The mind does a good job at conceptualizing what enlightenment looks like or even the process of the days leading up to the event horizon within the self. Since the dawning of the great awakening of human consciousness there have been countless stories passed down from those who have realized themselves. They are nice stories to read, but that is exactly what they are, stories. Someone else’s experiences. The wisdom has and continues to provide some guidance for those who are seeking, but nothing will prepare one for their own personal realization, or their very own “21 days of hell”. That fortnight plus some doesn’t just come once. The first time around one will learn and remember to make friends with this period of detoxification and integration going forward. What are the 21 days of hell? Le me explain…
When one has sought out all that can be learned from the outside world; when one has surrendered into the opening of the inner world without shutting down or closing off to the self- the first experience of this intense period of detox begins. At this point it is understood that the journey of enlightenment is not about the fulfillment of joy & happiness and coming into the final product or version of the self. It is understood there is no more working it out or fixing the self. This is the ultimate surrender. But still, nothing can prepare one for this detox.
During the first few days and nights the purging begins- profuse sweating, aches & pains, a sort of flu that is not the flu and the only thing that can be done is fully embrace the experience with all the bodies (mental, emotional, physical) out of balance. All the stored wisdom comes out now, and this too shall pass is now thoroughly understood. Nothing outside the self will help. There are no angels, guides, or ancestors that are going to come to the rescue, no superman, and certainly no God. No one, but simply YOU. Now the loneliness comes creeping up. No one is going to understand your craziness. Now you hear voices or the voice in your head (that was always only in your head) is no longer familiar. You think you are going crazy, and in a sense you are. That’s the good news. You have finally accepted that you have always been enlightened, you merely chose not to realize until now. This is the point of no return.
Day after day you continue to experience an intense mental, emotional, and physical breakdown with all its hellish pleasures along with what I call “cracking open”. This step in the realization process is similar to the frying of an egg. Once the egg has left its shell it can no longer be placed back into the shell ever again. So now you have intense mental, emotional, and physical pain, you are losing your mind, you have no one to talk to, and you are completely aware there is no going back to how it was before. What to do? You know that you know. Surrender.
There is no doctor, no prescriptions, no pleasure, nothing outside to help you now. So you use your tools. You take that good deep breath in and let it out on the exhale, ahhhhh. Your breath is now your best friend.
The experience eventually passes with time and you feel you can begin to move forward again. You will recognize it when it finally comes to pass, but know that the experience will come again, bye and bye. But the next time, you will know what is happening. You will be fully conscious. The 21 days of hell or the full thrust forward into self realization will only come once. After that, you will consciously call in the experience when needed. It will no longer be known as a living hell, but merely a period of detox and expansion. This my friend will continue for eternity.
Many blessings on your journey into the darkness and the lightness of all that you are!
(I honor you for the journey, no matter where you are)
I had my whole life planned out. It was the early 1990's and I knew my talent and was confident to where I was going after high school, at least that's what I thought. I didn't need to get a regular full-time job until I was 24 years old because my band was set to go places, and we were making progress. However, as life tends to go everything changes after a while, but it was changing fast at this point. Every attempt at employment was dissatisfying. I had to find odd office or warehouse jobs that I could do. There was an ongoing battle inside myself as to where my true place was in life.
At 25, I took a trip across the country from my home state of Massachusetts and stayed in Colorado for a while. This was my first attempt at making it on my own with my creativity. It was a short stay as I felt beckoned to get back with my husband and family again. I wrote more songs, played gigs, and continued to work odd jobs; But, there was that ongoing feeling of not being in the right place. In late spring of 2002, I got on a plane to Colorado with $40 in my pocket, stayed with some friends, applied to a job, and started work two weeks later. I was finally in the right place. It took several months to get my husband and furry friends to make the move, but they did it and we never looked back.
It took several years to adjust to a new living situation, away from family and friends and what I knew my entire life. I literally had to say goodbye. Although I continued to write songs and play some gigs when they became available, it was not like it was my old life again. Things were changing like I had never experienced before. I found myself working odd jobs again until I finally settled down to working a full time corporate job in 2004. I was not happy. That feeling of not being in the right place began to creep up again, but this time I was away from home, family, and friends. I was determined to make it happen.
I returned to college and stayed there for four years while working at a corporate job. I was busy all the time while dealing with my entire being changing. It was taking a toll on my mind, body, and spirit. At least, that is what I thought the cause was at the time. Little did I know that I was beginning a full throttle push towards embodied enlightenment. This is when I began to meditate and become familiar with the eastern philosophies and healing arts. It was all preparing me for full embodiment.
I left my job in early 2009 because of the injustices I was witnessing all around me. Corporate America was moving overseas, and we were losing our jobs. I saw my friends/work mates laid off one by one. This was the same time my Mother was having a bout with depression, so I decided to use my student loan money and a credit card and ventured my way back to Massachusetts. Little did I know, this was the last time I would see my brother Aaron alive. After I graduated in May 2009, I had plans to attend the University of Colorado for a degree in Geography/Environmental Studies & Sustainable Living, but in mid-August 2009 I had to travel back to bury my brother. My life changed completely after that.
I had to move through the mourning process and continue on with my life like most folks do when they lose someone they love. After returning to Colorado, I continue to search for employment, but I was having no luck. In 2010 I finally found a job that would utilize my Natural Resource degree that I worked so hard for, finally. I worked a few jobs within that arena while going deeper into the healing arts and continuing with creating my music.
The roller coaster continued after mid-Summer of 2012. The job that I finally thought would be the one, laid me off. I was back to square one again. What was I to do? I spent the following months searching for employment while playing my music. The months turned into years. In April 2014 I finally received a call for an interview. I couldn't believe it. I thought for sure no one would hire me after being out of work for so long, and also, I didn't live in the city and this added to the reason why I couldn't find work. Where ever I took a job I always wanted it to be my last. Ever since I was a teenager, I simply wanted to do my own thing. I was creative enough, so why not? I would always tell myself that the system is set up a certain way, and it's a tragic sort of truth that we all must deal with on some level or another. Unless the money is always there somehow.
In early 2016 I left that job, with the financial help of my husband, for a life of creative freedom. Honestly, I was terrified and excited at the same time (Why? Another big issue I was going through was the downfall of the relationship with my husband. This started back in 2014 and continued until early 2018. We finally crossed the threshold together and the past 24 years has come full circle around. Thank goodness!) Was the dream finally happening? Yes, but with some assembly required. However, it wasn't until my last paycheck was gone when I realized it finally came to the point in my life where I will be earning money my own way. But, how was I going to do this? It's not like I had all the time in the world. At first, time was money and money was time. As the days moved on I developed a whole new outlook on this concept. I had no choice.
I spent the following year and a half re-inventing my life. Most of the hours I managed every aspect of the business that would soon become larger than I had ever anticipated. As the months moved along I found myself writing more- Creating newsletters containing short stories and articles that were reflecting my life and the healing work I was coming into and posting relevant and meaningful information on social networks. This eventually led to the writing of my lyric book, and then I reopened the treasure chest that contained a book I started to write back in 2012, Dreamweaver. This book is now finished, and now I'm on to my next book, "Soul Ship: A Personal Account of Embodied Enlightenment. This is true quantum creativity- working on the future, past, and parallel lifetimes at the same time.
However, there was still an ongoing nagging question, how am I going to make money? Where is it going to come from? Even though I had developed all these products and services out of thin air and had a mountain of goodies to share with the world, how was I going to advertise for something like this? I kept saying, "It's not like I sell rugs or something like that". It wasn't a mainstream business, and was the world ready for this? I wasn't one of those "lucky" people who had an inheritance, or rich family members. In fact, I realized there was truly no one that could help me at this point. This was mine and mine alone to come to terms with. I have the support of my loving husband, but business funding and day to day living goods is something that I come up with. He pays the major bills, but not everything. He works long hours, seven days a week earning a wage that is not commendable to the energy he is exerting. We barely have any help, but we are determined to make it work.
The first thing I had to do was to sit down in the middle of myself and count my blessings. It was futile every time I had the thought to look in the job classifieds. I knew deep down that was counteractive and disturbing the already abundant energies working on my behalf, but there was an aspect within me that wanted to play "all options" (like I actually had other options, haha!). I thought I knew gratitude up until now. Most of us live our day to day lives without giving much thought to what comes to us. Because it just does. It's always there when we need it and always has been. Whether it be love, well-being, food, water, money, etc. And that's just it- it always comes to us. That could be argued, but when one looks deeper into their true abundance, everything comes when it is needed. It really does.
I spent time in contemplation with all the blessings in my life that I had not looked at until this point. I always gave my thanks for the Stars at night, the Sun and Moon, the health of my family and friends, my ancestors, the water and food I had, but I was missing gratitude towards myself and all my creations. I wasn't truly feeling into the blessings that were all around me and ultimately the blessing that I am. So, I took the necessary time with myself and all that is to feel into it, to allow myself that freedom to move beyond thoughts of doubt and insecurity, to move beyond emotions and to sense into the "All At Once"; Sense what was already done; What was already here.
The first days are always the hardest days. This was not easy and depending on the day and where I was at consciously. But, with time and a little effort it became easier. As I am writing this story there is an aspect that continues to struggle with the knowing that the money will come. But, I guess in a sense I am choosing to write about this now instead of later, despite myself!
A very wise friend once said... In these times, we have our freedom, that's the good news; And we have our freedom, that's the bad news. There is some assembly required during the integration process of embodied enlightenment. The question is what are you going to do with that freedom? Are you truly ready for that kind of responsibility? Or another way of saying it, do you have the ability to respond when necessary? All life moves in rhythms and patterns and so it goes with our own lives. There comes a time to put forth energy and create what we need for ourselves, but sometimes an imbalance may occur depending on how much energy we expend. In other words, too much effort can interrupt the energies at play. It's almost as though the energetic push or effort comes from fear of not being sure of oneself as a creator being. All energy seeks resolution. Therefore, when one creates for the sake of creating, money will follow or an energetic equivalent.
So, now we can relax into the knowing and truly get on with our creative endeavors. It will feel counter intuitive in the beginning, but when moving with the moment and doing what one loves with blissful passion it begins to feel good. Abundance of any kind is all about energy and feeling good. The state of lack does nothing but drain energy and disturbs the already stable energetics’ at play. Choosing a better thought does help change the emotional state and frees up space to breathe and relax into the sense of knowing that it all works out and all is well.
It's easy to feel as though one has done something wrong if they lack in any area of their life, or they perhaps missed an important message because they may not have been paying attention at the time. This is the classic "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" scenario. This can be frustrating and again will always come full circle around to show the natural cycle of patterns at play. Knowing when to move and when to be still.
There was no cosmic joke, no test, no experiment done. I merely had forgotten that all will be there for me when I need it. That I will have the abundance of time to bring forth my creations and to have the opportunity to simply be with myself without any outside distraction. After all, this was what I was ultimately seeking all these years. So, the question was, what will I do with the abundance of time I have? For those two years there were times when I spent too long in the feeling of lack, even though I had everything I needed. There was an aspect that felt guilty if I spent the hours of the day creating instead of working hard at a job that barely paid the bills and drained my energy for all it was worth. That was the counter intuitive feeling I was having. I couldn't truly relax until I had money coming in, or my perceived concept of an income. Nothing was good enough, and nothing could match that paycheck that came every week even though I only had enough. After all, I have a house and car to pay for that exists in a capitalistic society.
So, now that I had enough time to realize this abundance in my life, I began to use it wisely and there was no going back. I began to notice this was disconcerting and frustrating at times. I would continue to try and go back by applying for jobs through the classifieds, like somehow this balanced out the Universe? I was attempting to utilize what I thought was all my options, even though going back to working those jobs was no longer an option. This was something for the Realized One in me to know, and for Muriel to find out, haha! Seriously, we all had a few laughs about that one! There was no going back. I was at the point of no return. There was allowing and letting all the energy I put forth to come back to me naturally, gracefully, and with patience and gratitude. At the same time knowing all my needs are met.
Blog/Musings by Muriel Shickman
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