resonated to the vibration of sound, the third eye chakra resonates to the vibration of light. As light is made up of a spectrum of colour, so colour is another form of expression of this chakra, which resonates to the colour indigo, a purplish-blue.

Here’s a super-quick, 4 minute meditation on the third eye chakra for you to try. If you find yourself feeling anxious or down, focusing on your breath, drawing in energy is a wonderful way to shift this, even in a few minutes.

This is a long post, I apologise. It’s been a long journey out of this quagmire of despair into a sense of joy. Like a bright star to navigate the dark night, my intentions keep lighting the way.

At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. Alan Alda

Todays affirmations on the sixth chakra from this article by Natalie Southgate:

The answers to all my questions lie within me..

I trust my insight and intuition.

My intellect is a powerful tool for good.

I trust my inner self to guide and protect me.

My imagination is vivid and powerful.

I am open to the wisdom within me.



Further reading on the sixth/third eye chakra:

Title Image source:



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