Finding My Self at Solstice
By Carmen Garcia aka Sat Kirtan Kaur
Rediscovering my higher Self through an unexpected journey led me to a purposeful path. My birth name is Carmen Garcia. I'm a nutritional counselor and fitness guide, a vegetarian, and model from Los Angeles, California. Via my journey into a wondrous pilgrimage, I am blessed to learn of my new spiritual name, Sat Kirtan Kaur. I am beguiled by the vibrational sound of this unique gift from the Universe sent to me by the Spiritual Names department at 3HO International for a small donation.
The summer of 2010 was quite an unusual season for me. Suffering from a few minor injuries led to many spiritual awakenings. I had been undergoing many levels of stress living in an overpopulated city. I was feeling empty, frustrated, and stuck in a sea of masked faces and empty shells in a city life. For months, I sensed inner changes, insomnia, anxiety, worry, etc. I had been experiencing transitional uneasiness in my personal life. Certain life experiences demand adjustments and spiritual attention, so I decided to pay attention to my spirit.
On a warm Sunday afternoon in early June, I was fed up with feelings of frustration and trying to find a meaningful life purpose. Impulsively, I decided to drive through the desert to meet up with an acquaintance that I had met a couple of years prior. She had been studying Kundalini Yoga in Phoenix, Arizona for eight months and she was the closest person I could visit in a city I'd never been to before. My journey began on an adventurous whim that Sunday afternoon. I decided to pack my bags and take off for one week to get away from my loud neighbor and the big city life. I yearned to figure out what was going on inside of me. My new friend kept speaking about her journey and experience with a Kundalini Yogic lifestyle after a string of unfortunate events in Hollywood, California. Fortunately for me, I had already been interested in a yogic way of life for a couple of years. I wanted to learn more about Kundalini Yoga. On several occasions, I was told about a summer solstice retreat. I had no clue what that was. I made up every excuse on why I couldn't attend. Eventually, I looked it up online and decided to take a pilgrimage test drive under the starlit skies to New Mexico for a seemingly interesting yoga retreat. I qualified for one of the last service scholarships to become a security guard on site.
Arriving on the Ram Das Puri mountain land, where the yoga retreat was being held, is one of the most influential moments of my life. Strangely, there were many obstacles and challenges driving from Phoenix to New Mexico. It was almost as if there were several strength tests and signals from the Universe to see how badly I wanted to chase my curiosity. The eleven hour drive seemed endless in the middle of the night. Upon arrival in the middle of the next day, I felt the energy charging through my bones as I drove near the location. As I drove closer to the mountain, I felt as though I was about to embark on something very special. I was surrounded by blue skies, the hot sun blazing over me and a huge cloud of smoke emerging from the land. I took several pictures with my blackberry phone. Apparently during the year of the Fire Tattva, it was ironic to witness a natural fire 25 miles away from the retreat.
I had never camped before this event, nor taken outdoor cold showers (yogis call it hydrotherapy), but I knew I was ready for a positive shift in my life. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I thought to myself. The experience was phenomenal. That evening I met new friends that were singing and dancing freely under the open skies to a song that sunk into my subconscious until today, Sat Siri Akal. I immediately felt layers of emotional weight lift from within me. I felt at home.
As the magnetic moon waxed throughout the nights, I was delighted to see and feel a partial lunar eclipse emerging from the starry skies. It began to illuminate the darkness. At first, I could not imagine being away from home for ten days camping in extreme weather. Days were scorching hot and chilly evenings were slightly uncomfortable in a paper thin tent, but the trade off for being in an environment where everyone was sharing oneness made every uncomfortable moment wonderful. I couldn't think of anything else but pure gratitude for being there. It was perfect as my heart and soul began their healing process.
Workshops were taught by senior Kundalini Yoga teachers conveying the message behind the legendary Yogi Bhajan. Clearly, the message will always be a part of who I am. Being in the moment of this vortex pulled me back to the core of who I am and what my mission in life is. Every morning I sat in meetings with the security crew to discuss who would work in which area of the retreat. They were generous enough to allow us to choose our schedule. This allowed free time to take workshops, practice yoga and meditation, and participate in three full days of White Tantric Yoga®. I had never even heard of White Tantric Yoga before, but I learned much about myself by gazing into the window of the soul of each of my partners.
Every morning we practiced the Fire Tattva kriya during security team meetings. This powerful kriya activated my sixth chakra, heart center, and seemingly cleared and aligned the energy centers (chakras) of my entire physical body. After each kriya, I knew my day was going to rock! The chanting of the Fire Tattva kriya song repeated the beautiful words, Sat Nam and Wahe Guru over rhythmic sounds and tribal drum beats.
It's been a little over two months since I've been back in Los Angeles. Since my summer solstice experience, I've traveled to Phoenix for work and Reiki studies. Last night I had a sudden urge to go online to www.3HO.org and listen to the Fire Tattva Mantra. Once again, this kriya supercharged my spirit as I instantly felt the healing effects throughout my body, mind, and soul. For a small donation, I downloaded the song into my music library. I'm making the Fire Tattva kriya a part of my daily ritual. Blissful, bountiful and beautiful I am when I create the space that has taught me how to relax and be peaceful within myself no matter where I am.
You can connect with Carmen, aka Sat Kirtan Kaur, through http:www.facebook.com/fitdakini