Today's blog will begin with one of my personal favorite spiritual YouTubers, JP Spears. He does a great job to teach us how to be uber spiritual, in case you at home have been thinking you would like to walk the spiritual path, but just didn't know how. Please take caution when following his suggestions; a few have been said to cause spontaneous implosion, and better yet, instantaneous enlightenment. You never know where you will find yourself as a spiritual seeker.
After the video, please keep reading. In this article I will share the following:
- Brief insight into my yearlong Kundalini Awakening
- The honest, raw truth of my experience in the world of people who consider themselves "Ultra Spiritual"
- A list of what to avoid if your BS Detector is deactivated by powers beyond your control (let us hope this doesn't happen)
Get ready to get real.
Kundalini in a Nutshell
I kind of stumbled on the spiritual path, myself. I was never "looking" to be a spiritual person. In fact, it was more like I was running from a great darkness in my past. This darkness guided me millions of miles from home. I knew neither where I was going nor why. I simply followed opportunities as they arose. Some might call these signs.
Goodness knows how it was that things fell into place, one after another, and one day I found myself in the Far East "walking a spiritual path". It was all an accident, but it was what my soul needed in order to heal.
Part of that healing involved an unearthing, mind-blowing experience.
It all began with a little Kundalini Awakening. For a good month I didn't know it was happening to me. All sorts of crazy stuff was happening, and I mean crazy. Visual and auditory hallucinations, the ability to see energy of people in groups, as well as auras of individual people. I felt closely connected to plant life and the entire world around me. It was as though everything was one, and I was one with all.
The trippiest part is that it didn't feel crazy or strange to me at the time.
It all felt completely normal, as though my extrasensory experiences were an extension of my already heightened intuitive spiritual abilities. To some extent this was the truth. The blissful high lasted a full month for me, and another 8 months of nice, steady floating in an awakened, blissful state (though not a full peaking high), until I began to crash. From what I understand, this is a slightly more extended period of awakening than most people experience.
During an awakening, however exceptionally powerful, otherworldly, integrated, and truly enlightening it is, having kundalini energy shooting out of your being for a full year is a freaking out-of-body experience. I mean, forget grounding, forget trying to participate in any semblance of a normal life.
Maybe the awakening brought me face to face with my dharma and destiny, but my ability to execute that dharma was no where to be found.
Why am I sharing all of this? A Kundalini Awakening influences a person's perception of the world, for better or worse. I do not wish to say I was able to "see the world as it was". It was more like I was able to fully embody myself for a time as I connected with the world around me, and people were able to see me, and accept me for who I truly am, for the soul that I am. Bali was intricately tied to my awakening.
Thailand, first month of Kundalini Awakening. Yep, that's me, fully high on kundalini energy, on the left.
Smack in the middle of the awakening, I moved to Bali for 6 months.
A few years later, now grounded and embodied in my human self, the experience of the awakening is still with me though I am no longer in the awakened state. It is now that I am able to look back on my experiences with wisdom, insight, and perspective, and see it for what it was, without the rose-colored-kundalini glasses. Now I am able to see the JP Spears version of my life in Ubud.
Let's just say that I was In Bliss in Bali. My experience was fully open, connected, beautiful, full of love, in love, because I was love. In the midst of this awakening, all I knew was love, nothing more, nothing less. I felt love for every single person I met.
Bali is a land of healing. Her magic is potent, and many feel it the moment they land. People either run, or become addicted and want to stay forever. I had the fortune to learn a great deal about the white and black magic firsthand from Balyans, Mangkus and swordmakers while researching, crafting and blessing the original line of ZAHARA JADE healing yogi jewelry (as well as in my own personal experiences with the magic).
I kept to myself a lot in Bali, doing my thing, spending time with friends, opening up only once I felt someone was genuine. These are some of the reasons why.
Many of the folk I encountered in Bali were of the Ultra Spiritual variety. I say the words and nearly shudder, because there's something really intoxicating about this community. Their words are seductive, their pitch undercutting yet embracing, drawing you in while making it clear you will be nothing without them. Let me try and explain with specifics with one caveat: I have many friends who lived, and still do live in Bali. Many genuine people who flow in and out of this community. Anyone who is an honest, genuine person - and you can smell the difference a mile away - is not this. We all have BULLSHIT Detectors. Use them, they are indeed accurate. Don't turn them off when things like this happen.
Blissed out in Bali, not long after the onset of my awakening.
BS Detection Alert List
- Guru Craze = You can pretty much assume that if someone self-promotes as a Guru, unless it is in a light, playful way, they are not a guru. Gurus are sought by students, their reputation vouched for by other students. Genuine gurus are humble, without ego, and repeatedly remind their students that the student is their own guru. The guru's job is to shed light onto the student, and show them the way so that they may learn, not to create a cult, which seems to happen in some of the scenes.
- Abundance Circles = Pyramid schemes in the guise of "sisterhood" or love circles, with the focus of bringing money to those in the inner circle. Their circles were being created just as I was leaving Bali; women would put $5-10k (or more) into an "abundance circle". They would hold weekly meetings (in person or Skype) to support one another - aka pressure each other to get others into the circle - talk about the concept of abundance and how to create more - aka how to get others into the circle - so that everyone would eventually make it to the middle of the circle and walk away with a large sum of money, something like $40k or more. I know people, even "sisters" who partook in these abundance circles, and lost money. I was invited numerous times, kindly admitting it was not "in line with my truth." Spiritual jargon for "no fucking way!"
- "I'm a yoga teacher" = After living in Bali for 6 months, I gagged every time someone told me they taught yoga. I pretty much never said those words again, and was ashamed to admit I was part of the yoga teaching profession after living in a place where yoga teachers were crawling out of the woodwork. Yoga teacher trainings, retreats, and yoga centers are a dime a dozen in Bali. Everyone being a yoga teacher makes the allure completely uneventful and unoriginal. The yoga teacher all of a sudden became so 2010.
What I appreciate about the scene is that yoga is abundant for the seekers. You can travel half way around the world to take retreats and YTT's. For me, something about meeting hundreds of yoga teachers simply devalued the profession and made it feel like a joke. I was given the opportunity to ask myself, "is teaching yoga my true purpose in this world?"
- "I'm a healer" = I don't believe I ever uttered those words in Bali, even though people sought me out for healing work. In fact, it is only now that I am coming into my own, embracing my truth as a healer. My experience with the healing scene in Bali drove me far away from my healing dharma, until now. Bali gives a bad name to healers because, in truth, it seemed only one out of every fifty was the real deal.
As someone with a lifelong autoimmune disease my BS detector is strong, so I rely on experience and intuition as guides. I've tried the most outlandish healing and esoteric treatments (past life regression, Vedic astrology readings, Balinese massage, bio photon light therapy, I could name about 20 others), and found things that genuinely incite mind-body healing for myself on a cellular level. Then there are other modalities, and therapists, that simply do not. A 2-day certification course does not a healer make. A person either is, or is not, a born healer. You know when you meet a genuine healer, and you know when you meet a great bullshitter and storyteller. Do not confuse the two, but if you do, it's ok. Learn from it, pick your head up, and move on. Also keep in mind that different healing modalities work for different people; we are not all the same.
But a charlatan is not the same as the real deal.
This article from Bridges and Baloons Blog gives a nice synopsis when Victoria tried as many healers as she could in Ubud. Her experience resonates what I found, that most people turn out to be charlatans; people who can sell a good story to vulnerable tourists in need of genuine healing.
Caveat about Healers
There are people doing genuine, transformative work in Bali. A healer is born a healer because they have been put through the struggles in their life which were necessary to teach them how to empathize with others' pain, not too different from the Shaman path. I don't know one healer who has a bright and happy past devoid of pain and suffering. I also do not know once healer who they themselves has not done extensive self-healing. One of the most important attributes of a healer is that they are present to hold space. This "holding space" can be done through many a modality, and it almost matters less which modality is used, but who the healer or therapist is that you work with.
You are opening your energy field to this person, so that they may guide you to heal yourself.
"You had the power all along, my dear" ~Glenda, the Good Witch, Wizard of Oz