Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:
Episode 34: The Grace Space: Journey to the Grace of Self-Love with Lili Barbery-Coulon
Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Episode 34: The Grace Space: Journey to the Grace of Self-Love with Lili Barbery Coulon
How I went from feeling lost, disempowered and living in scarcity to dwelling in grace, gratitude, and full-spectrum abundance.
In my early forties, I dealt with repeated bouts of despair and the fear that I had somehow ‘missed’ my life.
I had been a professional actress for about 20 years, appearing in leading roles on stages across North America and the U.K., and in mainstream film and television; I was featured in major media outlets such as Vanity Fair magazine, where I appeared alongside such luminaries as Judy Dench, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and F. Murray Abraham. I’d shared the stage and screen with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Will Ferrel, Christopher Plummer, Ricky Gervais, David Duchovny, and many other performers of the highest caliber.
Sounds kinda glamorous, right?
I had hit the proverbial wall.
Disillusioned, unhappy and frustrated in my career, it felt like I could find no outlet to spend my creative energy and give what I was longing to give. Unfulfilled, I had become obsessed with status and my position relative to others in my profession. It was an icky feeling that I despised, but couldn't seem to free myself from it.
Actually, for some time, my opportunities had been dwindling. Despite a great professional reputation, it was as if I were becoming invisible. I felt shut out Inwardly, the panic was rising..
If I didn’t ‘make it’, what was it all for?
I had turned away from a more conventional life – children, family, stability, -- for something, only I no longer knew what that something was.
With hindsight, I realize I was being redirected toward something higher and better - but at the time, my ego could not handle it!
I felt BETRAYED by a universe who would create in me such a longing to be a channel, and yet deny me what I considered to be the ‘right’ opportunities to serve as that channel. I saw myself as a victim of circumstance and felt helpless.
Confused and bewildered, I could feel myself becoming bitter.
About that same time, I developed, ‘out of the blue’, a very painful case of frozen shoulder on my right side. Actually, it was on both sides, but it was worse on my right side; it got so bad that I couldn’t reach for an object on a high shelf, or sleep on my right side, or put my hand on my hip without severe pain.
I was completely mystified by this turn of events, as I had never had any injuries - and I taught movement, for heaven's sake! But more than that, it freaked me out.
I knew the universe was telling me something,
but I couldn’t or didn’t want to hear it.
I was at the end of my spiritual rope.
Despite all the noble motives I had given myself over the years for my choice of profession, and all the expectations I had felt obligated to fulfill (mine as well as others’), it was becoming disturbingly clear to me that fear and insecurity were at the root of it all. All along, what I’d been trying to do was fill a gaping hole in my self-esteem.
I had wanted to feel special, to distinguish myself, and be worthy of love and approval. I had lived on the surface of life, and it had left me spiritually empty. I had to face the truth that my life was barren.
The shadows I had to suppress in my quest to appear confident, successful, and happy caused me to split off areas of my psyche. I hid things and kept secrets. It felt sordid and pathetic and shameful to have wasted my life chasing a mirage.
Can you relate?
Cut to 20 years earlier, just starting out.
All the deep breathing I practiced on the classroom floors of the Juilliard Drama Division must’ve triggered the higher glands in my brain, because it was about that time that I started seeing and sensing energy through my hands.
Actually, since about 18 or 19 I had been aware of a heartfelt longing to understand why we humans were here, and our place in the universe. I read every book I could get my hands on about energy, chakras, channeling, healing through the energy field, Ayurveda, angels, kundalini awakening, past lives, consciousness, meditation, extraterrestrial intelligence, you name it.
And over many years, I had conducted, in parallel to my life as a performer, a sort of independent study on myself, learning, practicing and also teaching a variety of systems related to spiritual growth; I studied reiki, taught Gyrotonic Expansion System for 12 years, but what impacted me most profoundly, and where I felt at home, was Kundalini Yoga, which I discovered at 25.
Like a flickering candle, the fledgling spiritual practice of my youth was easily blown out by the winds of doubt and inner emptiness. But I kept returning to some version or other over the years, driven by something within.
"The pain pushes, until the Vision pulls."
-- Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith
In fact, it was that episode of frozen shoulder that sent me back to a regular spiritual practice.
After a full year of twice-weekly physiotherapy with no real change in the condition, I was at my physiotherapy appointment, wincing as the doc tried yet again to open my shoulder, when those two words simply dropped into my head: Kundalini Yoga.
I hadn't practiced in years, but intuitively, I knew it was time to go back. I needed to go within and be honest about how something IN ME was creating this reality of pain, limitation and constriction.
After literally 3 weeks of regular practice, I went from very limited shoulder mobility to a feeling of release. And after 8 weeks, things were almost normal again. It was like a miracle.
Inspired, I went to India for a rigorous Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga and began offering classes at home. I threw myself into the practice and was on fire to deepen my experience by going into higher levels of training. It was then, through some kind of grace, that I happened upon a Spiritual Master in France whose impact on me was so profound that it totally reframed my perspective.
Karta Satyavrati Singh was to become one of my most important teachers and mentors, and it was through him (and later through my other mentor Mary Morrissey and Brave Thinking Institute), that I began to learn the truth about who we really are, and the hidden laws which govern how we create our reality.
From that moment on, I was forever changed.
Right after this encounter during which I was reborn, in a way, I had to return home to begin another theatre contract. But I was no longer the same person, and my old life was unbearably dissonant with what I had just experienced.
I was aware of a sudden distance from the familiar self I had always known, and a feeling of the Real Me - a new Self that wanted to emerge, like a rising wave that would eventually crash on the life I had constructed.
This awareness caused an inner conflict, and my despair at that moment was intense.
I didn’t want to be at home. I didn’t want to work. All I could think about was returning to France to continue studying with the teacher who had opened my eyes, in the place where I had caught a glimpse of my True Self.
So, I made a decision to change my life. I was going to allow that new Self to emerge, and I was going to step into the Unknown.
And yet I was afraid – afraid to back out of a work contract, afraid of what people would say, afraid of how it would affect my marriage, afraid of not having an income, afraid of the unknown, afraid of following my heart. There was a part of me arguing for why it wasn’t a good time, why it wasn’t convenient, how it was going to turn everything upside down.
But another part of me knew that great opportunities never show up when it’s convenient, or when it’s comfortable. So, I pulled out of my contract and initiated a radical change of direction in my life.
Great things occur on the OTHER side of what is comfortable.
Once I made that decision, my life started to open up in miraculous ways.
I was blessed to spend the following three years in an intense period of personal and spiritual growth with the Master in France who became my teacher and mentor.
What I went through there can't be described in words, and it wasn't always easy. I faced my shame, gave full voice to my grief and regret, and began to forgive myself. I learned to lean into the immutable principles of Spiritual Law to heal my fragmented psyche, so that I could stand in my truth.
This transformed me on every level, and I eventually emerged from my chrysalis knowing that I was no longer the same person. I was ready to go from a life that was all about me and what I could get, to a life centered around what I could give.
It allowed me to call in and align with my higher purpose as a spiritual coach and teacher, and to transmit everything I have learned and been given over the years, to you.
This ancient, timeless wisdom is encoded in the proven, reliable, repeatable success systems that I teach. It’s my passion to share how to harness the invisible laws of the universe in order to consciously change the results we see in our reality and truly know ourselves as a creators.
This is the only education you will ever need.
One day, the practical application of Spiritual Law will be taught in school. But right now, you still have to come across these teachings by Grace.
If you’re reading these words, you have.
You are far, far more powerful than you know. There is a Power and a Presence within you right now, that’s breathing you, that’s beating your heart, and it wants nothing less for you than to give you all the success and fulfillment you could ever dream of.
There is a proven, reliable, and repeatable way to manifest any dream you can envision for yourself and your life. To bring the invisible into the visible. And to call forth a greater life for yourself, in alignment with your highest values.
We all have access to this Power within. And I consider it a sacred privilege to ignite the awareness of that Power within you, so that you may discover, design and LIVE your dream life. This is the most powerful, passionate way to come alive and to be reborn inside your own life. If it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you too.
Many blessings on your path. Let's walk part of it together, shall we?
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