I often feel hesitant to write about myself because I don’t want to come across as seeking attention. But then I remember my intention, which is to share my experiences and the resources I’ve found, in the hopes of inspiring others to see life from a different perspective.
I was fortunate enough to leave Western society in 2015 to live a simple life on a tiny island in Thailand. And while many of my friends and family stayed behind, it feels like a responsibility for me to share the ups and downs of this blissful life, especially since I get to post beautiful sunset pictures one after the other 😎
Those who know me well also know that I often ask myself what I did to deserve this privileged life and how I can give back. Although I don’t have a YouTube channel or a blog that I write consistently, I have a strong desire to share my experiences. Life has recently shown me that my contribution to the world is finding its way through the sporadic responses I receive from readers of my blog.
I recently received emails from four people that inspired me to start writing again. Two women from different parts of the world found my blog and reached out to me for support with healing from Hepatitis B and traveling to the Amazon for Ayahuasca. Another person, who did not share their identity, reached out to me seeking advice on alternative methods for dealing with depression. Lastly, a man who stumbled upon my Youtube video about Ayahuasca and found my blog two years later. These emails reminded me of the impact my experiences can have on others and motivated me to continue sharing.
As I reflect on my 44th birthday, I realize that my life over the past year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, has been incredibly transformative and eye-opening. I’ve faced relationship problems, primal fears, loss, uncertainty, and the lack of control over my life, but these challenges have led me to look within and start cleaning out the negative emotions and physical toxins that were holding me back.
I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing teachers, attend workshops, travel to different states of consciousness, and experience miracles. I’ve also been experiencing the release of old memories from my past, which has been a wonderful process of rediscovery. I’ve been able to see my shadows and understand the masks I’ve been wearing to fit into society, which has allowed me to be more authentic and genuine with myself and others.
Overall, I’ve learned that discovering and owning my shadow, being authentic, and doing the work to cleanse my mind, body, and spirit are vital for my growth and well-being. I am grateful for the lessons and experiences of the past year and look forward to seeing what the future holds.
Here are some of the practices that helped me delve into my shadows:
An amazing and challenging process this year was the work I did on my shadows. I opened the door to the hidden side of me, shedding light on my shadows to dissolve them in the light. Shadow work comes from Carl Jung, and it’s everything we can’t see in ourselves. Sometimes we catch glimpses of them, sometimes we witness them in full frontal chaos, but for the most part, we ignore and bury their existence either out of fear, guilt, or pure shame. But it’s beneath every mask we put on to fit in the society. My biggest one was the pleaser mask I’ve been wearing that started with pleasing my mom when I was a little kid, then pleasing my partner, my friends, boss, yoga teacher, and everyone I cross paths with, so they loved me more, so I felt “belonged”. This mask has caused me to be inauthentic and often frustrated with people. I avoided intimacy or close friendships because I needed my safe space to be ME, where I didn’t need to hide what was really going on inside me. It’s been really tiring to wear this mask.
I also learned discovering and owning my shadow is a vital part of my spiritual journey. Exploring the shadows can lead to authenticity, creativity, energy, and personal awakening.
During the 6 week-long intensive ITI workshop that I participated in with my partner Michele in January, I looked into my stories straight in the eyes and debunked them. These were the narratives I have been hanging on to, that underlined everything I did, the things that have been in between life and me.. I rewrote my story, which has been coming from the eyes of the little Asli who got hurt when she didn’t have the tools to cope with the pain. The one who interpreted that my father had abandoned me when he and my mom got divorced. I saw that I was the one who had abandoned him by voting that he should leave when my parents sat with my brother and me and asked us what we thought about their divorce.
I also realized how much suffering I caused my brother by closing my heart to him when we both needed each other’s support during the dark times of our young adulthood. I accused him up until this year of not caring for me enough and causing my attempt of suicide. I saw all the suffering of my inner child and his and wept for both of us.
The adult me is now getting in the driver’s seat, which is much safer for everyone. I know that I’m not done yet. I still have a lot of bs in my mind to release, starting with my body image which takes the lead. I’ll get there. One story at a time. But at least now I know they are just stories of my ego and not me.
Some other works I’ve done and greatly benefited from are:
- Catharsis work to release stuck energies (all kinds of screaming, shaking, beating pillows, and most importantly breathwork -look up holotropic breathwork)
- TRE: Trauma Release Exercises that you do with your legs and allow you to release the stuck, unprocessed energies.
- The Work of Byron Katie: A great tool to debunk your thoughts
- Felt Sense: It consists of specific steps for getting a body sense of how you are in a particular life situation. For instance, during a FS exercise, I realized my menstrual pain was related to missing my mom. By simply connecting to the sensations in my body, I processed the emotion of grief.
- NVC (Non Violent Communication)
- Radical Honesty
Through Buddhism, I found out about witnessing, shutting down the autopilot, leaving space in between things, and connecting to my heart. That’s only achieved by having a stable meditation practice and slowing down.
Through Tantra, I learned to live life fully and that everything is a portal to the divine. There’s divine in a delicious piece of chocolate, in music, in connections, conversations, art…in everything and everywhere.
Through sacred medicine, I met my true self deep down under all my layers, I saw the divine love and light in my essence and that the only way to make sense of this crazy life is by connecting… to each other, to animals, plants, and spirits.
And thanks to all of the above, I found the most important thing in life is LOVE which is my true essence, with which I came to this world 4 decades ago. Without it, there’s no meaning to life. My job in this life is to open the windows of my soul and remove the layers that prevent me from feeling the love.
And here’s the Oscar speech part to finish this off in style. I am so grateful for my life, especially to beautiful Koh Phangan for making my soul happy and feel at home, for being a safe haven during the madness in the world, and for allowing me to breathe in peace every day. I am blessed to be surrounded by precious adorable treasures in the lush jungle of birds, butterflies, kitties, puppies, rainbows, and not to forget friends! My heart is really exploding. I’ve also been feeling so fortunate to be born into a family who trusted me and left me free to follow my path and become the independent wild woman I am today.
And last but not least, my endless love and appreciation for Michele who is my fellow Lion partner! Oh boy, our relationship is work! We fight a lot since we are so similar and full of fire 🔥🦁 but being in this conscious relationship has been the biggest gift of my life. We trigger the crap out of each other but also know the parts that I most criticize about him, are actually the suppressed parts of my personality that are showing up. So he is just holding up a mirror to me to bring them to light. We both stay in the middle of the worst discomfort for each other. The more we push our comfort zones, the more we grow and a new space opens for other buried things to be manifested and processed. That’s what spiritual growth is about.
Happy birthday to me! Sending love, prayers and healing to everyone 🙏🏼💜