when all joy has left …

… and life has stopped making sense


Then it is difficult to get out of this mindset
Mindset could be the problem.

If it is just that mindset …

Meditation is not going to help
If you’ve never done it before.

But AWE might help

Once I got offered a cup of chocolate milk, that tasted as if my grandma had made it. The unexpected event filled my brain with joy and silence, and beautiful memories. I was out of my mindset, and completely in this moment. This event started a series of inspiring moments. Mind was shaken, and my eye could appreciate beauty again.

The awe had been locked up, in a deep dungeon of my being, together with hope, beauty and consolation. But a simple cup of hot cacao,
was able to destroy a larger part of the walls around me.

Consolation seems to be made of beauty, love and compassion.
Stifling sadness feels like their opposite.

In order to alleviate our ‘pain’, whatever its cause, our mind turns the world into something grey. And we watch it from afar, through an Inverted keyhole embrasure. Unfortunately, the resulting hoariness, also drives out all beauty and awe. And soon life becomes meaningless.

We are all human beings roaming around on this crazy planet.
Awe and beauty can be around every corner, if we want to see and appreciate it.

Few people notice the sunrise,
while waiting for the train in a gloomy station.

And the most beautiful light, made of the most vibrant colours,
lightens up trees, buildings and sky, just before sunset.

Clouds have all kinds of shapes and colours too,
and who was never inspired by a beautiful moon,
or a skyscape full of stars.

Art has the capacity to equally move us
and shake us out of that grey mindset.

Music can be dangerous. Don’t let it spiral you deeper than you are already,
Be aware of its dimensions, and choose wisely. The music of our childhood often has a good effect.

All our senses can wake us up and can inspire us.

The sounds,
tastes and smells
from our childhood …
could do that.
Could wake us up,
and shape us back
into the radiant beings
made of spirit
that we truly are.

Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) July 2013 – @Brussels (st-lambrechts-woluwe) – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG 3912


24 thoughts on “when all joy has left …

  1. It was so nice to read this. It is not always about meditation and higher power. It will become too heavy without joy.
    I must say that it is a nice feeling to have gone on a long break, and to come back (well, somewhat) and find nice gems like this… Namaste.

    • … to me meditation is a skilful act, important to keep aware about mind. When done regularly, it will prevent me from being too often disappointed. On the other hand, even meditation has to be seen in the right perspective, and we shouldn’t expect anything from it — and then it might work best 🙂

  2. Nice, Bert. As always.
    I find when I’m in a funk, which is rare, reaching out and doing something for others always seems to restore perspective.
    Another thing I keep telling myself these days is, “In the end, this is Not Going To Matter.” Which, in most cases, is true. (I keep thinking of Jewel’s lyric, “In the end, only kindness matters.”)
    But I like your ideas too 😉

  3. Bless the grandmothers of our lives who left trap doors of love to fall back through later, just when we need them most.

    Funnily enough, I just had a cup of half coffee, half hot chocolate dispensed from a machine just the day before yesterday… purchased when filling the car up at a mini-mart gas station on the way home from a quick road trip. Yes, even when served in styrafoam, the comfort and warmth can be magic. -x.M

  4. I really enjoyed this description of how fickle the mind can be, of how it can plunge us into meaninglessness, and how the appreciation of the unexpected moments of grace that are constantly extended to us, can crack us back open, and let the simply joy of being back in. Michael

    • Once mind is turning in circles, or when it is pinned on some ‘believe’ in an incorrect reality, it is very difficult to get out of that place. Awe and inspiration should be cultivated over the entire line of our educational path. Unfortunately, we are only prepared to become good consumers and robots, always in that place where society wants us to be.

  5. Oh, Bert, this could truly be a blessing to someone who seriously needs it. Thank you on behalf of that unknown person, may they find their way to your words in time. Fondly.

  6. It is true to go back to childhood mind is a blessing often (putting aside all traumas, etc.). I mean childhood mind filled with awe and feeling closer to God. I think it is Yogananda who says we are closer to God in childhood because we are closer to our interim between lives. Probably many people say that. But the most engaging people are childlike– at least that is what I think. And they are not afraid to show it. Or are unaware of it. Childlike vs. childish. Anyhow a great post. Lots to it.

    • This is a two sided sword, as you already pointed out. We only want the good side of childhood to remain. We don’t want people with the intelligence of a 3 y.o. to be in a power position. They are narcissists.
      But one can cultivate the awe and inspiration, that was taken from us in grammar school. Where we stop drawing and making music, to be prepared for our lonely place in society.

  7. That’s true – and it’s odd, but I could not name one of those typical smells or tastes now. But I would recognized it when I encounter it… Circumventing the brain, sort of…

    • I think that smells and tastes are most important to the infant from birth till the age of 2-3. We are told that these memories are not accessible anymore, and this could well be the case, but they are still there. As if they lost their key in the database. They can not have a verbal key, and that is why we find them so elusive. Perhaps they also reside in a deeper area, in what some people call the reptilian brain.

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