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10 years ago, I was in a depressive state. So much pain and hardship was showing up in my relationships, my work life, my view of myself. Despite my outstanding academic and work achievement and decent social status, my loving family, my numerous good friends, I was miserable deep inside. This has naturally pushed me towards a path that would enable me to find the deeper meaning of my existence and my life events; that path was spirituality. For more than seven years, I have delved deeply into the knowledge and the dedicated practice of energy healing, seeking to free myself of all the mental, emotional, energetic chains that I knew were keeping me stuck in a dark view of life, and therefore a dark painful experience of it. Being the nerd I have always been, I studied all the way, finishing all practitioner courses, all instructor courses, attended healing sessions; whatever is usually done on the path to “enlightenment”, I have made every sincere effort to do. My life shifted in so many ways, and my view and awareness expanded tremendously, but 7 years later, and despite the apparent and striking changes in my life conditions, I was still holding so much of the basic human feelings that one is supposed to shed during such a long and dedicated spiritual journey. Emotions like deep seated fear of engaging with life, long silent anger that has hidden so well from every healing attempt that I have attempted, a mind puzzling unworthiness that ran out of excuses throughout the years of digging and healing work. That’s when I realized that, at least for me, a deeper more serious and more sustained engagement, which involved the physical body that had started suffering by then, is needed if I am to experience a deep enough and sustained inner shift. Self-Mastery came as an answer to my prayers. I had no shred of doubt that I would be part of it when Usha first shared the concept. She had already done it successfully in India back then, and it was time that this type of work is brought to Dubai. And there I was.


 How did you find the Self-Mastery Journey?

This journey has been the most intimate encounter with myself in this life time. It is so intelligently designed and delivered, that if you commit to the process, there is no escape from everything your subconscious had tried to hide or guard from your awareness. This is best achieved through working with the same group for the whole year. Through my sustained interaction with the beloved self-mastery friends, going through the ups and downs together, involving in very deep and grounded psychological explorations, I have seen so much of myself that I never thought was there, even in my remotest conscious views of myself.

Meanwhile, a relationship develops, a language between the conscious mind and the deep psyche, but ONLY if you commit to the process and stick to the practice. The fact that the program extended over a full year enabled me to fully experiment and observe how my psyche is operating, and how it is responding to the various chunks of knowledge, practice, and movement I was offering it as part of the SM journey.

I must say though, the beginning of the Self-Mastery journey was very challenging for me. Although I was super excited about the workshops and conceptual parts, I was highly challenged by the mandatory yoga practice, and the fact that there is a group with whom I was supposed to interact with on a regular basis. However, just like all things that are truly good for you in life, you only experience the goodness after having the courage and breaking the resistance to engage. I would drag myself to Yoga, with my mind using all its armor against it, only to feel great after each session. I would be sitting in our group discussions, so reserved and closed off, only to have my heart cracked open, revealing very deep insights, as a friend in the group shares their experience or entrusts the group with a genuine emotion.

I could safely say that it’s only after this full year’s engagement that I finally started truly and deeply becoming the things I’ve learned over the years in the spiritual domain. It’s such a grounding, deeply transformative experience, down to the physical level and the everyday life reality.


What were the main 3 takeaways from being in the Self-Mastery Project?

I have more clarity today about who I am. First, in terms of personality, through deep process work, I had to come face to face with aspects of myself that I was not ready to acknowledge and that were not allowed to be there given my self image as a spiritual healer and teacher. Having worked on myself for very long and being an inward reflecting person who thought was doing a great job in thinking through what am communicating to ensure its effective and kind, polite, sensitive, patient, compassionate, loving, etc, it was very difficult to see the true motives behind my actions and communication, accept them, and then transform them. Although the process of seeing my blind spots itself was tough and threatening, I cannot describe the liberation I felt once I saw a blind spot, or caught my psyche in the act, under the supervision and in the safe compassionate space held by a magnificent teacher and facilitator.

Second, it’s through the concepts of the personas and inner voices, as well as Seth’s metaphysical understanding of the nature of physical reality and the human mind that the gap that was there in my own understanding and experience of my soul vs. my mind vs. my body is finally bridged. This was not the outcome of attending a class and doing few healing sessions. It was the cumulative effect of studying these concepts, and then experientially going through very deep group process work during the Chakras retreat and the Human Process Shadow Lab, and then following up with sincere energy self-healing practice to clean up what comes up, and with body work through Yoga and Breathing to help the body flush the toxins. In the end, you have a 360 Degree approach to inner growth for a full year: expand awareness, stir hidden patterns and deep seated emotions, process them consciously, clean up the residues energetically, and flush out whatever manifested of them in your body through yoga and breathing.

The third takeaway is the newly established relationship with my psyche as I mentioned earlier. Before self-Mastery, spiritual work or healing work for me was an exercise through which I would connect to the Source to channel energy to change limiting beliefs or feelings that I found in me using a mechanical/methodical process, mainly during courses and workshops, and on an as needed basis, more like putting out the fires, afterwards. However what happened during this one year was a different level of engagement with the mind and the psyche. Because there is emphasis on the psyche in Self-Mastery, inner work becomes and organic process. Your psyche gets onboard and starts to show you the way. It conspires with you to reach your intent. When you fail to see something about yourself when you’re awake, it will show you in a dream. When you’re thinking in an off direction, you will hear a voice within. It’s like you develop an eye to see, or rather sense, within you, instead of applying a unified systematic method in one direction to check what’s there, change it, and trust in the best.


How was the Yoga experience and teaching style? Were you able see why it was made mandatory as part of the program?

Yoga remains my challenge until now. Although a year has passed, I am still running away from the mat and struggling to commit to a breathwork routine. I realize that this is the last frontier of resistance, the last defense mechanism, before I am able to fully integrate my learnings all the way down to the physical level. I say this with certainty, because I have observed during all the yoga sessions the shift that used to happen, as after the class I consistently felt more centered, more balanced, breathed better, had more clarity on issues that were occupying my mind. There are sessions when during a certain asana, or through a specific pranayama practice, my emotions would over flow and I burst into tears. To me, this was proof that yoga and breath are capable of accessing emotions that are trapped in the body, that are inaccessible to any other form of spiritual or psychological work.

In terms of the teaching style, Shravi was very graceful, patient, and diligent in her work with us. She motivated us, was mindful of each of our specific stage and conditions, and provided lifestyle advise to help us navigate the self-mastery process as smoothly as possible.


How was you experience learning in a group? Was your privacy hampered in any way?

It was a very revealing process. It’s in the group that I came face to face with my anxiety of connecting to others and worked through it bit by bit. It was a heartwarming process to see how we’ve all transformed and changed throughout the year, and how we were able to be there for each other. The perspectives offered by each and every one of us on the topics we were studying were eye opening and most often touching.

Privacy was not a concern, because there was no obligation to share any personal information or events if we didn’t wish to. We were blessed to have an atmosphere of full trust in the group, so wherever I or anyone shared, we knew that it will stay in the group. This allowed us to tap into the depth of our stories, release old suppressed feelings, and change long held dysfunctional perspectives about ourselves and the world.


How was the facilitation of the program?

Usha is more than a wonderful teacher, healer, space holder and friend. She has the ability to simplify complex spiritual and metaphysical concepts in few almost touchable words. The objectivity and impartiality of the coach in her are very helpful during intense group processes. Yet, the compassionate healer steps in whenever needed, to hold your hand, wipe your tear, and show you the light when you can’t see any in yourself or in your context. Her focus on practical spirituality is very grounding; whenever any of us had the tendency to soar in thoughts and concepts far away from reality, she would bring them back down to the here and now, faced with the truth of what needs to be processed to move forward. I am super grateful for everything she has offered during this program in a way that words may not capture.


Would you recommend Self-Mastery to others?

Absolutely yes, to everyone who is looking to truly and deeply change their lives from the ground up, literally. Self-mastery will question the basics that you assume about yourself and about life. It will challenge you to see what you may not want to see. It will take you where you have been avoiding to go all your life out of fear, judgement, or anger. If someone is looking for a quick fix or a spiritual high, this program is not for them. I would recommend it to everyone I care about who is ready for a serious commitment to know who they are now, accept that, and then walk in the direction of more strength, more balance, and more connection.

Nour, Oct 2018