Dharma Series: Tahlia's Journey of Healing and Transformation

By: Tahlia Rubin

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I have attuned myself to healing and being healed.  I am surrendering and obeying. I am meeting and merging with my higher-self.  I am letting go of what was and embracing what is. I am discovering my purpose.  

MY VISION: I am full of love; trusting and following my intuitions, vibrating at a high frequency and connecting with and leading individuals and communities in healing.

This vision, and ultimately my current path, came about after years of soul searching and ongoing disappointment in my lack of concrete changes.  Persistently unhappy, I felt trapped in a destructive pattern of unhealthy coping behaviors. Prior to me consciously seeking, I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural South Africa.  The Peace Corps had been my soul’s greatest desire and backup plan for over 10 years.  It was the fantasy that propelled me through an unhappy marriage, unfulfilling career moves, and a generally lost me.  Yet, 17 months into living my “souls desire” I remained unfulfilled, yearning for more, begging to find ME.

In May, after my built in self-destruction mode led to a series of bad decisions and well deserved consequences, I spiraled into crisis.  This fall, although painful and embarrassing, provided me with a glaring opportunity (or perhaps opportunity for Divine intervention) to initiate changes I had long avoided.  As Swami Kripalu states, “Struggle changes an ordinary human into a spiritually awake person.

Amidst my struggle, I met a beautiful teacher who helped guide me.  He was sent to me at a particularly vulnerable moment after I had just come to the realization that I was unhealthy, a truth I had denied for years.  Following this revelation I begged the Universe for a guide and a way out of my self-inflicted bondage; I did not believe in the power of my plea and have always been shaky around my faith in Divine existence.  Then Daniel appeared. Coincidence? Magic? Divinity? I wasn’t sure and my faith is still wavering.

I stayed at his home for a few days "vacation" from my rural reality and left changed, knowing I must devote my life to walking a path of awareness, self-discovery, and authentic healing.  But how to manifest this? At a junction, feeling lost and desperate, I followed my friend's teachings of setting a strong intention and asking the Divine for a “neon sign” answer. This time, in fuller faith, I did just that. Within a day, my mom sent a link to a Kula Yoga Teacher Training in Mexico.  And so this journey began.

As a monetarily broke volunteer, I learned of the Kula Collective Dharma Grant and launched into the process of developing a project unique to my self-realization needs.  I created the above vision through the use of a powerful FLOW tool Kula provides and was selected as a recipient of the grant. I have alway chosen jobs and careers that centered around teaching, helping and healing.  I realized through this process that I have failed to become the powerful healer I know is lying dormant inside of me because I first required my own healing. I also realized that I feel the pull to heal through combining many modalities (energy healing, herbal healing, yoga, meditation, western/eastern/northern/southern/tribal medicine etc) and have much to learn.  

In order to reach my vision and realize my goals, I created 5 milestones that would measure my progress:

1) Establishing a daily mindfulness practice

2) Receiving education on healing and spirituality

3) Facilitating healing

4) Increasing my physical and mental health

5) Engaging in authentic relationships  

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I planned to tackle this vision on a very intellectual level (as I knew no other path).  I intended to continue living in rural SA for month 1, teaching yoga and dance while learning from local healers. I would then resign from my post and travel throughout Southern Africa for month 2, leading yoga and dance at various hostels and in communities.  I would travel around Cape Town (where I intended to return following the YTT) for month 3, setting up classes for my return to the Cape. Each of these above milestones I then divided into task upon task upon task. I wrote a very detailed daily and monthly plan, desiring to keep on track and studiously accomplish my goals.

Upon submitting this plan and being approved for the grant, I began following it by pushing myself to practicing 3x daily meditation, rubbing myself in oil every morning before my daily bucket bath (in 2 degree weather in a cement, uninsulated hut), visiting healers bi-weekly, holding weekly free yoga and dance session, offering massage and Tarot readings daily, etc. etc.

This full schedule took an instant toll on me.  I felt my life force diminishing. I noticed myself resisting.  Intellectually I knew I could push through and accomplish this, as I had so many other times in life (marriage, jobs, school), yet it felt so forced. Longing for confirmation of my path, I sent my plan to my spiritual guide.  His advice changed my direction and my life:

“The greatest gift you can give yourself is SPACE, a place to LET GO of that which you think you know and discover that which is waiting to meet you.”  He advised me to surrender and obey to that which I felt intuitively guided to do on any given day stating, “our Spiritual journey is not something we can write down, it is something we feel our way through."

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What I took from this advice is that I needed to shut down my busy, bossy brain.  As I alluded to earlier, I historically intellectualized EVERYTHING. I lived in the future and imagined conversations I would have, playing them out for hours, or days, prior to actualizing them (and they never even went the way I planned....talk about a waste of time and energy). I created a detailed brain-based plan to guide an unknown journey through unchartered territory. This would never fit.  Other layers of his guidance I understand only now, after living my journey of transformation these past few months.

Upon receiving this response I gave myself a week of grace, guiding myself through daily intuition.  I next amended my plan, removing the daily oiling and allowing more space for feeling my way through my vision. Then after day 30 I tossed my task-laden timeline to the wayside and went to live with my guide in Cape Town.  There the healing and learning really began.

I’ve been avoiding writing this blog, fearing the scrupulous review of the plan I wrote over two months ago.  I was scared to face the shame I assumed I would feel in not completing my outlined tasks, having abandoned my daily schedule and withdrawing from my 90 day outline.  I feared failure and chastisement in not meeting my milestones. Upon review of my plan, however, I find that I have made great progress on each of the five milestones and in the process I am no longer the person who started this journey two months ago.

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As I sit in the airport awaiting departure from South Africa and the long travel to Mexico, I am awed by the abundance of the Universe and inspired by the woman who has emerged from within me. I feel that after verbalizing my vision and setting my intentions, my higher-self began guiding me on the correct path because it is the path I am meant to walk.   Surrendering, feeling, and obeying, has led me exactly where I desire and need to be RIGHT NOW.

In the past two months I have received healing in over 25 modalities, including various forms of energy healing, shamanistic healing, dance, massage, trauma release, western medicine, eastern medicine, ethereal medicine, life coaching, nature healing, sound healing, yoga medicine and meditation, to name a few.  I have spent time in 5 different countries living with and learning from the people. I have gone on a 5 day backpacking trip in a Namibian canyon, facing the demons of my mind as I walked. I laughed, cried, and rocked myself through a 12 day silent meditation retreat learning to sit with MYSELF. I taught yoga, meditation, and dance to South Africans in rural villages.  I guided my friends through being me. I fought, I swore, I ran, I returned, I loved and danced and sang and obeyed and rebelled and sighed over and over.


I feel alive.


Every moment is a new beginning, yet this beginning feels different, it feels big.  Something in me has shifted energetically and I am ready to teach and I’m ready to really begin my path healing others; I no longer yearn to be healed.  I am leaving South Africa having decided to release myself from the commitment of returning. I desire to surrender fully and challenge myself by walking the path as it appears before me.  I continually feel a strong pull to the Kula teacher training and know that I will leave changed. I am excited, as well as nervous, to discover where I am guided to be following this training.

Despite these changes in my physical plan, my calling remains unchanged.  It is clear to me that I am here to heal others. It is clear to me that I am called to heal on a macro scale using creative, grassroots interventions.  I find that I am consistently guided to healers using a combination of dance, yoga, meditation, and a connection to the Divine/God/Ethereal/ (aka the glue and energy that connects us all).  I am interested to see how this will manifest in me during and post YTT as I continue to navigate the world and to navigate me.

I am beginning the next phase of my journey, a journey Kula kickstarted for me. I am wholly grateful.  I am excited to continue to learn and to continue to share with readers during and post the 200 hour YTT I will soon begin in Mexico.  Daniel, my spiritual guide, advised me that through surrendering, obeying, and uncovering the real me "your awareness then begins to expand, inch by inch, and as that happens, more doors open that you cannot even conceive of right now.”  How true his words were and are. And so I live life excited to see what other doors open that I haven’t yet conceived of.

About Tahlia:

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Tahlia Joy Rubin is a seeker of joy, connection, love, truth, and purpose. She enjoys dance, yoga, meditation, nature, people, animals, travel and challenges. She is passionate about learning and finding her unique path through healing herself and others. Tahlia received a Dharma Grant Scholarship to support her yoga journey and graduated from the 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training at Present Moment in Mexico this fall.