- The breaking down of social barriers and conditions that are limiting and take our power away. We realize life isn’t what we thought it was and we aren’t who we thought we were. We’re lead down a path of self-inquiry and deep self examination. We realize we’re apart of something bigger than our body and our identity.
- The lines between the body and the environment become blurred. We are guided towards understanding the connectivity between all things. The Self begins to disassociate with the ego. Pettiness, judgements and individual differences fall away and our deepest values and how we are connected and similar to others surface. This brings us into an expansive, amazing feeling of freedom.
- The individual consciousness dematerializes into the dimensions of infinite possibilities and the dimensions of creation itself. This is the dimension of thought itself, the Astral Realm, or the plane of the collective consciousness where all things exist simultaneously. We can be whoever we want to be and go wherever we want to go. All possibilities exist here in all dimensions beyond time and space. This new state brings out the limitations and mirage of the old identity, and we can now explore the infinite possibilities that exist within us and our capacity of consciousness that we already have within us right now as a human being. This realm is the connected consciousness of the universe, the place where all knowledge and experience emerges.
- The ego death. We are now in a state of pure consciousness. We do not exist in reference to anything external. This is the identity of our Higher Self, our true identity. This is the state that exists beyond thought itself. It is a complete loss of the ego self, personality, and any subjective association. We are pure awareness, pure bliss.
For the Self to be in service to the ego, the ego needs to surrender to receive the universal insights and wisdom available from the collective consciousness. When the ego is in service to the Self, it uses this information to create a life that is in alignment with the true values, principals, and purpose of the Self. Because when ego and Self are aligned, then we are in flow and in a state of freedom and bliss. Celebrating life and playing on this beautifully lush earth becomes possible because through this connection we feel completely secure, supported, and abundant. We begin to appreciate the gift of life the way that a gift is meant to be enjoyed; and this is the ultimate form of gratitude.
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The other day I became hyper aware of the duality that’s existing in my mind at all times. While most people see happy, optimistic Erika, there’s also my shadow side that’s incredibly self critical, doubtful, and careless. The majority of the time I feel pulled by both sides– both screaming at me, telling me what I should do, that I’ll amount to nothing, but also keep going you’re doing great and it’ll all work out! It’s overwhelming and nauseating. So I’ll numb myself out- shut it off so it’s finally quiet. But that’s not a solution, it’s an escape, and isn’t serving me at all.
According to Tantric philosophy, all pain, suffering and sickness comes from duality. The solution then is to pick a side. Henry Ford said: “‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.’”
I can’t believe I’m about to make a sports reference- but by entertaining both my healthy and self defeating thoughts, I am playing for both teams. It’s confusing as hell because imagine watching a soccer match where the players suddenly switch teams to shoot on their own nets. It would be chaos! You’d probably get bored and leave. And I feel that way. It becomes so chaotic in my mind that I numb out and become careless out of survival- opposite of my natural, deeply empathic and considerate way of being.
We need to choose a side. It takes self awareness, to notice our thoughts, our self criticism, doubts, worries, fears and say no, I’m not playing for that team. Because if we don’t choose a side, we’ll never win. So when we wake up in the morning and we don’t want to move, or when we’re looking at the workout bag and soo lazy, and when our thoughts are screaming at us that none of this is worth the effort, remember to play for the team that you’ve committed to playing for. Over time, the strength of this team will grow and we’ll start to reach milestones of success that the other team always told us were not possible.
On New Years Eve, excited for the new year, I felt inspired to paint my apartment! So I painted for over 15 hours and when I woke up the next day, I couldn’t move lol I especially hurt my hand- I could barely move it and was in so much pain I had to take pain killers- which I never do.
I sat with my hand and tuned into the pain. I gave her my full attention and listened. I had flashbacks to being in the hospital as a kid, having the IV in my wrist, morphine and medicine pumping into me. I could feel the intense itch of the morphine. The most pain was where I still have scars from needles and testing. The visions and sensations were as though it was happening now. I cried, processed, and held the space for this to be released. The memories of family coming to see me, crying, standing by my hospital bed, holding my hand while feeling upset. I released all of their pain that I’ve been holding onto for them. Then I had to reconnect with my hand, mend my relationship with it, hold it to my heart and do hoponopono with it.
This morning when I woke up, the pain was less, and now, evening, it’s practically gone. In one day it went from unbelievable pain unable to move, to sitting here- painless- typing this. Really incredible. So I want to share how I did it. It’s an incredibly intuitive process of giving your body, mind and spirit your full attention. It can be used for any issue- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual- anything that is bothering you. I believe without confirmation that this work is shamanic. It brings you deep into the darkness of the underworld to release and gain the wisdom you need for the next stage.
Attention and Holding Space for Yourself
Throughout the entire process you will be in a deep trance of giving your body, mind and spirit your full attention. Listen deeply as though you’re listening to a friend speak. Curiously, with love and care, listen to your body, your thoughts. Keeping your eyes closed helps you to connect.
When you hold the space for yourself, you are watching yourself, acutely paying attention.
Holding space is bringing awareness to something, and giving your body/mind/soul space and focus to transmute the energy. The alchemist.
There are two of you- your higher self is holding the space for your human self, like a mother caring for a child. It feels like there’s a spirit, energy, that is hovering above and around you. The human version of you is releasing, surrendering, doing the work, crying, screaming, moving- all while being guided by your higher self.
Movement and Intuition
Movement helps to distract your mind and keep your focus. It also helps to get the energy flowing in your body, unblocking anywhere it may be currently stuck. I use a series of simple kundalini movements that I’ve memorized that activate my spine to connect me with my higher self. The kundalini movements are also great with directing me on how to properly breathe deeply throughout the process. Use something you don’t have to think about that’s just running in the background.
Your intuition of when to move, how does your body need to move, when to speak, when to write, what needs to be said- is everything. Allow yourself to be guided, surrender to this fully. Honour yourself, your inner guidance, your wisdom.
First, notice how your body wants to express itself:
Automatic writing: write without thinking
Automatic speaking: Just speak, what needs to be said through you.
Intuitive movement: Need to punch the shit out of the bed? Care for yourself throughout the process- the wall will break your hand.
Second, know that you’re not alone. Part of you is here in this body, having this very humane experience, and the other part of you is divinity- your higher self is pure love hovering above you, connected with you, guiding you.
Feel the connection grow with your higher self.
Connect with the love consciousness.
Surrender yourself to your higher self.
Allow your higher self to support you, nurture you, love you, take care of you.
Surrender to that. Let go.
Let the emotions, feelings grow.
Your higher Self is going to hold the space and coach your human self. Both versions of you will express itself. There will be times where your human self is upset, perhaps questioning things and your higher self is responding. It’s not about going into victim mode and focusing on the crap- like in therapy, it’s about focusing on the highest vibration of love and elevating yourself to this to release everything not in alignment with it. When you are connected, these are no longer solely your movements, your thoughts- now you’re in this dance with your higher self.
Third, speak, move, and emote intuitively. Be honest. Even if it’s ugly. It might sound like therapy where your higher self is asking questions and challenging your human self. Be sure to stay in your heart and body, don’t go into your mind. The questions that come from your higher self don’t come from your thoughts- you’re not thinking, everything is on instinct. Be honest with everything you are feeling- everything is true and right.
Keep with the motions. Move intuitively. Hold certain poses if your body wishes. Contort yourself in unnatural positions if desired. The energy is moving.
When emotions come up, let them out, cry, scream, make unnatural noises- your throat is clearing, get it out. Don’t think about how weird it is, nobody is watching or listening. My landlord hasn’t complained yet.
Remember to continue to hold the space for yourself.
Fourth, pay attention to subtle changing energies. As the process deepens, you may feel activation at your crown chakra. A presence, connection with your higher self.
Notice when the energy shifts to drama/trauma, victim, poor me. You can be in this, perhaps reliving a past memory, while your higher self is holding the space for you to transmute this. You will feel both the trauma and the power of the transmutation simultaneously. The difference between drama and processing is you feel strong. Even though crying, you are in your strength, sitting straight up or in a position you intuitively came into. Remember how powerful you are, breathe and release what needs to come out while holding yourself in the highest esteem.
Fifth, ask for help. If and when the energy gets super intense, ask your higher self, guides, angels to help you clear. They’re literally sitting there waiting, but can’t act until you ask. They want you to ask, and when you do, the energy shifts and releases instantly. It’s incredible. You’ll think, whoa, why was I crying.
In these intense moments, ground yourself with deep breaths and by feeling the floor with your hands.
Remember to continue to move intuitively. Try not to do too much, keep the trance, keep your eyes closed. But listen to loud intuitive calls like to drink water, hug a bolster. Honour yourself. You may be called to do something for a release to happen. I had to hug a bolster once to feel supported, and that support helped me to process. But generally, stay in the same area. Moving around too much might be tactical and dramatic. Be honest with your antics.
When you’re nearing the end, you will feel a smile creep up on your lips. A sense of lightness, calmness, less to no intensity, relief, and peace. You feel like you let something go. You’ve had realizations, epiphanies, a change in perspective. You’re not crying anymore, nor do you feel the need. You’re kinda smiling a little.
Sixth, lay down on the mat and rest for a moment. You may feel energized. Definitely hungry. Thank yourself. Thank your guides. Eat. Take a nap.
The Next Day You will be exhausted the next day. Hungry. Take care of yourself and be grateful for the incredible work you’ve done. Congratulations
This is the incredible process I use to intuitively heal myself- mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’ve successfully used it many times for a myriad of reasons. When you do it, listen to your intuition and alter it appropriately. You know what’s best for you. If you need extra guidance, send me a message- I’d love to help to guide you through it.
After being with my partner, Matias for four years, we split when he got a new job and moved to California. It was the most painful decision of my life. With him, I always felt safe in the world. Now I felt I was left to fend for myself. I still always have his support, but it’s different now. I’m here in Toronto alone. He is currently visiting, a few months after our split, and I can see the difference of how I am with him and how I am without him. When I’m with him, I feel safe. I am able to let my guard down, open up completely, relax, laugh, have fun, be my authentic self. When he’s not here, I tense up. As a way to protect myself, I unintentionally, close my heart, build a wall between myself and everyone else. In the process I become numb, depressed and cold. I check out, disassociate because it’s hard to be in the world when you don’t feel safe. I am still functional but I don’t feel like myself. I am not able to take chances and put myself out there, nor am I able to easily connect with others until I know them well enough that I feel safe again.
Photo by: Laina Briedis
Photo by Alison Scarpulla
Day 0.5 Inspired Action
On a lovely rainy summers day, my pal Patrick and I decided to take a day trip up to Blue Mountain. After many hours of scenic driving, unique cafes, playful toy stores and inspiring conversation, we stumbled upon the topic of fasting. He’s been inspired for some time to do a water fast- meaning no food, just nourishing water! It wasn’t something I ever thought I’d be capable of, but he sold me on the list of potential benefits. More than that, my intuition was screaming at me, “do it do it do it do it DO IT!!!&@^#” On impulse I said alright, let’s do it, we’re starting right now! And we did.
It was around five p.m. when we committed and by nightfall my belly was already rumbling. As a child of Italian descent, I can admit I have an anxious attachment to food. The idea of not eating or not having food available makes me nervous. I eat when I’m not hungry. I need to constantly have a full belly to feel peaceful. You wouldn’t think it by looking at my thin frame but there’s a reason I’ve committed to a gluten-free veggie diet. Otherwise, I would gorge on pizza all day. But I like how I feel on a healthy diet and a healthy diet allows me to eat much more! nom nom nom.
Going to bed hungry, without dinner, was challenging. It felt like I was being punished. Anxiety was coming up but otherwise, I felt empowered. I was choosing to do this on my own terms as a form of self love; To step more into my power, releasing my victim archetype; To learn to trust myself; For clarity and peace of mind; And to kick all attachments and addictions. If I could let go of food, my number one attachment, I could let go of anything.
We’re in an age of individuation. Where in the past we would associate ourselves with our family systems or community, ‘I am my tribe’ now, we can be connected with our tribe, but we are an individual person learning to be an authentic creative expression of our souls. We are rebels! Lightworkers. Resisting conforming to the expectations and judgements of others. We have street fashion and Kickstarter campaigns fueling our individuation and creative expression.
Photo by Robert Moses Joyce