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Awakening Divine Love - Part 1
Self-Love: A tale of how learning to commune in deep presence with my inner being manifested magic in my life and how you can tap into the same energy.
I first met Sydney Strabala during the pandemic. An in-person wellness event had to be moved to the metaphysical meeting ground we have all become very familiar with, Zoom.
She had been suggested by a mutual friend to lead Kundalini breath work. And before she even spoke, her energy communicated volumes. Her brown eyes radiated a magnetic light and she had a smirk like she knew an inside joke she was waiting for us to get.
Pictured: Sydney Strabala
Having lived in the Bay Area for a decade, in LA for a couple of years, and then newly rooted in San Diego, I was familiar with the yoga and healing world. I had been to sound baths and owned a bunch of crystals.
I had participated in one Kundalini class before. I actually didn’t go back because afterward, I felt like I could feel the Pixar movie Inside Out playing out on my inner planes.
The kriyas, combinations of breathing techniques, sound, and physical postures, were extremely challenging and I was feeling so much internally that all I could do after class was sit outside the studio and stare at the leaves on trees.
I didn’t understand what had happened to me, but at that time I decided to let it be.
I was curious enough to have the experience again, but the teacher, wore all white, had a long beard, and the vibe felt a little culty for my taste.
I later learned from Syd that…
In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, it is said that shaving body hair adversely affects the magnetic field and sympathetic nervous system.
Famous kundalini teacher Yogi Bhajan claimed that your aura extends nine feet around your body, but the color white extends your aura by an extra foot, providing more protection from harmful energy and projecting your positive energy out to inspire others and attract prosperity into your life.
Syd, on the other hand, was wearing traditional clothes and had an inviting presence. After she guided the group through a set of kriyas, I had the same sort of inner effervescence as my first class, but without the triggers that had caused resistance.
If you’ve ever done kundalini, you know what I’m talking about. If not, it’s an experience I’d recommend because words can’t truly describe the sensations the practice elicits.
We connected on Instagram after the online event and I followed Syd’s adventures through her stories. She was doing a 40-day Sadhana from 4:30 am - 7 am every day and I could literally feel the joy increasing daily from her Instagram emanations.
From “The Truth about Sadhana” 👆🏾
After commenting on how vibrant she looked, she invited me to join her over Zoom one morning and I reluctantly agreed. Even though I wasn’t particularly a morning person at the time, there was a serious feeling of “I’ll have what she’s having”.
We met at the ambrosial hour, the period of every night closest to the morning, beginning around 90 minutes before sunrise and ending 48 minutes before dawn, and I had another spiritually activating experience.
She invited me to continue, but at that time, I wasn’t willing to wake up at 4:30 am every day of my life.
When she finished the 40-day Sadhana, she posted that she felt so good that she was going to continue on to 100 days. She also said was going to open it up by donation to the community to anyone who wanted to join.
I, and several other people, took her up on the offer.
On the first day, she congratulated us on saying yes to the journey and gave us some tips about how to move through the 40-day journey. She said:
“Don’t try to fit Sadhana into your life, build your life around Sadhana”.
“Try taking cold showers to strengthen your will, improve circulation, and boost immunity before you sit for practice.”
Over the 40 days, I committed to the journey. I observed the patterns of my mind, I started listening to Japji, the song she started each day with, on repeat, and I generally felt like I was receiving a profound internal cleansing.
After the 2.5-hour Sadhana, I would feel so good that often times I would just go outside to my deck and have solo dance parties in celebration of life.
Lily, a hummingbird with a red spot over her chest, would often visit me and buzz about between the red and yellow moon cactus plants, and the strawberry 🍓 plant I had on the deck.
Don’t know the bird’s actual name, but Lily feels right at the moment, so we’re going with it.
Eating those strawberries in the morning is one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I think it was not only growing them myself and nurturing the plant every day but also achieving a state of consciousness after doing the Sadhana. I was more sensitive and activated, almost to a psychedelic state.
This is when I finally understood the meaning of the elusive idea of “self-love”.
To me, self-love is being in communion with the Source of all things.
Self-love is about more than reciting affirmations and retail therapy.
Self-love is the continual cultivation of one’s inner radiance that grows from thoughts, feelings, actions, and behaviors that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth and well-being.
Being full from the inside is the foundation of every other relationship we have in our lives. Because if we are full, then we are interacting with everyone else from the overflow of our own joy and gratitude for life.
We’re then able to be generous and gracious because our needs are already fulfilled.
Now I’m not saying external relationships aren’t important; they most certainly are. And I’ll be exploring different types of connections in forthcoming parts of this series. It’s just that all relationships outside of the one we have with ourselves are secondary.
I don’t consistently get up at 4:30 am anymore to commune with my soul, and I’m not saying you need to either, but I do rise at that time when I need to recenter and ground into my essence.
I’ve developed my own Sadhana, which I call Radiant Rising Rituals, that link my soul with Spirit.
It consists of breathwork, meditation, movement, warm beverages (loose-leaf tea or cacao), journaling, creating (poetry or music), and taking in high-vibrational media.
If you’re curious about what I mean by high-vibrational media, I recorded a meditation that is an elevated frequency.
It welcomes you back from the astral realms upon waking and will ease you into the day in complete awareness of the divinity that dwells within you.
So again, I’m not saying you have to get up at 4:30 am and spend 2.5 hours in Sadhana. What I am suggesting is that you begin your day intentionally.
When we wake up our brain waves transition from theta to alpha.
This means that our subconscious is in a more programmable state. If you go online right away you might be fueling yourself with low-vibrational media.
On top of that, checking our phone messes with our dopamine levels which has us checking our phone more and more throughout the day to get another fix.
If, on the other hand, you take the time to go inward and plug into Source, you can ride the waves of inspiration the rest of the day.
If you’re called to go deeper down the rabbit hole, here are some ways you can tune in with your inner being and raise your vibration:
If you’re called to go explore and learn more, I have a free 7-day email sequence with different practices you can use as tools to create your own rising flow.
Bringing it full circle, after several months, I got the chance to connect with Syd in person and we spontaneously decided to create some art together. She’s also a poet, so the very first time we met up in person we went to a nearby park and made this video of one of her poems.
We were blown away by the ease with which it came together and it’s a testament to the power and beauty of the presence that wants to express through us when we take the time to become clear channels.
Syd even brought her sister along the next time we met and we all caught the waves of inspiration and made another visual poem together. This time, Syd was behind the camera.
When I got back home after making this video, I sat down on my deck to meditate and fully process the magic of the day.
Right after I closed my eyes, I felt a rushing wind on my eyelids.
I opened my eyes and Lily the hummingbird was flying directly in front of my face, so close that I could feel the air from her wings.
We were eye to eye and the red spot on her heart stared me in the face.
I took it as a wink from God.
What I’ve learned through this process is that we have the ability to control our experience by making conscious choices that nurture the flowering of our awareness and deepen our presence.
Having that conscious, intentional, loving relationship with the Self is the starting point for everything else in life.
Would love to hear if anything in this piece resonated with you. Were you entertained? Did you learn something new?
If you enjoyed this piece, I’d love for you to heart it, subscribe, and share it with a friend.
For the other parts of this series about awakening Divine Love, I plan on diving into familial dynamics, friendships, connections with the community, and everyone in the West’s favorite: romantic relationships.
Until next time…be well.