I’ve been a seeker all my life.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in search of something greater—a higher spirit beyond ambition. In essence, a truth that would resonate deeply and carry me out of the confines of my own little mind.
The first time I touched this invisible power was during my first asthma attack.
I had been playing outside; it was springtime and the mixture of pollen, air and youthful exuberance were just the right dose I needed for my little six-year-old body to tip.
I started wheezing. Soon, I turned blue. I attempted to catch my breath with each gasp. But it slipped away, leaving me more breathless than the moment before. I felt myself losing control and becoming anxious as it became harder to breathe; I didn’t know what was happening to me, but it felt like I was slowly dying.
My mother put me in the backseat of our grey Mazda hatchback and drove me to the hospital. She tried to reassure me as I flailed around in the car, gasping for air. We were both aware of the presence of danger.
I remember being rushed inside. I lay down on a table lined with tissue paper, tears streaming down my face, as the doctors pounded on my back with a soft fist. The doctors explained I had mucus in my lungs and it was a way to separate it from the tissue. But, being sick like this, I felt like I was doing something wrong. I couldn’t help thinking—well, isn’t this an odd way to go—being beaten by doctors dressed in white while I’m suffering? Don’t you see I’m suffering?
Then, something happened. My gatekeepers gave me a cool white gas to inhale, which made my insides squirmy. The weight I was buried under vanished. I became aware of space within pain. I was drunk with love. My mind quieted. The taste was warm, unconditioned and embodied.
The steroids were working fast and melted the muscles around my ribs. My lungs felt free once again. In my vulnerability, I could sense the fear surrounding me. But, there was so much space in this love—nothing could harm me—not even death itself.
It was the first moment I experienced the divine.
As the drugs wore off, I was left feeling disappointed for creating such a fuss. At that time, even as a small person, I was oddly aware of the problems grown-ups faced. I felt obligated to lighten their burden. I didn’t know what had happened to me, but something shifted. The best way I can describe it is to say, it felt like I had intimately brushed up against a current of truth: we are not separate.
We feel one another intensely. We are love. We are light. And this is truth.
I believe it was, because of that early moment, my internal compass was directed in discovering my soul’s purpose. However, I came to find (to my dismay) that it wasn’t a singular occupation, project or person. Instead, it was a moment-to-moment awareness—it was a constant inner dialogue between being and doing.
The impermanent setup broke my heart. I would have much preferred to have just found work that was truthful.
But, what I’m learning is living a life of truth is a process, not a destination. This path is measured not by great achievements.
No—an authentic life is measured by inhales and exhales.
Denmo Ibrahim is the Founder & CEO of Earthbody, an organic day spa for healing based in San Francisco. Denmo also formulates a line of organic bodycare inspired by the principles of Ayurveda. Denmo is a successful entrepreneur, highly sought healer, wellness educator, playwright, poet, and performer. She leads the Integral Workshop programs of Anatomy of Healing© and Posture of Joy© yearly. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Naropa University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Boston University and is a graduate of the World School of Holistic Healing, Mount Madonna Institute’s School of Ayurveda, School of Body Mind Centering and San Francisco School of Massage. As a holistic coach and meditation instructor, Denmo offers one on one private consultations to initiate personal transformation and writes weekly stories for the Earthbody blog.
Editor: Nikki Di Virgilio
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Image Credit: Sean O’Leary