From a very young age, I have felt a Loving Presence in my life. My first memory of this was when I was 4yo. I had an experience of Jesus sitting at the end of my bed. This Loving Presence has remained with me throughout my whole life.
I felt troubled when I was young. I felt like an outsider and I didn’t have many friends. I used alcohol, cannabis and sex to self-medicate uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. When I was 22yo, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and I was very depressed with my 2yo daughter. Life was not good.
I was unhappy and very keen to make some changes. I started reading books from Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer. I was having an experience of the positive affirmations that Louise Hay suggested I say in the mirror and write in my journal everyday.
In 1993, I came across the classical spiritual text, A Course in Miracles. I knew within my heart that the Course would help me. I started doing the lessons and immediately my life was changing. My relationship with myself and others were starting to heal. I practiced the lessons in forgiveness. I experienced a healing from chronic fatigue and depression. Yoga and spiritual practice became daily connection points to the miracle and my Divine Self.
I would occasionally relapse on alcohol, cannabis and casual sex. During these phases in my life I would not experience the miracle. Depression came, and went again. By 2007, alcohol and cannabis let go of me. I noticed that the usual crowd of drinking and drugging friends left my life. I met new ‘clean’ friends. I starting going to parties that had no alcohol or cannabis!
In 2011, I lost thousands of dollars in a bad investment. I nearly lost my house. This was a turning point in my spirituality. I became A Course in Miracles student full-time and went to live in a spiritual community.
I thought it would be all love and light. Although, when you really go for God, all your stuff can come up in your conscious awareness to be healed. This was a very lumpy and difficult time. Lots of support, love and healing were happening.
I fell in love with a man from the other side of the country, Perth! 5000 klms away! I left the community to live with this man that I truly loved in my heart. Well… I was still in some sort of spiritual emergence, although being away from all that I knew and the support of the community, my experience soon became a spiritual crisis or dark night of the soul. Every single feeling that you can imagine was coming up. Intense emotion, mystical experiences, and deep depression. Bipolar symptoms can be normal on the spiritual path.
I discovered yoga again at the Sivananda Ashram in Fremantle. Yoga felt like my lifeline. Lots of changes and transformation. A trip to India helped me to make sense of these changes. I connected with a sense of deep peace and connection within myself.
Yoga to me is more than a physical practice. I use yoga to get out of my head and into my body. The body helps me to slow down the thoughts, feel present and gets me into my heart. Yoga offers me a sense of self-love and acceptance. It helps me to be clear and present with whatever is happening in my life. It offers me direction and purpose so I can see the opportunities in the middle of problems. Yoga gives me a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Love, love… Jaya