Losing My Mind to Find Myself
Alex Weber is an Intuitive Life Coach and Writer based in London, Ontario. Through her one-on-one coaching work, courses and workshops she supports women who are on a spiritual path by helping them tap into their intuitive abilities and heal emotional trauma. To learn more about Alex and her work, check out her website True North Life Design.
By Alex Weber
OMG. Am I schizophrenic?
I ask myself internally while emptying the dishwasher. It’s late afternoon, the middle of February 2015, and I’m tidying up my kitchen before I cook dinner.
There is something so soothing about cleaning and cooking. For me it’s like yoga – a moving meditation. I neatly stack the white dinner plates in a pile before picking them up and placing them the chocolate brown cupboard.
There it is again.
Out of the corner of my eye, I can see it. The “sparkly light.” Every so often, I perceive it. It looks like fireflies fluttering around in front of a heat grate. You know the way air looks all distorted when it’s hot? That’s what I see. But there’s no heat radiating out of my kitchen floor, or fireflies. It’s broad daylight and the dead of winter.
Eyes wide open I stare straight at it, no blinking.
Is this real? I ask myself again.
My intuition responds with yes. I know it’s real. I opened up to my meditation teacher Selma about the “sparkly light” just yesterday. She smiled with that coy knowing look that she usually gives me when I share my “experiences” with her.
The advice she gives is always the same: Don’t worry. You’re not crazy. Just allow what’s happening to happen and try not to overanalyze.
I remember her words and instantly feel comforted. It feels so good to be validated. To be told point blank that I’m not crazy. To know that somebody else knows what it feels like to be taken to the absolute edge of your mind.
I take a deep breath. Consciously pulling air into my heart space. I can feel my shoulders drop. The tension dissipates from my body. I return to the dishwasher, pulling the top rack out and dutifully picking up the glasses and placing them on the counter.
There is a tendency in our Western culture to glamourize spiritual growth.
Our Instagram feeds are full of beautiful women decked head-to-toe in Lululemon posting pictures of their morning matcha and the outfits they plan to wear on their upcoming Balinese yoga retreat. It all seems so easy, breezy. So light, airy and positive.
The reality check I was living was harsh. There was absolutely nothing glamorous about the past few years of my life.
In the fall of 2012 I decided both the career path (journalism) and the relationship I’d invested four years of my life into, were no longer a good fit for me. Admitting the truth to myself felt equal parts liberating and terrifying.
So I did what most lost millennial women do these days. I got on a plane, moved to Rwanda for two months and spent the next half-year wanderlust-ing around the world.
My social media feed made me feel like this was the magical cure to everything!
I assumed that the white sand beaches of Thailand emanated clarity and confidence. I thought that the universe would whisper my life purpose into my ears while on the back of a moto in Uganda. And fill me with direction as I sipped Chardonnay at a sidewalk bistro in Paris.
I expected to come back to Canada and feel totally sure of my next steps.
But when I arrived home six months later, I was 23-years-old, still in debt and more lost than I’d ever felt in my life.
So one morning, I hit my yoga mat, tapped into my inner Catholic schoolgirl and prayed. I asked God, the universe, whatever higher power was out there to guide me. I surrendered.
The experience itself was rather anti-climatic. The clouds didn’t part in the sky. There was no booming voice from on high. No angels appeared. But, still, I felt relief.
That was the beginning of my spiritual awakening.
Slowly I began to notice synchronicities. I’d have a question, and suddenly hours later find myself receiving the answer in a blog post I was guided to read or a website I felt an impulse to visit. Teachers began appearing in my life. Books began to fall of the shelf. I found myself fascinated and eager to learn about tons of new age topics like astrology, tarot, herbology and crystals. I started connecting with women all over the world who were awakening. I began meditating daily. And I felt called to complete a coaching certification and launch my business, True North Life Design.
A lot of “strange” things also began to happen.
While laying on a Reiki table, a memory came back to me that I hadn’t tapped into in over a decade. As my energy work waved her hands over my body, I had a vision of myself at six-years-old. I was walking with my Dad and little brother through a street festival that was happening in Dundas, Ontario -- the small town where my Dad had just moved following my parents divorced. I was trying to catch up to my brother and Dad in the crowd, when a little girl grabbed my attention and beckoned me to follow her. Beyond her I could see two men dressed in old, turn of the century clothes. I instantly felt afraid and ran ahead, placing my hand safely into my fathers.
As the memory wafted back into my consciousness, so to did the knowledge that the little girl and the men were dead. They were spirits.
Experiencing that memory reactivated something within me. I’d see the “sparkly light” all the time. I’d hear voices and murmurs in the distance when I was alone. My dreams became wild and vivid.
I doubted many of the experiences I was having, writing them off as “just the wind” or a “strange coincidence.” I didn’t trust myself at all. Some days I was convinced I was totally losing it. I became terrified of what my friends, family and former colleagues would think. I felt super alone.
At the same time, I was doing a lot of healing. Many of the traumatic experiences from my childhood that I’d spent two decades repressing were bubbling up inside of me to actually be processed – not shoved down inside of me like socks at the bottom of an over packed suitcase.
I felt raw, vulnerable and in over my head. I longed for the carefree days of unconscious ignorant bliss! But I carried on, taking the best possible care of myself I could, and seeking out professional support when I felt it was needed.
Today I’m 27.
And I’m convinced I’ve grown more in the past five years, than I did in the 22 that preceded it
I’m definitely not perfect. I’m still evolving and expanding. But I trust myself now. I feel comfortable and confident in my skin. I know I’m on a path that will bring more growth and the challenging lessons that come with it. And I’m okay with that.
I know now that it is totally normal to feel fucked up sometimes.
A spiritual awakening is a wild inner process of making the unconscious, conscious. When we awaken, we are forced to face and integrate all of the parts of ourselves that we’ve denied, suppressed and rejected throughout our life.
And this is nahtttttt a pretty process. But it’s necessary.
It’s what’s happening in our world right now, collectively and individually.
So, sister, if you find yourself doing the dishes one day and legitimately asking yourself if you’ve gone batshit crazy – you haven’t.
You are awakening.
You are rising.
You are becoming the wholehearted person you were born to be.
And most importantly, you’re right on track, exactly where you’re supposed to be.
(I’ve been there too.)