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  • Krissy VanAlstyne

3 Tips for Those On the Journey into Self


For the last several years I’ve been walking this insane—or maybe more aptly put—totally sane, path inward...

It has come with some pretty crazy experiences that I had no way to prepare for and that oftentimes left me feeling alone, strange, confused and like I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Which makes sense for me now, when I can now sit with it, because to anyone who starts the work of walking their journey inward, their journey home to self, it involves a constant undoing of who we once thought we were and a becoming of who we really are.

It’s an eradication of all we once believed to be true and feels like we are being born again and are learning everything for the first time.

Because, well, we are.

Beliefs we once held get turned up-si-down, the way we were quickly becomes a person that we no longer relate to and we have an unrelenting need to question, everything. We become full-blown truth-seekers of unstoppable measure.

At least, this has been my experience, so far.

For me, questioning things came naturally as when I was younger I was the type that wanted to understand and when I didn’t, I’d ask. I was an innately curious being. But oh boy, this curiosity of mine went into overdrive when the questions I started asking, every day, was now to myself mostly.

Questions like—am I going crazy?

At one point, I considered that maybe I was because something in me felt like it snapped and suddenly the world I lived in made less sense to me. How I saw things or the voice that was now unstoppable in me, seemed to go against the way this world had wanted me to be. When one starts to feel as if they go against the grain, it can be a bit challenging to not entertain a notion of going crazy. Or maybe even worse than feeling crazy was the feeling I had of not fitting in and that I was even meant to.

But that, I quickly learned, was the worst thing we can ever believe. In fact, not fitting in, is exactly why we are here!

When we are born into a world we feel we don't fit in, it’s because we are here to create a new one.

I do not recall where I read this statement, I think it came to me one day as a meme with no originating author, regardless, it’s message came to me exactly when I needed it. At a peek time where I had felt incredibly alone in my journey and was scared of what I was becoming. Like who am I? I suddenly needed to honour that I was not one of the heard. And like magic the almost rejection I was feeling, of not fitting in, almost completely lifted when I digested that sentence. I remember a wave of release wash over me.

Suddenly something in me knew—I was here for a greater purpose. A purpose so much bigger than any fear I was having about going crazy or not fitting in. Somewhere in the pit of my being ignited, and I knew. I didn’t fully understand, but I didn’t have to. I just knew this was the start and permission I needed to realize and embrace the gift of me being here on this earth.

We are all gifts to this earth. And I feel this is part of the journey in, to realize and embrace this truth.

It is said that two of our greatest days we can experience while here on earth—is the day we are born, and the day we realize why. Writing that brings tears to my eyes as the fire in me heats up from the inside, my heart swells and I feel deeply the force that is in me—the one that I’m learning to unleash into this world. That gift, whatever it may be, that is in me, that I am. Ever feel that way? I truly hope so. That’s how we know we’re stepping into alignment with the great divine and realizing the truth that we are here for great, sacred purpose.

So on I stepped with this knowing in my being as fuel to keep moving. Keep trusting a process that wasn't fully reviling itself to me yet.

Some days I feel like I’m walking slowly, some days it feels like I’m dancing with a divinity that I have all the moves for, and then some other days, I feel like I can’t keep up, and I fall flat on my face.

And that’s all ok, it’s part of the process. This crazy process of walking our journey inward to self, the journey home.

I don't have all the answers or wisdom to where we are all going as the journey for each is scared to the individual experiencing it, however, I strongly feel we are all here to help each other, so here are a few things that I’ve learned to embrace that have helped me to keep putting each foot solidly down in front of the other, or getting back up when I’d trip and fall;

Find Your Tribe;

This is incredibly key, but only when we’re ready. For me I needed a phase of almost total isolation. I pulled away from the people and life I knew. I ended a relationship that I had been in for 3 years, I moved to create my own space, I stopped going out to the places I used to and I found myself in nature a lot, out of instinct.

At one point though, I knew what I needed was to find the people who were also on this journey. I longed for my family. I had no idea what that meant until I started finding them, one by one. I had no idea where to go and look, but instinctively, I moved towards it all. I joined groups, in search of my tribe, I started posting my writing on social media, I even started my own website. It was almost surreal how many people showed up, all with the same kind of fire in their heart and soul too.

I found myself connecting with complete strangers that felt like instant family. Because really they are. I believe they are all a part of my, soul family. Which was the family I knew I needed to find, but didn’t fully understand at the time.

Finding our tribe is vital in knowing and feeling we are not alone in this journey. That we are supported by so many beautiful hearts, just like ours. They will also feel like we have grown our purpose here even more, like we have a way bigger team of tribe members ushering in love and healing alongside us, on our journey.

Embody the Needed Flow of Change;

There was this part of me that was quite comfortable before that used the same habits to get the same results, over and over again, and life was easy peasy for me. Suddenly though, things shifted. I could go one week using a certain way of doing things and getting myself to where I needed to be internally, but then when I’d go back to use that process or method again, it eventually, wouldn’t get me anywhere.

At first I was perplexed. I thought, maybe it’s my mood today, or maybe I’m not doing it exactly like I did before. Really, the thing was, I was doing things exactly like I did before and that was the actual problem. Just when I started to get acclimated into a way of being and meeting my needs with certain things, it now suddenly was no longer serving me.

At first I thought this was bullshit. But eventually, I realized , I was just in resistance to the truth that I was now ready for the next level in growth. So now when I feel this shift in satisfaction or resistance happening, I now ask myself—what new part of me is trying to emerge?

When a way of doing something used to serve us, but suddenly no longer serves us, it’s an indication we are ready to grow into the next new thing. Whatever that thing is will be individual to the person finding themselves in this, if misunderstood, perplexing situation.

I was watching a video by, Matt Kahn, and he hit this nail on the head about this experience. He said something to the effect of—understanding is a limited time offer and that what gets us to one place in our understanding will not get us to the next level, in our understanding. And that’s what awareness is, what our journey is, our ability to understand. We move through different stages of awareness, on this journey in, by gaining what there is to learn and understand while there. Once we have learned, like magic, our next lesson gets put before us, asking us to step into our new next level of change. Our next level in growth. The next level inward to self.

As humans we aren’t great with change, however, what I also learned in this process, is that we are more than just a fleshy, costume-wearing, human. We are this energy force living inside of our fleshy costumes, having a human experience. With this added awareness, the need to change then became, for me, more understood as with each change I accepted and embodied, I felt closer, in expression, of what this greater force that is in me. Of what it was asking of me to be.

Listen to Our Bodies;

Our bodies are always talking to us, but, are we really listening? I failed to listen to mine for a long time and in fact, I also attempted to numb all it was saying to me too. I went through a phase, right before I started this journey in, where I was feeling the most intense amount of anxiety. My body was asking for my attention. It needed me and I was doing all I could to numb it, most often by drinking.

But that didn’t last.

Soon I found out that when we don’t listen to one sign our body is sending, it will keep at us and even shut us down, in order to get us to listen. Our body creates things like—depression, sickness, exhaustion, anxiety, or many varieties of health-related issues to get our attention. Our body is asking us to realize that we need to change something in our lives.

I was forced into listening to my body when it pretty much shut me down. My anxiety turned into depression, or it’s how I describe it to feel like. I wanted to stay in bed all day, every day, and hoped to wake up and have it all go away.

But that didn't happen, instead I was now forced to face another change that my body was asking of me. That being how I was treating it by what I was putting into it.

Our body works its butt off, and all the cells in it, to keep us alive, to keep us healthy and in good repair 24/7. I was detached from how what I put into my body would overall affect me and it wasn’t until I went through a phase that felt like a sort of death, that I realized I need to take care of my body differently.

I invested in someone who knows more about how my body works than I did. I invested in a naturopath Doctor who helped me to help myself, change my life.

This person brought incredible awareness and healing to my body simply by now giving it the voice it had been trying to have by causing me the pain it was. We went to the root of the causes, and healed them with a natural plant-based homeopathy approach and by addressing what I ate. She asked a million plus questions and tailored a plant based regimen, specific for my body needs, to pull it back to home base. To a foundation it needed and was asking for all along.

My body responded with gratitude.

Things such as headaches, acid reflux, debilitating menstrual cramps, clouded thinking, anxiety, bloating—all of these things I lived with, and didn't listen to before, shifted into a new sort of balance as my body relaxed and rejoiced in how I was now taking care of it. It was getting what it needed from me and as a result dramatically gave me a new life that didn't pain me and provided a new energy source I had not accessed before.

This also allowed me to access my journey even deeper as I was no longer feeling unwell in some way or another. I naturally, without any effort, advanced another level in.

We all have the ability to take our power back and support our bodies. Our quality of life depends on it. Our body is what we live in. If it's unhealthy, so is the life we live.

Another equally important thing about listening to our bodies is to feel all it emotionally feels alongside that which it physically feels. I used to often numb this part of me too, with alcohol. But with my new way of living and new body I was now living in, I shifted even more into listening to my body.

I came to understand that I had to listen to everything my body was telling me, both physically and emotionally. If something emotionally hurt, I needed to feel the pain. I no longer numbed it or ran from it, I felt it all the way through and it dissolved. Because that’s how we listen to the emotional parts. We simply feel it. Once it is felt, it will shift. This was a much quicker way to deal with the emotional bits then when I tried to numb it.

Numbing may seem to give temporary relief, but it doesn’t resolve anything. It always came back. It prolongs the process. Emotional pain needs to be felt, in order to run its course, and then it will shift.

Another saying I had heard before was—feeling is healing.

A truth I experienced from learning how to embrace and feel, without resistance, all that came up to feel. The more I felt, and the more I listened to the feelings that surfaced, the more whole or healed I would become.

The more this sense that I was moving in the right direction emerged.

A sense, I describe as—coming home.

In conclusion, that’s what I feel this journey is all about—Learning how to come home to self. Learning how to listen to our bodies responses both physical and emotional. Learning how to embrace all the change needed along the way as we go. Learning why we are here and to celebrate our uniqueness are needed steps in order to feel at home with who and what we are.

And between finding our tribe and sharing our stories like this, I truly feel we are, in the words of Ram Dass—“walking each other home.”

©Krissy VanAlstyne

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©2015-2020 Krissy VanAlstyne. All rights reserved.

Photography - Anything Goes Photography