Anastasia Hessel: Finding Spirituality & Stillness

By Raw Clarity Guest Blogger: Anastasia Hessel

My Journey to finding spirituality and stillness…

As I reflect back over the last few years of my life, there has been a theme in lessons, which I desire to pass forward in hopes it may inspire and help others in their personal journey.

My journey to deeper spirituality and stillness began on a hill top in Malibu Beach California. I was 33 years old and for the first time ever started to ask those BIG life question…..For example, What’s my purpose? What is this life all about? What’s important to me? As I reflected on these questions from a hilltop overlooking the vast and wide ocean, I was very aware of my smallness compared to our omnipresent creator of all the world.

In that moment I made a conscious decision to carry this lesson forward into my daily life. I had no clue the journey my creator was about to take me on. At this time I was living alone in a cozy flat with my dog for the first time in a very long time. Recently divorced and grieving I was on a totally new path. Single and ready for personal expansion.

I created what I like to call my “War Room”. I started to talk to my creator and listen to what he had to say back to my soul when I spent time in this room. I would write affirmations, goals, notes, date them and taped them to the wall. This room was my private space to fight against the 7 deadly pleasures ( lust, gluttony, sloth, pride, greed, envy, hate) and my ever present ego. You know that voice that says, you can’t!!! You’re not enough. Why try? You will fail! I think we all can relate to that voice at one point or another in our lives.

I decided to take an entire day in my War Room. I fasted that day from all food and caffeine, put all technology away, and sat on the floor in the middle of the room in what I thought was stillness at that time and waited… I journaled as new inspiration flooded in and I had conversations with my God. That day I learned about what distracts me from living in the present moment and uniting with my God and fellows. It was a beautiful and transformative day.

The lessons continue…
One day I was running on the treadmill, listening to music and watching TV, while also observing others in the workout room. I heard that ever so slight whisper say, “you are three layers away from me.” I paused, as I was taken back by this profound new idea. I thought, ok, I’ll do one thing at a time. So, I just ran on the treadmill. Here I met my monkey mind as it was not distracted by music, tv, or others around me. I felt a desperation to learn how to quite my mind.

My next profound lesson of many over the next 2 years was driving in my car. I was driving, listening to music, talking to a friend over bluetooth, and thinking about the cars around me. Again, I heard that still voice say, “ you are three layers away from me.” I paused mentally, finished my phone call, turned off the music and just began focus on my breathe. I felt the rhythm of my breathe in flow with my creators breathe and I was rocketed into the present moment with God. Breathing as one. Aware of his indwelling presence. Tears of joy began to roll down my face. I wanted more of this feeling.

The lessons didn’t stop there. Walking my dog, drinking my morning coffee……God found many ways to teach me about being still. My God has a great since of humor. As I became more present in every moment, space was created in my being and more of my God was able to flow in. I was aware of the world around me and felt deeply connected. My compassion for myself and others was growing. That internal voice was becoming more of my confidon and less of my enemy.

Today, I think of my mind as a toddler and I’m the loving parent. My toddler (mind) starts to think (FYI folks, the brain is a muscle, its job is to think, so take it easy on yourself) during mediation and I lovingly bring its attention back to the breath. Some days I do this over and over and some days my breath has all my attention. Like anything else one wants to get good at, it takes daily practice for me. I leave self judgement and preconceived ideas of mediating at the door.

My hope and prayer for all who read my journey to presence and stillness is that it begins awareness of your own journey. That you may have the freedom I have experienced by creating space for God to flow in and pour out on others. Together we unite and spread love.

Namaste and Be blessed
Sincerely Coach Anastasia, CCLC, CPLC

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Instagram: Coach_Anastasia