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.
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 (divinelovesanctuary.com) 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.