Monday, 29 November 2010

Awakening


I began writing this blog with the intention of explaining, as best I could, the process of awakening which began for me in February of this year…

… yes… a spiritual awakening…

The thing I’ve realised is… attempting to explain this in spiritual terms is going to either scare away or glaze the eyes and minds of the very people who would benefit most from understanding what has happened to me.

I fear that when I mention the ‘mystical’ element, people probably hear the following in their brains:

“WhooOOOooOOoooOOO!”

It’s intense stuff, and I understand that there will be disbelief. That’s cool. If I’d had access to a time machine ten years ago and jumped to the present to have a chat with my future self (I think I got that right?), I would have been doubtful, too.

Whether you believe me or not, the truth is that my life has changed dramatically since the morning of February 15th and that hour of ‘revelation’ – and I don’t use that word with any Biblical connotations. I’m still not religious. I’m still a heathen.

It took an hour for me to transcend from being a lost, lonely, frightened, miserable and depressed wreck, to being perfectly happy. Not deliriously and delusionally happy, but suddenly acutely aware of the true meaning of happiness, and also the source of it… the peace that exists within all of us, and that is available to all of us.

I began to decode life; dismantle my old barriers and realise that most of the junk in my head that had dragged me down for years… decades… was the product of such trivial and complete nonsense, that it was almost laughable that it had prevented me from truly living.

The first great realisation, as I mentioned in my first blog, was the fact – absolute fact – that emotional pain is an internal process and it is impossible for someone else to actually hurt you in this way. You actually have to take these hurtful words or actions of others and turn them into pain, inside your mind, which is insane… absolutely insane.

You ferment this negative energy inside your thoughts, replaying scenarios over and over again – very likely coming up with alternative ways you think you should have reacted, just to punish yourself that little bit more – and it poisons you.

None of it exists outside your mind.

You can be beating yourself up, crying every night, trying to analyse and make sense of sadness or loss or hate or rage, because you feel that someone has done you wrong, but what good is that doing? The person you believe has caused you pain will probably remain entirely unaware – and perhaps not care at all – of what you’re going through, but you continue… to hurt… yourself…

This understanding lead directly to the next great revelation…

Forgiveness is liberation from emotional pain.

Some people say that they will never forgive, but then they subject themselves to the mental violence (against themselves) described above. And if they truly never forgive, they will never be free of that internal processing of negative energy. However deep and dark the hole in their mind they bury that lack of forgiveness in, it will stay there, rotting and festering and it will never go away as long as they breathe.

What it seems so few people realise is that forgiveness – true forgiveness, and not just the offering of idle words – is a gift, primarily, to themselves.

Letting go of all those negative thoughts allows you to clear your mind and sweep out the debris in your heart. It gives you the chance to live your life without the burden of constant, dark reflection.

It is freedom for you, first and foremost. You don’t even have to let the other person know that you’ve forgiven them.

Which leads to another important point…

Forgive yourself.

We have all held on to the self-inflicted pain caused by stupid mistakes and even deliberately malicious actions that we’ve made over the years. They creep into your thoughts in the quiet hours and you wish you could have done things differently.

You can’t change the past… the past doesn’t exist. All it is is memories, and, again, these are fleeting, phantom things inside our minds.

This is a pledge I made to myself, not long after February 15th:

“I forgive myself and everyone else for everything that I ever felt has caused hurt.”

I did just that, and I meant it.

You can argue that perhaps I’ve done things that other people won’t forgive, but I am not those people and I can’t be the bearer of their pain.

The inability – or unwillingness – to forgive, is a curse on our species, but it’s generally accepted as the norm. It is at the root of so much ill-feeling and chaos, from broken relationships and family disputes, to genocide and global conflict.

You could look at all I’ve written so far and say it’s not mystical at all, but firmly in the realm of psychology.

Yet the source of all this understanding came on the morning of February 15th, in that hour of revelation… just out of the blue, it seemed. I consider myself an intelligent guy, but not so smart that I could just pluck all this stuff out of the air.

I’ve read books, since, from authors who have spent decades of their lives studying and exploring spirituality, and – despite me never researching the subject before – I already knew so much of what they were telling me.

In the Spring, I would regularly go walking up a mountain, near where I worked in the Western Highlands of Scotland, to a place called Scout Rock, and I would sit and watch the world, with nothing but peace inside me. I would barely think. I just looked. All of the old mental debris that caused so much worry and heartache throughout my life was gone.

I wondered if maybe I’d just caught up with the rest of the world, at last, and whether how I was feeling was how ‘normal’ people felt… but I knew that wasn’t true. I only had to watch the news to realise that.

I remember joking at the time that I had ‘the peace of Buddha’ inside me… 

I also made some very, very unlikely friendships around that time; one a British TV celebrity who’s an immensely spiritual woman and still a great mentor to me, and – perhaps even more curiously – an Emmy-award-winning celebrity from the US, who started following me on Twitter… again, deeply spiritual and he’s always there at the end of an email to give me advice and guidance.

Around the end of April, however, things started to ‘unravel’ and I began to slide down to some of the darkest days in my life…

… I’ll explain all that in my next blog.


160 comments:

  1. The worst thing about these experiences is that it's hard to find a Master: someone who has gone through this, and knows the steps you have to take to both shield yourself from the trauma and grow with it for the better.

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  2. Feeling blessed to have been led to your blog and you, Les, through our worldwide social network, Twitter. Looking forward to getting to know you and learn from your wisdom. I hope too to contribute to your growth along life's journey!

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  3. Thank you, Derrick - I'm sure we will both learn from each other. Are you on Facebook?

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  4. Wow, this was the first of your blogs I've read i will have to read more, it sounds like you've really found peace

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  5. Outstanding and down to earth words! Just ran across you via twitter.

    Nice to meet you!

    Hanuman Dass
    Http://hanumandass.wordpress.com

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  6. Great to meet you, Maggie! Yep, full of tranquility now. :-)

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  7. Nice to meet you, too, Hanuman! Thank you! :-)

    Just going to check out your blog. :-)

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  8. Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different...

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  9. It should be a liberating thing, rather than something of sadness, though... sadness will make it difficult to truly forgive, because it lures you into another area of ego.

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  10. You never know who the people are on twitter or facebook. I’ve read a few of your post, not all. But from this post you are TRUE.

    Jeff Greene

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  11. Thank you, Jeff! I can only ever write things as I see them, from my experience, and I'm way past the stage of lying to myself or anyone else. :-)

    Les

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  12. I like the distinction you make between 'spirituality' and 'religion.' I believe in the Chrsitian God, but I don't consider myself 'religious' because of that. And while my fellow Christians would likely denounce your 'heatheness,' I find nothing in your anecdotes that contradicts the very same principles and teachings of the Bible. Why do we have to put a label on everything? I found your story inspiring, your message to be full of wisdom. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. Glad to hear there's more of us who think this way and we're not alone or crazy and we make mistakes along the way. Thanks for sharing your story and I can't wait to read your next blog. You might enjoy checking my personal revelations at http://forestcat-elcantoperdido.blogspot.com/ Thanks for the follow on Twitter! Nice to meet you!

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  14. The saying that mistakes that are learned from become lessons is very true. We're getting there! Thanks for reading through, Charlene. Just going to check your blog out, now. :-)

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  15. The peace tends to be rather up and down at first, doesn't it? Like standing in a small boat in heavy seas. I think, with practice, the boat gets bigger. I'm currently growing my boat :)

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  16. A great post. What you say makes perfect sense and parallels what I've been writing about myself in a book I'm working on. A lot of people are coming to some very similar conclusions. This seems spooky at first, but I think there is a simple reason for it which is intrinsic to the way the mind, society and natural phenomena all work as systems.

    The health of a system is dependent on spontaneous unmediated communication. Hierarchical power structures in which the means of communication are mediated and dogmatic (i.e. unexamined and accountable) belief systems, impede this communication. But the old dogmatic belief systems, such as conservative religion and unbending right or left wing political beliefs, are breaking down and the internet is providing unmediated forms of communication which not only contribute to this process, but allow for the formation of new understandings and forms of social relationship through communication between individuals who would otherwise have been unknown to each other.

    That is on a social level. On a personal level, as a person diagnosed a as bipolar, I've experienced mental breakdowns. Such breakdowns involve a collapse of the ego structure - our habits of thinking. At such times one has an encounter with unmediated reality - the blinders are off. But it is too confusing and painful to make sense of at the time. Only when one gets back to a functioning state is it possible to sort out what one has learned. The point is that there is such a thing as emotional health, and it is pretty much the same for all of us when we find it. The lucky ones find it through a revelation or through learning to relax and let go, and some of us less fortunate find it when our ship crashes on the rocks.

    But my aim with my writing is to provide a clear articulation of practical advice for reaching such a state safely along with a theoretical framework about the nature of the universe and the history of humanity in which to place it. All just the personal theory of someone with minimal expertise, but hopefully useful none-the-less.

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  17. I have wondered if bipolar is something of an 'aborted awakening'... but because of the confusion around it, people are given drugs and told there must be something wrong. I was never diagnosed, but I guess a lot of the signs were there and it's not as if I didn't crash on the rocks quite a lot over my years. :-P

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  18. Found you on twitter. Love what you have written and honored that you are sharing your experiences. Great to finally wake up from the dream.

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  19. Thank you, Jan! Yep, it's great to be here, right now. :-)

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  20. Nice blog. I can relate. I'm learning that forgiveness is such a huge thing, especially of oneself. I have a guided meditation on forgiveness that people have incredible reactions to... it's simple and moving. Thanks for your words here because people do need to reconsider, withholding forgiveness isn't a strength. cheers.

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  21. I would say the greatest strength in forgiveness is forgiving ourselves... in a way, forgiving other people is the same as telling someone they have fat ankles - in the sense that they have to take it on and process it for it to affect them. If everyone was to forgive themselves, there would be no need to forgive others. I hope that makes as much sense as I hope it does... it's nearly 4am. ;-)

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  22. Hi, permission please to use the following line?

    "I fear that when I mention the ‘mystical’ element, people probably hear the following in their brains:

    “WhooOOOooOOoooOOO!”"

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  23. Great blog! So many people like myself struggle with the forgiveness issue. I am glad I read this and you are writing the same thing I have also concluded that forgiveness is not really about the other person but yourself. As Joseph from the Bible said so perfectly, "Forgiveness is better than vengeance and compassion is more powerful than anger."

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  24. Yes, it's a strength to ourselves, primarily - though it would be good for the world at large if we all chose to forgive. :-)

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  25. Talk about making peace with the war that is life. Reminds me of a tweet I posted recently after what could only be my own "Awakening" stating: "Pity parties beget party favors no one wants to take home. Let go & let God, and have some much needed fun." to a so-called friend who needed the advice much as I did all these years it took me to realize the same. Funny how they favorited and retweeted, then unfollowed me for slander. LOL Just goes to show, you can't help those who wont help themselves. Glad to see you dont let those in denial get you down either. In fact you addressed that first, very well executed. No wonder all your comments are positive. Keep it up! ~.^

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  26. Thanks, Lanie! Yeah, you can't smash down someone else's wall... though you can help pull the bricks away if they're knocking it out from inside. :-)

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  27. Thanks for sharing this with us, Les. We can all find peace - if we only choose to allow ourselves to do so. At least, that's what I believe. I'm still searching, but I often feel I'm getting closer. And you know, you're right; those moments only come when I let go, release, and forgive.

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  28. I hope you get there, soon. I really do believe that it's easier to find this place when you stop searching. Searching encourages the illusion of future, whereas peace is always in the moment.

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  29. Hi Les:
    Good Morning, I am Get Over Y ourself, Please blogger. To forgive and accept ourselves as is - is the moment here on hearth. To forgive everybody for every thing is a gift. So happy to learn you have found your bliss!
    Sincerely,
    Get Over It on Twitter

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  30. Thank you, Kristen! I hope you're there, too! :-)

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  31. Hi Les:
    Getting Over Myself is the best cocktail ever! This means nurturing everyone & everything around me. How lucky am I?
    SIncerely,
    Kristen

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  32. Sounds similar to Celestine Prophecy. I tend to agree with a global awakening to a degree, I also see the opposing side; people who don't, won't, can't be bothered to make an effort etc.
    I see it as positive thought leading to positive outcome, a year ago I had just about had enough of work, my boss had done his best to get rid of me over the preceding 6 months, it started with giving me too much work, then adding half of his work, bad mouthing me to the client in front of my staff and culminated in attempted disciplinary action for something that I had not noticed, nor had he, the finance director or any of 4 snr managers/directors up to the MD.
    I was on the verge of walking out or having a breakdown, had a weeks holiday and walked back into the office and turned my desk through 90 degrees, then sat down.
    12 months later I am running the contract, he is elsewhere, turning the desk was the key - not the physical desk but the desk in my mind.

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  33. I can't say that I made any effort... so I wouldn't see that as a sign to lose hope over. I certainly wasn't a bad or evil person, but I hadn't read or seen anything about the awakening process before it actually happened to me.

    Good on you for turning that desk. I'm pleased things seem dramatically improved! :-)

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  34. Beautiful post Les and a lovely reminder of what is needed: FORGIVENESS! Keep up the great work. I am so curious about "the hour of revelation" and if there was a trigger or just showed up. Please refer me to your blog post about this if you've already written about it.

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  35. I think one of the other problems with society is that people don't take responsibilty for their mistakes. You don't have to beat yourself up, but chalking everything up to "I had a rotten childhood" or "my first partner cheated on me" often becomes a catch-all excuse for poor decisions everywhere else in life. I finally learned how to admit a mistake, forgive myself, try to fix it, and then move on. Wringing my hands over it accomplished nothing. Moaning over the fact that someone hurt me didn't do much either; the other person didn't care, grief and anger ate me up, and I suffered more than I had to. I've learned over the years that in some situations, you simply have to cut your losses, shrug your shoulders, and move on. That isn't to say that it's easy; it's not. It sucks, and I still struggle with some things. But I've unloaded quite a bit of my baggage so far. (My awakening happened when I woke up one morning weeping.I figured if I was agonizing over things even in my sleep, I was at a dangerous point and something needed to be done. The only one who could do something was...me.) That's also when I started writing seriously, BTW. I think you've done a great job with this post. Thanks for sharing, and perhaps writing/blogging is helping you clarify your own thoughts too?

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  36. Thank you, Maira! There was a period before then when I was going through some pretty hard times, but there was no actual searching for the events of that morning. It happened. I'm very lucky. :-)

    And yep, forgiveness really would change the world if people realised the strength of it.

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  37. I don't think it's so much down to a lack of responsibility, but rather a complete lack of awareness of the present moment, which includes the understanding that life is where you take it from that moment - not from some phantom point in the past or future.

    Society is built to a template of the egoic mind, always reflecting or projecting, but rarely ever promoting the joy of the present, so it stands to reason that people live in microcosm and then it's no surprise that they don't have coping strategies that would allow them to free themselves of the need to blame something or someone else for something they could actually just let go of and overcome in an instant, if they shifted their perspective.

    I'm really pleased things are going so well for you, li. It's a wonderful world, eh? I'm sure you'll fine-tune and things will become even better. :-)

    There's definitely a process of clarification for me, through the blog, yep, though it's more to do with being able to express the message I want to send out. I feel I have all the information I need, but finding the right words is important, so this helps hugely. :-)

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  38. I think it's about breathing. Thoughts tend to trap our conscience into either an ideal past or an ideal becoming, while breathing only tends to keep our thoughts alive.

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  39. I've maintained inner-peace and happiness without any great awareness of my breathing. It's certainly something that allows me to live, but I'd die if I didn't go to the toilet from time to time, too. :-)

    I guess breathing can be used as a distractionary technique, in that you can focus on it and quieten the mind, but better to understand that the mind can be quiet without distractions.

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  40. I've been working on forgiveness. I think staying angry at people is bad for your karma because you're sending out a lot of negative energy into the world. I'm not completely at peace yet, but I am working on it :) You're one of my inspirations on this path I'm taking.

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  41. You not only send it out, but you hold it within, poisoning your own environment. Letting go is always something that benefits us first.

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  42. I needed to read this, Thank you! very much ! @CreativeDainty

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  43. Les,
    Thank you for the inspirational post. I need to spend less time & energy being hurt.To find forgiveness and peace after emotional betrayal is something I write about in my blog...without much personal success so far! I want to be an inspiration to other women going through a similar situations. Forgiveness has been the biggest hurdle. I look foward to reading more from you. All I can add is, the mind is powerful and will continue to be personally distructive if you allow it!
    - Dishy Divorcee

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  44. Glad it helped, Kimberli. :-)

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  45. Thanks, Dishy! I would suggest you need to spend NO time and energy being hurt. ;-)

    The mind is a very powerful tool, but it is only destructive when allowed to function in its dysfunctional mode... though it has been accepted for thousands of years that this state is 'normal'. It's not.

    Forgiveness is, in fact, a very easy thing to do... but yet I know how complicated it is.

    Have you ever looked at one of those 'magic eye' posters, where, if you look at it just right, you see a 3D image?

    It's like that... there's a moment where you go: "Ah! I see it now!"

    Easy, but difficult, but once you see it, you can see it again and again. :-)

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  46. I read your blog with great interest - you have touched upon a profound truth and I'm very glad that you have managed to read through the fog and yank away all the destructive dross that was clogging up your life. However, one of the complicating factors is that those feelings of guilt and inertia DO have their own rewards... at a stroke you have a getout clause when you fail. As an ex-teacher, I find it profoundly concerning that modern children are so terribly afraid of failing, they often won't attempt to make an effort to learn.
    This witches brew of misery, guilt and self blame that is so crippling is also an escape hatch to stop people really trying to achieve and I think it is isn't so much an elephant in the room as a leviathan...

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  47. Yes, and that describes what I really believe most people perceive as 'depression', too. They gets so used to that comfort zone, that they actively resist stepping outside it. There's no failure or success (or real life) there and that misery becomes a 'safe identity' which they accept as who they are and will always be.

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  48. Les -So happy that we connected on Twitter which led me here to your blog. It's amazing how similar our revelation time lines are - mine also started in February. But since I don't believe in coincidence, I guess we were meant to share this. I'll offer to share my blog posts with you too. I only recently started them for my biz - but I don't talk about my biz - only about our personal struggles with life and work. http://mediafastlanes.com/blog/ Hopefully I can give back something to you for sharing your experiences.I look forward to more posts and will look for you on FB. I'm also on Google+ now. Take Care, Indy Quillen

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  49. It's a pleasure to meet you, Indy. It's happening to a lot of people, now, and no - I don't think there are any coincidences. I've added you on Google+ and Facebook, so hopefully saved you a little time there. Just going to read your blog. :-)

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  50. That is so kind of you!Since my blog is currently on my biz website, I can't "go as deep" as I would love to do. As soon as time allows I'll be putting up my writing website and blog - where I can "ramble" a bit more. :0)

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  51. I'm sure I'd get sacked if I was working for McDonalds and posting this stuff. Looking forward to reading your in-depth stuff! :-)

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  52. Well now... is it destiny that we found each other? I'm convinced it is. I read your first post, and identified with the words completely. I'm on a path... it seems... and you are providing me with a stepping stone in the stream I'm about to cross. Thank you Les.

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  53. You're most welcome - I'm glad I can be of help. I'm writing up an 'awakening guide' and should have that posted this evening. :-)

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  54. Beautifully written. I would agree wholeheartedly that what you speak of is completely spiritual in nature. I too have had an experience where the awakening was so immediate it would have been startling if not so comforting.(June 30, 1995)

    There is nothing but spirituality that could explain such an abrupt change in existence - in one second you wholeheartedly know what was intangible just seconds before. Revelation, in this manner, or "the peace of Buddha" is a wondrous experience. Thanks for sharing.

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  55. Yeah... I'd say I'm pretty smart, but not so smart that I could spontaneously think the same stuff attributed to prophets. It came from somewhere else. That's why I have real faith that everyone can find that peace within them, rather than telling people to read a load of books or go on retreat. It's available to us all. It's just that moment of awakening that's the key.

    Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. :-)

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  56. YAY! Someone else who has discovered the same thing as me! I too have this revelation this year, I lost my brother just over a year ago suddenly and what followed was some of the hardest grief i've ever experienced. But then after his first year anniversary something happened in me. I discovered forgiveness, of myself and others and as soon as I began to live that in my life, I started to feel happy and a weight was lifted and I feel that since that time I have like a butterfly come out of my cocoon to really be the true individual I am. It's so exciting! I'm changing! I'm a different person, my spiritual path began ironically a couple of months before my brother passed, through the writings of Paulo Ceolho and a couple more. Now at nearly a year and a half later, I find I am attracted to people who are the same. People who don't live in the past, but who are mindful of the here and now. It's exciting! It's enlightening, it is I believe the only way to live. I'm for the here and now, forget the past, forgive and move forward with love and light in your heart! That's how I now try to live my life and to spread the word to whoever will listen. Good on you for doing the same!

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  57. Bravo Les and thanks for finding me on Twitter and posting this link. I truly needed to read it. Not just for the lessons you present but also as a reminder to myself. You see, I used to be in that spiritual place you speak of; I lived and breathed all this stuff - it was not even second nature to me but first nature...something or somethings I guess conspired to push me away from "my happy place" and I let myself be pushed, although I wasn't aware of it at the time. I have missed that side of myself, that believer, and I have been taking steps to get back to me. My life is opening up now in so many wonderful ways, except one, that I need to come to terms with, whatever that means, I must determine and then go with it. I know that feeling you refer to, of things coming from somewhere else - when we relax and allow ourselves to be a conduit for the Universe, magical things unfold!

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  58. Cheers, happy is, can't chase it, it's faster. Can't catch it, it's slippery. Can't keep it, it spoils. It is there though in a million little things. glad you had your insight I wish you the sight to see happiness all around and the ability to see the grief too yet not lose your vision of joy. MAK

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  59. “I forgive myself and everyone else for everything that I ever felt has caused hurt.”

    very inspiring, i love to read your blog. congrats :)

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  60. Love this post, Les! Glad I found you on Twitter. I might have to find you on Facebook! Seems as though we might be kindred spirits.

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  61. This is so weird. I've just sent this post to a friend whom I was speaking to lastnight because she was so distraught and I basically said to her exactly what you have said in the paras beginning from the first great realisation. Only you put it across much more eloquently. But what's even odder is the way you've ended this post, as it's as though you have described the last 4 months of my life! I don't have time to read what happens/happened next, right now, but I think I, myself am coming back around again... Thanks for the great read.

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  62. Les,

    It is not easy to to describe an awakening. The depth and clarity that comes with one is seemingly so simple despite its impact. You have done a wonderful job of imparting your wisdom.

    I loved the entire piece, as it really touched home for me. I had a similar awakening 8 years ago and have found it hard to describe the essence of it to others (which is why I became a writer - much easier for me to write it rather then explain over a cup of tea!).

    "I had ‘the peace of Buddha’ inside me…" was my favorite line, but there are so many golden nuggets of wisdom in here. I am sharing this with a friend who is having difficulties with her parents.

    In peace,
    Heather Hummel

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  63. Welcome. ;^)

    Great writing. I'll make it a point to see more.

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  64. Well obviously you know that I am a Christ believer. I guess what we have in common is that I am spiritual and not religious; which was the changed that happened to me in my own spiritual awakening. If I have a religion it is truly Love, Forgiveness and humility.

    Another thing we have in common is this blog and one of my recent comments, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you."

    Why do you call yourself a heathen?

    In great Love,
    Ms. Nothing

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  65. You had a self awareness moment, the beginning of a never ending journey.

    The walked path can't be unwalked, but we build a new path as we walk.

    Tip: don't push yourself, let your awareness blossom at its own speed.

    Spirituality is a beautiful never ending learning process that progresses in a daily basis.

    Light and Blessings,

    Maria :)

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  66. I found you by accident (are there any, really?) on Twitter and am so glad it led me here - rather uncanny and altogether wonderful. Thank you!

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  67. HI! Twitterland strikes again! Thanks for your brave candor. It's incredible how these conversations have become much less "Woo-woo" and much more mainstream. I had this very conversation on set yesterday - who'd have thunk it! Fashion and photography worlds talking spirituality! I call it law of attraction myself...check out Abraham Hicks if you like that take on life. Best from across the pond; RMB

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  68. I was lucky. I learned this lesson before I finished school. I've never been truly unhappy since. Happiness starts inside your brain too. Decide on finding the bright side of everything gets you started. Like my gran said (in slightly different and German words), "There are always to sides to a coin. It's just difficult sometimes to find the brighter one."

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  69. I went through this process about 10 years ago, although I don't think it's spiritual, It's just accepting yourself and your path through life, spiritual awakening (for me anyway) was a completely different thing.
    You are spot on with your discovery that we only hurt ourselves with our anger and hate, it eats us from the inside out mentally and can have negative physical effects also. Think of it this way, a person gives you a gift you don't want, you accept it then give it pride of place so you can look at it and hate it and feel uncomfortable about it everyday. You even tell people how much you can't stand it, I don't think so. You either don't except the gift, or you take it and shove it away somewhere never to see the light of day again!
    Only postive thinking can lead to acceptence and enlightenment. This of course includes taking the negative, realising what it is and dealing with it in a positive way.

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  70. Hi Les, this is my first time reading your blog and I have to say, I'm glad I found it. Your words are so moving and easy to relate to. I tend to over-analyze things in my mind and have been searching for a way to minimize this and your words have truly inspired me to make some changes. Thank you!

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  71. what a wonderful writer you are....and how far you have come...if the photo on here is where you sit to meditate all I can say is 'breathe in that fresh mountain air and enjoy the beautiful world God has created for us..." You say you are a heathen...I don't feel that when I read what you write...The God who created this amazing world loves you more than you can imagine Les and I know one day you will see this....Read Ephesians Ch.2 & 3...I didn't mean to preach to you Les....enjoy your day and continue the fantastic journey you are on...may each day bring more revelation and peace to you....you are blessed to be in this place, as we in the modern world find it very stressful and fast moving...makes me think, I must go find my 'hill' and just sit!!...thank you x

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  72. Wow. How true. I realized long ago that holding onto grudges and pain was eating me alive. The people I loathed and the things they did... they were likely unaware of.

    But it is forgiving myself that is hardest. Thank you for an awesome post. I am going to print this out and re-read it a few more times.

    G'night.

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  73. Fantastic, Les. I couldn't agree more. I have found the same peace and completely agree that it is centered on forgiveness. Thanks for writing it!

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  74. Wonderful words, forgiveness is something most people struggle with. I stumbled over it a bit, but have found that being bitter left a terrible taste in my mouth and I much prefer to be happy. while the process is far from simple, it is the path I choose. I forgive and move on with a smile. I have far too much of life ahead of me to do it with the chains of old hurts around my neck. Keep writing such inspirational blogs, Les, so many people enjoy them.

    your friend,
    Patricia Carrigan
    Author Antiserum

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  75. It's amazing, Les, how much your blogs are about the same issues I am trying to sort out for myself. It's always interesting and cool how the right information and people can appear in my life just when I need it. Thanks! Colleen :)

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  76. It seems as though you have discovered the secret of happiness - "LOVE WHAT IS." We can't change anything that has happened in the past because it's in the past. So all we can do is accept it. Each person and their actions, including our own, is WHAT IS. It does no good to say it SHOULD have been different. Everything in the past SHOULD have happened because it DID. Everything that exists is what SHOULD exist because it does. And because our thoughts precede our emotions, by learning to evaluate our thoughts before emoting, we can end our suffering by accepting - no LOVING - WHAT IS! Furthermore, when we examine our thoughts about what we think SHOULD have been or SHOULD be that is not happening, we realize these thoughts are a reflection of ourselves because we filter everything through our mind. So when we feel someone else "SHOULD" have done something differently we start to realize this is our filter about this other person. As a survivor of severe child abuse, forgiveness is a hard concept for me to swallow. But I find that understanding and acceptance bring me to the place of peace and happiness because I have come to LOVE WHAT IS. For more information about this concept, look up the teachings of Byron Katie on YouTube. I have a hunch she might be one of your soul sisters, Les.

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  77. I loved reading your blog. Wisdom & maturity come with reflection. We all know everything, except we tend not to sit with ourselves and reflect.

    I liked the tease at the end of this blog :) Ah the suspense :))

    Big smiles.

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  78. Les, I love your post! You convey awakening in such a simple, open, honest and clear way. Can't wait to keep reading. Bravo!

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  79. Thanks for sharing that.

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  80. So Enjoyed reading this you have a way with words and you are special.

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  81. I've read this blog many times and I haven't worked up the courage so I'm just gonna do it. I feel like I'm trapped right now and would love it if you were able to help me awaken.

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  82. Nothing could have more of an impact on my life right now. Thank you, my friend. ;-)

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  83. You have quite a following! I agree that we participate in the hurt, but sometimes emotions intersect with feeling guilty over letting people go who hold that hold you back or those that can't be trusted. It's like a break up. I have to say I have never been happier since I started writing in February. I really don't have time for other people's drama. I just put on my happy face when I go out and no one bothers me..
    I will have to check back to read about your setback.
    I am in Colorado and your bluffs look pretty big there and absolutely gorgeous! Too bad you don't have snow for skiing!!

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  84. I noticed you added me on Twitter and thought I would check out your blog, I now follow! Wowza. I am stunned by the universe and how it leads me to people like yourself. The journey is the gift of life. Awakening from the slumber of negativity is an awesome thing! Namaste/Zei Gezunt

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  85. Thanks for sharing these thoughts in your blogs. There is pathos and humour, but, most of all, such depth. I have recommended your blogs to others who are also finding their way after one of life's turmoils. Cheers. katciao2

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  86. I'm slow responding because I thought you were one of those guys who follow everyone on twitter. Maybe you do, but when I looked and saw you were a writer too, about to take a hiatus from blogging to write, I read this. Too bad you didn't go to church or you'd have realized how freeing forgiveness can be a long time ago. Sure it's hard to keep that realization on a daily basis, but you get it back every Sunday along with the determination to make you time count by serving others. I wish you the best in your writing endeavors.

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  87. hey there, wow really enjoyed reading your blog, I am always so happy to here someone is feeling an awakening, I too had an awakening and wrote about it, it is a blessing and a feeling that is golden, and I feel that collectively the world is awakening and evolving, all around us. I'd like to share it with you, it may be a little whooOOOooo, but I guess you understand lol so here goes http://ksummer-awakening.blogspot.com/2011/06/awakening.html

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  88. Les, like Derrick above, I feel exactly the same! I feel it is fate that I have signed onto twitter, recently, been led to you, and now am reading your brilliant blog, I feel blessed that there are powers out there really looking out for me and putting inspiring people in my way to help me on my journey - and whom I can help back. great to have found you and keep up the good work!

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  89. Forgiveness! I think you are closer to religion and God than you think. It looks like He is knocking on your door to let Him in. The Bible speaks of forgiving others and ourselves over and over again. His greatest gift to us was forgiveness through his son.

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  90. I'm not religious at all, Anon. Don't you get the madness of a God sacrificing his only child in order to forgive humanity? The Bible was written by men, and if you're following it word by word, you may as well be looking to Harry Potter for salvation.

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  91. "You can’t change the past… the past doesn’t exist. All it is is memories, and, again, these are fleeting, phantom things inside our minds."


    Actually, your past is in your future and consequently, your future is in your past. If you change your level of consciousness, you have the possibility of attracting another life. It has to do with raising the level of being, beyond ones present state of incarnation.

    Do nothing, or justify ones past behaviour and one attracts what we call "recurrence". Then one repeats the same life over and over again, until one begins to "see"...

    When you think about it, it is not unlike a school, where one gets to move up scale, for ones good work.

    Compassionate albeit the pain of living is the way I like to look at it.

    Thanks for the read!

    Eso

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  92. So glad you put this Awakening blog out again just as I, like so many others, have recently discovered you. Echoes & confirms my wise therapist's words: "Regret is a wasted emotion". Unfortunately I still tend to slip into old habits and wallow in the familiar self-blame. Also hankering over the past; wishing to resume the better bits and resenting it all going wrong. So I am suitably challenged to read so many on the same journey saying 'Move on'. New Day.

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  93. Your description reminds me of the story of how Eckhart Tolle found his own awakening. I love knowing that this can happen, that we all can become enlightened one day and finally let go of that crazy ego that leads us to make all the wrong decisions for ourselves.
    I am happy for you! Keep on writing!

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  94. Thank you, Isabelle! That struck me too, when I listened to The Power of Now audio-book some seven months after my awakening. It was an almost identical experience. It made me realise that this is a gift that everyone can share because we all have the same ability to enter a state of inner peace. :-)

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  95. Cheers, Marshtown - a few people complain about the 'recycling' of blog links in Twitter, but the negativity of those misery-gutses are always overwhelmed by the positive reaction from people who read it for the first time, or read it again to refresh their memory. :-)

    I hope everything goes great for you and you're never too long away from your peaceful centre. :-)

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  96. Eso, the past and future don't exist, except as thoughts in our mind. I do agree that they are both influenced by one another - for example, the ending of a previous relationship can seem harder if you look to the mind-perceived future and see yourself 'lonely'.

    Wise words on recurrence, of course. Thanks! :-)

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  97. Lucy, I'm humbled. Thank you for your kind words, and I'm really pleased that I'm of some help. :-)

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  98. I do understand, yep, Kaya. Thank you for leading me to your blog! :-)

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  99. Sher, I'm not sure if regular church-going always goes hand in hand with an understanding of forgiveness. I find that some of the most divisive and offensive characters on Twitter often have 'Christian' tagged onto their profile bio, and there's nothing 'Christ-like' about their opinions or behaviour.

    That said, I also know a lot of Christ-followers who practice what they preach, rather than using it as a cop out for their own failures in life, and I can tell you're one of the good eggs! :-)

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  100. Thank you so much, katciao2! That's super kind of you! :-)

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  101. Hehe, thank you, Lucien! Yep, all these 'coincidences' seem to make chaos seem quite orderly, don't they? ;-)

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  102. Hey, Susielindau! I hope your happy face is backed up with a happy heart! Negative feelings we attach to others, and which we blame them for, can only ever be catalysed by their actions, rather than caused by them. The pain comes from our own internal processing of those words, actions or situations, so a change of perception can negate those feelings, releasing our energy for much more positive applications. :-)

    I think I only have so many followers because they confuse my Twitter ID with Lesbianism. ;-)

    We do get snow here - there are a few ski resorts further up in the northern Highlands of Scotland. :-)

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  103. Aw, I'm glad my words are useful to you, Debra. I hope you're well. :-)

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  104. gorillazfan321 - I'm so sorry I didn't see this. If you're still around, give me a shout at my email address? It's lesfloyd@gmail.com

    Hope you're okay!

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  105. Thank you, Catherine! I'm glad they help. :-)

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  106. Anon (2nd September) - thank you for reading! :-)

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  107. Anon (3rd September) - Thank you for your kind words! :-)

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  108. Cheers, M. Abby Joseph! Glad you're enjoying! :-)

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  109. Thanks, Irishminx! Yeah, there's so much wisdom available to us, within, but I think we're conditioned not to rely on it and, instead, look to outside sources to prop ourselves up with (such as religion and government). It serves these institutions well to have us feel the need for their leadership, when we could be more effectively leading ourselves, in a singular and collaboratory sense.

    Big smiles back! :-)

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  110. Hiya Vjenz - yep, I already agree with what you've said. I've faced some pretty dark times (though the abuser was myself, rather than anyone else), but I recognise from this perspective, now, that every step - good or bad - led directly to here, and I'm happy. Accepting what is is crucial to silencing the nagging of the egoic mind, and it's a wonderful life-tool for empowerment. :-)

    I don't know much about Byron, but I'll certainly check her work out. Thank you! :-)

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  111. There is an astonishing synchronicity to these thing, yep, A. Colleen Jones. Hehe. When we're aware that, perhaps, coincidence isn't mere coincidence, it certainly opens our eyes to the value of these connections we make in life.

    I hope my words have been useful to you! :-)

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  112. Aw, thank you so much, Patricia! You are wise beyond your years. Apologies for taking almost FOUR MONTHS to reply to your message, but, um, I had scone poisoning! ;-) x

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  113. Cheers, Lee! Yep, forgiveness is such a liberating power, and available to everyone. Let's hope, someday soon, that understanding sweeps the world like a virus. ;-)

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  114. Hey Ninja Gal! I hope that you've been able to work on the self-forgiveness a little more and you've found the peace that radiates from that understanding. Thank you so much for reading! :-)

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  115. Thankyou, skyeblu11! Yeah, we can all do with 'sitting on that hill' from time to time, wherever it is we find that sense of peace. I hope you're well! :-)

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  116. Ah, CarolineG - thank you so much. I am truly happy to have been a help, and I hope things are going great with you, now. :-)

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  117. Wonderful, Cat - and very wise words from your Grandmother! :-)

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  118. Thanks RMB! Yeah, it's refreshing that people can be so open with their opinions on the subject and not find themselves ridiculed for their beliefs. It doesn't take much digging around to find someone close who shares the same instinct. :-)

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  119. Gareth Farmer - brilliant analogy, yep. I get a lot of people trolling me for suggesting that depression can be improved by positive thinking, but I don't think there's a person in the world who couldn't benefit from such practice - except, maybe, the singer Morrissey. ;-)

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  120. Thank you, SilverGenes! Synchronicity is a wonderful thing! ;-)

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  121. Thank you for your wise words, Maria Igneri. :-)

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  122. Ms. Nothing - yep, at the base of any religion is that same understanding and I'm thankful we share that. :-)

    I use heathen in the dictionary definition sense of not being a believer in the 'widely held religions'. ;-)

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  123. Heather Hummel - thank you so much for your kind words! I'm pleased you could understand my rambling! Hehe.

    I hope the post helped your friend. :-)

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  124. Anon (30th July) - I really do believe we all share this wisdom, and it's accessible when we quieten our mind and listen to our true selves, rather than the egoic screaming. I'm so happy that you are finding your way along this path, too.

    I'm nearly five months late in responding, but I hope you are progressing well!

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  125. Cheers, Matthew Beier! I hope things are going well for you! :-)

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  126. Thank you, Zeytince! Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

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  127. Lisa (27/7), I think it's all too easy to let the cloud of mind descend on us again, and we have to be aware of that to be able to blow it away again. I hope you've returned to peace and life is going great!

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  128. Hey, Lexie! I love your story, though not the tragedy that may have catalysed your awakening - but this is a curious Universe and perhaps that was always going to be a part of you and your brother's plan for your time, here.

    I hope everything's going great for you and that we catch up soon! :-)

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  129. Phew - finally caught up with the responses on this post. APOLOGIES to everyone for slacking with these. I guess some of you won't even read my replies after so long, but I'm sending a big hug out to you through the ether. :-)

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  130. Thank you for this blog post. It struck a chord with me, the part about negative thoughts fermenting....I find myself in a situation at the moment where I have been horribly wronged and I keep dwelling on this, allowing myself to feel the pain over and over again! Reading your blog has just given me a true AHA! Moment, so once again thank you!

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  131. I'm going to read this properly when I am not tired and about to bed, but i would just like to say that I have 'met' you at the same time as I am in the process of writing a novel set in the Western Highlands, in which the main character was born on February 15th. Weird, eh?

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  132. This is a great telling of your awakening and I'm encouraged to get rid of some of my negative thoughts and try to approach today with a different attitude.I'm inspired!

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  133. Just one statement in this post really stood out to me:

    "The past doesn't exist"

    Actually freaked me out a little, the past does only exist in our heads...

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    1. Yeah... and that realisation opens the path to awakening. :-)

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  134. Good to read your story, fellow truth seeker and peaceful warrior! Its a fantastic ride, isn't it? I haven't read the follow up blogs, yet, but I just wanted to say hold on tight and let it all go. Each day is its own adventure. Looking forward to more.

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  135. Thank you for sharing this Les.

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  136. I jusy found yourblog via twitter, i obviously missed your first segment n just read your second.or at least i think its ur second? I believe in forgiveness, it does help your soul to move fw after dealing with intense life situations. Trying to forgive yourself for things is difficult for me. I want to believe that I have forgiven myself for actions i cant take back. But i keep returning to that thought n replaying scenarios of should have could've would 've ( as my mom used to say) I hope that it will happen. I want to be released from that pain. I enjoyed reading your blog, and boy do I wish to visit Scottland ( on my bucket list since i was a kid) . Question: how do you forgive yourself if you cant tell someone what it is that you did?

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  137. I think that was an awakening time for a lot of people Les. I enjoyed reading your story. The part about turning words and pain inward really hit home for me. Keep up the great work. Ruby

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    1. You are right about that! As exemplified in the Celestine Prophecy, The Thirteenth Insight etc.

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  138. So glad our twitter paths crossed. Forgiving oneself is essential. I look forward to going through your blog.
    --Sophie.

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  139. I read this post today and I read it a second time immediately. I wish I could have the courage and luck to be awakened. And, sometimes I just need somebody to talk to just to relieve the weight on my chest. I am waiting for that somebody to appear sometimes in my life...

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  140. Great post and agree with most of your words of wisdom and insight though cannot quite accept that it is impossible for someone else to hurt you, that it is our selves that allow that hurt to be caused. Some are more sensitive, others are more 'thick skinned' therefore would alter 'what hurts' and it's effects on our inner selves. Having lived through childhood and most of my adult life, in physically and/or mentally abusive situations, how can your inner self be protected fully from that and not hurt? As a child I'm not sure what choices I had, life hurt, as an adult...yes I did have choice's, just not the strength or self worth to change my situations. The past couple of years life has altered in many ways, fortunately for the better. My first steps in healing after seeking help, was learning self forgiveness (and self worth). Forgiving other's has also been a challenge. The past may be in the past but the scars echo into who we are today. I think just the pure need for peace in my head/heart and realizing answers to at least some of the 'why's?' has helped me to let go many hurts, leading to forgiveness.
    On reflection, I've always made sure I say sorry to my children for whatever, that they are both forth coming with a sorry too, is a healing/forgiveness on the spot and helps release hurts/guilt's form being a weight on the head and heart.

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  141. Very inspiring and as you know I've had a few of my own awakenings....

    http://www.thethirteenthinsight.com/p/confession-bio-addendum.html

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  142. Thank you for sharing your experience

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  143. Welcome to the fold of those who are "Awakened" Glory be to God, for it is He Alone who has opened your eyes...

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  144. Indeed, "Forgiveness is liberation from emotional pain." is a beautiful and cpmplete truth, enough said!

    :))

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  145. i love your blog. I too had an awakening that happened in a few moments and after it I have never been the same, the awareness that I was given was in the form of a inner voice that said, "we're back" i thought it was the voice of another and when I asked whos the "we" it spoke to me that I had returned to my original self, pre relationships, pre wife, pre mother and that for many years I had been saying yes when I wanted to say no and so I went on a journey to discover why I did this. Fascinating what I learnt so much so I decided to write a book its called Can I Be Me without losing you? out in March this year. I realized I had compromised myself to keep the peace and avoid conflict, I was addicted to peace and I would avoid waking up the wounded ego in another at a very extreme level. Once my children left home the voice appeared and told me that we are done with that now its time to transcend the fear to speak your truth now. Wow I went from a conformist and never wanting to be seen or heard in public to a speaker on stage, how, consciousness and transcendance.

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  146. Les your words resonate with me and echo my thoughts and feelings about my own awakening that has been taking shape since I was a child. I always felt that there was more to this life. All the pieces required have been there for as long as I can remember. It has been during the past 10 years or so that the self assembly process has taken place. Like you, I read books and listen to others who have/are on this path and much of what I read and hear I feel deeply that I already know, am remembering because the books and spoken word allied to real experience are sign posts reminding me of the true reality of who I am, the reality of this world & consciousness. Life becomes magical again when the pieces start fitting together. Les, you have inspired me to consider starting my own blog and to upload my podcasts. Thank you so much for sharing. Paul.

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  147. Thank you Les. Having read this, I would like to take an hour to myself. Not to think or to contemplate but to simply be with myself and to indulge in the knowledge that I have full control over what happens within myself.

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  148. My path is different (as everyone's is) but they all lead to this same :-)

    When living on this planet and growing I had received few traumatic experiences, most earned earlier by doing bad deeds.

    This made me humble and I stopped to kick off so much in life. This over years lead me to quiet myself more and more. Then I started to realize about things in my life that I was holding to as true and questioning them. Tired already by life I dropped them and gave up. Then things started to change for me. I met someone who thought me how life and humans work, what conscience is and what is needed to see. I am very logical person. Most of life writing software. I have seen myself already on this path (perhaps that was the reason I met Ital :-) and focused even harder on detaching from everything and had many, many great aha! moments since...

    One Love :-)
    Mariusz

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