Lisa and I, 1996.
We are all so truly unique and so each spiritual awakening is unique. No two people have the same experience. Even people on a retreat together will have a completely different inner and outer experience. We are unique creatures who view the world from within the filter of our perceptions and past experiences.
My spiritual awakening was not special other than that it happened to me. In my mid twenties I discovered I was more than just this life, more than this vehicle we call body, and that those around me were also living in their own unique multidimensional reality. I discovered through meditation, revelation and soul searching that I was a Being of Love and Light.
Before my spiritual awakening I was a different person. I was definitely what you would call a troubled teenager. I was moody, gloomy, cynical and sarcastic, with bursts of excitement. I was drinking in bars and, being from a university town, I’d joined the party circuit and was dating 18 year olds at 16. I still managed to get through high school relatively unscathed and completed my Bachelor of Arts at university. It wasn’t the experiences with earth bound spirits that served as impetus for a spiritual awakening. Strangely enough, the spirit wrangling experiences piqued my interest and opened my eyes to the infinite potential of all we don’t know. But it didn’t catapult my life in a new direction like it was two years later.
It all began with a feeling of restlessness and a desire to step outside of what was expected of me. My partner of three years and I had spent a year teaching English in a high school in the foothills of Mt Fuji in rural Japan. I made the decision not to renew my teaching contract and walk away from a lucrative position while my partner stayed for another year. I chose to travel from Singapore, through the Indonesian archipelago with my partner, and from Timor to Australia with no plans or any real idea of what I was doing. It was yet another step away from the safe and secure, away from my partner and a leap into the great unknown. I felt guided. It felt as if I had no choice but to follow where I was compelled to go.
It felt decidedly awkward at first. I arrived in Darwin with no clue of what I was meant to be doing in Australia! Within two hours of landing, I was befriended by Lisa, a beautiful Swiss woman. So began a beautiful soulful connection that continues to this day. We arranged an epic adventure by FWD through the Northern Territory and into far North Queensland with two Brits, hopping between national parks and fording croc infested rivers.
By the time the 4WD journey ended in Cairns my worldview was transformed. I had read ‘The Celestine Prophesy’ by James Redfield. It opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and being. I was particularly taken by the concept of serendipity and that there was no such thing as coincidence or chance. I spent the next nine months travelling using serendipity to guide my steps. I started to look at the world as symbols as if it were a dreamscape to be interpreted. Everything held meaning. Whatever stood out was interpreted to squeeze out meaning. I started to notice sounds, bird calls, snippets of other people’s conversations, radio presenters or songs. So often these sounds that stood out related to exactly what I was learning about! My external world cross-referenced aspects of my internal world. It was surprising and more than slightly disconcerting!
My mind expanded to take on all of this new information. How was it that the world was reflecting the book I was reading or the thoughts I was having? How were people having a conversation that referenced my deepest darkest inner workings?! This could only happen if everything was inter-related. This could only occur if there was something larger, some kind of collective consciousness that could echo my thoughts in the outer world. Maybe there was an over arching consciousness that was all knowing and all seeing, that somehow thought my little life important enough to be involved in. Mind blowing! It was the web of life.
All of a sudden I could see energy and auras around people! I learned to energetically protect myself (my aura) so I was no longer a walking sponge absorbing other people’s stuff or giving away my energy to prop up others. Unconsciously others felt the change and reacted to it as if I was ignoring or distancing myself. They actually resented my new boundaries. With the opening of my third eye chakra you can actually see the energetic damage thoughts and words have on others. Suddenly I didn’t just know intellectually that it is important not to be judgmental and critical of others. I could see the damage done to myself and others through hurtful words that created energetic attacks; shooting darts or backstabbing others with thoughts and words. It works in reverse also, where a smile or heartfelt praise is seen as the opening of my heart and the other’s, a lightening of their aura and a feeling of love and gratitude.
Everything became Divinely guided. I began meeting people I thought were interesting, those I felt drawn to, as having a message for me. I engaged more and listened more deeply, seeking to understand their unique inner knowing. I met the most amazing, inspiring people. I attracted completely different people; people who lived on the fringes of society or who’d chosen to opt out completely. They lived on properties, self sufficient and loving life. They were fruitarians (80% raw fruit and veg), into biodynamic farming who lived in alternative communities, nudists, naturalists and pagans. I saw with my own eyes that there were other ways to live, other ways to be.
I fasted several times – on water or fruit for 5-6 days at a time. Fasting was incredibly empowering and changed my attitude to my body and to good. I learned that I was in charge of my body and that my body was my temple to be cared for and cherished. I was gobsmacked when I just didn’t feel hunger for days. I learned to tell the difference between genuine hunger and routine – my stomach knew when I was meant to be eating my breakfast, lunch and dinner and would gurgle away in anticipation! I realised how much time, energy and effort we put into thinking, planning, making and consuming food! I learned that I was not governed by these physical responded and that I didn’t actually need to eat as often as I did. Society’s rules did not have to be followed. We had a choice. Again, mind blowing!
But there was more. Peeling away the layers I saw all life on a whole new level. I vividly saw how we make our reality based on our thoughts, on our expectations. I could see how my thoughts and expectations shaped my world. Mind blowing! I began tracking my thoughts, becoming more aware of my inner voice (that criticised and judged me and everyone else who crossed my path!). I started the life long challenge of filtering negative thoughts and directing my energy towards the positive. I began learning to reprogram my being.
Other side effects were unexpected. I used to be afraid of heights: the type where I’d manage to shuffle halfway out onto a bridge and the fear would hit me and I’d cling for my life and not be able to physically let go. This inexplicably disappeared sometime during my spiritual awakening. I won’t say I was ever going to bungee jump but I wasn’t frozen by fear either.
I did a ten day Vipassana retreat where everyone remains silent and learns to meditate. I couldn’t recommend it more for anyone wishing to face their demons and get to know yourself without any distractions or excuses. It was amazing. I grappled with my inner voice that nagged and put me down. I observed the mind’s incessant chatter and ability to distract me with the most elaborate tangents. I observed the urge to fall back into thinking of the past or the future rather than focusing on the now. I observed my mind as separate and untrained. Through meditation my mind calmed, it cleared and I found peace. When I left “my mind was a clear blue sky with thoughts passing through like clouds” as the Buddha described.
By this stage Lisa and I were WOOFing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms). We only managed to go to one farm. Unbeknownst to us, we had innocently stumbled upon a rebirthing retreat. Lisa faired better than I: within days I had curled into foetal position and was unable to explain why. And so began four months of rebirthing sessions and retreats to unearth and process my childhood so that I was no longer carrying it around. This was transformative although it’s an extremely harsh methodology so if you have unresolved issues choose your practitioner carefully. For me personally, I released more using the love based energy therapy, Reiki. But I had to wait another year for my Reiki master to tap me on the shoulder!
On my spiritual awakening I was pushed to the limits of my comfort zone. I was tested over and over again until I knew what I was comfortable with and what I wasn’t. I surprised myself and often disappointed myself. I learned to trust my judgment and intuition. The niceties of my upbringing were stripped from me in these ever changing surroundings and I had to learn who I was and how I would be. I often had no one but myself. I learned to be me without a facade. I became more forgiving, accepting and open minded. I built inner strength and resilience. It was the steepest learning curve of my life. My spiritual awakening changed my life forever. My worldview changed irrevocably. I continue to be inspired by what life and spirit have to offer.
If you haven’t begun your spiritual awakening and would like to, then make a start today. Set your intent to get the ball rolling. Pay attention to patterns, serendipitous coincidences and synchronicities. Be aware of opportunities as they arise and accept whatever stands out and attracts your attention. You will never know where seemingly innocent invitations may lead you! Before you know it, you will have embarked on your own unique spiritual awakening!
Article by: Debra Reeves
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