Monthly Archives: May 2015

Spiritual Advice: Processing of Energy, Soul Retrieval, and Proper Aftercare

Mary-

I recently worked on someone who had a soul retrieval done, and she said she had had many lifetimes of horrific deaths and suicides brought back in, which she then had to integrate. This led to months of anger and depression, as her body tried to process it. My question is, do we need to process all of our spiritual experiences through our bodies? It was affecting her spleen and liver systems. She was “digesting” it. It seems like many people have superficial spiritual experiences. They are too happy, like they haven’t been dragged through the muck! Do we usually digest the information or whatever in order to really integrate and experience it? Are there other routes or pathways? Can we just let some things go, or keep them on a less physical level and still have them be real?  I know this question is getting weird…

Katie

Hi Katie-

So the short answer is yes, we need to process things through our physical bodies, our physical container for us to consider it to be real and for it to have an effect on our physical, external lives. We hold all of our experiences in our body– our current lifetime, past lives, ancestry, karma… and even larger patterns like societal patterns, family patterns, and even the whole Universe (I will not go there this blog) that are not technically “of us”.

For the “lower” patterns (stuff that actually has to do with us like our current lifetime, past lives, and our ancestry) anything that has a charge stays in our bodies. This typically is thought of as negative stuff– emotions and experiences that were too overwhelming at the time to process (like a death in a past life)  or various traumas in our own life that were too emotional or too much for us to deal with at the time. This energy then gets consolidated and walled off in our bodies. 

As a side note, we also carry the wisdom of our ancestors, the joy of our past lives, and the beauty of our current life with us.. it just is a vibration around us rather than being walled off.

Dr. John Upledger (innovator of CranioSacral therapy) referred to this phenomena as an energy cyst– a localized area of walled-off, entropic energy. The body walls this energy and experience off in a localized area and then disassociates from it in order to keep the whole organism (our physical-mental-emotional-spiritual) continuum and our external day-to-day lives intact and reasonably functional.

In Shamanic work there is a thought that this energy actually leaves, or goes somewhere. This really isn’t true. We are always whole, all of the time. We just believe or create stories that we are not. What happens is that we actually are holding a trauma in our intestines from that time we got made fun of as a teenager, in our uterus from a previous life dying in childbirth, or in our heart from an ancestor losing a child and having an emotion of grief be too overwhelming. This energy then, as I said, walls off, still believing that the incident is still occurring because it simply doesn’t know any better. 

So we will have parts of ourselves that believe we are still a five year old whose father just left, or parts of ourselves that are still in a cycle of grief from our ancestors. Our minds, and then our physical bodies, wall this energy off so we can go about our lives without having to deal with the energy. In reality, we are whole, but our minds have fractured. And then our body-mind fractures, leading often to physical issues in the localized area of the “energy cyst”.

So in a soul retrieval the story of that energy cyst comes up to the surface to be released and integrated. The difficulty with this is that it then has to process. Meaning that if we have an energy cyst in our liver that is pretty large that contains a lot of anger and depression we are going to have to deal with that, to integrate that.

All that being said, the practitioner should know how to help the client/patient cycle that energy, have a basis in working with trauma so they can recognize when an experience from the past shouldn’t be uncovered (or fully uncovered), and provide appropriate aftercare to deal with the ramifications of such an energy.

It is somewhat rare that spiritual practitioners, who often operate outside of the licensing process, have an understanding and appreciation of emotional health and trauma response (the physiology of trauma, basically) to understand if an experience is too much to uncover, and to help their patient through when they do uncover something deeply traumatic. Trauma is real, and it has real, physiological consequences. If the practitioner is not trained in trauma response, I suggest that they pair up or learn to refer to someone experienced in trauma response. My personal favorite is Somatic Experiencing practitioners, who are typically open-minded as well as have gone through a three year training (or more) just in trauma work and know everything about how trauma shows up and how to process it. Nobody should have to process their trauma alone. It is much harder to do so, and to have the perspective when you are overwhelmed and emotional to do so, especially if it is something as removed from our current lifetime as past lives (but really, in any case).

It is also rare that spiritual practitioners do appropriate aftercare. Although a different subject, I have worked with people who have gone to the jungle and through Ayahuasca ceremonies and come back deeply traumatized because of sheer overwhelm at the amount of material coming up to process at one time. Our body-mind fractures for a reason, and it takes a sound mind to be able to process this stuff. Ideally for something like a soul retrieval, especially if they are working with an energy cyst that contains multiple lifetimes there would be a minimum of three appointments (ideally five). This means that the “shaman” would do the soul retrieval (sometimes this may take more than one session) and would schedule appointments weekly, or bi-weekly, to deal with the processing of energy and residual energy that comes up. This unfortunately does not happen too often, and the client is left with an energy cyst burst open and to deal with the residue and trauma on their own. If the spiritual practitioner does not want to deal with the residue, again I suggest a referral to a Somatic Experiencing practitioner, or an Acupuncturist, another Spiritual practitioner or Energy Worker who can help this energy clear out. 

So if I were to summarize this the answer is yes we need to process things. But the answer is also no, we do not need to have months of processing or deal with the process alone. Although integration and re-orientation can take longer than this period of time, the longest that someone should have to deal with really intense energy and emotion after a Soul Retrieval or any sort of energy cyst/emotional clearing process is three days. What happens after that period of time, or if the practitioner brings something up into consciousness that the patient wasn’t ready for the client/person just becomes re-traumatized and forms another energy cyst out of the current as well as past experiences that were brought up.

This means that they should have a follow-up appointment (or at the very least a check-in) with their spiritual worker or another professional if any emotion or experience is still lingering. And the spiritual practitioner should ethically be aware of when a big process is starting to do follow-up appointments and referrals so their patient does not end up non-functional or even hospitalized (yes, unfortunately, it does happen on occasion if the spiritual practitioner is not versed in working with trauma).

Just for clarity, I will say how I do spiritual work with emotions/trauma and Soul Retrieval work. I will have someone come in or send me an email for distance work (not for Soul Retrieval, although that may be their interest… I do not do “pick and choose” appointments, I ask the energies I work with and do divination to see what type of spiritual work should be done). Based on the first appointment and how intense the experience is (or not, if the person has a sound body-mind or a milder experience or meditates a lot), I will do anything from just checking in a few days later and suggesting aftercare like salt baths and connecting to nature or having sex (yes, I suggest that sometimes) or watching a funny movie (yes, I suggest this a lot actually) to telling the client that there needs to be 1-3 more appointments in short succession (1-2 appointments a week).

If the person reports back (especially for distance work) that they are non-functional, or are really struggling after the work (which occasionally does happen, but not that often since I make it a policy to ask during the appointment the persons subconscious if they want to deal with a specific trauma and/or are ready to) I suggest a Somatic Experiencing practitioner in their local area (or a thoughtful therapist if they cannot find an SE practitioner) to ensure that they are safe. When they get out of the intense amount of struggle phase they can come back and I will help them process the rest of the energy. But it is our responsibility as spiritual workers to ensure that the people we see are safe as well as functional (especially after a few days) after we work with them. There is no reason for someone to be dealing with that much trauma and emotion over such an extended period of time. They are just being re-traumatized at that point.

I hope that helps, Katie. We can all help others as well as ourselves work with trauma, but if we are not qualified, there are a lot of people out there that specialize in it, and there is no reason to deal with it by ourselves. It is a beautiful thing to become more whole, to release emotions and experiences that likely have a huge impact on our lives, and if it is done with clarity, with understanding (of trauma and emotions on a deep level), and with appropriate care, it can have a huge positive effect on anyone willing to plumb those depths to become more realized and whole.

Working Outside the Box

In previous blogs I have discussed how I had a sort of turning point in my external spiritual studies. There were, in truth, multiple turning points in my external studies, but I will discuss two here…

The first was an incident where I had paid a huge sum (for me at that time, poor and in graduate school, but really for anyone) to go to a shamanic workshop. This was from a well-known shamanic organization, and I was reasonably curious after reading books about the organization, at least to the extent of not going to any other workshop that year due to the cost.

When I got to this workshop I was astounded by the beauty of the place as well as the accommodations and food (the food was the best part in actuality). As I participated in this course my enthusiasm began waning, despite the fact that I met some wonderful and interesting fellow students there. This was all material that I had either heard before, or was material that was obviously lifted from a variety of sources. The mythology espoused, the indigenous stories, and even the framework for the organization was actually a mishmosh of ideas from indigenous sources, modern western energy work, eastern philosophy, and native american sources.

On top of that the mythology was simply not correct.  I have loved mythology from many different countries from young childhood, and knew that what I was being taught was quite simply wrong, or rather a new-age version of characters and stories in order to fit a specific cosmology that the organization created.

On top of that I found that people reciting words from another language, singing songs from another language, and creating “ceremonies” supposedly from that language didn’t sit well to me. It felt wrong to say words I didn’t know the meanings of, and the “ceremonies” didn’t feel like they had any power to me, especially after my own spirit-led initiations. I recall one ceremony in particular in which we all had to sit in silence and supposedly be taken through rites that would change our lives. As I sat down in front of the shaman the distinct thought crossed my mind that “this was stupid”. It was all I could do to not laugh with this sudden realization. And it was. It was just silly, and was spiritual appropriation at the deepest levels, and I had paid a whole lot of money to figure out that this organization, and these courses, were a shallow mockery of the indigenous culture it came from, and were a much shallower experience than what I received on a weekly, if not nightly, basis in my bedroom at home for free.

The second was in a workshop a few years later. I had found a new teacher which I enjoyed, and who interweaved core shamanic work with spiritualist and tibetan spiritual traditions. Her courses were wonderful for where I was at personally at the time, and I am actually quite thankful to her for showing me that there were actually many modern spiritual workers/shamans who had gone through the organizations I had issues with and came out the other side still people of integrity, people willing to question and work with what was around them on a deep level and not go into the sort of spiritual immaturity of only wanting to work with certain people, beings, or energies because they are “good” or “white light”. But in this class I had just come out of a journey and looked around the circle… and realized that everyone in the circle was a white, middle-upper class white woman in her fifties. Obviously there were a few exceptions to this (myself included) but that was the basic archetype.

I never really fit in to those courses– I was always an outlier because I thought differently and saw things differently than other people. At first I thought that it was because of my age (and realistically it likely was that too) but I was quite discouraged in some ways after attending these courses because I always had to take another one– I never really quite understood or got what I was looking for… and I was growing more conscious of the fact that many of the practices (not all) were for rich white people who were at a specific point in there lives– their children had likely grown up, they had been married for some time, they had been working for some time– and they were wondering what else is out there. This is a fantastic realization, but it is incredibly far from what I was looking for. I really hope that those courses provide for that archetype what they need to feel fulfilled.

I often get asked how I have studied, befriended, or interact with physical teachers who are from much different traditions than I am (or was). And I would add on top of that, how do I study or work with cultures that are not being actively co-opted by the typical white male “explorer” archetype who pays someone from another culture large sums of money to act the part of a shaman at their workshops, or has taken teachings and added on the white dominator perspective along with mythologies from other cultures (typically Eastern notions of “karma” and such) with psychotherapeutic elements and new-age memes or thought patterns to make it easily digested by the middle age white archetype talked about above.

The truth is really that I have a very inquisitive Gemini-Capricorn sort of mind, and have an open mind as well as a lot of respect for cultures, traditions, and understandings that are “outside of the box”. This meaning the box I have created (and that we all create) of rigid beliefs, truths, and cosmologies that we feel are valid. I love hearing about ceremonies, stories/myths, and the daily existence and “mundane” reality of cultures and people different than my own. I find it fascinating that I interact with someone in China and they ask me if I have watched “House of Cards”. I love studying different folk traditions (medicine and magic) and am endlessly intrigued by the fact that someone from Slovakia, someone from the South (US) and someone from Morocco have similar thoughts on magical and medicinal effects of cinnamon.

The good part about the internet is that if you are really open you can find likeminded people and groups to learn a lot from. A lot of information on the internet and in the typical Facebook group is sheer and utter b.s., people competing with one another to show who knows more and a whole lot of really confused people and beginners and people who have read a book pretending that they know everything to one another in an effort to pretend they are superior or are more advanced in a particular spiritual tradition. But there are groups, and people, who come together in a lot of internet forums who have been studying, working, teaching, writing, and having direct experiences at the level I have (and way beyond) who come from different backgrounds and cultures. And the ability to interact with people like this is beyond amazing.

My other suggestion is to not be an asshole. A simple suggestion, really. But simply because you have attended a few workshops does not mean that you know everything, or are entitled to any sort of knowledge or spiritual tradition. In spiritual traditions I have studied every single person has many stories about white people coming to them and wanting to learn from them. In modern day this may be someone from a spiritual tradition getting multiple emails from someone asking for free advice. In other instances it can be people approaching other spiritual traditions and indigenous cultures and feeling like they have an automatic right to that knowledge. This means that every single person from a different culture or tradition I have spoken to has told me of people coming to them wanting knowledge or wanting to work with them, not understanding that they are not entitled to do so right away, no matter their background. 

These stories are common, but a healer I know (a curandero would be the common term) told me that someone had taken a curanderismo course online and then came to him assuming that she knew everything about curanderism and instead of watching him work respectfully began trying to interfere and interject in his sessions with her own ideas and thoughts, and pouted when the curandero told her that they could talk after he worked.

I have not worked with NDN traditions but since this is the dominant culture appropriated from and romanticized in the US, I will relate a simple story I heard from a man who was running a traditional sweat lodge. He used to invite people from all cultures because he wanted to be open and share his traditions with others. In his tradition there is a traditional sweat lodge done for just men at times. It is intended to be an intense bonding as well as highly spiritual initiatory experience. A woman came and caused a scene because she wasn’t allowed entry, and told the man running it that he was sexist, misogynist, and that he would get what “karma” was coming to him.

I also have many friends involved in Vodou and other spiritual traditions that are highly initiatory. This means that even people from that culture (Haitian for Vodou, but African spiritual traditions in general) do not receive specific knowledge until specific ceremonies are done. And that means that you have to work, study, and learn for a period of time before such ceremonies can be done.. and the spirits involved as well as the house you are involved with have to support you in receiving the specific ceremony. There are people who contact my friends wanting to be Mambos and Houngans (male and female priests of the tradition) without having the slightest idea what the spiritual traditions of Vodou actually are.

So no matter who you are, what you have studied, and what your experiences are, approach other spiritual traditions with respect and with a beginners mind. You are not entitled to knowledge based on reading a book, or a Wikipedia page. Many spiritual traditions take years of study before you even realize what they are. You are not entitled to the secrets, or advanced information of a spiritual path when you are a beginner. Quite frankly, it would likely not make much sense to you anyway. There is an odd sense of entitlement that people really need to break away from… and the competitive spirituality that makes people want to acquire other spiritual paths, traditions, “spells” and lore like it was clothing… we all want to be advanced yesterday, even if we just heard about a spiritual tradition today. Take a big breath, and start from the beginning of any new spiritual path you wish to study.

One last thing– it is easy to get stuck in the box of your own making. To not want to study or learn about other cultures. To create your own sense of ethics and entitlement and think anything outside of your personal worldview is wrong. It is really, really easy to stay with your own cosmology, your own ideas, and to reject anything and anyone outside of it. This world, our spiritual world, is a beautiful and joyous place. We can all learn from one another with respect and admiration, even if the traditions are not something we feel personally called to, even if they are outside of our cultural comfort zone. By approaching cultures, spiritual traditions, and people who have dissimilar ideas to our own we can really grow spiritually. Otherwise we are just keeping ourselves safe and in the same box of ideas, with the same archetype of people, as we always were in.

Working with Darkness and Evil

One of the most profound understandings that I have had in the course of my spiritual awakening is that if we do not have direct experience of something, we are rarely able to understand or be open to that experience or understanding. This is true even if we have an intellectual understanding of something… when we have an intellectual understanding of something there is a part of ourselves that can still rationalize it, can keep it as a sort of fiction or illusion…and as something that will not or could not happen to us.

Quite simply, if we have not experienced something, we have difficulty imagining it or believing it to be real, and we are more likely to negate the experiences of others who have had experiences we have not.

This is true across the board, whether it be white people commenting about racism, rich people commenting on the finances of the poor, or people who lack an in-depth spiritual culture commoditizing and appropriating other cultures and not seeing what the problem is in doing so is.

This is especially true when it comes to the subject of darkness and evil. In spiritual and new-age communities there is a rampant ideology that there is no such thing as evil… and that you simply have to think positive, or put white light into darkness to transmute it. While thinking positively certainly helps certain situations (unless you are doing so to ignore anything “not positive” and sticking your head in the proverbial sand) it is unlikely that any of the people with these ideologies have experienced true darkness and/or evil. Because if they had, they would have to acknowledge the darkness within themselves as well as the darkness in the outer world.

I used to get angry about this… about hearing about people saying that you “just don’t have to believe in curses and they will go away” or that if there was a truly evil presence in a household that they “just have to sage or think positively or imagine white light” for it to go away. This talk, ironically, was and is always done with a sort of victim-blaming mentality. That if someone experienced something dark, or evil, that it was somehow their fault. That if they couldn’t get rid of something they weren’t trying hard enough, weren’t positive enough… were somehow not enough. 

After much reflection over the years I have realized that the types of people who think this way really need to think this way. That way they feel like they have control. They feel safe. There are entire spiritual groups, such as the core shamanic group, that cater to this thinking… telling people that the “middle world” (our world, where we go about our daily existences and have our physical bodies) is unsafe, but if they travel to the “upper” or “lower” worlds nothing will harm them ever.

This began to help me feel compassionate towards these people. They just really didn’t know any better. They wanted to remain on the surface of things, in a state of spiritual immaturity, in order to hold onto illusory understandings of safety and control. If you create your spiritual experiences or if you have them on an intellectual level you can have control over them. If you go beyond this, you have to open your mind, your cosmology, and move away from the spiritual immaturity that has been cultivated by you in order to maintain the illusion that you are safe and in control with all of your spiritual experiences.

There are people who I have met who are static in their spiritual growth because they do not wish to move beyond this spiritual immaturity– people who have taken all of the workshops, read all the books, and have been on a path for decades. Acknowledging that we do not have control over the cosmos, and allowing ourselves to open to the understanding that there are different cosmologies, spirits, and energies beyond our own will allow for us to transcend these illusions and deepen our experiences beyond the surface level.

I lately have been understanding the power of direct experience. Some of us have experienced darkness and evil in our lives, have been victimized, brutalized, or simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of us genetically have a lot of darkness in our lineage. This darkness, the direct experience of darkness being in our lives or encountering evil makes us have the understanding that there is likely darkness and evil in other places and with other people.

As spiritual practitioners, or simply people on a serious spiritual path, we will come across a lot of darkness. This may be our own darkness, or we may be faced with a situation or experience that has us question our own cosmology, our own safety, and brings us into a state of fear.

We may not only be presented with darkness but have the direct experience of evil. This type of energy may be way beyond our understanding level. We may come across situations, energies, beings, or places that emanate this sort of evil that we simply cannot do anything about, nor should we. The realization that there is not only darkness in this world but also evil is often shattering to our belief systems…to the constructs we have created to make us feel safe, to feel in control.

If we have faced that darkness, or evil, if we are on a spiritual path or are a spiritual practitioner we may find ourselves in a position to work with it (or at least some of it). We neglect our own darkness, and we neglect outer darkness. Spirituality has become very new-age “love and light” and has lost its sense of innate balance. Anything dark has become “shadow” and something that needs to be transmuted into light, or cleared. And while we can certainly reconcile our inner trauma, become more whole… we are intended to have darkness within us. There is a beauty in the dark.

By learning about and working with our own darkness we can find the beauty in it. The power. We no longer need to fear it, or fear the larger spiritual community telling us we are “bad” for being dark workers or understanding and appreciating our darkness. We can come to a point of deeply understanding ourselves– dark and light.

The world at large is intended to be in a state of balance. As I progress in my spiritual work I am less concerned with if something is “dark” or “light” but rather if it is in a state of balance. I have learned to be compassionate and non-judgmental of all beings and energies. I do not automatically fear even the darkest, or most “evil” things that I run across and am not antagonistic towards any energy or being that I may encounter. My purpose is to help balance and to put things in their right place. Not to operate from a sense of “oh you are dark and so you should get banished or hurt” but an understanding of that even the darkest beings need compassion and understanding. Especially the darker beings need understanding. And the darkest aspects of myself need love and understanding– not to be “cleared” or “transmuted” or treated like they are a shadow… but to be truly loved and held for their own special beauty and power.

I know that experiencing darkness, or even evil, can be really traumatic. For those of us on the spiritual path it can be an initiation if we let it be. We can understand more about ourselves, more about the world, more about divinity. In experiencing darkness we know that the capability for darkness is present. We can see it, we can sense it, and for some of us, we begin to attract it so we can work with it. We can begin to look at and embrace the darker aspects of ourselves as a source of power. We can move beyond the surface layer constructs and spiritual immaturity and be not only “light workers” or “dark workers” but simply balancers… with the tools and capabilities to look at things with clarity and find out what, and who, in this Universe really needs rebalancing.

Learning how to work with darkness, learning how to work to do “dark work” is beginning to be a lost art. We have become deeply antagonistic and fearful towards anything that is not the brightest shade of white, or anything that is not self-created out of our own cosmologies. I help people who are ready to move on beyond this surface level reality to gather tools and understandings to work with their own darkness, as well as the darkness in the world (if they are called to do so). You can contact me with interest.

Experiencing Kundalini Part Three

For Parts One and Two of my Kundalini Experience(s) click here (part one) and here (part two)

Although I still get surges of energy on occasion, and still have more processing to do, I have found myself no longer in the position of “seeker”. I have sought. I am no longer searching for teachers, for gurus… and although I still get grouchy about all of the illusions out there, specifically in the spiritual communities, I no longer participate in them or their illusions because I simply have no need to. With the release of the mind I became comfortable with dualities and opposites living comfortably within one another, and became entirely focused on the internal experience, and no longer have any need to argue with others, to prove myself, to be in spiritual competition, or to have the sort of external focus that is the primary focus for most spiritual seekers (including myself previously). Although I occasionally go to classes, as I recognize the need for community and the realization that there are some patterns that are better released in a communal or group structure (as well as need continuing ed for my professional license), I no longer have the need to achieve. I simply am who I am, and although there are now few people in this world who resonate with me, I realize that those who do appreciate who I am and the work that I do. And I simply do what I do because it is what I want to do, it is the right time for me to do it, and I recognize the energies that are providing me the momentum to do so. 

I discovered the power of emotions, of the primal self, of darkness. We distance ourselves from our animal natures, from our sexuality, from our anger and fear… and I discovered those emotions and experiences are just as powerful and blissful as the happiest joy… and that they are all different currents of divinity. I am still working on this process, but there is a beauty in anger that is different, but as beautiful as joy. There is wonder in the darkest, basest, and most primal aspects of ourselves– aspects that we often (or I often) in previous states wanted to transmute into something else or ignore completely. There is a place of total freedom with sitting with disease, with physical pain and fatigue, and simply being with it… and not judging ourselves because of it or wanting it to be something else. It is only recently that I have made peace with the fact that there are days that I will not feel well, that my physical body will be unwell, and to take care of it in those moments… and that there are moments where I feel at the peak of health and feel bliss move through me that is indescribable. Finding beauty and flow in both of those states is where my interests currently lie.

It is only recently (the last year or so) that Kundalini has been flowing through my physical muscles with a focus on my bloodstream and my organs, specifically my heart. There are spiritual vessels and structures around and surrounding the heart that open our capacity to truly feel love for all creation. Although I have opened some of these vessels, or have felt some of them flickering, it is still a work in progress, as it is for Kundalini to be working through every organ, and eventually every cell of my body (I have received visions of this, but am not there yet). Although I have accepted myself on the deepest level, I am still at the point of flickering when it comes to true self-love. Although I recognize the divinity in others, it is still difficult for me to not focus on the chaos, the layers of conditioning, and the sleep in others first. Like I said, I am constantly unfolding and learning and growing, and am continually open to unfolding more.

I now no longer identify as having a “Kundalini awakening” even though I have had one, because the experience of energy is not the antagonistic sort of divine forcibly opening the midline type of experience that I once had, and a Kundalini awakening in itself refers to the experience of the singular individual experiencing the flow of divinity within them– a relationship of “I” vs. divinity… I no longer feel as if those are separate things, or an either/or relationship. I feel in consistent flow with very little flickering, and if it is it is just a pushing of the state into the background as I attend to external reality.

I can see and experience how much illusion there is in the world, and how much of it is necessary. When I look back at the experiences and understandings and initiations that I have had they are understandably terrifying to anyone currently experiencing them, or similar experiences. I have a lot of compassion and admiration for anyone going through any type of awakening who is actually willing to awaken rather than further perpetuate or create illusions to help them feel safe and in control, to help them feel as if they know everything. Most people prefer to awaken to their own illusions rather than seeing with clarity. I now realize that there is no way anyone can have the answer to everything, no way one person can know the totality of the cosmos. I can recognize the fear and illusion in others who pretend to, though… and the fear and illusion in others who follow them.

There is constant unfolding for me– I can now see and work with the structures above my head and way above my crown. To me these look like ovals and crowns that allow for us to receive divinity directly, without having to filter it through the grids of societal and global-type energies. I realize there is much more that I haven’t experienced, though… even with all I see and know I now know that I can only understand and consciously process but a small part of it. And that is okay with me. I no longer need to know everything, or even understand everything I experience. I just meditate and process what comes up, acknowledge what is coming up, and now have the tools to deal with it. I no longer focus on the future, on what might happen in the future, and on getting to the next step in my spiritual process. I focus on the now, and whatever comes up is what I need to work on.

In general, my interests have changed a great deal. I used to be interested in the most involved and advanced energy work, or psychic abilities, or magic/occult material, and getting to the top of my field in bodywork, energy work, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and so forth. What has replaced this need for achievement and need to cultivate the most advanced states is an interest in embodiment and the cultivation of inner states. It is more impressive to me now when someone can fully awaken and be in their physical body rather than someone who can predict a catastrophe or who can call down the most massive energies. It is more impressive to me when someone has awakened with the understanding that the physical body and the emotions are of vital importance, that embodiment and our senses are of vital importance, than someone who is pretending to be an avatar or fully awakened being who knows everything and doesn’t understand that the spiritual is right here (not off some place) and that whomever they are they do not understand everything… rather than perpetuating the myth that being awake means that you are no longer human, that you no longer have emotions, and that being “awake” means that you will always be physically a perfect specimen with the answer to any and every spiritual query. 

Humility and a willingness to continually unfold spiritually, continually becoming more embodied, continually becoming more and more human, continually being willing to look for more and more clarity rather than be stuck in illusion are rare qualities, and are beautiful on the rare occasion I see them in others. It is much more impressive to me when someone is willing to see how small they are than on building themselves up to be seen as a guru, or spiritual teacher, or god/dess.

I have peace in my life now, and although I still sometimes flicker when I am processing something, it is not to the intensity, the emotions, or the physical difficulties that it once created, and even great difficulties or large energies when coming through create chaos and then pass through to stillness and peace. My life is not chaotic, it is peaceful. It is simple. Even in chaotic and not-so-peaceful moments I rely on my inner stillness to pull me through. And although I work with people who are in a great deal of chaos, or in need for spiritual healing for difficult life circumstances and happenings, I do so from a place of general peace, compassion, and stillness.

It is important to understand that Kundalini, or any type of spiritual awakening, is an ongoing process. It is one that is hard to describe all of the elements of (and there are definitely some I have missed or only glossed over in a two part blog). I still have days of surges of energy, of fatigue, days of compassion and bliss and days where I wonder why I am awake while the rest of the world is seemingly asleep. I get physical issues, I have emotions, and I am certainly not perfect, nor do I pretend to be. Most of the spiritual community is hyper-focused on this idea of perfection, and how gurus or teachers or “awakened” people need to be perfect, and if they are not they must not be “awake”. If anything, awakening allows for us to embrace our “imperfections”, and to fully show them to the world without worry as a vital part of ourselves. 

But it certainly is possible to work through a Kundalini awakening. It is possible to surrender. It is possible to gain the tools, the understandings, the realizations to have a profound level of peace, bliss, love, and understanding of who you truly are and what your path is in this world that few people awaken to. I do programs, as well as individual consultations via Skype/phone for people walking this path… to share the knowledge that I wished that someone, that anyone could have given me. You can contact me with interest.

Experiencing Kundalini Part Two

For my initial experiences with Kundalini, you can read Part One here

As I experienced more flow in my head the surges of Kundalini from the bottom of my spine grew in intensity. I felt like a volcano, with lava flowing up my spine and in the area around my spine. As it reached my heart and throat it was like a huge wave being blocked by a mountain.

Although I felt this physically, the main issue at this point was not the physicality of it but the mental and emotional constructs I had in place. I wanted to control this process, I was angry about going through it, I felt victimized by it since it wasn’t my choice… I was angry that I had been to teachers and workshops and gurus and through so many books and I only got faint glimmers of knowledge that helped me. I was angry that I saw more and felt more deeply than the people around me. I was angry that what I was experiencing wasn’t even talked about in any of the social circles or spiritual communities or classes that I took. I didn’t understand what the point was of being awake if everyone else was asleep, and wanted to stay that way. I was angry that all of the material out there is for people who want to awaken their Kundalini and none of it was for people who were desperately trying to deal with Kundalini and its effects.

As I released the anger and fear and finally surrendered (yet again, and again, although still having an antagonistic relationship with Kundalini at this point) my sensitivities and abilities again increased. I was able to see grids, experience other dimensions and worlds, constellations, DNA, experiencing wings on my back (yes, I realize how crazy this sounds to people who have not experienced this) and started being able to help people (who actually wanted help) move on, clear things, and heal in a profound way. I now received guidance and flow any time that I was working with a patient– I knew what they needed and quickly knew if I could provide it for them. I also stopped lying at this point. It was too difficult to lie, and I no longer wanted to. I began operating with a sense of integrity and truth not because I wanted to, but because I had to.

I began feeling even more flow. This was flickering– I would feel the entirety of divine flow… and then I would become an individual again, deeply afraid and isolated and alone. The flickering of one state to the other was indescribably difficult, as the return from feeling powerful, from feeling oneness, from feeling a part of everything and breathing with the entire universe…to again being an individual with understandings and sensitivities that separated me from most of the population was crushing. The going from the internal self, divinity, and full realization of power and truth… to the external, physical, and emotional trauma-based self was difficult.

A huge wave of fear rose up in me. I realized that I was not fully surrendering. This fear was of total surrender, it was of death. It was of letting go of my individual self and realizing the entirety of divine flow. It was a fear of the release of the individual (the ego, as it is so fashionably called). I feared there was something terribly wrong with me. I feared because at this point I could wake up one morning and have totally different understandings of the world, the cosmos, and myself than the day before. I feared because there was nobody that could help me– and at this point I couldn’t even articulate what I was going through because it was ludicrous for someone in this day and age to be going through a spiritual experience like this. I feared that I was insane, and that I would be locked up or hurt in some way for seeing and feeling what I did. I feared for my physical health, for my safety.

This fear ended when I had a near-death experience that put me in the hospital. I felt a huge surge of energy coming up my spine out the top of my head (similar to the first eruption but with less stuff in the way to hold it back). This time the energy went higher out the top of my head and was more forceful. I immediately began vomiting and couldn’t stop. I was sick for months after this. I couldn’t eat, was constantly dizzy, and had to return to school quickly (after a few weeks) otherwise I would have had to repeat the trimester. After this experience happened I was very sick for a solid year.

After the energy surged out of my head I stopped fearing death. I stopped getting migraines, and many of my physical and emotional issues gradually subsided. I was exhausted, though. Although I now felt a clear flow of energy through my midline, as well as energy flowing down through my crown, there was still more material to process, specifically in my heart, my brain, and my third eye. I began feeling light (this sounds wonderful, but it was actually quite painful) that throbbed through the center of my head, and prickling sensations around my crown and the base of my skull. My neck began to be quite painful, as I realized that there are energetic structures in the top of the head as well as the base of the skull (and midway between) that were trying to remove themselves.

I began feeling clamps (hard to explain) around the back of my kidneys, the back of my heart, and the back of my head that wanted to remove themselves. I now felt not only energy surging through the middle of my midline, but a circuit of energy coming up the front of the body and the back of the body, forming a circuit (du and ren channels in Chinese Medicine, Microcosmic Orbit circuit for those interested). I felt and saw each of my chakras vividly, and began to see lights and glows around people. I began to see the amount of chaos that surrounds each person (like squiggly lines) and how awake they were by the amount of chaos and illusion that surrounded them, as well as the light in their eyes.

I also began being in contact with larger energies, different beings, and my antagonism towards the spirit world, towards kundalini, and towards the cosmos began to change. I accepted fully who I was, understood what I was here to do, who I was, and accepted that I was going through this process. That it was real, that it was happening… and I surrendered to my path. I also no longer saw the spirit world, or any world, as “separate”. I saw that death was not separate. I realized that we are oneness, and divinity, but are also separate beings in physical bodies.

At this point I surrendered my brain. It is a strange process that started before my near-death experience, but I realized how much illusion and pain I was creating from my mind, and how the universe is one large brain, or the composite of many brains creating reality. It is hard to describe the type of peace and clarity that comes with having a quiet mind, and that “giving away the brain” doesn’t mean that I don’t think. It just means that the endless chatter, the caring what other people think, the endless creation of illusion coming from the mind ended.

It was at this point that I discovered the importance of the physical body, the physical container. I no longer felt energy, or strong surges of energy going up, but energy simply going through me coming from all directions (up, down, sideways, etc). I began connecting to the Earth below my feet, and having my legs fully open up (this is, admittedly, still a work in progress). I connected, accepted, and loved my own darkness. I began seeing through the many illusions of the world, the illusions I had created, the illusions people create for themselves in order to survive.

I began to get healthy again. To not be so focused on my spiritual experiences. To live my life as a human being. To have the spiritual flow through my daily life. I now understand the importance of having a healthy body, a healthy mind, a healthy spirit, and that they all inform and flow through one another… they are not separate. My focus changed to being as embodied in my physical container as I can. This involves processing all of the trauma, lifetimes, ancestral lines, and societal and global patterns that are causing blockage in my physical form. 

For my current experience of Kundalini (part three) you can click here

Experiencing Kundalini Part One

One of my biggest issues with current Kundalini literature is that it is either not from direct experience (and this is abundantly clear to anyone that has actually experienced Kundalini), it is from a psychotherapeutic model which has distinct limitations in this realm, that it is new-age(y) and has no basis in what actual Kundalini experiences are like… or that it is from someone who has had a Kundalini stirring, or experience, or even an awakening but is still struggling with the lower layers of this (you can read about different Kundalini experiences here and the basic phases of Kundalini here).

It should, of course, be noted that there are “greater” or “further” or just slightly different experiences than I have had. One of my favorite authors on Kundalini is Gopi Krishna, and his autobiography (in my booklist) is the first that I read (after reading twenty or so books on K in the early days) that I actually knew that he knew what he was talking about, and just the fact that someone was so humble while having experiences such as this, while being a fully awakened individual, was something that I deeply admired (and still do). There are other books on my booklist by B.S. Goel (Third Eye and Kundalini) and Robert Svoboda (Aghora II) and Swami Muktananda (Play of Consciousness) that I highly recommend for anyone who is having a Kundalini awakening.

All that being said, I thought I would talk a bit about my personal, direct experience with Kundalini awakening…

I was always a bit of a strange child who felt things and saw things more deeply than others around me. I was also interested in writing, painting, reading, and utilizing my imagination so I was given the archetype “artist” so that others could readily explain what was different about me in childhood and high school (this still works to this day, now that I think about it). I naturally have always been really sensitive, have been easily able to travel through realms, to see through people, and to see and interact with things that are beyond “normal” sight or experiences (you catch my drift).

In my childhood and early adulthood this was really difficult for me. I was highly empathic, which meant that I picked up everything around me like a sponge. I also experienced headaches and stomach aches, which turned into migraines in my early teenaged years. It is hard to explain this to people without this ability, but I really had no idea who I was because I was always changing my emotions, my physical presence, and even my beliefs towards the dominant energy in the room. At the time, I had no idea I was doing this, why I was experiencing roller-coasters of emotion, why I had such difficulties sitting in class and being in crowds and grocery stores, and why I saw and felt what I did. I realized from an early age that what I was seeing and feeling nobody else around me did. I knew that what I saw and felt and was experiencing was out of the ordinary and made me different so I shut up about it so that other people wouldn’t find out.

My parents understandably took me to counselors and therapists. The best diagnosis they could come up with for me was seasonal depression. I was living in Minnesota at that time, and nowadays I wonder who in Minnesota doesn’t have seasonal depression. Although some of the therapy was moderately helpful, none of the therapists had the knowledge base to help me understand or work with what I was experiencing, or even were able to suggest that I might be sensitive and having difficulties because of those sensitivities. Mostly they did what therapists did– focus on the early childhood, relationships with parents, etc.

In my late teens I went off to college. At college I began having disturbing dreams about being torn apart by animals (you can read about dismemberment dreams here) as well as being eaten or visited by a large snake. Although a topic of a different blog, perhaps, I was experiencing simultaneous Shamanic awakening/calling and a Kundalini awakening. I began experiencing severe spirit-led initiations in 2000/2001. My sensitivities also began increasing, but because I was in college I was able to numb them, as well as the initiation experiences, through various substances. When I was in my last year of college I began receiving guidance (this was totally subconscious at this point by the way) and would randomly (or so I thought) start getting booklets from acupuncture schools and emails about Reiki classes. I only faintly remembered signing up to receive those things, and had no understanding about why I asked for them. My undergraduate degree was in English and Publishing, and I always thought (or knew) that I would be a writer– it was my consistent answer to people when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I graduated from college and moved with my husband back to the Chicagoland area. I began working in retail and doing store sets (basically setting up merchandise according to plans sent by corporate), and then got a job as an obituaries editor as well as took my first Reiki course. This broke something open in me, and I became obsessed… getting many Reiki attunements within a very short period of time (I think about ten within two years or so). I also signed up for massage school, Asian Bodywork school, CranioSacral Therapy classes, and Acupuncture school, and began my meditation practice and research into the occult again.I had been interested in meditation, magic/the occult, and mythology/fairy tales since I was very young, but as a typical teenager these interests ebbed and flowed, and although I had a knowledge base in them starting as a teenager or even a young child, I didn’t start actually having a consistent practice in them until my early 20’s.

If interested, you can read about the intense amount of education from physical sources that I received over a ten year period starting in 2002 here

My Kundalini awakened. Although I can now see signs of it emerging prior to this, it fully erupted at the age of 23. At the time I blamed the Reiki classes, I blamed the meditations I was doing… I thought that there must be a sort of logic about this happening. All of a sudden I felt a huge volcanic blast going up my back into my brain and above my head. It was dizzying– I felt unwell for weeks after. I knew that something profound had change, had shifted, but I was in too much chaos, in too deep in the trenches of the process, to be able to understand anything about it.

My Kundalini erupted first more Pingala-oriented (which emerges to right of the spine and flows up to the nostrils and third eye- google for a picture, but basically it forms the shapes of the chakras along with Ida going up the spine) as well as the central column (Sushumna). At the point of the eruption I felt huge surges of heat and electricity in my body, my pulse rate increased from low 70’s to high 80’s (I was in Acupuncture school at the time, which involves a lot of pulse taking), and my fingers and toes began twitching and spasming.

Then my body began shaking and going into spontaneous yoga poses. I also occasionally experienced body locks, or bandhas, where a portion of my body (it began with my diaphragm, but then would move to my low back/kidney area/sacrum, heart, and throat) would spontaneously contract sucking all of the breath out of my body for periods of time. My migraines increased, and I began experiencing severe itching in my lower body.

I began to be unable to read, to think, and was deeply afraid of what was happening. I was also having a lot of material come up to process. At first memories from childhood, from teenager years, and then from my entire lifetime came up. This was like being in bed and watching a filmstrip of your life flash before your eyes, but also with spontaneous body movements and pain in the area where they were emerging from (memories, or unprocessed memories, are held in the chakras, certain areas of the body, and even the cells until they are resolved and when coming up you will feel pain in the area they are emerging from). This still continues to this day, but is more manageable, especially since I know what is going on and have learned to surrender.

After the first active cycle of Kundalini (the burst above my head) it returned to my lower body… my first chakra. I experienced a lot of heat in that area as well as a lot of emergence of issues held in that chakra. It was overwhelming– in some awakenings a story or a singular memory will emerge. This emergence was of lifetimes of held memories, traumas, ancestral history, my personal history, family issues… everything held in that chakra (well not everything, but a lot) coming up to clear at the same time. This caused me to basically be non-functional. But Kundalini energy is odd… at the same time that I was non-functional I was also hyper-functional, going to Acupuncture school, accomplishing what I was guided to.

Kundalini was very physically oriented, very heat oriented as it rose through my first three chakras. Although there were a lot of emotions that arose, specifically fear, the first three chakras and Kundalini processing energy through them created a lot of physical issues for me. My nervous system was consistently in “fight or flight” mode, my muscles would contract, specifically in the area where Kundalini was clearing blockage, and my thyroid, endocrine, and immune systems took a nosedive. I began having medical issues that no doctor could figure out, huge waves of chills (from Ida, the other side of the body opening up), and periods of time where I had severe insomnia and lots of energy and then another period where I couldn’t get out of bed due to fatigue. My migraines also increased during this time– where I might have had them once a month prior I now would have one once a week with the whole right side of my body contracting.

It was also during this time that I became intolerant of a lot of foods and having difficulty with my digestive system. I could no longer eat ice cream, or dairy, or spice/heat, or complex food (food with too many ingredients in one dish), and became severely allergic to chemicals and hormones in food. I lost a lot of weight in a fairly short period of time, and found that I needed to eat simple dishes (like rice with not much in it) otherwise I would get severe waves of nausea and vomiting. I experienced constant low-grade nausea, a constant headache, and dizziness during this time.

I also began to realize a lot of things about my life and my abilities and understandings of the world began to profoundly change. Around the age of 26 Kundalini began ascending and clearing past my lower three chakras and I began consistently feeling divine flow go through me. I was constantly aware of an ocean of energy within me and surrounding me.This feeling was flickering though, as I returned to processing and the more difficult aspects of the experience. But this flow was blissful, and expansive, and the memory of this flow got me through a lot of the more difficult times.

Once Kundalini cleared a pathway through the first three chakras quite a few of my physical symptoms abated. I began to feel flow through my heart (a bit) and into my throat, which was quite blocked. I also began feeling increased “top down” energies, which I had always felt, but increased from feeling energy going through my crown to feeling of a huge waterfall flowing through my crown. Both the energy going up (kundalini) as well as the energy coming down were greeted by a lot of blockage in my throat and third eye.

In part two I will discuss the second part of my journey with Kundalini

Spiritual Advice: What is Wrong with being a Lightworker?

Dear Mary:

I enjoy reading your blogs. It is nice that it is not a repeat of information like so many blogs tend to be. I appreciate the time and effort that you put into teaching about things that go beyond what is commonly taught or thought about. I do have a question though. In some of your blogs you talk about lightworkers. You speak about how you take issue with lightworkers and what they are doing, but I am not 100% clear why. I am a long time Reiki master and can see how there are some issues, but can you clarify this for me?

In appreciation,

Mel

Hi Mel-

Thanks for the email! (If anyone wants to submit a question for my spiritual advice column they can by contacting me with the heading “spiritual advice” and I will answer it if it would make a good blog and/or I am able to).

I have no difficulty with bringing more light into the world, of people doing good or thinking positively. We actually need that in this world, and more of it is always wonderful. What I take issue with is the lightworker community thinking that anything “not light”– and by that I mean their individual and often very puritanical and judgmental version of what “not light” means is– is “bad”, “wrong”, “ego”, or whatever modifier they put on it and is cast aside so that they can only focus on the “light”.

Lightworkers often use the “light” as a way to judge everyone around them (even if they are talking constantly about how “nonjudgmental” they are) and use only focusing on the “light”, the safe, the positive as a way to not look at the world around them, to not look at people, cultures, economic realities, or other situations different than them, and often to not do anything but sit in judgment and victim blame people who are having difficulty in their lives.

It is easy when life is going well to judge other people for attracting negative elements in their lives. It is easy to say that there is a reason for everything, and if something negative happens to someone (diseases, murders, rapes, finances, homelessness, and even smaller things like bugs in the house or cars breaking down, for example, or for spiritual happenings anything from curses to spirits in the house to bad dreams) that they deserved it and/or attracted it to themselves. This is utter bullshit (pardon my language). There are so many different layers of existence, and the reason that a five year old is homeless, or that a woman (or man) just got raped or mugged or killed often has nothing to do with them. And if it does, it has to do with karma (as in, not the new-age definition of karma but as in they are replaying or dealing with an action in a prior lifetime that only vaguely has to do with them in their current incarnation).

As much as the “lightworker” community feigns ignorance (or is actually ignorant) there is more out there than just you creating the universe singularly. There are societal, communal, and global energies that create the world… and beyond that cosmic flows…and we all have ancestral, family, and even past life patterns informing our current existence. Most of us are not aware of any of these patterns and how they make up and/or inform our singular existence. Although it can be really comforting to think in an odd way that a starving five year old somehow “attracted” this energy to her and if you just think positively you will never be homeless, or need food, or have to deal with anything “dark” it simply isn’t true.

The other huge illusion in the “lightworker” community is one of control. All lightworkers I have met have this huge illusion of control. That if only they think correctly, or go to the right amount of yoga classes, or only “journey” to the upper and lower worlds in core shamanism, or don’t read or look at “dark” or “bad” things, that they will be in control of every aspect of their lives and their outer world and their lives will be complete enlightened bliss. This isn’t what any version of actual awakening is like (read my what it is like to be awake here) but helps lightworkers feel like they are in control of everything, including the cosmos, and if they are just positive enough they will get the new car or house they have been wanting.

The biggest difficulty I have with lightworkers, though… is not that they are judgmental, or lack compassion, or victim blame, or try to control everything in the world around them out of a huge misguided fear of control and sub-realization that they are not in fact in control (which is where all of this fear and need for control actually comes from, and why so many of these LOA and other “gurus” can so easily create memes and programs and illusions that are rather meaningless but incredibly popular), and all of the illusions… it is that they do not take care of their own issues, and with the amount of light that grows the amount of darkness grows that needs tending. 

Let me explain. When you take Reiki classes, or you go to a Shamanic workshop, or start getting interested in whatever spiritual or religious path there is a good chance that you will, at least temporarily, be growing your light. In simple terms, this means that the possibility of awakening, or awakening has started… you are beginning to remember or understand your spiritual path (or at least be interested in it), and you are actively sending energy into the world and being in the world in that state.

This can be wonderful. We need more light in this world. But the more light you are aware of the more darkness comes up. It comes up to heal, to be worked with… and to be loved. Darkness isn’t “bad”. It is beautiful. It is as beautiful and special and crucial for awakening as the “light”. It is all light, in fact, the darkest black and the whitest white.

But anyone who is on a spiritual path, anyone who is on any sort of healing path, anyone who is in the awakening process has a responsibility to take care of their own shit. You cannot fault people who are asleep for reenacting their patterns again and again, for putting themselves back to sleep when they are wounded or feel out of control. But people who are awakening are having their issues rise to the surface. Their issues are more active, basically. And these issues, if not taken care of, go into the consciousness of the collective grids. 

Basically, anything you do not take care of is taken up by the collective shadow, by societal, communal, and world energies. It is how war is created, it is how the Kardashians are created… And people who are “awakening” (which all lightworkers are to some degree) have a bunch of energy that is “dark” or rather uncomfortable that is coming up to deal with. And most of them do not. So it goes out into the world.

That is my difficulty with the lightworker community. That beyond the many illusions of control that are created (I still think it is odd anyone thinks they can control the cosmos let alone the spiritual realms)…that beyond the fact that I frequently work doing “fix-it” work from well-meaning but ignorant spiritual practitioners who victim-blamed people, who didn’t help people, or who screwed people up royally… that beyond the fact that they think that everything can be taken care of by sending white (or purple, whatever the trend is these days) light… that lightworkers are not taking care of their own issues that are arising, so those issues are becoming a part of the collective grids, and are just adding on more illusion, more sleep, more anger, more fear, more control issues, more shadow into a world that is already drowning in illusion and neglect of anything considered “dark” or “bad”.

It is only by loving ourselves… every inch of ourselves.. both “good” and “bad”… both “light” and “dark”.. that we can become fully awakened, that we can become fully embodied, fully healed. It is by reconciling ourselves, being at peace with our emotions (all of them), the murderous aspects of ourselves, the demons that we have inside, the fears that we have, the things we have done yet dare not say, the impulses and sexual urges and “sins” that we can do so. They do not need to be cast aside. They do not need to have illusions heaped on top of them. They do not need to be cleared. They need to be loved every bit as much as the brightest happiest joy filled wave of bliss. This is how we stop putting things into the collective. This is how we go beyond illusion. This is how we awaken.

I am now accepting new submissions for the spiritual advice column. If you have a question, feel free to contact me with the heading “spiritual advice”, and I will answer your question if it would make for a good blog and if I can actually answer it.

What it is like to be Awake

In previous blogs, I have spent a great deal of time deconstructing popular myths about what the awakening process is, or means. There are a huge range of myths out there– from what oneness is like, to what someone who is awakening should eat, look like, act like… to what path or religion or guru or meditation technique “must” be followed… to a consistent and constant focus on the “pains” and “shifts” that awakening entail and an odd focus on “killing the ego”, as well as a focus on how awakening means that you will be completely free from judgement, human emotions, human experiences, human thoughts, and will be in a state of indescribably bliss and a field of love like none other.

Most of these myths are engendered by people who have no direct experience of being awake, or the awakening process– they simply hear about states, or hear gurus speak about states, and tack on their own illusions, their own traumas, and their own hopes to what they have heard.

I realize, from feedback, that I have spent a lot of time (albeit necessary time) deconstructing many of those myths, but I would like to bring forward what being awake actually means, and is like. It is important to note that those of you struggling with ego, or with competitive spirituality, may turn this blog into something like “oh she is full of ego she considers herself awake” but that has nothing to do with me in actuality. There are plenty of awake people out there, and plenty of people who have awakened differently or are “further” than I am in the process.

Now that that has been cleared up, let us discuss what being awake (vs. still awakening) is like:

There is a shift from seeker to sought. This is the biggest shift that I see, and have experienced. In all of awakening processes we are desperately seeking how to merge with source. We take classes, read hundreds or thousands of books, listen to gurus… constantly needing to do more, to be more, because whatever we have done is never enough. Most of us can feel that call to merge with source, to understand how we are a part of it, and for many this call leads to many years of searching, of seeking. When that merging, or that understanding has emerged that we are merged with divinity, and we have unraveled and cleared a lot of our surface traumas, beliefs, thoughts, etc so we can become who we are we don’t need to search any more.

This is not to say that there isn’t a desire to learn more, to unfold more… to read books, or to listen to teachers, or to take courses, but that incessant searching, that ache for more, that list creating of always needing to do more or be more ceases. There is often a casting off of more surface materials that happens in this stage– a release of books, teachers, and belief systems that no longer serve. In this stage I went from owning close to a thousand books to about two hundred, for example.

Competitive spirituality ceases. Before awakening, there is still a desire to prove yourself, to prove where you are and how much you know. There is the endless presentation of arguments, of “truths”, of looking down on people for being “asleep” or eating, acting, or being different from you. When awakened you realize that people are where they are, and everyone is acting and being from their current level of consciousness. There is no need to awaken people, or get people to where you are, or get people to understand you. When you become content with where you are, there is no need for any of this behavior. When awake, you realize that people are really struggling, and many people are still really asleep. But people, in general, are doing the best that they can… and that they need their illusions, their beliefs, their traumas, their chaos… because without it they wouldn’t feel in control, they wouldn’t feel safe.

Instead of judgement compassion and discernment develops. Much like the last category, there is a realization that people are where they are. And it is not your job to get them to be anything other than who they are and where they are. There is compassion that emerges that people (including yourself) are really struggling. Most people have difficult lives and are really struggling– and if they do not (they are financially secure, have what society tells them is a good life, for example) they create struggle and difficulties.

Along with compassion, discernment develops. In awakening states it is either easy to go one direction with this and think that everyone needs to act like you and think like you otherwise they are a lower life form… or another direction of thinking that oneness and compassion means that every opinion is valid and every understanding and person is the same and has the same level of consciousness. Neither are true. What happens is the clarity of seeing people where they are, and seeking people and their understandings as being valid, or of being in a spiritual sort of kindergarten (and everything in between). It is possible to look at someone in spiritual kindergarten or realize that someone is just starting their path (even if it is a guru or “popular spiritual teacher”) and realize that they don’t know what they are talking about and still have compassion for them. This discernment, in fact, is necessary to find out what you want to spend your time on in this lifetime. Evaluating something as not worth your time, or as a lower level of consciousness, is done with a level of clarity and understanding… and contrary to popular belief is a necessary and fundamental skill that should be developed by every person who is awakening or awakened.

Realization of true spiritual power, spirit guides, and the flows of divinity develops. It is common for people who have awakened to go through a period where all of their former “spirit guides”, archetypes, deities, and so forth consolidate and disappear. This is necessary to realize true oneness, true divine flows… and then the person can choose to work directly with divine flow… or with the forms and understandings that come from pure divine flow.

True peace develops. Awakened people are generally a peaceful bunch. When we are struggling with beliefs, with traumas, our lives are filled with chaos. We are constantly in a reactive state. Whatever chaos or emotions occur in our lives are magnified. When we are awake we naturally flow with divinity, understand what divinity flows mean for our individual existences, and have worked through enough of our chaos and trauma that we can fully participate in this flow.

A resting state occurs. This typically happens right after becoming awake, but the seeking process is exhausting. It simply takes a lot of energy. We may have struggled for decades, or lifetimes, to merge with divinity. When this merge becomes permanent and realized, we can rest.

We see through the vessels of the Heart. This is something that is ever deepening and widening, but after becoming awake the ability to see not only through the physical eyes, not only through the third eye, but also through the vessels and the spiritual heart develops. This creates a sort of glow around things, but also has the effect of softness, of compassion, and of developing a love-based understanding for people, things, and places (basically everything in existence). This does not mean that you do not see them for who they are, or how much they struggle, but the capacity to see everyone… from the small joyous child to the guy who cut you off in traffic to the worst demon in hell with compassion and even love develops. It is easy to see the small joyous child or a flower with love, but the development of compassion, understanding, and feelings of divine love for the “worst” of ourselves, the darkest of humanity, the darkest in the Universe develops.

The stress of opposites ceases, black and white either/or thinking ceases. We become okay with and understand paradox. This is a big one. When we are not awake, we need this either/or linear thinking. Both sides cannot be right, and opposites cannot exist with one another. This is how and why oneness has been described as this big puddle of undifferentiated bliss, and how the mythology of seeing every person as equal and valid has developed. The idea that you can be one and separate, or can be compassionate and discerning of where people are, is hard to process in an unawakened state. In an awakened state, you can be full of bliss and love and also think someone is a jerk for cutting you off. You can experience bliss and sorrow at the same time. You can know that one side of a story and the other are both valid (or are both filled with illusion). Contrary statements, states, and understandings are not diametric opposites. They can exist, and do, side by side.

A return to the physical body, and understanding of physical emotions and sensate experiences occurs. In “awakening” communities, the focus is often on “ascending”, on leaving, on being anywhere else than the physical body or the individuals individual lives. Any emotion that is not bliss, or love, or anything that is not positive is hidden away, not talked about because it is “bad” or will cause “bad vibrations”.

In an awakened state, the importance of having a strong and balanced mind-body-spirit occurs. There is no longer a seeking to go outside the body, outside of our lives. The divine flows through and informs our lives. There is no longer fear, or castigation of any emotion or experience no matter how “dark” or “shadow”. There is a realization that there is beauty in anger and fear, that sexuality is sacred and blissful, and that we are meant to have physical bodies, the physical form… and that all of our senses are why we are in the physical form and divine flow can allow for us, in our physical bodies, to touch, taste, and smell things on a deeper level.

The “shadow” or “ego” or anything else about ourselves is no longer something that needs to be dealt with, it is not bad, or something that needs to be “cleared”. All parts of ourselves, demon or angel, are welcomed with open arms, as are all emotions.

We let go of control. Surrendering of control is one of the most difficult lessons or initiations. We actually don’t have much control (if any) but the illusions that we create around control are plentiful. We fear not being in control, we have many mythologies and spiritual experiences we have created to prove we are in control. Being awake is a realization of that lack of control, and of how divine flow shapes our existence, and being able to float through and in it… without creating any illusions of control to comfort ourselves.

We realize that we are very important… and also very small and not important. Most of us spend our entire lives trying to prove our self-worth. Most of us are attracted to spirituality because we can make up spirit guides, archangels, and other spirits who have our best interests at heart, and who can make us feel special and powerful after many years of feeling worthless or not important. In the awakening process we discover our true selves, our divine selves… which are very important and have a lot to bring to humanity… and we are each unique with unique attributes of divine flow to bring to the world through our physical bodies. But the realization of oneness, of divine flow, also allows us to understand that we are very small, and that we are not that big of a deal.

The realization of being very small and insignificant to most people in the awakening process is something that they wish to control and will not move past. They have spent so much time building themselves up, realizing themselves as gods and goddesses, that when the realization comes that one person, no matter who they are, is also small and insignificant most people desire to control and fear returning to old patterns of self-worth (which are still present, otherwise they would have no issue being a peasant rather than a deity). It is an important spiritual initiation to recognize and allow the understanding of simultaneously being large and small, important and insignificant, in at the same time.

Thoughts cease. The realization of an awakened state means that there is no longer idle chatter in your brain. The universe is essentially one big brain, and we have one big brain that creates our reality and all of its illusions. When we awaken we move past this, and our brains no longer are generating our realities. We still have thoughts, but the ceaseless chatter and creation of realities and illusions and problems stops.

We have stillness. At the center of the Universe is stillness. It is the Void(s). This stillness is wonderful, and blissful, and is able to be seen by others.

Although there are more things that I can go into, this is a fairly comprehensive list for now. There are likely “higher” states that I have not been to (as there always are), and some things that I am forgetting as I am writing this. If you would like to stop seeking, stop searching… to find what you are looking for I do offer programs and appointments and such. Contact me with interest. But even reading this list will allow for you to understand and move you towards realizing this state for yourself. There is a reason why you are reading this, as there is for many things in this world.

New Age Frauds, “Shamans”, Charlatans, and B.S.

Anyone who has met me knows that I have the personality trait of being brutally honest (it is sometimes nicely called being blunt). Generally, I call things like I see them, and the fact that I have had the capability of seeing so much from a very early age and think differently than most other people because of this, as well as have had a significant meditation practice for going on 15 years now means that sometimes I get upset by what I see.

A word before I go on… I am certainly not perfect, and I certainly still have things to work on (it would be boring if I didn’t), and the false notion that once you are “spiritual” or “awake” that you enter this happy blissful place of being okay with everything and everyone in the world is simply that… false… an illusion. Something that is marketed by people who want others to strive for a state that really doesn’t exist, and certainly doesn’t exist in the guru that espouses it. It sells books, it sells workshops, and it makes the guru feel enlightened (I always laugh at the current “gurus” who espouse killing the ego and then sell head shots on their website).

Another word before I go on… what I have discovered, and what I have seen, is that the entire spiritual community lacks any sort of pragmatism, or realness. There is this idea of this perfect state that you get to where you no longer have anger (or any emotions at all) and you just simply flow with the Universe. This is yet another falsehood… it is an illusion engendered so people do not have the messy business of dealing with their very human bodies and their very human senses and emotions… they are “bad”, anger is “bad” and so it is castigated away as something “shadow” that is hypothetically talked about reconciling (kind of like the ego) but nothing is done about it.

This is why I am so real, and truth-telling (from the vantage point of my own experiences, of course). I make no illusion about being special, or perfect, or the “chosen one”… there are other people I have met who are way beyond my experiences, especially in certain realms or traditions. I think a dose of realness, of honesty, is desperately needed in a current climate of people thinking that if they just took more classes, or were more spiritual, or got rid of more of their possessions that they would no longer feel anything and would enter this exalted state where they would never have to think about money, shelter, or anything concerning the human experience.

That all being said, I sometimes have weeks, or days, where I am confronted by the b.s. of the world, specifically the spiritual world:

  • I have weeks where I get fifty or so emails from people who went to “shamanic practitioners” who didn’t know what they were doing and either just didn’t help the person or really, really messed them up… and then refused to take any sort of personal responsibility for it.
  • I have weeks where I am told to read certain books because of how wonderful they are and I can see that the authors (we are talking famous ones here) are simply deluded or that they are so on the surface level of understanding that the book is simply a series of new-age memes and feel good anecdotes so that people will fall in with the illusion that there is such a thing as the “chosen one” (a common theme in new-age literature), thus believing that the teacher, or guru, is special and their consciousness level is out of reach.
  • I have weeks where I am send workshop flyers, or told about specific teachers and it is all marketing. They have no abilities, no talents, no power (except for marketing and P.R. of course) in the spiritual realms and they have successfully marketed a course that has nothing to do with spirituality… based on surface level understandings that could really harm people, because the “teacher” has no idea about the subject matter they are teaching. It is all feel-good new-age fluff.
  • I have weeks where I see that most of “spirituality” is marketed towards upper-middle class white people who are always interested in the next thing they need to “do”.
  • I have weeks where I see or interact with people who have been on a spiritual path for decades be stuck in spiritual immaturity, never proceeding beyond the surface because it would cause for them to look outside of their ego, their pride, and their cosmologies.
  • I have weeks where I see the entitlement of people who feel as if they have a right to anything spiritual that they want, without much (if any) work or effort. Whatever the flavor of the month, or week is in terms of spiritual path they have a right to follow, and when that doesn’t “work” for them in a very short period of time they will move on to the next path… not even thinking that many paths take years, if not decades, to even consider or understand appropriately, or that it isn’t their right to appropriate anything they want spiritually just because they want it, and they want it now.
  • I have weeks where I see the militant sorts who say that you “must” do this (raw vegan or a specific diet, a specific path, typically whatever they are doing) to be awake /enlightened… and all of these people finding other people exactly like themselves to congratulate one another on how “awake” they are.
  • I have weeks where I see entire communities, like occult, new-age, or shamanic communities (or individual gurus) come up with chaos and infighting again and again… of course not realizing that they are creating such chaos to look away from their own trauma, or their own lives, and they are creating persecutors, the persecuted, and all of the players again and again in a trauma loop (the same fight again and again week after week in the community or by the guru).

As I mentioned, I am certainly not perfect, and the anger, frustration, fear, or sadness that comes up about these things is often replaced by an understanding that people are where they are. I know for a fact that people who want to go beyond these surface illusions, the charlatans, the gurus, and the “Shaman” will often be able to find someone to help them out. They might have to wade through years, if not decades of this material to find it. I had to wade through thousands of books and interact with many teachers, healers, gurus, and institutions before I could find a few that could help me.

It is unfortunate that we have to wade through all of this in order to find anything of real value. There is so much illusion out there, and most people have no interest in going beyond it. And that is okay… as is any sort of emotion that we personally have in reaction to it. I realize that it is not my job to force people to awaken. People will awaken, and when they do they will go beyond such constructs.

In a more awakened state it is hard to not see the illusions, the fears and marketing behind them. It is hard not to see the reasoning behind why there is this illusion of “awakening” meaning that you are a certain way, or certain things happen to you. If most of us truly knew that we were enough.. that we do not need to do more or be more… and that these gurus were not awakened themselves… if we were able to see that most of the teachers and books do not know more than we do internally… we would react differently to the world. If we knew that all emotions were okay (yes, even anger), all experiences were okay, and that when we are “spiritual” or “awake” we would still have days of being angry (and yes, happy at the same time), we would stop judging ourselves for having what is a beautiful experience of anger, or involving ourselves in the delusion that an awakened state means feeling nothing, being nothing (certainly not human), and being in this state of oneness oriented bliss all the time.

I realize that I spend a lot of time on this blog deconstructing, meaning that I am largely focused on dispelling illusions and saying what things are “not” so to speak. I realize that this is very necessary, based on feedback that I am getting. But I will begin to speak about what awakening “is” in my next blog, rather than what it is not… as a sort of companion piece. I do fully realize however that before we are able to open our minds, our hearts, and our cosmologies, most of us need to confront what “isn’t” so we can have a new framework to move to.

Processing World Energies: The World Grid

I am not the type to typically complain, or even comment on the flow of world energies. I understand (and have had many astrologers back me up) that Mercury Retrograde has people feeling off because they attach such importance to it, and fifteen years ago was around the time that most people started blaming all of their computer issues on Mercury Retrograde.

Similarly, I think that many people in spiritual communities ascribe issues that are actually their own to happenings in the world. I am the type of person that if I drop a hammer on my foot I am going to look to my own clumsiness and question my own issues before I look to the world, or the cosmos, or a being or energy influencing me causing that happening. The worst sort of fake psychic in my opinion is the one who says the day after a bombing, terrorist attack, plane crash, or celebrity dying that they knew it was going to happen because they had a dream or premonition about it. It is tacky, and it is typically the lowest level awareness type of “psychic” who does this sort of thing to prove how awakened they are. I have said it before, but if you are something, and you know you are something (be it a psychic or a mechanic or a teacher or a meditator or whatever you can possibly imagine) you no longer need to prove yourself. You just are.

While I can appreciate astrology (even though I am at only a surface level understanding of it for the most part, and am totally fine with that) the focus in spiritual communities on astrologers putting out forecasts telling us to “brace ourselves” or that “huge energies and shifts are coming our way” or whatever they are saying (do you ever notice none of them say that it is going to be a lovely blissful time of peace?) only serves to perpetuate and create a state of fear and hyper-reaction amongst the spiritual set. This serves to magnify an energy that likely is there, but not to the extent that most people are even aware of or need to process. I always love the expression when you hear hoofbeats look for horses not zebras. While not a perfect aphorism for this context, it shows what most people do: they focus on anything seemingly outside of themselves and are in a permanent state of reaction to energies that they very likely are not even feeling to a great extent.

I also know that by going online and participating in spiritual communities like I have over the past decade that people love to ascribe all of their issues to something outside of themselves. It makes things spiritual… and they do not have to take personal responsibility for them. They can just form groups that all feed off of each other energetically and create huge thoughtforms and grids and illusions magnifying the effects of these supposed energies. When we have dealt with our own issues, for the most part, even the flows of the largest energies from the cosmos do not cause us a great deal of pain. They are just a part of divine flow. We move from a state of reaction to one of simply noticing.

Typically to process most world events you just have to be open enough, and aware enough, to process larger energies through you. This means you have taken care of your own traumas, your family traumas, ancestral issues, past lives, and all of those belief systems and illusions… that you have awakened to community and social and state and country type of grids of energy. As we get further out, the energies and the grids get larger. What may be a small stream of energy from our community turns into a tidal wave of energy from the world.

These grids, these energies, flow through all of us. Most of us are not awake enough to notice them. Most of us are so focused on ourselves (or we need to be focused on ourselves) that we cannot even look to what is directly influencing us– our family, ancestry, etc. So the fact that all of us interface with world energies and only some of us are conscious of it means that only some of us are really noticing these grids in actuality. It means that most people have so much stuff of a personal nature to take care of that the illusion that much of their issues are caused by Mercury Retrograde is comforting. And in fact the fear and illusion of Mercury Retrograde that is created by society, on a societal level, on a spiritual community level, is enough to intensify any spiritual happening much past its actual nature.

All that being said, some of us are awake or sensitive enough to interface with the grid of global energies. For some people this can be very difficult and disorienting, especially because it is not talked about and if you have a bunch of “stuff” in front of it (all of the other layers of you, your family, ancestry, belief systems and trauma etc) that feeling a huge grid of energy, a huge wave of energy, only magnifies all of the “lower level” issues rather than being just a huge wave of energy that informs your existence. There is also a lot of understandable fear that happens, as people who can see/hear/feel/smell this type of grid are freaked out because they don’t know what to do, why this is happening, or even what it is. They don’t know how to interact or work with this energy in any sort of healthy or beneficial way.

At a certain point we become fault lines for larger energies. They manifest through us, we process them. We process energies for ourselves, but also for our communities, for the world, and even for the cosmos. But as these energies are flowing through us (if we are sensitive/ awake enough to notice or feel them) they bring up our other stuff we haven’t processed yet. This stuff may be painful. So this large wave of energy is flowing through us… and we will have to process the wave of energy as well as the layers and layers of unprocessed belief systems, illusions, and traumas coming from many sources that are present in more superficial layers of ourselves.

In addition, sometimes things happen in the world, like this week, that cause a massive wave of energy to come through the world grid. It actually doesn’t happen that often. World energies are pretty wide and big. But sometimes this energy rather than being simply a big energy, or even a tidal wave, becomes a massive multi-story typhoon. And this is enough to wipe anyone out, to completely change their outlook on things, and basically to put anyone sensitive to these energies into a state of overwhelm. Even the most integrated, healthy, and balanced awakened person can be caught off guard by certain huge energies, just because they are so large and take a while to process.

So I have no idea what was happening this week. I know it was from the world grid (as opposed to other grids like cosmic, societal, communal, etc which all have different energies and feels to them). It is ending now (or soon) but it was difficult on a lot of sensitive and/or awakened people to integrate, and resulted in a lot of personal change. So although I am not a person who seeks to look outside of myself, who seeks to blame my headache on the cosmos or a bombing that happened half a world away… it is important to know that these energies can be worked with, they can be integrated in 99 percent of cases. But that 1 percent that we can’t is a good time to surrender and simply allow that change to occur. And when we get back to a state of normalcy, a state of functionality, we can begin the process of understanding and working through what occurred. But it is always important to note that we do react to huge energies that are not “us”… but most of the time and in 99 percent of cases if we had cleared our own stuff, or our family, ancestral, past lives… and progressed through and understood the lower grids that we wouldn’t be in a state of reaction. We would just be in a state of noticing.

I realize that this may be the first time you have been introduced to world grids, or the grid system overall. You can read a bit more about them here but in reality it is important to have a physical teacher to help you understand and process things. It is possible to go to a state of participation and noticing of even the most intensive spiritual divine flows. They can be quite beautiful. But if you do not know how to handle them, or what is going on, they can be painful, and difficult, and cause a lot of issues. You can contact me if you are interested in a reading (in which I can tell you what you are reacting to, what your individual sensitivities are, etc) or to schedule a session for sensitives (read more here) so we can talk about how to understand, work with, and consciously participate in the larger energies that comprise the Universe.