The 7 Connections to Happiness and Harmony –
Decision Making Made Easy With Yoga’s 7 Chakras
Author: Shirley Desai
Shared Step Press
“The 7 Connections to Happiness and Harmony” (Shirley Desai, Shared Step Press, 2009) brings together the process of decision making and the chakra system (the energy centers that run along our spinal column and control the energy coming into and leaving our body). When we work with the chakra system as a way of dealing with the choices and decisions that we are faced with on a daily basis, we are bringing tremendous spiritual energy into our daily lives in a significant manner.
In her introduction Desai notes that she is applying the ancient system of the chakras to the processes of thinking and decision making. Desai talks about each chakra correlating with a region of the body or a nerve center, and, in turn, to levels of consciousness and spiritual constructs.
The chakras are identified as:
1. Chakra One (Root Chakra) – safety and fear
2. Chakra Two (Sacral Chakra) – excitement and pleasure
3. Chakra Three (Solar Plexis Chakra) – ego and values
4. Chakra Four (Heart Chakra) – heart and t ruth
5. Chakra Five (Throat Chakra) – creativity and self-expression
6. Chakra Six (Third Eye/Brow Chakra) – analysis and intuition
7. Chakra Seven (Crown Chakra) – vision and higher purpose
Energy moves in two directions – from the crown of our head down the chakra system, and from the soles of our feet up the chakra system, being processed at each of the chakras. Multiple chakras are being processed at the same time, constantly balancing the needs of each chakra. Energy that is flowing upward is expanding (making us open to new information, ideas and people), while energy that is flowing downward is contracting (limiting information and reducing our options).
Our chakras can be blocked by too much or too little energy flowing through them. A blockage in one chakra has the ability to affect both the chakra above and below it. Desai notes that most blockages will occur in the lower three chakras (chakra one through three), although there can also be instances of blockages in the upper chakras (chakra four though seven). Blockages affect us in both the mental and emotional realms.
A prime component in this process is what Desai terms “Mountaintop Thinking”. From the book: “The premise of any decision-making process should be to increase our flow of important information and ideas. An open mind and a broader perspective can open the floodgates to new ideas and opportunities that may have seemed unimaginable before. … The “Mountaintop Mindset” is one of calm control, in which we have access to vast information that is untainted by personal emotions and biases.”
Separate chapters are devoted to each of the chakra’s. Each chapter discusses the purpose of the specific chakra, how it works in our life, questions to be answered about the readers experience of that chakra, secrets to maintaining “Mountaintop Thinking” (clear sighted thinking), and ends with a summary of how to work with the issues of that chakra.
For example, Chapter One deals with the Root Chakra. The keywords for this chakra are safety and fear. The root chakra is where we exhibit our survival instincts, where our fears show up, and where we establish our personal sense of safety. The color associated with this chakra is red – signifying passion, will, and creativity. This is a chakra of action. The root chakra is where our fight or flight response originates. It is also where we experience fear. Included in this section are the questions posed to readers: “What are the types of behaviors and physiological sensations that you experience when scared?”, and “Are there any fears that are holding you back?” (I liked the way the the questions were placed in insets within the text.)
To get a handle on our fears, Desai talks about “saying no” to them. If we learn to recognize that fear is based on keeping attachments to people, objects, and ideas, and that these things are only temporary, we will feel better about releasing them. We can also learn to accept our failures and move on, not allowing them to hold us back.
We can also consciously shift our thinking from a reactive to a proactive mindset. Desai states that if we prevent a problem from taking root, then we don’t have to deal with it. If we are aware of our thinking, we can stay in tune with “Mountaintop Mindset”, see issues with greater clarity and make better, more informed decisions. We then need to implement these decisions with courage.
At the end of the chapter are a list of points made concerning this chakra.
I was impressed with the presentation, which included insets, quotes, questions for he reader to ponder, chapter summaries and amusing cartoons appropriate to each chakra. I enjoyed reading this book, and I think that you will too.This is a book to be worked with, and not simply read. It is a valuable resource for those that wish to make better decisions, in less time, with less stress.
© September 2009