My own journey, like so many others, was forged through a myriad of obstacles, the largest of which was dealing with a mental illness. I was diagnosed 20 years ago with Bipolar Disorder. I am not unique with a mental disorder, as current statistics by the National Institute of Mental Health state that in any given year, one in four adults are stricken. One in 17 adults suffers from serious mental illness. In addition, mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the United States and Canada, with many patients having more than one diagnosis. Ninety percent of suicides are committed by someone with a mental disorder.

You may ask, “What is missing in our current society that would account for such staggering numbers?” Coming from a place of darkness and now seeing the light, I can attest to what I believe and what has saved me. When one is in the grips of a mental disorder, the most common feeling is fear. Fear that no one understands me. Fear that no one else in the world feels the way I feel. Fear that I will always feel this way. All of these fears amount to one word — isolation.

The prison system enforces one of the most hated punishments, solitary confinement. Movies and books have been written about prisoners suffering day after day in a dark cell, slowly going mad. I readily identified with this visualization of being separate and trapped, and I thought longingly about the day my life would end and the suffering would be over. I climbed the rope of unworthiness, hand over hand through darkness, until one day a light appeared. That light has just continued to get brighter and brighter. I no longer feel isolated. I feel in harmony and I am aware of our inner relatedness that we are each part of the whole.

We never know what will transform our lives. My journey to light and choice to live came to me very quickly one day while I was on a cruise ship with 3,000 other people. While the experience was isolating to say the least, a morning stress seminar gave me my first experience with a guided meditation — and probably my first instance getting a glimpse of my true spirit.

The guided meditation led me through a path to a door that had a dozen steps that led me to a garden. With each step, I allowed myself to go deeper into a relaxed state. As I stepped off the last step, with my eyes closed, a sphere of intense purple light revealed itself to me. As the color grew more deeply, I felt my breath move in tandem with the vibrations of color. Any fear that was in my body left at that moment. I could only feel love and gratitude for being a part of this world and knew to my core that this is what life is — energy and pure potential.

From that moment, I have continued to get to know my unique energy and learn how this energy can move through me to the highest good. There are so many energy healers just waiting to guide us and I am grateful for all of them, because they raise the Earth’s vibration.

The greatest joy in life, I have found, is getting to know myself and connect with my soul’s energy. Through quiet stillness, I ground myself and clear my energy system of things that I don’t want. Fears or regrets are removed and all I feel is pure potential with what this physical body can do on this Earth. I now have come to understand that the purple is my 7th chakra, my soul energy, coming through.

Each of us will find this energy manifest in our own unique way. But to find it, you must first find the courage to start on the journey and become aware of the inner stillness that is here waiting to come forth.

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