Kundalini arising is an invitation, truly a doorway, into knowing what you are, and realizing or remembering the true nature of existence. This is why the energy is called divine. It is the energy of the source of life that enabled you to exist as part of creation, and when it activates it is possible for consciousness to shift in such a way that it recognizes its true nature. It shows you that you are not the thoughts in your head, and patterns in your life that you previously identified with.
Some people have a glimpse of the infinite, the truth that consciousness exists beyond any boundary, long before they have a kundalini arising. They are given a hint about who they are. It may change their life, or it may pass through as simply an unusual moment, never forgotten but never taken to heart. But most people seem to have the arising of this energy of the life force known as kundalini, prior to the awakening of consciousness. It supports them in becoming Self-realized. It invites them into awareness of the infinite.
Naturally kundalini energy is frightening to the mind of many people, because it challenges our belief in the uniqueness of our own identity, and it is beyond the understanding and the cultural perspective of the mind. It feels sometimes as if you are losing your mind and your understanding of who you are, it disrupts and reorganizes your energy field, and it may even cause physical discomfort as it moves through areas of your body that have latent physical issues or stored emotional content. It can look and feel "weird" and if the body has experienced physical or sexual abuse, or traumatic emotional and physical events, it can cause the release of the old memories and sensations held in the contracted energy field. So for some people this awakening is a more challenging event than for others.
You might think of kundalini awakening as a clearing process that is designed to enable an open, clear and compassionate perspective of life and death, and to feel the essential bliss and connectedness of all things. In some people it also powerfully opens the heart to love. For these transformations to happen all the thoughts, points of view, memories and stored traumas in the body need to be released. You cannot do this yourself. It is done through you by the energy, in its own timing. If you have done clearing through therapy or body work in the past this can be useful, because there is less "stuckness" in the old conditions and more acceptance of letting things go. And usually with therapy one learns to release self-judgement, which is an important prerequisite in this process of awakening to what you really are.
Our true nature has no judgment and no resistance to life. Waking up is not an abandonment of life as it is, but an expansion, so that consciousness sees the inner-connectedness, the oneness, underneath all the diversity of expression in the world. Without judgment there is still a responsiveness, a deep feeling can move through related to compassion for the suffering in the human condition, and action can emerge spontaneously, the form having great variations among different people. Great laughter and joy can arise in seeing clearing how we have missed the truth for so many years ,and ignored the clear evidence of our own eternal consciousness. Even in the joy we can still feel strong compassion for the confusion that all humanity shares.
Unfortunately, not everyone who awakens kundalini will awaken to Truth. There are many cul-de-sacs in the process caused by cultural and community biases and ignorance of the process, fear of the unknown (which one must enter without reservation at some point), the tendency to regress into self-doubt, or attachment to old patterns of being that are not released. One needs to learn to listen to their deepest inner truth, to take care of their physical and emotional needs, to surrender completely to the energy flow, to be willing to love unconditionally -- one is invited into many experiences the mind might resist. Some people feel like they may be losing their sanity or even their life. There are many fear-based stories about kundalini which sometimes amplify these doubts and fears. And there are risks to health if one is pushing the process, continues using recreational drugs, or ignores basic health habits. It helps to have some objective support and guidance in case you become inflated, disoriented or overwhelmed by emotional shifts. (all of which may happen for limited periods of time). It helps to have a spiritual orientation and basic self-respect and love.
Some people are concerned because their financial situation does not support them and they feel unable to work. It is helpful if one has a lifestyle and workstyle that are compatible for their spiritual life, that sustains them through these transitional times. If this is not available they can only seek inner wisdom to find a way through life support by using available food pantries and community dinners, volunteering service in a meaningful way, living in yogic communities, or returning to families for help. In most cases if one is unable to hold their regular job, a small amount of work that feels aligned with one's true capacity is helpful. The body/mind will benefit from some kind of focus and balance during this awakening. This is not about abandoning the body/mind or the personal life you have been given, only giving up identification with it as "all" you are. You are still obligated to care for it.
Poverty during a kundalini process may be no worse than poverty for a myriad of other reasons. For hundreds of years Zen monks who sought awakening chose poverty, although they were in a community that respected this option and helped to feed them. I cannot say why one person is thrown into this situation and others are not -- some might say it was a choice from a previous life, or a piece of karma to be finished, or a teaching about a certain perspective of life, or a pattern or belief that needs to be relinquished. It may be caused by apparent outside circumstances, (all of us can find societal reasons), or for psychological reasons, but it is your mind that attaches a personal meaning to it.
I was once in a workshop with a nurse who reported a very traumatic childhood including early rape and pregnancy, prostitution, drug addiction and living on the streets before her world shifted in her twenties and she was able to move into school and a career. As I felt into the trauma of that life and youth what I saw was that she went through that so that I would not have to. Each of us fills a spot in a massive and eternal mosaic of life experience. There is no ultimate reason or why explaining why some have such difficulties -- it is just so. Humanity is still in an evolutionary stage, and has not yet embraced unilateral kindness and health. There is suffering and we all are part of it. Waking up will only make it better. Kundalini arising, and its greatest gift, a clear perception of the nature of existence and the releasing of our identification with thoughts that cause suffering will, as the Buddha said, wake up the world (a piece at a time).
If you are truly in this process it will not let you go (although you can resist endlessly) and keep inviting you into your deepest potential for knowing Truth.