It began after returning from living in Europe for a year in 2009. I had lived in three different countries, each very different. This journey in particular ignited something inside me. It was not an easy time, however, I learnt some profound things about myself. One was how to ask for help. I had a belief that because I'd delved a lot into personal development, I 'should' be able to get through any challenge that life presents, by myself. Essentially, I was telling myself a story that wasn't real.
I had already hit bottom 4 years previously, leaving an abusive relationship. Yet I hadn't found the place inside me where I could say, "No". Part of discovering this place was being able to reach out to others and admit that I couldn't do it all myself. I had always surrendered and trusted my spiritual calling, yet, my level of trust with other human beings (no matter how close), was much lower.
So, I was sitting in Istanbul, Turkey. I felt both very alone and very blessed because I had explored the city, taking ample photographs and fell in love with the bohemian beauty. It was incredibly artistic and I loved my adventures. Yet, on another level, I was also doing my best to integrate having lived in Moscow only a few month prior; a country vastly different from my own. I had little resources left through circumstances and things were not turning out how I thought they might. Although, that was not something unusual to me, especially when traveling, it was an accumulation of overwhelm. On top of all this change, the connection with the man whom I had been involved with had run it's course.
One afternoon, I was watching the boats on the Bosphorus, it was quite a peaceful view and at the same time I felt that same alone feeling. I often loved being alone, yet this felt different. It felt like life had dismissed me. I felt as though I had failed at being independent. I felt over-responsible for everything and I had berated myself over and over again. At this point I reached for my laptop. I am unable to explain why it hadn't happened earlier, but I then sent an email to a dear friend. She wrote back not long after, saying, "Well, finally! I've been waiting for you to ask!".
Upon returning to Australia late 2010, and after the experience of that year integrated, something inside me had shifted deeply. I had found my "No'. One day I promised myself I would never let anyone treat me disrespectfully ever again, and I would stand up for myself and anyone else who was being treated badly. This meant saying 'No' to my family, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
Over the years following this shift, I had a growing sense that I wanted to give back to the community in some way, yet it wasn't clear how. I began writing more and connecting with other people with empowering messages. I felt very moved to support women so I focused more on this area.
The vision of the Awakened Foundation came through several years later, after another life-changing shift where I moved to America. It is inspired by a personal human story, along with many "awakenings" that have occurred in my life. We were driving along the interstate towards Maine to visit family, when suddenly images of beautiful, sensual and feminine artwork flashed through my mind along with the transcendent nature of what this represented. In the vision I also saw people who had experienced difficulties in their lives, painting, writing and creating moving pieces of work expressing their stories.
In one of those awakened moments I realised who I am was not those human experiences. I learnt first and foremost, that I could let it all go and then, to turn that difficult, painful energy into something beautiful and healing. I honour my human story, yet, I am not those experiences and they do not define me. Severing the chains and living beyond the story is different for everyone. Each person's path is unique and it may vary vastly to another's.
Why do I feel it is important to speak up?
To begin with, I was too concerned about what others may think. When I did speak to those whom I felt I could trust, I was judged. I did not balk at being vulnerable, in fact I learnt how vulnerability was an incredibly powerful and beautiful space to be in. I didn't realise the depth of what it meant to be open and honest about difficult issues and how it would press buttons in others. Reactions to someone who is willing to "go there" are plentiful. It is often a fear based response and is quite normal. I also know, with topics such as violence and abuse, there needs to be a great deal of patience and trust.
I speak up now for my family firstly. I also speak up for those in the world that do not have a voice. I speak up for a shift in the collective consciousness, and for myself.
Why creativity is so powerful.
The "Satori Project" is about healing through creativity. Pure creativity is an organic channel that is naturally healing; it is something that cannot be forced or replicated. It is unique to the individual. Those who feel moved to share their stories, we are open to; creative writing, poetry, art, photography, songwriting, music, and theatre.
The core focus of the Foundation and the Project is to support people on their path to freedom; in reclaiming their spirit, re-connect with their true self and return to their organic self through creativity. It is to support people in remembering the beautiful soul that they are, beyond the human experiences, knowing that they are not “damaged” beyond repair, and their presence is a pure gift.
Those who choose to tell their stories bring hope, inspiration, courage and greater awareness to others. It is an important phase of healing and empowerment for one to truly feel heard, seen and received in non-judgmental and compassionate ways.
Written by Laura Naomi
© awakenedfoundation 2017
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