Mexican Vacation – best laid plans etc…

Casa Santa Fe, Puerto MorelosRoyal Decameron, Bucerias

Casa Santa Fe, Puerto Morelos & Royal Decameron Resort, Bucerias

The best laid plans and all that…Our recent Mexican vacation, involving a visit to both the East and West coasts of the country, was a mixed bag. It ended well but we were plagued by many unexpected events almost from the moment we landed in Cancun.

We arrived in Puerto Morelos late in the evening, after a bus ride, then a taxi, thankfully short, as we’d been up since 4 am Vancouver time, and been unable to sleep the night before.

The instructions sent by the real estate agent in charge of our Casa were incorrect and our poor driver ended up at the opposite end of town. We could not reach the agent but fortunately our friend, who winters in the town, answered her cell phone, and was able to give the driver landmarks, and we finally arrived at our simple but lovely Casa.

Our host was not available as she had fallen ill and was hospitalized. All was in order except there were no blankets, and the weather was unseasonably cool and damp. Large, thick beach towels took the place of blankets for the first night, and we were able to get some rest.

Climate change has not spared Mexico, and everyone in town struggled with the high humidity during the first week, with heavy rainfalls, unusual weather for that season. My partner found the weather particularly draining and the medication he was taking made things worse.

The usual Airbnb support was non existent, no referrals to restaurants, tours, etc., but we did okay fending for ourselves. Getting clean sheets and giant water bottle refills was a bit tricky, but the real estate agents came through for us eventually. Other extenuating circumstances led to us moving on a week early, but I will not go into the details out of privacy issues and kindness.

We were quite fortunate to book the next Casa, on the beach, through contacts of our friend. The Canadian owners had de-listed themselves from Airbnb, so they had a vacancy. The accomodation was lovely, and our hosts helpful, but after walking up to one and a half hours daily at the first location, for meals and outings, my old knee injury began to play up.

The new Casa was farther from restaurants and stores, but being the trouper I am I kept walking, what else to do, I had to eat. Eventually I began taking anti inflamatories, then finally booking inexpensive cabs  about half the time.

Although our time in Puerto Morelos was not exactly as expected, we enjoyed our time in the town. Puerto Morelos is a beautiful small town, touristy but kind of mellow. There is easy access to many excellent restaurants by walking or biking, and a variety of Casas. All Inclusive Resorts are outside the town. Friends visited a resort a few weeks later but found it too isolated.

After our three weeks in PM we travelled through Mexico City and on to Puerto Vallarta, to a small town called Bucerias north of PV. This part of our two phase vacation was at an older resort called The Royal Decameron, a colourful lodging on the Atlantic Ocean.

We had visited the resort nine years previously. The demographic had changed somewhat over time; quite a few older people, who came each year, three generation family groupings, and a few younger couples. It’s a good gig for Mexicans and the staff worked hard to please everyone. In the main buffet dining room, many of them saw Spanish lessons as part of there job, and we became friendly with them over time.

The food was fair, apparently not as good since the new owners took over. We found we had to get there early when it was fresh, and as the days went on we became tired of the repetition, and ate more foods from the lovely salad bars.

The specialty restaurants were a treat, but the resort still used the outdated booking system that had been in place nine years earlier! We refused to sit waiting for the booking staff at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., and managed to have three delicious meals at the Mediterranean and Japanese Restaurants anyway, the first time hanging around outside the Mediterranean restaurant until the Maitre D’ found us a table, the second time walking in to the Japanese restaurant and lucking out, then for the third meal I went to the lobby booking desk and secured a left over late booking.

Our time at the Royal Decameron was fine, but not inspiring. My partner was plagued by an odd, but temporary, shoulder injury and another issue, but on the upside this meant we made friends with the lovely resort medic, Dr. Guzman. My limited walking ability meant I was unable to walk the mile into Bucerias as I’d looked forward to. We had one nice day trip by taxi into Puerto Vallarta, (I pumped myself full of anti inflamatories).

We enjoyed high quality music in the evening, were able to get some swimming in during the last five days when the weather improved, and it was a treat to have everything at hand, particularly food. However All Inclusives aren’t really our preferred way to travel.

Overall, we were glad to get away though, and were fortunate to miss the four snow storms Gibsons experienced during our absence!

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a Life Coach, Counsellor & an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

Opening to Aging

Our dear nomad friends in    Dharamshala

Turning 70 was an aha moment for me. It took a while and lots of processing before the idea that I was becoming an older women began to sink in. Having dear friends and family share my actual birthday day, to witness the event, helped.

Having the very brief TIA, (mini stroke), six weeks later, after the traumatic experiences in Toronto the day of the Raptor’s parade, was a further step in my understanding. The TIA was a surprising and disconcerting event. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me, but it was an important part in my growing understanding that I am different than I was before, although still me. I really do have an eventual expiry date.

I’m on the way to recognizing – and just beginning to accept – that I am becoming old. The sense that people a decade older than me are old but I’m not no longer works for me. Because 70 is beyond oldish, my favourite descriptor for myself over the past few years. It is the beginning of old.

And that’s okay. Embracing rather than running away from the process of aging that ultimately leads to death is now my goal.

Beginning to open to this idea rather than denying it has led to many new possibilities in my life recently. It seems to have opened the way for my creative juices to flow. New volunteer work with our local Community Services is on the horizon. The new, progressive policy of the organization to match each volunteer and their skills and experience with the best job.

Most of us have a vast array of experience and skills to offer. This concept is called  knowledge philanthropy. After I opened myself to newness, including the newness of aging idea, my guides instructed me, in quite a specific way, to offer a workshop called Age With Grace for small groups of women.

I am currently working on that. It will take a while as I push through my thoughts and feelings around aging and do my research. The late Kathleen Dowling Singh wrote a Buddhist based book I have found helpful, although I am not a Buddhist myself, called The Grace in Aging. It is a very real book, pulling no punches.

Starting to attend the Threshold Choira group of women learning to sing beautiful songs at the bedside of the sick and dying, is another piece of my process. Serious work, quite profound, yet also joyful. For how can I deal with my own aging and ultimate death when I haven’t completed the process of letting go of certain friends and loved ones?

Opening to my aging and dying, although I am still healthy, will continue for the rest of my life. It will to open me to many things and hopefully to a richer life – both out in the world and my internal one.

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a Life Coach, Counsellor & an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.


Reprint from Matt Kahn, “The Blueprint of ‘Feeling Off’ “


Reprinted in its entirety with permission from Matt’s organization. This is one worth noting. Check out Matt’s website below.

Love & Light


Dear Beautiful,

Whether it’s noticed as a rumbling of deeply buried emotions, the sense that everyone around you is on edge and about to explode, or just a feeling off from your known sensations of alignment, there is no doubt that something big is going down on planet Earth. At this moment, the majority of energies that create feelings of being off kilter is the gravitational force of our planet literally shifting into 5D consciousness.

While many people have grandiose notions of what life will be like on a 5D Earth, many overlook the sacred milestones that let us know that such a shift is underway.

No matter how hard you work to stay positive, remain centered, or be as present as possible, such activities employ the ego to do the busy work, while often perceiving moments of ‘feeling off’ as some sort of punishment or indication that enough work has yet to be done. This is why in the new spiritual paradigm, endless spiritual busy work is replaced with authentic self-care. Such self-care won’t guarantee specific outcomes, but it will transform your daily experiences — out of the brink of despair and into the light of true emotional freedom.

In understanding the inner workings of alchemy, feelings of displacement indicate movement, whether occurring on a physical, emotional, or energetic level. Movement, whether the movement of thought, the changing of your emotions, or even the birth and death of each passing moment acts as the evidence of change in motion. If run by a spiritual ego, you are likely to perceive the alchemical movements of change in action as proof of feeling off. Once defined as a problem or a less than desirable experience, your ego will work hard to change your experience, even though that may not be anything close to what you need to face, heal, and process in any given moment. Then, when the ego cannot decisively shift your experience out of the ‘offness’ you perceive, it creates a bigger enemy out of what is merely the evidence of your highest evolution in progress.

While your ego has the right to dislike any way in which this process unfolds, it doesn’t mean your energy field has malfunctioned or is less aligned with the Universe.

It’s simply a matter of undergoing a radical awakening process, where your ego is being stripped of its imagined sense of control, while it works diligently to control the nature of your experience. As we learn to relax our nervous system through extensive breath work, authentic self love, daily entries in a gratitude journal, along with many other facets of self-care, we are able to cultivate a vibration of consciousness that allows the nervous system to remain relaxed, even when the tumultuous terrain of change is occurring. As your nervous system learns to welcome change and even be excited about change, instead of intimidated by it, there become fewer and fewer messages sent to your ego asking it to save you from what is truly your highest expansion under way.

The ego is often a forgetful homeowner, who chases construction workers off its property, forgetting the crew was hired to rebuild the home that once dwelled on a plot of land. In the same way, your ego attempts to undo all the healing underway, just so you can feel more immediate relief, even though it truly plays no part in how, why, and what you manifest. Gone are the days where you needed to live every moment in some fantasy of alignment, as if the Universe is waiting for your most incredible spiritual performance before giving you the things that are already destined to be.

When not blinded by the ego’s insistence on what should happen, when it should happen, and why, you are able to see high vibration as an awareness of this process, which makes it so much easier and far more magical to get through. Whereas, in a low vibration, there is less awareness of a divine plan, which makes it nearly instinctive to believe in perceptions of fear, struggle, doubt, scarcity, and separation.

The more we allow ‘feeling off’ to be the vital proof that we are expanding into 5D consciousness, the less controlling the ego tends to be, as your nervous system relaxes in the presence of existential progress. When ‘feeling off’ can be a tangible sign of huge energetic processes being worked out in you and throughout the planet, you are able to see through the veil of fear and step beyond the threshold of superstition once and for all.

When ‘feeling off’ doesn’t remind you of how misaligned you are, but simply reflects how much self care is needed to support the huge leaps in consciousness being made on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, you will have outsmarted even the spiritual ego with the wisdom that only unconditional love may know.

You may not like how it feels and you may not know where any of this is headed, but you most certainly couldn’t ever be off course, unless your personal agenda differs from the divine plan of Universal will. It’s not wrong to’ feel off’. It’s a sign of massive expansions under way. The question is, can you allow yourself to relax and welcome in this depth of healing, even when it doesn’t feel the way you desire?

These feelings won’t last forever. Life most certainly will get better and will most likely begin to shift once ‘feeling off’, triggered, resistant, defensive or shut down is not wrong to experience in any way. Once its not against the spiritual law to feel exactly as you do, you will have created the proper space and perspective to tune into your needs and assist in the healing progress — now that any part of your healing is no longer being judged.

May the love of Source carry you forward and walk you home through the loving presence I transmit — from my heart to yours.

All For Love

Mobbed at the Toronto Raptor Parade

Doors Open 2012
Ontario Law Society  Gazette

My friend Dr. Dolma had arrived in Canada three weeks previously, having immigrated from India at the end of May. We were on our way to Parkdale in the west end of Toronto, where many Tibetan folks live.

A transit worker misinformed us and we climbed the subways stairs at University and Queen to find ourselves enmeshed in a mob of parade goers. Not having been in a mob situation before, I did not think of retreating back down the subway steps, but pushed forward onto the sidewalk.

After about 3/4 of an hour trapped in a mass of pushing bodies, moving a few inches forward, then stopping, the press slowly tightening as time passed, a giant man close by noticed our struggles and offered to open the gate to let us through, into the Osgood Hall Law School lawn. Naturally the gate was locked, so this dear man offered to help us climb the eight foot wrought iron fence. Desperate to escape and worried about a stampede, we agreed. Young men were climbing and jumping down from the top; apparently one broke his leg in the fall, and saw him taken away by security men.

Dr. Dolma went first, boosted up by the big guy, then I climbed after her.   After being pushed by the large guy and pulled up by a small man at the top, I sat atop the high fence, straddling a large  spike, making it difficult to turn. The men helped me turn while Dolma attempted to twist my other foot around! Eventually I was ready to descend, and asked two young men below me to help. They willingly complied.

We were now in a much better place, and relaxed on the grass of Osgood Hall. But we had very little water or food; it was a hot day, and the crowds were too thick to leave the area. The parade was just beginning, several hours behind schedule. We roamed over to City Hall where the elite were sitting in an outdoor restaurant and the parade was being shown on big screens.

After an hour and a half the crowds were beginning to thin as the parade had turned off University Avenue, and we were able to make our way south on University to Richmond, then east towards restaurants. Finally we settled on an all day breakfast place, where we were seated quickly. There was a screen showing the festivities at City Hall, but no volume, all very civilized, unlike some other food places. “That’s what we were trying for”, the woman at the desk told me as we were leaving.

We were not out of the woods yet though. Things got worse before we reached Dolma’s downtown apartment. As we walked north on Yonge street, young men and women ran screaming up the middle of the road. We had no idea what was going on and ducked into a women’s clothing store, for ten minutes, then continued on up Yonge Street towards Dundas. Again the same thing happened, so into Shoppers Drug Mart we went, along with about fifteen other folks. After a short while the security guard told us they were locking down the store, and we must all leave.

By now my friend had found out about the shootings at City Hall. Not understanding that we were now several blocks away from there, she was quite afraid.  Taking her arm, we quickly walked the few blocks to the family apartment, where the rest of the family and my husband had gathered. (Later we heard there were also knifings outside the Eaton Centre. No one was killed during either incident.)

The fallout from these events was traumatic for both of us. Dolma and her husband had always looked after us on our India visits, and I felt a duty to do the same for her in her new country. Although I could not have foreseen any of the events that occurred, it bothered me that I got her into this mess!

Three days after the event, on our last evening visiting the family, Dolma and I were able to do some EMDR work together, with positive results. Dolma told me she felt safe and peaceful afterwards.

I was not quite so fortunate, and suffered an extremely brief TIA, (mini stroke), 10 days after the event, back home in Gibsons. All my tests, both in the ER that evening and subsequently, came out fine, with the exception of my high cholesterol.

After the TIA I received several powerful healings: First the Divine Love energy coming through at my prayer group; Reiki afterwards from three group members, including powerful energy entering my head through the medium of Al, our group leader; gentle pressure point therapy from my chiropractor, dear Dr. Shahnaz, one of my “healing goddesses”, to stabilize my blood pressure and kundalini energy, and finally an EMDR session from a close friend.

Resolution of a Past Life. Something quite unexpected happened during my session, co-led by the two of us. We were unable to complete the resource installation, meant to “facilitate the development of internal resources in clients”. Suddenly I realized in that third eye, “knowing way” that the admittedly bizarre experiences Dolma and I had on the day of the parade, mimicked a past life experience for the two of us. My friend also intuitively knew this.

Immediately I noticed a change in my energy field, I felt calmer and more grounded. I knew on a deep level that it was a lifetime when we had been males, perhaps brothers, and had to escape from a threatening situation, possibly during a war. This information allowed me to release that past life, an important one I intuited, and to also detach some from Dolma, my “Tibetan sister”.

The trip to Toronto was demanding in many ways, and very fulfilling also. Each aspect of it was an important part of my process. (See Back to My Toronto Roots)

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a Life Coach, Counsellor & an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.


Back to My Toronto Roots

After a nineteen year absence I went back to Toronto in June with my partner. It wasn’t the city itself or my remaining relatives that drew me back, rather we went to welcome our closest Tibetan friends to Canada from Dharamsala India. But the results of the trip were quite unexpected.

We are their “Canadian family”, and we promised to fly to Toronto to greet them after their arrival. Ten days after they landed we were sitting in the living room of their apartment in the downtown area, having walked a considerable way in pouring rain to get there, the subways and streetcars not running. (Between the fire on the east-west line that evening, with riders being evacuated through the tunnel, frequent breakdowns, police incidents and scheduled weekend maintenance, it felt like there were closures daily).

On the surface, our friends appeared to have transplanted themselves rather quickly from their small apartment in Dharamsala to the large one in Toronto, lovingly prepared for them by their father, who had been awaiting them for three years. The teenage boys came and went from the home, exploring and playing pickup basketball, much like they had done at home. Highly motivated, they lost no time applying for government cards and taking ESL tests. But of course it was early days, and their hearts were still in India.

Our first of several visits to the family lasted about twenty-four hours! With the rain and subway problems, we were invited to stay overnight and accepted, putting the boys out of their room. They didn’t seem to mind, and we slept peacefully in the apartment that was already imbued with the gentle, prayerful Buddhist energy of the family.

Toronto is known as “the city of neighbourhoods”, with 140 separate areas. Our base was in the Dupont and Christie area, west of the Annex, a bus and two subway rides away from the family. It was a lovely B&B on a quiet, tree lined street in a very old area of Toronto.

When I graduated from University in my early twenties I lived in that area of the city, and enjoyed the feel of being in the “real” city, rather than living in a suburb. There was more character in the neighbourhood, I felt, and we even had a theatre down a back lane a few blocks from our flat where Sunday was “pay what you can” matinee.

What made our recent stay in the area especially meaningful to me was that both my parents grew up in the neighbourhood. I was very familiar with the names of all the main streets from my mother’s many stories throughout my childhood. Several generations of her family lived in a big old house on Barton Avenue from the time they immigrated to Canada from Wales in 1929, until they married and bought their own homes. I spent the first fourteen months of my life in that house. We didn’t get a chance to go there on this trip, but will next time.

Learning to navigate the subways again and getting used to the crowds and noise was our first task. We walked miles each day, to access restaurants, buses and subways and our Tibetan friends’ home. The walking I did was way beyond my normal capacity, particularly with the old foot injury that had arisen a month earlier. I believe I was helped by the Grandmothers and other angel guides, to push myself past my normal limits. Also, my “magic” compression socks were a big help.

We found many Toronto residents to be helpful with directions, and the crowds were remarkably peaceful on the buses and subways. We enjoyed high quality jazz music in the subway stations. There was no edginess in the air like in Vancouver, although the city is many times larger. Many cyclists travelled to work daily through our neighbourhood on the north-south route of Shaw Street. The city and its inhabitants had worked hard to ensure that pedestrians came first, cyclists second and cars last, our friend told us, also quite different from Vancouver.

During the long gap between visits my link to the city and to my family had felt tenuous, but going back this time I experienced a deep satisfaction on reconnecting with my roots, both those of place and of people.

We visited two cousins, both within five years of my age, and that brought back many memories. The first cousin, who has lived alone since leaving her parents’ home, lived through a tragedy as a child, when her brother, older by three years, died. Simply seeing her, being in her home and seeing a picture of her, her brother and mom, taken during his last summer, was very poignant.

Our seventeen days in Toronto were very rich, packed with new activities and people almost daily. The trip was challenging physically and emotionally, but very wonderful. We had just the right amount of time to do most things we wanted to do. The entire visit, with the exception of meeting and welcoming our newly arrived Tibetan friends,  was a trip down memory lane for me.

There was one blot on the visit, when I took my Tibetan friend out on the day of the Raptors’ Parade, Monday, June 17th, four days before we left town. We were both traumatized by the experiences we had that day. That will be the topic of my next blog.

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

Phase 3 – The Next 30 Years!

Ellen & Don’s Cake, (Don turned 70 last October but did not have a party)

Turning 70 last weekend was rather shocking! When I arose the morning of my birthday, I walked into the kitchen and saw a birthday card that said Happy 70th on it. I wondered whose birthday it was!

Some people try to forget this aging thing is happening, ignoring or minimizing big birthdays; some say it’s only a number; others of us try to embrace it. To those who say it’s only a number, I say, “Don’t talk to me about this if you’re still in your 40’s!  “Yes, it’s a number, one that is bringing us nearer to our transition into spirit, so how do we want to go forward?”

The day began with my free birthday breakfast and drink at our local pub with my partner and daughter, one that included a mimosa. My version of a morning mimosa turned out to be about one ounce of bubbly in a glass of orange juice, with the rest of the small bottle carried home for later use.

Then lots of prep for the birthday drop-in. There were four of us to chop veges and put out food so we were well well prepared when our first guests arrived one and a half hours early! No problem.

Our four hour party evolved into a 6 and a half hour one, but my energy lasted well as I was totally in the flow. The Universe blessed us with warm sunny weather, and the house cleaning was all for nought, as we all sat out on the deck and visited. It was a mellow afternoon for everyone. I knew I was surrounded by angels the entire time, and this loving support lasted for a couple of days.

Now I am more conscious about calling on my angels, to create that spiritual cocoon more often. Like many of us I have the tools but don’t always use them. “Pray Without Ceasing”, as I called it in a previous blog, is a habit we create and build on over time.

Having my friends and family witness my 70th birthday helped me to internallize it. For a couple of months now I have had the sense that turning 70 is the beginning of a new, vibrant phase of my life. Although still challenging, my kundalini process is more subtle, more balanced now, and has recently opened me to creativity and possibilities, and with that, a feeling of moving forward into my future. It’s a time for travel and for strengthening my body after the long period of kundalini processing.

Why do I call this Phase 3? It’s a subjective choice I made without giving it a great deal of thought. Phase 1 was growing up, going to school, my first marriage, (the one that “didn’t take”, as I reference it.) Phase 2 was meeting Don and having a family, our rich life together. Phase 3 means the time to live joyfully, to do what calls to me (and us).

Living joyfully in this new phase of life will entail following the calling of my heart and the guidance of my spirit guides. It’s been a year since our last trip, the Net of Light Gathering in Joshua Tree, California, but it feels much longer. Time, a man made concept, took on a different flavour for me as I did my internal work, releasing so much. For a time I couldn’t see any forward moving, didn’t want to travel or do all that much. Don was in his own process of adjusting to retirement after many years as a land surveyor including twelve or thirteen as a business owner.

Now, in a different phase of my kundalini process, and with a growing awareness of the hour glass emptying, I am not satisfied to sit still. There is a growing feeling of “the sky’s the limit” with respect to opportunities both abroad and at home. I am “re-setting” myself as I move forward in my life – not “re-tiring”.

Author’s Note: Sadly Ellen’s soulmate Don transitioned from this life two months before his 72nd birthday. Ellen is learning to “Fly Solo”

Kundalini Awakening – My Long Journey Part 2

Responding to Kundalini Awakening

My acceptance of what has been unfolding within me has been gradual. Early on I realized that I was in this process whether I liked it or not, but it has taken a long time for my ego self to begin to graciously accept it.

It was hard not to complain. I went through many phases, first the not knowing, then the initial adjustment, then “I didn’t ask for this”; “I’m too old”, then finally sufficient acceptance to allow a letting go of control, resulting in smoother forward movement.

As it became more intense, my kundalini awakening process took prominence in my life. I managed my energy as best I could, pacing myself, meditating through wakeful nights. Sometimes there was fear but only occasionally a sense of terror… feelings and dreams that made me wonder where this was all leading.

Some people do feel that they are going crazy, and a few end up in the psych ward, usually misunderstood by medical personnel. Christina Grof had unusual physical symptoms after plunging into kundalini experiences after childbirth. She went blind for a few days after one incident, I have read. Her modus operandi was to see a medical doctor whenever any physical symptom bothered her, to rule out serious issues, not revealing anything about her kundalini process.

My medical doctor is very special, and is aware of my process to some degree. He understands that my experience is one type of spiritual awakening, as he has been on his own unique path, and has helped others for many years. I believe medical personnel and energy workers need to be aware of the possibility that their patients are having experiences that are not “mainstream”, therefore part of my job is to be open about my process in order to educate them.

Bonnie Greenwell’s wise advice for dealing with initial awakening may be helpful to you. I only discovered Bonnie a few months ago, and wish I had found her sooner. However, I was in a reactive stage, fighting the process earlier, so my ego self may not have been open to Greenwell’s counsel.

Everyones’s process is different, yet there are major overlaps. Some folks may experience more physical symptoms, while others have more emotional/  psychological manifestations of kundalini. Not everyone has each symptom.

Chapters in the Kundalini Process

From personal experience and from her work with others, Mary Shutan describes three phases of kundalini. The problem here is that the phases are not discrete, the kundalini process is ongoing and circular, we go back to earlier stages and areas of the body that have already been worked on.

The First Phase, often centred in the first three chakras, is intense, Shutan writes. Often we have no idea what is happening to us, as in my case. Some people write about temporary experiences of oneness, bliss and peace during this time, but this was not my experience.

As things evolve, we begin to question many things about our lives and our society, what Shutan calls the Second Phase. This fits for me, my questioning of how our society and the world functions has intensified.  Many random memories have arisen over the past three months in year three of my process, as I struggle to place my life to date within the context of my current life passage.

Although the clearing symptoms are still heavy often, I sometimes feel that I can ‘see the forest for the trees’ now. I am able to access more insight and positive thoughts and feelings than before. This gives me a feeling of moving forward. There is a growing sense that I have been freed from some internal constraints. My heart chakra is more open, and despite needing to socialize less, I feel connected to some people in a different, somehow truer way, and love myself more now. My Grandmother guides help me tremendously in this process, as does my connection with the Divine Love energy and my Chopra meditation technique.

Unfolding, resting and learning characterize Shutan’s third phase. I do feel that I am unfolding, and also resting, and unfolding does require a great deal of space and rest. My internal push to do has faded as I let go of control more. There is a sense that I am more me now, a truer me. My already simple life has become simpler.

Getting Help: My Wise Holistic Practitioners

Since Kundalini is mostly unknown in the West, undergoing an awakening is often a lonely, isolating experience. When I tried to tell people what was happening to me energetically, emotionally, and psychically they were at a complete loss as to how to react, often saying unhelpful things or perhaps making a joke. In the earlier days I sometimes felt as if I had two heads! “…Most people can only apply their personal paradigm, says Bonnie Greenwell , “…a perspective based on their own experience.” Now, farther along in my process, I am more confident about putting myself out there, however, I only speak to those I trust about the subject.

As the months slowly wore on, my holistic doctors realized that I was  ungrounded, and taught me medical chi gong exercises meant to help me ground myself, ones that I still practice today. They are subtle but helpful. My acupuncture and chiropractic treatments work with the kundalini energy to balance my body and ground the energy also. I’m very grateful to have these doctors. Sadly, they and one dear friend are the only people who appear to have more than a superficial understanding of what I’ve been going through.

Finding the right support people is important. If you have troublesome physical symptoms, consult a trusted MD or naturopath, for old emotional and psychological issues, a spiritually oriented or transpersonal therapist may help. If in doubt about physical or emotional issues, always seek out trusted professionals to rule out medical issues, and confide in supportive friends and family, (even though they may be mystified by your process, they will want to help). The Spiritual Emergence Network, founded by Christina & Dr. Stanislav Grof, may be a good place to begin.

Some Suggestions

The unfolding of my kundalini has so far been challenging, but containable. My life experience, spiritual underpinning, my “good ego strength”, (according to Judith Duerk, my mentor many years ago), and non-working lifestyle have meant that I’ve been able to manage the day to day experiences relatively well. Being a survivor (of life and of sexual abuse), I have learned to function in most circumstances, even when I feel unwell. I guess you could say my motto for life is “Never give up”!

There has been no choice for me but to ride this energetic process through. As Greenwell says, “It’s doing me.” It feels like a rebirth. I am able sometimes to stand outside myself and observe…both myself and others. The Grandmothers have been a constant in my life, they have held the space for me and, I believe, accelerated my process, particularly the work we all did together at the Gathering retreat at Joshua Tree Retreat Centre last April, two years into my process.

This is what I have learned:

  • Daily walks have been of great benefit, along with specific stretches when parts of the body call out to me; both help move the energy.
  • Plenty of quiet, alone time helps me be in relationship with my process.
  • Kundalini awakening draws much energy from the core, so lots of rest is necessary, especially in later stages.
  • Eating regularly helps me stay grounded. Good food along with B vitamins and a herbal nervous system tonic have helped build up my nervous system. Although alcohol may seem like an effective self medication, little or no alcohol seems to be best. Recently I have found both the taste & effects of wine quite unsatisfactory.
  • Energy work with acupuncturists who have knowledge about kundalini has helped me ground the rising energy & balance my body overall.
  • To bring the energy down later in the day, I soak my feet in a pail of hot water with epsom salts, do medical chi gong exercises and take Traditional Chinese Medicine harmonizing pills called Cinnamon-D.
  • CBD oil with low level THC has assisted me with anxiety and sleep issues over the last two months.
  • Most importantly, I am learning to be kind and gentle with myself as I go through this amazing process.

Although I have continued to go out into the world in a somewhat limited way, socializing, volunteering with refugees, and singing in a choir, the place I dwell in is  not the same one as before. I am different now.

Coming Next: Part 3

When Will it Be Over; My Life Now; Final Words

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.


Kundalini Awakening – My Long Journey Part 1

The Beginning…

I remember it well…my difficulties began in the spring of 2016. In retrospect, there may have been some subtle energy movements  over time, but my first awareness of something intense and unusual happening was after I received several laser acupuncture sessions on my occiputs, (at the base of the head), to relieve head congestion. It was an completely unexpected side effect of the treatments.

Kundalini awakening is not for the faint at heart. It is a profound process, one that  disrupts your life. My body felt out of control, my chakras seemed to be imploding, particularly my second, sacral one and third, the solar plexis. It was unlike anything I’d experienced in my time on the planet. I frequently needed to rest, with my head supported, to ease my neck heaviness. It seemed I was under attack from an unseen force – but it was coming from within me!

It took me some time to figure out what was happening. Through research I discovered that many symptoms of kundalini awakening originate through the occiputs. This makes sense to me, as I learned during my first meditation training that energy comes in through the base of the head when we meditate. The occiputs are also the location of the brain stem or old, reptilian brain, the seat of old, unprocessed emotions, (the basis of the EMDR technique.)

Fear of the unknown is familiar to most of us. For a long time I fought the process, trying to control what could not be controlled. Being a fearful person historically, a survivor of various traumas, resistance was my way of not losing myself. Very gradually, over time, I learned to ‘lean into it’, to trust that what was happening to me, although disturbing on every level, was not malevolent and would strengthen rather than destroy me. Slowly, I came to believe that there would be a positive outcome.

What is Kundalini & Kundalini Awakening?

Kundalini energy, when triggered, rises up from the base of the spine where it is coiled from birth, trying to clear a path so it can flow. It is our life force. Kundalini is a deep physical, emotional and spiritual process, a form of spiritual awakening. It pares us down, layer after layer, leaving us emptier and free-er.

When this energy is activated it moves up through the chakras, in a snake like movement, until it gets to the head chakra, then it circles back to the first chakra and begins the process again, until all the blocks are cleared.  It affects both the major and minor chakras and each organ, tissue, layer and cell of our body, over time slowly emptying us out.

There are many esoteric descriptions of kundalini energy. To Carl Jung, kundalini was the goddess within us. It has been said that Jesus’ Living Water, (or Holy Spirit) was kundalini. It seems plausible to me that Jesus worked with kundalini, as it is well documented that he spent his “lost years” in the East studying Indian and Tibetan theologies.

Kundalini is personified as a goddess in Hindu mythology, sometimes as Durga, the creator and sometimes Kali, the destroyer of negativity. It is said to destroy impurities and purify organs.

Unfortunately, kundalini is not recognized in Western cultures by most people. There is a lack of good information available for those of us going through this process.  I did not find comprehensive, in depth information until the last few months, before that it was mostly just lists of symptoms. While validating my process to some extent, the lists touched the surface only, they did not plumb the depths of my experience.

Why Me?

There are no accidents, it is said, and I believe this more and more. Often things happen in life when we are ready for them. I was a prime candidate for this experience, having been on a search for meaning and connection with the Divine for forty years. I have been a meditator for many years, a yoga practitioner, a member of the Divine Love  ( prayer group, host a monthly Net of Light group, have had exposure to Tibetan Buddhism, and spent time in India. Also I experienced traumas in my earlier life, often a factor in kundalini awakening. Although I never consciously asked for this, clearly my soul did.

Kundalini openings can occur by design, (kundalini yoga training), or spontaneously, through unexpected events like mine, childbirth or some type of trauma, including accidents. Most people seem to ‘fall into it’ in a seemingly random manner.

Because we as adults have many blocks throughout the body, the awakening process is often a gruelling one, challenging us to the max. I would like to stress that it is not the kundalini energy per se that causes the difficulties, but the energy blocks. Our nervous system is under seige as it is unable to handle the powerful energy moving through it. An analogy I’ve found helpful is to imagine putting a very high voltage light bulb in a small lamp.

There is no “One Size Fits All”

Although it has been written that Kundalini awakening has an “intelligence”, it does not necessary follow the pattern described above, or anything resembling a clear pattern. The intelligence of kundalini is not left brain, linear intelligence, it is an alternate form of intelligence, (for example ’emotional intelligence’).

In my experience kundalini can move in more than one area of the body simultaneously, or alternate as the day (or night) goes on. For example, last night the kundalini was active in my shoulders, making me restless, and today I felt it settling in simultaneously in my neck and shoulder tops, while also dipping into my legs, briefly bringing on stiffness and weakness.

Each of us is unique, so although our experiences overlap, our  journey is ours alone, and unlike anyone else’s. It works the way it does because of our unique blocks – everything that makes up Ellen, including all my life experiences, traumas, physical and emotional being, both in this lifetime and in past lives is part of my kundalini pathway. For example I have always had many blocks in my neck and head; apparently I died by strangulation and being hit on my neck in several lifetimes, so this would be part of the neck unblocking. Sexual abuse at an early age, and the grief of losing my first baby when she was only two days old, have created many cellular memories in my body that are in the process of releasing.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms that you may experience are almost endless, as kundalini awakening affects every body system and cell in one’s body, as mentioned.

For me the following things stand out:

  • Body discomfort: Energy moving throughout my body, day &/or night; a general feeling of unwellness
  • Nervous system distress causing tension & anxiety
  • Strong, roller coaster emotions
  • Hot, and sometimes cold flashes, (the fire of Shakti per Hindus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Intensification of the energy as the process progresses
  • Increasing sensitivity & feelings of overload while in many places & with large groups of people
  • Feelings of isolation: Kundalini is a solo process; additionally, most people cannot even begin to understand your experience
  • A growing desire to Be, not Do, & to be solitary as my process has progressed
  • Being in an altered state much of the time
  • A feeling of tilting, (kundalini vertigo) & slight dizziness, (later stage)
  • BP fluctuations in early & later stage
  • Extreme tiredness later on in my process
  • Self doubt as my ego slowly dissolves, (Who am I?)
  • A sense of meaninglessness in my later stage, now moving into an increased knowing that there are new possibilities for me

To this list, other symptoms could be added, (I have not experienced all of these):  Twitches, (once as I lay in bed my left hand flapped!); Spontaneous Yoga poses, (an odd but apparently common one); Digestive issues; Inner sounds; Feelings of joy; Addictions, Snake dreams, and so on.

PART 2 Next Week:

The Stages; How to Respond; Getting Help; Caring for Yourself

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

A Non-Religious Approach to “Pray Without Ceasing”

Photo by Simon Matzinger


“Pray Without Ceasing”     Thessalonians 5:17

When I was studying counselling one of our instructors defined spirituality as anything that gives your life meaning. This idea had broad potential. It could be the trees, helping refugees, visiting an elder, a deep connection with a friend. It could be your children, he told us.

My approach to spirituality is an integrative, holistic one, not religiously oriented, but not exclusive of religion either. Currently I’m moving towards continuous prayer. Not prayer using words, although I do pray regularly  for specific people and situations, but being in union with the Divine continuously.

We cannot pray in a deliberate, analytical way 24/7. Our creative right brain with its holistic design, using intuition and visualization, enables us to create a different type of reality for ourselves. It lets us feel our way into the essence of life. It helps me create a vision for my prayer, one my soul can relate to.

Prayer is joining with whatever represents God to you. In my prayer visuallization I picture Light pouring onto the planet from the Source. This Net of Light, or Cosmic Web, is the spiritual power that heals and protects the planet and all of us. It is pure love. “The Net of Light is a pattern/network/fabric or grid of love. It is love. It anchors, supports and penetrates everyone and everything on earth.”, say the Grandmothers.

During my day, whenever I think of it, I cast the Net of Light and draw down spirit, both to help all beings on our planet, and to heal myself. Breathing in the Light and calling on the Grandmothers, aspects of the Divine, fills me with relaxation. The Grandmothers invite us to do this in many ways throughout the three books channelled through Sharon McErlane. When we call on them, our nerve endings relax, they tell us.

Going to Richard Rohr once more, the Franciscan friar who founded The Centre for Action and Contemplation, I find that Jesus taught prayer beyond words. He joined with God in his predawn prayers, in what many today call contemplation, Rohr says, “…union with God’s presence; resting in God more than actively seeking to fully know or understand.”

My way of prayer embraces a broad and deep spirituality, wordless for the most part. The Grandmothers nudge me towards the giant coniferous tree at the bottom of our garden, where we do our Grandmother empowerments and cast the Net of Light. The more often I remember to cast the Net and call in the Grandmothers, the more comfort I receive.

This visualization is my pathway to the Divine, the route most available to me. It did not happen right away after my “discovery” of the Grandmothers and the Net of Light a couple of years ago. It has been a slow opening, a melding of my various spiritual beliefs, with the Net becoming a powerful co-ordinator, a focus that encompasses my various spiritual beliefs. Our journey to our first Net of Light gathering at Joshua Tree Retreat Centre last spring deepened the process.

I asked three friends for their unique perspective on praying without ceasing. Pastor Jaz of Christian Life Assembly Church, the sponsor of our two Syrian refugee families says:

“To me to pray without ceasing means that we are constantly keeping Jesus on our minds and hearts and bringing not only our needs to him but also our thanks to him through out the day. Praying without ceasing being less about staying in a constant state of prayer, and more about having a constant heart and mindset of communication with Jesus.

Judy, who has been part of the Divine Love prayer group for more than thirty years wrote me:

“Sincere prayer and longing for the Creator’s Love transforms or awakens the soul…then a longing for an ever deepening communion with God grows…we become more trusting and willing to call upon God to help us in our daily lives.

The challenge of the soul to remain in constant receptivity of God’s infinite Love is the mind.  We have a choice whether to allow our mind’s dominance or to grow our soul in the love of God…eventually a tipping point is reached – we move in grace, enveloped in the flow of God’s Love. In this state, our lives become a constant prayer. God’s Love within our soul becomes our inner compass.

My dear friend Rose says: “For me, it’s noticing my breathing, through the day. Because I know, and deeply feel, that I am breathed into life by the loving Creator, consciously attending to my breathing, without trying to change it, puts me in a prayerful state, more feeling than thinking.”

Athough my words differ in certain ways, my friends’ beliefs segue with and enhance mine. Visuallizing and calling on the Net of Light and the Grandmothers allows me to get my mind out of the way, the left brain, dominant part particularly. My hope is that as I grow into this way of being more and more, that it will lead my heart and soul to the Light.

Love & Light


Copyright 2019 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

My Divine Love Prayer Group Welcomes Me Back

“We believe that through the inflowing of God’s Divine Love, the soul is transformed.” 

Divine Love Energy

Since September, with the exception of a weekend prayer party, I have been unable to attend my Divine Love prayer group, five minutes from my home, as my new Inspirito Choir also meets on Monday evenings. The heart felt music, led by a gifted, unusual woman, has enriched and fulfilled me over the past months, but is not a replacement for the deep peace and angelic beings surrounding us during our prayer time, an hour during which Al channels messages from the Celestial Realms.

My presence last Monday evening was fortuitous, but then there are no accidents. I was lovingly welcomed by the nine people present, and told by Al that my presence there added to the positive conditions in the room.

It was a special evening, as Augustine, one of Al’s main guides, offered each of us personal messages. My message affirmed that my eclectic approach to spiritual work, one that differs from the folks who have been following the Divine Love path for many years, is my personal route to God/Goddess. “Although your concepts of the soul may differ…you recognize longings in your soul that draw you [to God]”, said Augustine through Al, “…and you continue to strive to be a channel of light in the world…Your soul is open to God’s blessing.”

Integrating my beliefs, developed in a conscious way over the past 40 years, since the loss of our first child in 1978, has been the task I assigned myself since starting the group in the summer of 2015. “You will find your way to an understanding of truth that does not offend your sensibilities.”, Augustine told me, “…[and] integrate the experience you are having with God with your ideas and spiritual beliefs.”

The message Augustine sent me through Al last week fit with my philosophy – that all roads lead home to spiritual fulfillment, to the Divine.

It’s all Light and Love

My current mantra, “Follow the energy”, one I’ve written about before, means I visit a variety of places and activities that elevate me spiritual, that lift up my soul. They involve meditation, prayer, nature, choir singing, our Net of Light group, the music at CLA Church, as well as the Divine Love prayer group. I feel deeply that all are moving in the same spiritual direction, towards the Light.

Having said that, I recognize that the Celestial energy during the Divine Love meetings, developed over more than 35 years by the core family, and by others before them, is a powerful, healing, high energy. Occasionally now I get glimpses, messages from my soul, that this is truly energy from the Source.

This is not to say that the other energies are not complete and beautiful in themselves, uplifting and healing – conduits to The Light. For example, the energy of the Grandmothers that we invoke during our Net of Light women’s group uplifts, heals and grounds us..

Back to the Divine Feminine, Full Circle

The Grandmothers are aspects of The Divine, of The Great Mother, the feminine aspect of God. She is the Divine Feminine.

Twenty years ago, in my work with Judith Duerk, author of Circle of Stones, Woman’s Journey to Herself, we worked with the Great Mother. Now I’ve come full circle through being led to the Great Council of Grandmothers and Net of Light organization.

This is where my spiritual process is at present.  Sharing it helps me articulate it. Some may resonate with you and spark conversation. Please feel free to comment or write to me.

Next Up…

In the next few months I plan to begin posting draft excerpts from my spiritual book from time to time.

Love & Light


Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.