move. smile. release. Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

spiritual awakenings

Something happened on my June Retreat in Bali - I broke another Granthi. 

A what??

The Sanskrit word granthi (sounds like “grunty”!) means “knot” or “doubt”. In sadhana, or spiritual practice, granthis are psychological or psychic barriers to consciousness & freedom. According to ancient Yogic tradition there are 3 Granthis that bind the soul and lock us to our illusions, preventing prana (life force energy) from moving freely up the central energetic passage (sushumna nadi).  Basically, granthis keep us locked in our base emotions and hold us firmly in our fears of death and truly living. 

So, when we break our Granthis through karma (which just means ‘action’) we transcend fear and normal restrictions on thinking and acting, giving wings to our spiritual desires – also known as the rise of Kundalini, or, Spiritual Awakening.

It's really important to note that these advances in consciousness do happen naturally as we evolve as humans whether we practice Yoga or not. Even within the framework of Yoga you can choose paths that involve selfless service over rigorous & challenging practice. However, the practices of Yoga are said to ‘fast-track’ the rise of kundalini - clearing lifetimes of karma in just one (disciplined!) life. So, Yoga, as the story goes, serves to radically advance your spiritual awakening, not create it out of thin air. 

When fast-tracking our karma we are intensifying huge challenges and changes in our egos. Our less conscious selves can put forward some very good arguments to stay firmly rooted in fear…the path of Yoga isn’t all joy & bliss, as you probably already know! The lessons can come thick & fast - some are obvious, some loving and some fierce. Some are subtle and reveal themselves in a mysterious language that translates more easefully over time as you develop your inner listening. Some awakenings leave you feeling distinctly alone - serving to show you just whom in your life can withstand the expanding consciousness you radiate...who might be willing to stand by you and stare into the flames of transformation, even when it’s not pretty, or joyful.

During the last Goddess Retreat I experienced a huge awakening where the energetic space between my solar plexus & heart burst wide open, and I felt the awesome & brutal force that is love melt away a lifetime of held grief. I wasn't the only one who felt it either, it happened for us together. An enormous weight was taken from my shoulders - it was, in fact the weight of pressure. The pressure that I always imagined, both consciously and unconsciously, was imposed from those around me - from the external world. The pressure to be and do so much, the pressure I believed was OK and 'normal' because it seemed so common; constantly reflected back at me from every direction.

So, when this granthi broke I was released from another layer of illusion and I became even more enveloped in the truth - the consciousness that is pure, blissful, ever expanding love. It certainly wasn't an easy time, during those weeks I often felt frozen, naked and alone, but, I surrendered with my whole self and managed to come through the other side. And because I wasn't actually alone in my experience, I didn't feel like a crazy person, even though I might have sounded a little that way explaining it all to an outsider! 

 When we immerse ourselves in sadhana, or serious Yoga Pracitice, we are inviting the probability of difficult & even painful transformation…it’s easy to see why that isn’t attractive to every one, especially alone.

As the Retreat unfolded we unveiled our awakenings together. I truly realised just how important it is to have the support and love of others on the same journey; how beautiful it is to be able to share our experiences...to not be alone on the spiritual path. 

And, I want you to know that I’m here to support you on that journey - it’s all that I can do!

Hari Om Tat Sat

Jess