By: Danielle Wilson
I’ve encountered life-altering, perspective shifting, soulfully transformative experiences only a handful of times on my journey, thus far. I’m talking about those times in life when your spirit feels so touched, so profoundly understood by both yourself and the world around you, that everything about the moment seems to suspend in angelic and overwhelming harmony. You can actually feel your heart grow in size for the mere sensation of your utmost aliveness. Everything seems to fall into perfect focus: all the answers you’ve been waiting for simply whisking your way with the wind, showering you with the divine knowledge necessary to guide you in growth and healing. These moments are fleeting in their euphoria, but typically leave us inspired and motivated to put all of our reflections and epiphanies into action.
For me, experiences like vacations or live music can send me into this state of blissful presence and sharpened awareness. Like a high of intuition and peace, waves of ancient wisdom and grounding energy create a synergistic jolt of love, within me and exuding from me. Typically, as the experience begins to come to a close, the weight of transitioning back into “real life” sets in. In time, the toxic narratives and patterns I found myself shedding with such clarity start to creep back in with the shadow of my every day, typical, comfortable life. This had me believing that the knowledge and clarity found on exciting vacations or at live music events was all part of the “illusion” of escape; it was simply another perk to go along with an already enjoyable activity, so it drifted away with every return home. That is, until my most recent trip to the Pacific Northwest where I revealed the true nature of this state of clarity.
Maybe we don’t have to lose the effects of the euphoria or ancient knowing which arise in the moments that make our hearts and spirits sing. Whether it’s as complex as an adventure into the unknown, or as simple as a particularly outstanding practice on our mats, the way in which the elements of ourselves and the world around us combine serve as merely the catalyst in triggering that which was already within us. There is no searching for or discovering the clarity and balance necessary to move forward towards the next chapter in life. The fact is, everything that we are, everything that we have been, and everything we could possibly hope to be already exists within us. These seemingly rare experiences serve as an unveiling of the knowing that was there all along.
During my trip, it seemed like some pretty epic realizations were flying at me left and right, knocking me into an entirely new state of being all-together. I felt an immense and powerful love radiating from my heart and spilling over, in excess, to everything and everyone around me. The unanswered questions I’d had about myself or my life were beginning to resolve, almost effortlessly, and an intuitive vision of the path ahead began to etch itself vividly in my mind’s eye. For a moment, I feared the loss of this remarkable, internal understanding, but for the first time ever, I came to realize that all my trip had done for me is create space: space in my mind as I escaped to new places, with new people, and an identity unknown to myself or the world, space in my efforts as I released myself from responsibilities of work, home, family, pets, and friends, and space in my soul as I shifted away from all forms of comfort and security which thrive off of narratives I tell myself to create my reality back home. In cultivating this space, I allowed for clear-seeing by peeling back the layers of my being which I’d grown accustomed to, and was left with nothing other than the truth—the divine knowing.
I shifted my focus to the notion that these realizations were nothing but a rediscovering of knowledge that had been buried in the depths of my soul some time ago. The space simply allowed this wisdom to emerge with more conviction and precision than ever before. And with that, there is no reason I can’t take these lessons home with me. What’s interesting is that my loyalty to this wisdom, regardless of the setting or community I find myself in, led to me seeing Chicago in a different light upon my return. Unlike my past experiences when I allowed external factors like atmosphere, people, or responsibilities to rule my ability—or lack thereof—to achieve clarity through intuitive knowing, this time I wrapped this ancient wisdom up as being one with my soul, and as I anchored myself in that, my perspective of the city I call home shifted.
It is nothing but the limitations we place upon ourselves that keep us from expanding these moments of clear-seeing and soulful connection into chapters of such. We drape robes of narratives, judgements, attachments, and patterns onto the people and places we see on a daily basis. This is what we’ve come to acknowledge as our comfort zone. When we step outside of that momentarily, excited and open to a new experience because it is one we positively associate with freedom or pleasure, the internal gunk begins to shed, and we find ourselves holding hands with ourselves…our trueselves.Arriving home post-vacation, I remembered just how beneficial it is to keep a supple mind, maintain awareness around the stories I tell myself, and continue to utilize my spiritual/yogic tools to break down those structures. It’s been quite some time since I felt space around me here in busy Chicago, but now, here I am carving it out, planting my seeds of clarity and protecting their right to grow and breath through mindfulness.