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It is summer in Jackson Hole. The verdant green of the valley shines into my windows with almost shocking intensity. As I gaze into shimmering aspen leaves over pink honeysuckle blooms in my yard, I’m finding it difficult to move away from this sublime present moment to take my readers with me on a journey back through time. But I know why I should tell my story. The same reason I’d love to hear yours. Your story is in me, my story is in you. We are all a part of the whole. The drop cannot be separate from the ocean.

Ten years ago, I was at the lowest point of my life. Paradoxically, I was living in paradise (also known as Jackson Hole). I had quit my secure job as a personal assistant to create my dream store – a little specialty health supplement retail shop on Pearl Street. I had a business partner I loved, and teenagers that were for the most part reasonable and enjoyable. I was divorced, yes; but it was the most amicable divorce of anyone I knew. I was living the dream – or so it appeared.

But I was TIRED, very tired. Somehow, over the previous five years, an insidious fatigue had taken over my life. One by one, my favorite activities had fallen away. First, runs turned into hikes, which ultimately dwindled to 15 minutes of dragging myself around the neighborhood. Things such as nights out on the town, yard work, or travel became just too much trouble. I had reached a point where I had to spend my entire four days off resting on the couch, just to muster the energy for three days on the job. It took monumental effort to psych myself up for basic tasks such as housecleaning or grocery shopping.

I told myself I was just being lazy, that I needed to whip myself back into shape. The athletic culture of Jackson Hole lent its support to this predicament. My friends and I didn’t “do lunch.” We socialized while on long runs or intense ski tours. I was losing my friends because I very literally couldn’t keep up. I believed they didn’t have time for slow walks or sitting quietly to chat. The crazy thing was, I had not yet admitted to myself that anything was wrong. I was in intense discomfort, and at the same time was all wrapped up in trying to pretend everything was fine.

When I forced myself to go on that one final extra-long hike, it happened. My energy totally crashed, to the point that no amount of rest would help. I had brain fog that made it difficult to function at work. I had trouble remembering my customers’ names, and at day’s end, closing out the register was an endless, frustrating process of counting and recounting until the numbers balanced.

The Shift

This is when the beauty started to unfold, although it would be some time before I could see it that way. Something shifted. I started to see that I was living an inner lie, and I felt like it was killing me. I owned a health store, yet felt such dissonance as I put on the face of vibrant optimism while someone was in the store. Often, during breaks between customers, I crumpled to the floor behind the register, desperate for rest. I saw that there was something very wrong going on, and this act of seeing spontaneously allowed the opening of new doors. I really thought I had been listening to my body’s messages. I was tired, so I took the time to rest. I changed my job to one that I loved. Still, things weren’t improving. I developed a voracious appetite for information. I spent hours every day on the internet, researching natural healing regimens. It is not my intent to write the time it would take to tell specifics of how I healed, as it involved many starts and stops, a multitude of practitioners, protocols, diets, therapies, and countless hours of research. What I’m moved to share is my journey of discovery — a reconnection — to myself, but much more importantly, to that which exists beyond the little “me” – which I now call the Divine.

By 2007, my physical healing got to about 90% of normal, and I started to see that the last 10% had nothing to do with the physical. I had benefited from the skills of many talented practitioners – acupuncture, rolfing, homeopathy, functional medicine, chelation therapy and stem cell therapy in Mexico, and so many beautiful souls who lovingly practiced body work modalities on me. I had treated myself with truckloads of supplements and an array of frequency machines, such as rife, magnetic resonance, lasers, colloidal silver makers, far- infrared, and photon therapy. Each was a stepping stone for the next, and, looking back, it is clear that the Divine was constantly there with me, always presenting the next best step.

 

When it came to that last 10%, however, I saw that I was stuck. I came to know that somehow I had to find my way into an emotional and spiritual healing which I had been avoiding for my entire life. Why had I been avoiding it? Fear. We all have fear at the core of our being. The self is, at its foundation, simply fear. As the saints and sages say, the self is only a construct of the mind, and thus an illusion, so of course, the self is afraid of being discovered for what it truly is. What is the result of this unconscious struggle in each of us to make the illusion seem real? A huge drain of energy; exhaustion, fatigue. No wonder our society is strung out on caffeine and various other modes of self-medication.

At the time I knew none of this. I only knew that after 48 years of acting like the person I thought I should be, i.e., confident, independent, productive, fun, happy, energetic, etc., if I was completely honest, I was none of that. The inner dissonance had finally become unbearable. I was ready to face my fear and look for help. I delved into astrology, human design charts, the I Ching and other forms of divination. At one point, I consulted a psychic, and she said I would be using energy coming from my hands. I searched but was not drawn to Reiki or other energy practices. So, I waited and watched for what might come my way.

My Awakening

What presented itself was beyond my wildest dreams. I came upon the book Awakening Into Oneness, and before I had even finished reading it, I was buying a plane ticket to India, of all places. Never in my life had I had the slightest inkling or desire to travel to India. The small spiritual school I attended, called the Oneness University, operates on the vision “To set mankind totally and unconditionally free.” This answers a longing I’ve had all my life. My Mom and I have the same memory of me as a 5-year-old, abjectly crying about wishing that I could help people. Something in me has always known that life doesn’t have to be hard; it is not our natural state to struggle. Yet for so long, that inner knowing just didn’t match my outer experience.

The energy the psychic saw coming from my hands is called Oneness Blessing Deeksha. It is not a talent or a gift, it is a powerful benediction for which I and many thousands of others worldwide are simply a vehicle. It is a gift to humanity at this crucial time which calls for a species-wide shift in consciousness. Deeksha literally rewires the brain, to the point where it becomes impossible to see oneself as separate. That is revolutionary. It certainly has been revolutionary in my own life. My health has come back to 100% or more. I had lost my drive for athleticism, but as a test of my physical recovery, I climbed the Grand Teton in 2010, a feat that would have been utterly unthinkable before.

I’m now very gentle with myself, lead a quiet life, and treasure my good health. I offer what I’ve learned in India to those who are interested. I’m very passionate about sharing this blessing called Deeksha with my community, simply because of how powerfully it has freed me from the conflicted chatter of my own mind. These days, I live from a fundamental shift in perception — there is no longer fear at the core of my being. I look back and see that only a short time ago, my life was fueled and motivated by discontent. I firmly believed that I must always try to be better, to always become something other than I was, whether as an athlete, mother, entrepreneur, or spiritual person. I was truly fearful that if I dropped this quest to improve myself, I would just vegetate and become a useless person, feeling ever more separate and alone.

What a surprise: the discontent is gone, and my world has not come to an end — far from it. I’m full of energy and motivation. After a lifetime of perfecting the art of procrastination, I find myself losing this trait, without even trying. I’m growing internally every day, and most wonderfully, I’m moving ever more deeply into the personal experience that I couldn’t possibly be disconnected or separate from anything or anyone in the universe. Put simply, I’m content, to the core of my being.

I could never have thought myself, or decided myself, into this expansion of consciousness. It has been a happening, directed by Grace. The immense inner shifting, dissolving, and opening is a result of my exposure to Deeksha — I’m convinced of this because I have pursued little else in the last 5 years.

For me now, life is a very natural and unending stream of gratitude. I wish this for all beings, however, they are led — running, stumbling, or crawling — on their unique path. “May all beings be happy.” I used to think this was a hopeful but impossible prayer. Now I know, from my own experience, that happiness is nothing more and nothing less than our natural state. Most importantly, I know we are all destined to return to our natural state because if it happened to me, it can absolutely happen to anyone.

About the Author

Edie Bennett

Edie Bennett Edie organizes the loosely-knit community known as Oneness Jackson Hole. Oneness Jackson Hole hosts public Oneness Blessing Deeksha events, weekend intensive courses, and regular group processes to enhance participants’ inner growth. Edie has received certification as a Oneness Trainer from the Oneness University, a spiritual school located in southern India. This school brings together ancient wisdom and powerful inner technologies to help people worldwide from all religions, cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels to heal, grow, and to awaken to the truth of who they are and to their relationship with the Divine Presence. As a Oneness Trainer, she is dedicated to sharing teachings, meditations, and spiritual practices that, in combination with the grace of Deeksha, catalyze a greatly accelerated process of awakening into Oneness. www.onenessjacksonhole.com .

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