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…).
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.
So 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.
(1 January 2015)