a selection of awakening experiences part II

I write these words the day before the February full moon, also my 40th birthday. For weeks I was looking forward to participating in Barbara Franken’s awakening challenge – I picked a pretty auspicious day for reflection – but now that the moment is here, I feel blocked. There’s so much to say about awakening, yet it all feels like concept. How to write about the ineffable?

Touching Her Potential, Hans Walor

Touching Her Potential, Hans Walor

I moved away from my current city last summer, only to return a few weeks ago. I’m living in the same apartment building as before the move, and this week I’ll likely return to my former place of employment. My favourite cashiers are still at the Whole Foods down the block, giving me extra stamps for my coffee. I hear the familiar sounds of birds chirping outside my window, and a siren in the downtown background.

It’s like I never left.

Back in August, I couldn’t wait to get out of the city. I was so tired of honking horns, screaming sirens and noisy neighbours. I was on edge all the time, and desperately wanted to be somewhere quieter, more removed. I needed to hear my own heart and voice, and I just couldn’t do it where I was.

And the move was good for me. I started my Kundalini Yoga teacher training program, met some wonderful new people, learned valuable work and life lessons, and, two weeks before moving back, ‘randomly’ reconnected with a soul mate for some much-needed healing and completion.

But overall, I didn’t really find the peace I was searching for. In perfect universal order, all the sounds I’d resisted followed me to my new place. I got it – changing the externals wasn’t going to change much. It was time to come ‘home’.

Knowing What She Wants, Hans Walor

Knowing What She Wants, Hans Walor

Since last October, when I began my teacher training, I’ve gone from sporadic meditation to a daily practice of yoga, breathwork, meditation, and/or mantra chanting. Specifically, for the past two weeks I’ve been doing a meditation designed to calm the heart.

As I become more attuned to my body’s signals and sensations, I can feel the bracing of my heart. For many years I’ve held my breath, hypervigilant, steeling myself from any potential hurt or shock coming my way. Lying in savasana, deep relaxation, I’m aware of how difficult it’s been for my system to just…relax.

Throughout my spiritual journey, I heard the words ‘listen to your heart’, ’trust your heart’, and ‘open your heart’ so many times that they lost meaning for me. I was frustrated. I didn’t know how to hear my heart. I didn’t know how to access that soft, still place that knows, I’m okay wherever I am. The voice that knows me better than anyone.

Genesis, Hans Walor

Genesis, Hans Walor

With patience, practice, humility, commitment, and discipline, I am becoming stabilized in my own heart. This is my awakening. My breath is clearing the way. My heart was never closed to begin with. It has always been strong, open, pounding, wise, knowing, and loving – waiting for me. And now I get to live in that place.

The sirens don’t bother me so much anymore. The loud noises aren’t so jarring. Since participating in Barbara’s first challenge, I’ve learned and unlearned so much. I’m a different person than I was two years ago, six months ago, two weeks ago. Nothing has changed these past few months, yet everything has changed. My experience of awakening will surely change too. And it’s all perfect.

Thank you for this opportunity, Barbara. Next up is Sue at http://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com.

43 thoughts on “a selection of awakening experiences part II

  1. Hi Aleya, I hope you’re well! Barbara Franken needs the link to this article so she can post it on the e-book she is publishing. Please email or message her your link to this article. Sending love to you! Brooke

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  2. Thank you so much! I needed to hear this, as I’m very focused, just now, on coming down from the hyper-vigilant state I’ve lived in for oh-so-many-years now, off and on – my head tells me, from experience, if I come down, I’ll just get blindsided again – my heart still says, “So what? You’ve made it through, anyways, right, so who cares if you get blindsided?” – – Still an internal conflict, but thanks for the insights that have helped me with my journey! 🙂 Happy belated 40th! 🙂

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    • Thank you TamrahJo! I hear you on the hyper-vigilance. I was talking about this with a friend recently. It’s difficult to let our guard down, even if we ‘know’ there’s no threat around us. I think it takes lots of nurturance, patience, and kindness towards ourselves. I look forward to visiting your blog and seeing what’s going on your world! All the best, Aleya

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      • Thanks, Alohaleya – you’re a long time bloggy pal, for me, and appreciate it, but know I’ve been struggling the past few months – and going off the deep end, here and there – (there’s a reason why my blog title hasn’t changed, all these years – I’m making fun of my internal world! LOL) …so, in your new found peace – visitor beware! 🙂 But, I, somehow, managed to make a post I thought talked about the beauty of the plains I grew up on and made everyone cry, instead – sigh – back to ye-olde-drawing board – – LOL

        But thanks for forgiving my ‘Oh-My-Garsh!” I so need to get somewhat caught up on things – now – Congrats on your Yoga Teaching License journey! What a life-changing event (and all the other things that showed up during the path that has been for you! Isn’t it just funny how what we are drawn to always ends up surprising us, even when we chose the journey, on purpose! 😀

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        • Thanks, yes, the yoga teacher has been a game changer. I’ll probably be adjusting to the changes for quite some time. I has brought peace but also stirred up a bunch of other stuff – it never ends – hah!
          I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. I hope things feel better soon.

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          • The more I think I’m learning, the more intense/frequent the ‘struggle times’ get – 🙂 at this point, I’m okay with looking at, thinking/pondering about and seeing, “ready to take this on? Or shall I wait for awhile?” Cuz ya know, history tells us, Rome wasn’t built in a Day – but there is a deeper meaning to that statement than most who think I’m touting military dominance – LOL – but I confess – I do love the outward manifestation of building ‘infrasturcture’ as they went along, in their early years – think that’s a point to remember – externally or internally – ! Still infrastructure – 🙂

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  3. Pingback: the heart is not what i thought | alohaleya

  4. Happy Birthday, Aleya! We share the same birth year and month… It feels like a wonderful moment you are passing into– living in deeper connection to your heart. That is key to peace I think. We have to come home to trust in the beauty and the logic of our own heart, our own being. We’re all alike in that way. We all make the journey away from it, and then back to it. Returning “home” can be a good thing, too, I think, and renew appreciation for what we have and what we desire to be. It’s not the same place either if I had to guess, as you are both surely different, moving along that spiraling path of grace. I wish you many blessings in your 41st year!

    Peace
    Michael

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    • Hi Michael, Happy February Birthday to you too! I’m happy to have reached this milestone on planet earth and I spent my bday counting my many blessings. It’s been an interesting few months of watching things fall away, and feeling the sadness of that. But knowing this letting go is essential to live from my heart’s essence. Thank you…I wish you all the best this year and beyond. 🙂 Aleya

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  5. I recently came to a similar awareness-that my journey of awakening continues along with the spiritual part of it- dealing with traffic, people who drive me crazy, my own limitations that come into technicolor focus when I’m out in the world and not just resting from it. I love that you left and then came back because you were propelled to do both and that the leaving made the returning possible.

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    • Being out in the world is the real test for sure. I often fantasize about retreating to a cave and meditating in solitude (which I’m sure I’ve done in times past!) but then, I’d get lonely. I don’t want to isolate. Being neutral and non-reactive in the day-to-day chaos is a major challenge…but it must happen. Practice, practice, practice! Thanks Diahann. Aleya

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  6. Hey Aleya,

    ‘My heart was never closed to begin with. It has always been strong, open, pounding, wise, knowing, and loving – waiting for me.’

    One dwells in the light of their own truth in the chamber of the heart. Happy Birth-day Aleya 🙂

    Best wishes.

    Namaste

    DN – 24/02/2016

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  7. Happy happy birthday… 40 An age where it all ends and begins anew (in my own experience) Thankyou so much for your heart revealing story, it was so appropriate for my husband to hear me speak your post out loud… Thankyou barbara

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    • Thank you Barbara, for providing me the opportunity to write about my process. I didn’t know the post would turn out to be about my heart, but it’s so appropriate! There really is something magical about turning 40; I can feel the ending and beginning. And I am counting my many blessings today. ❤ Much love, Aleya

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  8. What a wonderful time to turn 40, congratulations and Life now begins 🙂 as they say .. It is not often we are lead in a complete circle but as you so clearly see, Our hearts is where our true awakening begins,
    Knowing that the journey ‘out-there’ was not really what you were seeking so much as the journey ‘inside’ and the location we are at is secondary to the location of finding our our comfort zones within our own skin..
    So well done for showing courage to back track..

    Love and Blessings to you upon your continued journey… Loved reading. Hugs Sue

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    • Thank you so much for the lovely words and birthday wishes Sue! As I mentioned in response to Barbara above, I didn’t know this post would be about the heart. I wrote so many things and none of them felt right. But this felt right. 😉 I’m so grateful for what’s brought me to this point and I look forward to what’s to come. Indeed life begins now. Namaste, Aleya

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  9. Holy wow!! So you totally did a full 360°?!! Holy wow lol.
    I have to pause here and see through what just happened with you. You obviously can see; I, on the other hand, am blurred. Or…! Choosing to see blurry… hmmm…

    There have been many inspirations from all the movements you have been doing lately. They were moments of happiness for you and damn envy for me lol. Yes, I have to truthfully admit to that. You are more than a blogger acquaintance for me to hide what my heart goes through. =)

    I’ve traveled lots since we began talking about visions many moons back. And though I come back to the same place, it is only a place to sleep in, rest a bit, and whatever. My heart continuously yearns for different places to explore; but likewise, my heart yearns for a place I wholeheartedly can call home.

    Maybe I’m a nomad – hahaha!
    Happy, happy birthday, sweets! And may your heart settle in peace in this new chapter. Same old place, but a very different you. xoxo

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    • Your comment made me smile! Thank you for the birthday wishes. It’s a big one!! I love that you are so truthful. This is what it’s all about! It helps me be more truthful and transparent. I know lots about envy. Like, lots. But something about turning 40 ~ I know I can’t take it with me! 😉 Sending you love today and always…my fellow gypsy nomad longing for a home…xo Aleya

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  10. Happy 40th birthday Aleya woohoo! <3<3<3. I agree that you bring yourself with you wherever you go. The heart space way of living is the way to go for me as well. I appreciate the clarity and vulnerability you bring to the table. My sense is that your way IS the way of the heart.

    love and peace,
    Linda

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  11. Thanks for sharing your journey, Aleya. So, it sounds like that even though you returned to the place you came from, the time-out was still very beneficial with the yoga teacher training and all the new connections you made.

    “Throughout my spiritual journey, I heard the words ‘listen to your heart’, ’trust your heart’, and ‘open your heart’ so many times that they lost meaning for me. I was frustrated. I didn’t know how to hear my heart.”
    I can relate to that. That is one of the phrases which is said so often, and it is not clear how to do it or what it means, and it can be so easily misunderstood.
    Thanks for sharing your method of getting into the heart-space!
    Karin

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    • Yes, the time away was very beneficial. I have a very special place in my heart for the island and all that happened there…and in this moment I miss it! It’s a powerful place. It’s true, home is where the heart is, and my heart is here and there. And Italy. ❤

      I know what you mean about the several other phrases. I had an idea to do a post about the top 5 most overused spiritual sayings. I still might! 😀 Thank you Karin! Aleya

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