Lisa’s story is about breaking boundaries and unification. It’s a story about facing ourselves, and getting to know our true selves. A story to inspire and help you live out the highest version of who you can be, while merging the spiritual world, with the practical and very real physical world that we are currently a part of.
My journey of awakening and personal expansion
The single most important decision that I have made in my own life was walking into a meditation class in college. That was not a recent decision or change – it was almost 25 years ago (which is hard for me to believe!) but that planted the seed for every other positive change or growth experience I have had. Meditation has been a part of my life ever since, and it’s hard to imagine now what my life would have been like, or what I would be like at this point, without it.
I first walked into that class because of headaches that I was experiencing, so my interest was really about health and stress management. But over time meditation awakened my interest in the deeper mind-body connection, energy patterns and our subtle anatomy, mystic experience, and the nature of my own being. For me it’s been a tool for exploring all of these.
So my own path as an ‘evolving being’ hasn’t involved a definitive or dramatic turning point or change – no single major life challenge I had to overcome, or disillusionment that triggered my spiritual search. It has been a much more gradual process of exploration, with many smaller challenges, disillusionments, joys and peaks along the way. And that first big change – starting to meditate – has had an impact that I never could have foreseen at the time.
My Inspirations and Influences
I have really been all over the map in terms of how guidance and inspiration has come to me. Although I was raised Episcopalian, and felt a strong connection to the church and teachings as a girl, I initially rejected Christianity as an adult. I was drawn to Buddhism, both Tibetan Vajrayana and Zen – the latter as part of my interest in Shotokan karate, which I trained in for many years. Kundalini yoga traditions were also a big part of my path. And I resonated with certain shamanic traditions, particularly the writings of Carlos Castaneda.
In retrospect, I think each of these helped me develop different parts of my being – compassion, personal power, energy awareness, etc. And after a certain point, I wasn’t really interested in identifying myself as Buddhist or non-Buddhist, Christian or non-Christian, anymore. The more I read and studied, and personally experienced, the less interested I was in boundaries.
I am still fascinated by all the world’s religions and spiritual traditions, and Buddhism remains a primary reference point for me, but I am more interested in the commonalities, and the experiences of the mystics and teachers within each tradition, and how they are relevant to us today, what they have to teach us today. From that perspective, the contemporary teachers that I resonate most strongly with don’t really teach from inside any particular spiritual tradition – Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, Byron Katie, Adyashanti.
So you might say my main strategy has been a complete lack of strategy! I have followed whatever interests have arisen, whatever my inner being has drawn me too. And of course, meditation has been there all along – it’s the constant that I think runs through every spiritual path, even when it is not called meditation.
My Positive Life Changes
The most fundamental gift of meditation to me has been helping me to live a more aware life. By this I mean breaking through conditioned thoughts and values, so that I can truly choose how I am going to live, what my life is going to represent, instead of just living out what society or others think it should be. That journey has had a lot of phases to it, but overall it has helped me connect with levels of my being and the world that I might not have found otherwise. And it’s helped me to discover a natural state of fulfillment and happiness that isn’t dependent on external circumstance.
That doesn’t mean I feel happy every day, week, or month. I’m not sure I would even be interested in that, frankly. I want to fully experience all life has to offer, and that involves peaks and valleys. Often beautiful things come out of our darkest moments – certainly growth does. So personal happiness as it is often portrayed is not my driving force, not my holy grail. Not that I seek out unhappiness or challenge. But I do try and embrace everything life brings my way. And that is directly related to my meditation practice – to sitting every day practicing being fully present to whatever arises.
My Next Steps as an Evolving Being
I feel I am in a transitional phase right now. I have always been an active person, a person with a lot of projects of one sort or another. Right now I am in a kind of waiting mode, waiting to see what is next. I am focused on balance, on enjoying my kids while they are young, and on exploring new things that interest me.
I have been intensely studying women’s energy bodies and subtle anatomy, and what different traditions have had to say about that over the centuries. That has been an interest of mine for some time, as has the chakras as they are portrayed by different traditions. I think there are many changes going on in our world right now energetically, and this aspect of those changes are what I am focused on. I have done a lot of research and writing on this, and it will become a larger project, when the time is right. I will also continue writing on many of these topics to help others on my blog Mommy Mystic.
On a personal level, I think this is an inward phase. We all move inward and outward at different times, in phases. Lots of things are driving me inward right now, so I am letting that unfold. I do believe each of our journeys has its own natural timing and rhythm.
My Advice to Others
Trust Yourself. Face Yourself. To me, these are the two most important things.
Trust Yourself because your own inner being will draw you to what you need at a given time. If you are listening, you will be able to hear your inner voice, and able to find your natural rhythm. You’ll be able to get past the clamor and expectations of those around you, and of society at large, and follow your bliss.
Face Yourself because your bliss is not outside you. It’s in you already, and if you’re not feeling it, there is just something blocking it, something you need to face. This is a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over – when I’m stuck, just look inward.
There’s a lot of emphasis on changing our external circumstances, on ‘fixing’ our life or ourselves. And I think that is fine, I actually like changing the external circumstances of my life, and have often done so. But that’s just part of the picture, and sometimes it can even become a distraction from facing ourselves. Even spiritual practices and experiences can become a distraction, a way of avoiding ourselves. In the end, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Trust yourself, and honestly face yourself, and it’s all there.
And – at the risk of sounding like a broken record – try meditation. It will help with both. At essence, it is both.