Are you ready to wake up?
My self-realization experience, my moment of waking up, was pretty
anti-climactic. I wasn’t doing Ayahuasca or fresh out of yoga class.
It was made up of a lot of years of gradual awakening only to be met
with a “Oh. Yeah. Duh!” moment that changed everything and nothing
at the same time.
In this book I’ll offer insight into the things that are keeping you
asleep, suffering, and pushing against your own nature. You are here to
self-realize, to wake up, to live a life that is an authentic experience
and expression of you. I’ll share a few parts of my story that I feel
would be useful to your awakening. We will go on a journey together that
will bring an array of ahas, realizations, and even some of your own
“Oh. Yeah. Duh!” kind of moments.
Am I crazy?
For as long as I can remember, I wondered if I was crazy. I saw the
world in a way that no other person was able to validate for me. I tried
so hard to fit in that I rarely shared with anyone what I was able to
see. I had a lot of awareness about things that would be useful to
humanity freeing itself and thriving. Even at a young age, I looked at
the world like “Wait - why are we doing this? There is a smarter way
to interact and live!” This wasn’t just one thing - it was
From the way I saw people raising children, educating them, the family
structure, marriage and relationships, work and careers, the monetary
system, pretty much everything that most people think of as “the way
it is.” Never did any of it make sense to me. I felt like I was living
in an insane asylum for most of my life. Couldn’t anyone else see what
So, I repressed, denied, and downright hated who I was. I internalized
the labels and projections of others. I had a consistent dilemma: I
wanted to fit in, but I hated everything I was trying to fit into
because I could see the insanity of it. I kept trying to fix myself so I
could fit in, be liked, and accepted by others. The suffering and
anxiety I went through became so extreme that I often wanted to die to
escape from it, from this nightmare.
I became a seeker of self-realization in my 30’s. I was seeking not
because I wanted to be me, but I wanted to be something that would match
up with some image that I thought I was going to finally be: that person
who was “lovable,” whatever that looked like in my egoic fantasy
world. I got on the spiritual path to escape myself, not to embrace it -
even though I never would have admitted that to myself at the time. The
further I went, the more I understood that there was no escape - I had
to face what I was hiding or I would forever be imprisoned by it. I
would forever be in the waking nightmare of living a not-enough life.
That’s when my focus went from “being spiritual” to waking up and
experiencing a full self-realization.
The commitment to awakening became the North Star that guided my life.
As I became more and more aware, I saw no higher purpose for my life
than the course I was on. Nothing else seemed to matter, once I
understood that any staying asleep to who I was would forever be one
form of overcompensation or another, a life of trying to “get,” and
a consistent longing for some future salvation that would never come.
That wasn’t going to work for me.
On the other side of awake
On the other side of it, I can say that finally waking up from my
nightmare was nothing like I thought it would be, and everything I
thought it would be all at the same time. It was simply a falling away
of the false ego (aka feeling “not enough”) and what was trying to
be as a result. That’s it. Nothing about me changed. My unique
insights, voice, style, and genius were all still there - but without
any resistance. It wasn’t that I accepted myself - it was deeper than
that. The “I” and “myself” were no longer two separate things.
There was only “I.” Nothing there to try to accept or deny who I
was. The false, fantasy image melts, and what is left there is truth.
The way I got to this awareness is unique to me, and doesn’t match up
with any other story I’ve heard about the experience itself. I’ve
heard of people having these amazing mystical experiences; mine was
quite unextraordinary. No matter how the experience happens or what it
is, the result is the same for every other awakened person. After you
wake up, there will only be one of you remaining. There will no longer
be “parts” of you. You will not be fragmented. You probably won’t
say “a part of me feels this way” as often as you do now. The phrase
“love yourself” will no longer mean the same thing you think it
In this book, I’m going to share with you what has contributed to the
creation of the fantasy of who you are. In these pages, you may read
something that sparks you to come out of your sleepy trance, the
nightmare of being at war with your nature, and all the misery and drama
that’s caused from it. You’ll see how it was done to you, and how
you’ve passed it along to others. You may feel all kinds of emotions.
Some may be uncomfortable, but that is part of breaking the cycle.
Breaking this cycle is the key to self-realization, and self-realization
is the key to living a life that feels MUCH better.
When you are born, you are clean. The core of your uniqueness, your
truth, your being, is a shiny gold foundation of a house. As you become
imprinted and conditioned, and are taught repression and denial of self,
you begin throwing crap on top of this gorgeous foundation. You build
walls from this stuff, floors, and each floor has junk piled in every
corner, trash and stench everywhere.
Waking up is nothing more than removing the junk and taking out the
trash. When you remove enough, the foundation is there because it’s
been there the whole time. You don’t need to work to create it. You
simply remove enough junk and there it is - YOU, in all your radiance
and glory. There’s a phrase I’ve heard often that “life is not
about discovery, it’s about creation.” That is ONLY true when
you’re operating from an authentic foundation.
You can’t create your life when you’re pushing against yourself. You
always push against yourself when you don’t KNOW yourself. When you
stop pushing against yourself and move into a flow, THEN you are free to
create all kinds of experiences, and create them freely.
When most people start the spiritual/awakening path, what they’re
trying to do is to build something. But you can’t build a gold castle
on top of a lifetime of trash. It’s like putting a rug over a pile of
poo. Most spiritual teachings teach you how to spend your life spraying
air freshener in the room. What I’m asking of you - if you’re
committed to truly waking up - is to lift the rug and clean the poo.
Look at it. Deal with it. Then, you don’t need to work so hard, wading
through the trash and spraying air freshener for the rest of your life.
Truth and the beginner’s mind
Just like in quantum physics, when you look closely enough at anything,
you see that there is no substance to it. Everything that appears solid
is 99.9% empty space. It is the same with the false ego. When you’re
not looking directly at it, all of your ideas seem solid. When you look
closely, they fall apart. When your ideas of who you are have no more
substance, you experience and express the truth. You let go of the
illusion of substance, security, and solidness. Your truth emerges
naturally and organically. You no longer put up imaginary walls and stop
what is flowing, and then your nightmare is over.
The phrase “the truth will set you free” is exactly right. The truth
is the only thing that sets you free. To wake up, one must let go in a
way that can feel like falling into a deep abyss that, in the beginning,
may mean losing everything. You may lose friends, partners, money, and
status. You may lose these things because as you wake up, you may
recognize that you have created everything from a completely false idea
of who you are. If you’re not willing to lose everything, then it is
impossible to attain an experience of truth, freedom, and bliss, because
you’re attached to what you know and what’s familiar. Your way to
your bliss may be full of a temporary but painful separation from all
that you think you know. You will have to have a trust and embrace a
Even though all of this is temporary, as everything in life is, the
desire for things to be predictable and secure is the very thing that
keeps you trapped. What’s on the other side of this temporary
destruction is a feeling of eternal peace and flow. On the other side is
true freedom, the freedom that comes from a pure expression of that
which you are, a life without irrational fears, phobias, and emotional
repression. Waking up is an experience of being that which you have been
for your whole life, and feels natural and effortless.
The only way out of the nightmare is to embrace what feels, in the
beginning, like an even bigger nightmare. But it’s temporary, and on
the other side is truth and liberation.
Why would you want anything else other than liberation? Is what you’re
holding onto so amazing that you would keep yourself stuck in a loop of
feeling not good enough and trying to prove that you’re worthy? Are
you willing to see whatever needs to be seen, do what needs to be done,
to live in a way that feels good? If so, then you will be liberated.
Discovery and destruction to freedom
There are two distinct elements to waking up and self-realizing. The
first is discovery. You must discover who you really are, which I’ll
talk about more later in the book. I promise, it’s not a mystical or
esoteric concept, it’s actually quite clear once you understand. The
second is destruction. This is the falling away of the false, which
I’ll also go into great detail about. Discovery + destruction are the
keys to living free, as an awake person expressing what’s in your
I’m only here to speak directly to you if you are feeling the truth in
my words, to offer you a guiding hand that enables you to move through
this journey with more grace, support, and insight designed to wake you
up at any moment so you can live as you were meant to live.
These words are not meant to sugarcoat things in any way, because that
would keep you living in your nightmare. I’m here to be as blunt as
possible so you can awaken as fast as possible. Awakening is like a
brush fire, destroying old foundations and spreading in a way that
brings a freshness to the world, an end to insanity and a beginning to
the age of thrival, prosperity, uninhibited expression, and essential
You have picked up this book because you are seeking to wake up. You are
aware, on some level, that you’re living in a nightmare. You have a
knowing deep inside that the way your life is being lived right now is
not natural. You know there is more. That is the voice of truth guiding
you right into the deep end, asking you to trust the process. You have
realized that there is no way out, only through. You’ve exhausted all
of your air freshener, you’ve run out of energy, you’re tired of
fighting, you’ve burned through all of your quick fixes, and you’re
ready. You may be scared, but you’re ready.
Are you ready? Are you willing?
A willingness and a commitment is all that’s required. You will hardly
find anyone awakened who wasn’t 100% committed to awakening. The
journey looks different for everyone, but the commitment is always
there. The commitment comes from a realization that nothing else is more
important than truth, because a commitment to anything other than waking
up to truth means that you will remain identified with some type of
Waking up dissolves not-enoughness. If you spend your life feeling as if
you are not enough, all of your choices will be based on that and you
will never have any lasting peace. Period.
That commitment is what creates a willingness. A willingness is a crack
in a door, with a light shining through. A willingness to face your
biggest fears because you are done being controlled by them. You are
willing to let everything go, even though you have a screaming voice in
your head saying “Nooooo! You don’t know what’s out there!” You
have courage. That’s good, and it will serve you well. You’ll need
courage to put one foot in front of the other.
The good news is, with every step, you’ll find your fears
disintegrating one by one. The more you glimpse the truth, the less
courage you’ll need, because you won’t feel nearly as scared as you
do right now. Courage is only needed when there is fear. It is my
intention that you live a life where the need for courage, as you need
it today, becomes a thing of the past.
The moment of transformation - the moment it really begins for anyone -
is when the known future becomes more terrifying than the unknown
future. Right now, you have woken up enough to know something isn’t
right. You know that you’re stuck in a familiar, prison-like
existence. This is the first and most essential step in the awakening
journey. Now you know. Now that you know, yes, the known future should
be more terrifying. When you see that you’re in prison, the most
natural response is “Oh shit, I’m in prison!” It goes against your
nature to be in prison. You are meant to walk free!
Excerpted from "Self-Realization for Regular People" by Anastasia Netri. Copyright © 2017 by Anastasia Netri. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.