“And that glimpse, that is all it took to know, ‘Ok, I can just live. And I can open each box, each moment.’” -Kristy Halvorsen

This week Wyn & Kate spend time with coach and “coddiwompler”, Kristy Halvorsen. She describes her journey from fighting fires to guiding to exploring life by Airstream. They explore what’s possible when every moment is recognized as the gift that it is…yes, even the most difficult moments.  Kristy finds the perfect words to share what she has seen about experiencing all of life with a simplicity that is full of awe… an ease that can be felt no matter where we are or what we are up to. Imagine being free of worry and regret.

Kristy’s Bio

Kristy Halvorsen is a nomadic world traveler, coach, author, and speaker. In 2017 she retired from a career as a lieutenant firefighter/paramedic, sold her house and her belongings, and set out to wander purely by instinct. Work and fun now intermingle through conversations and connections. A common thread is helping people find the simplicity to live their dreams and realize success, without sacrificing happiness along the way. Her word to describe this simple, fun, and beautiful way to live is to “Coddiwomple” – that is, to live in wonder, embrace the unknown and trust Life while waking up to the complete freedom available to us all.

Kristy migrates with the seasons in her Airstream trailer which is usually located deep in nature somewhere in North America. Although she is often found traveling the world via backpack too.

Get Access to the entire collection of  the Under the Noise Podcast via Apple Podcasts by clicking here: Under The Noise Podcast

If you have any questions or comments for Wyn or Kate, or if you have a topic or question that you would like to chat about on Under the Noise, please email them!

wyn@wynning.co.uk

kate@katerobertscoaching.com

A couple more fun things to note:

Super Special Offer
Clients have been experiencing significant shifts in a matter of days and I’m offering up something special from now until the end of the year:
A three day coaching immersion plus an additional month of follow-up coaching at a significant discount. Check out more details and hear from people with direct experience here: Super Special Offer

The last Coddiwomple Group for a long while begins Wednesday
This program continues to be one of the most special spaces in my work and life, but to focus on other projects I won’t be offering this group again until later in 2022. The joy, freedom and inspiration that people are finding is proof that exploring in this unique way changes lives. It’s only $99 for three months of gentle conversations that shift everything. Note: this is not a “travel group”, this is a group for everyday people. It’s a group for you!  Here is how one group member describes it: “Life now is more of an adventure than it ever has been before, in every sense of what I do and how I do it. I feel awesome…. its really powerful and I feel blessed to be a part of this group.”
For more info or to register: Coddiwomple Group Program

This article is also featured on Thrive Global

I am lying on my back in dry grass and dirt, my head resting on a huge flat rock that once served as a foundation block for Theodore Roosevelt’s home ranch in North Dakota. I drove almost two hours through grass prairies, oceans of rolling hills, and spiky cliffs striped with yellow, grey and coral bands to get here. The last town I passed is more than an hour and a half away. Twenty miles of dirt road dead ended at a empty trail head. I opened the door to silence.

“So this is the place.” I thought, taking it all in before stepping out.

Dry gravel crunched and dust blew from beside my foot like bronze baby powder in the wind.

The clunk of my truck door shutting interrupted the soft whisper of leaves rustling in the 100+ degree breeze. Rhythmic footsteps lulled me towards a waist high metal gate, the passageway between two sagging barbed wire fences that stretched in tangles in both directions.

It opens with a creak and I walk through. As I take a few steps towards a sign, a metal clang lets me know I’m in.

“It was here that the romance of my life began.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

These words mark the beginning of a thirsty path that is cracked with jagged crevices begging for rain. The path clicked with loud sharp snaps from grasshoppers giving way.

I walk in wonder with waves of emotion as I feel the serenity and silence that inspired a regular man. I am so grateful for a man I never met, who died well before my grandparents were born. I am grateful for this place that inspired that man. I am grateful for mountains and streams and sandy beaches and forests and deserts that have inspired me and millions more. I am grateful for foresight and possibilities and keeping untouched nature, untouched.

A week ago I didn’t know this place existed and now it feels like coming home.

I am grateful for ending up in this dusty sanctuary nestled between the Little Missouri River and tall orange and yellow striped bluffs that once were Theodore’s front and back yards. And I’m so grateful for finally realizing the significance his legacy has had on my life.

“It was here that the romance of my life began.”

These words lie beneath every road I’ve driven and path I’ve walked or will ever walk again. Like so many spaces before and so many yet to come: In this space, in this very place… it is here that the romance of my life begins.

Just as I typed those words the wind stopped and silence flooded in. It’s as if nature exhaled in acknowledgement, and nudged me to notice the stillness that speaks louder than words ever could. And with that thought a gust of hot dry air whips in and tickles my shins with bending blades of tall grass while rustling the cottonwood leaves in a whooshing melody.

Theodore didn’t know I’d be lying in his living room a hundred and thirty years after him, only feet from where he rocked on his front stoop. Theodore didn’t know a girl lost and wandering would find herself and find it all in the lands he fought to conserve. Theodore didn’t know me and I didn’t know him, but then again we’ve always known each other well.

We know each other in gorgeous rugged landscapes that point us to who we are. We know each other in open land where we get to be with nature in that special way. We know each other in the grandiosity of a bison’s saunter and the simplicity of a ladybug sunning herself on a wildflower. We know each other very well and we know it all the same.

Thank you Theodore, for inviting me home.

And maybe, just maybe, by walking the paths blazed by people that walked before, my light might reflect a glimmer of possibility on lifetimes of beginnings waiting to be lived.

 

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once every month or so, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

There is so much to explore… which journey tickles your soul?

One on One Coaching

Coaching is a space of deep personal exploration. I cannot begin to express the impact that this journey of discovery has had in my life. To say it has changed everything would be an understatement. The same is available for you. Curious? Let’s have a short conversation– you’ll know and if it feels right, we’ll begin.

Coddiwomple Group Program

The Next Coddiwomple Group Program Begins in October and this program continues to be one of the most special spaces in my work and life. Wonder, curiosity and explorations that tickle the soul bring about a different and simpler way of living.  Here is a quote from a current group member: “There is always a special energy in this exploration no matter who is there… there is no expectations and nothing is right or wrong. But I also see new and clearer on so many bits of life we touch on.” It’s life changing and fun!
For more info or to register: Coddiwomple Group Program

This article was also featured on Thrive Global

My heart melts remembering the soft and significant embrace of chance connections. Yesterday I met a woman leaning against a post at a trail entrance. As I passed she asked me where the trail went and an hour later we were still there talking about nothing and everything, being together. I realize now that for most of my life I walked right by. I would have seen her as an obstacle to get past so that I could get to where I was going. As I find myself slowing down and wandering along the path of Life, the urgency I used to feel is a memory and openness abounds. There is generally no particular place I need to be and the things that must get done find their own way.

In the openness I often get sucked in, attracted to people like water droplets gathering on a window pane in a spring drizzle. Last evening I was practicing chip shots at a small town golf course when I noticed a man noticing me. He watched me from a distance for at least 30 minutes and as I was heading out to the driving range he walked over to greet me and drew me right in.

Like a father or a loving uncle he shared and held and guided me: First about golf swings and tempo; then the game; and then about how being a “tall young female that looks nicer than most golfers” I will likely attract lots of advice from old guys like him. The more I listened, the more I realized an angel was before me who was sharing about more than just golf.

“Notice the trees and the wind and the changing textures of grass. Notice the artistry in every hole. Realize in every moment, everything you see is someone’s creation.” He said.

We were standing alone behind the clubhouse. He was grilling steaks and the more passionate he became, the more his grill fork danced poignantly like a conductor’s stick perched in his right hand. The setting sun spotlighted a tiny Hawaiian hula girl on the windowsill next to us, her shadow stretched long and her body still. The evening’s fading oranges and reds also brought to light the smile lines around my new friend’s eyes. His mouth was almost hidden beneath a bushy gray mustache. He was wearing an old faded, once navy blue, sweatshirt with a fire department emblem on the chest and blue jeans that were so shabby they were gray. He felt like so many of my friends. He felt like firehouse pranks and late nights around the dinner table after tough calls. He felt like home. His gruff demeanor and thick Boston accent were just a harmless crust over a heart bursting with love.

My mouth watered as the flavor of his steak filled my nose, just as the love in his heart filled my soul. The more he shared the more it felt like he was there to remind me, in a special way, to enjoy the game… The Big Game.

“Be thankful as you walk each fairway. You are going to play golf in the most beautiful places all over the country… I bet all over the world too. Notice the creativity, care and attention that has gone into it all.” He said.

Looking over his shoulder I could see straight down the fairway and I saw it in a way I had never seen before. This was someone’s creation, someone’s dream, someone’s imagination turned into reality. This is a work of art. Someone carefully thought out each bend and slope and tree. All of this is a gift to enjoy.

My heart swelled realizing this and seeing the course and The Game so differently. What a sharing of love and an act of kindness that I will always carry with me… and has changed everything forever.

The more open I am, the more I realize angels are everywhere… And sometimes they hide their wings under old scruffy sweatshirts and wave greasy grill forks.

 

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

There is so much to explore… which journey tickles your soul?

One on One Coaching

Coaching is a space of deep personal exploration. I cannot begin to express the impact that this journey of discovery has had in my life. To say it has changed everything would be an understatement. The same is available for you. Curious? Let’s have a short conversation– you’ll know and if it feels right, we’ll begin.

 

This two minute clip is worth a listen.

In the last few minutes of a recent Coddiwomple Group Session we were chatting about what to explore next week. An idea popped up to explore: “What is Home?” Then Jason shared a touching story that stopped us all in our tracks and sent us giggling off in a new direction.

The next Coddiwomple Group Program begins on June 3rd and this program continues to be one of the most special spaces in my work and life. The joy, freedom and depth of exploration we share is easily heard in the video above. Here is a quote from a current group member: “There is always a special energy in this exploration no matter who is there… there is no expectations and nothing is right or wrong. But I also see new and clearer on so many bits of life we touch on.”
For more info or to register: Coddiwomple Group Program

Seven years ago on March 17, 2014 my world came to a screeching halt and fell into a million pieces. I cried like I had never cried before.

I had just parked for a meeting in Sarasota, Florida. As I opened the door my phone rang, it was mom. That morning she had sharp pain in her chest and went to get checked out, but all tests were coming back perfect. We talked an hour earlier and she had a clean bill of health and was in the best shape of her adult life. She was waiting for the results of one last test to rule out a blood clot, but that wasn’t likely. I thought she was calling to let me know she was home.

“My cancer is back and it’s bad, really bad.” She said through gasps and tears. I sat in the silence of the parking lot, my left foot on the ground and right foot still inside. The shock was so abrupt I froze, emotionless and motionless except for my hair being tossed by the warm breeze. It seemed like a dream, not real life.

I lifted my foot back inside and shut the door. I don’t recall the rest of the conversation, but I do remember my hands shaking as I called in to my meeting to tell them I wouldn’t be joining.

The flood gates opened. Realizing my mom could be gone soon touched a deep place which hadn’t seen the light of day. It was close to an hour drive home and I started that way. I could barely drive and pulled over to call a friend and fellow firefighter who lived nearby. He didn’t answer so I texted him and somehow made it to his driveway.

Just as I parked a fierce Florida torrential downpour hit. The heavens opened and I walked out in middle of it and stumbled towards his house. I looked up to see through the buckets of rain falling like marbles that Randy was coming down his front steps. In the front yard, in the pelting rain we came together in a wet, heavy, heaving, heap. It felt like a scene out of a movie: friendship and love and sorrow in a driving thunderstorm where tears were indistinguishable from rain and coming just as hard. Randy held me while I cried and he held me until I wasn’t crying. We barely talked and didn’t need to. I drove home soaked to the bone and heavy with grief, hurriedly packed a bag and set off on the 6 hour drive north to be with mom.

Early on we mostly believed science and doctors and precedents. What a blessing and a gift and a torment this journey has been. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office seven years ago when my mom asked about how long she had.

“It could be as few as six months and best case is two years. And we can keep you comfortable, you’ll be able to live a fairly normal life,” the doctor said with certainty.

It was quiet in the sterile office that was too small for all five of us. My brother was sitting with his arm around mom. The doctor was on his little wheeled stool while my step dad and I stood together in the corner. The air felt as still and as heavy as my heart. Certain words seemed to hang in the silence… Comfortable… Fairly normal… Months… The afternoon sun fell in through the window as I stared at a shadow on the floor, it felt like my soul was drowning in a shadow of what could have been. What right did this old man in plaid socks have to set a time limit on my mom’s life?

“Ok.” Mom said through tears and sniffles. Her voice cut through the silence and snapped me back from imagining life without her.

We all left the tiny office and the family walked into the elevator. Just as the doors began to shut, I hopped out and went back to find the doctor. I knew him well since he’d been mom’s oncologist for three years, always giving her a clean bill of health until abruptly changing it to a death notice. I shared a few thoughts with him. It probably wasn’t one of my finer moments. My last statement touched on the fact that my mom did not have a countdown timer glued to her forehead. Although part of me believed him and his timer… the rest of me hoped.

Early on I was sad for the future me without a best of all best friends. I was sad for my nieces who will miss out the most loving and fun Grandma, and all her kisses and hugs and treats. I was sad for the rest of the people who leaned so much on her love and care. I was sad for my step dad and worried about how he would continue without her. My heart sunk with the weight of knowing what mom would have to suffer through, physically and mentally. I knew she would be scared for many of the same reasons and more. I spent so much energy in “what if”. I tortured myself imaging worst case scenarios. Often I was so tied up in my head that I missed out on the beauty of what was happening in real life.

And here we are: seven years later and many tears and many thank you’s and I love you’s later too. I sit here today in awe. We had no idea. Mom’s health is pretty much the same as the day that faulty timer was stuck to her forehead. This is beyond imagination. Mom has put on a show of how to live beyond.

She relentlessly lived from her heart and went beyond what everyone thought possible. Chemo has been kicking her butt every three weeks for 7 years straight. She is a superstar at the cancer center. She walks in as normal as can be. Then she comes home, sleeps, lives through pain and fatigue and all the nastiness and within about a week she rises up like she is walking out of a fog. She works her way back to walking 5+ miles a day and living a totally normal life. Then Bam! It’s the third Tuesday again. She gets knocked down, and begins the recovery. Over and over, she’s done this 120 times.

Around the time of her diagnosis was when the love of her life started having the first signs of dementia. She lived through her husband’s confusion and constant misunderstandings and also lived through her confusion with what would happen to him when she was gone. She cared for him when she desperately needed caring for. She worried for him when there was nothing she could do but wait. Then she endured the heartache of him being taken away from her, and then gone in an instant. It’s been 8 months since he passed and the grief still brings her to her knees. And she keeps going.

Mom and I have continued to sink closer and closer. Our views on Life, on death, and everything in between are different now. We’ve had many long talks and walks and many adventures too, all of which could have been the last (and some I really thought would be the last). We’ve splurged on a Broadway show that brought her to tears (and then she broke 2 ribs falling in a New York City subway car, but still road a bike through central park!). We’ve hiked to the middle of a raging river in Jamaica and been pummeled sitting under a waterfall. We’ve trudged to the top of sand dunes in Canada’s Yukon desert, walked along glaciers in Alaska and snorkeled in the Bahamas.

One of the most memorable of the “wow” times for me was when mom flew out to Oregon in the summer of 2019 to Coddiwomple and wander with me in my trailer. On her first day there she tripped at a gas station and broke her face on a curb, leaving her with swelling and a nasty black eye. I thought our adventure was over before we started, but nope! We threw some ice on it and she kept on going. On a whim we drug my Airstream up a steep, winding, and rarely traveled single lane forest road high into the mountains. We found a spot for my trailer that was on the edge of a cliff and overlooked towering firs out to an almost eye to eye view of Mount Hood. When mom got out of the truck and realized we would be living in this beauty she stood there in awe and said “I can’t believe I’m here… I mean, here… and here… I wasn’t supposed to still be alive.”

Me too, Mom. And what a treat to have you here.

What makes me giggle now is: she was always going to still be here… we just didn’t know it. I don’t know if we would have experienced all of what we’ve experienced together had we known we had many more years. What a gift, packaged in an unexpected wrapper.

And here we are…

There are real life heroes among us and I get to call one Mom. I’m guessing today will be a day to celebrate. And yeah, occasionally we remember that every day is.


Cover Photo by Kristy Halvorsen: Mom walking along Saint George Island with a uniquely shaped thunderstorm in the distance.

 

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

There is so much to explore… which journey tickles your soul?

One on One Coaching

Coaching is a space of deep personal exploration. I cannot begin to express the impact that this journey of discovery has had in my life. To say it has changed everything would be an understatement. The same is available for you. Curious? Let’s have a short conversation– you’ll know and if it feels right, we’ll begin.

Three Month Group Program

Wonder and curiosity are two of the most powerful influences in life. The person who pauses and reaches uncomfortably for new words is working at the edge of the known, toward the larger, unspoken understanding that lies beyond our memories and what we’ve been taught to be true. Something special happens here: We begin to notice barriers we didn’t know we had, we are invited to look past what we believe, we become explorers of everything, life opens effortlessly, flows beautifully, and better still we come alive.

This group allows and encourages us to be in a space of complete openness, totally free from anticipation. We inquire together with no expectation to ‘get something’ or find answers. Yet, it is guaranteed you will get something… and your experience of life will shift as we dabble in the unknown with curiosity and wonder. More info and shares from previous group members Here

The Joy of Being Begins March 31st


Step out from the shadow of circumstances and walk a new path. Life’s challenges offer us the opportunity discover our true nature, our Being.

Join our host, Natasha Swerdloff, and five fabulous friends and colleagues for this 12 week journey specifically for women. We will be having deep conversations about our spiritual nature and I’ll be the guest host for a session in April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article is also featured on Thrive Global

 

I drove off.

I left. I said goodbye to who I was. I shed misunderstandings I didn’t know were wrong.

For months, maybe more than a year, I thought I made the biggest mistake of my life. A heart wrenching feeling of lostness filled my soul. I wanted to go back, but it was too late. That life was gone, never to be again. I felt like I was floating in an abyss by myself, drifting to who knows where with no one who cares. Even with some who cared, it wasn’t enough. Alone in a world of strangers, with nothing. Nights of tears, days of regret.

It was as if I was walking into the darkness of a huge empty windy tunnel and with each step pieces of my self were being blown away like red maple leaves during the first fall storm. Cold, wet and alone I was being stripped. It was lonely. I was becoming more naked and less and less me. I was left empty and bare.

There has been heart wrenching struggle. Early on the struggle was between me and misunderstandings about Life: loneliness, regret, scarcity and resistance. I felt like a tree gasping for my autumn colored leaves that were being ripped from my branches. It was a personal struggle of letting go of beliefs and rules, and how I thought life was supposed to be. I was stuck in an internal storm between what was and what truly is.

The struggle was one sided and Life kept showing the way. It seemed as if nature was gently breathing truth into itself, sharing lessons in the sweetest ways, whispering through silent knowings and jumbled thoughts, and unveiling the simplicity that we all unknowingly bathe in every moment of every day. Over and over, the message pointed to what Is. Nothing else. The more my heart cracked open, the more surfing the waves of what Is became the way. As I got glimpses of seeing through the illusion of “this is how it is supposed to be”, struggle became as fleeting as the sight of an exhaled breath on a cold winter’s day.

Something happened. I saw the rawness and perfect motion of life. Nature helped me see itself. Nature took me to a place of wonder, a space full of the beauty of not knowing and sweet knowing. Life nudged me to feel, let go and love.

Love. A word I could not speak for decades. A feeling I promised not to feel and an empty space I lived in for more than 25 years: A place of experiencing no love, no hugs, no feeling. It was all made up in a muddled child’s mind that worked well for so long… until it didn’t. I only knew living without love, but it was all I knew. Like being color blind and having no idea the vibrancy of a summer blue sky on green trees, or the soft pastels of a sunrise. I did not know, and I still might not.

I drove off. I left everything and found love and gratitude so rich, friends I couldn’t have imagined, an ease so light and an appreciation so full that it often bubbles up through my chest and runs down my cheeks. Freedom to feel is what I found.

There has been a softening, a slowing, and an opening.

Instead of pushing, striving and working hard, more and more I am lead to just being, experiencing and sharing. Morning walks that drift into all day sojourns in nature have happened seemingly by accident: heading out on foot in the stillness of morning fog and then getting lost in being. Returning to my trailer as the horizon meets the sun’s soft orange farewell with a belly full of hunger, legs wonderfully sore and my soul full of Life. Allowing myself to do nothing and experience everything all at once has been a journey all its own. Exploring, being and resting feels like destiny meeting itself.

This opened up another gift: intimately experiencing soul warming love with apparent strangers. Witnessing humans living in our natural space of care, connection and love keeps pointing me back to what we share. Each time human kindness warms our soul, the miracle of our humanity pokes a hole in the belief there is such a thing as a stranger.

It seems we are all remembering. It seems we are kind beings and being kind is our nature. It seems kindness is the innate return to knowing our true self. And then knowing that under the veil of what we’ve been taught: we all know this, and we all forget this, and then we remember… and repeat, over and over again.

Me too.

I drove off so much for so long. I drove off people, I pushed life away. I lived only from my head, not knowing how to feel or what it was like to cry and love and feel a sadness so beautiful and full that my heart filled with pure love. I am still seeing, still feeling, still opening, still slowing and on an endless walk in understanding. Open to seeing and open to being knocked in the gut each time I realize what I thought was true wasn’t.

Oblivious to the actual journey I was embarking on: I drove off to see it all and go beyond the walls of make-believe, even if just for a moment… I drove off to find home, to realize home is here now, nowhere and everywhere. I drove off to see you, to know you in that special way.

I drove off to become more and more open to realizing I don’t know. I wonder, and realize I might not ever know, and that’s ok… for now, and for always.

 

Photo: “Almost Bare” captured by Kristy during the first mile of an all-day wander in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Floyd, Virginia on November 8, 2020

 

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

Want to explore together?

One on One Coaching

Coaching is a space of deep personal exploration. I cannot begin to express the impact that this journey of discovery has had in my life. To say it has changed everything would be an understatement. The same is available for you. Curious? Let’s have a short conversation– you’ll know and if it feels right, we’ll begin.

Three Month Group Program

After dramatic shifts in my life I began offering a three month small group program. I try my best to steer clear from teaching anything in the program. Instead the group is a space of profoundly open exploration: We see more together.. and have lots of fun.

We take a journey into experiencing the simplicity of Life in complete freedom. No matter what you are up to or where you are, living in the moment fully engaged without ties to a destination brings about something very special: Life happens effortlessly, flows beautifully, and better still, we come alive. You can live like this from right where you are now and in every part of life.

Curious? Join in: We meet once a week and life shifts for all of us in different ways. What we discuss crosses all boundaries. What we explore changes everything. Learn more and hear what past participants have shared about what has changed since joining the group: Here

I write this sitting in my Airstream trailer with the slow pitter patter of rain drops on the aluminum roof. The sound reminds me of a steal drum, but played at 1/20th speed: random notes dropped perfectly from the heavens. My bedroom window is less than 20 feet from a rushing stream with bulging shores full of millions of notes creating a constant chorus. The cool mountain stream rushes by my window and into a pristine lake that is just a few minutes’ walk away.

Lake Burton, Georgia: Where the creek empties

This home by the stream is just one brief stop on the pathless journey. I have no idea where I will be next week, but it will also be home.  Living in a house on wheels is a perfect metaphor for life. Although, there is a sweetness in knowing that as “home” as my trailer feels, this aluminum tube isn’t Home either. We are all Home all the time everywhere.

Many try to learn, buy, seek or pray their way home…so innocently. There’s always a fancier car, bigger house, better job, prettier partner, holier space, simpler mindset and on and on. We often forget that Home is in the simplicity that we already are.

The Simplicity

A few weeks ago my brother noticed a nest in a large bush near his front door. Within days the nest had three vibrant blue eggs with brown speckles. Soon the eggs were gone and left behind were three fuzzy little bodies tucked under themselves in total peace. While looking down at them I made a soft cheeping sound. Three gaping mouths unfolded from the lumps of fuzz and stretched towards the sky.

Within seconds after seeing those little fuzzy bodies with mouths stretched open, a feeling of freedom rushed over me. In the nest I saw myself and I saw all of us. In that nest was the simplicity of life. As I gazed down at those three little birds, I thought: “Isn’t their life simple: Just eat and sleep.”  Then I thought of their mom (who was surely out collecting worms or bugs or whatever else she could drop into those three gaping mouths) “Isn’t her life simple: She just has to fly around, find some food and bring it back to her babies.”

In that moment I could feel my face flush as I realized Life itself is peering down at me and seeing the same: “Isn’t her life simple: She just has to…. (Live).” If our lives could be seen from the great beyond, wouldn’t each life appear just as simple?

The Journey

We are all on a pathless journey, even when it seems we have places to be and lots of things to do. Somehow animals and nature get this easier than we do. We are nature and we are just the same. We are all little birds, we are Life itself.

The journey is so much simpler than we think. What if you could simply live: Live your same life in the same nest with the same everything, but have an entirely different experience? What if you could explore with all that you are, be with all that Is and experience all that is left when everything else falls away?

It’s there. The simplicity is there waiting for us. While writing this sentence, I was reminded of Rumi’s field: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”

Imagine living simpler and simpler all the while the world becomes more full. There is no path to this place, there is only a walk and it’s a walk that you must experience. No amount of reading or study or listening to people talk will do… it’s simpler than that. There is no “how to” guide. The journey is Life, and through fully living and leaving behind all we know, we see more.

Our lives really are just as simple as the little birds. It’s just that they know it, and we don’t… yet.

The forest in Clarkesville, Georgia on a hike to Hemlock Falls

Here I sit in my aluminum home with the steel drum slowing and softening. The gentle roar of the stream seeps through the closed window and into my ears. The majestic trees, with their delicate spring leaves glistening and clean, tempt me out to walk in the rain. What I wish for all of us is to explore: to walk out into Life (whether it be in the rain or the bright sunshine) and live with the freedom that you already are. What if we released all judgements on ourselves and others? What if we slowed down to see the beautiful simplicity and walked on the pathless journey, exploring with no destination in mind?

The simplicity is in living, purely living without all the made up stuff.

Lets walk…

 

 

Want to explore together?

Of course you can explore on your own, though I’ve found we see so much more exploring together… and it’s fun!

One on One Coaching is a space of deep personal exploration. I cannot begin to express the impact that this journey of discovery has had in my life. To say it has changed everything would be an understatement. The same is available for you. Curious? Let’s have a short conversation- you’ll know and if it feels right, we’ll begin.

Three Month Group Program

After dramatic shifts in my life I began offering a three month small group program. I try my best to steer clear from teaching anything in the program. Instead the group is a space of open exploration: We see more together. I may point, inquire, and get curious, but what you see is in you. More importantly, what you see is yours forever… no note taking or studying needed 🙂

One of the best compliments came from the final session of the last group: Someone mentioned that they had never been a part of a group program like this, where people saw so much about life and at the same time it seemed like there was no facilitator. What a compliment!

We explore the simplicity of Life in complete freedom. No matter what you are up to or where you are, living in the moment fully engaged without ties to a destination brings about something very special: Life happens effortlessly, flows beautifully, and better still, we come alive. You can live like this from right where you are now and in every part of life.

Curious? Join in: We meet once a week and life shifts for all of us in different ways. What we discuss crosses all boundaries. What we explore changes everything. Learn more and hear what past participants have shared about what has changed since joining the group: Here

Still curious about what we talk about? Here is a 20 minute audio recording from one session where we explored Rumi’s poem that was quoted in the blog above: Rumi Poem Exploration

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

The last several months have been extremely challenging for my family: Dementia/Alzheimer’s, misunderstandings, mental hospitals, police, cancer, homelessness, helplessness, guilt, anger, sadness … and lots of love. The pandemic has been a recent cherry on top of it all. In 41 years I’ve never cried so much for other people as I have in the last three months. Though there was something sweet beneath it all. Something I still can’t fully describe, but it feels like hope and surrender dancing as one… and it has the essence of something that could change everything for everyone.

In January there was a morning I couldn’t stop crying and I had a webinar to host. Interestingly, I was doing ok amidst what seemed like mayhem: I was just really really sad. With high hopes of somehow drying up the tears, I phoned a friend. After briefly sharing with her through sniffles what was happening she said “Wow, it’s incredible… I can tell that beneath all of it you really know everything is ok.”

“Yeah… Life is just doing its thing. I have no idea where this all will lead, but it’s happening perfectly…” I replied. Deep down I knew we were all fine. And with this knowing there was such a lightness to the sadness. I was still weepy as we were saying our goodbyes with the zoom call looming. My friend and I laughed as I ended our call by saying “Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to show up crying.”

Within a few minutes Life surprisingly snapped me out of the crying fit and no one on the call had an inkling of any of this. Though, my biggest wish now is that everyone knows.

Hope

I used to think “hope” was aligned with the dictionary definition of hope: to want or desire and to anticipate great outcomes.

So many times in my first 40 years of life I hoped and prayed (actually begged and bartered) for something different: for a better situation, for good health, for a win, for love, for you name it. I wanted life to be “better” than it was and did my best to will it into being. That definition of hope lead me astray. Thankfully “Hope” has changed…

Hope is gentler now, and I am gentler with Life.

I can’t explain how or when it happened, but hope shifted to a deep knowing that life is always in perfect motion. Instead of hope relating to what will eventually happen, it is directly linked to what Is. Hope is seeing that what is happening in the world is a perfect unfolding of Life, even if it doesn’t make sense right now. Life instantly became so much simpler.

The poet and peace-focused first president of the Czech Republic (and last president of Czechoslovakia), Vaclav Havel, put it perfectly:

“Hope is not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

Can we be certain that something makes sense in the midst of uncertainty?

The world seams extremely uncertain right now. Consider if it is possible that there is just as much uncertainty now as there has ever been. Could this be true: until recently we thought we knew how things would happen and now the veil has been removed? Plain and simple: Could future certainty be a mirage?

Life is uncertain, regardless of the illusion of being certain.

In early March I flew from Florida to Los Angeles for work before everything got heated with the virus. By the time I was able to fly back to Florida much of the country was on lockdown and things had drastically changed. No worries though: I had a plan, a place to stay and back up plans. I landed in central Florida and drove to pick up my Airstream trailer. By the time I arrived at my trailer all of my perfectly laid out plans had evaporated: I was homeless in a place I knew no one with very few supplies. I thought I was feeling pretty cool about it all. Then I joined a call with several friends and the floodgates opened. I felt lost, alone and could barely speak through the tears. At the cusp of it all I just wanted to be with friends/family and that was out of the picture now.

Thankfully this lovely group of friends gently pointed me towards hope and what I knew to be true. I woke up from my lostness and remembered that the universe is kind, life is in perfect motion and we are always ok. I woke up to Hope again and in that space there was peace. From that quiet place I resourcefully looked for a place to live. Within an hour everything began falling into place.

What was in the cards all along was getting “taken in” by a total stranger. Her name was Hunter and she had a big yard made up to be a mini campground. She was in her mid 70s, super cool and traveled the country full time in her Airstream for 15 years… way back before anyone actually did that kind of thing. When I shared my situation of needing a place to park and isolate she quickly responded back saying: “Come on over! You are me 20+ years ago!”

So I did and what a treat it was to become close friends with a kindred spirit while isolating separately together. I stayed in her yard, she in her house and we routinely met in between: sitting on opposite ends of her porch chatting and sharing as the sun went down. Given the choice, I would never have chosen to live in a stranger’s yard in a pandemic, but Life had grander plans… once again, it all made sense.

Amidst the uncertainty, this is certain: Life is always in perfect motion.

In the second paragraph I mentioned that I can’t describe what’s there for all of us, but it feels like hope and surrender dancing as one. There is something to this… let’s look and tease it out: What if life is truly uncertain and we can accept that? And what if we could  begin to see how life makes sense, regardless of how situations unfold. What if we could pair that with fully living Life and coming more and more alive while completely embracing what is happening now? Imagine what might be possible when we can let go of all regrets, never worry again and simply live in the beautiful unknown that we call Life.

Droplets on my window

By chance, I began writing this piece in the darkness of a fierce storm. Just now I looked up to see the water droplets on the window with the sun shining brightly on the green leaves in the background. There is calmness as the thunder is barely audible in the distance and the birds have begun to sing…

Hope is natural, uncertainty is certain and Life is carrying us along… always.

 

 


**Note-In January I had the gift of having a long and beautiful conversation with Dr. Linda Pettit. As best I could, I described to her what I shared in this blog (but not so eloquently). She heard what I was trying to share and matter-of-factly said “Oh, Syd used to describe that as ‘Life is in perfect motion’.” Yes! That is it! Those are the perfect words that paint the picture so simply. So thank you to Linda and to Syd Banks… and thank you to everyone who has, in any way, been a part of this grand adventure. We never know when or where the perfect words and people will appear… Angels are everywhere and Life is always in perfect motion! xoxo

Want to see more together?

We will begin right where this blog left off in this three month small group program:
In this radically different group program we will dive in together and explore the simplicity of Life. No matter what you are up to or where you are, living in the moment with Hope as a foundation ignites something very special in the world. Life happens effortlessly, flows beautifully, and better still, we come alive. You can live like this from right where you are now and in every part of life, including your career, business, health, relationships, love, and even finances… everywhere.

We meet once a week and life shifts for all of us in different ways. What we discuss crosses all boundaries. What we explore changes everything. Learn more and hear what past participants have shared about what has changed since joining the group: Here

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

“I would rather have trustworthy and satisfying answers to these questions than all the gold in the Indies. To know—not to believe, not to hope, not to have faith, but to know that the universe is friendly, that our feet are set on and intelligent pilgrimage, and that there is Love at the heart of all things.”
– Raynor Johnson

I read this quote exactly a month ago today and it hit me more intensely than any quote I’ve ever read or heard.

In the last nine months I have been dumbstruck. Inside is a knowing deeper than I could ever imagine knowing, yet I have been unable to verbally share. Though I’ve tried, words have fallen short. This knowing has brought a calm, openness, and simplicity to life that is so beautiful that it brings tears to my eyes. Metaphors and stories provide a taste, but still haven’t come close to expressing the inexpressible.

So far, this description is as close as it gets: The universe is friendly, our feet are set on an intelligent pilgrimage and there is Love at the heart of all things. Read that again and consider what life would be like if you knew in the depths of your soul that even one of these statements was true.

What If the Universe Is Absolutely Friendly?

What if we knew that the universe had our back and everything was perfectly orchestrated? … Even events we feel are very unfortunate, like death, sickness, wild fires, pollution: Everything. What if this is as much a part of the beautiful symphony of Life as love, peace and joy? Imagine fully experiencing all emotions and still knowing that Life is taking care of us and this is all a part of what Is.

My friend and colleague Brianne Grebil beautifully shared her experience with this:

“Give me my grief. Give me my anger. Don’t you dare try to take them from me. Don’t ask me to contain them, explain them away, give them meaning, or tell me anything about them. They must be experienced. I need to feel them wrung hard from my soul so I can be shook out and hung on the line to dry clean.”

-Excerpted from Give Me My Grief

Imagine being fully alive and free to live, feel, love and advocate. And at the same time be completely unsure of how things will turn out and yet know deeply it will be “perfect” (even if we have no idea what perfect actually is).
What is the universe is friendly?

Might We Really Be On An Intelligent Pilgrimage?

Merriam Webster defines pilgrimage as: the course of life on earth

What if on our pilgrimage there really is an intelligence grander than we can ever imagine? To me it seems the infinite symphony of Life is constantly unfolding perfectly. It always has and always will. We cannot get Life wrong; ‘Mistakes’ are just misunderstandings; and every part of our experience is the intelligent pilgrimage.

It seems the more we can relax into this knowing with a peace and a sense of childlike adventure, the more astoundingly grand the journey becomes. Just writing this, emotions are flowing. There is something so very special in this knowing. We all are blessed with innumerable gifts in disguise.

A few weeks ago I was asked to oversee a large project, one that involves many people and quite an investment. I accepted the role knowing full well that I did not know how to do it, but at the same time trusting it could be done, and done very well. This project could be seen as demanding and stressful, but has felt fun and exciting since the beginning. There are many pieces of the puzzle that I have no clue about. Even though I’m just a few weeks in, the experience has already been mind-blowingly amazing.

Miraculous things have happened. For instance, there were items (that I initially didn’t realize we needed) that happened to come up in conversation on a specific day. I went online after the casual conversation and found that the order must be finalized immediately in order for the items to arrive in time. If that casual conversation were to have occurred a day later, it might have been too late. It happened as if orchestrated by design.

This one is even better: My Mom and I were chatting just last night. She reminded me that I was her healthcare surrogate and that she had given me all of her important information and last wishes a while back. Unsure of where I kept it, I went on the hunt. I found her final wishes and instructions as well as my Dad’s will. As I was flipping through the pages, a folded and wrinkled paper fell out and landed at my feet. I opened it up and it was a document I needed for the large project.

The project and the document had nothing to do with my mother’s final wishes and will. It should not have been in there. I hadn’t touched the folder with the will for well over a year. If my mother hadn’t mentioned it, I likely would not have looked at it until her final days. The folded paper was a document I had forgotten about and needed for the project. If it hadn’t landed at my feet, I may not have realized it was missing until the day it was needed. What are the chances of all that happening? This project and the ease at which things are effortlessly appearing and literally falling in to place has been a lovely reminder of the journey and the infinite intelligence behind everything.

If you knew, like really knew, we were on an intelligent pilgrimage, how might things change? I giggle as I realize this is actually the simplest definition of Coddiwompling.

To coddiwomple is to be on an intelligent pilgrimage. We are all coddiwomplers, we can’t help it… it is the essence of us.

Just last week I shared with a friend and mentor that in almost 40 years, I don’t think I’ve shed a tear because of loveliness. In the last 9 months, those tears have flowed regularly. It’s so simple and so gorgeous. We are not in control and we are free. We do not know where we are headed, but it is perfect and safe and exactly what is.
What if we all are on an intelligent pilgrimage together?

What If at the Heart of All Things is Love?

Could this really be so… at the heart of everything is love? Yes. Everything.

How? The answer to this is a question: Who are you? Deep down, beyond your name and your body and all the things you think you are… beyond all of that. Look and wonder… Who am I?

This is the question of all questions and it seems that the more clear the answer becomes, the simpler more beautiful and lovely everything Is. In this lies ultimate peace. This is a big one. Even if we just see glimmers an occasional glimpses of the answer to this one question… It will change the world.

What if at the heart of all things is Love?

“I would rather have trustworthy and satisfying answers to these questions than all the gold in the Indies. To know—not to believe, not to hope, not to have faith, but to know that the universe is friendly, that our feet are set on and intelligent pilgrimage, and that there is Love at the heart of all things.”

Thank you Raynar

Love,

Us

 

 

Want to see more together?

We will begin right where this blog left off in this three month small group program ($99):
In this radically different group program we will dive in together and explore the simplicity of Life. No matter what you are up to or where you are, living by instinct in the moment ignites something very special in the world. Life happens effortlessly, flows beautifully, and better still, we come alive. You can live like this from right where you are now and in every part of life, including your career, business, relationships, love, and even finances… yes, every part of life.

We meet once a week and life shifts for all of us in different ways. What we discuss crosses all boundaries. What we explore changes everything.

Freedom: An All Inclusive Five Day Retreat in Cuba March 26-31
Want an explorative adventure in Cuba? I am so excited to join together in a journey about life in a picturesque community. We are teaming up with Cuban Cowboy Tours for a deep dive over five days. If you have any desires to visit the sights of Cuba, this may be a great reason to get you there.
Five days in the Viñales Valley: Hikes, sunrise horseback ride, a farm to table dinner, culture, transformative conversations, and much more. Limited to only 8 people.

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

This Thanksgiving, I drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a historic town that was lightly dusted with fresh blanket of snow. I walked the picturesque streets in awe while snowflakes floated in the crisp air. As so often happens when coddiwompling, on my way back to my truck I felt led to take a different course.

I ended up on an empty walkway behind the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. There were no statues or striking architecture, but just a bit further down the walkway there was a little girl rolling a giant snowball. Her mom and little sister were there too, and I mentioned to them that I’ve never actually rolled a giant snowball of my own. They encouraged me to try, so I did. It wasn’t as easy as it looked. Before long, I had a little six year old girl with polka dot boots standing next to me saying, “Here, let me help you.”

Her name was Phoebe, and she showed me how to get things going and soon we had sizable ball forming. The girl I first noticed turned out to be Phoebe’s older sister, Lily, and her snowball was now massive. Seeing our two snowballs, their mom suggested that Phoebe and I stacked our ball onto Lily’s and make a snow man. Having never made a snowman, I was even more excited about this idea than the girls. So we began.

Lily and I carried our huge ball together and sat it on top of hers. Then the process of creation began to flow. Within minutes, we had formed a naked snowman and we all stood on the walkway scanning the area, wondering what we could use to create special features and snowman parts. We only found leaves and more snow, but we carried on. Soon our snowman began to take on more of a feminine look (with delicate eyes and eyebrows made of leaves).

“Alright, she’s a snow-woman… let’s dress her up!” someone shouted. And so we did.

Before long she was wearing a beautiful dress and a hat sculpted of snow. Pinecones and leaves were found to fashion a bouquet for her to hold.

It was their mom who named our creation:

“Lupita”, she said. “Lupita de la nieve”

When I asked what that meant, she explained that it translated as “Lupita of the snow.”

For me, the most gorgeous part of the whole process was the uninhibited creativity. It flowed from beginning to end. One of us would mention an idea, and from that first idea little baby ideas would spawn. Several times I thought we were finished, but Lupita of the snow continued growing in intricacy and loveliness. Soon, she was walking a cute little dog named Guapo, who wore a tiny top hat with a decorative collar made of leaves. I was in awe again, this time with the tide of creativity spontaneously arising in this obscure spot behind a cathedral I hadn’t even planned to visit.

I learned so much about how to be in creative partnership from playing with the girls. There was never an idea that was squashed. Each new possibility was greeted with love, collaboration and encouragement. Lily and Phoebe were so present. There was nowhere they thought they needed to be and nothing else was on their mind. They were purely in the here and now. This snow sculpture on an obscure alley behind a cathedral needed not be seen by anyone. This was creation for creation alone.

The funny thing was, I wasn’t really present with them. Although I was participating, I was also going in and out of the process of creation and thinking I had somewhere better to be. I had fallen into the trap of thinking there was something more important I should be doing, mentally heading back to my truck again and again, thinking about all the errands I had to run.

In those moments of overthinking, creating with the girls seemed like work and I felt continually drawn to leave. The make-believe future I was imagining kept getting in the way of a gorgeous present moment.

I was creating Lupita with Lily and Phoebe, but with one foot in the present and one foot in the make believe future. When I fully stood in creation together with these two beautiful children, it was delightful. They reminded me how simply kids live, especially little kids: They don’t know how to be anywhere but the present. I was so lucky to be sharing in this beautifully creative time with these angelic little girls. What was happening was much more beautiful than anything I could have ever planned.

Standing behind the cathedral and noticing my wandering mind, I saw something new in something I’d first heard years earlier: “Be like little children if you want to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

What if this sentence is pointing us towards the pure bliss of being a child and seeing the world as it actually is: living in wonder in the present, before thought and judgement appear to cloud our vision.

What if living in heaven is actually as simple is living life with the presence of a child?

What if simply being, with nothing on our mind, is pure bliss?

I continue to be in awe of the everyday lessons life presents me with. Sometimes they come in the form of a snowstorm on Thanksgiving Day, and a ‘chance’ meeting behind a cathedral. Sometimes, they come in the form of Lupita.

Yesterday, when I began working on this blog, I googled “Lupita” to find the origin of the name and was shocked at what appeared on the screen. The Virgin Guadalupe (like the Virgin Mary) has been a powerful symbol of Mexican identity for close to 500 years. The mom had named the snow woman Lupita, which translates as “Little Guadalupe”.

As the legend goes, it was a winter day in 1531 when the Virgin Mary first appeared to a peasant in the form of a dark-skinned indigenous woman. On December 12th, just a few weeks after his original vision, she appeared again as a life-size image of the Virgin Mary on the inside of his robe. For millions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, December 12th holds special significance. Guadalupe’s image is associated with everything from motherhood to feminism to social justice. She is a symbol of goodness, and Guadalupe watches over us.

For the girls and me, Lupita appeared in the form of a gorgeous snow woman, born from nothing on Thanksgiving day behind a cathedral in Santa Fe. We had no idea we were creating her when we began; she truly just appeared as we played together. And then, completely unaware of the significance, on December 12th it occurred to me to share Lupita’s story.

Could this really be a coincidence?

Take a look at the two photos below. On the right is Lupita with the girls; on the left is a statue of the Virgin Guadalupe. I am astonished by the similarities, even down to the position of their arms.

There is a creative force that responds to all of life. Some call it God. Some call is Source. Some call it the Universe. This creative energy has many names, but to me, it is Life itself. Life guides us towards what is good for the whole. Life appears to us in the form of pure creativity, and creativity is love.

Take a look into Lupita’s eyes… notice the magnificence in the leaves staring back at you. This is life. This is pure presence and creativity. This is love. This is you.

 

 

Upcoming events:

Three Month Small Group Exploration Begins in a few weeks ($99):
People come together from across the globe and want various things: to build a business, have better relationships, be more financially free, realize what they want to do in life, be healthier… and everyone sees something deeper. We meet once a week and life shifts for all of us in different ways. What we discuss crosses all boundaries. What we explore changes everything.

Freedom: An All Inclusive Five Day Retreat in Cuba March 26-31 ($895)
Want an explorative adventure in Cuba? I am so excited to announce that our upcoming retreat is ready and now OPEN for registration! If you have any desires to visit the sights of Cuba, this may be a great reason to get you there.
Five days in the Viñales Valley: Hikes, sunrise horseback ride, a farm to table dinner, culture, transformative conversations, and much more. Limited to only 8 people.

 

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE

For the past few weeks I’ve been in Florida visiting friends, family and even my old house. It’s been nearly two years since I sold most of my stuff and drove away from the life I once had. Sitting in front of the place that used to be home felt peaceful: I could remember living there, but it also felt like I no longer knew the person who called that house “home”. I thought about what was ahead for the girl who drove off 23 months ago.

She had no idea…

We truly can’t fathom what is possible. The limits of our imagination are always there. Thankfully the seed of realizing “I do not know” had been planted. What a gift… Lots of thankfulness and gratitude for the cosmic nudge out of the nest and into the beautiful unknown.

We say anything is possible, though there is often an edge. Here is what I see now: The edge is an illusion. The goals, dreams and wishes we have are just the point at which our humanness can’t conceive what lies beyond. This is the imaginary limit. Truth is: something always lies beyond. We get glimpses into the invisible and then new limits are born. What we see moves the edge. This is life. Some might say we are learning, growing and creating. Though what if it’s not creating at all? What if we are merely discovering what already is?

What if through our goals, the illusionary edges of our imagination show themselves to the world? It seems the more we are taught about the limits of what is possible and how things work, the more firm the illusion is.

Imagine a kid (who’s never seen a coral reef or even a fish) on a boat looking down into the sea on a choppy day. He can see green, blue and maybe even a streak of bright color every now and then. He can imagine what might be under the surface, but he really has no idea. The water’s rough surface is the limit. What if someone tried to describe for him what was under the surface using only words? Or, what if someone who had never seen a coral reef tried to describe to him what sea life is? What if the kid took those descriptions as reality?

Now place a piece of glass on the surface so he can see clearly through to what is below… a whole new world, a world seen with fresh eyes. Take it one step further and let him dive in with a snorkeling mask, swim with a lionfish, feel seagrass tickle his bare chest and touch the surface of a sand dollar…  Then what happens to reality?

Could beliefs confine us? And might the ensuing goals limit us?

Beliefs tend to be passed down via texts, stories, or witnessing people live. It seems the fortunate ones have been blind and/or awakened. Their awareness seems to be less cluttered and emptier (but empty in a great way): like a vacant vessel waiting to be filled by the infinite river of all that is… roused by the unknown and thirsty for truth in the gentlest of ways.

Many vessels are congested by stories and instruction taken as truth. We trust people and rule books for life. Some have been written by those that think they know or with interests not befitting the whole. The edges seem so firm and limits so distinct. In this space, imagination can be caged like a bird within a mesh made of thought and words.

In a recent session in my Coddiwomple Group Program, we were discussing the freedom and possibilities that might be there if we all had amnesia and forgot everything we knew. What if we didn’t know what we liked or didn’t like? What if we didn’t know enough to have expectations or judgements about anyone or anything? What if we had no preconceived ideas?

There was a silence and I loved watching all the expressions and wondering looks as the group considered this deeper and deeper.

One of the group members spoke up, saying she had actually lived through this: Twice!! Due to medical conditions, she had lost all of her memory and didn’t recognize anyone or even know her own name. She described it as so peaceful and nice. She wasn’t afraid. She was seeing everything fresh and anew. It was gorgeous to feel the lightness and curiosity in her story. She shared that she had been a serious chain smoker and it was months after the amnesia before she remembered that she used to smoke… she saw things so different after “forgetting everything” that her life fundamentally changed in many ways (and as a bonus she’s never wanted to smoke again!).

What if there are no limits? What if we all could begin to see through our concepts, beliefs and ideas? What if we began to see everything with fresh eyes?

A simple example for me is this: I used to think I was shy, nervous, and didn’t like speaking in front of a crowd. In December of 2015 I went to my first networking event. I sweated through my shirt and felt so self-conscious that when it was time to introduce myself to the group(15-20 people) I stumbled, stuttered and only used 15 of my allowed 30 seconds before abruptly ending the intro (and wishing I could magically disappear). The next day I sought help for public speaking. My goal was to one day introduce myself to a networking group without sweat rings and stuttering. Now it is astoundingly different, not because I learned to be tougher, but because of seeing something deeper.

As we see more, the limits begin to wane and our experience shifts. I have lost control in a beautiful way. I’ve begun to realize that I only thought I was in charge. It seems we are the river of life and the more I see about that, the more I am surprised by the beauty of what is. This feels exhilarating and freeing at the same time. Realizing “I don’t know” has been a beautiful gift. Fear, worry and expectations have melted away. The voice in my head is quieter than it has ever been and what’s left is more simplicity… and as a bonus I completely enjoyed closing an international conference with only minor sweating 🙂

Although, it wasn’t all easy: What I haven’t often shared were the tough times early on in my journey… lots of loneliness, mixed with regret and misunderstanding. Often life taught through people… Even if only for a moment we exchanged words, a smile or a quick hello. It was all a part of the greater understanding.

Then life over and over lured me far away from any humans: Into the forest, on mountain tops and far out in deserts. In these quiet places so much was seen. This is where I metaphorically dove in like a kid with a snorkeling mask.

One thing that is very obvious: it was all a gift. I often wonder how I got here and know it wasn’t me.

Looking back it is all so clear… The puzzle pieces were being laid out all along and are already there now (even if we don’t realize it). So often we don’t know “why” things happen the way they do. Though there is something special that happens deep down when we can relax into knowing that we don’t know. It seems in the realization of this the edges of our imagination soften and our walk becomes more purposeful, yet gentle. We walk in the present knowing that is all there is, yet delightfully hopeful of what is to come.

Every moment is like a gift under the tree of life, wrapped since the infinite beginning. What’s inside is unknown until it’s not… though it is a gift, whatever it may be.

 

 

Want to dive in together?

Check out this Special Opportunity.

Get articles like this one delivered to your inbox!

If you would like to receive intriguing stories, thoughts and ideas in your inbox once or twice a month, sign up for the newsletter by clicking HERE