A Wonderful Place
Vishen Lakhiani, the man who founded Mindvalley came up with a great word to describe rules that can be bent, changed or even completely discarded. That word is Brules and defined as B*** S*** rules. So, with that in mind, I make no apologies for not editing this story and ignoring some basic grammatical Brules. Hope that doesn’t stop you from reading 🙂 S
Looking out across the savanna, the young man could see giraffes and marveled at their incredible grace and beauty. Far away to his left, the trail of dust left by a herd of wildebeest and zebra drifted and settled in new places. A pair of warthogs splashed in the ever-decreasing water hole after several elephants enjoyed an evening shower before going back to graze in the nearby bush. A flock of starlings appeared to fly into the setting sun.
“You’ve discovered a wonderful place to share a few moments my young friend. What brought you here?”
Before sitting, the older man tested the dead tree by the waterside. Satisfied it would take his weight, he made himself comfortable and indicated a place for his friend.
“Giraffes are on the endangered list for the first time. At least that’s what I read somewhere. But look at them; they seem blissfully unaware of any danger.”
“Humankind is their only real enemy; but I sense you aren’t here to discuss the possible extinction of another beautiful species.”
“You’re right, though concerned, I simply chose this as a place to think and reflect on the day I stepped into the sun.”
“Not literally I hope.”
The young man laughed.
“No, far from it. I suppose I should’ve said, stepped into the light. Yes, that’s a better fit.
Back in the summer of 1995 I was working and living far from the land of my birth. Married with no children, few friends and no life to speak of outside work.
When my workday finished at 10.00 pm on Friday 11 August, I was excited because the car was loaded for a road-trip and two weeks of Psychology seminars at a university in England. After five minutes at the wheel, I crossed from Germany into The Netherlands and noticed a subtle shift in my mood. Difficult to describe except to say that I started feeling light.
The further away from base I drove, the lighter I felt. Interesting too that although I’d given myself more time than I needed for the trip; I had very few breaks, no sleep and didn’t once review the information I had about the Psychology seminars; despite my intention. Whatever had me, made everything seem irrelevant. The feeling was wonderful.
It was early morning, a little after dawn when I decided to take the scenic coastal route from Dover to Brighton. I knew most of the route but had forgotten how beautiful it was. I felt like a child seeing the ocean for the first time.
Still before 8.00 a.m. I turned off the route to an area of dunes and a traffic free space to park, lay out my sleeping bag and take in the clean air. The feeling of light didn’t leave me for an instant; it was so persistent that as tired as my body should’ve been, the thought of sleeping didn’t occur.
Even after arriving at the university, I couldn’t sleep despite having until 6.00 pm to do as I pleased. So, I walked, got to know the block world that was to be my home for the next two weeks and completely forgot to find out where the campus restaurant was.
Fortunately, the man in distress was rescued by a beautiful woman who escorted me to the restaurant and although she had eaten, she offered to keep me company. It was like sitting in a very bright room with the sun in my eyes. I could see her but everybody else was shadowlike.
We found a bench outside afterwards and shared the trivia of our lives before she dug deeper for the things that mattered. I went along happily and not one pause to wonder why until the sides of our hands touched and a dynamic spark exploded through my body.
Not sexual at first but incredibly lustful. Something took hold of me and it wasn’t ever going to let me drift back to the darkness I came from. Somehow, I knew that.
Later that evening, we sat on a hill between the concrete blocks watching the stars and were gifted with the most amazing display of shooting stars either of us had ever seen. Our vibrations were up there with the stars and stayed there throughout the following week.
Something deep inside of me awoke and there was no way I was going to turn my back on it.
Eight months later, she and her amazing one-year old daughter were living with me. Shooting stars never stopped and five-months later, she was pregnant, and our son was born in the following summer, five days after my birthday. What an amazing gift.
I gave up the free accommodation that came with my job and we moved to the nearby Netherlands where we made so many true friends it still brings a tear when I think about their outstanding generosity and friendship.
In March 1999 I crashed. Quite literally; I didn’t notice a small dent on the cycle track as I headed home on my rollerblades at dusk. Falling backwards, I kicked my left knee with my right skate and fractured the top of my tibia.
I’d had a few sporting injuries before that and I was slightly happy with this one because my work paid me to recover at home with my partner and our two amazing children.
Then darkness began to fall. I didn’t recover as expected and by the time our second son was born seventeen months later, I was sitting in a wheelchair. A doctor told us to expect that I wouldn’t recover, and only strong opiates would manage the pain.
My family shared their unconditional love our friends rallied, and I knew the doctor was not going to be right on this occasion. Nevertheless, many dark days followed, my pay went to half and after twelve months down to zero and we were forced back to the UK. The most painful decision we ever had to make and even though we also had a second daughter by this time, the world felt like a very dark place.
I loved my partner and our children but had no love whatsoever for myself. On the scale of 0 to 1000, I think I vibrated below 100.
Positive distractions fell into our laps and learning took place. I recognised fifteen years ago where I need to be today, but minor health setbacks kept popping up. Each time they did, new learning took place and I grew. The light beckoned once more; it had only asked that I consider a few things; including what it felt like to be told that I had MS which was later disproved.
I have always been drawn to writing, speaking, enabling and today, the light is very, very bright and I am drawn and guided to the place I am meant to be.
In his book *Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, a psychotherapist called John Welwood summed up where I am today,
“Spiritual work focuses more on what is intrinsically right: how we have infinite resources at the core of our nature that we can cultivate to live more expansively. If psychological work thins the clouds, spiritual work invokes the sun.”
I was in darkness was shown the light and despite clouds cast over my life, that light never leaves. It’s where I and all of us are meant to be. The learning didn’t follow a curve, rather a series of vertical leaps and the hands of the universe never left my back.
So, if I am to sum up three things you might take away from my beautiful and continuing journey; they are these:
As dark as it may get, the light is always there. The Universe has your back
If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody. Reach out for love or above.
Trust your intuition (Divine Wise-Self); it knows what you need. Be patient and listen.”
The young man took a breath and absently wiped away a tear as he turned to his friend; who had gone. He left with the sunset which reminded the young man that the sun would rise again the next day.