Return Home After The Fall

A couple weeks ago, I watched the movie, “As It Is In Heaven” with a gathering of friends. It is full of rich symbolism and powerful insights about relationships, community, and sharing your unique "note" with the world.

THE FALL

You meet the main character as young boy practicing his violin in a wheat field when the local bullies track him down and beat him up. All he wants is to open people’s hearts with music and this act of violence breaks his heart. To protect him, his mother moves them to another town where he practices and practices and grows up to become a world-renowned conductor in high demand.

As an adult, he falls further and further from his dream and suffers for quite some time. One evening, during a performance, he walks off the stage and collapses and the doctor tells him his heart is failing.

In the next scene his agent refers to a concert scheduled seven years out and in that moment something shifts for the conductor. He listens to the invitation to return home to love and takes the leap that changes everything.

THE LEAP

He quits his life as a conductor and returns to his hometown and leads the church choir. He shows them how to each find their own unique note and sing together in harmony. He lives out his mission to open hearts with music and in the process opens his own heart and returns to a state of harmony.

If you haven't seen it, I invite you to watch and notice what you see and feel as his "note" ripples out and touches everyone around him. Oh, and it’s a Swedish movie with sub-titles. Have tissues nearby. Those Swedes know how to make a movie!

HARMONY

Before watching the movie, a wise woman shared a framework of understanding for the journey of life that resonated deeply with me. She showed us the movie to demonstrate it in action.

I invite you to open your heart to oneness and harmony and share through your unique note. If we all listen for the call and take the leap, imagine the possibilities of a world in a state of harmony. (Link to download the diagram document.)

Here's what I see. Each circle represents a state of being. The top circle represents oneness and harmony and I believe we are all born in this state. Then through challenge, heartbreak or trauma we fall into the bottom circle of separation and suffering and it is our thoughts about those experiences and resistance to feeling what wants to happen that keep us stuck spinning around and around.

The main character in the movie experienced several challenges and traumas in his life where he fell into the lower circle. He looped around and around for years suffering until that moment with his agent and he felt the pull to return home. The movie is a beautiful story of his journey home to love and harmony.

You may have recently fallen and feel stuck going around and around looping in the lower circle. As souls, we asked for this human experience and sometimes it gets really uncomfortable, especially when you you don't see a way out...yet! I've been there stuck many times saying, "Really, I asked for this?" Yep. You may think "I don't ever want to fall again." I hear you. As much as you in this moment may not want to ever fall again, I believe we will all continue to fall and that's okay. It's also completely okay to feel whatever emotion comes up for you when you do fall. Feeling is being human.

I see the separation as part of our maturation process and natural evolution of consciousness. Each fall provides the opportunity to practice taking the leap back to oneness through kindness, self-care and self-compassion. With practice and dropping the resistance, it becomes easier to move through the transition from separation to oneness.

My intention for sharing this framework is to bring light to the possibility and potential to find your way back home after a fall and show you that you always have the choice to lead your own experience. YAY! You've got this! I promise you, there is another way.

So, what is one act of self-care or self-compassion you can give yourself today?

SELF-CARE

If you’re coming up blank or don’t think you have time for self-care, here are some suggestions to get you started.

  1. Return to a sense of play in whatever form that looks like for you.
  2. Take a nap.
  3. Go for a walk.
  4. Call a friend you’ve wanted to connect with for a chat.
  5. Spend quality time with your beloved.
  6. Watch birds fly in patterns.
  7. Take a bath.
  8. Prepare a healthy, nourishing meal for yourself.
  9. Read a book you’ve wanted to read.
  10. Plan a personal retreat as simple as spending the afternoon in nature or as involved as spending a week trekking in a foreign land.

I would love the hear about you're favorite self-care ideas and invite you to share in the comments below.

SELF-COMPASSION

Self-compassion may be challenging if you have a loud self-critic, feel unworthy, or just haven’t practiced for a long time. To develop the practice of self-compassion and encourage new neural patterns, try this simple method I learned from one of my favorite people and neuropsychologist, Dr. Rick Hanson.

  1. Find the sense of being cared about by someone else, someone whom you have felt loved by in your life.
  2. Bring to mind someone you naturally feel compassion for like a child or loved one.
  3. Sink into the physical experience of compassion in your body, locate the sensation in your body and stay there for a while.
  4. Then shift the compassion to yourself, perhaps with phrases like: “May I not suffer. May the pain of this moment come pass on (compassion).”

The root of compassion is compassion for oneself. ~ Pema Chodron

I also highly recommend checking out Koelle Simpson's teleclass where she provides a beautiful explanation of the harmony of life.

May you find your way home after the fall.

 

 

Take Time to Listen and Return to Love

Image Sitting in a chair, gazing out the window, I contemplate the affect stress has on our bodies and our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.

I set the intention to quiet my mind and be present in the moment. I focus my vision on the oak tress outside and they begin to move together as a whole as if they were breathing in a much slower rhythm than my own breath.

As I observed this, I noticed my breath slowed down.  My body completely relaxed, all tension dropped.  The words and thoughts flowed through my mind and didn’t stick. I just sat, noticing the trees breathing to the rhythm of nature.

Return To Love

The message I hear over and over is "Return to love. Love heals." I notice the pulse of my blood moving through my body with an ebb and flow, the in and out. My chest rises and falls as my body is breathed, expansion and contraction.

No control required. Only noticing.

Then comes the familiar hum in my ears, the vibration of sensation. I hear the beautiful sounds of my boy’s voices below. Ian’s “vowel songs” and Lane’s voice in play.

The vibration of love permeates my body.

This is such a peaceful state, where breathing slows down, goes deeper, feeds oxygen-rich blood to all parts of my body. The stories swirling in my mind quiet down and in this moment, all is well. I am home.

Take Time to Listen

It doesn’t always feel like this though, which is why I took the time to sit in the chair. My body was talking to me, letting me know it was time to stop and listen. I’ve been feeling exhausted, afraid and ungrounded. The stress I was feeling was the result of me disconnecting from love and I had some debris to clean out.

Stress is a toxin that eats away at love; sometimes a nibble at a time and sometimes in giant devouring bites that create visible destruction in it’s path. But most often it acts like a slow growing crack in your water pipes, causing damage not visible to the eye until the floor starts to buckle from the warping wood underneath.

At this point, mold infiltrates the wood structure, water saturates the insulation and the entire subfloor needs replacement. The entire support system continues to deteriorate beneath the surface every day until it’s dangerously close to collapse.

So how do you find the leaks before the damage reaches the point of a break down?

Explore Under the Surface

Pull open the door to the crawl space, turn on the flashlight and look inside.  Become a detective. Get super curious and find the pipe that’s leaking all the love and joy out of your life.

What are your symptoms trying to tell you? Yes, this can be super scary to think about looking within yourself to find your cracks underneath. It takes courage and may get messy and feel like you're trapped in a dark crawl space for a while but what happens if you don’t and you continue to avoid the scary stuff?

The body just gets louder until you listen. It gets tired, rejects foods you used to be able to eat, gets migraines, colds, digestive problems, pelvic pain, chronic fatigue, auto-immune syndromes and diseases, back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, vision problems, memory problems and the list goes on and on. The body breaks down under the pressure of continual stress.

You’ll feel depleted with nothing left to give either yourself or others. You’ll be left curled up in bed asking yourself how did I get here.

And if you find yourself curled up in bed feeling like it’s the end, that’s okay. It is the end. The end of that moment….now the end of that moment….and now the end of that moment. Then somewhere down the line of moments, the next becomes the one you say to yourself “this is the end of suffering and a place to start.”

There’s always a place to start.

And when you decide you're ready to shine the light under the surface, I believe in you.  I believe you have all the courage and strength you need to find the cracks, clean out the debris and return to love.

Sitting in my chair, gazing out the window, the sun has now set and the dark blue sky creates a silhouette for the trees that continue to breathe  just as I do.

If all you do is breathe, that’s a darn good place to start.

Love, Diane

P.S.  If you feel inspired to share a moment when you returned to love, I invite you to share in the comments below.  I always love to hear from you.

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The Process of Waking Up

Healing teethWhat does dental work under anesthesia and awakening to your truth in life have in common? My son showed me last week just how much. Last Tuesday morning at 9:15am I held Ian in my arms as the anesthesiologist put the mask over his mouth.  The gas knocked him out in seconds.  BAM he was OUT!  The dentist then went fast to work to deep clean and fill four cavities that had been causing pain.  Ian was grinding his teeth non-stop for a week.  The whole procedure took 90 minutes.  Ian never felt a thing because his body was drunk on medication to block out all conscious awareness.

What’s Your Drug of Choice?

How many times have you gone for your “drug” of choice (food, drink, TV, Internet, Facebook, sleep, etc) to numb out and disconnect from what’s causing you pain and suffering?  Show compassion for that part of you that needs relief from the pain in that moment.

The doctor warned my husband and me that Ian’s reentry to consciousness might be uncomfortable for him.  As soon as the doctor felt Ian was breathing safely on his own, he picked him up and placed him in my lap.  With each breath Ian became more and more awake.  He wasn’t very pleased with what that felt like.  All my attempts to sooth him failed.  Time and patience were required for the gas to leave his body completely.

Time to Wake Up

Once you start to wake up to your truth and what’s alive in you there’s no going around it and no going under it.  It’s the time to go through it.  Others may try to help, but in reality, no one else can do it for you.  Only you know the way by trusting your body.  It never lies.  Sometimes it’s uncomfortable and awkward and feels strange, but on the other side awaits peace and love.  So you move forward one step at a time.

The doctor sent us on our way when all vital signs reached a point he deemed safe.  I guided Ian’s unsteady body to the car and we headed home.  Within ten minutes Ian fell asleep and remained asleep for the next hour.

I woke him to go inside where he promptly fell into a deep sleep for SIX MORE HOURS! In the last hour I sat across the room watching him breath deeply and peacefully.  His body was releasing and cleaning out the chemicals with every breath.  His body knew exactly what to do – rest.

A Time to Rest and a Time to Play

Rest plays an essential role when you release and drop painful stories that are filled with conditional love.  Rest supports the building of new neural pathways.  When your mind goes through a deep exhale to release stressful, painful thoughts listen when you body asks to rest.  It knows exactly how much you need. Apparently, Ian’s body needed six.

Then, at 6:15pm Ian woke up.   He looked over at me with a twinkle in his eyes.  He sat up, stretched, smiled and walked straight to me.  My arms reached out to invite a hug and he welcomed a big one.  He wanted to play and for the next hour, that we did with joy and abandon.

What a great way to wake up to the world, cleared of the chemicals, rested and ready to play.

He showed me just how important it is to listen when the body says to rest and have compassion for myself when my mind is in a state of deep letting go whether it be from toxins in my body or toxins in the form of thought.

When was the last time you listened when your body asked to rest? If you’re in a stage of transition, check in with your body and see what happens if you allow yourself the time it wants for rest.  You just may wake to find all kinds of wonderfulness on the other side and feel renewed and ready for play.

For a little fun, here's a link for a video on YouTube of a little boy who just finished some dental work David After Dentist.

Click here if you'd like to comment on the blog.  I'd love to hear from you.

Letting Go One Belief At A Time

Happiness after eating an egg

Today was a HUGE day of letting go. Ian, my eight-year-old son with autism, ate a scrambled egg for the very first time. Why have I waited almost nine years to feed him egg?  Because I've held tightly to the belief that he was allergic and would have a horrible reaction.

Who I was when I believed the thought.

When I believed Ian would have a horrible reaction if he ate an egg I became hyper vigilant.  I hovered when anyone else around him ate eggs.  I lived in a state of fear of what might happen.  I spent a large amount of my waking hours worried about the future, in a place that never came.  I separated from the present moment.

The Work showed me how to let go.

Last weekend, I attended a five-day workshop with Byron Katie where I dove into The Work.  I returned home Monday night and continued to test my beliefs, one at a time.  In less than a week Ian has experienced five new foods with absolutely no negative reactions and I now believe he's doing better than he was last week.  Why?  Because by testing my beliefs, my projection of him shifted in a dramatic way.

What happened after Ian ate his first egg?

He smiled, laid down on the couch and relaxed.  I asked my husband to do a little recording to show how calm he was two hours later.  As I type this, it's been almost five hours and all I hear are sounds of joy while Ian plays outside, jumping on the trampoline and swinging in his swing. Lentils are cooking on the stove and will be the next food we try tonight.

Letting Go from diane Hunter on Vimeo.