The Beginning of WellSpring

It's a couple of days after Thanksgiving, 2015. I am 64 years old but I give little attention to that these days. In fact, most of me could care less. In a conversation with a friend yesterday, I described myself as relaxing in a train station waiting on a train that is only a few hours away from departing. My destination has already been determined as evidenced by the ticket I hold in my hand. I explained to my friend that I could not be more excited.

Through these many years of being a teacher, I have witnessed incredible acts and conditions of human ignorance. But I have also witnessed breathless acts and conditions of human courage and self-forgiveness and love. My work has caused me to raise the bar as to who we are as human beings and what we are capable of. It is as though my entire life, the ups and the downs, have prepared me for what I and others are getting ready to do and teach.

I have shared with some that I live a conscious life of grace and I do and it's true and I know why and how to teach it. I am so deeply grateful for the privilege to have lived the life I have lived. My life and work continue to be an extraordinary adventure  into the depths of my own being while realizing that I never was and am not now the "doer" of those events.

The events that destroyed my life in 1991 could not have been better orchestrated in such a way that I would no choice but to choose the path I have chosen. I could not have done that on my own. I saw with great clarity and certainty that the unbearable injustices of my life were not only necessary but that I chose them as part of my soul's journey, of my initiation into a different world, into a different way of seeing. The Divine accommodated my deep desire to know more, to be more, to see more. But this would require death. And that would be supplied to me as well...the opportunity to die.

What I would eventually understand was that the pain and suffering that would have to be experienced in order for me to see something different was going to have to be immense, unbearable and unsurvivable. Every door to escape from this experience was going to be closed. As weird as it may seem, I cannot express in terms that can be understood by the rationale mind how grateful I am for those events. I saw through my own lived experience that the size of the pain was mathematically proportional to the size of the opportunity. I saw that enlightenment was the act of dying without doing it.

I had to do some dying a couple of years ago and it was much less painful because of what I had learned the first couple of times. I knew from experience what comes after death...life. I certainly am not a noble example of evolution but I am a good example. I can give myself that much credit without the fear of overstating who I am.

As I began to consolidate my learning, I saw a new mountain top. Of course, please understand, that when I say "I saw a new mountain top," my experience was that I was being led to see a new mountain top. I am willing to say that I have been a good student my entire life and have consistently and relentlessly sought self-awareness and evolution but I am certainly not naive or deluded about who's doing it. I am simply trying to do what I feel what I am being asked to do but more importantly, what my heart yearns for, would be willing to die again for, to experience. Who  cares how old you are? I don't.

As a result, WellSpring was born. Terry and I have invested our life savings into this project. If I fail, I fail. If I fail, Terry fails. We might not be able to make the house payment. We won't be able to pay for the rest of Noah's college (youngest son). We might not be able to "a million things." But everything my experience has taught me is that I am here to live fearlessly, to live as though...to live as if. Besides, it's not like I haven't failed before. But where my friends and colleagues are retiring and buying condos, I'm just getting started. WellSpring is the new adventure for me that has required of me before it begins that I die a little more. It was not only a lot easier but it took a lot less time this time around.

My life experience has repeatedly taught me that death is the doorway into life, that betrayal and failure are but doorways into the Divine. I wish I was better at dying. I wish I was better at surrendering but there are times I can be so unjustifiably afraid when my whole life experience has taught me that there is nothing to fear, that I am held in absolute safety and balance each second of my life...and death. I can be so stubborn and so unconscious at times. Other times, I am not afraid.

It is time for us to change the way we live, the way we see ourselves and the world in which we live. It is time to abandon the very things which we have practiced our entire life because they no longer serve us. It is time for us to start seeing what the eyes cannot see but which the heart and soul has always known is true and self-evident.  It is time to acquire a deeper and indispensable spiritual knowledge of who we are and what we are doing here. It is time to understand that heaven on earth is a reality and that it begins with you, the individual.

The temporary website, http://www.wellspringasheville.com, should go live in about a month and the WellSpring Wellness Center curriculum will be launched. Based upon the concepts of strength, balance and transformation, the curriculum focuses on the acquisition of joy, knowledge and fulfillment in life, not death.

My ticket is in my hand and I am leaving in just a few short hours. I can't wait to see what happens next.

 

Self-AwarenessAshleigh Stoia