Living the Path of Love
Path of Love gave me my life’s work really, and still does. It…and me…are changing all the time. Growing…evolving... alive! - Alima
For our next Awakening of Love Leader Spotlight, we talked with Alima…who has been with Path of Love since the beginning. Alima has been working in the field of transformation with herself and others for 30 years, and leads Path of Love and Awakening of Love workshops in Australia, Europe and the Americas. Alima will lead three Path of Loves in the next three months, in Australia, Greece, and the United States.
We asked Alima…….
“What do you enjoy most about Awakening of Love?”
It always amazes me how much can happen in 2 or 3 days. It is quite extraordinary.
Once intimacy and trust is established, and people shift from their heads and begin to meet and see each other from the heart, then immediately there is a dropping away of a protective shell, and judgment and separation dissolve. And people realize that underneath we are really all in the same boat, we all want the same things, we all want connection, we all need to be seen, to be touched, and to come out of isolation. We all want to be able to express what is true for us. Rather than hiding and pretending and trying to be someone that we are not, in order to get by, stay in control, and make our lives ‘work’. Awakening of Love is an opportunity to take off the mask that we have learned to wear in order to survive. And it is a great relief to find that we can take that mask off and it’s still okay. We are not going to die, or be annihilated or abandoned. Vulnerability is a big key in this work, but so often it is associated with weakness. And the discovery that it is our greatest strength has to be experienced in order to know that truth.
For myself I enjoy the sense of connection and how warm and intimate it is so quickly. The defenses often drop so immediately. So that is what comes to mind, a sense of belonging. And there is always a lot of laughter. After that first layer opens up there are tears as the heart opens, and there is laughter. And it is a lot of fun during the Awakening weekends. I heard Osho once say, “Tears are the greatest prayer.” Tears and laughter are not something we can make happen…they are the by-product of facing deep issues and repressed emotions that are covering our spontaneous expression. The magic of Awakening of Love and Path of Love is that people feel safe enough to be that authentic very quickly.
In this work we sometimes refer to something called this-and-that, which is the flexibility of moving from one mood to another, from one state of consciousness to another. We sometimes have a resistance to re-visiting past hurt or grief, because we feel once we go there we will never come out! But actually the opposite is true. Once we enter into an emotion totally, whatever that may be, it shifts. So we may be laughing one minute and crying one minute; and being able to switch and be authentic, like little children, brings back that freedom and the resilience of being alive without having to edit; to be able to let go…to let be.
I did the very first Awakening of Love here in Australia, about 12 years ago. We wanted to put something out that would reach more people and make the Path of Love more accessible. Since then Awakening of Love has been evolving. And in the past 5 years, really expanding all over the world…we are on five continents and in several languages now.
“Why is this work (Path of Love and Awakening of Love) so important?”
Because it integrates the opposites in life. It brings together the dark and the light. It invites in the paradox of life. It embraces life and death. It connects the masculine and feminine. It allows everything to be experienced and expressed without judgment. In my experience, this is very unusual in workshops. It carries an unpredictability and a depth. It gives us the opportunity to risk…to go to uncomfortable places within ourselves. And basically it holds a loving container for wherever we need to go. This is because the facilitators of Path of Love are dedicated to doing their own personal work and continue with their own self enquiry.
Finally, I feel only life itself can prepare us to have the integrity to facilitate another, and we develop this integrity by continuing to facilitate ourselves. Everyone can make their journey towards wholeness, healing, and empowerment…whoever they are, wherever they are from, whatever they have done or not done. All that is required is a passion to know the truth and a willingness to sit in not knowing. There is no one who is especially special in this game of life. We are all equally special!
So the importance is that it brings a unity, a healing, a wholeness, without leaving anything or anyone out!
It is very earthbound and spiritual at the same time, and it also includes the psychological aspects, the new understandings of brain science and mindfulness. The structure is such that it can embrace and invite all new discoveries of what life is about, what really is important, of what it means to be a human being on this planet earth. So that is why it is important. It doesn’t have any boundaries. It is one of the richest experiences I know. It is not an intellectual exploration. The ground of Path of Love is presence. Being in the body, in this moment, here and now. Sensing, feeling, relating, being. And as far as is possible, experiencing and speaking the truth of that, whatever that may be.
“How do you experience the 7-Day Path of Love?”
Talking about the Path of Love, my experience of it is currently as a facilitator and leader, so that is obviously a different perspective from that of being a participant. How do I experience it as a leader? It is like never stepping into the same river twice, even though the structure is the same. Every time I do Path of Love I feel I am stepping into the unknown. I am remembering how potent it feels on the first evening, face to face with a new bunch of people. I can see them now, see their eyes, in that first powerful moment of 7 days that are going to change their lives. And it is the greatest privilege I know to hold the space for people to go step-by-step into meeting who they really are, and support them in facing the obstacles. To see the courage and vulnerability it takes to do that. To witness people moving through those 7 days, taking with them the tools to be present, and a knowing of what is true for them. To know what they feel and don’t feel, to speak what they want and don’t want, to be able to relate from authenticity and respect, and an open heart.
So honestly, I know of no more fulfilling way to spend my time! And it gives me those things I just mentioned. Because I have to be authentic and present and show up the best I can, and the way that I show up is different each time because the people are different. So I am enriched through each person who participates and who I relate to. Each person is a universe, a different expression, so each Path of Love is different in what it brings. And having said that, the foundation is the same… which is a foundation of LOVE. The most valuable asset we have as humans is the human heart, which has immense capacity for compassion and transformation and wisdom and love. And the work of Path of Love is, essentially, uncovering all the layers around the heart. And that is the work of excavation, and as we know, it can be very powerful and painful, as well as very rewarding work. This uncovering the truth of who we are is the most important journey of life, and why we are here, I feel.
We are bringing into this work all kinds of therapeutic practices, everything that is valuable. We all have trauma, so we have all done a lot of work on Somatic Experiencing, and how the nervous system works, so we incorporate that. There are the discoveries in brain science as to how meditation is important for body health, moving from the head to the body, into the heart, into the present moment, where silence, love, peace are to be found. There is the healing of touch through the recognition of attachment styles. The Diamond Essence work is a brilliant synthesis of the psychological and spiritual which all the leaders of Path of Love have studied for many years. And the power of being witnessed and seen in your depth and authenticity, by people who are open and present and without judgment is a big key. Often, that is all that is needed in order for someone to integrate and let go of something that has been hidden or troubling them for many many years.
These things, and many more, are emerging and ongoing practices and methods, which become embedded into the Path of Love style and give it its unique essence. We are living…and creating a path…and it’s always changing. This is the legacy that Osho gave us. He was constantly challenging the old and experimenting with the new - celebrating life - and his transmission is rooted in the Path of Love work. And I don’t believe you can continue in this work without growing in consciousness, awareness, self-responsibility and compassion. Path of Love is a teacher and a teaching for me, personally. It’s no free ride. It’s not always easy. One of the Path of Love keys, “all the barriers are on my side” is one of the most profound teachings of this work.
“Anything personal you would like to share?”
I feel very honoured and very humbled by this work. Because for me it carries the Mystery. There is nothing permanent about the Path of Love. Except the truth that it carries. And the love that it carries.
It is both significant and miraculous that it has continued for these last 20 years. Like the scent of a rose, you can’t hold onto it. But it is the most precious thing. That’s how I feel about it.
The Path of Love is a flower that is constantly opening. And that is how it feels in me. It opens, it closes, it opens a bit more. And it is very delicate. And its roots are getting stronger and stronger.
So I’ll keep on showing up for as long as I and it exists. So that’s it really. It goes with me when I die. The Path of Love inside me is eternal. So the moment when I leave this body I’ll take that fragrance with me. I am that. That’s what I trust. That’s the Path of Love for me.
For more detail on Alima’s upcoming workshops, please visit www.pathoflove.net/schedules.