Tag Archives: clarity

Mind A-Whirl? Try These Tips

Artwork by Alex Grey
Artwork by Alex Grey

Is your mind a-whirl? Cluttered with plans & possibilities or fears & frustrations? When the mind is buzzing, it can be very difficult to hear the calm, still voice of intuition. We can scheme & strategize, but, in this mental mode, we have only intellect & past precedent to draw upon. This can severely limit possibilities & hamper problem solving.

Quieting the mind & connecting to our intuition helps us find a smooth path through challenges & optimize luminous forward momentum. Stilling mind & opening to inner wisdom is an evolving art, which takes time & dedication to develop. However, a few simple steps can get you started.

When your mind is racing or you are feeling confused, try one of these tips:

Shift Gears:  A wise person once said: When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is: Stop digging.   If your mental wheels are spinning, stop pushing.  Step back. Take your mind off whatever you are attempting to achieve. If possible, walk away.   Change environment. Change focus.  Redirect your attention & your energy towards something completely unrelated to the task at hand.  Trivial or productive -- just make sure it has no relevance to the issue or initiative that has your gears spinning.  Put your quandary on the back burner & focus on something else.  You might be amazed what emerges. 

Face Fear:   Sometimes when you're struggling for resolution, you are trying like hell to keep your worst fear at bay. We often believe that, if we can just avoid bringing that fear into focus, somehow we can prevent it from manifesting. Ironically, the opposite is often true.  What we resist, gains power.  Those unacknowledged fears have a way of haunting us.  Next time you find  yourself in a dicey situation -- staving off fear of an undefined, but dreaded outcome, you might try this:

  • Turn & face the worst fear you can imagine.  
  • Allow yourself to look it squarely in the face -- to name it.
  • View it as a possibility, not a certainty. Breathe.  
  • Allow yourself to be present with the imagined ramifications of that fear.

It's amazing how often they reveal themselves to be hyperbolic -- over-blown, exaggerated stalkers that seek to terrorize your psyche.    Facing them can help to shrink their scale & bring them back into perspective.  When that happens, their grip is loosened & we can widen out to other possibilities. 

Seek Counsel:  We don't have to have all the answers. When we aren't certain, we can consult other sources: trusted friends, spirit allies, divination, respected teachers & counselors & our own intuition. Of course, it's important to be discerning. If you ask someone more rash or ignorant than yourself, this can either create chaos or bring crystal clarity (through contrast.) Sometimes hearing a bad idea can really bring our wisdom into focus. 

If you have not yet surrounded yourself with at least a handful of sage friends & allies, I suggest divination. Chose a divination tool such as tarot, oracle cards or runes and develop your relationship with them. When stymied or confused, you can pull a card for insight. Personally, I like to work with Brian Froud & Jessica MacBeth's Faeries' Oracle or the Norse runes.  The key to right use of counsel is checking out all suggestions with your inner sense of knowing.  If doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

Practice Patience: If you aren't clear, wait. Better to defer a decision (whenever possible) than to make a rash choice & have to unravel the consequences.  Time often opens a window for your intuition to sneak in.

article by Ananaia O'Leary

Catalyzing Clarity


Clarity is such a blessing.  When we are clear, we can move forward with confidence.  When we are muddled, momentum slows and tension rises.  Often we try to push forward, despite confusion.  The results are seldom satisfactory.

Angeles Arrien, writer, cultural anthropologist and medicine woman, once wrote: When we are not clear, we wait. There is wisdom in these words. Baffled action is never advisable. Yet, if we are unclear, do we simply wait passively? At times, yes, quietly resting in ambiguity can be the best possible choice. In this liminal pause, wisdom can surface and insight emerges.

At other times, there is a bonafide need for action.  We feel it in our bones, like a pressure pushing us forward, but without clarity how do we proceed? By stepping back from the issue at hand and focusing on the impediment: lack of clarity.  If you are unclear, take action on that.

When caught in a spiral of persistent confusion, recognize what’s happening, stop pushing, pause, take a breath, redirect your energies. Don’t try to punch your way through. Catalyze clarity through ceremony.

If you’re conversant with creating your own ceremony, go for it!  Get creative.  If ceremony is new territory for you, keeping it sincere and simple is a good rule of thumb. Remember, the point of ceremony is to engage body, mind and heart in a communication with Spirit. Sometimes the best communication is eloquent in its simplicity.

Here are a few elementary suggestions for catalyzing clarity by … 

1)  Air:  Breath

  • Take a few quiet moments in a comfortable posture and align your intention for clarity
  • Breathe in and hold your breath gently in your lungs
  • Tune to the confusion within, allowing that energy to permeate the air in your lungs
  • Exhale, breathing out confusion
  • Pause with your lungs empty to align with your intent to welcome clarity
  • Inhale, breathing in clarity
  • Repeat slowly until you feel complete
  • Do this daily or several times a day to energize your intent to release and clear

2)  Fire:  Burning Bowl

  • Supplies: paper, markers, crayons or pencils & a safe place to burn paper
  • Be present with your confusion, without immersing in it
  • Make an abstract energy drawing of your confusion. Try to draw from your feelings rather than your thoughts.
  • When your drawing feels complete, be present with it briefly (just a few minutes)
  • Say “Yes!” to releasing this confusion
  • Set the paper on fire and drop it into a fire-safe bowl or fireplace
  • As you watch, invite the cleansing power of fire to burn through your confusion like the sun burning away fog.

3)  Water:  try this Salt Water Purification ceremony

4)  Earth:  Stone Ally

  • Choose a stone willing to help you release confusion and attain clarity
  • Tune to the confusion within, allow that energy to permeate the air in your lungs
  • Exhale, breathing out into the stone — the stone will hold this confusion for you
  • Carry the stone in your pocket
  • Throughout the day, as confusion arises, blow it into the stone
  • At the end of the day, place the stone lovingly on Mother Earth and ask her to help the dense energy of confusion breakdown and return to her to be recycled
  • Leave the stone on the Earth overnight to clear
  • In the morning, lift your stone from the Earth and feel its clarity
  • Hold the stone and let the energy of clarity flow through you
  • Continue to work with the stone until confusion dissipates and clarity emerges

Personally, I would not do all 4 of these processes for the same issue.  I’d choose the most resonant one for this situation and focus on it.

When working with ceremony, expect change, but don’t demand it.  Do these simple workings in a spirit of trust and empowerment, not desperation.   Spirit moves on its own timetable, so surrender attachment to outcome (as best you can) and pay attention to what is emerging.  Clarity may come in unexpected ways from unexpected sources.  Expect it!