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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January's Theme: "Significance"
Volume 10 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265

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A Life Changing Moment
by Julie Hoyle

On a warm, sultry afternoon in July 2001, I was at an ashram in upstate New York. Surrounded by a broad swathe of other spiritual seekers, I was tingling with anticipation as I slowly inched my way forward to a podium at the front of the hall.

Seated on the podium was a stunning looking woman. Robed in the silken-orange tradition of the Saraswati order, it was obvious to me that this beautiful Indian Guru lived in a state of transcendence I had been looking for my whole life.

Questions, which had been bouncing around in my head hours earlier, such as, "Can she be real?" "Is she authentic?" dissolved the moment I laid eyes on her. My soul simply 'knew'.

Her energy field was thick, alive and vibrating intensely with the most intoxicating and limitless love I had ever felt. In the body of this love, there was no need for words.

Breaking the silence, a welcome hostess whispered in my ear, "It is customary to bring something when meeting a Guru for the first time. In India, coconuts are offered, symbolizing the hard shell of the ego."

With this prompt I scanned the people around me. Sure enough, they were tenderly holding flowers, coconuts and exquisitely wrapped gifts.

A tumult of emotions began to arise. I suddenly felt terrible. Having left my bag by my chair at the back of the hall, I had nothing to give.

Looking down at my hands I decided, "I'll offer my engagement ring." Then I thought, "No it does not hold enough significance. I need to give something more meaningful." With that determination, I took off my wedding band, placed it in the palm of my hand and held it to my heart.

Arriving at the Guru's chair, I leaned over and dropped the ring into a small basket set aside for offerings. Witnessing what I had done, the Guru said something.

However, I could not hear what she had said. Slowly enunciating the Guru's words a welcome hostess repeated, "The Guru is asking, is it over?"

I replied, "Is what over?" The hostess clarified, "Your marriage."

Surprised, I responded, "No. My marriage is not over. In fact, my husband is right here!"

Amazed, I saw Tony emerging from a sea of people and arriving at my side seconds after having given my wedding band away. The Guru instructed, "Tell him what you did."

Knowing he would understand, I turned to Tony and said, "I gave the Guru my wedding ring." Then the Guru asked Tony, "What do you think about that?" He replied, "That's fine."

Smiling, the Guru told Tony, "Put the ring back on her finger." While replacing the ring, the Guru waved a wand of scented peacock feathers over our heads, gave us each a delicate, gold box of chocolates and then sent us on our way.

Though I did not realize it all those years ago, I have slowly come to appreciate the profound symbolism of what I was so ready to hand over. Through time, I have witnessed how that one spontaneous gesture transformed and shaped the direction of my life.

The depth and kindness embodied in the people I met during my stay at the ashram was also life-changing. Everyone I encountered there reflected similar qualitites of longing.

No matter who we are, where we come from, or what tradition or path we are drawn to, our hearts are filled with the same desire. We embark on a spiritual journey in a desperate bid to find someone or something that can heal our pain.

We crave the possibility of being able to live with authenticity, courage, and purpose. We long to be at peace with who we are.

The role of an authentic path or Master is to reflect this possibility back to us. The rest is up to us.

First we must trust and act on what we know and feel in our hearts. Next, we have to be willing to access the courage to face whatever is crying out for acknowledgment, healing and integration.

Yogic Masters refer to this as the path of return, the path back to the core of who we really are. On this path of return, we are tasked with the dark and challenging work of transforming the shadow aspects of the psyche.

Once this is done, we realize that waking up and expanding in consciousness does not require us to go far. What we have been yearning for — even when we cannot quite put it into words — is right where we are, right here in this moment.

This path of return is what I recognized in the Guru the first moment I saw her. My soul knew what she represented. She was both the fire of transformation and the joy of union.

Giving up my small, gold wedding band was a symbol of that recognition. Without question, I knew she embodied the sweet invitation to hand over the ego and begin the long and often surprising journey home.

Julie is a natural intuitive, writer, artist and transpersonal hypnotherapist who lives on Grand Bahama Island. Her profound spiritual awakening and the unfolding of unity consciousness is detailed in her book, 'An Awakened Life - A Journey of Transformation'. To claim a free copy and for information about online courses, soul purpose readings and energy retrieval go to: www.truealignment.org

You can also connect with Julie via:

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