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Since time immemorial, I was a searcher – until the point I was feverishly packing my bags to hit up the local nunnery and just give it all to God. A few years ago, I’d had enough. That was it. Nada. I had given up on my own life and my own ability to make decisions that were in my best interest, so I was “givin’ it to God” so to speak. I had tried so many things to make myself happy, to find answers, but all to no avail. I was back in the depths of my own depression with nothing more to lose.

From as far back as I can remember I was different, not like the other kids. I always loved nature and I remember often staying up late, long past when all the other kids on the block went to sleep, staring up in awe and longing at the stars twinkling in the night sky.

Like many Shaumbra, life was tough when I was young. My family and I have never been close, and I genuinely swear that they must be aliens and I am human. (Or maybe it’s the other way around?) We are definitely quite different. But I remind myself that even they (yes, the muggles) are somewhere on their path to enlightenment and that brings me some peace.

As a teen I struggled with academics and friends, never feeling like I fit in. I was just too weird, too odd, too strange. The feeling of being an outsider was always very up front. There’s a scene in the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998) where Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) is just about to board a plane and Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) says out loud “There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live. Too rare to die.” Ahhhh! Finally, it was a relief to know that other weirdos exist and to hear a perfect description of myself!

The world seemed all very fast paced, while I just enjoyed playing, being on the swing, making shapes out of the clouds with my imagination or losing myself in the vastness and beauty of the stars. Like Mark Twain said in the recent Merlin event, “I was one filled with adventure, wanting to get out and find out what this great world was all about, and hopefully in that pursuit I would find out what I was all about.

When I was a young teen, I started reading “The Teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Castaneda, doing some meditation and a little yoga, which were fringe activities back then. At one point, poking around a hippie bookstore (located in the basement of a grimy building with a Hobbit-looking cashier – everything you would imagine a grimy hole-in-the wall shop to be like), I picked up a book about the Hunza, a mountain people who often live past 100 years of age, walk daily up and down long mountain stairs, and have a simple diet. I also bought “365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Ming-Dao Deng” in hopes it would guide me. I could feel into the simplicity and slowness of these books, and that brought me joy.

I wanted a teacher to come to me (like Don Juan), or a guru to find me in a serendipitous manner and teach me the mystical arts. However, sitting in the epicenter of suburbia, it began to dawn on me that Dan Juan was not going to come anytime soon – neither the big sexy hunk man version, nor the Magi version. By the time I was 17 years old I had three near-death experiences (bump-and-fills), was not an exceptionally motivated student, was in and out of friend groups, and felt completely and utterly lost in space. I was a wild child, born to be wild, and didn’t know what to do with myself!

The last brush with death caused a desire to “get my life together” and I focused on school, since that was what was available at the time as a means for knowledge. Over time it became a sort of obsession. Thinking I would find answers about myself and the world around me in academics, I threw myself into my studies. It never really felt right though, just tough. Much like Kuthumi, I studied in order to get out of my body and into my mind. Now we both laugh about it.

At 18 years old another obsession came into my life – rock climbing. I never really intended to take it so seriously, but that’s what happened. I studied and I climbed. And I studied and climbed some more. I travelled throughout North America and Asia and eventually all over the world. I knew how to live the van life, spend lots of time in nature, live by cold water and campfires, all year round and in many different climates. I gambled in Las Vegas from time to time (great place to climb, by the way), and once won a whopping $25. I splurged on Fudgee-O cookies – mmm mmm good! To put it in perspective, this is analogous to a working professional splurging on a 3-course meal of lobster with the finest bottle (not glass) of red wine. Ah, the sophistication of the dirt-bag lifestyle! Even back then, however, I wasn’t much of a people person and had no close friends. Even with my climbing partners, I was quiet and reserved.

AND THEN A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO ENLIGHTMENT – MY LIFE FELL APART. I left a long-term relationship and a home. Unable to find a new place I got familiar with couch surfing, had a real rough patch with my parents, and my grandmother (who raised me) passed away. It all felt too much to handle as my dream life – of freedom, parties, hot men, friends, lots of climbing and the musty smell of library books – fell apart. And so began my not-so-romantic affair with the world of odd jobs.

A few years later, I was forced to stop climbing due to a repetitive motion injury (I guess not really forced since it was my choice), so I threw myself deeper into academics. It’s funny looking back on it now because as I turned to academics, I kept getting further and further away from myself. I could really relate to the discussion with Dr. Doug and Linda (September Living in Keahak) talking about their post-secondary studies. Dr. Doug asks about himself “Why would I stumble into something difficult? Because I was still in [spiritual] training.” They talked about working hard, being out of flow, and doing it awkwardly as a little human, but the motivation was to not be locked into the past and to make their own futures. They didn’t have the tools of consciousness to move out of the old ways, but they wanted to and that was the spark. Ahhh, now I could really relate to this approach to work and life! I had a feeling of lightness and resonance, as if they were speaking directly to me. It was a great relief to know that someone else felt the same way about school as I did, because in the past, the more I got into academics, the more difficult it was to be myself and hear my intuition.

AND THEN A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO ENLIGHTMENT – MY LIFE FELL APART. Another relationship split (old karma being released) in which I had sacrificed much of myself (much too much!). I was burnt out, tired, and starting grad school all at once, living somewhere I didn’t want to live (which became a blessing because we had so much fun), meeting men that didn’t take me seriously (which meant I didn’t take myself seriously), and feeling complete and utter loneliness and desperation.

After grad school I wasn’t sure what to do, so I listened to a psychic and went travelling. But it mostly felt like I was spinning my wheels, getting lost and going into debt. I literally felt like I was in a never-ending hallway with many, many doors, all of which closed the moment I got to them. No jobs, bad relationships, no real connections with others. By my late 30s nothing really excited me anymore, whether Buddhism, sports, or work. I was still allowing men to treat me like a doormat, and money was not a flowin’ my way.

AND THEN A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO ENLIGHTMENT – MY LIFE FELL APART. I left a corporate job I was not aligned with, left my beautiful apartment, was on welfare for a bit, was incredibly angry with my parents, had been swindled too many times by men, had no passion and no desire to either live or die. Like Margo in Threshold, I had gone down too many dead-end paths.

There was no joy, nowhere to turn and, for the third time, I wanted to end my life. I told myself “You either hang yourself now or you do something.” I chose life. Like Arwen in The Lord of The Rings when she whispers ominously to Aragorn “I choose a mortal life,” that was me. Although not in such a fancy dress.

Ahh, the allowing. Live and let God! Ok soul, I am always and forevermore going to do what you want. I let it all go. In Adamus’ words, I allowed. Like Julie Mack in Divine Courage (in Time of the Merlin), I became very sensitive to light and sound. Everything was very loud and mostly I stayed wrapped up in a blanket, in the soft, comfy feeling of a cocoon. I was safe there and it was quiet. That was about the only thing I could handle at that time. In scientific terms, I think it’s called Burnout, whose symptoms are similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In terms of Realization, it’s called “Betta fuckin’ listen to your soul, otherwise, it will take you down!” Or, to paraphrase Merlin, “Best to get out of your human flow, the far too complex and painful flow, and into the smooth flow of the soul. Come back to the Merlin flow and take a deep breath and allow the wisdom of the soul in perfect harmony with you.” After the decision to stay on this planet, I packed my bags for the nunnery. Since all else had failed, I was “givin’ it to God.”

As it turned out, the nunnery was not in my future. But I started allowing it to come to me, “it” being money, travel, exploration, joy. Jobs just landed in my lap, and through work I discovered truly what it means to set appropriate boundaries, to say no and be ok, and to have people not energy feed off me. I have learned what I’m worth financially, which is much more than I thought previously! Really, I learned to be what Adamus calls an “intolerant son-of-a-bitch.” The most important thing I discovered (well, Adamus told me) is that the more I don’t do, the more it comes to me. There’s a little I need to do, but not much. It used to feel like I was pushing a boulder up a hill. Now it feels like one tap with me ol’ magic wand and the boulder gets a rollin’, no issues. There’s a silence, a space, a feeling that I get now. My soul, my intuition – I’m much better at recognizing it.

I continue to dive behind the short wall daily and can relate to many of the comments in Divine Courage: “I don’t like people,” “I find people annoying,” “I just see everyone’s bullshit,” “You can call me crazy.”

All right, dragon, in the words of the late, great David Bowie:

   Hey baby, now you’re all alone
   Hey baby, let me walk you home
   Let’s dance, let’s dance
   Do the twist and shout, mashed potato too
   Any old dance that you wanna do
   Let’s dance, let’s dance

So, like Kuthumi, I walk and I walk and I walk. I fart and laugh and drink and climb and enjoy nature and beauty, I love and hate and cry. I dance and I walk and I walk and then walk some more. Why? Because we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are found. All is well in all of creation. Cheers to that, my friends (with only the finest of French wine). Cheers to that!

Nancy Niklis has done many things and has been many things and now she allows. She can be reached on Facebook at Nancy Niklis.

2 comments on "My Funny Journey on the Way to Enlightenment"

  • Nancy on May 8, 2023 9:19 PM said:
    You’re so welcome Margo. I’m glad you found the article helpful…or rather my story. Life has still had its ups and downs since but it appears that much has changed since Heavens Cross. Let’s see if the boulder can become pebbles! Xoxo!
  • Margo McCaffrey-Bishop on March 14, 2023 9:30 AM said:
    Thank you Nancy so helpful to me! I feel like I have been pushing that boulder my whole life and I am going to try to allow...

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