Last Night My Podcast Saved My Life…
ok perhaps a bit of an exaggeration… but not really. My podcast was born in one of the darkest, loneliest, confusing, and vulnerable moments of my life.RA
In the summer of 2010, I experienced an Awakening — not just the “I’m woke” thing, I also experienced an unexpected Kundalini Awakening that impacted every major aspect of my life including my ability to communicate and do math effectively. Everything changed so fast. I found myself in a new and very unfamiliar place. It was as if a veil was removed from my eyes, but that’s not all.
Before I continue, I must share that having an unexpected Kundalini Awakening was very painful and chaotic to all of the major areas of my life. Please read below for clarification…
“If a practitioner is unprepared or the kundalini awakens spontaneously, there can be an experience of total inner chaos due to changes in motivation, appearance, diet, weight gain or loss, sensations in the crown of the head, and shifts in personality that an unguided and/or underprepared person might not be able to handle. A Spontaneous Arousal of kundalini energy can happen as a result of “intense energy work, drug use, sexual experiences, abuse or trauma, yoga practice or life events,” explains Grant.
The awakening may cause spiritual distress and a total breakdown resulting in a massive life crisis.” Source — Gaia.Com — What is A Kundalini Awakening?
I did have a massive life crisis.
I became massively undone.
Back to my story… .
I was engaged, co-owner of a duplex apt, and Line Producing multi-million dollar show productions for MTV Networks. Outside it looked like I was living the dream life. And in many ways I was. I loved my job, my friends, my career, all the traveling, and money I made. But inside of me, there was a vastness of unexplored territory. I felt removed from myself. I was anxious, fatigued, and stressed often. I wasn’t sleeping well at night. I wasn’t eating healthy.
I was so clogged up with thoughts that were outside of me that I didn’t even know how to begin the journey to get to know the woman I have become today.
All I can say is that it all began with tiny steps. And before that, it was a daring thought of understanding me and my dreams more fully.
There were many set backs. Many dark nights. Many lonely nights. Many hopeless nights. Many tears. Many times I held myself to sleep.
After the tears stopped, I felt an emptiness. In that emptiness, there was more room. And more insights started to unfold for me.
I began to understand the world in a whole new way.
The biggest realization is best summed up by the words of Dalai Lama…
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:
Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Two months after my peak awakening experience, I walked away from my job at MTV, my home, and most of my possessions. I felt a strong calling to move back to my “home” – Williamsburg Brooklyn.
Everyone thought I was crazy. I am grateful I trusted my inner wisdom. – RATweet
In a sense I was living the “American dream”, but I felt like I was missing out on something. I was disconnected to my voice, my passions, my intuition, my creativity. I was starting to feel like a little robot stuck in a routine that was sucking my life energy away.
I was exhausted on so many levels.
Why did you leave MTV? This was a question my family and loved ones asked over and over. I didn’t leave television production because I didn’t love what I was doing.
I left MTV because of a health crisis. I knew if I stayed the quality of my work would diminish and so would my health. It would serve no one. The wise decision was to leave while I could still do something about my health.
In 2010, after years of exhaustion working as a Line Producer for MTV Networks, not resting properly, and grieving the loss of my father, I returned home to Brooklyn only to discover a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
This was a major shock to my system. I went home to feel at home, to find a bit of rest and shelter, instead I felt like an unwelcomed stranger. My neighborhood looked and felt so different and it was rapidly changing.
With loved ones quickly being displaced and an impoverished community needing support, I was faced with many crushing realities at once.
I came home to witness a once gritty neighborhood filled with life, transform to a cosmetic luxury one filled with delicious restaurants and bars. The bodegas were replaced with higher priced markets. I witnessed old people push food carts looking for cans to make ends meet. I witnessed my home church get demolished to make room for market rate apartments. This was the church my parents were married in. The church I grew up in. The same church we said goodbye to my dad.
I witnessed the bakeries get displaced by higher rents. I witnessed friends, loved ones, and local businesses leave. I witness a transient affluent neighborhood that feels cold, snobby, and out of touch with the real world.
I carry this grief in my heart every day I walk the streets of Williamsburg Brooklyn. My home doesn’t feel like home anymore.
Everything is changing. Everyday. So fast. But not just here.
I was already feeling undone… Life would have a few more surprises for me.
I found myself plunging deeper into the “dark night of the soul”.
In the Summer of 2012, I found myself in a very vulnerable place. I was suddenly released from freelance gigs, a work collaboration fell thru, Unemployment refused to send my checks, and I found myself having to surrender the keys to my apt, put my stuff in storage and live on couches with loved ones who opened their space to me.
In December 2012, I experienced a hit and run accident which left me with years of PTSD.
At the same time, my body was moving through a Kundalini Awakening that left me in a place of pain and confusion. To say that this was a difficult experience doesn’t begin to describe it, but I truly believe “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger” and all of these experiences have created a resilience within me that make me feel like She-RA or Wonder Woman! ha ha!
I have learned a lot about thriving within the many shades of darkness. Every one of those nights and stages were filled with God’s presence. I was never truly alone even in my darkness.
It is only now that I am starting to gather my words to share what I’ve experienced, what I have learned, what I have observed, what I am integrating, and how I have changed and expanded.
My podcast, Cafecito Break was born in this darkness. She inspired me to find the right words, to dare to express myself, to dare to dream again, to work with what I have and create beauty with it. She was a light that lit my path forward, gave me renewed purpose and a sense of direction. Every podcast I have produced has been a great teacher. No one will ever really know the treasure Cafecito Break is for me.
Cafecito Break is anchored in love, family, friendship, hope, faith, dreams, community, and prosperity. I invite you to check out our website. It is filled with images, videos, and podcasts with all of the above.
What a journey it has been…
Now that I have witnessed my own descent, here’s to my rising! Wepa!
Thank you for being here.
In gratitude, RA
La Shamanessa | Visionary, Wisdom Keeper, Story Teller, Podcaster, Community Wellness Activist