I often feel hesitant to write about myself since I don’t want to come off as seeking attention. Then I remember my intention, which is to share my human experience and the resources I have found, to possibly inspire one or two people to see this crazy game of life from a different perspective.

After all, I was lucky enough to leave the western society in 2015 to live a simple life on a tiny island in Thailand and pretty much all my friends and family stayed where I left them. So it’s sort of a responsibility for me to share the ups and downs of this blissful life while posting stunning sunset pictures one after the other 😎

Those who know me well also know that I often ask what I did to deserve this privileged life and how I can give back. While I don’t have a Youtube channel or a blog that I write consistently, I have a burning desire to share my experiences. Life showed me recently that my contribution to the world has been finding its way from the sporadic responses I get from the readers of my blog.

In the last month, I have received emails from four people. Two of them were women from different parts of the world who stumbled on my blog and decided to get in touch. After a few back and forth emails, one of them told me she had found signs of hope in healing her Hepatitis B and the other got some support to follow her dreams of traveling to the Amazon to try Ayahuasca. The other was from someone, who didn’t share their name or gender, experiencing depression and seeking my advice about trying alternative methods. And the last one was a man who came across the Youtube video about me asking Mooji about his thoughts on Ayahuasca and 2 yrs later who found me again with my blog. So, I don’t know how but apparently my posts that I’ve been feeling insecure about, started traveling across the globe and connected me to people ✨

These random emails gave me the encouragement to write again. So here I am, typing these words on my 44th birthday.

I’d like to start by reporting that my life since my last birthday, which covers most of the doomed 2020, has actually been fruitful, eye opening, and not that bad at all.

While the whole world is feeling like armageddon is here, I’ve been feeling quite the opposite. This year has been the best teacher of my life. All the pain and joy I have been going through, be it relationship problems, facing primal fears like death, losing loved ones, the possibility of separating from my boyfriend (due to the border closings), dealing with uncertainty, in short, losing the control of my life surely shook my ground.
All of the above and the slowness of time on the top of it, especially during the lockdown (can someone die of boredom? I almost did), led me to look inside. Because there was nowhere else to run, I had to stay with my emotions and start cleaning up the crap boiling inside me. I also did a deep detox/fast to literally clean up the old 💩 inside my body. A long overdue physical, emotional and spiritual detox!

I’ve met really good teachers since my last birthday (in the form of human teachers, books, plant medicine, podcasts, etc.), attended intensive workshops, took trips to different altered states, dimensional planes and vibrational levels, I saw miracles happen around me, and started understanding things at a deeper level..

The most interesting thing that I’m experiencing right now is the random release of old memories from my past that were buried deep down. I don’t remember my childhood and most of my teenager years. Thanks to a few pictures that my brother sent me from Turkey, I remembered some nice moments from our family gatherings but that was all. I don’t know why these memories started coming to the surface now. Some of them warmed my heart, some made me nostalgic but it’s been really great to remember the little details of my past. One day out of the blue, the old brown metal mailboxes of my childhood home popped up in my head and I remembered how much joy I was filled with by checking them everyday on the way from the school.

At 44, I finally started rediscovering myself by opening the doors into the deep parts of my consciousness. My yearning for the last few years that led me to this unconventional life on a tiny island finally started giving its fruits. I’ve been feeling fake since I transitioned into this lifestyle. The yoga I taught after finishing the yoga teacher training in Thailand was not making me closer to god or to my truth. I resisted to say “namaste” because I wasn’t seeing the light in anyone, let alone in myself. Who was I fooling? My new lifestyle was covering my ego with another outfit, this time as a “spiritual” woman. From the bad ass New Yorker to spiritual yogi Asli, how cool. But they were just other labels for my ego to cling on and I could feel the inauthenticity.

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 being 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’s 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 for 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 that 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 work 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 that 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 everyday. 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 let 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 the spiritual growth is about.

Happy birthday to me! Sending love, prayers and healing to everyone 🙏🏼💜