Over the course of the next years of yoga, meditation, workshops and practice, I know I changed. I was particularly aware of generally feeling happier and more optimistic. During that time frame my health problems were coming to light and I think coping with that kept me less aware of progress than I might have been. I know that friends told me they could see lots of difference and some talked about how I just kept transforming again and again.
To me the changes at that time were subtle and inner. I was looking for external change and most of the time failed to give myself credit for the giant internal leaps and bounds of transformation. I think the first time I became aware of massive shifting arrived the summer after I finished the nine-month version of Fischer-Hoffman. I threw myself into that work — released so much that I set off kundalini. By the time we finished, I felt like a shell. Not in a bad way. But I’d let go of so much of myself that I no longer had a sense of who I was.
Ellen Margron, who led the group, told me that I was experiencing the “void” and told me to try to just stay with it. She felt that if you get nervous and start trying to reorganize a self as you knew it, you’ll re-integrate a lot of what you released. Since I was floating in a kind of pleasant sea of emptiness and SERIOUSLY did not want to have to redo the work ever again, that prescription was okay for me. Twenty some years later I don’t think I’ve ever regained a self in the sense that I knew it before. My tastes are mostly the same and lots of preferences hold, but in a deeper sense of knowing myself I often feel like I don’t really know what I want to do or who I am in relation to others.
I’ve never been one of those seeking “no self” as a spiritual experience yet to a small degree that’s what happened. It didn’t phase me to lose that sense of self — mostly it’s felt like a relief to leave all that angst and those neuroses behind. And I’ve never felt a big need to replace the old pieces with something more definitive that’s new. In a way I think those first few years of really feeling cast adrift led to the next phase of changes and prepared me to take on new traits and habits.
Which will be the next part of assignment #4 in this series for WordPress’ Writing 101.