9 things that (truly) broke me open to spirit


For the last couple of months or so, I’ve been reflecting on my spiritual journey and just how far I’ve come with it, particularly in the last decade. And with this reflecting, I’ve thought about how it could best serve you, my dear reader.

Over the years I have both deeply delved and briefly skimmed my way through many many MANY practices, books, treatments, and courses – all in the service of deepening and broadening my access to, knowledge of, and intimacy with spirit/energy/grace/love. That great unseen force we humans call by one hundred names. It totally floats my boat.

I’ve pondered on what I feel has served me the most, in terms of cracking me open to its flow. So I thought it might be helpful if I wrote about what my little road map so far has looked like, and speak most specifically about what I’ve found to be my direct routes to spirit. I hope this serves you in your journey.

Experience TRUMPS Intellect

Before we begin, I must stress this point, loudly. Reading, intellectualising, and discussing spiritual concepts – all of these activities are awesome (and some of my fave things to do).

However, what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the journey of this information from your head to your heart and true embodiment of these learnings that is the most crucial of all. Experiential events that allow us to FEEL the lessons, the readings, the learning – and help cultivate the great unseen within us, is what ends up serving us the most, and giving us amazing experiences. Truly embodied feeling and knowing (knowing in your bones) trumps intellectual chatter and reasoning any day of the week. It’s like talking about and describing your favourite dessert, versus actually devouring it in all its delectability. Mouthful by delicious mouthful.

Here are a couple of examples of some of my own physical experiences for you:

During a time of immense spiritual growth a couple of years ago, I was in the midst of a breathing oriented meditation (the Abraham-Hicks one I speak of below) and was completely physically OVERWHELMED by this feeling of joy, happiness and love coursing through my body – to the point that it actually hurt. I say joy, happiness and love because none of these words really accurately describe the feeling. Maybe it should be called JOYHAPPINESSLOVE. Anyway, it was immense. The only thing I could do to release this pleasing but nearly painful experience was to laugh and laugh and laugh. It started as a giggle in my throat and transformed in to uncontrollable, tears-rolling down my face laughter. In bed. Late at night before falling asleep. I felt like I’d touched only a smidgen of the infinite joy available to all of us all the time, if we just let ourselves open to it.

Another moment, which occurred awhile after this one, was an experience of waking up in the middle of the night and feeling a beautiful but intense sense of ‘love energy’ pouring in to my heart and at the same time, in the same ‘channel’ it was pouring back out of me in to the world. It’s hard to put in to words, particularly in a linear sense. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is cool’, and then thinking, ‘Hmmm, I hope I’m not having a heart attack’. It wasn’t physical sensations per se – it was an exquisite feeling of energy flow. I stayed awake for as long as I could, just experiencing this unique sensation.

I have a varying number of these kind of physical experiences from time to time now, but as our energy ascends, we also integrate them more easily and they just become pleasant sensations for awhile. Until the next up-levelling of our energy bodies…

Universe Within 1

What broke me open

1. Asking for guidance

Engaging with energy, grace, universal life force, source energy involves a bit of a leap of faith. But that leap need only be a tiny little declaration either scribbled in our journals, quietly whispered to ourselves, or boldly said out loud – ask the universe for guidance. For anything. And be open to being guided to the answers you need. The openness to asking and receiving is all that’s needed to invite magic in to our lives.

One of the best books to read about experimenting with playing with this force is E2, by Pamela Grout. A quick and easy read full of experiments for you to try out and see what kind of magic comes back at you.

2. Discovering the power of the subconscious

A few years ago I was listening to a podcast with Dr Bruce Lipton, a stem cell biologist who’s done a lot of groundbreaking work on the mind-body-spirit connection. He was talking about how we’re all largely driven by our subconscious minds, and that our conscious mind has only got a tiny sliver of influence over our lives and our wellbeing (both physical and emotional). So our subconscious minds are basically driving our little ships, and it’s important that what’s laid down in our subconscious isn’t the complete opposite of what we’re consciously trying to achieve with our lives.

The way we access our subconscious minds is through deep meditation, when our brains are in theta brain wave state. We can also access it during that brief moment of time where you feel you’re ‘in between worlds’ just before you fall asleep and as you wake up. Which is why what you do, think and feel just before you fall asleep and as you wake up, are crucially important to your wellbeing. This discovery also led me to a few amazing sessions of hypnotherapy (don’t be scared by images of people acting like chickens on stages, hypno is just a form of guided meditation), which got right in there and helped me heal from and rewrite a few old patterns I kept seeing turning up in my life.

Mega squueee, I found the podcast in Itunes! Just scroll down to the one with Bruce Lipton.

3. Reiki attunement and training

Being opened to reiki energy in the mid-2000s was a crucial step to my cracking open to spirit. When I learned about moving energy through the body, and experienced the healing energy myself, I was pretty blown away. It also blew the door open to sacredness and reverence for life. All of a sudden there was far more depth (and height) to my life experience than just what the physical world was presenting me. My reiki journey is ongoing, and I love seeing its effects in both my life, and those who I’ve treated.

4. Receiving a Oneness blessing

My encounter with a oneness blessing came at, of all things, the opening of an art exhibition. Somehow I ended up chatting about energy and spirituality with a lovely woman I’d just met (as I am wont to do), and she began telling me about oneness blessings and said she could give a mini one to me then and there. When she put her hands on my head and I closed my eyes, my entire vision was flooded with a bright red light. I can’t recall what physical sensations I felt, but afterwards I remember having this sense of absolute complete and utter calm. Nothing seemed to bother me. In the days that followed I had a sense of clarity and wisdom that I’d never felt before and my ego took the backseat while my higher self took charge. So basically it transformed me in to Yoda. For a little while.

5. Becoming aware of my chakras

A combination of reiki, yoga, spiritual readings and my most recent work through Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic have been really invaluable in opening me up to what chakras are, where they are, how they work, and how their health is crucial to my own (in all aspects of my life).

I take care of my chakras as often as possible, feeding each part of my life as consistently as I can. When they’re cleansed and balanced, life flows much more easily. They’re also my own personal feedback mechanism. When I’m reacting to something, I can quite quickly drop the story my ego is trying to sell me, and instead go within my body and FEEL what’s going on. This is where my true wisdom lies. Is my solar plexus throbbing? I’m probably feeling attacked or having my personal truth challenged. Is my throat closing up and getting sore? Where am I not speaking my truth? And so it goes with the rest of our chakras. Knowledge of them and feeling energy spin through them in my body has been life changing.

6. Regularly receiving energy healing and body work

While I can heal my own energy field and chakras (we can all heal ourselves through chakra cleanse meditations), it’s so very valuable to put ourselves in the place of complete surrender in the hands of energy healers. I do this regularly, and find it’s an absolute go-to if I’m feeling stuck, anxious, or things aren’t flowing very well. The answers and insights are often staring me in the face, but it sometimes takes someone else holding space for me to see them. I’ve had some of my most profound insights and epiphanies either during or after these sessions. It’s quite amazing.

My energy healings of choice are: acupuncture, reiki, kinesiology, kahuna/lomi-lomi massage and Chinese acupressure massage.

7. Being embraced by Amma, the ‘Hugging Saint’

Talk about a bucket list experience. When I heard Amma was coming to Brisbane a few years ago I knew I had to be there. This Indian guru has hugged and blessed more than 34 million people around the world and says that her religion is love. When I was embraced by her I felt a rush of energy fill me and push its way through to the edge of my body and out. I spontaneously burst in to tears at the beauty of the experience. Spending time anywhere near her, you can feel the energy flow and it’s literally (and I mean that) palpable. It’s an experience I still deeply treasure.

8. Yoga – particularly Kundalini

After practicing hatha yoga for a few years (which I still do regularly), I was led to try kundalini yoga. And I had my socks blown off. Kundalini yoga is a powerful, very pranayama (breathwork) focused practice, and it gets our energy moving through us in ways that are, quite frankly, magical. I’ve written about my love for Kundalini yoga here before.

When we practice kriyas (series of movements, breath and sound) we rewrite our biochemistry and go through a series of mental and physical changes that affect our minds, bodies and spirits simultaneously. When you start doing ‘froggies’ at kundalini, you’ll understand what it means to feel literally broken open to spirit.

9. The teachings and meditations of Abraham-Hicks

I first read the Abraham-Hicks teachings via their Ask and It is Given book many years ago, and since then have read more of their books and regularly trawled their Youtube channel for hits of inspiration. Their teachings are profound and at the same time, quite simple. Their Getting in to the Vortex meditation app is fantastic. Each of the four meditations has a particular breathing sequence you follow (guided by the changes in the meditation track’s melody) and they are SO effective at raising my energetic vibrations. 15 minutes to raised energy? And maybe even your very own version of touching LOVEJOYHAPPINESS? Heck, yes.


So that’s just a few of the practices I’ve found have really worked at breaking me open to spirit. And the reason I chose them is because I engage with most of them everyday, or at least very regularly. If any of them call to you at all, can I lovingly suggest you go and have a sneaky peek at what they’re all about? Do some googling. Some reading. Some chatting about it. What I’m essentially encouraging is that you EXPLORE. Be curious about what sparks your interest, what makes you bubble with curiosity. I’d also love to hear from you – are there any practices, experiences, books, people who broke you open to spirit? Please share them with me, in the comments, below.

If you enjoyed this post, it would be wonderful if you’d share it! Just click on any of the share buttons to the left. xx

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  • kirri

    I’m feeling your post BIG TIME Carly! The past few years in particular have been an enormous awakening for me – supported by experiential practices such as kinesiology, EFT, many diff types of meditation and the simple practice of stillness and grounding in nature.

    I have to say it has required an immense amount of courage for me as well. Years of academic science based-training has lead me to question and want to quantify everything….but as you said ‘experience trumps intellect’ and the hidden treasures I am discovering, feel immense, nourishing and oh so right!

    Loved this post. Thanks xx

    • Carly

      Thank you for your lovely words, Kirri. And well done on pushing through with your courage, despite not being able to necessarily ‘quantify’ your experiences. I think there is SO MUCH which will remain unquantifiable and beyond our spectrum of detection in our lifetimes. Although the discovery of the Higgs Boson god particle is definitely a promising start 😉 xx

  • Naomi Goodlet

    Thank-you for sharing! I loved reading your story.
    I feel more open just reading it. xx

  • Simone - Yogamona

    I’m loving reading your blog Carly and can definitely relate to your magical moments and being cracked open. For me regular sound healing meditation including a chakra cleanse, reiki, Ayurvedic chakra dhara massage, periods of silence and soul centred psychotherapy which incorporates kinesiology and EFT have been some of the most life changing practises for me as well as regular yoga. Thank you for sharing – I will have to explore some of your recommendations. It’s so much fun 🙂 xx

    • Carly

      Thank you so much for sharing, Simone. I LOVE the sound of your practices – they sound like such a beautiful blend. I’ve only ever tried the shirodara ayurvedic massage (just on the third eye). I think I’ll have to try out the one for the rest of them! You’re very right – so much fun! xx

  • Anna V

    Thank you SO much for sharing this!!

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