I can recall the day I truly connected with Yoga. First off, yoga found me, I wasn't seeking or even interested. It was a requirement for a dance company I was active in at the time. This was in 1999. At first, I was naive and thought it would be easy as I was self-assured that I was in damn good shape or so I thought. As time proceeded, I had many rude awakenings in my yoga regarding how the physical practice differed from traditional exercise. I had a love/hate relationship as I recognized I wasn't in the shape I thought I was. But low and behold after several months, I was hooked, as many of us feel. That bliss. Those like-minded friends. The state of inner peace that was completely foreign to me. Shangri-La. I went crazy for all things yoga from that point on. Seeking more teachers, knowledge, and material that could fill my soul so I would be ensured that bliss would never again be missing from my soul. Fast forward 20 years, I can honestly say my "Yoga" doesn't have a label, doesn't require asana (stretching), no meditation, no seeking or Sutras, Gita's, Veda's or Upanishads.
So how did I go from there to here. Yoga, meditation, energy-healing, reiki, crystal therapy, Shamans, excessive spiritual workshops, teachers, healers, prophets, retreats, energy clearing, and so on and so on and so on. I did it all. I mean I did it ALL. Shit got weird at points as I dove down the rabbit hole of the "New Age" community. It was all so intriguing, so fulfilling, bizarre at time, so "me" or so I thought. I was connecting with like-minded people who finally understood my weirdness and unconventional ways. I came to inner-stand that I was a highly sensitive, indigo, empath. This answered so many of life's mysteries around why I never felt as though I fit in. My childhood was fractured, as many of our's are, and I just always felt I was from another planet. I haven't ruled that out, but what I have learned as I matured or grew up in my spiritual practice was that, I choose to be here, on Planet Earth. It was not a mistake and maybe I was "different" but I had a choice. To continue to perpetuate with like-minds who commiserated about having to "hide" from society due to negative energy or to find a way to understand and clarify my feelings to be part of the world not of it. You see...since I was a young child, all I wanted was to see other's happy, To help them out of sorrow. To see them smile.
One of my youngest memories is laying in my bed in the middle of the night, 3 years old. I felt sick to my stomach as I often did as a child, and I knew I had to throw up. But I also had the awareness that my mother was in de-stress. She had been crying a lot. So in order to not bother her and let her rest, I decided to throw up in my bed and stay put, and pretend that I was asleep when it happened. When Mom came to wake me in the morning, I could act. So that's pretty clear. I'd rather put my mother's feelings before mine and sleep in my own vomit. I was 3. From that point, I lived a life where I put everyone else's priorities over my own because I so desperately wanted to help people.
Another fast forward. A couple of years after I began to find my bliss through the practice of Yoga and other spiritual modalities, I got very ill. I was shocked. I was the "healthiest" I had ever been. Not only my body, but my mind and spirit or so I thought. I did as I would have at that point, reject the Western Medical Community and seek out alternative therapies. I saw a beautiful woman "healer". She said something so shocking to me I freaked out a little. She said, "Stephanie, you're a healer right? You want to help people, right?" From the depths of my soul said, Yes. That's all I want to do here on Earth. She proceeded to so bluntly say to me, "Well you can't help anyone if you're dead".
I thought, Oh My God. I'm gonna die. She can see it. I was 21.
Over the next 15 years I would seek out even MORE spiritual healing and even opening YogaMos, a Yoga and healing sanctuary that I ran with my partner at the time. I was immersed in the New Age Movement and Spirituality. I needed to heal myself, and fast according to my spiritual healer.
*(On a side note, I was raised Christian, but my upbringing was ritualistic contrasted with moments of instilling fear as a means to force God onto/into me. After finding Yoga, I broadened my perspective as I didn't feel like I resonated with being threatened to be considered a good person. I knew my heart and my intentions. Eventually transitioning to more of a polytheistic or henotheistic belief - but always maintaining my belief in God, or the ultimate creator.)
This changed over time...but that will be another article.
What happened after I gathered all the tools, people, modalities, and materials I could you ask?
Nothing. I almost died. Not once but twice. My disease led to organ failure. Organ failure to organ transplant, not once, but twice. I understood and believed that we accept and chose with God what our existence will look like on Earth. But as the same time, my spiritual tools were not working. They may have provided comfort and helped to increase my understanding, but what it didn't do was heal me. (this is my personal account, as I understand people can heal spontaneously in may ways).
I survived. Obviously, I'm writing this. But not after being leveled without a spiritual tool or modality in site and no energy to use one if I had it. I spent several years lessening my attachment to the New Age Community and just focused on staying alive. This would begin a deepening in my relationship with God. Let's be straight, shit was getting very serious. And I needed to go right to the boss. What proceeded was the most beautiful and intimate relationship with God, myself, and us. In that time, I processed my own death, (I did have 2 physical life and death experiences), and realized if I wanted to survive I had to stop trying to run the show and halt seeking externally to heal. Over the next few years, I realized HEALING WAS AN INSIDE JOB.
All the like-minded people, tools, and classes helped, to an extent. But never fully worked because THE INNER WORK AND COMMUNION WITH GOD WAS MISSING.
The last 5 years has been about learning to deepen my relationship with myself. With God. Healing myself from the inside out. It's been the only thing that has actutally worked. The only thing that hasn't plateaued and continuously grows sweeter by the day. The only thing that hasn't left me craving the next high or modality that will provide more healing. I very rarely if ever seek outside of myself now. It may sound weird, but I haven't read a book, seen a healer, and rarely practice yoga. If I practice yoga now, it's to stretch and care for my physical body. You know why? Because I live my practice, 24/7. No mat required. No spiritual book, or teacher. I am not saying I don't value these sources, I do tremendously and see how they can be of great assistance in one's process of self-evolution. It's like breaking up with an old boyfriend, I honor the journey, the lessons I learned, but know how found what fits my frequency more harmoniously. Now I understand that God brings me the messages, teachers, and tools I need along my journey. It's a knowing, a complete sense of trust. No extensive seeking. I have fulfillment, energy, and everlasting joy- for real now.
I honor what the New Age/Spiritual Community has done for me. It has lead me here.
To a place where I have finally realized that everything I need to live a life of purpose, passion, health, and fulfillment lives within my very own soul.
If you feel stuck or leveled out on your journey, you are not alone. You are exactly where you are meant to be. Seek within, Rest your soul and allow the divine to flow through. You are already the person you are seeking.
*Author's final words. To all the New Age or Spiritual practioner's or teachers out there. I love you. I respect you. I learned from you. I am NOT about creating seperation consciousness between anyone or anything. I spent 1/2 of my life growing from these modalities and I value the seeds of awareness that they plant. I am speaking from my personal perspective from my own journey from where I currently sit. They were active in my past timelines, just not in my current reality.