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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner

Centering in Your Eternal Self

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I thought this month I might share with you a little bit about my healing journey.

When I was eighteen, I took a post-high school “figure-myself-out” trip. I was depressed and struggling to connect with meaning in my life. The trip began with several months in Colorado in a beautiful mountain town, Telluride, and then a gorgeous voyage to Costa Rica. When I discovered that I didn’t have the patience or aptitude to become a great surfer in Costa Rica, I sojourned on my own to the Caribbean side of the country, to a little jungle retreat/farm center that called out to me because of its seclusion and beauty. It was when I left my trip-mates and started my own journey that interesting things started happening.

I started to have vivid dreams each night, and in the morning the place I’d seen in my dreams would be right there in front of me, plain as day! As if some force in nature was trying to say to me “hey! Wake up! Look at what you’re capable of! Look at what is possible!” Life started to feel more like a lucid dream, with my intuitions and feelings about people and things manifesting before my very eyes. I felt completely alive and awake. Everything seemed to have an important sequence, a purpose, a deeper connected meaning. I felt a part of something profound.

Years later I discovered this kind of experience has been named and described by many traditions, it is called “having an awakening,” “kundalini awakening,” “waking up,” etc. At the time I didn’t have a clue but I knew that something magical was happening. I was accessing more of myself than ever before. I didn’t even know what had been missing until this awakening showed me what life could be.

What I found interesting about the timing of this was that it was truly the first time I was away from my family, my culture, and the peer group I had grown up with. It was the first time, I think, that my energy wasn’t responding to a cultural or a familial norm. I was completely in my own energy field, without the normal outside influences of my life thus far. 

What this showed me is not that I had a terrible family, or that our culture is terrible, but rather than these norms and subconsciously imposed views of the world that we live in as children and young adults result in a suppression that we must shake off if we are ever to know our true self. We must leave the paradigm we were born into, not necessarily physically, but emotionally and energetically. We must individuate fully, becoming not who we were primped and polished to be, but who we really are in essence. This is a major part of the journey of healing. It is a process of sloughing off from our culture and family what does not fit us, and growing in our awareness of our true self. 

From where I am now in life, I see that there is no lasting happiness, lasting security, or lasting joy when one’s true self has not been discovered and felt viscerally. Without this discovery and connection to your eternal being, there is only a life of suppression, fear, and attempts at happiness that don’t last. Life doesn’t make sense, because it is missing deeper context. Only when the true self becomes known, viscerally, does a deep feeling of connectedness and dignity come in to all that you do in the world. Once this deeper feeling is online, there comes with it a respect for your uniqueness, your pace, and your purpose. No longer do you succumb so easily to outer pressures and live through someone else’s ideals. Instead you start to forge your own path based on the truth of who you are.

When did you first start to sense a higher meaning life? When did you start to first open to spiritual energies? Did your awakening happen through noticing synchronicities, through the feeling of loving someone or being loved unconditionally, through feeling the pure energy in nature? What does it feel like to re-visit that initial spark of awareness in you? What would happen if you let that wisdom influence your current life more fully?

As all of you know who are on a spiritual path, once this journey begins, there really is no stopping point, only a continued deepening of self-awareness and awareness of one’s impact on the others, self, and life. There are highs and lows, yet if you can stay connected, find support, and continue moving through your fears and blocks as they arise, the lows are seen through a different light: as doorways to deeper states. You know through experience that once you work through a challenge, there is more divinity, more flow, and more self on the other side.

In times of challenge and stress you’ll need extra support, in the form of an outer human who can help you through and also through connecting to your inner wisdom. In order to find that wisdom when you are under stress, I suggest finding practices that emphasize slowing down and deliberately reconnecting to your essential self. Otherwise the challenge itself can overwhelm you to the point of paralysis. In times of challenge or heartbreak, can you remember your essence, purpose, and the higher meaning of your life, so that the challenge you’re facing is faced within the right context?

Practices that help you reconnect might be walking in nature, energy work, connecting with a mentor, seeing a friend, taking deep breaths, meditation, travel, or some combination of all of these that help you find meaning and hope. Here is a simple exercise you can try to gain more access to the inner self in a moment of challenge:

1. Wherever you are sitting, connect with your breath.

2. Imagine yourself sitting on a throne, positioned up above a kingdom that represents your life.

3. As you look in each direction, see different aspects of your life represented: family, love life, spirituality, career, hopes and dreams, health, friendships, etc.

4. Look into each aspect and see how it looks: is that area well-tended, growing, a little somber, a little disorganized, up in flames?

5. Notice as you look at each aspect, that you are not any one piece of life, you are the consciousness that is now witnessing your life. 

6. As you bring your attention back to yourself, just simply feel yourself. What do you notice about yourself? How is your energy moving?

7. Use energy from your inner being, which you’re connecting to now, to send hope, blessings, and prayers to whatever area of life needs it most. Feel a return from that area, supporting you. Imagine creating or attracting something in that area that feels perfectly aligned for you.

I find that each of us has a tendency to feel what is off/out of flow/not easy in our lives very acutely. We tend to forget to celebrate the whole of who we are, instead feeling the acuteness of our suffering in a given area that needs our attention. While I’m all about doing the deep work of focusing in to transform what is hurting, I also find the practice above can reset your system towards empowerment and out of overwhelm, so that when you go to do the deep work, you also know that you are already divine, whole, and connected.

To learn more about how I help spiritually oriented people on their healing journey, please contact me for a free consultation.

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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner