My Spiritual Awakening

When we open to our true life’s purpose, life unfolds in almost immediate and complete synchronicity.

When I left my desk job, my career, and my home in Washington DC last year to begin my journey towards a more spiritually conscious and fulfilling life, I had no preconceived notions of what was going to unfold before me. The plan was simply to meditate on this intention and to allow the universe to guide me into my flow. In many ways it felt like I was setting off to capture the last magical pieces of a puzzle I had been trying to realize my entire adult life, and I knew it was finally within reach. Over the next several months as I road tripped across the country, I kept hoping to get this magical aha moment that would reveal my true path. With each stop I was gifted a small piece of my puzzle, miraculously meeting extraordinary people on similar journeys, some 20 years into theirs and others just beginning to vision their lives into their truth. I saw these as signs that I was moving in the right direction, but knew I hadn’t found my truth and so I continued my search. I ended my road-trip at my family’s home in southern California with still no sense of the BIG next step. Feeling impatient with my search and uncomfortable with the idea of stopping without having realized my metaphorical puzzle, I packed my bags in November 2016 and moved to a beautiful bohemian surf-yoga beach town in Mexico in the hopes of finding that last magical piece of the puzzle.

To my astonishment, Mexico seriously kicked my well-traveled ass just after two months and I abruptly came back home to southern California feeling sick, exhausted, lost, and utterly depressed. I spent the next few weeks living an almost hermetic existence trying to unravel what had exactly happened to me. I wanted to blame it on Mexico and put it behind me so I could move forward, but I couldn’t shake the turmoil it had left me in. I felt like a total failure in the face of a golden opportunity. My metaphorical puzzle was completely jumbled and I was too sick and exhausted to even pick up the pieces. I had no other choice but to rest quietly in my solitude. But there was nothing quiet about my rest. All I could hear were the endless suffering cries of my own mind. I felt as if I was being run over by my own emotions, triggers, traumas, fears, and insecurities. Each painful thought reverberated throughout my body, sending me into even great depths of despair and making me sicker as the days progressed. I wanted out of the darkness. But the more I fought these suffering cries, the worse they became. I felt myself becoming hardened, angry, and bitter. It terrified me to think that this might be my path in life. I didn’t want this. It didn’t speak to my truth. But no matter which way I turned to escape, I kept being forced to look deep within myself, at the very things I had never wanted to see. Too exhausted to fight any further, I relinquished myself to the suffering. And so began a process of listening to that suffering. As time went on profound truths began to emerge. The sufferings I was hearing in my mind and feeling in my body had in fact been journeying with me for years, like baggage I had been unconsciously carrying with me everywhere I went. They had nothing to do with what had happened in Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter. They were in fact projections and illusions of my own creation, and shaping my experiences of life. I was totally taken aback to see with such clarity that I was the very source of the suffering I had been trying to escape my entire life and the very thing holding me back from true spiritual fulfillment. I was the last magical piece of my puzzle!

It was now clear that something profound had to change within me. But how? By sheer synchronicity, my answer arrived in an incredible book I had been carrying with me for several months: The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. In his book Yogananda recounts magical stories from his spiritual journey and shares profoundly deep truths about our shared human suffering and the spiritual path to truly awaken and free ourselves from this suffering. Yogananda’s poetic words deeply resonated with me, and inspired the already flowering yogi within me. As if by a magic hand, my puzzle pieces were being put together before my eyes and it shined bright with my truth. The AHA had arrived: the very spiritual path that Yogananda was describing was the path I had been seeking. It was all of a sudden SO obvious, I couldn’t believe I had never seen it before. At that very moment, I committed myself to the work to realize myself spiritually. Almost instantaneously an immense sensation of love flooded my entire being, something so incredibly familiar and powerful that I wondered how I could have forgotten that this truth had always been there, within me. Something instinctively told me that I would be supported in the transition into my truth. I earnestly prayed to the spirit of Yogananda, my first spiritual teacher, to send me a teacher, a truly enlightened soul like himself to guide me towards my spiritual awakening. To my amazement, within days of my prayer that teacher was shown to me. The universe propelled me into his Kundalini Yoga house with such immense force that I knew something extraordinary was happening before I had even arrived there. As I sat in my first class and was led through a series of completely foreign meditation techniques through chanting, mantra, breath, mudra, and movement I felt deep healing taking place in my soul and it reverberated throughout my mind and body, leaving a feeling of utter bliss in its path. And it wasn’t just me. I could sense how this great teacher was looking deeply into the soul of each one of his students, and guiding them on their journey towards their spiritual awakening. I was in the presence of a fully awake being and a true spiritual master. The pages of Yogananda’s book had magically come to life before me and they had guided me to my teacher, in the flesh. This was no sheer coincidence. As I continued to listen to my teacher speak, I understood it was here, through Kundalini Yoga, the yoga of consciousness, that I would be taught the methods and techniques to awaken my spirit to its true glory. I had finally arrived to my true path, my home. I have been filled with an overflowing and ever-growing feeling of love since that day. I am in deep gratitude of this gift and miracle, and look forward to the magical unfolding before me. I plan to share this sacred journey with all who are open to hearing this ultimate truth we all share, and perhaps help them see the truth already within them.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it
 — 
Jalaluddin Rumi