Ever since I was a young girl, people have come to me for advice and it took me a long time to understand why. Now I know it is a central part of who I am and people sense the love and compassion I have for their emotional experience. There are people who avoid "processing" at all costs, however, I inherently love and enjoy it. This, coupled with a non-judgmental and loving energy creates a feeling of support and safety for my clients.
Having a natural affinity for advising and guiding people, I began my journey into this work by studying pre-med psychology. My original intention was to obtain a PHD in psychiatry and begin a private practice. By the time I graduated with my bachelor's in psychology I had serious doubts about the field and my place in it. Every field has it's place and it's use, and I do not wish to discredit its potential importance for mental illness. Over time, I deveolped an opinion of it, however, and my opinion was that individuals were spending many years in therapy without ever seeing real change. This set me on a course of seeking an answer to the question... "What kind of support/practice can create real change?". Ideally, in a practical and applicable way.
I spent the next 18 years of my life in search of the Truth. My journey lead me through the exploration of many different cultures around the world (mostly indigenous). I dabbled in every spiritual tradition I heard of; read many books; studied meditation and vipassana; took lengthy vows of silence and solitude; had sessions with practitioners of every kind; studied Thai massage; took a yoga teacher training; pushed myself to the edge again and again through extreme sports and adventures most people have never even heard of. I travelled alone to 24 countries and faced fears I didn't even know I had. I spent 2 1/2 years in service in Africa, just to see if it was possible to "change the world". I tried working with plant medicines in sacred ceremonies; went to see popular gurus and practiced techniques like positive affirmations, gratitude and visioning. I spent 10 years as a vegetarian, and a year and half eating raw food, expecting to feel lighter, more present, and aware. When life gave me great challenges, I tried choosing the "hard road" because I thought that was the path to "surrender", and wondered why would I be given such a challenge if not to say yes to it?. So I said "yes" to everything, including becoming a parent, which was something I never truly aspired to be. I questioned everything, tried everything, and spent many years trying to separate my "ego" from my "higher self". What I eventually found, was a severe case of adrenal fatigue and depression. None if it really changed me. I was still the same person with all the same habits and "flaws". I was tired. Tired of trying so hard to be GOOD. To do things the "right way". I found myself living in a "spiritual community" with a catch phrase of "there is no right and wrong"... feeling like I was doing everything wrong. I was still impatient; working with addictions and control issues; insecurities; traumas and negativity. Nothing I did or studied; no one I saw for any kind of "healing"; nor any kind of "medicine ceremony" could change who I was. There was only one thing left to do...
Stop trying to change.
I was so exhausted from working so hard for so many years to find "The Truth"; and I knew I had searched everywhere I could think of. "Giving up" did not haunt me one bit. I had given it my ALL, and I felt good about "throwing in the towel."
The next phase of my life is what I call "Illuminated Darkness." I stopped all of my practices: meditation; yoga; medicine work; reading books; going to workshops; listening to gurus; studying; and incessantly contemplating the mystery of waking up. Because I was no longer trying to achieve some spiritual goal, and because I was so tired from "efforting" to change... I allowed all my shadows to surface. I just didn't have the energy to care anymore. Anything I felt, I allowed to be there. Impatience; irritability; frustration; idleness/busy-ness; an obsessive need to have things under control; emotional withdrawing; blaming; complaining; victim-hood... you name it. All the characteristics we believe to be less than "spiritual". I stopped caring what people thought, and developed an attitude of "oh well, it's just who I am". I was both surprised and amused to discover what happened as a result of "letting go" of my attachment to being "spiritual" or to changing who I was...
I began to change.
The irony was comical to me. The Truth... so obvious. Now it all started making sense. What it really means to "let go"; "surrender"; "find your true self"; "give it over to a higher power"; "there is no right or wrong"; "nothing matters"; "Be yourself"...
By allowing myself to completely BE MYSELF, flaws and all, I began to change into the person I had so longed to become. The punchline is... I no longer cared if I was that person or not. I already felt liberated. It no longer mattered how I was. I was free... and I was happy... just being ME.
Do I still feel at times impatient, irritable, frustrated, negative and controlling? Sure! The difference is that it no longer controls my life. I see all parts of me as "good" and "worthy". I trust completely that what needs to change, will, in it's own proper timing. It doesn't concern me. My job is to enjoy life as it unfolds, and to be true to myself and the moment. This is my True Purpose.
Aeray is a certified Life and Spiritual Coach with a background in Psychology and Holistic Wellness. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of guidance and spiritual self-discovery.