Sitting in my hospital bed, with a view of the city from my window, I looked down at my young four-year-old body. My bald head was heavy, weighed down by layers of bandages. I looked at my hands, and then at my small frame tucked underneath neat sheets and blankets, my body felt foreign somehow... it felt strange. I had died twice during surgery, was revived and was now recovering in a hospital ward. The large tumor above my right eye was finally gone, removed during lengthily brain surgery. The tumor nearly took my life and my sight, but it also gave me a gift, the gift of seeking for answers. This search would ultimately lead me to finding my soul.
My days of healing in that hospital ward were filled with an unfamiliar emotion - a deep feeling of homesickness. This was not a longing for any home that my body knew; I was yearning for a place that my heart remembered but that my body did not understand. The source of this yearning seemed to belong to an image that haunted my mind. I clearly remember trying to draw the vision using the new colouring in pencils and paper brought to me by my cousin, who was visiting me in hospital. The drawing frustrated me because I struggled to capture the image that pulled at my heart. The image was of a colourful tunnel of light, a tunnel that I knew I could fly through to go home. And though my mind could not fully understand it all, my heart ached to go back to that home. This homesickness fuelled the beginning of my quest; starting the journey of seeking for answers. Driven by a thirst for answers, driven by the inner feeling that there was more to me than my body, driven by a homesick feeling that I didn't understand... I started asking the big questions at a tender age. When did you start your journey of seeking?
STEP 1 - SEEKING
The day you start asking the big questions, like: 'Why am I here?' And 'Who am I?' and, 'What is the purpose of life?' that is the day you take your first step to finding your soul.
Step 1 happens when you are not satisfied with an external source for answers, when you decide to find your own truth. If you do not ask questions you will adopt surrogate truth - truth born of another. You will have belief without knowing. You may believe that you have a soul, but you will be looking outwards to other people's ideas about what that means and you will be denied an internal experience of your own spiritual identity. By asking questions and seeking an internal truth, you take step 1.
You are likely reading this article because you have already taken this step - you are already seeking. I hope that by sharing some of my stories and the insights I have gained through my journey that I may inspire you to continue to seek, to find your own answers and to find your soul.
Watch children, they know how to really look at things with fresh eyes. Why? Because they ask questions about everything and presume nothing. When they focus on something they focus on it entirely, even if it is only for a moment, and they give what they have focused their awareness on complete attention, they are absorbed by it. Focus your attention and awareness with intention and become more fully present, to really experience what you are choosing to focus on. Practice experiencing things with a childlike intensity, as if you are truly interested in enquiring and learning. Don't make presumptions about anything, start fresh with every moment. Seek, question, and dig for a better understanding.
STEP 2 - SEEING
Within a few months of my physical recovery, I started primary school. My hair was very short, but I was happy that it was at least growing back from having been shaved for my operation. My tumor was no more; the visible reminders were a small swelling on the inner bridge of my nose and a long scar from ear to ear, just within my hairline.
Though the tumor was gone, my shyness and the pain of feeling different were not. At break time, to avoid interacting with other children, I pretended to be busy walking and looking at the trees. I didn't stay in one place for too long; for fear of attention; and so I spent my breaks everyday wandering the school grounds alone. Eventually this became very difficult; I grew weary of pretending to be happy. Tired of looking at the same trees, and at the same happy children playing without me, I wandered off to the empty classroom corridors and leant against a cold wall. I opened my lunch box, sat down and began to cry softly into my sandwiches. Afraid that someone might hear me; I bent my head over and tried to muffle the sounds that broke away from the pain. At that moment, I felt a gentle presence with me. A peaceful loving voice emerged within my mind, with the words, 'What if you are not alone?'
What do you mean? I asked.
'I mean, what if you knew that I was with you?' the inner voice continued.
Who are you? I was now puzzled, the thoughts sounded like my own but they felt different. They felt calm and loving.
'I am your friend,' was the reply. I felt warmth flood my body, bringing with it a feeling of safety and love.
I blinked back the tears and looked around me. I saw nothing, but the thoughts continued, 'You can't see me with those eyes,' it said. 'So just imagine me and then you will see.'
So I closed my eyes and imagined, deciding that my friend was a little pink light hovering near to my head. Not a round light, but rather a peanut or skittle shape. This image was too foreign for me, so I tried to think of something in my world that I could understand better than a floating light. I remembered a television cartoon character named 'Barbapapa'. I knew that my invisible friend was not actually Barbapapa, but it felt good to have someone with me. So I called my new friend my Barbapapa.
'Whenever you feel alone, I will be there,' it said in my mind.
The presence of my invisible friend helped me often in those early years, encouraging me to make friends and always bringing me a deep sense of calm whenever I was afraid. As I grew older I let go of Barbapapa and became more self reliant. I continued to ask questions and made a lifetime's adventure out of seeking insights. Experiences with telepathy, intuition, and a strengthening inner guidance system punctuated the first 16 years of my life.
At 16, almost by accident, I became a professional intuitive, doing readings for a wide base of clients. Intuition was a tool that I enjoyed testing and strengthening. It gave me a way to seek out information myself. I learned early that I could be very intuitive and not very wise. Intuition gave me a new way of seeing, a way to see deeper. At first I used it in a very traditional way – to do readings and impress myself and others with 'psychic hits' (being able to tell someone accurate details about their life that you have no ordinary way of knowing). It was many years later that life pushed me to go deeper still, to use my intuition to see through the eyes of my soul.
I learned that intuition was real. Over the years I took my intuition through several developmental stages, each stage was prompted by different life challenges. Each stage was learning to SEE deeper. I discovered that you couldn't accurately work at stages 2 – 4 without having an open, compassionate heart and being in integrity. This is not for the gifted few, with practice anyone can develop their intuition and take it through all 4 stages of development:
Though my ego was tempted to continue to enjoy the power of other people's growing dependence on my intuitive skill, I gave up my work as a psychic to continue to find deeper wisdom. I was about to take the third step, to soul integration.
Tips for deepening Step 2 - Develop your feeling based intuition
Develop your intuition, so that you can start opening your body to being able to connect and receive data.
STEP 3 - BEING
My young adult life brought me to a place of absolute desperation. Faced with my second daughter's severe and life threatening medical challenges and financial collapse, I pushed my intuition to new depths. In an attempt to find a part of me that could cope with the struggle of those years, I set an intention to use my intuition to find inner wisdom, to find my soul.
Nearly every day, I sat with my eyes closed and taught my body to open to a deeper intuitive connection, until I could feel the presence of my soul. At first this was very subtle, it was just a feeling of peace, a sense of being expanded and more open in the body. It was so subtle that I could easily have dismissed the feeling, swept it away under the layers of the more dominant and forceful body-based feelings and thoughts. But I was too desperate to stop trying and so I continued. The peaceful feeling deepened, becoming a source of strength and calm in the storm. I started to dialogue with the feeling of peace, and found simple and yet powerful insights that when I applied and integrated were life transforming and life saving. In one of many beautiful realisations, I came to know that I had found my Barbapapa again, the invisible wise and comforting friend of my youth. Except that it was not an angel or a guide, (as I had thought in later years of contemplation), my Barbapapa was my own soul.
Tips for deepening Step 3 - Soul Integration
Open to your body first, get in touch with your body's feelings, beliefs and reality. Become conscious about the fact that much of your inner dialogue is from the body, from the physical part of you that is survival and fear programmed. After exploring your body's feelings and becoming more aware, open to your soul and establish an intuitive and feeling based connection. Once even a slight sense of that is present, share your body's feelings with your soul. Finally, set your intention to open to your soul's perspective, to your soul's reality and to feelings and ideas from your soul. Use this as a process to look at issues, or questions found in your body, then after gaining insight into your body's perspective, go deeper to find the perspective of your soul. Notice the difference and let the peace and wisdom of your deeper self support your growth, insights and healing.
The 3 steps, Seeking, Seeing and then Being are the journey to soul, come full circle. Become all that you were born to be, which is: a 'being', being human. Perhaps this is the true meaning of what it means to be a human-being.