I start this unfolding path with a personal story about my first awakening experience. Going through my first shift in consciousness, I wished I had someone explaining me what was happening. Online I could find exotic stories, filled with ancient spiritual language, of monks or yogi’s dedicating their life to transcendence and finding bliss through perseverance.
I couldn’t relate to that. I was a regular woman, practicing yoga to relax from a busy life. I just wanted to get my mind to quiet down, be flexible and in a state of relaxation! Even though I had a solid yoga practice for over 15 years at that time, I wasn’t meditating or deeply devoted to a spiritual practice. I now know that stories of waking up to the luminous reality of One-ness are as unique as snowflakes. These tiny icy creations all originate from water dancing with life forces, but the variety their physical form take, seems boundless. So, let me share my story of awakening.
2012 marked a year of deep exhaustion after two pregnancies and raising two boys with my husband, whilst working in a high paced job as an ecological consultant. I decided to prioritize my health and shifted my diet (low carbs, low milk, no meat) and increased resting and movement (Kashmir yoga and running). After a year, I felt more vital and strong, but the vast number of tasks I assigned myself to, still weighted heavily on my shoulders. One day in the spring of 2013, my yoga-teacher spoke about the burden of modern stresses on the enlightenment of humanity and how stress solidifies the different bodies and decreases vitality. It felt like I had received an invitation to stop in my tracks and surrender to something bigger than me. Until that point in my life, it never occurred to me that there was an option available of flowing together with life. I was used to working hard, being depressed, in constant low-grade fear and seeing people and nature suffer.
I very clearly remember thinking: “What if I no longer fight for it? What if I would just let go of all that striving?”. Somewhere inside me, I felt a wave of deep surrender. It felt like stepping out of my own way. I now believe that it was the pivotal moment, but I didn’t really feel the huge shift in consciousness that had happened until later as I sat down in the train going home. “Something is different”, I thought. I did not understand what had happened, but life seemed so full of light. It felt like a never-ending dance of rapture. People looked perfect in their uniqueness. There was no narrative in my head, no judgements. I didn’t feel any bodily tension, colors were brighter and I heard a sound impregnating all. Literally, like angels were singing the most exquisite sound tones. There were no boundaries to my being. I had never seen or felt anything close to what I experienced in that moment. At home, I sat on my balcony gazing into the sunny sky and became aware of the opening in my chest that was filled with infinite unconditional love. I no longer felt alone or unloved. The stillness was so strong, I couldn’t, nor wanted to engage in doing. All my needs felt fulfilled at once. I remember thinking often: “It isn’t personal at all, there is no person, the self is a mirage”.
After half a year of moving around in this state and still not understanding what had happened, I watched a video of Eckhart Tolle and recognized the stillness and understood that I had awaken to the eternal essence of my being. I was surprised, as I was taught that awakening started with the explosive rising of kundalini energy. That night, I remember laying on my back in the grass, viewing the stars while gratitude and love just effortlessly poured out of me. I felt like I was high on life.
However, in the next six months, the bliss dissipated slowly and the wounded ego returned. I birthed our third son and emotional trauma at birth and after birth, moved me deeper into resistance. The more I held onto the stillness, the quicker it disappeared. It felt like I was thrown out of a blissful state of One-ness into my wounded separate self again. I started to intensify my yoga practice and breath work, but it made me very ungrounded and physical symptoms of ‘dis-ease’ started to increase. The heat that ran up and down my spine and along my back had always been there in the background, but now it increased in frequency and intensity and I also started to have waves of icy sensations. I felt like my nervous system wasn’t able to cope with the rapid and oscillating changes. I had heart palpitations and had mysterious illnesses and pains that switched swiftly and apparently had no physical basis. I visited so many specialists, but all test results were perfectly normal. In the height of it all, parts of my body went numb, I could hardly see because of sharp light flashes and vertigo, I could not read, focus or remember things, I didn’t have the strength to walk, could not cope with sunlight, had itching and inflammation of my skin and had huge shifts in emotional state. The vast amount of information that flooded my system when I was in crowds or stores was debilitating. I could not hold onto my job and being a mum or wife was largely impossible. I felt overwhelmed physically and mentally.
My mind could not think its way out of the mess I was in. In the depth of it all, I prayed
and begged for help and suddenly three words landed into my head like lightning bolts:
<< follow the love >>.
The simplest of truths, which felt ridiculous at the time and frankly gave me a mix of mostly despair and rage, but also filled me with a sliver of hope. I held onto these words and I wrote them there and then on the wall. These words became my guidance system. I went back to the thing that opened me up in the first place: surrender. I deeply surrendered to all that arose in me and followed what lit me up as much as I could. I listened to my body and all it wanted to do was walk with bare feet through the river and sit in nature. Slowly, I became stronger and more vital. I received help from the right people at the right time. My psychic abilities turned on louder and I started to channel information that helped me navigate the changes and recognize my medicine. I stepped into fears, focused on allowing and tried to master the direction of my intention and point of attention. The sliver of hope became a river of surrender. I welcomed what was present as much as I could and fragmented parts came up in waves to be integrated.
I now trust that I can hold space for all that wants to be integrated. Even though continuous shifting self-awareness is the new normal, I feel deeply blessed to have been gifted the pathway to inner stillness of flowing back into the One eternal essence.