The spiritual path: an unexpected journey

Written by Russ Benning

Let’s have a conversation about spirituality, you and I.

I want to find out what it truly means to you.

Where does it take you when your inner dialogue mutters the word to you?

A dictionary definition points us to the following: “Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”

Somewhat vague and uninspiring, I agree with you. What if it’s not something that can be defined? In the same way that pointing at the moon is not the same thing as understanding what the moon is.
Maybe you identify as deeply spiritual and have dedicated your life to truly knowing what is possible in this human experience, especially beyond – as much as possible – the ego. Maybe you’ve never thought of the subject a day in your life. Or perhaps you find yourself somewhere in between.
Whatever your story, you’re very welcome here.

I actually had this very same conversation recently with the beautiful and incredibly interesting Sheena Brown. What started as an interview, turned into an enthralling back and forth on the topic. After our time had blipped by, we both remarked about how it’s rare and refreshing to have these conversations for the sake of them – not just in a teaching or a coaching capacity. I can’t speak for her, but I know I got a few nuggets of wisdom and little, cosmic puzzle pieces that now fit a little better into my understanding.

I loved that in a lot of ways we were saying the same thing, just wrapped in different, linguistic skin. I was enthralled by her story and her journey. I was mesmerised by the way she perceives reality right now; full of magic and hope.

The first point of similarity came early on as I was giving a little background on myself and my journey thus far.

“I did 10 days in Kathmandu,” she sympathised, referring to the ancient silent meditation practice Vipassana, which we’ve both done multiple times.

”I did my initial one in Kathmandu then a couple more in the Blue Mountains, and it’s just incredible how different the energy is.”

Agreeing on the fact that the spiritual journey is non-linear, Sheena describes it as a “Zig-Zag”.
As we continued, I learned more about the origins of her spiritual path. Fining the inner work and yoga (now having practiced for over 20 years) through an unlikely source – acting school!

“Acting school is about getting to know yourself on the inside. It teaches you to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. So what you try to do is find internal triggers that are real, from your childhood and from your life, and keep acting them out to trigger yourself, that’s how it works. For me going through my childhood, on camera…” We both laughed at the implication of what this must bring up.

Anyone who has experienced some degree of spiritual awakening will know that there is no ‘unseeing’ the signs.

“One thing led to another, led to another and it was like a calling, not a conscious choice.”

“As you do yoga and as you meditate, certain things start to heighten and gifts you have that are dormant, start to wake up and… you can’t ignore it.” I shared my own experience in solidarity. Completely different circumstances, yet the same universal law at play.

In her own words, “I think that the Universe is always conspiring to give you exactly what you’re supposed to have.”

Currently offering a range of spiritual-based services she summarised the steppingstones of her journey as, “acting led to yoga, yoga to healing work.”

Sheena currently offers a range of services:

  • Private yoga
  • Astrology readings
  • Kinesiology ‘integrated healing’
  • Tarot and mediumship readings

I was curious about the transition to becoming a medium and I asked what lead to that evolution.
She started by sharing she has always had a solid meditation practice, where her gifts started becoming clear, then the tipping point, “then after I had my second daughter, the universe opened up.”

She described her world as being, “flooded with people from the other side.”

We spoke, at length, about the changes that the pandemic has brought about in people as a collective. This was especially interesting. We both had a similar take on the acceleration of the global consciousness, as a byproduct of lockdowns in particular, yet had some points of difference to share into.

“The way the world is, it’s like an accelerated spiritual evolution. Because I think there needs to be a lot more people holding a certain frequency, because of what’s happening on this big, massive rock that is spinning in the middle of space.”

I questioned if she thought Covid exacerbated it.

“Yep, 100 percent. People being forced into lockdown it was like they were forced into meditation or at least self-reflection, whether they realised it or not. People weren’t the same after because they were seeing things differently.”

This led us into the topic of how humans grow and move forward in regard to their spirituality. She made an interesting point, “It’s not an easy lesson to learn, but we don’t grow when things are easy. If you’re floating on a cloud, things are great, and we feel no need to grow. The jewel and the juice is in the struggle.”

“If you think about it like a diamond, it’s faceted and there’s so many different sides to it, it’s like, the more you put yourself in the flame the more things are created in beauty. It’s just part of the human journey.”

And further, “People don’t realise how powerful their minds are. They can create an external situation based on their internal feelings.”

This brought us round to the notion of oneness and how we’re spiritual beings having a human experience.

We went on to the stark opposites of the human ego versus universal consciousness and how they are polar opposites; “How can you understand oneness without experiencing duality? That’s one thing I took out of 20 years of yoga. The only way to understand separation and duality is to experience separation and duality!”

To sum up I asked directly what spirituality means to her. I got several answers ranging in complexity until a final distillation point, “learning to operate from love, with everything.”

She expressed how this point is, now, so obvious to her but it wasn’t always that way. It’s completely unique to each person yet there are often similar waypoints or ‘stages’.

What does she recommend for someone beginning their journey? Perhaps someone who has just recently ‘woken up’ to this side of themselves. “If you have questions, find a teacher or a healer that you resonate with and ask them questions. Find like-minded people. Don’t underestimate the power of service to others.”

What about an actual practice?

“Walking meditations are a really good place to start. You can try to sit in meditation too, but just start with, say, three minutes. Then add one more the next day and so on. Try [the mobile app] Insight Timer.”

I was interested to hear that she doesn’t necessarily recommend guided meditations because they’re just another thing we need our phones for, hence the walking meditation as a starting point.
She shared a super cute story about her 7-year-old declaring at times, “OK, I’m off to do my mindfulness now Mum.” She jokes that her two daughters are already wiser than she is!

As is often the case with these articles, there’s so much more I’d like to have been able to share but I just don’t have the space. Perhaps I’ll start writing my own book on the chronicles of my interviewees!

I hope that I have been able to bring you into Sheena’s and my conversation and maybe you took a little something from it. I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with you, the dear reader, and I look forward to our next one.