Recently, I experienced a seemingly insurmountable health challenge that sent me into a downward spiral that lasted for more than a year, culminating in moving back in with my parents
to ‘heal myself’. I submerged myself in what I believed was the best way to heal … a self-pronounced holistic approach that primarily focused on an incredibly restricted diet and absorbing as much information as I could find about the digestive illness. After five months of this approach with no changes, I visited a functional medicine doctor who told me that my main problem was stress … excuse me? How could I be stressed?? I was not working; I slept for 9-10 hours a night and did yoga almost every day. This was my wakeup call where the moments of clarity bubbled to the surface. With the encouragement of my energy worker/meditation guide I took a leap of faith and decided to transform everything to see if that would heal me when diet, yoga and an ‘intelligent’ approach couldn’t.
I bought a plane ticket to move back to Costa Rica (where I had been living the 4 previous years) without a job or any income and a simple offer for housing in the middle of a coffee producing agricultural area. Upon arrival I began to deepen my spiritual journey, create meaningful relationships with people in the small community, teach yoga classes to locals and get my hands dirty in the garden. Combining this with various styles of yoga and a lot of meditation has caused the gradual waking up process I occasionally experienced to shift into high-gear.
When I was in College a Professor assigned us a book that in theory is written for children – ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry. The book divulges a story about a society where people can’t see colors, don’t feel emotions, work is assigned by the leaders of the community and everyone blindly adheres to the norms without imagining a different way of living. I asked myself at that time, about 10 years ago, why this professor assigned this book along with Plato, Franz Kafka and other similar philosophers. Plato elaborates on a metaphor of a cave where people enter to hide from realty – in the cave all they could see was the shadows of what was truly occurring. After the shifts of consciousness in the past year, I finally understand on an experiential level the social commentary of these authors – the majority of mankind buries themselves so deeply in concerns of daily life (as each one perceives it) that he shuts himself off from the universal truths. A profound shift has occurred from living just about 100% of the time stuck in my own head and bubble that I had surrounded myself with to a consciousness of my connection to the universe and all the beings in it. I now comprehend that my existence (using this word while in a counseling session was a huge wakeup call – rather than ‘my life’ I referred to ‘my existence’) up until very recently was lost within a slumber that allowed me to see the world as my ego and society wanted me to see it rather than appreciating the vibrance and abundance that has always encompassed me.
So the million dollar question upon realizing the existence of a dual reality (the True Universal Reality vs. the reality in my consciousness) was how do I live a life beyond the cave all the time? I thought that after all I had been through and all I had discovered this would come naturally. Well suffice it to say that it’s not quite that easy. The patterns that I have been developing since I was a child are stuck in my mental and physical bodies like a code – like a version of DNA. I have now realized that changing deeply ingrained patterns and waking up is a life-long process that has no final destination. One may conceive of this realization as frustrating or look at it as the life-long challenge that the soul chose to confront upon deciding to manifest in this world at this time. I remind myself daily that I am neither my mind nor my physical body and that every experience is a new way to learn. When I live every day with the intention to see every experience as new and enjoy to the fullest the short time my soul has in this manifest form, the frustration melts away and my eyes begin to see life like a child – where every experience is fascinating.