In the hoopla of my last post, Why We are Not Ready for the Full Bodied Truth of Awakening which generated an unprecedented 30,000 views in one week, I also received dozens of personal emails with comments and surprisingly, questions. One email stood out for me because of what felt like such an earnest desire to understand versus punditry, hostility or praise.
So, here are my replies to the verbatim FOUR QUESTIONS asked of me by Alice, creator of the blog Reiki Awakening.
1) Does this process of awakening disconnect one from his or her emotions? If so, how does that affect the day to day relating and functioning with others? For example, do you still feel love for your family? Can you connect with them, empathize? Express compassion?
What I like about this question is how it ties in with my recent post When You’re Okay and Everyone Else is Not. In that article I describe how equanimity prevailed during a family medical crisis (my husband had a stroke) and yet how friends expected me to be worried, upset, and emotionally fragile–and were concerned at my calmness.
Awakening–at least for me–dissolved overnight most emotional reactivity. And in the years since, when episodic emotional trigger points showed up, they flared and then subsided, often never to return. In other words, there has been a profound softening, not hardening, around emotional content. It’s a bit like the soft-focus lens filmmakers will sometimes use to create an effect around an actor. This new ‘soft focus” filters the harsh edges of emotional ups and downs and brings them into a new kind of impressionistic calm-abiding. And even that analogy doesn’t capture it.
But that’s not to imply emotions cease to exist. Happiness, sadness, annoyance, irritation, anger can all make guest appearances in this house of equanimity. It’s just that they are that: guests. They are not householders. Instead these feeling states come and go, but they do not take up residence. They simply do not stick around for very long, but nor are they unwelcome.
Perhaps the most profound difference post awakening is this: I used to be identified and invested in my emotional states–they meant something about “me.” If i was miserable, there was something wrong about me. If I was happy, I was on track in life and my “me” was a success. The kicker post-awakening is the me is no longer the Big Kahuna it used to be. It’s just a facet of this creative vastness which expresses as Be-ing and its antics are amusing at best.
Which brings me to the punchline: There are states that emerge post-awakening which are not emotions but qualities of what we really are, beneath all feeling states and thoughts. Qualities of the transpersonal self, if you like or qualities of being. Peace, joy, bliss come to mind. And from these states of being, actions often emerge that look like compassion, service, kindness, playfulness and even sacrifice.
As for daily functioning, that’s mostly a matter of how well I manage my physicality. If the body does not get the sleep it needs, I might be irritable or more withdrawn, less likely to express myself in a joyful manner. But the inner landscape is emotionally neutral–that’s the new baseline. Prior to awakening, the baseline was a jagged line of anxiety and frustration. Prior to awakening, I could seem “happy” to others but inwardly, there was a suffering. Now I can appear “unhappy” (because I am grumpy or irritable) but inwardly there is peace.
2. How do you, once awakened, deal with things that would formerly make you angry, such as your children fighting or hurting each other?
That is the beauty of an awakening versus a mystical experience or glimpse of our true nature. Once we are awakened to the Self, these things that used to upset us, often no longer have an impact. I often tell the tale of two days post-awakening, my then boyfriend (now husband) telling me he wanted to leave the relationship. Now THAT would have upset me greatly prior to awakening–we had just moved into a new home together, I had sold a house, consolidated furniture, and my daughter was already seeing this man as a father figure. For him to just leave from frustration would have been cause for me to scream, wail and react. Instead, I took a deep breath and said something like, “I can see you are suffering right now and I honour whatever choice you make for yourself. I just ask you give this decision three days.”
Of course, if my children were hurting each other physically I would separate them. But this would be from a place of obvious action not reaction. I would not be telling myself a story about my mothering abilities good or bad, or running a narrative in my head about my rotten children.
So, action happens that simply makes sense. Reaction happens rarely.
3) Can a person who is awakened in this way practice energy healing?
I don’t see why not. The question would be a matter of motivation. If moved to perform healing and if that impulse was met with flow, ease and grace, then it would self evident. I’ve noticed post-awakening, that my creative writing has increased, along with the ease and synchronicity of finding places to publish it.
At the same time, if post-awakening there is a natural desire to go inward, or to be still (which there often is) then healing work might take a back seat as a priority. It’s not the work that matters, really (chop wood, carry water) but rather it’s the motive. If the impulse or intention arises spontaneously and effortlessly, outcomes usually unfold without the need to question.
4) How does being awakened in this way change the way you live the mundane aspects of your life? Feels like grocery shopping, errands, work and the like would seem different. Can you describe how.
In the beginning–the months-long honeymoon period–everything was infused with wonderment. The feeling was awe and delight at every thing because I AM THAT. It’s discovering you are all of it, after imagining lifelong you were a small bit of it.
It’s a stunning revelation/recognition and at first, I had a kind of dazed, giddy appreciation of every detail of reality. Over time, as that became the new norm, my perceptions moved toward a more refined noticing of the intricate, perfect weave of life. The synchronicities increased and my clairvoyance (a born talent) also increased.
In this way, the wonderment has moved toward the joy of experiencing myself as the director and the actors in the story of my life. And the mystery of how it all fits together, my intentions the actions that unfold, the players that play this game alongside me, all if it inspires me. Most of all, I feel grateful to in the dance of life as Lori. It’s a cool role to be me, and to know I am so much more than that “me” as well.
Awareness is Here, Playing at Q & A
~ Lori Ann