Rights of Passage on the Spiritual Path...Encountering Spiritual "Initiations"

Submitted by Open on Tue, 08/15/2017 - 07:01

There will be times on the path where you're presented with vital opportunities for accelerated evolutionary growth. They are windows of possibility where your soul is wanting to expand into a new conscious existence. The Universe presents a cauldron of alchemical change, where you're tested emotionally, physically and mentally to your threshold and beyond. It's like a new flower, breaking through tough surface layers. By pathfinders who've endured them, they've become known as 'initiations'. They are the most earth-shattering, bone-shaking you will encounter. It pays to know something about them, to make sense of what's going on...

Surrendering to the Soul

Your inner configuration of consciousness creates the exact outer circumstances of your life. Based on the degree of soul infusion, determines how aligned that reality will be. If there's still a lot of identity, ego or karmic filters, then you'll create varying degrees of disharmony, frustration and lack of fulfillment. And so as a result of these feelings, there's then encouragement and motivation to reconfigure your existence by going within and unfolding new aspects of being - it's the only way to truly change the outer.

There's still a huge amount of talk in the spiritual mainstream and motivational circles about 'manifesting the reality you want'. The approach is to envision, then intentionally bring into being, that which you desire. It is an approach that is fatally flawed. The soul will ultimately find a way through with an entirely different agenda: that of evolutionary growth and self-actualisation through unbounded self expression. Here is the real secret, the profound joy.

Intentional manifestation may work for a while, but ultimately, as the bubble bursts, there's a surrendering once more to the soul's rightful journey. And initially, as you work to infuse soul, making that your aim, it's going feel pretty expansive and at times blissful - because of the letting go, the surrender. But that's far from the end of the story, because the inner reality needs to then infuse into the outer, so as to create a congruent reflection. And this is where initiations take place.

In the Corridor of Change

There comes the point of Realignment on the path. I've spoken of it in the 5GATEWAYS Documentary. It is where there's realisation that only surrendering to the soul's calling can lead to fulfillment in life. It's not an intellectual shift; rather a kind of 'breaking down sobbing of surrender' -

"I will not do another thing until I can feel it coming from my soul!"

It's at this point that you open the doorway to the superhighway of spiritual growth, and with that, accelerating initiations. The soul will work to merge your consciousness through your being and into the outer reality. But in so doing, it's going to hit not only your blockages and distortions of the old bodymind consciousness, but then also the imbalances and disharmony in the outer world you've created. Thus begins a near constant confrontation with the old reality. This is the point where many seekers on the path turn back. I've witnessed it countless times: it becomes too intense to persist. There's a loss of trust, and as the inner density gets churned up, it becomes exceptionally hard to hear your divine guidance mechanism. It becomes all too easy to slip into denial and accept a lesser existence.

But this is not the time to stop! It's the perfect time to remember exactly why you're doing it. If you don't persist, that window of opportunity will close, and it can take time to reconfigure and re-open. One fundamental truth can help you to persist:

There is absolutely nothing going on but self-realisation. And so if you hit inner density and it wants to break you down internally, let it happen. You're breaking the inner ties into the old consciousness. It's not going to be easy: it may mean the ending of a relationship where you've spent many years together, where ties have to be unbound; it may mean leaving a career or general living situation with no certainty of what is to come next. The path is definitely not all love and light!

6 key signs of a Spiritual Initiation

An initiation often feels like you've been abandoned, cast adrift in confusion as if the Universe is having some great cosmic joke at your expense. It will make it easier to know the key signs you're actually undertaking one... 6 Key signs of a Spiritual Initiation:

1) You're beset with near constant patterns of outer confrontation in your life

2) Things don't want to work in the ways they used to - everything seems to be breaking down

3) Where previously your internal guidance mechanism worked well for you, now it's hard to figure out even the simplest of choices

4) Emotionally you're pushed to the limit; physically your body aches; intellectually the mind struggles to make sense

5) It becomes exceptionally hard to trust what you know in the heart to be true - the outer world keeps reflecting the old consciousness

6) Relationships, careers and general living circumstances are all challenged.

When I've encountered these myself on the path, it kind of feels like the metamorphosis of a butterfly: you enter into a 'chrysalis phase', where everything internal feels like it's turning to mush - prior to the resplendent new form coming through. (Here's a video on what it feels like to Unleash Your Cosmic Self))

Facilitating the Process

So crucially, if you find yourself encountering a phase in your life like something I've described, you could well be engaged in an initiation. It is not about making it easier! It is not about immediately dropping the pain like proverbial hot coals and turning away! It's about walking courageously right into the jaws of it. But you can make the process more manageable. Here's how...

7 Steps to Make Initiations Manageable:

1) Turn completely into it. Don't reject or push the hardship away.

2) Don't try to fix the outer world with some quick or expediently comfortable solution.

3) Don't back away. Instead, go right into the very heart of it. Let it churn you up and break you down.

4) Keep looking for the internal tightness, whether it be physical, emotional, mental or karmic - express into it, let the pain and anguish come through you.

5) Then, when you've normalised in this internal tsunami of uncertainty - when the 'boat' has righted itself - look for a new aspect of beingness that wants to come through and light the path forwards.

6) Commit wholeheartedly to the new pathway.

7) Watch and celebrate as the new reality takes shape.

(Here's a video on how to Breakthrough Subconscious Tightness)

In this Fierce Embrace, even the Gods speak of God

So, there will come times on the path where you enter such a cauldron of profound alchemical change. If my sharing has helped you recognise that happening, then I encourage you to persist, to head right into the jaws of uncertainty. Because in so doing, you'll experience the most extraordinary expansion possible and your new life will literally take off! It's certainly not for everyone, but if you're drawn to this text, and got this far, I'm certain you have what it takes to break through. So go for it!...

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods. I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned. If you know despair or can see it in others. I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand. I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing. I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God. — David Whyte

Not Alone

Above all, remember, that even if you feel alone, you are not. There is constant support from higher evolved consciousness in the ether all around you, those who will know exactly what you're going through. But they're not here to take the pain away, they're not here to find the solution for you. They're here to hold the space and help you grow through it, by illuminating that which you now need to work with in yourself. Everybody hurts sometimes. And you are not alone. (Join the Openhand Community...Engage with Starsouls just like you)

If you think you might be encountering an initiation of intense transformation on the path, the work in our Ascension Academy can help you...
Openhand Ascension Academy

In loving support

Open HeartPraying Emoji

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Every word of this article speaks to me and reflects the process in me right now. 

Since the beginning of 2022 I've set out to follow full time what I've perceived to be my soulful yearning. Yet everything I've set my mind to has produced little to no results in terms of incoming resources. I'm at the point where it is no longer sustainable - When my soul seems to guide me down a particular path I hit wall after wall in the 3D.

There are possibilities that could bring more resources, but none of them speak fully into my soul - they seem like compromises. 

It's culminated in 2 back-to-back viruses that have left me physically exhausted and a seizing up of my neck and shoulders which is very painful - something to do with a feeling of not being able to support myself.

I'm rereading autobiography of a yogi right now and noticing how some of my habits are not in line with a constant following of soul. 

This periods feels like a great reset within me. My system is breaking down on every level. I have little compass with which to follow whatever is emerging. It feels like a complete black hole of nothingness that I'm stepping into.

When I focus on the 3D I feel despair and hope, but my trust is wearing thin. When I go inside I perceive the ultimate okayness of pure being and know that even if I die, at this level all is well.

Thanks for the space to share,

In reply to by Richard W



I just happened to read your message Rich. Maybe the object for the soul isn't resources?

Maybe we're meant to go off track sometimes - so that we can re-establish it once again?

It can be difficult to conceive of but everything that ever happens is meant for our reason.


I have intense Black Snake machinations thwarting a project of mine at the moment..

If I haven't resolved it myself soon I will be seeking your assistance for it's full throttle!

Of course, any info in the meantime would be most welcome. It is currently gridlock..


Remy 🙏🏼


In reply to by Remy (not verified)


Hi Remy, 

Thanks for the reflection. Yes, I totally resonate. In my process I see how the soul is forging in ever deeper layers - I can see how all this is, and has been, necessary. There's an acceptance of that. I've gained much insight and integration. Still to hit so many 3D walls has me quite confused. 

Is there something similar in your exploration? Are you attaching to a specific vision or outcome? The words that jump put for me are 'thwarting', 'full throttle', and 'gridlock'. Are you trying to trying to drive full throttle through a situation that may require more careful weaving and winding with more flexible approach?

In appreciation,


In reply to by Richard W


I have to be careful nowadays Rich. It's 100mph instant ban in the UK.

Although I was a racing driver in a previous incarnation for sure.

No attachment to any outcomes or specific vision in mind.

In reply to by Open


'Spiritual by-passing' 🤷🏼‍♂️

If you explain what it is I shall take a look.

Remy 🙏🏼

In reply to by Remy (not verified)


I've worked to reflect this a fair bit, and will do so as caringly as I can.
I sense there's a degree of disconnect from the lower densities, and an energy working there which wants you to avoid looking too hard. It's clever. It knows the "right" things to say spiritually so as to divert external attention. But I'm clear I can see it. Assuming you can resonate with what I'm saying, there would be a need to break into the lower chakras more deeply.

Bright blessings

Open 🙏

In reply to by Open


Okay, I will root it out. It will come. Very much appreciated 🙏🏼

I meant to put 'The Middle Lane' as title to the post yesterday. 

I do sometimes fire things off too quickly. Maybe this is why.



In reply to by Remy (not verified)


I think that should do the trick 💫

In reply to by Richard W


Hi Richard, 

I'm also reading autobiography of a yogi. Interesting synchronicity. Beautiful and inspiring book. I especially like the part where mukunda accepts a challenge from his brother and goes to the town with his friend penniless but returns with gifts for him. I recently read another one by Mingyur Rinponche which had inspired me a lot.

I suppose what inspires me is the courage and commitment to be true to the soul, come whatever may. I was meditating before and had a thought where does this fear of resources come from. Maybe it's a sirius karma of the feeling of being abandoned by god and then lack of trust and control. When I operate from such a place, it doesnt lead to any fulfilment. Yet when I'm in the place of creativity, I feel passionate and accepting of myself. Does being in my creative zone, pays the bill? I don't really know but I have to find out. As I project my thoughts into the future, I think what's there to loose? At the very least Il go back home drop all my recording stuff, laptop and take off with my tent and ukulele. When I think about it, it fills me with excitement. But I know this is only the mind projecting to the future. 

What's else is there to do, other than being in this flow? The paradox is that, the flow will always a find a way to flow. How can it not? That's its destiny. Maybe at times it will hit karmic barriers. Then I will sit, resolve it out and then flow again. I have to remind myself to not take it seriously and be patient when that happens. But my soul says, I'm not ready to give up the truth of my soul, for 3D comfort.

Great that you are going through such a powerful process. I especially resonate with the last part - "When I go inside I perceive the ultimate okayness of pure being and know that even if I die, at this level all is well."

Thanks for sharing.

In reply to by Vimal


Hi Vimal,

Lovely to connect. It's amazing to see how eloquent and insightful you're expression is becoming. Thank you for the reflection.

Yes, Autobigraphy of a Yogi has many gems. One of my favourite scenes is where his master plays a little practical joke on him in 'The Cauliflower Robbery' chapter. Maybe that plays into a part of my own nature ;-)

Indeed, I notice how creativity gets stifled when the logical mind takes over. These days I have plenty of time for creative expression. There's so much continually bubbling up. A blessing. 

I loved, 'The flow will always be in the flow. How can it not?' 

Another question which comes while reading the book and other things is, 'do I not want this enough?' I perceive there's still, as you say, some attachment to comfort, though it's dwindling. I suppose it again comes down to a reminder that there's no other way, even if it brings me to starvation. 

Much love


In reply to by Richard W


Hi Rich - wow, yes, I can feel the intensity of your journey right now. I recall it only too well.

I think many are lulled into the idea that Enlightenment is a building-up process, when actually it's the very opposite - the destruction of everything that is in resistance, denial or unconscious. People confuse it because when they get the early stage letting go feelings, they assume it's going to be blissful and then provide all they need. But again, this comes from a desire to protect the ego. Whereas the One is pulling you into the cauldron of breaking the separation down (separation from the flow itself).

I'd say you're in exactly the right place.
It's not about having resources to do this or that.
It's not about completing this project or that.
If you're truly about divine service, then it all needs to come from the divine -
meaning, there is no "it needs to be like this or that".
The self needs to become infinitely malleable, so the flow can crystallise through it.
Fear needs to be broken through and dispensed with.
To truly be of divine service,
You need to become an empty vessel.

It will bring you to your knees time and again until finally you give up.
You've even then gone through the sobbing, until you can't sob anymore. There's a final surrender, "then bring it on".
No fear of death. No fear of life either.
We all come to this when we're ready.
At this point, people either turn into it or pull away.
It's up to you what you feel to do with it now, whether to go there or not.
There will be light on the other side, but no one can tell you what that will look like, how it will manifest.
You're on the precipice. Where do you go now?

Finally, the head and shoulders tightness and viruses suggest a disconnect between the higher infusing flow and the density in the lower self, caused by the way you've been living - lower density behaviourisms. It's kind of like whiplash. And it's a good sign you're getting into it. If you work with it by deep consciousness bodywork (like soul motion), then it will work down all through you like a burning corkscrew effect.

There with you.

Open 🙏

In reply to by Open


Very inspirational words Open, thank you. I will keep reading them to let them sink in.

The video too.

Yes, it really does feel like it's all about divine service. What stood out for me is that to truly be of divine service fear needs to be broken through and dispensed with. To become an empty vessel. I can feel the commitment to this flowing through me right now. 

What you said about the shoulder tightness resonates. Feels very much like whiplash. I've noticed how much body work helps indeed. 

Much love and appreciation,



Oh, I love your posts!  Am curious to know if you chose "rights of passage" over "rites of passage" as a fun encouragement or if it has some other double entendre meaning.

It's like when a music student asks me why music has been written in G-flat major instead of F-sharp major. Sounds the same, spelt differently.

Again, thank you for your service, for being here!

Much love to you.


Hi Open,

I wonder if I can ask you a question? 

Lately, I have been made aware of the difference between living with lower versus higher integrity to the point where I have started to see the difference this has made in my life in different stages of life choices. At this point, I feel it is very much connected to my fear of trust and how I for far too long have been afraid to truly open up my heart space. It can be easy to understand what the word integrity means on a human level. But from a perspective of ascending. Do you have any thoughts about what it means to live a life of higher integrity from the inside out?

with love, Ruth Benedikte

In reply to by Ruth Benedikte (not verified)


That's a great question Ruth - essentially the shift from being led in life from the lower self to that of the higher self 👍

It's something we covered in the movie and book 5GATEWAYS. As you purify the lower self through (essentially) meditation and spiritual practice, then you're integrating and infusing soul. Higher dimensional information about the flow and your correct alignment in life begins to trickle in, and then cascade in.

You pick it up as guidances of spontaneous higher knowing, visioning, signs and synchronicity and then the heartfelt pull. As you go more with this guidance, then a shift happens which we've termed the Realignment. Basically, you've now surrendered to that cascading inflow. But for some time, you'll still be influenced by the convolutions and karmic density of the lower self. You've got contradictory pulls, often in opposite directions.

This is where integrity of being becomes so essential in order to proceed. Many people are now awake, but not that many are truly living day to day, moment to moment, guided from the higher self. This is another essential shift, which comes from the feeling that you can no longer override the guidance. This is that integrity of being which becomes necessary to find. It's being committed to the constant conscious choice.

Best wishes

Open 🙏

In reply to by Remy (not verified)



Once false ego identity has been discarded with, and you adorn the self in qualities of being instead, you may experience yourself as a fictional character. 

There’s no attachment to the roles you might play, that is for the divine to reveal. And you can watch as the drama unfolds but can never fall for any illusions.

You’re 100% conviction! and not of this world any longer! You’re a living breathing work of improvisational art! And may it be a true masterpiece for you.

Remy 🙏🏼



26/09/2022 Openhand Journal Update

There's no doubt about it, it's getting tough on the spiritual path out there in the field right now. That's because so much is shifting and terraforming. It triggers a lot of doubt, fear and uncertainty. But really this only endures for any length of time because the orientation of the being is channeled in the wrong direction - trying to fix things in the 3D or steer the ship in the direction of subconscious hopes and desires about how the ego really needs it to go.

We've got to break through these illusions, and in any given moment, let the soul emerge out. You feel it as a sense of rightness in expression. And from this, a new pathway emerges and unfolds, progressively with each step.

Do be clear about how you approach and break through the density that is bound to be coming up on a daily basis. Get to know what best works for you and how to apply it.

Check out Openhand's Breakthrough Approach in the Academy

At times you'll come into a specific corridor of change where it all intensifies. It seems like every aspect of your life is being challenged at once - at this point, it's highly possible you've come into a "Rights of Passage". What's that all about? Do check my article above and explore. It's sure to illuminate the challenges you're facing and help you nagivate through.

I wish you well on your continued journey through this tumultuous shift.

Bright blessings

Open 💙

In reply to by Open


Oh, my! Thank God for your ability to be exactly where the shift is. I believe it is intertwined with all of our lives. I'm seeing something similar in my surroundings. I just had a conversation with my flatmate, who is clearly churning inside due to all the physical and emotional ties. As you mentioned, this is where we must be certain of our true orientation. According to what I'm hearing from others, there is a lot of confusion and a lack of genuine trust. I can feel it within myself, my solar plexus churning and my mind wanting to overthink and seek resolution. When the mind takes over, we are definitely in the third dimension, and trust is difficult to come through. I believe two key things that work for me are connecting with the sacred ground within so that we know we are not the confusion but the spaciousness through which it is happening. There is less need to fix it. Another is vulnerability to the path, willing to go down the road that will undoubtedly break you, but if there is one thing, it is this trust - It cannot break this connection to presence. And I believe that whatever difficult experiences I face will only strengthen this connection. There is courage in saying, "Bring it on!" This, I believe, is the point at which realignment occurs.

I think I'm also a bit confused about certain aspects. Good to know I'm not alone. The article has eased things up a little for me. I'm gonna sit with it and see what comes out of it. 


Wow, I couldn't have described what is going on any better. Actually it answered what is going on directly word for word! I am so confused at times (ok, more than not), all over the place with my emotions, situations on the outer world, yep they are changing and everything is not the same, it is scary, I am trusting in something that I can't see. That something is inside of me, which is even harder to trust after being so conditioned for 60 years. I am breaking down.

For some reason, there is something still driving me forward to follow my inner being. It feels right. So, I am staying with it. The symptoms really helped, its like you wrote them for me, LOL, I realize I am not alone, everyone will have some or all of these. While going through them, its easy to forget that. When I am floundering, I pick up Breakthrough and let it  open to whatever page, and re-read it, I find comfort in it, that I am going to be ok. It seems to open at a page where I need the encouragement the most. Synchronicity. I am trying to sit and just let the answer come.

I have started the 5 Gateways. I feel the more I can learn, the more understanding in my heart mind and soul, the easier this will be. 

Thank you for this wonderful gift!

Much Love and Gratitude! Celine


Open, thank you so much for this article.  I do believe I am in the midst of a spiritual initiation and it is so challenging.  I am feeling lost, confused and afraid.

I am dealing with health issues – toxins in my body caused maybe by my environment and maybe by my diet.  I have been on so many restrictive diets over the years with my weight going up and down to extremes.  I am afraid to eat!  I do have a doctor that I like and we are working on it, and I have an appointment with a dietitian tomorrow.  So I do have hope.

Maybe an even bigger issue is that I feel lost as to my purpose in life.  I have a good job that I’ve worked all my life to attain.  I make good money, I work from home.  I am told that I am fortunate.  Yet I can’t seem to get motivated to apply myself, to focus on the work and to enjoy it.  I work for a few hours a day and then feel guilty that I didn’t work more.  I feel that the work I do is not my true calling.  But I am not sure what my true calling is.  And even if I knew for sure what it was, I don’t feel I have the means and the support to pursue it.  I worry that, as Open says above, if I don't persist, the window of opportunity will close, and it can take time to reconfigure and re-open. Then I’ll just stay stuck in this world that I find myself in – which makes me feel like Phil Connors in Groundhog Day.  I keep telling myself to learn from this movie and embrace it, every part of it!  But then I don’t, I stay stuck in my resentment, blame and fear.  Sometimes I feel that I may go crazy from this torture!

I have so many things to do, so many things to take care of.  Yet I feel stuck and ineffective at everything.  I don’t know what to do next and nothing feels good.  I feel pulled in too many different directions.  I feel that I accomplish very little and what I do accomplish feels half-assed.  I feel like I’m wasting time, wasting my life.  I worry that my attitude is creating more of the same.  I also worry that my dissatisfaction with life and my complaining affects my husband in a negative way.

However, this article, its suggestions for managing the process, and all of the posts here have helped a lot.  I see that I am not alone, that you all understand and have experienced your own versions of this challenge.  I thank you for being there and for sharing your stories and your challenges so that I may better understand my own.

I do not know when and how I will completely follow the pull of my soul, but I do know that I will not give up!  I will not go back!  I will keep confronting the barriers and honoring the pain.  I will keep trusting, reaching out and listening for my divine guidance.  I will keep doing my best, as Open puts it, to be who I fucking well am!


In reply to by Cheryl


Hi Cheryl,

Firstly my heart goes out to you. I know that many will be able to empathise with what you're experiencing Heart

It feels like a lot of what you're encountering are self-judgements and self-blame - feeling not worthy. Have you had various people putting you down in life? Especially from a young age?

The judgments you share sound quite embedded at the level of mind - which although strong, are just programs and not who you really are. So the key is to work to get to know yourself more as a feeling. Not trying to shut the thought processes down necessarily, but to shift focus and feel more the sense of yourself. Also what kind of things are you doing when you feel good? When you feel plain right? Do these kinds of things as much as possible and feel that sense of rightness as much as you can.

This sense of rightness leads ultimately to something we call the Sacred Ground of Being. It becomes the mast in the storm, and when you can regularly connect with it, then it becomes possible to pick apart all the mental judgments. So I would suggest beginning there - feeling more into the sense of rightness of self. I'd also advise working with one of the Openhand facilitators on it. If you'd like a suggestion as to who to work with, email us: admin@openhandweb.org

You are not alone!

Open HeartPraying Emoji

In reply to by Open




Thank you so much for your response.  Your compassion, encouragement and support are so appreciated.

I definitely had a lot of influence at an early age that has resulted in deeply-rooted habits of self-doubt, self-judgment, shame, not being enough, etc.  I understand at an intellectual level that those are just programs and am beginning to incorporate the truth into my belief system and my knowing.  I understand, too, that the programs are just illusions that I am creating so that I can learn to face and transcend them.  I appreciate the suggestion to shift my focus to feel more the sense of myself – I think that will help me put the intellectual knowing into an experiential practice and close the gap.  I have started to experience feelings of sensing myself from time to time and it feels really good to get out of my head and allow myself to just feel and express – it’s like I’m getting to know my true self.

There are also times when I naturally feel terrific – on top of the world.  I feel as one with everything and I even feel the One that I truly am.  Sometimes, then, that becomes too overwhelming, and I have to pull back from it.  It is like a crazy roller coaster ride!  I think that I am “testing out the waters” of experiencing Oneness and learning to become comfortable with it.

I have been doing more of the things that I enjoy doing, despite so many other things on my plate.  It feels like a trade-off -- even with the things that I enjoy, I realize that I can't do them all every day, so I choose a few that I do that day, then the next day I do some of the other fun things.  I also have to be careful that the fun things don’t start to become obligations when I push to make sure I do them – then they are not fun things anymore!  I think that once I learn to identify the sense of rightness you mentioned versus running the programs of what I should be doing or what I think that others want me to do, it will become much easier for me to connect with the sense of myself and hear my inner guidance.

The article that you provided on the Sacred Ground of Being was also very helpful.  I love the part that says that the more you centre in the experience of your practice, the more mystical and magical your life will become.  I understand that the circumstances of my life do not have to be a certain way for me to feel and embrace the magic.  I am excited about that!!

I have done some work with Openhand facilitator Jen and plan to continue to do so as I am able.  She has been an invaluable help to me.  I am also reading 5Gateways and it is helping put the pieces together.  All of the resources that Openhand has provided and continues to provide are deeply appreciated.

Much Love, Heart



Hey Megha - keep staying with it, keep riding the flow. The opening crown chakra probably has plenty to do with it all. I'd say explore letting the energy rise up into the crown, then work to hold it there - see how that expands you multidimensionally. Thumbs Up Sign (that's definitely a thumb - not a shinging sun!).

Paul - it's amazing just how much those emoticons can mean voltage emoji icon

Hey Anastasia - no worries about the travel. It often happens to people coming their first Openhand gathering. Often some degree of subconscious resistance to the soul's revelation causes blockages on the path - broken down cars, trains, planes and everything! But you'll be well looked after when you're here.

Keep riding the flow everyone - there's only the baggage to lose!

Open HeartPraying Emoji


Hello friends,

Open, I had tears ’all the way’ down my face. 

Megha, haha! I’m laughing at your description of the ‘snarl’ 😂

No, the path ain’t always pretty. In fact, in my experience, most of the time it isn’t. Most of the time it’s in your face ugly, back breaking, world shattering, and gut wrenching. Speaking of guts, I just walked out on my sick 6 year old daughter, kissing her goodbye while she literally puked her guts out into a bucket. Last night I wanted to have some quality time putting my toddler to bed, as we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a few nights, but instead of lazy cozy time I got crazy noisy time. My son went into complete hysterics over I don’t know what and there was nothing I could do to calm him down. It’s never happened before, that I haven’t been able to calm him down for that long period of time. I was so lost in my own apparent lack of skills to manoeuvre the situation, the only thing I knew to do was ask for guidance. ”Feel the pain”... Ok, I’m most definitely feeling the pain, I replied, but now what do I do with my son? But all I got was just ”feel the pain...feel the pain...”over and over. So I did. I felt the lack of control, the fear of failure, and the devastation of not being enough. I cried like a baby, but to be honest, I couldn’t completely let go of my need to fix. I eventually found a way to fix the situation, to calm him down, but perhaps at least there was a softer approach and a higher degree of surrender present in my action.

At the airport now, flight to Koln is delayed. I’m usually a confident comfortable traveler. I’ve done it so many times. Today it feels like I’ve never traveled before. I’m completely lost at my home airport and nothing makes sense. The guy at the cash register asks my name, and for a few seconds I can’t remember, neither my name nor why I am here. I order the wrong thing, so now I’m stuck with a hot grilled sandwich I had planned to save for several hours later. Michael Jackson is playing loudly in the background.

” I’m looking at the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways... ”

Oh yes, that’s it. Now I recall why I’m here. I just have to trust the flow will get me where I need to be. I look at my own face in the bathroom mirror. Dark circles under my eyes and hollow cheeks reveal how little sleep I’ve had the last couple of weeks. I look and feel like a train wreck. For a minute it bothers me. Shouldn’t I do something about it? Maybe put some makeup on? Then I remember, I’m no longer going to the MISS FIT & TYPECAST convention. I’m off to the MISFIT & OUTCAST convention. Ah... everything is perfect then, I’ll fit right in. I hear lyrics in my spaced out head. As I was leaving the house and my vomiting daughter, part of the theme song from her DVD - Alice in Wonderland - kept repeating and I felt then, as I can feel now, that everything is probably working out exactly as it should.

Oh Alice...it’s a wonder you know who you are, cause you’ve been traveling far. You’re off to that other land now...

Love to all of you, ’loonies’,





Thank you for sharing your trip to the loony bin; it’s comforting to know we are all loony tunes together. Slightly Smiling


LOL! Smiling With Sweat Emoji 


Thanks for continuing the thread and posting that video - it crushes me and motivates Me.



Hi Paul, Scott, Anastasia (and to everyone reading),

It's simply wonderful you're being so transparent with your processes. It's only truth that can truly set you free!

And yes, it is most definitely worth, and yes, you can go all the way!


Hi again Paul and Scott,


It ain’t pretty, but I do believe it’s worth it. I know we can go ‘all the way’.




Hi Paul,

Thank you for sharing, you are not the only one facing your demons!  There are times the past few weeks I've found myself huddled in a ball on the floor, a total emotional mess!!  Last week I was at the local park, when I received a "knowing" regarding my son that literally brought me to my knees in tears and hysterics in the middle of the woods!  If someone had witnessed my madness I surely would've been on my way to the looney bin!

Keep up the good work and know you are not alone...





Thank you.  I can feel the support and it helped catalyze even more processing for the past hour or so.  There is so much.  I choose to persist.

Pretty cool though - I'm laying on the ground completely empty when I realize the power is back on.  Once I boot my computer back up a while later, I come to find that the original post isn't lost; it was still here all along - just needed to be powered back up.  Kind of in a funky smaller font but hopefully still legible below.  Maybe some folks will see some of their own challenges reflected in the light of mine.



I am finding that much of my waking time is spent observing and participating in specific events and experiences that are intrinsically and masterfully designed to break me down.  Over the past couple of months I’ve shared a few nice experiences of following the pull, positive change, and reintegration.  But that’s only half of the picture.  

The real picture is not that that sexy.  The real journey is gritty and scary as hell.

Case in point:  I have been feeling and knowing that internal shifts wanted to happen for some time, but had not been in a position to safely release and reintegrate.  Last night I got home from work a little early.  On the drive home my wife let me know suddenly that my family would be out of town for the night, and I knew the space was a gift.  Of course immediately with that, I began putting pressure on myself to take full advantage of the time being offered to me for spiritual unfolding.  From there I watched as procrastination and self-distraction came and tried to fill the space.

A long story made short,over the course of two hours in between plenty of self judgment and through a combination of heartfelt prayer, music, movement expression, sungazing, openhand videos and posts, walking in nature eyes closed, contemplation, and regression, I finally began to delve into the density. The Break Through Subconscious Limitations video is always particularly catalyzing.  That one is a true gem.

I just really feel to emphasize that it was not pretty.  We’re talking spitting, screaming, convolutions, convulsions and physical distortion, tears streaming, ripping clothes off, energetic visuals of light exploding through different parts of my energetic system, sobbing and kneeling and praying for strength – the works.  Maybe it’s just me and others have a smoother, more functioning process.

However, throughout the embodiment of all that pain there was a knowing throughout that it was just another experience. And the knowing that it was essential for me to feel it.

Afterward I caught the end of a movie – the last 30 minutes of M Night Shamalan’s Signs – which catalyzed and released even more.  From there I was almost immediately taken into two of my more challenging distortions.

Comfort Food and Sexuality. i.e. overconsumption and lack of awareness in both.

I had a really nice and reverential dinner of organic salad and eggs (we share space with several chickens and ducks on our property).  Soon after I wanted to “test” myself with a bag of chips. 

Not too tough to figure out how that went.  Picture a friggin human raptor on the couch – inhaling chips for all he’s worth – chastising himself after each mouthful - covering himself in crumbs.   I will say this though – I stayed more IN most of the experience and watched it with curiosity and some humor while it was happening.  I felt that I could have just totally abstained up front but that would've pushed the growth opportunity down the line for another time.  I felt a little bit better about it from that lens, but facts are facts: I proceeded to polish off half a bag of chips despite denying my higher intention for each and every bite.

Same deal with sexuality.  I'm alone, it's been a good bit of time since my last physical release - and here I thought I'd done away with pornography way back down the path.  But the urge and temptation to fill the space was STILL there! And pornography is pretty much the epitome of gross distortion of both male and female energy.  

Here I was able to observe my feelings closely, weigh the known consequences based on past experience, and took the higher choice.  Yay me! :)  

I could've probably gone more graphic with a lot of this, but suffice it to say - Just because it's ugly doesn't mean it isn't serving a higher purpose.

I then woke up this morning at 4am with a piercing headache and nausea that stayed with me for the past 10 hours. Movement is painful.  Light is painful. Sound is painful.

I could have "pushed through" and sucked it up and gone into work.  But today I cancelled all appointments and gave myself the gift of space.  And I'm glad.

Onward (Inward),

Paul E




In reply to by Eric.


Sitting in my house seething with rage at about everything ranging from planetary destruction to the way women are treated to why x co-worker said y about me ,I can assure you it's as unglamorous as it gets within me too . I wake up.and I can feel this constriction around my heart and before I know it I am spewing venom even at the most innocuous of triggers. And throughout the whole day I feel as if the crown of my head is opening up . Strange sensations .Along with body parts being on fire .I was especially surprised to read about how you saw various chakras with light emitted through them in variousshapes . That happened to me last week and I didn't know what the heck that was! 

After my fourth meltdown in four days( it's a wonder my family has not disowned me entirely ) I'm trying to remember what Anastasia said about looking at it like its a movie and giving a warm chuckle ,but all that comes out is a snarl right now. 

Ahh well. Back to breathing and feeling and dancing wildly whenever I get the chance. A couple of.pillows are going to be severely beaten today before snotty tears . 

It's so nice to know others are going through this looniness too !


In reply to by iamdurga


God Megha I know what you are going through.  The littlest provocation - whether real or just imagined - would just catalyse these massive anger spikes in me.  On this very thread the other day when I was in the midst of one of those states, Open reached out in support and signed off with a thumbs up:

There with you

OpenThumbs Up Sign

... except I was already seeing red, and what I actually perceived was:

There with you

OpenThe Sun Emoji

And just seeing that little (completely imaginary) sun emoji pissed me off so much it set me into a deeper layer of processing. It was only on the other side when I realized my error and had a good laugh at my own ridiculousness.  

Snarl away.  Those pillows don't stand a chance.  Beat them into submission. Here's another The Sun Emoji if you need it.  

With you,



Hi Paul,

Yes indeed, how right you are, let's get down to it...

the real journey in spirituality is gritty and sh*tty and scary as hell from the viewpoint of the one aspiring to it, that it’s a clearing away of ALL non-essentials - first and foremost a destructive process, that the fields first go fallow in order to cultivate new growth.

You hit the nail on the head. I think plenty of people expect it to be "all love and light" and so stop when the going gets tough, but that's exactly the time to push on, to persist. That's when the work really makes a difference.

You said...

I find myself wondering how much more of this I can take. I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

I'd say exhaustion only happens because one part is pulling against the other. That's okay, when you start getting to this point, elements of ego just have to give up!

There with you

Open Thumbs Up Sign



Well - I’d written a rather sizeable and motivating (at least to me) post complete with raw personal sharings on the distortion of male and female energy in my own recent experience, along with my appreciation and resonance with the blunt “let’s really get into our own sh*t” honesty of the Openhand approach, that the real journey in spirituality is gritty and sh*tty and scary as hell from the viewpoint of the one aspiring to it, that it’s a clearing away of ALL non-essentials - first and foremost a destructive process, that the fields first go fallow in order to cultivate new growth, that the degree of attachment dictates the nature of the breakthrough ie how explosive it is, that in my experience initiations/gateways/expansions of consciousness are DEFINITELY not all Love and Light.... 

...and just as I type Light the power went out and lost the whole thing. It’s the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day. Jeez... well guess what I’m STILL posting. This was originally a “gallows humor” type post anyways. So thanks a bunch for the added support, Flow.

Anyways, every day is an absolute cauldron of processing and I find myself wondering how much more of this I can take. I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.  

But whatever I’ll sit here in the dark. I find strength in my sisters and brothers here. Bring it.

in gratitude,






Hi Everyone out there in "The Process" - I felt to feature this article again today....

Rights of Passage on the Spiritual Path...Encountering Spiritual "Initiations" (scroll to the top)

There are definitely intense periods where the soul is drawn into a powerful corridor of alchemical change, much more than simply the daily process. This is when the soul is making a big shift, a big expansions. Although I don't really like the word, they've been called "Initiations" on the path. Do read the article, because it might well apply to your journey at this moment.

Wishing you well on your unfolding pathway

Open The Sun EmojiPraying Emoji



Gods speak of God's love that awakens.

An amazing song by Mirabai Ceiba, Ocean of my Dreams, which gives life to that fierce embrace!


Open thank you, a very beautiful article offering authentic, detailed guidance. In a warrior like fashion :)

I understand 'initiation' as Grace because of my 'spiritual' background.
Grace is soft and it is also fierce. Sometimes soft, sometimes fierce, sometimes both at the same time!

I heard Viktor Frankl, a clinical psychologist and a Jew who survived the holocaust, talking about a young woman who got paralysed from the neck down and was confined in a wheelchair. She was able to use only her mouth to write with a special pen on a special board. Every day she would listen to the news and every time she heard of someone who was suffering or had died she would write a prayer for them. Viktor shared how happy and content she was with life and how because of her ‘disability’ (aka Grace or initiation) she had found a new meaning, contentment and openness with life. Not without feeling hurt but with an expanding ability to embrace it all and acting out of love for change to unfold.
Very inspiring story.

Grace has shown itself to me many times… and opening to grace is gradual. One of the reasons the universe manifested the living circumstances I am currently in is to feel ‘defeat’. I meet defeat every day. Opening to grace is gradual. A few months ago I wholeheartedly asked the universe to bring me what it takes for me to ‘see’ the Truth – the illusion of separation. I then remembered that I had ‘asked’ this again a few years ago. Looking back, yes, the universe is definitely delivering!!


Thank you sincerely Open!
So much to celebrate in your message today.

Your words have captured my most recent experience perfectly and what a joy to know there is actually a term for it. Haha!
The term 'Initiation' is precise and exact and describes fully the place I've just emerged from. And yes I do feel like the Pheonix in this very moment.
The sweetness here is indescribable. But before arriving at this place I really didn't know what was happening yet I felt compelled to continue to go through it. Now, that I'm through, I'm so utterly grateful to have been given the experience. The severe ego-crushing that took place has cleared a space within me so vast and so pregnant with joy that I feel compelled to say hallelujah, hallelujah!

One line from your share in particular held my attention the longest...
"and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat."
In other words-
Perfect Devastation.

So absolutely worth the defeat.

I'm eternally appreciative of you Open. Your shares are always so timely.
Thank you from my heart.

Michelle xx


Hey Vimal, Kristian, Mark & Jen - lovely to "see" you.
Lovely to have you tune in.

Open *give_rose*


Oh wow! What a moving clip that is Open - thank you for sharing!


Heartfelt thanks, Open - as always, couldn't be more timely. These last few weeks have been most definitely a profound rite of passage. It's clear to me that this has been a time of initiation for everyone who is ready and willing to transform. I also have to agree on all six sypmtoms of the initiation. And also a seventh one, for me currently: the precognition of the coming of, as you say "the most extraordinary expansion possible ". Many thanks for the article!


Also grateful for the message. I'm both comforted and a bit anxious for the current signs related to surrender of which this is the most recent. But most of all, you bring inspiration and encouragement which feels great!

I hope to be in Helsinki with the 5D event this autumn *db* Blessings,



Its an inspiring article open no doubt will help tremendously everyone including me in the path. I find my path slowly accelerating now and i trust there is gateway 2 coming. For the time being i find incredible joy in the most simplest of things like walking in nature or having breakthroughs and realizing there is nothing to effort or struggle. I nowadays find myself smiling often for no apparent reason. I feel blessed at these times and gratitude for the journey. Though i know the path wont be easy im looking forward for whats coming next and i just know i wont be the one turning back.

Here's a song from guys from my place