• Naaz

The Collective: Saying Yes To My Spiritual Journey

The term, spiritual journey, has so many meanings, interpretations and connotations.

Since I started my business, the Universe has been bringing me a steady stream of amazing people who are in the midst of their own spiritual journeys; whether it's a path they are newly embarking upon, or one they have been travelling on for quite some time.

I like to think of a spiritual journey as the point in time when a person becomes consciously aware that they want a reconnection, or a coming home, to their own Soul; the Source of who they really are.

Sometimes that calling is soft and gentle, and other times, it's very strong.

I met Kelley at the beginning of this year in my Reiki Level 1 class at Junction 9 Yoga + Pilates. She had a deep desire to understand the workings of the Universe and her place in it. As she made her way through Levels 1 and 2, and her path unfolded, I noticed a shift taking place within her. She began radiating a deep sense of clarity and peace. It was as though something was clicking into place, more and more, every time we met.

These days, Kelley continues to expand into that connection with her own Soul. She's always been beautiful, but has become even more so, as time goes on and she comes home to herself. Her kindness is brighter, her heart is more open, and she's come alive in more profound ways. It has been a true joy to witness her expansion. It's a testament to her willingness to surrender to the energy of Reiki, and to her own Source.

I'm so happy to introduce you to Kelley, who has a beautiful story to share about her spiritual path, on today's edition of The Collective.

It’s not uncommon for me to get asked about my journey. There is certainly a part of me that loves talking about it, which might be what attracts these inquiries – but there is also the way I have surrendered to the journey and responded to the call that makes this all so intriguing to others.

That’s what I think, anyways.

When I talk about my journey, these days I am referring to my pilgrimage; a self-directed learning journey, intended to challenge the life that I know, so that I can discover and connect with my soul’s purpose.

I’ve given myself permission to listen for any ‘call’ that just feels right – then turn towards it with a whole-hearted ‘yes’.

My pilgrimage is taking place during my ‘Champagne Birthday’ this year, where I am 31 between August 31, 2018 and 2019. It was important to me that I set an intentional start to my bold, risky adventure and to work towards a finite end.

At the resolution of this pilgrimage – my ‘return’ – is time I’ve set aside to analyze and evaluate all the fruits that the journey produced. And having this time scheduled makes it way easier to follow my intuition in the present.

Primarily, this whole adventure has happened within the walls of my own home and along the well-worn pathways in my hometown. Challenging myself in this way has completely reframed and opened – like, blown wide open – my relationship to how I experience, explore and related to the world around me.

The roads I have taken in pursuit of deeper, soul learnings have led me to familiar physical places, but I am finding that my new perspective brings such deep meaning and life to little things: like the way the sun never casts the same shadow behind the same tree, or the wisdom that a rock shares with you if you sit with it for long enough.

Throughout my lived experience, which goes beyond my pilgrimage and my personal Reiki practice, Reiki has been brought into my conscious awareness at times when I seem to have needed to really deepen into my journey.

My most direct initial experience with calling this energy ‘Reiki’, prior to Naaz, was simply as a client. I had initially sought it out after suggested by a co-worker who commented on some of the “bad ju-ju” that she sensed that I was taking on. She wasn’t wrong and, since the energy that we pick up throughout the day (especially from co-workers) can be wildly out of our control, energy healing didn’t sound like a terrible thing to try.

The gift of Reiki being introduced as a practice for soul healing – in that way and at that time – is still such a powerful and pivotal milestone for me.

The Master that I received Reiki from was a powerful and kind soul that, through Reiki, helped me connect to my purpose in all the ways that I hadn’t be able to yet – through feeling.

Suddenly there was more than just logic and process and plans and facts – there was expansion beyond all sense-making into spirit animals, shamanistic practices, soul retrieval, energy therapy, and chakra symbols.

All things my mind couldn’t process, but somehow I just felt to be true – like a deep knowing was being awakened, and I wanted nothing more than to learn all that I could.

My perspective had completely shifted and there was suddenly a new way of being to explore.

But then as my pilgrimage began, my path diverged and gradually pulled me away from the dependency that comes from receiving healing from something outside of myself. It’s almost as if the day I let go of the frustration of feeling like my healing practice was taken from me, I found myself staring at a Reiki Level 1 course description.

It started to become clear to me that I was being called to shift from simply receiving support and healing to learn how to offer and develop that within myself. To transform from a passive, curious mindset to an active and intentional practice – a threshold I needed to cross in order to fully embrace my commitment to my personal self-healing and wholing.

True to my commitment to say yes when I was called – before I knew it, I was sitting in ceremonial learning circle with Naaz in her Reiki Level 1 class. I have truly been blessed to have Naaz fold into my story so gracefully.

Speaking from experience, there is a profound difference between receiving Reiki for an hour and understanding all the intentions, vibrations, and pure, cosmic love that you can’t help but be connected to when you practice with Reiki energy.

Reiki is so abundantly beyond a simple ‘energy exchange’. It is the channel through how we connect with our own energic Source and explains how everything we experience in this life is a mirroring of our relationship with Source – meaning with ourselves.

Source is the part of us that knows who we are. The part of us that holds nothing but the highest, most beautiful, most pure vision of our greatest potential. The part of us that hums in soft encouragement when we are on the right path, and perhaps tugs at our emotional centres when we stray, in order to help align us with the path that we have been asking for. It’s all slightly convoluted when you try to think it – but when you allow yourself to surrender to the feel of it, you are feeling the true power of Reiki.

And then, can you imagine how beautiful it is to come to realize that not only are each of us supported by this pure, whole, knowing part of ourselves – but to also really see that everyone, each one of us, is just a soul on a journey. That we all have come here with something to learn, something to become, and that we all have a Source, that is divinely suited to be our perfect guide, working with us at every step along our story.

It’s through the practice of Reiki and this expansion of how I identify with myself and those around me, that my entire perspective has shifted on what it means to truly live. And what it means to experience hardship and struggle – and how, for myself and for others, that it is simply a reflection of my relationship to Self. To Source.

Personally, I have always had a deep and dark challenge with self-love and self-acceptance. I have come into this life without a strong sense of where I end and where others begin and it makes it easy for me to fall into patterns of deep healing and caring for others and tell myself that their happiness will complete me.

No one is perfect. Nor should we be expected to be. And not everyone wants to be healed, quite honestly. And while an idea like that has previously been frustrating for a “fixer” like me to have heard, I feel how the work I am doing is transforming me out of that pattern.

I can better see my role as a healer, teacher, and leader – and that makes my Source really happy.

It’s hard work to transform. To transform is to change indefinitely – and everyone has the choice to respond to the calls of their Highest Self that is unconditionally whispering to us, or to exist in the temporary and, I believe, limited realities of this physical plane.

Reiki has brought so much joy and bliss into my life! Once I started to move out of my thinking and into my knowing, it was like a weight was chiselled out of my being.

The trees speak louder, the animals recognize me and connect when I create the space for them, and the Moon’s messages and influences are permeating all the pockets of my emotions and deepens my appreciation for Mystery and for what it means to be human. I feel more connected to everything and everyone just simply knowing that we are all the same at our core.

We are all Reiki.

We are all the most pure, expansive, and unconditional essence of love. I’ve learned that tapping into that sense of love is the most powerful practice I can do. And when I consciously turn to myself – my imperfect, authentic, continuously learning Self – and offer the purest love to all my characters, scars, beliefs, and patterns I can feel myself becoming more whole.

The body might be able to endure this life physically and materially, but our true work in this life is to heal our souls with love.

And you might see it as hocus pocus, but I ask you – how enjoyable will life be to just trust that everything – everything – has its own way of calling you to embrace your best self?

And all you have to do is say ‘yes’.

Kelley has been undergoing an incredible transformation over the past few years in almost every area of her life - from career path, to lifestyle changes, to physical and mental health practices. She wakes up every day, fueled by passion (but mostly coffee), and works from home to support an inspiring social innovation project called the Energy Futures Lab.

The flexibility allows her ample time to do the things she enjoys most - walk along the river, connect with friends and family regularly, hunting to try the next new vegan restaurant, and you are guaranteed to find her at the Stax Cycle Club spin studio at least three times a week.

She's a natural optimist and always eager to learn more about the deep mysterious life presents to us when it knows we're ready.

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