Remembering My Aliveness: A Story of Transformation

by Karl Smerecnik on January 24, 2012

Connect with the Heart, Remember Your Aliveness. Photo by Elea Chang

I had a call tonight with my new dear friend Jayne from Scotland, a fellow Nonviolent Communication (NVC) comrade. The conversation started out with low energy. We shared our struggles and frustrations about coming back from the empathic paradise we recently experienced at the NVC retreat we had attended. About 1 hour into the conversation, the energy was slowly picking up and we decided to took a break for tea in our respective countries. We came back in 5 minutes and both started to notice a significant shift in the energy. There was something stirring.

One hour later, after exploring a variety of topics, a deep transformation occurred. There was a surge of aliveness that surprised both of us. What came up for me was a deep mourning about the tension between my longing to explore my creativity and the sense of obligation I felt towards trying to solve the world’s problems (something I have mentioned before here, see this post). I had such a deep grief about not creating enough space in my life for artistic expression and further exploration of music and writing. I could feel the sadness all throughout my body. I was consumed with the sorrow. But instead of avoiding the pain or repressing it, I allowed myself to stay in it and let myself full immerse into the feelings that were alive. Jayne’s empathic support was incredibly helpful and I feel very grateful for it. Surprisingly this grief only lasted a short period of time.

As Jayne was empathizing with me, I made a statement about how I was afraid of connecting with this longing for creative expression because it would upset the status quo of my life. Right after making this statement, I felt an incredible shift in my body. I noticed myself starting to laugh, smile, and feel an expansive sense of relief. I could feel this relief boiling up inside me, like a geyser beginning to erupt. I also noticed Jayne erupting with laugh as I would laugh. I felt an acute awareness of the deep connection we had created through my process of self-connection and her empathic presence. We were resonating to the same energetic movements (if you’re not into all the “energy” talk, I would be happy to empathize with you, I used to hate it, but now fully realize it’s place in my life).

It was amazing to experience this shift take place in me. Several minutes prior my body felt constricted, heavy, and tight. I felt a deep weight on my shoulders and chest. Letting myself fully connect with the grief and sorrow gave me a chance to release the pain I had been holding in. This release resulted in a nourishing feeling of freedom, expansion, excitement, and aliveness. I suddenly felt like the world was full of possibilities while only a few minutes prior I had felt lost and confused. This transformation was something that I could only understood in my body, not in my mind. This entire process took place with little to no cognitive processing. It was all a matter of deeply connecting with my emotions and my deep longings – a process of moving away from the thoughts of the mind into the depths of the body.

Jayne was also filled with energy and aliveness. She was expressing herself with great enthusiasm and excitement while earlier in the conversation she was feeling uninspired. She shared that a transformation also occurred in her through this conversation, this deep inner connection we had created. We both resonated with a shared longing to have greater creative exploration and expression in our lives. We both realized how much this nourished us and how important it is for us to prioritize.

How amazing that this transformation occurred without a set intention. How incredible that by focusing on being very present to what was alive for us in the moment we could touch into such deep pain as well as rejuvenation. This is a testament to the power of focusing on creating a deep quality of connection to ourselves and others. While concluding our long conversation, I shared one of my favorite quotes with Jayne and she replied that she had been using that same quote as an email signature for years. What a beautiful synchronicity.

And so here I am, once again connected with my aliveness and curious to see what wonders will come. Thank you for reading and hearing my story. I would love to connect with you about this topic if it’s of interest to you.

How have you been transformed by connecting with the aliveness deep within you?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Olivia August 31, 2012 at 15:16

Hi Karl,

I am grateful to find your story. As I woke up this morning I noticed that there is something missing in my heart. And the word aliveness came to me. So I started to search. I know my aliveness was buried by my bad life experiences and feelings like sadness, grief and sorrow and I wanted to find out how can I bring my aliveness out. Your sharing process is going to be helpful to me. Now I know where to look for it.
It would be great to become transformed by connecting with the aliveness deep within me.
Thanks again.




2 Karl Smerecnik April 7, 2013 at 20:05

Hi Olivia,

Sorry I’m about a year behind in responding, I haven’t been very active on this website in quite some time. I really appreciate your comment and am really excited to hear this post was supportive. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. :)


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