Today is the second in my interview series on personal development, with Sama Morningstar.
1. How long have you been interested in personal development? What started you on this path?
I feel it all started in my mother’s womb. She was a lifeguard at the beach while pregnant with me so I spent a lot of time in the ocean. She was also reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda and having out of body experiences.
Throughout my childhood I was having powerful experiences of being divine light and in the presence of other light beings all on my own. I would be by myself, usually in bed, and I would feel myself become a pillar of light that was expanding and contracting at the same time and vibrating with other pillars of light all around me. I wouldn’t want this to stop but at the same time I would be afraid and this would make the experience fade.
My mother was very spiritual and took me to church a lot. I really felt something powerful happening inside me when we would sing. I always seemed to have questions in Sunday school, however, that stumped the teachers. I would always pinpoint the contradictions and ask them how one thing could be true when over here it said the opposite. I remember many a blank stare looking back at me. (This happened to me in school a lot, too.)
When I was sixteen years old, I had two powerful experiences that deeply influenced the direction of my life. One was waking up with a migraine headache for the first time. I had watched my mother suffer through these many times and really didn’t want to repeat her experience. I was in too much pain to get up so I started breathing. I inhaled into the pain and exhaled it out the window into a tomato worm that was eating our tomato plants right out the window. After just a few breaths, the pain was gone and I went back to sleep. The next day, I told my mother about this and she was glad my headache was gone, but busy with her chores. Then later when we were outside, she came towards me with a branch of the tomato plant and an awestruck look on her face. There on the branch was the tomato worm, dead in its tracks. It was completely intact, and completely dead. Since then, when I move pain around, I try to put it into rocks or water.
The second influential experience I had at this age was when I went to have a joint counseling session with my parents. The counselor was asking them questions about their relationship that they couldn’t answer. The answers were obvious to me. The counselor knew this and finally asked me to answer the question. I did and she told them that I had more insight at sixteen than most adults she worked with.
2. Who have been your biggest teachers? (Authors, bloggers, artists, coaches, etc.)
My first yoga teacher shared free yoga classes in the grassy common area in the student coop I lived at UC Davis. He was always fun and light and I developed a nurturing personal practice from what he shared with me. I am ever grateful to him. Scott, if you are reading this, thank you.
My massage teacher was Judy Phillips of the Phillip’s School of Massage in Nevada City, CA. She is also a psychic minister and we spent the first week of massage training exploring energy without touching each other and doing beautiful meditations to get in touch with our centers, grounding, soul purpose, chakras, and guides. She helped me discover my calling as a healer.
Pema Chodron, Starhawk, Lao Tsu, Ursula LeGuin, Jack Cornfield, Margo Anand, Hafiz, and Rumi are all authors that have influenced me greatly.
I lived at Harbin Hot Springs for 5 1/2 years and studied with the yoga program there. I got my yoga teacher training there and a lot of guidance about energy and healing work. I studied with the lovely yoga staff, Jim Gilkeson, Steve and Lokita Carter, to name a few Richard Bach to name a few.
Then I was offered an opportunity to help build a yoga ashram for a reclusive yoga I had been studying with in Humboldt County. I had always wanted to try my hand at off the grid living. The garden and the land were my biggest teachers there, aside from my partner, Geoffrey. And of course the yogi we were studying with. I learned so much from him about surrender to the healing process and to my inner guidance, especially in the process of moving on from the ashram and into the world.
Now I am studying Kundalini and Light Meditation yoga with a master healer named Karen Karona. She is a powerful healer and is training me to open more fully to divine light, to become the Light Spirit that I have always longed to be, that I already am.
3. What is the most profound life lesson you’ve experienced?
That my greatest strength is my greatest weakness and my greatest weakness is my greatest strength.
4. What lesson is most challenging to you? What do you keep re-learning or remembering but it hasn’t stuck?
That all of my pain and limitations are essential keys to my liberation. I keep wanting them to go away, but they are all gifts if I can accept and embrace them.
5. Where do you go (physically, mentally, and/or spiritually) to help integrate your learning?
The bathtub, dreamtime, healing light meditation, the beach.
6. What self-care practices do you have to support your well-being?
Yoga, clean diet, meditation, art therapy, investing in myself, long baths, essential oils, eating lots of healthy chocolate
7. What is something you’ve stopped doing to improve your well-being?
Emotional caretaking: morphing myself to give others what they want without regard to my needs.
8. What is a great personal development or well-being resource you want to mention?
My website at http://www.lightspiritbirthdoula.com and my private Facebook page called Abundant Light Healing Sanctuary. Email me at samananda108 @gmail.com to receive an invitation.
9. What do you want to teach anyone reading this? What is the most important thing you want to share in this moment?
Open yourself to experience the divine light shining already inside you. Allow it to transform you. Trust that it will give you exactly what you need when you need it. You can relax.