Remembering to Exhale

scared audience

Going to see Friday the 13th (Part 1…yes I am old) seemed like such a good idea at the time.  We teenagers arrived en masse at the local Armond Theatre, loaded up on popcorn and licorice, then sat right in the front row, ready for the thrill of the slaughter.  Even before the credits rolled, we could feel the sick roil of anticipation in our guts, shrieking and giggling with the whole idea of being frightened.

I lasted until about the third loud music-ky jump out and scare you moment.  The rest of my evening consisted of me sitting in the lobby, listlessly eating my popcorn, feeling unworthy and small.  This was way before iPhones (or any kind of phones except the ones that plugged into the wall and had rotary dials… yes I am old) so I couldn’t even snap chat or text anyone.    The others came out of the theatre two hours later, laughing hysterically and telling me I really missed a good one.

Back in those olden days I came to realize (after several long evenings in the lobby of the Armond Theatre… yes I’m old and a slow learner) that I do not like being scared.  And I don’t understand why anyone would.

You’ve seen them.  You know who I mean.  Those crazy adrenalin junkies, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, swimming with sharks, eating poisonous fish, riding roller coasters!  Why would anyone want to scare themselves like that?

As with all questions, I turned to my source for all things:  Google.  Surprisingly, I found that fear and excitement are two sides of the very same physiological coin.  Our bodies release the same adrenalin whether we are frightened or excited.  Interesting…. So if that is the case, how can we use this in our daily lives to help us?

Turns out, it’s all about the breath.

When adrenalin is released we can either hold our breath, which causes it to react in our bodies as fear, or we can breathe out instead and it magically transforms into excitement.  For Example do as follows:

Inhale:  NOOO RUN AWAY, DON’T MOVE, PEE YOUR PANTS, AAAAAHHHHHH

or

Exhale:  WOOOOOOHOOOOO CANNON BALL AND KOWABUNGA!!

Seems like a no brainer to me.  The next time I am faced with jumping out of an airplane, or riding a roller coaster, or I happen to run into a hobo spider in my kitchen sink, I will try to remember to exhale.

And even those small fears, the ones that stop me from speaking my truth, or from doing what is authentic to me because I fear I may be judged?  I’m just going to breathe out and do them anyways.  Using the momentum of thrill beats freezing with horror any day of the week.

Even if it is Friday the 13th.

The Calling

o-HANDS-REACHING-facebook

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”  Rumi

Dammit dammit dammit!  I missed my flight.  It was a quick connection and the gates were miles apart but I still had believed that the travel angels, who work so beautifully for me, would come through once again.  Imagine my surprise when I finally ran up to the gate and saw the tiny plane taxiing away toward Newburgh without me on board.

My first inclination was to become Old Me and start to wail and cry and threaten and blame.  Those feelings swelled up in a big bubble of frustration, but I had been in training for just this sort of thing these past few years, so New Me took a deep breath and just sat there in the moment and let those feelings dissipate into the air around me.  Everything happens for a reason, I reminded myself.  Including this.

I used the extra 4 hours in the Philadelphia airport to relax, eat some soup, read a book and just catch my breath.  The time went quite quickly and before long I was taking my seat on the tiny plane that would take me on the last leg of my journey to Newburgh, New York.  I was on my way to the Omega Institute for a week long seminar led by Dr. Brian Weiss on Past Life Regression.  This in itself was quite surprising.  Old Me would never have thought to take the time or spend the money to do something so outrageous.  It wasn’t practical, people would think I was crazy, who was I to think I could learn this stuff, and on and on the doubts and resistance would come.  Of course those thoughts did come to me, but instead of believing them and giving in to them, New Me decided to ignore them and listen to my inner guidance.  I felt a strong, intense calling to be there, so I decided to throw logic and fear to the wind and answer the call.

The plane was flying at a very low altitude, under the clouds and as I watched out the window at the passing nightscape something really bizarre happened.  The lights of the towns and cities below seemed to refract and spread out in beams, interconnecting and creating the most amazing, beautiful grid of light.  I stared in awe from my vantage point up in the air and was overwhelmed by the beauty.  What was this?  What did it mean?  Old Me determined it must be caused by the convex curve of the window  or perhaps by atmospheric conditions or something logical like that.  New Me quietly told Old Me to shut up and just enjoyed the magic of the flight.  The beauty of it all made me feel a bit high and when we landed firmly on the ground I giddily walked through the nearly deserted airport toward the stand of taxis to find the driver I had booked.  I walked outside, stopped dead in my tracks and  I laughed out loud, causing several weary travelers to look my way and wonder what was up with the crazy lady staring at the sky.  The grid was still there!  The streetlights above and the lights from the surrounding buildings were beautifully refracting and continuing the light show for me.  It took my breath away.  Old Me briefly considered that I may be coming down with a touch of a brain tumor or something, but New Me knew that this was something big: something mystical and amazing and the real reason why I had missed my flight.  I was meant to see this phenomena.  I had no idea why but I knew that this would be important.

Everything happens for a reason.

I have learned that we show up for each other over and over again wearing different guises.  This was never as clear as during that week in Omega.  The very first morning I wandered the dining hall, breakfast tray in hands, feeling very much like new kid at school.  Then I found her.  My soul sister, friend from all eternity and a little piece of home.  “May I join you?” I beamed at her, already impatient to get past the awkward introductions and start reminiscing about our vast connection.  Katie, my beautiful Katie, sister mother teacher friend, flew all the way from Australia to attend the seminar.  Somehow, she told me, she felt a calling to be there at that time.  It was something I would hear over and over during that week.

Each experience that happened while we were at Omega revealed new connections, threads in the tapestry.  I first met Butterbean during a regression that week.  It is not surprising to me now that she showed up when she did.   I was regressed by a young man with a deep soothing voice who just so happened to be named Thomas.   Of course she would show up.  Everything happens for a reason, right?  In my life as Butterbean I recognized Miz Ginnia as a dear friend of mine who had passed away the previous year.  Though there was no physical resemblance, the soul was the same.  Imagine if your best friend changed the shirt they were wearing, you would still easily recognize them wouldn’t you?  That is the case with our soul friends and families.

150 people attended that seminar… 152 if you count Dr. Weiss and his wife, Carole.  We converged for a week, drawn from all over the globe in a way so compelling that none of us could ignore the call.   Then the stories began to emerge of connections from lives past.  People we just met turned up playing significant roles in other lifetimes.  We were all inextricably linked, woven together in a tapestry of experiences and lifetimes and we had been given this amazing gift to remember it all.  We were like those beams of light I saw, weaving a tapestry,  intricate and beautiful, beyond the imaginings of the human mind.

We journey here to gain experience, not necessarily understanding and while Old Me rails against the mysteries, New Me revels in the magic of it all.

Me with Dr. Brian Weiss
Me with Dr. Brian Weiss
My lives have been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the everchanging view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold
~ lovingly paraphrasing Carole King

Breezes at Dawn

trees

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep!

Rumi

Set Your Life on Fire

“Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames.” Rumi

May the passion of your dreams light your way.

May the fire of that passion burn the doubts that try to block you.

May your light shine so brightly that no shadow darkens your path.

May you be the light you seek.

May it find you.