TRANSCRIPT - Seven Stages of Spiritual Soul Awakening with El Alma
Welcome back to the moral love podcast with Helen Reynolds. Today I have the lovely pleasure of speaking with El Alma. She is the author of a little book, it's very beautiful little book called becoming Soul seven steps to heaven. And it's a fictional story that really captures a lot of the difficulties we all experience at some point or another as we journey into the heart of who we really are. So, El Alma, thank you for joining me today.
El Alma 00:35
Thank you very much for having me
Well, it's a lovely pleasure. You've been of service in your life. As a counselor for a long time, you've had a big family, you've cared for lots of people. And you have a, you know, a deep well of care and kindness to share with the world. So it's, it's a pleasure to have you on the more love podcast.
El Alma 00:59
Thank you. Thank you.
So one of the things that you said to me, as we prepared for this interview, is that you believed in telling your story to people, other people realize that they can share their story. And often in the sharing of the story, they find deeper connections, I guess, to their heart, and to who they really are, which I thought was a really beautiful thing. Yeah, after I'd read your book, and and your book is about a journey, a life journey, to connect with our soul through the various trials and tribulations of life. I always think that we can only come to our soul via our heart, you know, our heart is the connecting place to me and my point of view, and we need to rest the mind and allow the mind to receive our hearts connection to our soul. And I just wondered, what are your thoughts on this? Would you? Would you talk with us a little bit about that?
El Alma 01:58
Yes, well, I've come to learn, and the heart is the first receiver of our feelings. And before the feelings actually become thought, and that goes to to the brain and the initial when you hear something, you can feel something in your chest that stirs you. upsets you, whatever. And then that thought will then describe itself in the mind. And then then we will use our, what we've grown up with, our beliefs, our values, family culture, our social environments, and we will make all sorts of judgments about that thought. But in reality, the heart holds the first feeling that comes to you. And all our. If we, if we can stop for five seconds, before it gets to the brain, you will feel that feeling as it is. And we all have those feelings. But somehow, it gets into the mind quicker. And we start processing it through through filters. And we can get cut off then from our heart. And what we really felt at first. So in counseling, engaging the heart is, is the most crucial part from the client, because we tend to stay in our minds throughout our daily lives. And as you mentioned, you go into a, turn down the mind a little bit and go perhaps into a meditative state, and connect back into the heart. And that's when it all comes up. And counseling starts there. We we start talking and bringing that well, all the judgments and criticisms and everything that you feel about a certain feeling. We bring it back down into the heart. And the client then can feel, start to feel what the feeling was. And the tears might come and the anger will go and then then you you've reached a feeling and then you can find compassion and empathy and the love for yourself because you beat yourself up so much. And then once you start loving yourself, it's easier to love others.
Wow, I couldn't agree with you more the way you have so beautifully said that with such clarity. And it's so true we our heart gets that instantaneous Knowing or.... And often our heart knows before we can even see. El Alma 05:07Or remember once my child was grieving for the loss of a person. And in sitting in the back [of the car] he was only five or six. And you can see the grieving. And I said, Where is it? Where's the pain, and it pointed straight to his chest. And that's the heart. And that's why I said, well, that's the heart that tells you how much you love. And how much you loved that person. And that was a such a typical example of it, he was so simplistic. It wasn't a thought he didn't processes it in his mind, he just told me directly where the pain was.
Yeah, to me, we grow up into our logical minds, so called logical minds, you know, by way of our education system and the ways society is structured around this concept of the logical mind. But when, when we're little, and when we're much, much older, we are from and in the heart space.
El Alma 06:22
Yes, it's a shock. When you grow up, you leave home and, you know, you've been cared for and protected or nurtured. You go out into the world, and suddenly you've got to process this stuff on your own - what what does it mean to love what does it mean to fall in love? What does it mean? When you're so much in your head, you can't feel that. And this is this is this is the, the absolute crux of all relationships, whether they're, you know, partnerships or family or colleagues at work, it's all the same. It's just the relationships, you put it under the title relationships, and that's what happens, you've got to get out of your head and get into your heart.
Because our heart is always in relationship to everything.
El Alma 07:16
Yeah, yeah. But we, you know, we do have to have a logical mind, we do have to, you know, make a living, and we do have to educate our children, and it's all there. It's, it's the ability to be aware that there's the two things happening at once.
Absolutely. We can't have one without the other. It's not it's un-functional. Is that even a word?! Um, so you talked about your counseling, and how you've helped people come into their heart space to find compassion and loving acceptance for you know, I'm sure a huge variety of situations. Is that how you always counseled?
El Alma 08:12
Yeah, I guess you don't study it like that. It's very theoretical, what you study when you counsel, and then you start talking the language of the client. And you come out of that theoretical mindset if you like, and you start talking with the client, and you put it more into sensitive terms, if you like. Helen 08:42What kind of terms?
El Alma 08:44
sensitive, more sensitive approach? Yeah.
Yeah, cuz I feel like this understanding of the heart space is ahh? It's very hard to fit into a theory, and therefore very, I don't want to use the word absent, but I can't think of a better word in academia. I don't know, could you?
El Alma 09:12
Well, I mean, let's face it. If academia is theoretical, and you study under a certain discipline, and you learn the theories, and you learn the theories of other people that end it's up to you how to apply that when you walk out the door. And that that means that you can get your information back into your heart if you like, and what does that really mean? And to be able to connect with a person you're not going to connect with an object if like, you can't remain objective when you have people coming through the door that are crying or that are angry or.... You know, You, you have to become subjective in your approach. So it's a real learning between the two, for the counselor themselves.
So another thing that you talked about, you know, we just talked about earlier was that, you know, we grow up, we leave home, and we come into this so called logical world where we have to make, you know, decisions about getting, we've probably got a good education while we've been at home, and then we've got to get a good job. And, you know, the standard is find some good investments, buy a house, and somewhere in between all of that, actually marry for love, you know, I find that I find the sort of standard process for life somewhat ironic in that it's all meant to be logical, but somewhere in the middle were meant to find true love and marry. And anyway, that's my little The funny thing about
El Alma 10:56
that's when the complications start! That's when you, that's when you're trying to run the two things together. Yeah. That is so difficult to ask anyone in a relationship? Yeah. Yeah.
Have you found over the years, as you've worked with many people that it takes great suffering before, we're willing to admit that the mind doesn't have all the answers?
El Alma 11:21
Yes, I know, the suffering can be lost, great loss from the death or injury or the loss of jobs, the loss of pets, but loss of friendship, there all losses, so there's many forms of losses, and none of us are exempt, we're going to all have loss in their lives in some way, some more than others. And, you know, when you come out of a relationship with massive loss, and a divorce, it tends to change you, ah completely. And it's a matter of whether you're going to be able to survive, the changes, whether you're going to get bitter or angry or ... or you're going to, and it takes a long time to come through the grieving Or, are you going to survive, somehow, that's where the, we need people in counseling. They usually, either they're trying to make decisions, or they're trying to, or they've made a decision, and then of coping or up the mess of complications that come through, perhaps I'm just talking about a relationship break up. I mean, there's grief, there's other things that cause massive loss as well, and massive suffering. And, you know, it's going to be up to the client, whether they can walk the survival, with the counselor using different techniques and strategies. And it's all pretty much in the mind and bringing it to the heart, for better understanding and empathy, perhaps with a whatever issue is brought to the pain, whether it's an injury or sickness and, and it's finding the compassion for the self going through it, and perhaps compassion for others that have may have hurt you. They're very, it's a very difficult stage. And some will give up and walk away and some will continue on. And this is where I probably found that counseling, the techniques when it comes to a main theme, we seem to get to survival. Out of the seven steps that I talked about, to heaven, the the silence, the hope, the suffering, the loss, the survival. And that all can come into whatever issue that you are suffering through. And that seems to be where counseling seems to stop, if you like, and, and we can only go as far as the person wants to go, but counseling doesn't necessarily teach the mind that we don't have the answers. We encourage the client to basically create your own answers through training the mind to change their thoughts. And that's what counseling is about. There's different, mind you, different types of counseling, I mean is, you know, the cognitive behavior, which is basically what I'm talking about at the moment, which I used. But there's a lot of other different types of counseling. And we, I worked with the mind and I, but I could see people knew that there was more. And I knew inside of me, I've always had a spiritual connection, that there was more that we could go for. So I guess it comes to then whether the person wants to go that far, whether they want to start questioning the story of the life, where we come from, why are we here, and it what's our purpose. That tends to come probably, once the survival is a little bit more integrated into their life. They've learned how to get through it. And then they sort of tend to ask questions after the survival. And they can see how much their lives have changed. And you do start asking questions around that time. And I've did, that's where I, as a counselor, that's what happened to me, I got to the point where my daughter got sick with cancer. And I had to question more of life, what was life about, there was a lot of suffering there. And just and being counselor, using all the different techniques that I knew, to walk through surviving a hardship. And not knowing where we're going and not being able to have control of the final outcome, because we all didn't want it to happen. So you, you find you're out of control of what is going to happen, you do the best to you can to stay positive. And um it comes back then to ...that's when the heart kicks in, is that tend to get out of the mind and the heart kicks in, and you've got all the emotions coming in. And then it comes towards the end of it. And you start wondering, what what is life about? Why are we here? Who are we, Why are we here? and, What's our purpose? And we'll death will do that for you. When when you're facing that, especially with your own child. So I guess the, that's when the sixth and seventh steps that I talked about, start kicking in. Because you start believing, there's got to be more to this. And I was, I was so convinced that there was - there has to be because it didn't make sense, wasn't logical to me that like every every other creature on earth has a purpose and all the insects and all the birds. And you can see the trees have their purpose and oceans and the fish everything. So we must have a purpose. And this is where I got to. And I was able to move from the survival into the believing that, okay, there's got to be a reason. And I remember saying to my daughter throughout that long period of suffering. And I remember saying I think you're more than this cancer, like it was it was enveloping her body. But I could, I was connecting to her in a totally different way. And there's more than this in life. You're more than your cancer, you are your consciousness. And that's when you know, then you've got your mind, then you've got your heart and then there's something called a consciousness. The mind was still clear, she could function and that will go on. And I believed and thats the belief step, you start realizing that we are just not our bodies. And that's when you realize your consciousness is connected to the to something and these are the next questions that you start questioning it I call it the divine it connected to the divine source and And that's why I call it the soul. People, we know that that part we've been trained, that's what it's called, it's called the soul that's connected to the divine. And that's the story of becoming Soul. So you step through the last two steps. And when you get to the end of it, you know that you've reached a boundary. And you're going to go over this boundary, and ...., my daughter left, and I was left alone, and, but our consciousness's were connected. And so that's the Soul. That's when you become. And that's heaven. That's another word that we've learnt through our culture. That's what to call this place where we go. So she left and I stayed, but we remain connected, our consciousness's has remained connected, and I can still connect with her to this day. And I know that she's there. And she obviously feels my connection because there's a response. Yeah.
So, so beautiful. And the way you can speak about this so eloquently, and so -for want of a better word - logically.
El Alma 21:43
You know, it sounds logical to me. Yes, yes, yes. And it resonated.
To me, the way I think of it is that our heart has a direct communication between our so called perceived, you know, solid physical reality that we're walking talking in. And, and soul, it's sort of the gateway, if you will. And it send, you know, it sends information to the brain about, I guess, whether we're in alignment with our soul or not. And now, I have completely forgotten what I was going to say next!
El Alma 22:33
it's basically what we know is that the soul is the love. Soul is love.
Yes, pure, positive love energy, beautiful,
El Alma 22:41
and the divine is love. And when you connect through your heart, and you, you are prepared to step to the next, believing that, that we're more. And then the next step is the connection between the mind, the heart, and the soul that manifests as love. The heart has the depth of love, that we connect to, and we connect to each other through the heart. And then, when you get to the end of questioning it all, you're your soul is the love that you share. That never disappears. It was the love of my child, it was the love that we shared together through the walk. And we can say, you know, she can solve it, she, she is love. She's gone to the, the divine source that is love, that is pure love. And that's our journey. And that's why we like so. So we come as a soul, I believe we, we have to remember that we're our soul. And this is what you're talking about. This is the journey when you start teasing it all out between the mind and the heart, and the love the unconditional love of the Soul.
And it's, to me our soul is a direct extension of the Divine, there's no broken. There's nothing broken about that line or lineage, shall we say it's a direct extension. Therefore it's pure positive love energy. Absolutely, divinely beautiful.
El Alma 24:27
And that continues.
Yes, it does it never infinately and eternally
El Alma 24:36
and me being left here, and she over there, it didn't disconnect
and never will
El Alma 24:46
and never will. So I can live in my soul here. So I believe have gone from our mind, to the heart to the soul. And once that's open, it does not go back. You can't un-Know that
well said, Well said. And I think we, you know that to me the reason the mind can't access the soul directly without the heart is because the soul is eternal. It's infinite. It's so multifaceted and so boundless that the mind can't grasp that. That's probably not the most delightful way to say that. But it's it's to multi faceted multi dimensional. can't think of a better word, but yeah,
El Alma 25:38
It has to be interpreted through the heart because it's energy.
El Alma 25:44
wow. What a conversation. This is magnificent. Yeah, I guess the the relationship that you have with your daughter now, you know, she is in her perfect soul state and no longer in a physical state. You know, what a beautiful relationship to have? And has that changed your other relationships? with people who are still in their physical state or still, you know what I mean!
El Alma 26:12
Yeah, I do. People are still here with me. Yeah, yeah. Yes, very much. So. When you got a connection like that, I mean, I refer to her a lot. And because I am raising her children, it connects all of us. And we have moved into a different state of being with her, if you like, it's taken time. It's seven years now. And it's becoming easier to resonate now with, with her being not here physically. And so it tended to change us all. Yeah. And therefore you relate, as a, at a different level, the way you used to relate to her is no longer and you relate to her as love. If you like, now, the fighting and the between everything that you used to do here, on earth, you know, that sort of doesn't exist and it existed for, you know, a good 12 months, 18 months after it. You still are Yes. But she said no, she said, but it's it's the it's different. Now. Taken a totally different. She's taken on a whole totally different persona of love. And there's none of that anymore. So you start living life like that you don't go out looking for that you can't be with that. It can't be aggravated by cranky people, you know, sit too long in an argument. It's just not, it just doesn't sit well with you anymore. When you when you're connected to that.
It is like that. You start to live by feeling I guess or by you know, if you come into a situation where you walk into a cafe and for whatever reason, it just doesn't feel right. It doesn't it feels like maybe there was a ginormous argument in there before or the staff in the kitchen arguing Or, who knows? Who knows what it is? It could be anything but it just doesn't feel right. So you feel when you live from that heart space you feel perfectly comfortable and justified in walking out without needing to know what it is that caused you to feel that way?
El Alma 28:53
Yeah, yeah. It because you absorb, you absorb other people's feelings, and emotions and energies when the whether you think you are but you do. Like even just turning on the news. It affects you. Yes, it affects. And you've got to walk away and say, is this mine and, you know? And if it is, it's igniting something in you, then it's a good time to go into your heart and find out what that is? Why are you responding like this? What what triggered you or you can just get angry and you know, vent all over people.
And that only makes the the untruth, I guess of it even stronger.
El Alma 29:37
Yes. Yeah. And once you get
well, I just wanted to double back a little bit to when you were talking about your experience as a counselor and then many times when people came to that, in that period of great suffering. You talked about people can either find the survival and and To keep going decide that they're going to survive this, or they don't. And yeah, I think of that, I find people who decide that they're not going to survive. And, to me, we're not necessarily talking about life or death, survival, we're talking about emotional survival.
El Alma 30:20
They become hard hearted, they protect their hearts, you know, they become hard hearted, no longer opening their hearts to their feelings. It's a closure of the heart in a protective measure. That has incredible consequences. But I was just wondering if you would talk with us about how you found that to be and and in your words, El Alma 30:54how it was in me or how it was in clients?
in the people you worked with, because I can very much tell your heart is not hard - it's very beautiful
El Alma 31:04
Thank you. Yes, there are many that came in, and you go so far, and it's spooky, for them to get into their heart, it can be overwhelming for them to open in touch with feeling, because if it's been locked in there a long time and they have not touched it, it's going to have the same impact that it initially had on them. And it's, and they know that, because every time they get to go there, they they feel like they're so overwhelmed. And they're so they could get out of control if you knew. And that's their fear, it's a fear based thing. And so you guide people very gently towards their heart, and you encouraged them, but it's not happening now. And you have the the mindset and the strength and the ability in the intention to be able to open this now. So you know, you've got to tread very carefully with them at this point. And some just no way, you know, they can get up and walk out of out of the room, if you're poking too hard. And you just have to acknowledge that. And yet others can come in and trust you. And this is what a relationship, the counseling relationship is about, it's all about trust, and you have to build up that trust, and you have to trust the counselor to even be able to feel comfortable to open in front of them. And it's not, it's not easy. And ... I, you know, I give them a great big, you know, wide expanse of being able to feel safe. And then when they do open, it can come out. And it can come out hard and they have always maintained you never send anybody out of your room. You know, if you've undone them you have to do them up pretty well before they walk out because it's going to be out everywhere, you know, so and people can get to that trusting and you know, I have had beautiful clients that will that have trusted me and that have gone the next step and gone the next step. And so yeah, it's it's it's all about relationships again. And the people that walk out of your office, you just, you know, they don't want to they don't want to trust they don't trust themselves, in a sense. to be able to cope with it. Yeah. Yeah,
yes. And I think it's a good moment to remember too, that we all have free will to choose how we open or close our heart and that we can't get life wrong and that there isn't a right way and a wrong way. There's just a series of different ways that lead to different life experiences. And the difference is vast. And but we have free will we get to choose so and everyone's life value is equal. It's not like as an open hearted person were more valuable than someone who is in a different state. And that's, that's both challenging and beautiful.
El Alma 34:52
I think this is in writing the story. Other people if they see someone is able to, if someone is willing to open up and share that they may be able to open up and share. They people tend to gauge their own capabilities that basically someone else trying the same thing. And that's why it's important to tell your stories and I feel confident that okay, someone got through it, well, maybe I can get through it.
And the hearts always know whether we can trust someone or not.
El Alma 35:40
Yes. And that comes back to their upbringing, what they've experienced. And there's certain times where you just shut down because it's been too hard. And it's been too hurtful and abused people have abuse issues, you know, that have been abused, and it's extreme to have to open that.
I'm always talked our way into a little wormhole. Let's talk our way out of that. But it was a very beautiful conversation. Thank you. But we're not going to stop now. I wondered .....if you could go back in time, you know, just I didn't say during the introduction for the listeners, you know, you're semi retired now. You've written a book, you've got more on the way you've got this incredible depth of life experience to ponder life from now, you know? What? If you could go back in time? What words of encouragement? or advice would you offer yourself, your former self? The self that you were before you felt like you were connected to your Soul? What? What words of advice? Would you give that version of yourself?
El Alma 36:59
Well, I was, I was a silent person in a way I could retreat into myself, and my family would know this. Issues would come up, and I would probably just get up and leave the room quietly and go away and 'oh, mum's left', you know, so I had a way of protecting myself. Just basically, from my own retaliation, because of, you know, judgments of other people and criticisms, and abandonment issues and physical and verbal abuse. So in a sense, I, I, although I was outgoing, and I was a counselor. And I had handled a lot of my own issues, through the journey through becoming a counselor. But there were parts that I would just, I didn't want to have a feeling about, which was those issues that I just siad. I used to go off into a quiet little space. I knew they were all there. And I'd take myself out into this quiet space. That was a blessing in a way. And it just stopped me from having the retaliation for like, of wanting to hit back, I don't believe in hitting back. And so I would say to that person that, you know, you didn't have to do that. Your your voice matters now, and you're able to speak that without the hurt without the pain without the fear of you may retaliate. And my perspective on life matters. I didn't think that way back then. It's just my perspective, that it matters. And my love matters. And I learnt all that through walking the seven steps with my daughter, because we did the whole seven steps together. And you can see that throughout the book. There's a lot of counseling strategies and techniques within the book that there were in story form. And we had a great array of those to use throughout the time, knowing full well. That positivity throughout that time was going to help more than bringing up issues and we'd handle a lot of issues together and get through them quickly. Find solutions to them knowing full well that affects the body, especially in a cancerous state. And so yeah, that that, that I'm so that my love that I found for my daughter and for life and meeting unconditional love through your soul. My love matters now and I can speak about that. And where I've been silent for many years, I can now would tell myself that's okay to be that at this stage in my life.
Wow. Well, this has been a beautiful, beautiful conversation. Thank you so very much El Alma.
El Alma 40:54
It's my pleasure Helen.
And just a reminder for the listeners, your lovely little blue book. It's the I call it a blue book because the cover has this lovely photo of blue steps and, and are these beautiful, mostly pink and orange and yellow pot plants.
El Alma 41:14
They are the earthly steps. I could have put a heavenly steps going up. But they're the earthly steps we all have to walk. And I just see so many women walking up there with baby and bags of groceries and animals - and that's our earthly steps to get to the Soul and we all walk them.
Wow. And the picture of the book at the top of the stairs is a doorway and behind the door. It looks like there's a rug hanging. That must be our magic carpet. Yeah. Our soul is just like a magic carpet.
El Alma 41:54
Yeah, takes us away.
Yeah, I always did wonder why you picked that picture. Anyhow, it's very beautiful. And the book is titled Becoming Soul -Seven Steps to Heaven. Thank you for this beautiful, beautiful open hearted conversation.
El Alma 42:12
I'm sure my pleasure.
I'm sure we could talk for longer but I find that a podcast has to end somewhere.
El Alma 42:22
Good place to finish.
Do let me know when your next book is ready. I'm sure we can talk some more. And I will. Just immense gratitude for sharing so much open heartedness and beauty and truth and divine understanding with the More Love Podcast listeners. Thank you El Alma.
El Alma 42:45
Thank you Helen, God Bless.