E N L I G H T E N E D with Anya Light

Can you explain your spiritual journey in a nutshell?

My spiritual journey is one of gradually moving from the darkness into the light. In my childhood and early twenties, I suffered a lot of abuse, both physical and emotional. I was unable to really look clearly at that abuse, and so my body began to speak to me: I began to get really, really sick. At that point, I had a choice to make. I could look within and heal, or I could stay stuck in denial and victim-mode. I intuitively knew that if I chose the latter, I would die.

So, I chose life. Once I began to heal myself through Reiki and spiritual practice, I began to realize how important it was for me to share the wisdom I’ve gained with others who are struggling with similar illness, trauma and abuse issues. Right now, I work in a domestic violence shelter. This work gives me great joy, because I feel the Universe is giving me a chance to put to good use the hard-earned wisdom I have earned. 

How do you explain higher power?

For years, I was deeply angry and bitter about the way that I was raised: in a fundamentalist religion that promotes hate, judgment and fear. As my spiritual journey progressed, however, I healed those parts of myself that were hurt and I forgave my family—they were only doing the best they knew how to do at the time.

It took a while, but now I have made peace with God. When I say “God,” I do not mean it in the way that most people mean it. My version of the “God concept” is this: There is a loving, benevolent energy that unites us all. In fact, it not only unites us—it is us

Within each of us, there is a spark of a divine force, a creative and loving energy. 

When we gaze into a roaring fire, there are individual flames that rise up, momentarily. Is each flame separate from the fire? No. 

Each flame is a temporary manifestation that arises within the grace and beauty of the fire, yet each flame is ultimately inseparable from that overall fire. The fire is all one thing. That is what God is. God is you, God is me, God is we. God is us all.

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What is one of the most powerful moments you’ve had on your spiritual journey?

My first Reiki session, in spring 2011. It literally felt like my Reiki master, Barb, was pulling toxic sludge from my body. It was absolutely incredible. I woke up from the session feeling twenty pounds lighter.

The whole experience blew my mind. At that point in my life, I was a very rational and logical person. During the session, Barb was simply laying her hands softly upon my skin—without even moving them! How had she achieved what she had achieved? It totally blew my mind.

Such a blowing of my mind was necessary in order to open my heart.

When I got up from that Reiki table, my life was never the same again. I simply had to learn how to do what she did. 

And so I did. 

Can you explain your meditation practice?

I meditate every day. I primarily practice Reiki (a form of meditation that focuses on healing), transcendental meditation, mantra and chanting meditation, sacred dance, and yoga. My practices according to my mood and needs of the day. 

I see meditation as a flexible practice in that I am always trying new things, yet I also have cultivated an enormous amount of self-discipline. I usually spend about 1-4 hours in meditative practice every day. 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received? 

There have been so many profound wisdom teachers along the way. I am so grateful. 

I cannot choose a “most” valuable piece, because all the pieces have been valuable at various stages of the journey. However, I can say that I find the most inspiration from studying the words of the enlightened beings throughout history: such as Jesus the Christ, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma the Hugging Saint), Mahavatar Babaji, Paramahansa Yogananda, and Sathya Sai Baba. 

All of these great saints essentially have the same message. They speak of love and compassion. That is how I aim to live my life: cultivating as much love and compassion as I can for myself and the world.

Where does your drive derive from?

The more I awaken, the more happy and peaceful I become. As I watch this unfolding in my own life, I see and understand that what I’m experiencing is possible for everyone. Therefore, my drive comes from a great desire within me to assist those who are ready to peel back the layers of who they think they are, and reveal the great rose of truth underneath.

Share something interesting you’ve observed in a state of observation.

I’ve observed that when my mind gets quiet, I am enveloped in a state of unconditional acceptance for not only myself but the world as well. I know everything is okay. There are larger forces at work than my tiny mind can comprehend. I recognize that I am flowing in the flow, and that all is indeed well. 

How do you define love?

Love is opening our heart to the reality that we are all One. 

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How do you describe your shadow self and what is your relationship to it?

The shadow is an interesting topic! 

I have found that, in my life, my shadows are brought forward for me to heal through my human interactions. Who I attract and who I choose to spend time with says a lot about what is going on internally with me.

I recently ended a three-year relationship. That relationship held much beauty, passion, and ecstasy, yet also a tremendous amount of suffering. Recently, I realized that the relationship had served its purpose and the time had come for me to bring it to completion. 

That relationship helped me to look at the deep shadows within. It was simultaneously really scary and beautiful! My beloved was an awesome mirror, showing me the places in which I was still “stuck.” Over those three years, I learned, slowly and gently, how to love and accept the parts of me (such as despair, helplessness, victimhood, blame, jealousy, and envy) that the other person would trigger within me. 

I am so grateful for that relationship. Although I am still in pain over its ending, I wake up every morning with gratitude in my heart that it happened. It was so beautiful. It was so necessary. 

How do you channel intuition?

When I have loosened my grip on the thinking mind, then I am able to easily tap into intuitive information about myself and others. Often times, I have bodily signals that help me channel: such as a tingly head, tightness/looseness in my heart or gut, heavy limbs, tickling in my throat…basically, my body is a barometer for the situation. And my body has zero to do with my thinking mind: it is raw, pure, unfiltered, and honest.

Another important part of channeling the intuition (the higher self) is setting an intention. When I have a desire to connect to a higher knowing, I set the intention that the information that comes through me is for the highest and greatest good of myself, my client, and all beings. Setting that intention is so important. It helps me relax and trust. And it also puts a container around what kind of information I am able to pick up. Sometimes, it’s not actually in mine or someone else’s best interest to know certain things in advance—they must learn it for themselves

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What does the Sacred Feminine mean to you?

For me, the Sacred Feminine relates back to the last question. The Sacred Feminine is not logical. It’s all about intuition, and faithfully surrendering to the higher forces. 

The Sacred Feminine is many things. She is wild, protective, sensual, soft, meandering, playful, and at times fierce. She is often contradictory and paradoxical. Here I think here of Kali, the Divine Mother in Hinduism. Kali is a protector and a mother—and yet she is also seen as a fierce warrior, a destroyer. As a warrior she is tough and fierce, yet as a soft and benevolent mother she gives birth to all things. 

Whether your gender is male or female or something else, whether you are gay or straight or trans or asexual, all of us have an aspect within us of the Sacred Feminine. If we can embrace this sacred part of us, we come closer to a feeling of wholeness and peace. 

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I am madly in love with my blog Awakening With at www.AnyaLight.com. It’s a collaborative blog—I’ve been working with such incredible writers. We are exploring topics such as Reiki, meditation, mindful living, yoga, and more.

I have also begun the process of channeling information for my second book. It’s been three years since my first book, Opening Love, was birthed, and now the time feels ripe to begin my next big project. At this stage, I am just allowing the ideas to freely flow into my head. Nothing has been put onto paper yet. It’s a time of great introspection and fertility. 

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What sets you on fire?

Love!

Joni JohnsonComment