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My journey from Psychotherapy to Kundalini Awakening

Psychotherapy can be a powerful route map for the inner journey to wholeness. In my view, the potential for therapy to bring about spiritual transformation hasn’t yet been fully explored and goes beyond what’s currently recognised. I believe if we consciously and courageously commit to our inner work, we will inevitably discover the truth of who we are.

My understanding of the connection between therapy and awakening comes from my own experience and working with people going through the process of healing and becoming more conscious. I started therapy a number of years ago after experiencing anxiety and wanting to understand the underlying reasons why it was there. I tried to make sense of this on my own for a long time but got stuck in negative cycles. After starting therapy I realised the need to explore the past and the source of these karmic patterns so I could bring them into awareness and heal them. The relationship with my therapist provided a safe container for this to happen. It took some years to work through the various layers of ego defences and unconscious feelings before becoming aware of my patterns and how to begin to resolve them. The therapy space was necessary to explore thoughts and emotions I couldn’t have accessed alone. It became apparent that the power and depth of the process arose from the relationship with my therapist. The therapeutic relationship provided a safe container for the mental, emotional and eventual spiritual transformation to take place.

Psychotherapy provides a grounded approach to looking inwards which is rooted in our humanity. It encourages us to turn towards those parts of ourselves that we have turned away from, it shows us where we have got lost in false beliefs about who we are and points us back towards the truth. This enables a safe and contained exploration of not only our difficulties but also the meaning and flow of life as it arises in all our experiences. Spirituality opens us to the transcendent, the luminous aspects of our nature that can deeply enrich our day to day lives. There is important overlap between the two because in the absence of a deep exploration of our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviours, we are likely to get stuck in repeating patterns that block us from stepping into the peace, joy and power of our essential nature.

In my opinion, the spiritual awakening process could be thought of an extension of the healing journey encountered during depth Psychotherapy. Spiritual awakening is sometimes empowered by energetic phenomena such as Kundalini. One aspect of Kundalini energy is similar to the function of the therapeutic relationship, it brings unconscious material into a person’s awareness so they can feel and release the emotions and thoughts which form the false self and keep us trapped in egoic consciousness. In many ways I feel my healing journey in therapy prepared me mentally and emotionally for the awakening of Kundalini and the energetic process that followed. I use the skills learned in therapy to navigate my inner world and hold space for myself during periods of mental, emotional and physical upheaval. I do this on an ongoing basis although the process is generally smoother. I also practice non attachment to the various mental, emotional and physiological states that arise during the Kundalini journey whether they be positive or negative.

I view Kundalini energy and the healing process that arises as a feminine path to enlightenment. The feminine in this context is characterised by inner ‘darkness’ and what is known as the shadow self or ego. The shadow self contains the unconscious thoughts and feelings that we’ve split off from because they’ve been deemed in some way unacceptable. Unresolved trauma from the past becomes trapped in our minds and bodies as unexpressed and unfelt emotions, memories and core beliefs. In Trauma Focussed therapy it’s generally accepted that these cut off feelings are stored in the body and later manifest as anxiety, depression, physical illness and other imbalances within our system. This is closely linked with self esteem and ego as we identify with these unhelpful beliefs and painful feelings and create a sense of self out of them. In my work as a Psychotherapist I encourage people to get to know their ego in an open and compassionate way. It’s important to become familiar with our ego patterns so we don’t continue to fall back into identification with the false self.

I believe both Psychotherapy and Awakening are a journey within to find and live as our true selves. They both involve a reconnection to the body and emotions so that we can move deeply into them, witness and transform them into pure awareness. It is a journey into wholeness where any discord within the body and mind is brought into alignment with our true self. This is a process of healing on a profound level. It can be helpful to work with a therapist who’s trained to work with unconscious processes in the psyche and has a thorough understanding of depth Psychology. A present, conscious Psychotherapist can hold space for this level of transformation.

In my opinion the potential for conscious Psychotherapy to be a vehicle for spiritual transformation is largely untapped. This way of working goes beyond traditional methods, the conscious therapist uses the therapy model as a framework for navigating their client’s psyche and understanding how and where people get stuck in the healing process. The ability of the therapist to hold a clear space and provide a container for the alchemy of transformation is, in my view, the missing piece in many people’s awakening journey. Without direct access to a guru or teacher who traditionally led people through the process it seems likely people will turn to conscious therapists and healers to guide them. The shift in consciousness of humanity as a whole is becoming more apparent therefore the need for help in the awakening process will almost certainly accelerate in the coming years. Properly trained Psychotherapists who have done their own inner work can help bridge this gap and provide a powerful space to do the healing work and transition into a more conscious, heart centred way of living.

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