All our experiences with surrender, roles of service and awakening are unique. Ultimately, we all walk our paths alone, but one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher is connecting all my students together. Seeing the common threads and strong connections that develop in groups and between individuals.
This inspired me to start encouraging people to reach out to me with questions they were willing to have answered in an open forum. So we can all share in whatever light I can shine on the topic and create another nexus of safety where you might find the answer you were looking for without having to ask, and to get that comfort of knowing other people are having experiences like yours.
Our second installment this week is from Kalia in New York—
What can I do when a part of myself actively fights Kundalini energy – both unconsciously and consciously? I find that consciously it is easier to see… What can I do when a part runs from the truth seen or disclosed in the awakening process? (For example, tries to carry out dissociative behaviour or actively engages in moving/changing things to try to get away from truth)
What can I do if there are parts that don’t want to be happy, peaceful or content? (For example in family/ancestral patterning)
Resistance is a common part of the Kundalini awakening especially in the earliest phases where we might feel frightened or shocked by what is happening. There is an important journey that we take from the ignition of Kundalini to a point where we feel an openness to the process that is alive in us. During this phase I expect people to have resistance arising.
There are big energies awakening. It is a demanding time. It asks for attention and begins to transform our relationships with ourselves, and our lives. We receive weird and constantly shifting body experiences and symptoms, a lot of sensations, and various feelings arising in our bodies. There is a great amount of compressed learning in that early phase. Resistance, therefore, will be a normal response.
In speaking to the question, Kalia is asking from a much more advanced place in her awakening, meaning she has completed the first phase of processing her resistances – waking up, changing priorities, and making room for new experiences – she has done this very well and has befriended her Kundalini in general.
While I answer her question, please remember that resistance can happen at any point of Kundalini awakening – at the start, middle, or even right near the end.
With Kundalini awakening, our consensus reality/mainstream self, our known personality and everyday identity can, to a greater or lesser extent, accept that we are in an awakening process. Yet, parts of ourselves, whether conscious or unconscious, are resistant to change and can be against it. Those parts are resistant because of personal history and trauma. They appear through our family patterns, critical figures, and our mainstream culture.
The most common part that resists is the child part– the part of us that is sensitive or vulnerable. This part may have been harmed. It may feel like an outsider or forgotten. Part of our child nature separated from us to survive big energies or events. These parts of us can remain quite separate even in our adulthood. They can have their own perspectives, needs, attentions, agendas, wounds and demands.
Some of these child parts have a lot of energy and life force. They have needed to in order to help us survive.
Parts that have a lot of energy can often have a lot of power – they can appear as disruptive, resistant, and troublemakers. They can frustrate our mainstream self and personality. Or they can serve our identity in resisting changes.
Not all parts have a lot of energy, some are subtle and hidden. Some can feel quiet and helpless, or deep in hiding. There is a vast diversity in our child parts and how they show up.
Here are some of the ways and reasons our child parts resist Kundalini awakening:
- The Kundalini energy reminds the part of other big energies that were overwhelming or difficult, so Kundalini is experienced as an oppressor, a perpetrator or another energy that might bring harm. It is understandable that there would be resistance to what might feel like another threat.
- Kundalini is constantly generating change, and often young parts have survived by setting themselves up in a particular way that does not include changing or growing or evolving, they are focused on surviving. They can often have firm ideas about how things should be and what is needed, and here comes Kundalini and starts moving around all the pieces on the chess board. This can be very disturbing for our younger selves, thus not wanting to engage the Kundalini process.
- The awakening process often asks us to release our fears, our traumas and our personal history from our bodies – going through a deep purification. This can be distressing and overwhelming to our child parts, especially if it brings up memories, feelings and sensations that they have spent a lot of time staying separate from.
- Sometimes we have retreated into our minds and our intellect and our psychological intelligence in order to survive, and have left our younger parts to hold our deep feelings. They live in the realm of deep feelings, while our identity is more isolated in a mental-scape. When Kundalini appears those parts holding the deep feelings surge up, and call our attention to them. Our adult self has survived by separating from those big energies carried by the child self, so it can be very confronting. The little ones can be distressed, angry and hurt – crying out for support. This can feel like a strong sense of dissociation. A sense of being split off from parts of our nature and personality.
So, what can we do when parts of us are resistant to the Kundalini?
First of all, it would be simply to notice that they are there. To slow down. To take some breaths. To recognize that you are being called to incredibly important processes of your awakening that are a part of your return to wholeness.
Next would be to simply find a way, take a breath, and very lovingly acknowledge that resistant part – say “hello!” to it. Recognize it. Honor that it is there and is present. You can even say to it, “I notice you are here because I am feeling this and I hear you. I have a sensation in my heart and think that it is you.”
A most important element of working with these parts is the feeling attitude that you bring to them, especially if they are younger ones. Children and younger selves read everything through feelings. They feel and sense way ahead of you. If you are not in your feeling nature, and especially some kind of kind feeling nature, when you try to approach them they will not let you near them. Rightly so. If you feel called to do work with your young parts you must cultivate a set of feeling attitudes to bring to them. Here are some I suggest will be helpful:
- Beginner’s Mind
- A willingness to be with the unknown – because you don’t know what they need as much as they do. If you come up with assumptions, they most probably will reject you.
The next step is just taking some time. It may be an hour or some weeks to build a relationship with your parts. It is time to begin to give them the attention that they so deeply need. Personally, when I do this work with clients I don’t go toward the part, I stay at a distance. If they want closeness I trust that they will come toward me or signal that I can come toward them. Then you can begin to fulfill some of their needs, and begin to be there for them.
Once you have established a foundational relationship, this is when you can begin to have a conversation with the younger part about Kundalini and what it is, and what it is trying to do. Younger parts need help to consciously understand that a big, powerful, spiritual force and energy is not there to harm them, it is there to awaken you.
It is very important to have as much of a conversation as is needed for the younger parts to relax and feel safe around Kundalini – it can take time to establish this. It is not always predictable.
Some things I might do are:
- Explain in simple terms what Kundalini is.
- Share details of where it starts in the body – if ascending, I explain that it starts in the roots and sacral area of the body and that they will feel a lot of energy in those places. I take quite some time introducing it and explaining it. Kundalini can be very scary for little parts, let alone our adult personality.
- I would talk about there being big sensations and feelings in Kundalini awakening, but that does not mean that anything bad is happening to the adult person or to the little one, it is just that energies are moving, and suffering is being healed.
- It is important for the little ones to perceive that Kundalini is not a predator or a danger or an oppressor, especially if they have experienced such energies and people in their life. This can take some time.
- Take time explaining that Kundalini is there to liberate us from yucky feelings: and that happiness is possible, that contentment is accessible, and that peace is allowed.
- An important thing to remember is that you may be the first one – your adult self or therapist – to give your younger self the permission they have never had, to have good feelings that they might not recognize or be familiar with. Sometimes younger parts have not been safe or allowed to have good feelings. Sometimes you, the adult, can create and hold a small good feeling yourself to demonstrate this. (Keeping in mind that we often have big personal histories behind such experiences that are beyond the scope of this article to speak to.)
- One simple way to do this is, when there is a good feeling, to slow down and breathe with it, and show the little one that it is safe by sitting with and breathing with the good feeling. Letting them see that the good feelings are safe for you, the adult person. This allows them to be on the very edge of the experience and they can put their little toes in it, take a sip of it, etc. This might happen over stages. First receiving permission. Then witnessing you. Then doing it themselves. It might not happen all in one session.
Remember it can be an overwhelming relief to experience goodness and begin the release of stress and control that was necessary in order to survive. If we are patient we can lead, one by one, our younger selves, into the gifts and beauty that awakening is bestowing upon us and in us; while at the same time allowing our adult selves to receive the same bounty.
Ultimately in the Kundalini awakening, it is to be anticipated that we will both run toward it and run away from it. Aspects of the journey include cultivating awareness, to gradually not being knocked out by our resistant moments, but anticipating and acknowledging them for their wisdom when they appear.
Finally, we transition to taking care of them and honoring their needs and processes as part of the wholeness of the Kundalini transformation experience.