“Once upon a time I had a good social life, I went out to events and dinners and even parties, I was busy socially and busy at work and then awakening showed up and ate my social life, like a big tyrannosaurs rex, in one big gulp!”
Is this familiar to you? Have you struggled with maintaining a social life through your awakening process?
One of the most common complaints I hear from people going through Kundalini and awakening is the difficulty being social with other people, the loss of connection and their healthy social life. They share their struggles to relate to and engage in casual conversation with people in their life who are not dealing with this huge, internal restructuring process.
It can be quite a shock to feel such a deep internal pull away from consensus reality, and the external, material world. It is a pull that gives you no option but to follow it, and thus you may feel called away or withdrawn from friendships that were once fun, easy or nourishing. This can be sad, stressful, hurtful and lonely.
If this is happening to you it is important to remember that every part of your life is being transformed and purified including the way you relate to others and the way you relate to yourself.
And it is important to remember the intensity of the Kundalini process can ebb and flow, giving you bursts of time when there are available inner resources to relate more to others and have fun, and stretches of time when the urge is to be still, meditate, walk in nature or simply rest and be alone. Move with this flow inwards and outwards in relationship to the world as much as you can, and as much as the commitments of your life allow.
Here are six reasons awakening can lead us to spend more time alone:
1. The senses turn inwards
Kundalini and the awakening process call us inward and pull all our physical and subtle senses inwards, away from the external world and into our body and upward to the divine. In India, this is simply called withdrawal of the senses and is actually a celebrated and important part of the Kundalini process. We become much more aware of our inner process, inner states and sensations and more acutely sensitive to subtle experiences of consciousness, life and even psychic phenomena. This becomes the new and emerging orientation of your life. Until the awakening process is finished Kundalini will hold your awareness more internally than externally focused, and may not fully release it until your awakening process is complete. There is nothing you can do to fight this process; in fact, it is actually very beautiful. Instead, you are called to surrender to this inward and upward movement towards divine transformation. Out of this movement will arise more contentment, satisfaction and wholeness that are a natural expression of that which you truly are.
As your senses withdraw and social interaction becomes altered you may be called to work with issues of fear and control around how you relate to other people, to consider ways you have had your relationship needs fulfilled by others that no longer work for you, and perhaps the fear of being alone.
2. Awakening and Kundalini are very internal and consuming processes
Awakening and Kundalini focus on powerful, internal transformation that pulls your attention inwards and often commands a lot of your awareness and skills in order to follow and support yourself through the process day-by-day, moment by moment. It can be fascinating, amazing, confounding and confusing, and call you to lean on your intuition a lot. While this can be exciting and interesting for you it is not usually a great dinner table conversation and thus it can make you feel you are leading a thrilling James Bond lifestyle internally but have little to share externally in ordinary conversation. You may feel boring to those more focused on worldly activities. This is okay. If this is the case, accept where you are at. Furthermore, it can often be important to protect your precious awakening process from criticism or doubt or poor advice from others by keeping it private and sharing it only with a trusted few people close to you who can respect it and understand.
3. Identity loss
During the awakening process, your identity and sense of self are in a continual process of loss, transformation and annihilation. Big chunks of who you were, who know yourself to be, and your personal history, can simply fall away, sometimes with a shock and sometimes with ease. This continual process of identity loss can make it hard to find a solid sense of self at times to relate to others. Identity loss can call us to rest into emptiness and stillness of pure awareness and see with deep curiosity how awareness shows up in relationships. At other times the call is to follow the natural movement of awareness into aloneness when the process requires it.
4. Different priorities
Your wonderful and sometimes wild inner life is your focus and this is either intensely private or not very interesting to people who are more focused on consensus reality issues, events, stories and topics such as TV, the news, events in their lives, gossip, the drama of life, or the footy, (though I must admit my previous life as a sports journalist meant I could almost always chat about the footy and non-Collingwood fans please give me a break!). With such a deep inner process at work these external, everyday worldly stories can seem unappealing and be difficult to relate to, and thus others may find you equally difficult to relate to. You may lose interest in the activities and conversations that were once the center of existing relationships and instead crave deeply thoughtful, brazenly honest or curious, philosophical conversations. And this shift can be challenging.
5. You are very quiet
Your awakening process can lead you to love being quiet. You may enjoy being still and resting in silence, in pure awareness, peace or find simply connecting with nature becomes more desirable. These things can be so nourishing during transformative times. My favorite activity during the Kundalini years was to sit with a cup of tea and be with nature, to be absorbed in the exquisite beauty in the garden and the natural world around me. I craved it during every free moment. I loved the deep sense of communion with all of life and it fed me deeply.
6. Truth and authenticity
You are being called to be more truthful and authentic in your relationship with yourself and with others and this can be a challenge. It is both a confusing and profoundly exciting experience as you let go of old understandings of who you are and wait, wait, wait…quietly and patiently, for new experiences of what is authentic and true expression for and of you. There can be a deep birthing of new ways of being, including being in relationships, during this process and thus a desire to withdraw from relationships to some extent in order to facilitate this. Sometimes the desire is to withdraw completely.
During my Kundalini years, I spent much time at home being quiet, working with my process and the deep and often wildly full-on ride that was my awakening journey. There was little room for a busy social life, the process was demanding, rigorous, and intense and I found it hard to maintain a level of social pretense (which by the way I think is healthy and fine) that many social interactions rely on. I went for walks in the forest with friends and my dog, had cups of tea with loved ones, had my hand held lovingly, and attended the occasional inspiring outing that did not overwhelm my sensitive system – such as modern dance and classical music performances, dinners with spiritually-minded friends and spiritual events.
I did have the blessing of some close friends who could travel the journey with me even though they were not going through Kundalini awakening themselves. This was a great good fortune. They were happy to let me be totally out there and comfort me with the challenges.
Out the other side of Kundalini, and after a long period of recovery and integration, it became a great joy to be social again because I was dancing from a place of much deeper freedom. I could see with such happiness the simple beauty of others and delight in it, and every interaction became rich. I found this freedom made it easy to relate to almost anyone.
The “Descent of Shakti” process that followed the completion of Kundalini (I will write more about this process soon) demolished my social life yet again, and I wasn’t too happy about it at the time. Out the other side of that process, I now find my social self-content more in quietness with others, simple fun with close friends and a wholesome balance between a satisfying hermit life, a deeply related work life, and a wonderful, gentle time out in the world.
It is important to remember that Kundalini will always allow you the resources you need for your life, well-being and survival, and that includes for attending to personal relationships and work relationships as long as you stay close to your own process and its direction. Sometimes with awakening and Kundalini we are lead also to see that some relationships simply do need to complete. The less you struggle or resist your process, and the more you surrender to Shakti, the easier it will be to meet your relationship needs and the needs of those you love, and surf the flow of your beautiful and sometimes intense awakening process.
Over the years I have seen clients in powerful and even chaotic Kundalini process succeed in healing deep wounds in their relationships to others and themselves, and then blossom into deep self-love and feel truly cherished where once they felt profoundly alone. Shakti has provided the energy, challenge and healing to bring forth the blessings of love in their lives.
And of course, awakening opens our hearts as Shakti penetrates our heart centre, bringing compassion, tenderness, love, intuitive wisdom, and loving presence. All these are gifts to ourselves and gifts to those we love, and gifts to all our relationships and all of life.
Has Awakening or Kundalini impacted your relationships or social life? Please leave a comment below.