My life has changed so drastically and so dramatically, I feel it is important to begin charting this journey. Each day comes with new joyful revelations and responsibilities; It has been difficult to remember where I was a week ago.
This story like all stories has a beginning, but to decide where to begin has been most challenging. It seems important to include my life in darkness… I think this is where I shall begin. Ever since I can remember, my soul has been restless- Restless and at that point in time frustrating. I always felt like I was late for an appointment that never existed or I forgot to unplug an iron which I never used. Why was I so anxious…? As I entered adolescence, my frustration turned to anger. My inner voice changed its voice from one of support to one of insult and battery. My desire to find a place where I belonged amongst my peers and my community in general in my estimation would quell the ranging inferno within me. And as I searched, and searched it became obvious to me I would not find this sense of belonging so easily. The only temporary solution was to put on a mask, and be the character my peers wanted me to be. My anger met my depression, and around and around we swirled in a chaotic torrent. I entered relationships which I instinctively knew were wrong for me, and I chased after other relationships which were even worse. I never really understood why I acted in such a way. In retrospect and a place of knowing, it was all to distract me from that hunger to reach my divine path and purpose.
I finally came to the age where alcohol and bars were the norm and rite of passage. I took this new age, as another opportunity to gain a sense of belonging. And again I found myself lost and disgusted with the shallowness of it all. I drowned my emotions with the popular cocktail of the moment, dressed as provocatively as I could, and danced like a hedonistic princess. I was desired, but not in the way I knew deep down I wanted to be. Men paid great attention to the me I felt I should be if I were to be approved of. Every night when I would get home from the bar, the more hollow I would begin to feel. How could I ever change this path I was on? The anger and my depression met my despair, and the more chaotic my world came to be.
The lowest point of my life, and the time of my slow realization happened in the same 5-year span. I entered a relationship with a man who offered me a sense of excitement and change, but as they say all that glitters is not gold. We became engaged, as I thought this would bring me back to center, and life would for once make sense to me. My place in this world would finally be illuminated! I had some hope, but deep down once again I knew this was not so. My parents at this time were battered emotionally in the role of by-stander in my roller-coaster ride lifestyle. They begged and pleaded for me to truly think about what it was I was actually doing with this man. At these comments, my stubborn and fear based ego pushed my parents away. What could they know? Were they the ones living my life? The relationship with this man became one-sided and completely dark. Alcohol fuelled our good times as well as the rest of the time. My life seemed pointless, without purpose and hope. I screamed and screamed on the inside longing for escape and unfettered happiness. I cried myself to sleep many many nights.
Then as if after a heavy rainstorm, the sun began to shine, as I made the choice to go to culinary school. The idea of cooking seemed to me to be the most amazing and honorable profession one could ever want. Food was the one thing in my life which could express the love in my heart on a consistent basis. Food was a language I deferred to when words would not come, or I held to much fear to speak them.
I excelled in my studies as I always have. It was an exciting time for me, I looked forward to class, and spent my lonely hours alone in the residence I shared with my fianc working on menus, studying, reading and practicing. I was a woman obsessed. My successes in school, gave me a sense of independence and self-worth which I seemingly forgot I had. I believe the culinary arts and the practice of working with my hands is what set me on the path to set my soul free.
By the time I graduated culinary school, I had broken my engagement, and the world for the first time had possibilities. I took a job close to home, as I had moved back home with my parents and younger brother. Truthfully I did not want to venture too far from the protective love of my family. I was beaten and broken in a very deep way. I gave myself to my work completely. The prospect of being paid to do something which actually brought light into my life was almost unbelievable to me. I relished and made most of each and every day in the kitchen.
Notwithstanding, I still engaged in the party lifestyle, after all I was a chef and drinking and carousing is our right (an unwritten and accepted part of a chef’s profession). The anxiety of course was still there tugging at me. The alcohol and drugs quieted the voice deep down inside me.
As I mended and bandaged myself emotionally as best I could, I knew I needed an adventure; I needed to get out of my hometown. An opportunity came, just when I needed it most (those angels!!) to continue my education on the East Coast- I even got a scholarship! I felt this would be the new beginning I so desperately needed. I made the drive to a new home, and a new part of my life.
School was a wonderful experience. I met some of the dearest people in my life. These amazing friends accepted me for who I was quirky, jovial, animated, opinionated etc… New feelings began to swirl in my consciousness. I experienced happiness and a sense of belonging I hadn’t felt these emotions in what seemed like an eternity to me.
This of course it not to say, that I began to focus on my higher self or my soul. I continued to party on a consistent basis. It helped me to sleep. Sleep would never come easily to me. I was never in a state of peace or serenity. The blazing inferno of my discontent still raged on keeping my mind, body and soul in a constant state of disconnect.
Professionally speaking, I was on my way. By the time I graduated, I became the executive chef of my very first kitchen. This was such an incredible accomplishment for me. I felt validated and a place in this world was finally being secured for me. My love for food and the power it has was still growing inside me. I knew on a deep level that our emotions were in fact communicated through the food we prepared. I was passionate about cooking with love, I knew that one can taste love in food- it’s why mom’s food or gran’s food holds such a special place in our hearts. Its all about the love.
The huge divide in my personal and professional life had now become glaringly apparent to me. Work was my life wholly and completely. Going to bars and concerts and parties were essentially the only diversion in my life- Most unhealthy. My loneliness consumed me a little at a time every day. The only cure was numbing myself with my favourite standby: alcohol.
My life for the next year or so remained virtually the same. Sleep. Work. Drink. Sleep. Repeat. To see the fruits of my labours at work was difficult, as I was regularly hung-over or feeling low and unloved. It wasn’t until I took over another restaurant, that things really started to shake up.
The new kitchen was tumultuous on every level. Everything needed to be changed. I was challenged everyday from all angles. What did I get myself into? is all I kept thinking to myself. I found I needed to drink every day after work to get to sleep. My dreams were scary, and by extension the sleep was never very good. I took on the low energies of everyone around me at work. I felt like I could barely get through the day, and all I could to motivate myself was the reward of an icy cold cocktail me after I got through the day. Truthfully, I felt like I was ready to give myself up to the desires and addictions. My world began to rapidly lose its worth and meaning and what little joy remained. I was in deep turmoil. I knew I needed some divine intervention- I decided to listen to the quiet voice. I figured if there was something important, might as well get it out now. I highly doubted anything would change my melancholy, but I deeply needed to believe change was indeed possible. And again, when I needed it most I was invited to a Lightworker’s Circle, and an angel reading the following morning. I felt very nervous and unworthy about attending the healing circle. I decided I would pass on the circle, but go to the reading.
The reading was at a co-worker’s home, and I was unsure of how to get there. I decided to take a drive out to the house to become familiar with the area. Little did I realize, I was driving to her house just before the Lightworker’s Circle was about to begin. As I approached my co-worker’s home, I was spotted by another co-worker, and I looked at the clock and saw I was just in time for the healing circle. I took this as a sign. I took a deep breath, and with my shaking hand opened my car door and committed to being a part of this process.
There was fear in the beginning, what could I possibly contribute? I needed to find peace and love within myself. Speaking publicly about my feelings was not my thing. As the healing circle took form and the process began, something within me began to stir. I felt overcome by the spirit and the high energies around me. It was transcendently powerful and moving.
When my turn came to share, I broke down in tears. I had finally let go of the control, I let go of trying to keep it all inside, I let go of trying to maintain an image. I continued to cry, and felt love of the wonderfully gifted Lightworker who lead the group, and the love of all the beautiful people in the circle. They held the intention of seeing me as healed and only healed. Love like that moved me to tears once again. Something in me had changed in ways I could not even imagine yet.
The following day I had my reading with a clairvoyant medium, Kimspirational. I was so nervous about what would happen, but more so I was nervous nothing would change. All I needed was change. The angels were listening and helped me in leading me to change. The reading took on an amazing sound healing component which was so natural and familiar to me. How could this be? You are a healer, the medium told me. Learning how to clear and cut cords for myself that morning transformed me forever. I never wanted to be that other girl again. I wanted to walk in the light, and share those lessons with others. My reconnection was now almost 2 months ago. Since that time, I have stopped drinking to numb myself. I have nearly stopped drinking completely. I have changed my diet to be nearly completely vegetarian. I am in the process of quitting smoking and have begun to reconnect with nature. Most important of all is the spiritual growth and strength I have reclaimed. I speak with the angels every day. I know I am never alone, and I am always loved. I am putting that love out into my world, as I know this love will create more love like it; A world with unfettered happiness and freedom in the Light.
This is not the end of my story it’s just the beginning!
Ilona Daniel, P.E.I., Canada