All Roads Lead to Joy

Rohini Walker
6 min readMar 14, 2022
Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Since the desert took me in almost a decade ago, I’ve been shedding layer after layer of ill-fitting beliefs lurking within me that were not of my conscious choosing; distorted value systems and their attendant powers to make meaning and create realities instilled in me by family, culture and society, who for the most part did not consciously choose these for themselves either.

Over the last couple of years, this shedding of decrepit old inner operating systems, and the subsequent regeneration of new, authentic meanings and values have started to crystallise into myriad fractal formations in resonance with the frequency of Joy.


I can hear your objections that creating belief systems around Joy just isn’t possible and practical — especially given the state of the world and the state of your life and all the many, many other reasons why.

Yes, I agree.

​It isn’t possible when we’re approaching the cultivation of Joy from a conditional perspective: I’ll have joy when I am/my life/the world is like xyz; it isn’t possible when we’re approaching Joy as something we are separate from. Which of course ends up being precisely the experience that we create for ourselves.

​And as this belief in “Joy as something that we’re separate from” is such a belligerent, soul-violating lie, our spirits cannot allow us to properly digest it, and we end up projecting the pain of this toxic indigestion out onto others, the world, etc: they don’t deserve Joy because xyz, etc.

​And on we go, playing this ghastly game of acid reflux ping-pong with the aforementioned belligerent lie presiding as a core belief.

Joy as conditional, and Joy as separate from us are crucial to the infrastructure of the soulless, joyless authoritarian paradigm that we’re in the process of evolving out of. This grumpy old paradigm’s particular flavour of meaning-making requires us to swallow the lie that we are inherently bad, wrong, flawed and unworthy of Joy unless we have met certain externally imposed criteria. Meanwhile, the goalposts of those arbitrary criteria keep mysteriously shifting, and so we stay eternally struggling up the mountain with the heavy load on our backs like poor old Sisyphus and his miserable lot.

Rohini Walker

Writer, soul whisperer; guide and mentor for Radical Liberation + Inner Decolonization . Find out more, and sign up to my newsletter at