Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. John Lennon
I’m conducting a little experiment. It’s 6:30pm. I’m in bed with the laptop – “writing” – and I don’t want to go anywhere. I especially don’t feel like driving across town to sit in a group of people, and meditate on my third eye chakra.
I feel grumpy and hormonal. Anti-social even.
I don’t like the world today. It’s full of petty bureaucrats and mean tram drivers and freak accidents happening to lovely people. (And that’s just my life, I know there’s a whole world of problems out there. Do not go there.)
I just don’t wanna play.
And I’m just coming down from the heady emotional highs of the week. You see, I fell deeply in love, with my newborn niece. Alba.
She’s exquisitely beautiful, and triggered an outpouring of love quite uncharacteristic of my family. And well I rode that love tsunami for most of the week.
Somehow, amongst such joy, my monkey mind started on the whole idea of me and babies. I mean I thought I was done, done, DONE with that. But holding that precious new life, well, it got me thinking.
I’m nearly 42. I’m still fertile, I think. But not for much longer. Soon I won’t have the choice. And that made me feel sad. Like life and all it’s opportunities were just racing past too fast to make the most of them.
While I believe pretty much anything is possible, not EVERYTHING is possible. Maybe I could have another baby, but probably not in addition to doing all the other great stuff I have in mind. I have to make a choice. A decision. I don’t like decisions, I always feel I’m missing out on something.
Anyway, I digress, ah yes, the experiment…
Usually when I write this blog, I do so after meditating – when my chakras are open and I’m beaming frigging rainbows out of my orifices. I like to be inspired when I write.
But that’s not life is it? Life doesn’t happen on a meditation cushion or a yoga mat. It happens in traffic, and chaos, and at the mercy of petty bureaucrats and grumpy tram drivers (I should really let that stuff go, right?)
So I decided, being in a right old grouch, that I would start writing now, and finish writing after my meditation group. A little comparison, if you will.
Why? (I know what you’re thinking. Why can’t I just go to meditation already and save you from reading about my grouchy mood and petty grievances?)
Because I know I’ll be transformed, I always am. Meditation transforms me, of course. But this particular group of women is so awesome. There’s no bullshit, we just sit – and often fidget – and meditate. And sometimes we cry and have a rough time of it, but it’s so real and so worthwhile, and I always go home transformed.
And really that’s what this whole blog is about, transformation.
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. Helen Keller
I didn’t start writing this blog because I had delusions of being some kind of enlightened being. I wrote because even though I was really struggling in my life, I believed that I could transform that struggle into something meaningful and beautiful. Because that’s what I do.
Suffering from eating disorders and depression and addictions propelled me towards seeking something else, something to fill that void in me that is always famished – starving and screaming for filling. The void I tried to fill with food and chemicals and love.
So tonight I feel fractious and disheartened. If you ask me what my vision is for my life, I’d probably say ‘nothing.’ I just want to stuff my face with junk food and watch crap TV. I don’t even want to think about my business, or the work to be done on my studio, or my website or anything like that.
This is why I need a discipline and a practice. Because left alone in my head for too long, this is as good as it gets.
Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. Oscar Wilde
Life can be hard, even when it’s not that hard. I know there’s many, many, many people who’d love my life and my ‘problems.’ But I really struggle, I always have. I make ‘heavy-going’ of life. I’m too sensitive. I suffer more than is required. I get tired and disillusioned. My energy flags and I want to hide away.
In some ways this blog was a shout-out to the universe. If you want me here, show me. Show me how to live better. Be better. Do better.
The universe didn’t talk back in so many words – probably a good thing! But the message I do get is that what the world needs is, not more enlightened people, but more real people talking about their difficulties, their struggles. Their attempts to improve their character even when it feels like life is just chipping away at their veneer and baring their raw skin to the elements.
I don’t think chakra meditation practice is about become a ‘more special’ human being. I think it’s more like playing with the gifts we all already have. It’s actually very ordinary. Beautiful, powerful, but ordinary.
Caroline Myss says the modern discussion of intuition as a ‘special gift’ is a furphy. We are all highly intuitive. It’s just we often don’t want to hear what our intuition has to say. We want our intuition to say “you’re doing great, you are special, you need never do anything you don’t want to, or feel any pain, and everything will be fine.”
When really it’s saying. “Leave this situation. It’s sucking your will to live.” “Yes this will be a hard choice, and it will hurt, a lot, but it’s necessary to your spiritual evolution.” Or “No. You won’t get accolades or awards or recognition, just do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Nup. No one wants to hear that.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18
Intuition is our sixth sense. It is that sense of knowing without knowing how you know. It can mean everyone around you disagrees with your choice, it may even seem crazy, but it feels right.
So I’m back from meditation group.
Tonight we focused on the third eye chakra, which is handy seeing as that’s the chakra I am writing about this week.
My visualisation was strong, as I suppose I should have expected from this chakra. The images I experienced were rather archetypal, and may mean something or nothing, a bit like a dream. It was a guided meditation so some of the vision was prompted, but the details were entirely my own.
In the beginning of the meditation, I was taken to a forest were I encountered a squirrel by a gnarly, black-trunked, giant oak tree.
As I knelt before the tree, a hard exoskeletal shell – like a crab shell – was removed from my back. My hair came off with it and I was temporarily like one of those aliens from Cocoon, consisting entirely of light, until my features and hair ‘regenerated’.
I know, weird right? I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!
The squirrel led me through the forest to a table in a clearing, where a group of people were feasting. My lover was there and greeted me warmly. We sat and shared food and a honey drink. One of the women then gave me a gift – a crystal crown.
When it was time to go, the squirrel led my back to the tree where an old man in a hooded cloak with a staff – the image from the Led Zeppelin IV poster I had on my wall as a teenager – stood.
Apparently this image is taken from the Rider-Waite tarot and is the Hermit, whose lantern represents the third eye. Which would mean nothing, except for the fact that I didn’t know this. I don’t own that tarot deck, nor am I especially familiar with it.
Somehow my mind used an image I was familiar with to convey this archetypal image to me. For what purpose? I’m not sure yet.
Our imagination flies – we are its shadow on the earth. Vladimir Nabokov
According to Lisa Fredeborg from Tarotize, The Hermit card corresponds to the Third Eye. The Hermit archetype calls us to connect with our inner wisdom and to shine our light within.
Afterwards I had a strong localised headache, which is common when this chakra is shifting.
Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The piper’s calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind? Led Zeppelin
Perception, insight, wisdom, psychic energy, visualisation, dreams, sleep, moods, imagination, concentration, and self-realisation. These are the elements governed by the third eye chakra, or Ajna – “command centre” – as it is called in Sanskrit.
I felt tremendously invigorated after the meditation. I think primarily because such experiences remind me that there is the world of the seen, and the world of the unseen.
Which basically translates for me into a sense that just because I can’t see a lot of hope right now, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s just not yet unveiled.
If your attention is in the third eye, just imagination is enough to create any phenomena. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
I feel re-engaged with life and with a desire to explore the chakras again. I mean really, how could I not after such a vision, who wouldn’t want to delve further into THAT world.
The Third Eye chakra is linked to both the pineal gland – which I wrote about in my last blog post – and the pituitary gland.
The pituitary is a pea-sized gland – situated between the eyes – that is co-located and works closely with the hypothalamus. Known as ‘the master gland’ its basic function is to tell the other glands what to do and when – namely the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes.
The pituitary’s main function is to regulate body chemistry, regulate emotion and intellect, and work in partnership with the pineal gland, and the hypothalamus, to achieve overall hormonal balance.
Given the importance of the pineal and pituitary gland, and their co-location with the sixth and seventh chakras, the importance of balancing these chakras for whole of mind, body, and spiritual harmony is vital.
Seeing as the pituitary controls hormone output from the other endocrine glands, including the ovaries, it was probably a very good time for me to balance this chakra.
The third eye chakra is a subtle energy and is very sensitive to stimulants, like coffee, chocolate, alcohol, drugs, and even spices. Low dose stimulants can awaken the third eye chakra, but this energy centre is adversely affected by addiction to mood-altering chemicals. So too much, too often, can end up inhibiting the natural balance of this centre.
And any woman can tell you how connected hormones and chocolate are. Never mind coffee. I don’t need to see scientific studies on that one.
Pictures in your mind’s eye lure you toward your destination. Are those pictures real? Imagined? Purposeful? Intuitive? Are they illusory magnets – power, fame, fortune, or glory – that attract the ego? Or are they the whisperings of your soul, speaking of your life purpose fulfilled? Anodea Judith
In her book on manifesting – Creating on Purpose – Anodea Judith calls the action of this chakra Vision Vitalizes. She writes that the steps for vitalising your vision in the sixth chakra are:
- Imagining possibilities
- Discovering your life purpose
- Dreaming big for your life
- Designing your vision vehicle
- Visualizing your path to fulfillment
The sixth chakra aligns with my sixth intention, joy. And in my chakra business plan, the Third eye chakra focuses on vision, insight, imagination, intuition, and the big picture. I asked myself, what vision, insight or intuition do I bring to this endeavour? For me, it is my life experiences, my journey into Chakradance, self-exploration, and healing.
Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning. Gloria Steinem
As I have said before, and will continue to say, I make no claims to being a spiritual giant. I am a very flawed human trying her best to navigate her way through this crazy world, and hopefully give a helping hand to other people along the way, should they want it.
Chakradance has been an extension of my meditation and energy work into a whole new realm of joy and self-expression through dance, sound and movement. As I have written ad nauseum in this blog, I have had profound awakenings as a result of practising chakradance and meditation and I just want to offer that to others, share it with others.
My imagination is fired when I visualise rooms of people dancing, experiencing the unbridled joy of arriving into their being without judgement or fear.
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain
I am reminded of the beauty of the third eye chakradance, a dance of ecstatic and altered states of consciousness through trance-dance. The dance of the third eye is the dance of the intuitive mind. In this dance we let go of the physical world and take the journey into the psychic world of our imagination.
We journey in order to see, to understand, or to touch our intuition at its essence. And we can bring that clear sight back into reality with us.
In our visions, and our dreams, in the archetypal images that resonate with us, our unconscious speaks to us of a deeper truth than our physical senses perceive.
The nature of the third eye chakra is spacious and vast. It feels like anything is possible, the energy is so light and free-flowing.
The challenge is always in transferring the insights of this chakra into form in physical reality – whose nature is so dense and compact.
Sometimes the contrast between these meditative states and the ‘real world’ can be harsh. For me, a little reminder that such transcendence is possible goes a long way in my day.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if I should have a baby or wrap up my uterus for good. I don’t know how my lover and I are going to live together, when our children are settled at schools at opposite ends of town. I don’t know what’s going to unfold with my chakradance business. Part of me would like a guaranteed outcome before I make these choices, so I can make a proper comparison.
But then that would be a bit boring, wouldn’t it, if we always knew what was coming?
I just have to hold these visions in my mind’s eye, and set the intention for what I do want. And trust. When the time is right, and it’s the right thing, amazing – nay, miraculous – shifts can happen.
It’s easy to go through life third-eye blind, with our focus entirely on the physical nature of reality. But, to me, that’s a little like being colour-blind and thinking you comprehend the beauty of a rainbow. Sure it’s something, but there’s so much more to see.
And yet, I can’t live there exclusively, in an imaginary world. So I need to bring my imagination into my physical world, rather than trying to follow the squirrel further into the forest.
I can bring some of that ‘imagical’ third-eye sight back into the world with me. Yep, I just made that word up. From my imagination into form, just like that.
Affirmations from bmindful.com:
Colourful imagination makes my world more interesting.
My blessed imagination is fertile ground for blessed, life-ward creativity.
I have a beautifully intricate and wondrous imagination.
I use positive mental images to create the positive changes I wish in my life.
The stronger the imagination the less imaginary the results.
Imagine the future and make it so.