They don’t tell you this in the sales brochure, but Awakening isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s you, marinating in some dank dark oil of your own indefinable misery as you tell yourself that this must be what they mean about “Shadow Work.” Sounded pretty innocuous at first glance. It didn’t stop you from rushing through that door, though, did it? And it hasn’t stopped you from reading this far.

It gets better. I promise.

Awakening for Westerners is proving to be it’s own unique kind of experience. In India, the culture has systems in place that have been developed over hundreds, even thousands, of years all for the purpose of preparing the individual for one thing: awakening. This is in a word, called yoga, a system with multiple rungs intended to somatically clear the naddis (our circuitry for prana) of stored emotional energy in preparation for the emergence of a stronger or higher energetic state which is called kundalini. The results, then, are different for those in India than for most Westerners (with every case being unique). I could say it’s good to prepare, but here we are, Westerners, blank slates where awakening is concerned, now thrust into this new life. It’s a birth that took only seconds in some cases where everything is changed…..irrevocably. Truth is, we haven’t a clue about the kind of prep needed for awakening. But then again, this preparation wasn’t a part of our culture unless you count accepting Christ as your savior or having a meditation practice.

It’s exciting to watch as it takes shape. It can also be a little terrifying. It’s because something quite large is within and it’s running the show. For as freaked out as I was those first few weeks, I came to realize that this force was not here to hurt me. It never has. It has always removed things that in the end really did me no good at all. I thought of it as a chef in the kitchen of my spiritual life, concocting solutions, changing the menu, setting things right. I learned to stay out of the way, watching a master at work.

I lost really important relationships. I was crushed by a woman I was married to and had children with who sought to turn my children against me. It never hurts nearly as much as when they succeed, though. I was taught that some things just aren’t my own, and never were. I was just there, and it could have been anybody, really, the same scenario was going to play out for them. I saw the kitchen door open as the chef showed me the back door. He whispered, “It will be safer for you this way.”

There is hurt, happiness, fear, joy, loneliness, love, and longing. It’s all lit up, incandescent, at least for a time, so you can see your issues and foibles and learn to let them go. Since the truth is that material things don’t ever buy authentic happiness, the shift is into real often “lonely ” joy. It’s this solitary joy that is like entering the Holy of Holies. It is what dying is like, too, which is surprising when death comes because it’s such an expansive process rather than the dark ending that our worst fears promulgate. It grows in freedom the further you go along with it. It has a swirling beauty that is sensual and orgasmic. It is, of course, nothing like the Southern Baptist minister said it would be like. It’s clear that you are blissful now for no reason except that this is what you know about yourself, and it’s unbelievably beautiful. You feel this way because of this realization that woke you and opened you to your true nature as a child of the one great Light.

Even as you know this, you go through bliss to misery, sometimes many time in a day, a sure sign that your buried bones in your subconscious are still there, rattling away, killing the thrill of your “be here now moment.” You wake up one day and you feel paralyzed. Unable to move. The next day, the energy is leaping around the room and you hear voices or see shapes, or angels in the wee hours, or a hundred other amazingly wonderful things. On this day you are a golden goddess or a god,but you do wonder when it will turn to rust. But wait long enough, and you suspect you will be on that train to Paradise yet again. Something in you screams that there is a reason for this rapid cycling, and you’d be right. You make a new promise to let the energy penetrate as deeply as it can, next time, even if it does uncover acts and feelings you are ashamed of or that you have loathed secretly about yourself for years. As a Westerner, you probably have to be brought to the furthest edge of your misery before you are howling in the night, praying for it to come take you from your fucked up madness. And it does. Honestly, this is how souls are saved more often than we would like to admit.

One morning you might look in the mirror and forget for a few seconds who you even are. The disorientation itself is enough to keep your brow furrowed. You might worry that it might be a brain tumor but you think, “No, I’ll just wait” because you dont want to tip your hat to the world that you might be hip deep in a shit creek. Sure enough, it passes, but you get a feel for what a real brain tumor might be like and tell yourself that you’ll have to give to cancer research because what you just experienced was its own special version of a bad morning discovery.

You are visited by angels even as you are haunted by your demons. Its how this is for us; we didn’t prepare. We come to awakening dirty as sin while standing in the temple of our greater spiritual light. Lucky for us, this light is just so glad we managed to show up. There is a bit of muddy water until we begin to get washed clean. It goes on for years, really, but you can’t help but clean a dirty garment of its filth when you live in the water of life.

Over time, and in direct proportion to the amount of material you have released (It’s all repressed emotion from one traumatic event in your life to another), it gets easier. Turbulent intense sexual energy refines into finer vibration. It’s smoother. There are fewer stones in the road. It all takes time, dedication, and a willingness to just let go. What feeds your purpose stays, what doesn’t, goes. The pendulum swings aren’t as great as they were before. You don’t transit from heaven into hell and back again from one day to the next. Swings come, they just aren’t as destructive as they seemed before. We each have much to learn from each other who are going through this trial by fire and water.

It’s just your baggage. Seems you can’t be in heaven with it, so we learn how not to accumulate it here. And awakening is the magical elixir that makes it possible to heal the impossible. It loosens your grip, allows you to fall, it let’s you see that there is nothing except this feeling which is a version of what the great Light feels. It too was once lonely, and it speaks through the very light of awakening in as unobtrusive way as it possibly can. It wants to be with us if we can let it in. Its like how the Egyptian god weighed hearts using the feather as the measure. It isnt that you are damned if you have a heavy heart; you just cant feel or be aware of heaven without that lightness of being. Which of course begs and answers the question all at once that heaven is a state of mind and not a silly tale about a gated community somewhere.

The earthly self is one rung on this ladder into heaven. The Higher self is the second rung. From there, ever higher rungs lead us back into our ancestry, our origins, back to a less complicated way of being, and back to something we call God (note to self: no description can ever describe it).

It gets better. You get to be whoever, but perhaps more importantly however you want…. just as long as it’s your highest. Anything else will always be hard. What is easy is the flow. I know; Westerners look at flow and think “lazy ” but this is in truth learning to partner with physical reality to bring about the manifestation of important events that reveal a hitherto unknown quality for consciousness to join with the physical universe to make small and big miracles happen.

Whoah! That was fricken incomprehensible!

How about this: we are suddenly magical and can make miracles happen when its needed. It’s just co-creation and it has everything to do with how you feel and how your mind has been unleashed. Yes, it gets easier. It takes dedication and a lot of self honesty. This is turning the light back on yourself. What do you see? Yeah, shadow work.

It is lonely. It’s lonely realizing how everyone is caught up in a world that has very little to do with what is here on this planet, or that matters. Sure, you can get people to care so long as you tie it to a 5k Run for charity or you can create a slick meme you post on social media so it gets gobbled up and digested for a few moments. You wonder how anyone wakes up at all.

Can you see how our desire has been eating our planet alive? Car trips spewing carbon just so we can satisfy our desire to see someone we love,or to go to jobs, to do all the things we say and see as important. Plane trips to visit coral reefs in decline. An addiction to plastic that makes eating our Little Debbies so much more convenient but also gets into our rivers and lakes as microplastic, disrupting the guts of fish and their endocrine systems. Yeah. Big buzz kill, right?

The shape of our desire has forced us to live easy but it comes with a price. Again, buzz kill, but it’s true. People who want things so they can feel a certain way….cars, houses, and relationships. We marry so we won’t be alone. We have children because we don’t want to die alone. We buy nice things sometimes to scare away a deeper sense of poverty or fear that we aren’t good enough. Once in a great while we get really honest about what is motivating us, but we usually want what we want. We will take dying rainforests and bleaching coral reefs just to get those Little Debbies and lifestyles born of a desire that is killing our world. And there you sit, on your own, watching this giant pooping machine of hunger turn and move. You are, afterall, a part of it, too, but maybe a little more aware of what’s going on because a channel was opened in you that let you feel the connection everything has with everything else as you can’t help but feel a sacredness about it which leads to grace. But it still won’t change unless we are it’s harbinger, it’s mover, it’s shaker, it’s champion. The loneliness might also come from knowing that the life of desire, the shape of desire as we know it now on average, is coming to an end as it pertains to what we think will make us happy…

Nothing, though, brings as much exquisite….feeling…than the energy in awakening, simply resting in the heart of the divine. And that too is a challenge because it washes away desire for the things of this world. Is it any wonder we demonized it back in the garden by calling it a deceiver who brings knowledge? But still, I challenge you to find anything as incredible as the light which confers a standing wave of orgasmic ecstasy pulsing through every level of body, mind, heart, and soul for days-months-at a time.

It does get better, but it’s a new world. Maybe we need this so badly that it’s coming the way it is…to people nearly unbidden and woefully unprepared. It’s a new orientation, a new world, if we can take it.

Namasté ❀

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