My Spiritual Awakening

by Ashleigh James / Aug 03, 2015 / Comments

It started with a heartbreak. Something I'd been lucky to escape in the past as I'd only let people in to a point where I still felt comfortable.

To a point where I was still in control.

It left me shattered and broken on the floor. And when I reached what I thought at the time to be 'the bottom', I discovered I'd detached myself from my body, in a floaty dreamlike state.

For two weeks I watched myself from an outsiders perspective. I did and said everything I would normally but I was an observer of my life. This, apparently is called depersonalization disorder.

Having never experienced a 'mental disorder' before, I scolded myself when my sister informed me of what it might be;

"How could you have let something effect you so deeply?" "I thought you were stronger than that?" "How little self respect do you really have?" "Who are you?"

Who are you?

The words were left echoing in my head. I didn't know. I was caught up in the life I thought I had wanted. I was happy on the surface but deep down I started to see the emptiness.  

It scared me, seeing myself this way, so I started setting goals, achieving them and growing. I progressed and grew through different experiences, each time gaining a small piece of self respect.

Then my Grandad was diagnosed with cancer. 

Living away from home, I didn't experience it the same way as my family. I witnessed it from an external perspective. He was terrified, and as a proud man, did not want me to see or speak to him, so that I remembered him as the strong and funny character I knew and loved. 

I couldn't help feeling guilty. Everyone was mourning and I had been able to let go of the attachment.

When he passed away, I was left with the feeling of peace, knowing that he would no longer be afraid.

Shortly after, a friend explained what collective consciousness was and it was like a light switch turning on. I completely resonated with everything she said, even though I didn't fully understand it. The terms 'spirituality' and 'consciousness' hadn't even entered my radar up until that point. 

It sparked a fire within me and I started to venture down the rabbit hole. Before I knew it, I was questioning who I was again, and what I wanted in life.

I decided to give up my career in search of something I found meaning in. I also gave up men.

How could I know who I wanted to date if I didn't know who I was?

I felt like I was a child again; figuring everything out and constantly searching for answers. Often opening up to the wrong people and getting hurt.

But with each painful situation, I took the lesson and continued to grow.

That's when things got interesting; I started to experience synchronicities and deja vu's, I began to see energy and auras, I was having dreams that came true weeks or months later, I was experiencing visions and 'downloading' information, I was picking up on others thoughts and feelings, and also began to sense pain within people.

I tried to take it all in my stride but I was panicking inside. "Why was this happening to me?" "Am I crazy?" "I just want to be 'normal'."

As I began to grow, so did my 'gifts', at a rate I couldn't control, until I imploded. 

I began to take on other people's negative energy as I wasn't protecting my own energy field. I wasn't aware that I had to, or even how to. 

I was picking up on lower vibrational thought forms (what the fuck?) and it created something terrifying in my head. It manifested as disturbing thoughts and visions that I didn't even know were possible, yet at the same time I was aware there was no real threat. 

I was scared.

My life had been turned upside down and I struggled to accept the reality that I was living.

I found it difficult to leave the house. I cut myself off from everyone and everything... It was the only way to cope. I felt constantly drained and I experienced depression for the first time in my life.

Shit got uncomfortable. I was completely lost, yet a small flame burned inside which allowed me to continue pushing through it.

I threw myself into the magazine, found comfort in reading articles and researched what the hell was happening to me. 

A spiritual awakening. Say what?!

Yes, it may have explained everything but I still thought I was going insane.

Then I began to meet others who understood and experienced what I was going through. I no longer felt alone. They helped me out of the darkness until I was able to stand on my own two feet. Something I will forever be grateful for.

I had to experience the deepest depths of my soul in order to come out stronger. And although I am still learning everyday, I am finally accepting myself and no longer feel the need to hide the parts of me that others might not understand.

In my eyes, it was a blessing in disguise. Albite an extremely painful one.

In my eyes, it was a blessing in disguise. Albite an extremely painful one.

I wasn't prepared for the direction life took once I decided to peer down the rabbit hole. Yet, if someone had warned me previous that it would be filled with terrifying truths and situations, but also a magic that ignited my purpose, allowed me to see the world in a different light and positively affect those around me, I'd still choose it. Every. Single. Time.

If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. And if I can get through it, then everyone has the ability. 

Never let anyone tell you that what you're experiencing is crazy, yourself included. And don't let pride or fear of being judged get in the way of asking for help

If you feel lost, scared and alone, it's ok. It will get better if you choose to carry on. Although, as I'm finding, it does not get easier.

I'm just getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

And as continue to grow, I am beginning to surrender the control I have over my life and accept all that I am and all that I have in this moment.

For there is a beauty and a freedom when you give in to the unknown.

I often wonder what would happen if everyone asked themselves the same question I so innocently asked myself...

"Who are you?"

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The Contributor

Ashleigh James

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Ashleigh has a strong background in business development, therapies and education within the health and wellness industry. She has been fortunate to work in the UK, Bermuda and Canada.

These fantastic opportunities have helped develop who she is, yet made her question what she wanted in her life. She considers this 'looking within' to be a catalyst for her awakening.

On her journey, she is working on herself by identifying insecurities and issues, particularly around self-worth, and learning to change her response to them.
She believes that this process raises her consciousness as she sheds old programming and belief systems.

Ashleigh feels this continuous personal evolution is part of the global shift in human consciousness.

She'd like to connect with anyone who feels this change and understands the potential we hold to help create a new reality.

Ashleigh is also the Owner/Editor of GEM Magazine.