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Smacked In The Inner Eye

26 comments | April 26th, 2012

(story submitted by Leona Mizrahi, a chestist)

We ran this amazing story just last week ~ but we got hacked (hacked, I say, hacked) when it was up.  So in case you missed it then, here it is again. 

Before I got married, I thought I knew everything about spirituality and manifestation. Hoisting my self-realization flag in my late 20’s allowed me to manifest all of my sugar coated desires in my early 30’s: my job, my man, my marriage, and our home without a white picket fence.

Surprisingly at 31, I began to feel a spiritual buzz kill. I was disconnected from myself. My inner peace dulled. I was emotionally paralyzed. In moments of despair all of the tools that once cured moments of frustration as a single girl, no longer worked for me as a married young woman. Um, not happily ever after? Ultimate confusion set in.

My debut spiritual journey taught me to ditch toxic relationships and behaviors, meditate to clarity, and allow life to unfold. I had done ‘the work’. Life was unfolding… but my spark was diminishing. What the what!?

Seeking to reignite my spark, I allowed my marriage to become the ultimate mirror. The revelation: I still had un-holy hang ups. Which is when I got smacked in my inner eye with the self-help stick, even after reading books on enlightenment, venturing on personal growth retreats and OM-ing my way through daily yoga practices.

:: Girl Interrupted::

When I was 23, I desired to walk a different path with less ouches. I mustered up the courage to leave everything I knew. I had total trust in the unknown. I moved to New York City shortly after I graduated college. I was at the right place at the right time. A job opportunity knocked… all the way from the penthouse of Bergdorf Goodman. Que the Jay-Z and Pharrell tune: “I’mma hustlah baybeh”. Think Sex and the City. Clothes, boys, fabulous parties, paparazzi, socialites, gossip, celebrities, cabs, heartbreaks, shoes, dawn patrol duty, and priceless life lessons… did I mention heartbreaks? I worked hard. And played harder. Eventually my bliss shriveled… and so did my bank account. I loved being in an Empire State of Mind, but I grew stale with toxic syndromes. A modern dayGirl Interrupted.

Next stop: Los Angeles – City of Angels. When another job opportunity came knocking I hustled. I knew the drill: Work hard. Play harder. Overly stressed and faux-stoned at 27, I was spiritually bankrupt. So I ‘un-grew up’ and hoisted my self-realization flag. I embraced my unconventional wisdom. I gave up the high paying job title, took a massive pay cut, and ditched looming toxic relationships. I resigned the Sex in any City life. Desiring to heal fully from painful experiences, get off my fat fears and hijack faux complexions, I set out on my debut spiritual journey. Destination: Me. Less over hyped parties, douchy poseurs, and bar tabs worth a months rent.

:: Enlightened Brat ::

I ‘worked’ hard to establish everything in my life in my 20’s and 30’s – spiritually, mentally and physically. During moments of emotional confusion as a newlywed, self-sabotaging thoughts started consuming my mind. “I already did the work – personal development, meditation, retreats, books”. I was an enlightened brat. I could not see beyond the frustration. I came to the raw realization that I was living an airbrushed illusion, even after I’d dedicated so much time to wiping away toxic graffiti from my life. My spiritual journey needed a revolutionary sophomore effort. There would be a second act. This time I would be mining for gold.

:: Upgraded Faith ::

In a holy instant, I realized that my second act wasn’t about me doing more ‘work’ on myself, rather it was an evolution to return to myself. This sophomore effort wasn’t me journeying with a yoga mat, daily affirmations and smoothies. I hungered for grace. I sought vestal salvation. I upgraded my faith.

I learned that the willingness to forgive is essential for igniting my purpose and living with virtuous love. I have a much deeper connection to G-d now. I examined deeper parts of my psyche and past experiences in an effort to correct self-sabotaging behaviors and thought patterns.

I work to attach my thoughts to love and courage at all times. I extract wisdom from my wounds. I make sacred pacts with myself to release airbrushed illusions, by limiting myself to relive past experiences – no matter what faux complexion is trying to cover up my holy complexion.

:: Spark ::

What do faith and muscles have in common? They flex. So, I train my faith muscle. With each flex, clarity and self-realization strengthen. The more I flex my faith and strengthen those muscles, the stronger my behaviors get too. And when your behaviors are aligned with the core of your being, your soul sparks! You ignite a radical reality – one filled with authentic purpose and vestal love. And that friends, is revolutionary!

Returning to myself is an ongoing and deliberate process. With every renewed intention to fully live my purpose and overcome mental fear, I conspire to move forward with expanding love and resolution.

:: Evolution ::

Living a life of purpose takes more than a diet of green smoothies. Feeling fulfilled in relationships takes more than reciting daily affirmations. Manifesting desirable outcomes takes more than a yoga practice. You need spark. You have to take ownership of your life to a deeper level. Yes, I slam green smoothies, recite daily affirmations and flex off in yoga practice but none of that ignites true personal evolution if it isn’t anchored to honest self-realization.
 

So what about you ~ ever been smacked in your inner eye?  (How) are you living a life of purpose?  Do tell.  Please.
 

(For more chestisms, go here: http://leonamizrahi.com/)
 

26 comments

  • Tanya

    Posted on April 18, 2012

    Such a wonderful and inspiring post. I have always felt that our lives are filled with multiple acts and this line in particular was just so resonant for me “I realized that my second act wasn’t about me doing more ‘work’ on myself, rather it was an evolution to return to myself.”

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    • Leona

      Posted on April 18, 2012

      Greetings Tanya,

      I am so glad you connect with the ‘second act’ concept. I believe there is a mis conception about doing work to improve ourselves – retreats, self-help books, clean diet, yoga. But if we do not understand that we need to travel inward and stay in that space, none of those elements will aid us in our healing process.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Mad love,
      Leona

      Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on April 18, 2012

    I have always thought of myself as a spiritual not a religious person, despite my being raised in a pretty religious. home. I’ve been a seeker, often for what I’d hoped would be easy answers on the road to enlightenment.

    I agree so much with your last line, the one about needing to be committed to honest self-realization. It was only when I began to realize that some of my motivations were more material than spiritual, and began to hon or that side of me, that I began to truly make progress on the road to the spiritual side. It’s the spiritual side of my life which now grounds ME.

    Report this comment

    • Leona

      Posted on April 18, 2012

      Greetings Anon,

      I am so glad you connect with my story. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on anchoring to self-realization.
      Shifting perceptions and being honest with our selves is the best gift we can actually give to ourselves and others.

      Mad love,
      Leona

      Report this comment

    • J

      Posted on April 18, 2012

      I grew up religious too, and abandoned its traditional constructs as soon as I could. I know I need a more spiritual self and awareness to fit with a broader view of God that has always comforted me.

      I’ve read books, and tried meditating (and yoga and smoothies too). I’ve had past-life regression analysis. I’ve done emotional cleanses, and even flirted with Buddhism. Nothing seems to stick or resonate and then I get annoyed with myself for feeding my spiritual wants like a fad or something I can just find at a Mall.

      Report this comment

      • Eka Joti

        Posted on April 18, 2012

        J, one of the great contemporary spiritual teachers (I think Krishnamurti) said something like ‘religion is a great place to begin’, implying that if one really does this thing correctly, it means that we don’t become a good Buddhist or good Christian or good Sufi… it means that you become TRULY who and what you are. 100%

        That nothing seems to stick is an inherent part of the journey. You are striving to discover J, nothing less and nothing more. That’s an amazing and incredibly difficult journey. Keep delving, and you’ll get to the juicy core.

        Nisargadatta said that there is one quality, above all others, that is most important for success in personal awakening. He called it integrity. This quality has two facets to it: *sincerity and honesty*. You can see these facets reflected in Leona’s evolving relationship to her path.

        One other teacher that I find frigging amazing is Hazrat Inayat Khan (Sufi master). He said, ‘Shatter your ideals on the rock of truth’. This is like the Zen saying, ‘if you meet the Buddha, kill him’. Anytime you find a pretense or posturing or protected identity, just stop, breathe, feel the body and get curious about what is underneath that. Be willing to be sincere and honest with what you find, and my friend, you are walking the true path of J =)

        All the best.

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      • Leona

        Posted on April 18, 2012

        J,

        Thank you for sharing your experiences.
        I went through a similar experience as a young girl – yet always felt connected to a Higher Source and not so much the observations.

        The sensations of comfort you feel IS the Higher Source. That’s what G-d – or which ever Form you believe in is. Your Maker is pure love = comfort. Just acknowledging your attempts is proof that your heart + mind are ready to embrace something sacred for your life. The Ego may be interfering so it can get attention, instead focusing on spirituality – the Ego recognizes when your energy shifts to something else. You can exist without an Ego, but an Ego cannot exist without you.

        Continue to seek, but dedicate your meditations and practices to One Source, just one. Pick one – and surrender to that Source. Let that Source fill you up with love. And know that very Source is unlimited. If you are frustrated by not finding one – pray for it. Your Maker will provide – but you have to ask.

        Sending you love + light,

        Leona

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  • L. Wais

    Posted on April 18, 2012

    Finding our way within is the only way we will find ourselves with or without.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Enjoy the rest of it!

    Report this comment

  • Eka Joti

    Posted on April 18, 2012

    Awesome Leona. Thanks for sharing the raw stuff. “When your behaviors are aligned with the core of your being, your soul sparks!”…couldn’t have said it better.

    Your Girl Interrupted phase mirrors my fiancee’s (Zoe Wild) very closely. After LA, she took off to become a nun in Burma. Oh you wild women with your amazing inner fire. As an awakening man, I am humbled by this kind of integrity and energy.

    I want to share that it took me 7 years to drop through the ‘spiritual trip’ identity. And that ended in 90 days of silent retreat in which the weight and pain of seeking enlightenment became so unbearable that it burned itself up. Since then (3 years), my journey has been so free from pretense and posturing, that I have fallen in love with it. I am a yogi and a nerd and a lover and a kid and a walking contradiction, and I am committed to being awake in all of that!

    May I recommend an *Incredible* book: Daughter of Fire. The direct account of a 60 year old british lady undergoing the full and fierce training in India with a Sufi kundalini master. Talk about ditching the second act mentality and just going for true spiritual grace. http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Fire-Spiritual-Training-Master/dp/0963457454 I really hope you like it.

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    • Leona

      Posted on April 18, 2012

      Wow Eka – thank you for sharing your experience, acknowledging the fire within and how purposeful aligning with inner spark is! I LOVE your commitment to being you – a total self-realized being.

      Sending you more spiritual buzz and gratitude for sharing the book suggestion! I’ll add to my list.

      Mad love,
      Leona

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      • Eka Joti

        Posted on April 22, 2012

        Respect.

        Yes, moments of full self-being. My growth now has a lot to do with consistency and getting really curious and non-judgmental about the times I choose to fall out of my own grace and awakeness. So many layers! Once joy and play enters in, it becomes pretty fun to drop into the layers (though sometimes very painful and wading through muck). Ahh the path.

        Looking forward to your next posts =)

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  • Denise Duffield-Thomas

    Posted on April 18, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this journey – I can’t wait to see what the next act brings.

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  • MCS

    Posted on April 21, 2012

    I’m often struck by the fact that we’ve spent the entirety of our lives getting to this place, this now, this moment to be together. I think about it when I look at someone at a stop-sign, a complete stranger, who’s spent the whole of her existence to get to where I am (and I where she is) at precisely the same instance. It’s in those moments of awe and reflection that I find myself appreciating the journey most. It is a small gift to recognize the import and literal co-inicidence of a stranger without ever speaking to them. It makes me appreciate the path. Up, up and away…with love,

    Report this comment

    • Leona

      Posted on April 22, 2012

      Wow – thanks for sharing MCS. Such powerful insight! You are your own guru – appreciating life and the gift of the journey… as well as everyone else’s!

      Mad love,
      Leona

      Report this comment

  • Dee

    Posted on April 21, 2012

    My favorite line is where you talk about “un-growing up”. I am only 26 yet it seems to me that we grow up, down, forwards, backwards, and sideways too. Growth is no more linear than our journeys are. I think that is important to keep in mind. Dee

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    • Leona

      Posted on April 22, 2012

      Thank you for sharing Dee.

      I could remember this time in my life where I wanted to work my a$$ off to have it all… only to recognize that nothing was more valuable than my own well being, regardless of what material possessions or job title ‘filled’ my life.

      Un-growing up was the most priceless gift I gave to myself. Period.

      Mad love,
      Leona

      Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on April 23, 2012

    I go back and forth on the whole journey versus destination means versus ends thing. I want them all to be joyous. I want to be joyous.

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    • Leona

      Posted on April 23, 2012

      Thanks for sharing Anon – part of the journey is trusting the struggle. It’s not about the destination, as much as it is the participation. If you are not fully invested in living your most self-realized life, how could any path lead you to joy.

      Once you commit to living and aligning with love, faith, forgiveness, compassion and patience the journey you are meant to travel on will lead you to your perfect joyous destination.

      Report this comment

  • TNK

    Posted on April 26, 2012

    Nice way for me to start my day. Oh, perspective and the value it brings.

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