When I first started on my path toward spiritual awakening I was under so many false impressions about what “spirituality” was. I was “happily” married and living an “ideal” life in Rome, Italy. Each day I woke up ready for fresh experiences, and a city like Rome never let me down in that department. I had my choice of visiting some of the world’s most extraordinary archaeological sites to walking the halls of great palaces where Popes once lived. It was truly a liberating time for someone who grew up in the city of Detroit, only to move to a very wealthy, yet all too homogenized nearby suburb. If you are scratching your head wondering about the “spiritual” part of this story, we are already into it for I have realized that the spiritual path is remarkably full of contradictions at first glance, however deeper examining proves very illuminating.
So there I was in Rome, spending each day walking miles and miles with my wife under the unrelenting sun as we literally explored every street in the historical center. Then, after I had exhausted my curiosity about the ancient aspects of the city, I turned my focus to the Renaissance and Baroque sides of the city. I was devouring every single scholarly book in English about Rome. After that, I got into all the hundreds of unbelievably spectacular churches of the city. I was so obsessed with everything and had accumulated so much knowledge about the Eternal City, I even became a professional tour guide for some time.
Then, one day, something quite odd and surprising happened. What once seemed like a love affair that surely would never end, I started losing interest in Rome. It was literally an existential crisis for me because I had identified myself and constructed my entire life around the world-famous city. I was lost without my obsession with Rome. I had a back up plan though.
I shifted my focus from the daytime on Rome and to the evenings on investigating the dark underworld of the internet. Yes, that is right, I got into the illuminati and almost every other conspiracy theory I could stay awake for in front of the computer screen. I was now obsessed with uncovering every facet behind how and why the Twin Towers fell back in 2001. I was sure now that this was a labyrinth so deep and complicated that I could lose myself forever in trying to figure out just what “they” had planned next for humanity! I was even beginning to concoct my own warped predictions for the next world calamity. I was really getting lost now, but I did not know it at the time.
Astrology As Savior
There was another problem brewing though. With my son on his way into my life and my marriage on very rocky ground, I abandoned the conspiracy theories for astrology thinking there is no way I could get sick of studying very complicated psychological theories related to the stars and applicable to myself! Alas, I grew tired of the same recycled theories combined with the sneaking suspicion that astrology simply could not answer all of my questions about myself. Finally, after spending about a year watching YouTube astrologers predict everything about me from my career to my love life, I gave up on the idea that astrology could be my panacea.
A Chance Encounter
Much as I tried to keep my marriage together, it was not to last. So sad, confused and full of self-recrimination I hunkered down in my own self pity for a period of a few months. Struggling to regain my bearings, I looked up alchemy for some strange reason on YouTube and found some videos by Gnostic Students. The knowledge was so deep and powerful that it reignited the fire inside me and I decided to follow all the spiritual wisdom that was stirring once again within my soul. First, I gave up masturbating, something very very challenging to do. Within a week after deciding to retain my sexual energy I met my beloved, a soul so profoundly beautiful at every level that she literally changed my entire life forever. The aftermath of our encounter sent me adrift on my current spiritual path. As I review what has led me to this point it is rather noteworthy to point out that my soul started its journey always looking outside for help understanding myself.
Looking Within- Resisting the Light
While everything in my life that I had held on so dearly to was slowing being eroded away by the waves of my soul’s yearning to break the chains of my egoic existence, a light shined deep from within my being. My Divine Mother, who I had been praying to for many weeks prior to my personal calamity, entered my life and started illuminating the path before me. However, this benevolent force was asking me to do things I felt completely unprepared to do. First, it was encouraging me to get divorced and I was like “no way!”, but as time passed it really seemed like the only clear solution to my declining happiness. Second, my Divine Mother started pushing me to change my career, another thing I was not ready to embrace. However, as fate would have it, I was eventually forced to relent. Finally, as if the other endings were not enough, this all loving force started telling me that I had to move all the way from Rome, Italy to Hawaii! I had to draw the line in the sand. I rebelled, pushed and fought and notion of leaving my four year old son behind while I pursued some crazy idea that numbers had been prompting me to do. Once again though, God had other plans for me, so as I saw my son move away from Rome with his mother, I knew that that was meant as a sign to me that I had to follow the Divine guidance which had been urging me forward on my path.
I initially went to Hawaii with no plan at all. I began visiting the islands in hopes that my beloved would show up and save me. She did not. So I bounced from Honolulu, to Hilo on the big island of Hawaii looking for any signs about what I should do next. As I was nearing throwing in the towel, I decided that I would visit the island of Maui because so many people important to me had been saying how wonderful it was. I arrived at my air b&b and the signs were everywhere. I now knew that this was where I was supposed to be due to the Divine synchronicities. There was one major problem… how was I supposed to work? So I spent eight days on Maui until I had had enough and said god-bye because I had seen no plan as to how to stay there.
I regrouped by going back to see my family. This was a period of deep darkness as I felt completely void of any motivation to keep moving forward. As I continued on my dark lost path my Divine Mother would keep sending me messages about returning to Hawaii. I was keen to listen but that was as far as I would go since I really saw zero chance of being able to support myself in Hawaii without a job. This period lasted about six weeks before an idea hit me, I could make videos on YouTube and see what kind of reception they got. Then I could start doing some writing on my blog to further amplify the messages I would create in my videos. Low and behold, I knew I was on to something as the light kept getting brighter and brighter in my heart and mind. And so began my career as a coach from a simple video made about the encounter with my beloved.
Finding Light Through the Darkness
Today, as I write this, I have gathered many insights about my self thanks to my Divine Mother and the trust I was able muster by taking my “leap of faith” and moving to Hawaii. I keep getting reminded on a daily basis that I have to move through the darkness in order to find the light. This is occurring on many levels and even relates to my beloved. So I start each day prepared to face the darkness that lies within myself knowing that the process is eventually going to lead to the light that shines deep within my soul.
It seems ironic to me that if we truly want to find that bright shining light deep within, we must confront our own self-made darkness, essentially that means facing our shadow self. Although when you consider that we do live on the physical plane with all its abundant dualism, perhaps it is not surprising to discover that the darkness indeed leads one to the light. That said, this is a most unpleasant experience as this path actually forces one to confront all of their mistaken thoughts, feelings, actions and identifications along the way. Basically we are talking about facing all our accumulated karma from this life time, and perhaps from past ones as well.
The most important area of ourselves that we must bravely examine is how we have been misusing and abusing our sacred sexual energy. Everything we have thought, felt or done revolves around our sexual energy since it is this source/light that has given birth to us. And once we begin to treat this God-force in the physical, with love and respect, we can start to really see and feel our authentic selves emerge from the darkness. This is where the alchemical process of burning away our “old” self and restructuring our new self is most important. Without harnessing our sexual energy we remain stuck and unable to face our darkest fears, and therefore we become slaves to them. So if we truly want to reach “enlightenment” and actualize our inner light into our every thought, feeling and action, we simply must retain our sexual energy! It is the first most crucial step and to seeing all the light within so let’s start using it the proper way.
Coming Full Circle
Along this journey called life we are all living with our focus completely on the outside, so much so that we tend to lose ourselves in this feeling that that is all we truly are- material things. However, it has been my experience that we must start on the outside in order to reach the inside, something which might seem contradictory at first glance. We must experience the physical to know the spiritual. We must make mistakes in order to learn what is “right” for ourselves. We must hurt ourselves in order to learn how to heal ourselves. Therefore, as I now keep going deeper into my own self looking for answers, I am beginning to learn how to balance that which is coming at me from the outside with that which is coming at me from the inside. It is at this point in our path, in my opinion, that we can really see how integral both parts are to self-illumination. Truly the light cannot exist without the dark and vice versa. We need the material existence to know the spiritual side and it is a very beautiful interplay happening all around us all the time. So let’s all embrace that dance between the light and the dark within ourselves and, once we do, we will find our own balance between the two. If we can do that, we can finally recognize the light for what it is… an amalgamation of everything and nothing all at once, just like our inner essence.