Almost exactly four years ago, I had my first experience with the Oneness Blessing, or Deeksha.
I was at Tony Robbins’ Date With Destiny seminar in Palm Springs, California — an unbelievable experience that has since altered the course of my life. Tony introduced the Oneness Blessing with a story about how this experience had a profound effect on his wife. I held hope that this experience would prove to be the magic elixir that would make all of my work at this event come together.
As the lights went low and the music started, I settled into my meditation pose on the carpeted floor of the ballroom, and awaited magic.
What I experienced, instead, was pain. In my back. In my shoulders. In my neck.
When it was over, people all around me were talking about the beauty of what they experienced. It sounded mystical. White lights and visions and all that stuff. Listening to them, I felt like I had been in another room.
I wondered what I was missing that prevented me from having that experience. A familiar voice popped into my head:
What’s wrong with me?
I sought out my team’s trainer and told him of my experience.
He offered that perhaps what I described as pain was simply “the meaning you’re giving it.”
When I shared my experience with others, they offered that
Maybe what you felt was not pain, but rather something inside you that needed to come to the surface and break through.
I could feel the heat rising up within me as my eyes began to fill with tears of frustration, betraying my best efforts to appear calm and collected. My inner voice screamed out:
I know what I felt. I felt physical pain. My neck was hurting. My shoulders were hurting. That’s physical. Not emotional. That’s my body. That’s not a decision to give it some specific meaning. Pain is pain.
I began to wonder if I had made a terrible mistake to attend this event. Maybe I wasn’t ready for this type of work. I felt like I was falling behind in class, like I was trying to understand simple arithmetic and everyone else was learning advanced calculus. I was missing some piece to the puzzle and did not know where to find it.
And then, from the coaches and trainers, came more advice, intending to be comforting:
You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
OMG. Seriously? What kind of bullshit answer is that?
Fast forward to today.
Well, I say “fast forward” but in reality, it’s been anything but “fast.” Or “forward.”
It has been a slow and plodding journey. Often, I
have felt feel like I am moving backwards.
One step forward. Two steps back. Peaks. Valleys. And so on. Some days, standing in the middle of my life, I’m not sure if I’m regressing or progressing.
In the midst of this roller coaster ride of life, somehow I found myself becoming open to the experience of Deeksha, despite my initial experience. For almost a year and a half, I’ve been regularly attending a weekly Deeksha run by Margaret Nichols.
The first time I met Margaret, something about her encouraged me to give Deeksha another chance, and something about the experience kept me coming back. I don’t know whether my change in perspective is a result of the hour-long meditation, the supportive community or Margaret’s chill vibe (leave early. come late. get some juju before your hot date.) — my guess is that it’s a combination of all three. And really, it doesn’t matter so much.
A New Path
The decision to embark on a new path is not always obvious in the moment. We usually discover we have altered course only when we look in the rearview mirror. With the benefit of hindsight we can look at a moment in time and pinpoint it as a place where we veered slightly to a different path that changed our trajectory.
The moments where I’ve stood at the threshold of a new experience and knew, without a doubt, that the experience would change me, have been rare.
Today is one of those rare days.
After so many months of attending Deeksha, of receiving the gift from others, today I am heading to an apartment in New York City’s West Village to take Margaret’s 2-day Awakening Course. In addition to whatever else I learn during this experience, I will be initiated to give Deeksha.
I’m not entirely sure how I got here.
I often look around the room at the other people who attend Deeksha, and see in them a quality that I don’t see in myself. They emit a calming energy. They appear to be even-keeled no matter what is happening around them.
In contrast, I tend to feel like I need to work so hard to calm my mind. I struggle to find the silence amidst the cacophony of voices chattering incessantly in my head. No amount of meditation practice has seemed to helped me silence the inner dialogue that runs within me. I have yearned to find in myself the stillness and presence that I admire in so many of the friends I’ve made in this community.
Recently I began to see in myself fleeting moments where I have exhibited the qualities I desire to cultivate. The ability to find stillness within the eye of the storm. The capacity to connect with my truth even as the voices in my head rattle on. These moments don’t come daily, but I’ve experienced them.
Suddenly, in the middle of Deeksha a few weeks ago, I had a knowing. It wasn’t even a voice. Just a feeling. It’s time to explore a new path in my journey of spiritual connection and awakening. In that moment, I made the commitment to participate in Margaret’s next course.
A sign? Or a test?
People say that when you make a commitment, the universe starts to help you move things to realize your intention. That’s not quite how this is unfolding for me today. Getting ready for a day and a half of full immersion is a challenge. I’m staring down a list of to-dos in my business. I start to hear the voices telling me I should back out. I have too much to do. I shouldn’t take the time for this.
I push back on those thoughts. This isn’t the time. I’m committed to attending. Everything else will have to wait.
Still, I can’t help but wonder:
Am I really ready for this?
And then another thought:
What a presumptuous question. I don’t even know what this is.
I don’t know what Margaret will teach. I don’t know what is in store for me today and tomorrow.
I enter the gates of this experience with trust. I feel an inner stillness that I have felt before — looking back, I realize this stillness has been there as I embraced other unknowns that profoundly impacted my life: my first experience on the flying trapeze, decisions about college and law school, career changes, Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within, the Date With Destiny seminar.
And that tells me that whatever this experience brings, it will change more than just the scenery — it will change my path. Perhaps not radically, or even immediately, but it will alter my course in some way. In a few years time I will look back and see this as a moment when I veered in a new direction. I can’t explain how I know this. I just know.
I may not fully understand everything Margaret will offer in her course. Some of it may be beyond my current reach. But that’s ok. I am giving myself permission to grasp for only what is within my reach from where I am now. I trust that whatever is beyond me now will come to me when I am ready for it.
Today is a rare day, when I see myself standing at the threshold of a new path. I don’t know where this will lead. I don’t know how it will change me — or if it will change me.
All I know is this:
I am exactly where I am supposed to be.