What is a conscious awakening?

Do you suddenly feel like an outsider in your life? Do you feel like your job doesn’t fit anymore…your relationship doesn’t fit…or even that your family doesn’t fit anymore? Do the things that used to work for you no longer work? Do the things you used to enjoy no longer bring you pleasure? Is your mind racing with thoughts of wanting to escape? Do you feel alone and like there is no one you can talk to about what’s really happening with you?

Don’t worry. You aren’t alone. You aren’t crazy. You are likely having a conscious awakening.

A conscious awakening is a series of moments that collide to create a massive internal shift that makes your external world suddenly feel foreign. Dr. Wayne Dyer calls it The Shift in his movie of the same name. No matter what you call it, it can be terrifying, unsettling and lead to absolute turmoil in your life. However, it can also contain massive amounts of bliss, healing and a reckoning of who you truly are. Conscious awakenings can be triggered by many things. Mine was triggered after having 2 cryptogenic minor strokes at 37 after a decade on the hamster-wheel of success. Many awakenings are triggered after a potentially life threatening medical event or near death experience. They can also be triggered after experiencing massive life shifts such as divorce, job loss, career change, birth of a child, death of a loved one and after children leave the nest and parents are left with only themselves to care for.

While the cause of a conscious awakening may vary the effect is the same. We experience a moment when everything suddenly changes and nothing can ever be the same. There is no going back after an awakening. Those who try feel like they are swimming up Niagara Falls while being pummeled with every stroke of their arms. It isn’t uncommon to feel like the cause of an awakening is external, yet once you start to dig deep it becomes clear, there is one cause of an awakening. Not living into your soul’s purpose and pursuing your dreams.

You may be working a job that is unfulfilling. You may be in a relationship that is unfulfilling. You may be spending time with friends that are unfulfilling. You may be eating food that is unfulfilling. At deeper review you’ll find there are many parts of your life where you haven’t honored yourself and have settled for less than you deserve. You’ll find areas where you have made decisions out of fear, rather than out of love. You’ll find areas where you have made compromises that compromised yourself. You’ll find areas where you have served others at the sake of yourself. You’ll find areas where you have loved others while not loving yourself.

A conscious awakening is designed to give you a massive wake up call so you will start paying attention to your true desires and start honoring yourself and others with unconditional love and compassion. The only question is how long will it take you surrender? Many people who have a conscious awakening fight it and keep trying to do the same things they’ve always done. They try to stay in their job. Stay in their relationship. Keep their friends. They keep trying to hold onto their responsibilities, their obligations and what society expects of them. Most find out fairly early that the universe doesn’t like to be ignored. Those who try to deny their awakening and continue living in their old lives may find themselves depressed, filled with anxiety, coping through their addictions and pretending to be someone they are not. Eventually, this will trigger another awakening.

For me, it came as what I believe was a 3rd minor stroke at 38. Minor strokes leave no evidence and are difficult to prove medically. Yet, calling it minor seems quite generous. I remember taking my last breath hunched down in the passenger seat of my car while my best friend, Sarah was driving. I no longer had the ability to speak. My attempts to communicate came out as deep moans that didn’t resemble the English language. My left side was paralyzed to the seat of the car. The tears streamed down my face as I knew I was facing the end. My body was shutting down. I couldn’t call for help. I couldn’t fix anything I wanted to fix. I couldn’t tell my children goodbye. I couldn’t say I was sorry for living a lie. I couldn’t do anything but die. I accepted my fate. I had been living for a year trying desperately to make my newly awakening life fit into the outside world. I felt like an outsider in my own life and I was tired. So desperately tired. Then the my chest collapsed as the air fell out of my lungs. The last breath wasn’t a big breath in like I imagined. Instead, it was the release of all the air I was holding on to. Then everything went white. A pearly iridescent white that was every color and no color at the same time. And I heard the words, “What the hell are you doing? Why aren’t you listening. I told you this would kill you.” Then I saw every moment over the last year where I had been in service to others at the sake of myself flash before my eyes. I saw the sacrifices I had made for my children by staying in Maryland despite dreaming of living on the beach. I saw the desperate attempts to gain their Father’s approval by trying to live up to their standard of what a perfect Mother should look like. I saw all the ways I tried to help others with little regard for myself or my own health. In that moment, I wished to die. It seemed to hard to fix. I saw everything I had done wrong all at once and then the voice came back and said, “what is it that you really want?”

Without thought or warning the words, “I just want to live on a beach and smoke weed all day” came out of my mouth. Panic immediately filled my thoughts. Oh my God! I think I just told God I want to smoke weed all day. I just told God I want to live a lazy, useless life. And then suddenly I woke up. I was still pinned to the passenger seat of the car unable to move, but we were in the driveway of my house now. The look on my best friend’s face said it all. She looked as if she had seen a ghost because she had. She said she felt my soul leave my body and she didn’t know what to do, she just knew I was gone. And I was…gone. The Nichole Kelly who put everyone else before herself died that day and was replaced with the person I have always truly been.

A kind, compassionate soul who just wanted to take a break from her life. That’s ultimately what my request to God meant. I wanted a permanent vacation. I had worked so hard pushing through my human experience that I never took the time to enjoy it. I wore so many masks trying to be something I wasn’t that I felt like an imposter in my own life. I carried the burden of Motherhood heavily and it had been the one area where I felt I would never succeed.My ex-husband’s were certainly never going to give me the stamp of approval I so desperately wanted. I was the bread-winner. The CEO. The boss. The mother. The wife. The industry leader. The author. The marketer. And I was never me. That is what caused my conscious awakening.

The road to recovery hasn’t always been easy. I had to learn how to set boundaries and say no to things and people I had never said no to before. I had to learn how to nourish my body with nutrition rather than the processed food alternatives I had become addicted to. I had to learn how to connect with my higher self and God and follow guidance with faith. I had to learn how to make new friends who could have beyond the surface level conversations and were on the same journey. I had to learn how to give up a lucrative career and allow the Quantum Healing gift God had blessed me with in. I had to learn how to have confidence despite it appearing like my life was falling apart. I had to learn how to create family from those who truly treated me like a family rather than the family I was born into. I had to learn how to love myself unconditionally in every moment and especially in the moments where I felt broken. I had to learn how to heal the childhood trauma that caused me to put my first mask on and created all the ones that followed. I had to learn how to be alone and not “need” a partner to feel fulfilled in this human experience. I had to learn “how” to be me as it was something I had never done. And most importantly I had to learn how to do it unapologetically.

If you are having a conscious awakening this post is for you. I want you to know that you aren’t alone. There are thousands of us across the world who have woken up to the reality in which we live and the falsehood in which we’ve created. And there is good news. On the other side of this awakening that may feel terrifying at the moment…there is you. The you who gets to just be you, unapologetically. And there is a circle of people who will love you even more for it. There are gifts you will find you have access to that you simply could never access from a place of pretending. And there is your soul who will shine so brightly that it can never be dimmed again. Until then…I’m here for you. Reach out and say hi. It would be my honor to help you find your tribe.

The light in me honors the light in you,

Your soul sister