human teachers, spiritual honeymoons, and lone wolfs

A few weeks ago I published a post sharing some websites that I’ve been following for a while. Since that posting, Jenna Forrest has removed the majority of videos from her YouTube channel. In a recent message, she explains that she continually receives new information, and that some of her teachings (particularly those on twin flames) may have done more harm than good.

Jenna’s videos brought me much hope and comfort, and I was a little surprised that she took so many down – but I applaud her integrity and in some way feel relieved. We can easily become dependent on spiritual teachers, investing ourselves in those who are going through their own processes and who may not have the answers we seek.

if your presence doesn't work, nothing works

I believe that as a collective, humans are becoming more open to receiving knowledge that was once reserved for a select few (or intentionally kept secret). We’re realizing that we all have access to this information; we don’t need a spiritual ‘authority’ as an intermediary.

But this means there are a lot of people out there saying a lot of things…and without discernment we can become easily influenced and eventually disillusioned. Learning from each other is essential – but we’re still human beings with egos, motivations, and intentions we may not be consciously aware of. (Spirituality and yoga are big business.)

In general I’m finding that messages I was once very drawn to now hold less pull. I’ve written about spiritual information overload, and honouring the inner teacher, before – and this theme is only getting stronger in my life. With so many teachings at our disposal, our own voice can get lost in the noise.

I’m certainly not discounting teachers or teachings as a whole! I’m very grateful to those who have shared their knowledge with me. Kundalini Yoga in particular has helped me tune into my inner knowing in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m nearing the completion of my teacher training program and, since last October, I’ve meditated, practiced, and breathed more than I have in my entire life! At many points along the way, my mind, karma, and beliefs have felt more claustrophobic than ever…but then there’s an opening, and I find an expanded state.

I’ve met some amazing women and men, and seeds have been planted for future collaborations. I’m trying to not think too much about the future; many times I’ve gone through spiritual honeymoon phases, becoming enamoured with a particular teacher or teaching, only to have it fade away as something new is revealed. I wonder if this will happen here…and then stop myself. For now, I am enjoying this process immensely, and with much gratitude.

One theme that has repeatedly come up in our training: the time of the lone wolf is OVER. For humanity to evolve, it’s all about group consciousness. This can be tricky for those of us comfortable in our private little spaces, the introverts who are just fine going about this spiritual journey alone, thankyouverymuch.

This has been one of my main challenges but I’m slowly learning that it’s safe to come out of my cocoon and connect with others. It’s a vulnerable, uncomfortable, beautiful thing. I’m not saying we have to give up our privacy completely – but we do need to know when we’re isolating ourselves to a degree that’s not serving our highest purpose and potential.

Just some random thoughts. Life has been very busy with work and wrapping up my program. The next step is teaching an actual class! Pretty amazing to have reached this point.

Sat Nam (Truth is my identity)

[2017 update: https://alohaleya.com/2017/06/24/technology-the-divine-search/]

your consciousness is your best friend

flowerinoakbay_bf

There’s nothing which can be more precious in you than your own relationship with your own consciousness.

(spiritual) information overload

Back in March, a dear friend invited me to a new moon/birthday celebration where we were treated to a heavenly meditation in a salt cave, divine live music, and a beautiful despacho ceremony.

As part of the evening, we also chose angel cards and shared them as a group. I picked Archangel Metatron, whose message for me was ‘Prioritize’. Ugh, how boring, I thought. I would’ve preferred something much sexier, like ‘Cosmic Power’ or ‘Twin Flame’…but looking back on the past few months, I see just how apt this card was. I’ve lived in three different places since then, and life has been an ongoing process of clearing out, paring down, and de-cluttering.

It hasn’t just been about physical ‘stuff’. Over the summer I began to feel overloaded with commitments that my heart wasn’t into anymore. Thinking about all I ‘had’ to do left me feeling drained, with little drive to pursue any of it. So bit by bit, I let certain responsibilities go. It wasn’t easy. I felt guilt that I was letting down people whom I’d committed to. I felt like a flake.

But now, settling into my current living space, with minimal possessions around me, clarity is sinking in. I can see that I’ve been whittling away the outer noise in response to my soul’s desire to be heard.  I’ve chosen to bring with me the things I find most beautiful…the colours and books and art I truly love, that harmonize with me.

One of my favourite images, from my trip to India

One of my favourite images, from my 2010 trip to India

There’s a lot of information out there about a new earth – a 5D paradigm we are collectively awakening to.  Sitting here in my temporarily Internet-less apartment, I know I’ve been on information overload. I need to digest rather than consume these spiritual concepts. I’m understanding that this new world can only be created from within me. I need to feel that world in my body rather than compute it in my head.

I’m also seeing themes of sloppiness versus integrity in my life. Where have I been cutting corners and settling for ‘good enough’ when I know more is possible? Where can I take greater personal responsibility and create a higher standard in the way I interact with others, myself, and the planet?

And when does taking personal responsibility morph (in my own mind) into being ‘too hard’ on myself? Am I really being too hard, or am I being brutally and lovingly honest, sensing my divine potential to live more compassionately, joyfully, powerfully, simply?

Since registering for my Kundalini Yoga teacher training program, I’m feeling all this more intensely. I’m nervous, which could be a good sign. I sense I will be confronted with things I won’t be able to ignore, numb, or justify. I know the training will take me deeper into myself and enable me to stand more firmly in my own truth, as it is being revealed. For this I am grateful, excited, and hopeful that the world(s) I discover within will manifest without.

Now to find some wifi…

meditating beyond the mosque

It will take me some time to process what I learned about myself in London. I knew it would be an eye-opening journey – I was travelling with my mother and visiting family I’d never met before – but I didn’t expect to be so confronted by my own views on family and religion.

me being a dork in a london phone booth

me being a dork in a london phone booth

I was brought up within a minority Shia sect of the Muslim faith. This group differs from the majority of (Sunni) Muslims in many ways – too many to go into here (and I’m not an expert anyway). I remember going to mosque as a child and not really getting what was going on. My grandparents were extremely religious, my parents less so – but we still attended mosque somewhat regularly.

Being Muslim was my identity. Back then, I referred to all my white friends as ‘Christian’, regardless of their spiritual belief. ‘White’ and ‘Christian’ were synonymous in my little mind.

I always resented that I had to be part of a religion that didn’t get to celebrate fun things like Christmas and Easter. But I also felt conflict and guilt that I didn’t like my religion. My mother tried to make me see the positive aspects of the faith, but it never took. I didn’t understand any of the rituals (and wasn’t motivated to really explore them), and I’d get preoccupied by the dynamics of the people around me. At mosque, I was irritated by any gossiping I heard, or excessive dressing up. It was hard to see beyond those things.

My deep conflict surrounding religion was majorly triggered in London. Several of the family members I met have converted to the more traditional Sunni Muslim path in recent years. They view this path as more ’true’ and ‘logical’ to follow. Each family gathering I went to in London involved discussion of religion and over the course of my trip I was becoming more resistant, irritated, and yes, judgmental of those around me. I was also experiencing the old feelings of guilt, alienation, and fundamental wrongness. I am so different from these people! What would they think if I started talking about ascension and starseeds and blue rays?!

On some level, I always thought that ‘someday’ I would embrace my faith and make my mother happy by attending mosque more often. What I realized on this trip is that might never happen. I mean, I really got that. I also understood that my deep resistance, guilt, and judgment was showing me that more healing is needed. I know a part of me still views the faith through the eyes of an alienated child who wanted Christmas instead – and that’s the part that needs compassion and release. I will never find peace with my religion by running away from it.

I know that there are beautiful aspects of my faith, and I’ve seen the peace and kindness in my family members who credit their religion for helping them be better human beings.

I also know that my own inner truth is longing to be heard, and that it could be very different from the truths of my parents, grandparents, and the long line of ancestors behind them. This path is lonely, scary, doubtful and, at times, filled with grief. It has felt like a betrayal of my family, and of God. But my own truth, whatever it is, isn’t going away. I love that meditating in the mosque makes my mother so happy. But I want to meditate beyond the mosque.

It’s possible that my ancestors are jumping for joy at what’s happening within me, and on planet earth in general, as many of us are finding our own ways of connecting to God or Spirit (or not). Maybe those in my lineage are thrilled that I’m rediscovering my ancient Indian yogi roots! Maybe they’re excited that I and many others are taking it beyond religion, as we expand into something that transcends any doctrine, belief, or dogma.

London is one of my most favourite cities ever…even more so now. I can’t wait to go back for more.

authenticity in the cacophony

I used to think that being “too busy to blog” was just an excuse. Now I know that’s not the case. I am three weeks into my digital communications program and though I’m having fun and learning a ton, blogging has been on the back burner. And I have missed it!

Ironically, one of the things we’ve learned is the importance of blogging regularly and frequently, posting on a consistent schedule. Strike One for Aleya! 🙂

one of my class projects...making a video!

one of my class projects…making a video! (photo: colleen myers)

There is so much about the digital world that fascinates me. When I started blogging, I had no idea the amount of friends I would make, or that I would physically meet up with awesome galpal bloggers in both Europe and LA!

But being so immersed in social media also makes me see that much of it is just…noise. And that the deeper I get into this world, the more hours and energy I could waste mindlessly sifting through its cacophony.

This brings me back to something I’ve written about several times: the importance of authenticity. Finding one’s own voice amongst the inner and outer din. And using that voice responsibly and with integrity.

This means asking myself why I want to blog in the first place, and what my intentions are with social media in general. Why am I (sorta) enjoying Twitter, loving Instagram, and digging Hootsuite? What am I ultimately using these platforms for?

Okay, maybe I’m over-thinking it. But being in a program where I’m required to social network has forced me to really examine what I want to do with all this knowledge I’m gaining.

Within digital communications, there’s so much emphasis on gathering ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ and ‘traffic’. But for what purpose? Does the content honour the readers, add value to their lives? (I’m channeling my inner Seth Godin here.) Or are we getting caught up in the game of numbers?

I believe it all comes down to my core values, and how I can best use technology to express those values.

I want what I’m learning to be a force for Good. Expansion. Love. Truth. Authenticity.

I’m writing to connect. To express my uniqueness, and to learn more about your uniqueness, and to know that none of us is ‘special’ in our uniqueness. I’m social media’ing to exchange ideas and information, to understand the world more, and to move from ego into a new way of being, living, and loving.

I’m writing to share all the joys and challenges on the way there. To find all you points of light around the world, because connecting to your light strengthens my own.

I can find time for that. 😉

Namaste

the need to justify

As I’ve been exploring the idea (ahem, fact) that I am the ultimate creator of my life experiences, I’ve become more aware of my habit of justification.

In my last post, I wrote about my tendency to seek the permission of others when making life decisions.  I’m noticing that in giving others authority, there is underlying need to justify myself and my actions…a sense that I must explain why I want something, my motivation for doing it, and why I’m deserving of it.

I haven’t let myself just want what I want.

new dawn

When we constantly justify why we want something, we’re saying that our own reasons for wanting it aren’t enough (or aren’t ‘good’ enough).  We thus have to show why we want certain things.  We have to prove why it should come to us, why we are worthy of it.  We have to work hard for what we want, so that others (god/the universe/whoever) can see that we’re serious about wanting it.

And it’s not enough that we just say this once.  No.  We have to keep repeating it, just in case the universe forgets, or thinks we don’t really want it.

The emphasis is on the doing over the being.

Once I became aware of it, I saw the need to justify operating everywhere in my daily life.  It’s at work, when someone requests something I’m not able to do.  Or in personal relationships, when I’m invited to something I’m not interested in.  A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on my part won’t do; I must offer an explanation of why I can’t do it – and often after much careful deliberation of my words.

Underneath my need to explain there has been fear of what others will think, if I don’t do what they want.  Fear of disapproval.  The logic is – if I explain myself well enough, they won’t be upset or think negatively of me.   Their opinion of me affects my opinion of myself.

All this is so exhausting.

It’s so much wasted effort to prove ourselves and our motivations to others.  It’s disheartening.  It drains the spirit.  We’re essentially telling ourselves that our own approval isn’t enough; that we need external sanction before we let ourselves move forward.  But is this really moving forward?

When you’ve gone through life explaining yourself, it can feel challenging to break this pattern.  One question I’ve struggled with is, How can I change the rules at this stage of the game?  How will others react if my behaviour suddenly changes?

But who’s to say that this change must be negative?   In fact, the opposite is true. While playing ‘nice’ may appear to keep some people comfortable, it’s not in integrity.  When I am not true to myself, resentment builds up.   It only gets stronger and louder as I stifle my inner voice.  And then I project it onto others – regardless of what’s on the outside.  They perceive what’s underneath.

Imagine how much tension, holding, and resistance is created in the body when we need to constantly justify ourselves. And how good it feels to surrender it all.  To breathe. To release. To infuse the process of creation with more lightness and fun.  To give ourselves a break!

mail

I am ready for a new way.  One that lets myself want what I want, knowing that I am intrinsically worthy of whatever it is that I want.  That no other explanation is necessary.  Trusting that spirit knows what’s in my heart, and that’s all that’s needed to help me achieve it.  So I can start to relax, and let go of the effort in trying so hard.

While I don’t believe it has to take months or years or lifetimes to achieve this – change can happen in an instant – authenticity is key, as I evolve my thinking and being.  This means savouring the process of transformation, whether it comes quickly or is taking more time than I’d like.  Feeling every cell of my body adapt to this new way. It can be a delicious feeling, if I let it.

I also want to say a big thank-you to all those amazing bloggers out there who are having similar experiences…who have written about their own processes, and have left such inspiring comments here.  We are all learning from each other, and it’s truly awesome what’s going on.

Namaste.

re-wiring my connectivity

I would love to be one of those people who really doesn’t care what others think.

Take my sister, for example.  It never ceases to amaze me how two siblings, from the exact same parents, can be so totally different.  She is three years older than me and, for the most part, has never cared what others think. (I’m sure she has her moments, but I’m speaking generally.)  She seems to have been born with a strong sense of self, a core knowing of who she is.

I, on the other hand, have been the ‘softie’ of the family. Permeable boundaries, super sensitive, feeling what others felt – whether I wanted to or not.

Our familial roles can cement early in life, and we often play the part well into adulthood, unquestioningly accepting it as who we ‘are’.

All this is on my mind as we sisters, in a rare double appearance, recently attended a large family gathering.  In fly-on-the-wall mode, I watched our respective interactions with family members.  I felt the little girl inside me surface: afraid of hurting or offending others, viewing them as authority figures, and worrying about how they perceived her. My sister, on the other hand, seemed completely unperturbed by anything around her.

This makes me wonder: is it really possible to stop caring what other people think of us, if we’ve cared for most of our lives?

My answer to that is Yes.  We are capable of any change and transformation we desire.  But when we’ve trained our system to respond a certain way for so long, it may require more than a mental decision to just ‘stop caring’.

On a subtle level I feel many little wires and threads connecting me to others.  This has affected my ability in the past to make clear, self-authoritative life decisions.  And while the thought of severing these ties gives me great freedom, it’s also unfamiliar.  What does it feel like to make decisions completely independent of the thoughts and opinions of others?

It feels like trusting myself.

Of course.  It has nothing to do with other people.  It’s all about my relationship with myself.  When I’m good with myself, when I’m clear with myself, when I’m solid with myself…what others think doesn’t even factor in.  There is no need to seek external validation or distraction. My energy is directed within.  And it feels good. Genuinely, authentically good.

But do I want to disconnect completely?  I am wired to feel, and though this might include others’ pain or discomfort, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That is empathy, a quality I consider very important.

This is the art of fine-tuning my feelers: knowing which connections strengthen and serve me (and others), and which drain and fragment.

So perhaps this isn’t so much an issue of caring what people think, as becoming more aware of who and what I attune to.  This requires being clear on my own truth.  The discovery of that truth is a priority.  When I really know it, it doesn’t waver in the presence of others’ truths.

So how do I do this?

By stopping.  Getting still.  Breathing.  Moving all that energy circulating in my head down through my solar plexus, and letting it build there.  Creating a new home and sanctuary.  A sturdy place for truth to rest.  Letting that knowledge take the reins.

The true place of power is in my gut.

It overrides the ego’s investment in what others think. Ego wants to look good, to be in control.  It wants to please people, and seeks their validation and approval. (Often resenting them at the same time.)

Maybe my sister was born with a strong third chakra. Perhaps my Piscean sun set me up to be a feeler.  A million theories could explain our differences, but it’s irrelevant.  The question is, how would I like to live now?  What traits in my sister inspire me to cultivate similar traits in myself?

Self-trust.  Turning to my own inner guidance first and foremost.  This doesn’t mean switching off from others.  It means unplugging some of those wires, and connecting them inward, to my source, to my greatest knowing.  This is where my power is recharged and replenished, and from where I serve life in full integrity and alignment.