2014: An inner journey

maze-walker

As we start the new year, I feel the urge to review and assimilate my own inner journey over the previous twelve months. 

 

The choice to be well

In various ways 2014 was a year of surprises, with extreme highs and lows — a whirlwind of new and often challenging experiences.

At the start of the year I had no particular expectations for my inner journey. I did, however, make a New Year’s resolution: to see if I could find a way, once and for all, to overcome CFS/ME (chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis) — the condition that had rendered me barely able to function since 2008. (It’s an absence of energy in the body, leaving you unable to do, say, or think much for periods throughout the day, plus a lot of pain.)

After reading Anita Moorjani’s book about her near-death experience, I understood that both illness and wellness are choices that I hold in my own hands. I can choose wellness by dropping the fear of illness. But I also figured that I needed some ‘props’ to believe my choice to be well — a sort of self-induced placebo effect.

So I began the year catching up on the relevant research, articles and personal accounts about recovering from CFS/ME.

The first thing I found is that CFS/ME is still very much a “mystery illness” with no medically recognised cause and no known cure. For this reason, many doctors are still inclined to dismiss it as “all in the head”, while others simply confuse it with depression.

(For the record, CFS/ME is nothing like depression. With depression you have no motivation, no sense of meaning or purpose, no reason to get out of bed. With CFS/ME, in contrast, you have great motivation to do things, but your body simply refuses to cooperate.)

There are numerous hypothetical causes for CFS/ME, but the one that made most sense to me was that the body’s natural ability to make energy has somehow been switched off. Instead of burning aerobic energy from oxygen and glucose, the body’s cells burn anaerobic energy, which is normally a sort of “last resort” option. This creates lactic acid, the stuff that hurts when you do too much, hence the near-constant pain.

So, I set off trying out a load of different nutritional supplements (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, etc…).

Zap!

Some of the supplements gave me great improvements, but at the same time I also started having disturbed and disturbing sleep patterns.

I began to experience disturbing electrical zaps throughout my nervous system whenever I relaxed, a bit like being taser-ed in the brain. I also began to experience quite terrifying episodes of waking paralysis in the middle of the day. (These are episodes in which you are fully conscious but your body is completely paralysed because it thinks it’s time to dream.)

By the end of May, I was fearing for my life, or at least my sanity. But something told me to “trust” — just go with whatever was happening, and I would be safe.

And then, throughout the summer months, I found myself being swept up in a gathering storm of synchronicities, insights, and inspirations. I began to feel optimistic, powerful, inspired, more and more aligned with the Universe. It seemed that something was being orchestrated on my behalf, and I just had to allow it to unfold.

One of the synchronicities was coming into contact with Arvin, a guy who not only follows the Michael teachings but also happens to have lucid dreams with perfect dream recall — a natural gift. When we met online I felt an immediate connection with him and intuitively sensed that we had some sort of pre-life soul agreement to facilitate one another’s growth at this time. I had no conscious idea what this might mean for either of us, but it was just two days later (on the 8th of September) that I had my own lucid dream in which I was initiated into a Kundalini awakening.

(See here for my account of that.)

Days and Nights of Perfect Bliss

The awakening of Kundalini in me was like the opening of a floodgate, allowing a torrent of liquid light to flow upwards through my body, brain and consciousness. Every cell of my body was in a permanent state of ecstasy, sometimes orgasmic. The bliss was so intense and exquisite that I spent several whole nights lying wide awake, just basking and writhing in the ecstasy of divine love.

During the next two months, I experienced my Self as the eye of the storm — still and peaceful in myself, but very aware of objects, events, thoughts and feelings circulating around me.  I learned the importance of maintaining a state of completely relaxed surrender. It became very clear that the more I relaxed and let go, the more I was carried along by a gentle stream in which life unfolded effortlessly.

Conversely, whenever I focused on anything with an attitude of concern and effort, I could feel myself contracting and hardening. Trying to do anything in a hurry or in a state of tension was like kryptonite to kundalini. I sensed that if I allowed myself to become consumed with wilful effort, the free flow of energy might even cut off altogether.

So several times each day I would remind myself to pause, to “lean back,” and to relax into myself, letting go of any foreground concerns that could lure me into a concentrated state.

In late October I had a surgical operation — a regular procedure to remove growths from my trachea. I have undergone the same operation at least forty times in the last 12 years. I had wondered if being under general anaesthetic might affect my wonderful energy flow this time, especially after a friend told me that his own kundalini activation some years ago had stopped after having an operation. Despite these reservations, however, I had a very quick post-op recovery (I actually woke up in the operating theatre), and within days I felt myself drifting back into the flow of good energy.

Power Cut: The Dark Night of the Soul

Since reporting my kundalini awakening, many readers are no doubt wondering where I am at now. Well … I had been continuously immersed in the ecstatic flow for more than 60 days when, around midday on November 9th, it just seemed to stop very abruptly.

It was like a power cut. No more inner flow of bliss, ecstasy, insights, inspiration… In a single instant, everything became dark and lifeless. My new-found vitality and healthy glow disappeared, my sparkling clarity and insightfulness disappeared, my drive and enthusiasm disappeared. Even the weather seemed to suddenly change from summer sunshine to winter gloom.

As I sat there wondering what on earth had just happened, I felt like a lost soul. I hadn’t simply returned to being the old me. Rather, I had disintegrated.

I was in a blank, lifeless state devoid of all warmth and meaning. There was nothing at all going on inside me — no motivation, no desire, no interest — nothing. I even had temporary amnesia for everything I had experienced and learned over the previous two months.

For the next few days I ruminated obsessively over what I could possibly have done “wrong”. But the more I ruminated, the lower I sank into myself. And the lower I sank, the more desperately I wanted to figure a way out. Ruminating about ruminating … I quickly sank into a terrible depression.

Meditating gave me some respite. Heartful contact with my wife and others with others helped lift me out of the pits. Yet I still felt empty and de-personalised.

In fact, the only part of my personality remaining was the most negative. Feeling confused, and in the absence of any inner guidance or insight, my fear-based trait of self-deprecation took control. From that point on, everything I saw, heard, remembered, felt, thought, said or did became, to my psyche, just a sign of my disgraceful inadequacy as a human being. I was nothing.

So … much as I would like to say that I accepted this sudden downturn with maturity, good grace, and serenity, I actually felt devastated, deflated, and utterly incompetent.

The Choice to Be …

I wondered if any other kundalini experiencers had something to say about all this. I consulted friends, books, online articles, web forums … every source I could think of.

A lot of authoritative-looking sources I found gave little more than technical yoga procedures for awakening kundalini. Many seemed to assume that the process follows a one-size-fits-all universal pattern that must apply to all people. Surprisingly few seem to recognise that the process is unique to the individual.

Other sources painted quite a negative picture, giving lists of “symptoms” followed by dire warnings about messing with kundalini. I didn’t find this fear-mongering very helpful, nor did it resonate with my sense of kundalini as an utterly benevolent, intelligent and life-enhancing force of nature.

Most useful for me personally were accounts and insights given by those going through their own kundalini awakening, including both the highs and lows. (I will add a list in due course.) I learned that it is common to experience an initial high (the awakening of kundalini) followed by a terrible low (variously known as a “die-off” or “the dark night of the soul”).

The initial blast of full-on kundalini is a bit like surfing on a tsunami — not something most of us are used to in ordinary life. Our body, brain, mind and personality may not be configured to sustain it for very long. We can have blocks, resistances, misperceptions and unconscious habits that get in the way of the energetic flow.

But if we simply follow our inner guidance, we can intuitively make the changes that are needed. This is precisely what I have been doing for the last month and a half. And while I can’t say I’m back in total bliss, I am feeling the return of the flow a little bit more each day. Rather than a torrent of ecstasy, I am currently experiencing an inner stream of goodness and well-being. I am uplifted, positive, energised.

I have also realised that by being reduced to “nothing” in November, I have had to reconstruct myself bit by bit, and by choice. In other words, it’s as if: first, my ordinary sense of self as a personality was blasted away by kundalini, and second, when kundalini suddenly died off, there was nothing left but this body, this consciousness, and the ability to choose.

barrySo here I am, rebuilding that which I call “me”, but doing so consciously, sometimes joyfully, sometimes carefully, leaving out anything that seems unnecessary. I find that the more I chose to add to my presence, the more I feel the energy return to flow. And … still no sign of CFS/ME!

Roll on 2015. The inner journey continues … for each of us.

barry

(1 January 2015)

10 thoughts on “2014: An inner journey

  1. hi, I have low lvl energy problems too… 2 years now… rebuilding about 1 year. What I found is that food have big difference on my state. I stopped eating for 2-3 days and then I started to write everything what i’m putting to my mouth and rated what i’m feeling after eating at the end of a day. After about 6 monts of writing I know that few thing is causing my illness. Everything with: gluten, yeast and simple sugar. Simple sugar becose he feed yeast. Getting rid of this 3 things change my diet and state completely. I never expected change by so huge. Went for yoga for about 6 months in 5 schools 3x day and I stopped having sex. I felt so good that I couldn’t do things for few hours a day. Changed that to 1x yoga a day now.

    I don’t have allergy for gluten and yeast but they are reason of my low energy/depresed states. There was christmas not long ago, I was with my family I was eating simple sugar and stoped exercises, everything came back in just a few days.

    After 2 years what I can say nr.1 is food. Then exercise then mind. Just eating bad food for few days can set my mind to be negative and depressed for weeks. And is hidden… you don’t know it until you try it. I could eat everything before and it changed so suddenly.

    Try not to eat for few days and then monitor your state after what you eat. Write it down. Maybe you have something new to. Every body is diffrient. My today’s mood is result of my yesterday food. Some foods changing my mood and energy even on second or third day after eating them. That was my big “acha” moment on that journey to figure this out.

    • Many thanks for this great advice and your insights.

      At the moment, I do not have any lack of energy; in fact, I have more than I need. My mood is generally great too (it was a temporary depression). I actually did give up a lot of food in September/October; kundalini virtually eliminated my appetite, especially sugar and processed food. When I asked inside what I should eat to best support my energy, the answer was “it’s not what you eat, but how you eat it, that makes a difference.” In other words, eat mindfully and joyfully. I haven’t yet managed to follow that advice very successfully!

      Best wishes

      Barry

  2. thank you for sharing this, Barry. I have been eagerly following all of your recent posts and very grateful for this website
    Wish you all the best in your journey, I am sure you will turn out great.. as we all will 🙂
    love and joy,
    -preeti

  3. Hi Barry, I’m glad to hear ur doing great now! I’ve been a follower of urs since the past few years. I can’t imagine those years you battling ur past condition yest still able to respond gracefully & passionately to ur readers and put effort in ur work here. Great job! Thanks for being an inspiration.

    And…I can personally relate with ur kundalini experience, but mine is more self-induced & sporadic and not as intense as urs. I got into a form of dance exercise called Poi Spinning (akin to Fire dancing). I played for more than a year& most of the time, I would experience a feeling of bliss, joy, excitement & yes orgasmic too; and I would be inspired me to do things & gradually learn new insights of trying to understand the meaning of life & my purpose. But that feeling became weaker & weaker as time went and I eventually lost interest playing it. I then stared to have this on/off intense days of depression plagued with negative thoughts up to now. But it had led me somewhere that needs my attention and what my next move will be.

    Best I can say, just let it happen, ride the wave (no matter how difficult/ painful), it will bring u to new “places”. Pleasure comes with pain.

    I recommend the books:
    – Kundalini & the Chakras: Practical Manual by Genevieve Paulson
    – The Multi-orgasmic man by Mantak Chia (I assume sexual energy is related with kundalini since it begins at the root.hehe)

    Any update about ur coming autobio book? 😀

    Light&love from the Philippines
    patrick

  4. Haha, great to hear from you Patrick and thanks for sharing your own experiences.

    I remember following Mantak Chia’s teachings for a while. I think it was an exercise called “testicle breathing” — I eventually had so much energy in my testicles I was fit to explode! I’ll check out the other book of his you recommended. (I think I already have the Paulson one.)

    A book I’ve found particularly helpful — even just the picture on the front cover helped — is Journey Through Transformation: A guide to mystical awakening, kundalini, emotional clearing and spiritual emergence, by Kaia Nightingale.

    My own book is currently incubating nicely in my heart and mind

  5. I have been undergoing a kundalini awakening for a few years now. I notice that it becomes too intense and unbearable if I follow a light diet of primarily fruit and vegetables. I have to eat grounding foods such as meat and dairy – which I hardly ever ate before. If not I am seriously ungrounded to the extent I am unable to function. I am very sensitive, as is my daughter, to earth energies such as new moon and full moon and solstice and equinoxes.I

    • Hi Martha

      Thanks for this. I am very sensitive to energy as well, at least energy flows and blocks within my body. At the moment I would say that I am flooded with “background prana” pretty much every waking moment. This isn’t affecting my consciousness particularly, apart from making sleep rather difficult. But when I am particularly relaxed and unfocused, a sudden upswell of pure blissful kundalini can take me by surprise, affecting my awareness (especially amplifying my hearing, weirdly).

      I do routinely eat meat and dairy – I suspect that if I ate less I would get more of the kundalini itself.

      cheers,

  6. I completely resonate with your experience… I think I had the same thing, and it was actually such a relief to hear about you because I felt so desperate about having done something wrong ((& I also have the self-deprecation block so I COMPLETELY saw myself in your description)).. The only difference was how the bliss started.. I wasn’t even aware of the existance of Kundalini when I went through it.. but the “depression” moment truly helps to grow.. Just gotta hold on. Thank you so much.

    • Great to hear from you Melissa. It’s so weird being on this spiritual / energetic roller-coaster, but so heartening as well to hear of others having similar experiences.

      At the moment I’m struggling particularly with sleep. My brain seems to be permanently ON, like it’s the middle of the day. I suspect this is a block, as when I meditate the rest of my body feels great while my head feels nothing…

      Also have had a constant soft ringing in the left ear since the depression lifted. A doctor might call it tinnitus, but the yogis call it nāda (cosmic vibration). I’ve read a book on Nāda Yoga (The Law of Attention by Michael Edward Salim) which says the ringing sound should be used as a focus for meditation.

      Learning as we go …

      cheers 🙂

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