How I got here (response to a reader question)

A blog reader sent me this question a few days ago (I’m answering it on blog with his permission):

Hello Erika,

I recently stumbled across your blog. Very, very thought-provoking and well worth the read. …

So I have a question for you: have you always been this spiritually oriented? And If not, what prompted you to begin taking an interest in such matters?

Also, how did you go about educating yourself in these things? (To borrow your own words, how did you “clear out your negative emotions and judgments and become the loving Presence that naturally exists underneath all that”)?

Thanks for the fun question. As I sometimes do, I’m going to give you the short answer right now and circle back with a longer answer later if the spirit moves me.

The Short Answer

Three years ago I started meditating. Very soon thereafter, I almost died. I had a minor medical procedure that resulted in rare and catastrophic side effects.

So while I was lying in a hospital bed for a week, hooked up to an IV with doctors and my family panicking around me, immobilized and in so much pain that I couldn’t move or sleep or barely even breathe, feeling as helpless and vulnerable as it is possible to feel … I had some conversations with the Big Man Upstairs.

God, I see now that I’ve been living my life all wrong. I feel disconnected from the people around me, and even though I’ve had all these superficial successes, I feel deeply unfulfilled. I know it’s not my time to die yet, though. I want to have a really good relationship. I want to contribute to the world. And I just know I have some more ski days left in me. I’m not ready to go yet, God.

So if you give me another chance, I promise you that I will live my life differently.

It took several months to recover fully. After that happened, my priorities changed completely. And I began my journey down the rabbit hole, which continues to this day. Whereas previously I had been focused on individual achievement, my primary focus shifted to people and connections and contributing to the world the best I know how. Every step of the way, I have been guided by a loving Presence. You might say that after that week in the hospital, I turned my life over to God.

As for how I did it, I used every tool mentioned in this blog: EFT, Holosync meditation, non-violent communication (NVC), and reading and re-reading A Course in Miracles. I listened to lots of e-books, like Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle. I went religiously to NVC practice groups. I went to NVC retreats and silent meditation satsang retreats. I visited healers. I went to 10 days of intensive training in NVC. I did hypnosis and all kinds of other interesting processes. I meditate many hours each day (including to Holosync while I sleep). I became a Reiki healer.

And I started noticing my thoughts and cleaning them up. I watch my thoughts carefully for unforgiving ones, and I correct them. I watch my feelings carefully for negative ones, and I get present with them and dissolve them. If I see someone who needs my help, I try to help him as best I can.

I also do my best not to care about outcomes anymore. What matters to me now is the quality of connection that I have with each person. I see every single relationship in my life as a total commitment.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Hi Erika!

    This really makes me rethink everything… I think I read this in December and was so triggered by other events at the time that I couldn’t read your post without some sneer in my own mind… not about you but about how I feel I stopped really checking in with God about everything I do… I have been caught up in my expectations that other people are here to soothe me and fix me… which has a very real core need that I haven’t gotten to yet… so that the feelings that I need someone to give me sex, love, friendship, companionship, guidance, support, are very mixed up with the truth is which that as I heal, I have something pure to give to another person… something worth giving them… something that isn’t toxic to them or that will recycle back to me as toxicity coming back to me.

    I guess my fear has been that I would have to set a big chunk of my life aside and give up the hope of being able to have a relationship that is joyful and deeply connected.

    Next fear is that I have to let go of receiving male attention ((yep… I’m female)).. which, actually, on one level I am very good at handling and love! and on the other, overwhelms me very quickly if the guy’s energy is strong and flirty ((in cases where he’s good at **capturing** me and I mean this on any level, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically/sexually))

    I have been observing that there is such a huge emphasis on people having sex by the PUA on your blog… which I am okay with because I am beginning to really understand things and feel less triggered the more honesty there is for me about what guys are really wanting, needing, needing to experience when they are here… and sex has also been a big draw in my own life… but without yielding the deeper level of peace and satisfaction for myself… and therefore, not serving my partner as deeply… :( makes me sad, when that’s really all I want to share with a man…

    I have glimpses of the unconditional state of loving other people… and I think the message in your post today and from before is to the tune that in your healing journey, you found keys to be unconditionally loving ((which is not the same as **free love**))

    In your way of being, I experience you as having great discernment and clarity. You navigate through the 99% of everything that isn’t “your’s” while being surrendered in service to others, while staying open and non attached to the 1% that is “your’s”… because it touches you the deepest of everything that comes your way.

    I’m sad, hon… I was on a path to healing like this and I also had an experience that was life threatening (not quite near death but close enough, thanks :)

    After that, I started a relationship with someone there to take care of me… But I wasn’t ready and it blew up in my face.

    Ok… I get it… the keys to this are healing the trauma inside me… and I need to forgive people who tried to support me and love me when there was a huge opening in my “trauma field”. I also need to focus on the 1% and let 99% flow past me, sharing healing gifts… and just waiting for the 1% that will actually meet my heart as it opens to genuine states of unconditional love…

    I’ve been pretty bitter about this spirituality stuff… being bitten in the ass over and over by lingering trauma and have confused God’s love as punishment when really, it’s trauma ((not some version of “Satan”)) that holds me back, murks up what I want to happen… maybe awakening is all about getting beyond the trauma stage by freeing yourself with EFT and other ways that truly release us safely from the past feelings and associations we make or draw on, meaning everything that keeps us from being in the present moment… (sigh)…


  2. I too love to hear about other people’s experiences. I do think the impetus to change can stem from traumatic circumstances and especially springs from those in which all control is lost. I sometimes wonder why it takes such a heavy, rocket-fuel propelled boost to get us out of our stuck places, but it seems to.

    I did Yoga and meditation for ten years before I began, it seems, to really understand where it was leading. For that, it took me being widowed which tore down all those fogged up lenses through which I viewed the world.

    I found it interesting that you started meditating so soon before the actual occurrence of your hospital experience. Does the change in attitude cause the change in circumstances? It was very similar with me when I began meditating… I had a severe automobile accident right after I began. I was hit by a bus while driving in my car on the freeway. I was not severely injured, but it introduced me to my death, considering that I had almost a full two seconds before the bus hit me to contemplate the fact that I was going to be hit. Those were some really long seconds.

    It does fuel an intense interest in finding the answers spiritually. Thank you for posting this.

  3. I love to hear of other people’s experiences, and if there is one thing I get from what you’ve written here is the relentless pursuit of your passion. Most teachers agree that for the majority, awakening is a gradual process, and we all come at it from different angles. And it seems to arise out of some kind of traumatic experience very often – I have been recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, which has been a kick up the ass for real life change.

    Thanks for sharing.

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