Dunja & Souleymane
Writing about spiritual growth was never a part of our logical plan, considering we both have a scientific background. However, we have always been interested in the inner workings of the universe and ways to help our mind, body, and spirit.
Like everyone, we’ve had our share of struggles and have been forced to adapt to find sustainable ways to live differently. It was clear that something needed to change, but we didn’t know what exactly. When we started asking questions, we found solace in reading about ancient wisdom, traditions, and spirituality, which led us to integrate many teachings into our everyday lives.
The more we explored and turned inward, the more we were able to hear and strongly feel our intuitive voices. From that moment on, it became increasingly uncomfortable not to follow our inner promptings. We simply needed to leave what we knew behind and pursue our heartfelt interests. We have to admit that it was not the easiest thing to do because we were still clinging to the old. We struggled with self-doubts and how others would perceive our new life choices. We had a hard time reconciling with this new path. However, despite our fears, we decided to take a leap of faith and follow what felt right. As we did so, the vision for LotSea began to unravel slowly.
Souleymane Konate, PhD
It’s a pleasure having you here. I hope you enjoy your time here and visit often. My name is Souleymane, and like every child, at a young age, I knew I had something important to share with people. As I grew older, that dream or sense of knowing remained alive in me.
When I was about nine years old, the sudden passing of my mother forced me to grow up faster than I wanted. I began questioning the nature of reality. Early on, I wondered if there was a way to receive healing messages from those who crossed over. I wondered whether I was a part of a much larger evolving consciousness and whether death was a mere transition into a higher state of being and awareness.
These ideas haunted my young mind. While some of my cultural beliefs supported the notion of “The Unseen” or “Spirit World,” they did not fully answer the following questions, “What am I here to do? Do I have the power to change the way I feel inside? Do I have the power to change my circumstances, or am I at the mercy of so-called unseen forces?”
It was only in my teenage years that I was introduced to the power of visualization, awareness of the self, and focused attention to clear mental and emotional debris and draw to you what you want from life. Those techniques resonated with me. It was the break I needed because I was able to calm my mind, shift my thoughts and emotions, dissolve some of my pain and gain a sense of direction. As I went through life, these principles and tools helped me deal with stress and gave me the strength and resilience to keep pursuing my goals. With my family’s love and support, I was able to climb the educational ladder and obtain a doctorate in mathematics. During those years, I went through a personal challenge and a financial meltdown, which left me scarred for a while.
Soon after my Ph.D., I was extended an opportunity to work in medical imaging. A few years later, my career in public health began when I was invited to join a team of researchers whose role was to study and model the spread of viruses among people. I was involved in emergency preparedness for natural disasters, violence prevention, and community resilience. Later, I became a consultant in public health and global health delivery while teaching mathematics and statistics for robotics and wearable device technology. I have enjoyed working in public health, science, and technology.
However, a part of me wanted to express itself creatively, in more ways than I was willing to accept. Deep down, for once, I wanted to write something other than scientific papers and reports. I wanted to write from the heart, speak from the heart, and inspire anyone who came in touch with me differently than I did in research. And these thoughts and promptings never went away. Instead, they amplified. As I decided to move in this new direction, I faced some of my biggest emotional challenges thus far. The value systems that defined most of my life started to crumble, leaving me open, vulnerable, and even questioning my decision to explore this unknown path. Should I continue to follow the voice within, or should I leave things be and keep doing what I was “trained” to do? However, I knew I needed to carry on. I felt reading and writing about personal transformation and spiritual growth was the right thing to do.
Dear friends, what you are about to read here is an expression of my heart and soul—and that is a deeper, wiser part of my being. You also have a deeper and wiser part. If you allow it, your innermost self can help you in more ways than you can ever imagine. Perhaps reading our work may inspire you to see the beauty within yourself and humbly acknowledge your divine nature. Thank you once again for being here. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy this space.
Dunja Babič, PhD
Welcome! My name is Dunja, and I am delighted that you are here. Whether you have been on a similar journey for a while or are ready to start one, I hope our work empowers you and helps you as much as it has helped us.
Here is my story. For a long time, I’ve considered myself to be shy and introverted. As a child, I was afraid of what many people call little things, but fear is fear. There is no big or small fear. They may have been small to others, but for me, they were unbearable. I was filled with self-doubts and insecurities of all kinds. As a result, it was easier for me to suppress my voice and please others, thinking that I would be loved and accepted. To hide my insecurities and fears, I developed a coping mechanism, which was to excel in everything I did, even if I didn’t enjoy it. It was a game I played quite well.
My adolescent years were marked by severe acne, which caused quite some emotional distress and affected my self-esteem greatly during those most sensitive years. I didn’t know that these old wounds would follow me like a shadow in my adult life, guiding my perception and choices. As a result, I found myself stuck many times, attracting and reliving similar experiences in my personal and professional life, reflective of my lack of self-esteem and self-worth. I could not break the pattern because I didn’t have the clarity or the understanding of the lessons behind my experiences. Those experiences, although bitter, helped me develop more self-love, understanding, and compassion to be here today.
As for my profession, my inquisitive nature led me into a research career. I studied microbiology and obtained a doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry. I enjoyed working in science in the field of virology for many years. However, no matter my contributions and achievements, I reached a point when I started feeling that something was missing. That sense of fulfillment was not there anymore. And the more I remained in research, the more I wanted to escape and do something else. But I didn’t know what that something else would be, so I resisted the change. I was so caught up in the outer world that I could not hear my inner voice.
My awakening began when I miraculously survived a routine medical procedure that didn’t go as planned. It was a very traumatic yet humbling experience. It took me a while to release those seeds that kept me distrusting myself and my ability to bring balance to my body. However, behind the pain, there was a gift of greater awareness, gratitude, and love for my body. I knew more than ever before that I wanted to live a balanced life and take better care of myself instead of dismissing what was important to me.
The passing of my father was another huge catalyst on this journey. I started opening my spiritual eyes more and more during my grieving process. I was looking for ways to find that higher understanding and inner peace. At that time, I found solace at the Buddhist center, where I was for the first time introduced to meditation, and this is how I slowly started learning to be with myself differently. I started re-evaluating everything in my life. Where do I want to be? What am I here to do? What is my purpose? What are the qualities that really matter to me? What does my heart truly desire?
I knew I needed to leave my career behind to heal and get a fresh perspective. This is where my real introspective journey started. The same inquisitive nature that led me into a research career now led me to explore my inner world and the secrets of the universe. I fully immersed myself in exploring alternative ways to help myself from a holistic perspective. The more I engaged in being inward, the more I started hearing a voice other than the voice of fear. That was the voice of my heart. Although my inner guidance was clear regarding what to do next, I was still hesitant to move forward, fearful of how I will be perceived. I felt like a bird that wanted to take flight, but every time I tried to span my wings, the weight of the past pulled me down. However, deep inside, I knew I could not go back to my old ways. I could no longer allow myself to be a prisoner of my own limitations and disregard the higher guidance. It took me quite a while to reconcile with my inner battles, find the courage to embark on this new path, and allow the deeper part of my being to lead the way and express itself creatively.
Whenever we are about to step into the unknown, our fearful mind likes to paint vivid imagery of impossibilities and imagined threats to protect us and prevent us from leaping forward. In those moments, remember that there is always a candle of hope within your heart. Allow it to shine brighter and brighter to show you that it is possible to go over your obstacles and see what you are truly capable of. May this candle of hope help you uncover many of your hidden gifts and talents and help you realize that you have come for a purpose and to live your purpose.