Sangha Spotlight: Anna Louise Stewart
Anna Louise Stewart
An interview with Clear Light Sangha Member
Anna Louise Stewart of Crestone, CO
"I've been in this country since I was in my early 20s. I've been in Crestone for 13 years. I have a 21-year-old daughter. I do therapeutic bodywork and my real passion is working with the belly. I do energy work in the belly because there's a huge concentration of Chi that's very accessible and because we hold so much emotion there. My work has been greatly enhanced by the practice. Especially after the last retreat in February, something really fell away. Less Anna Louise. Haha!"
"The roots of my spiritual practice… There has always been a sense of spirit. In Denmark, where I'm from, spirituality is kept very private and not displayed out in the open. Breath work was for me a large step towards spirit. A rebirthing group in Florida where I was living, brought me to the Ashram in Crestone and I became very involved, working there in the shop for about 5 years. Then I had a long period of shunning spirituality, a contraction which lasted for about three years.
When I got involved with Sharon, I thought, "All right, I'll give it a shot even though I'm feeling nothing.” Feeling nothing didn't last too long in her company! Sharon has been such a guiding star. A solid support. In any bleak moment she was always there to just tell me to keep going. That I was exactly where I needed to be. She doesn't like it when I say this, but she's always right. Whenever she has pointed something out, and I have resisted it, I look back later and I think "Oooooh yeah. She said that, didn’t she!"
I know that it ultimately doesn't matter, but for me, it was important to have a female teacher. Because I'd given my power to male authority for so long. I really needed the love, the nurturing and especially, the allowing. When Sharon guides me, she never tells me what to do - Ever! There will be a gentle suggestion and I can listen to it or not.
Most important of the teachings is connecting with the silence… always going back to that. For me, so much of it is a direct transmission. And because I'm an energetically–wired person, I get a lot of it through that channel. My experience is that sometimes I don't understand Sharon’s words, but then or later the energetic charge will move through.
I had my first awakening in January, 2016. Then just two days ago, the last “adhesion” fell away. What fell away was protection. The great irony is that we put up shields to protect ourselves but the safety is actually in the openness. I became aware of who and what I really am. I had my own personal worldview, who I thought I was, my beliefs and all of that. Imagine getting that totally removed and a complete new reality inserted. Just like that. It's like there's no one here and at the same time, I am everything.
Oddly, I first had to become fully who I was as AnnaLouise. A complete honoring of that before I could let go of it. That was actually the doorway. That's the best way I can put it.
The gift in this is total freedom, total freedom on all levels. Practice is not easy, you know, it gets gnarly on the cushion. But it's so worth it. Like Sharon always says, "Keep going."
Find out more about Anna Louise Stewart at www.annalouise.love/treatments