December 19, 2013

Saying Yes and Being Open To the Journey of Self-Discovery

written by Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN
 – is the founder and editor of
shared by Adrienne
[source: Experience Life Fully]

This guest post, from the enchanting Evita Ochel of Evolving Beings, is part of the Self-Discovery Series — a series dedicated to helping you along your own path of self-discovery and development. Her story is one that deeply resonates with me, and I hope you will find it as inspiring as I have. Please be sure to leave your comments for Evita — Enjoy!!

Traveling, taking journeys and exploring is one of my most favorite things to do. To date I have visited over 15 countries and numerous cities. Each journey, each trip was unique and filled with so many new experiences and lessons. Each exploration provided so much potential for personal expansion. Yet, out of all my trips, no experience can compare to one particular journey that I chose to experience—the journey of self-discovery.

Although it can be argued that we are each on this journey since we are born, I think it is not until we take conscious responsibility for it, when it begins to take on meaning. If I had to pin it down, I would say that my journey of self-discovery began exactly 10 years ago. Earlier in my life I had feelings that something was missing, that somehow there was more, but it was at this point that I became vaguely aware that I was embarking on a journey like no other. It was at this time that various events were making me look deep within my self to figure out who was it, that I really was and what was life—my life—all about.

It wasn’t however until 5 years later, when I became fully conscious of the journey of self-discovery, at which time I was propelled through a drastic personal and spiritual transformation.

A Journey of Self-Exploration Begins

Sometimes the biggest changes in our life come on very strong. Yet more often, the biggest changes in our life, begin as subtle steps that end up turning our whole world and life upside down. I can definitely relate to the latter, as to how my self-discovery unravelled.

It began so innocently with me meeting the man who would become my husband. Slowly, but surely I began fitting into and re-membering some deep part of myself that had laid dormant till this time. Slowly, but surely my take on life began to take a different twist. Up to this time I thought I knew who I was, and I thought I knew exactly where I was going. However I did not enjoy the ride of ups and downs, drama or being at the mercy of external circumstances. So along came life, waiting with open arms to show me a different way. I readily accepted.

Within the next year, transformational coincidences became more frequent. The climax of which was the coming of a book, which I credit for officially launching my journey of self-discovery. Here is how the story goes…

It was a hot August day and I was living with my parents, who happened to be away on vacation. I got the mail and a small package caught my attention. It was addressed from an acquaintance I had once heard of, but whom I knew my parents did not really keep in contact with. Intrigued, I opened the package to discover a book inside. The book was not in English, but rather in my parent’s native tongue. Inside the cover was a small note. “I hope this book changes your life, as it changed mine.”

Now my attention was really piqued. I glanced back at the cover and reread the title, “Conversations With God – book 1” by Neale Donald Walsch. Instantly, given my religious upbringing, I thought “oh sure, a religious book that promises to save us if we only devote ourselves.” Mind you at this time, I was still very much a part of the religion I was born into and took it quite seriously. However not having an interest in devotional religious books, I was about to put it down, but something within me held onto it. I began to flip the pages and read a few lines here or there. I sat down. I continued to flip and read. I was completely taken aback by what this book was saying. I did not know its full scope, but one thing was for sure. This was no religious book.

I shared the story with my husband (then boyfriend), as we were both experiencing profound life changes, and instantly began looking up the English version. Something within me was pulling me to this book, and I knew enough to know that this was no ordinary book. Within weeks, we got the audio version only to discover that this book was part of a trilogy and even had a documentary made based on it. That is when it all began to pour forth. The concepts this book was sharing were challenging the core of who I was and everything I stood for and believed in. It began to turning my life inside out. I wish I could say that it was a smooth, pleasant and happy journey, but it wasn’t. There were some very challenging parts and shed tears that had me questioning everything. Step by step, it empowered me to release everything that no longer served or represented me, including conditioned and limiting beliefs. Interestingly enough when my parents got back from their holidays, they wanted nothing to do with the book. There was no doubt in my mind that the book was meant to find me, and it definitely changed my life.

The Journey Continues

Over the next 2 years, thanks to more books, films, lectures and seeking, I can honestly say that everything in my life transformed. The views I held about myself, others, the world, life and the Universe completely changed and expanded. I had nothing short of a spiritual transformation, or awakening as some call it. I became free to see myself as a magnificent being of creation, whose potential was unlimited, rather than an unworthy human being at the mercy of external forces. The way I related to others changed. The way I related to myself changed. The way I viewed nature, politics, religion, health, nutrition, death, and everything in between got completely re-aligned. Looking back now, I became more congruent to who I am within—the spirit part of me—rather than simply being a by-product of society and culture.

Everything that made sense in the past all of a sudden no longer made sense. The religion I was part of felt empty and foreign, to that point that it felt suffocating for my being to have any association with it, or any other religion. My relationships changed and deepened. Those friends who did not resonate with who I was at my deeper core, naturally faded away, while new friendships emerged. Forgiveness, joy, gratitude, peace and compassion became the foundation of how I lived life on every level. From what I chose to eat, to what I chose to give my attention or energy to was consciously considered.

The Benefits of Self-Discovery

Since then, the journey has only continued to unfold and deepen exponentially. There was and is no time at which I would dare to say that I now know it all. No, it is the most amazing process of exploration of the depths and potential of the human being. Even more importantly it is a process of remembering who I really am—the unlimited, spiritual being who is beyond this body and any image or identification attached to it.

I cannot begin to share the amazing benefits that deciding to embark on this journey has gifted me with. Today, I feel confident to know the purpose of my life. I live with meaning. I live in a state of inner peace. I live loving life.

When I look back at how it all unfolded, I stand back in awe. This is why today my biggest advice to people no matter where they are on their life path, is to simply be open and allow yourself to work consciously with each moment. Say yes to the constant opportunities that come your way. Don’t be quick to judge, don’t close yourself off. Every moment presents an opportunity for growth, expansion and personal renewal.

Be open to living and loving life to the fullest—discovering and remembering who you really are along the way.

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