Not all spiritual emergence happens with a ‘bang‘, it can also be a gradual unfolding, like the peeling of layers from an onion. Here Samata Russell from Guernsey, a British Channel Island, beautifully explains why finding meaning in her dark times is so meaningful:
My awakening has been a long and gradual process. I have always been sensitive and when I was a teenager, I was addicted to a number of mind altering substances – I needed something to get me through the day as I found the world too confusing and traumatic.
When I was 18 I attended university and it became clear to me that I couldn’t numb away my days anymore. I stopped cold turkey and cried for months. It was a time of incredible pain and grace. It felt like I was shedding ways of being that I no longer believed in and choosing instead who and what I wanted to become. I felt raw and vulnerable. The universe had my back as I fell into my graduate course in psycho-physical actor training. I undertook yoga, tai chi and a martial art called kalaripayattu five times a week to develop presence on stage. It was the perfect discipline to teach me how to be in my body in this world.
As my sensitivity and ability to sit with myself grew, I began to start feeling a gentle and invisible guiding hand and whispers of intuition that have been my companion ever since. I am very empathic – I feel other people’s pain as my own – which can be a gift and a curse. It isn’t something that is widely recognized and it took a long time to figure out why I would struggle in some situations where others wouldn’t or why I could just know something about what someone else was going through.
With the help of a disciplined meditation and yoga practice, I have experienced moments of pure bliss and transcendence. I have felt in my body complete unconditional love for all creation and a knowing that we are all one. I have a sense of being guided and that there are other realms beyond this one.
I sometimes struggle to fit myself into this world, which currently has a very negative frame of reference for who I am. I personally believe that I am having a spiritual emergence but it can be isolating.
I have since experienced other periods of depression – after trying to integrate into life at home following a period of incredible travel adventures and after my daughter was born.
Through my depression I visited a few counselors but have never taken antidepressants, for which I am profoundly grateful. Each period has turned me inwards and taken me away from the world. It has felt like an internal calibration and though difficult, I come out stronger, wiser and more fulfilled than I was before.
I think we are all spiritual beings and there is an awakening happening all over the planet as more and more people experience depressive episodes, calling them inwards towards higher levels of consciousness. It’s not easy, but put into that framework, it is incredibly meaningful and worthy.
Thank you to Samata for #EmergingProud to support the shift ❤