THE VALUE OF A MENTOR
So there I was - 10+ years after taking the leap into a whole new reality. Shifting timelines, values and life trajectory.
Propelled by my soul into a whole new world of conscious movement and body-mind-spirit integration, that both ignited my fire and disrupted my comfort.
From middle-class married Mum with all the trappings to struggling single Mama.
From shopping sprees at the mall to 5 o-clock sadhana.
And here I was, experiencing a dark night of the soul. That hurt like hell and made me question the point of my existence.
All the New Age wisdom I'd read told me that if I followed my bliss, everything would simply flow and flower beneath me.
I hadn't reckoned with this level of pain and challenge as part of the deal.
In the past 10 years, I'd trained intensively as a teacher of Conscious Dance, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation and Sexual Awakening for Women, as well as become a practitioner of multiple forms of bodywork and energy healing.
I'd dedicated 1000s of hours and £1000s to study, practice and self-enquiry.
I loved teaching. I loved the body. I was devoted to awakening. And I was gifted as a teacher of these Ecstatic Arts.
Indeed, my dream was to become a Master Teacher of Tantra and Sexual and Spiritual Awakening for Women, who embodied this wisdom to the core of her being.
But right now, I felt a long way off.
I'd already invested so much time and energy in my personal and spiritual development, that somehow I figured God owed me a reward. Rather than this oppressive feeling of heartbreak and despair.
What I couldn't see, was how my unconscious kept tripping me up, even as I was doing my utmost to "become conscious".
And how the trainings and practices I was immersed in were a part of the problem:
- Tantra was opening me into experiences of sexual awakening without due reference to and reverence for the power of Shakti
- Kundalini Yoga was opening me to experiences of spiritual awakening without reference to the power of my sexuality
Typically taught intensively over a weekend,
- Both were powerfully opening my energy body and revealing my shadow without due attention to grounding and integrating these shifts in the real of life or offering support in the interim.
And so I continued on - for many more years - growing, expanding, teaching, studying and learning.
Rising and falling through further dark nights and devastation.
An intrepid explorer of all things sexual, spiritual and relational.
An ever more brilliant teacher, facilitator, creatrix and being.
Who also continued to fuck up and break apart.
And by-pass her deepest shadows, without someone to call her out.
What I can only see now, with the benefit of hindsight, is how the missing piece for me at that juncture was the ongoing guidance, energetic transmission and penetrating insight of a wise, trusted and compassionate female mentor.
Rather than intermittent bouts of intensive short-lived exposure.
As much as the foundations, tools and framework to support the grounded and sustained integration of my awakening, in a way that embraced and took care of my human self.
Rather than an assumption that the practices or intense experiences alone were in and of themselves enough.
The sexual and spiritual awakening journey offers us a most beautiful re-membering of our true selves.
And it really is a heroine's quest.
Whatever juicy weekend workshop headlines of multi-orgasmic this or transcendent enlightenment that may temptingly promise, my knowing is that to truly embody such transformation in a safe, sustainable manner takes:
a) time b) ongoing practice c) commitment d) radical honesty e) community f) expert mentoring & g) a holistic approach, that supports you in creating a healthy ground for your garden to blossom - leaving no stone un-turned
- and both allowing for and gifting you tools for the navigation of your dark night as part and parcel of the process
I don't share this to be harsh on myself or anybody else. The irony is, that I always knew and already had access to more wisdom, than I realised.
As I vulnerably emerged from that dark night, I felt inspired to write words onto slips of paper, that I scattered on my bedroom floor around me.
Those words described 9 themes that have become the 9 pillars of my Awakening Shakti Depth Mentorship Programme.
I've hardly had to change them. They emerged from the depths of my emptiness in perfection.
And every year I've taught to those themes, my embodiment and wisdom around them deepens.