There are so many articles flooding the internet with peoples’ ideas of a prescribed Conscious Awakening. Some say there are a certain number of stages you go through, some say it’s a series of events and others say it happens over night.
Maybe there’s a science, a rhythm or a magic to it all that we can’t yet fathom. Maybe there are no rules, no tickbox lists and no eureka moments. Maybe we’re all just on our own beautifully unique paths and maybe they lead to the same destination.
Hikes & Hindsight
Spending an entire weekend catching up on ten years’ worth of existence with my friend Rachel was quite possibly the most cathartic experience I’ve ever had.
We don’t often take time out to review our lives in that way, at least not such a big part of them. We usually download that kind of information in tiny snippets to our family, friends and therapists – or sometimes just ourselves.
But those hours we spent marching through the jungle, watching cock contests and stomping up Pom Mountain gave me the chance, for the first time ever, to verbalise a huge chunk of my life, more or less in chronological order.
It was the ultimate regression therapy.
So when Rachel left Koh Samui, I drained my brain the only way I know how – by writing it all down. And this is what I came up with…
Some say their awakening is gradual, others say it happens overnight. For me it was a little bit of both.
For a while I’ve pinned it all down to the four dark years I spent in a mentally and emotionally torturous relationship.
It was a time when all my pillars of life came crashing down at once and when I not only had my inner critic to deal with but that of somebody else; lambasting every millimetre of my human form and satanising every molecule within me.
After deploying a few hopeless defence tactics, it wasn’t long before I accepted defeat, disrobed my suit of armour and let the enemies attack.
I became covered in bruises and scars – some that will last a lifetime, but I didn’t leave the battlefield. Instead, I kept my lips pierced and let my heart bleed in silence.
Somewhere in the middle of those battles I felt my soul for the first time. I felt its connection with my mind and my body, and I distinctly felt the separation of all three.
Every time I thought the war was over, it would start all over again. Another sword would strike and I’d fall deeper and harder than before. I became used to the pain of it all, I may have even become comfortable with it.
But something had to give.
All White Everything
When I waved the white flag, I left the battleground shellshocked, dishevelled and weak. I was a shadow of my former self, totally unrecognisable from the inside out. But I limped on forward, grasping tight hold of the hope I’d somehow found inside.
From then on, there were thoughts, things, moments, words, people – a trillion serendipitous moments that led me on an upwards trajectory. And all it took was one more strike of a sword to crack my skull and let the light shine in.
A bright, brilliant white light filled my body and I remember that moment so vividly I can relive it a thousand times.
It was the day I did my mindful experiment. It was a burning ball of fire in my stomach, a colossal surge of energy, a feeling of immense clarity in the mind and a heart thawing from it’s ice cold numbness in an instant, filling up with enough love to smother the world in kisses.
That moment is the exact reason I’m writing this blog, it’s the reason I’m sat in a white cabana sipping coffee overlooking the Thai gulf at sunrise on a paradise island and it’s the reason I just know big things are around the corner.
Feeling is Believing
My all-time favourite quote when it comes to conscious awakening has got to be this: When the student is ready the teacher will appear
Rewind five years or more and if you’d have waffled on to me about consciousness, pain, suffering, light, mind, body and soul in the way that I just have now, I would have listened with sceptical ears.
I may have rolled my eyes and felt pity for how lost it all sounds to grab on to hope or reasoning of something that nobody can truly rationalise with words.
My mind might have got a little bit curious and I may have looked into the theory of it all, but the door inside of me would have remained locked and bolted, keeping spirituality firmly out.
It was a decision I’d made as a young child after realising how the Bible, the Tenakh, the Quuran and other forms religious or spiritual guidance are often shoved in our faces at an age when we’re too young to form balanced opinions.
Children are forced to learn the teachings word for word and recite prayers without truly understanding what they mean or even knowing what other beliefs are out there. They become students of faith in the academic sense of the word, but more often than not, it wasn’t truly their choice in the first place.
Faith cannot be taught nor inherited, it has to be felt.
And for me, this deeper level of consciousness, this waking up, this peeling back the layers of my third onion feels like much more of an honest faith than anything I could have inherited or taught in school.
It wasn’t something I searched for, it wasn’t something I’d clung on to in times of desperation and it wasn’t an answer I looked for in books.
I didn’t choose consciousness, consciousness chose me.