My Big TOEThe bathroom ceiling was pregnant with water and looked like it was about to come down any minute. Already the walls and floor were covered with thick, pearly drops of water. As I stood there contemplating the latest incident in my life, I took a deep breath and said to myself: “I accept”. I went into the kitchen and made my breakfast, enveloped in the Zen bubble that I had innocently created for myself a few months before.

Five minutes earlier I had woken up to find the walls in the entrance of my apartment soaked in water. Fortunately they were still blank at the time -the empty decoration of a lifeless marriage- but I had a coffee table with a few Buddhas that I had sculpted and quickly got them out of the way. It was 8am. I made a few calls and then made the decision to keep calm. I had learned about those things not long before: that I can choose how to react at any moment. And so I chose to “accept what is”, as Eckhart Tolle had taught me, in the web classes with Oprah. It’s a very liberating feeling -to become aware of your power to create your life. Not always easy to apply though. But it’s very much like standing in front of a blank canvas: I decide to allow myself the freedom to paint what I want. And realize it’s the greatest gift ever.

Carlos, the security guy, turned blank when he saw the bathroom ceiling and immediately went into fix-it mode, giving me the comforting sight of man-at-his-best, at a time when I had just separated and was facing the struggles of life as a single woman, without protection. Somehow, all of a sudden, in the uncanny way things turn around quietly when we accept them, all the mess of that morning dissolved in a series of fortunate interventions. I put ground coffee in several containers around the wet areas to absorb the strong smell of dampness on that late-winter day. It was March 6th of 2013. I had recently shipped off my husband’s stuff , had a lump removed from my left breast (on the same day); I was fighting a depression and the need to cry loudly, I was dealing with the chaos of a broken family and the demands of an overwhelming and distressed needy mother. I was lost, lonely, confused, ignorant and I had recently had my first out-of-body experience. What can I say: I was a walking cliché of the perfect candidate for spiritual awakening and transformation!
And two days later I was to attend an event with Tom Campbell…

Tom Campbell is a nuclear physicist who worked for NASA for most of his professional career. Those are just his official credentials, which are quite impressive by themselves. But more important are his unofficial credentials for having explored the larger consciousness-system through out-of-body explorations for more than thirty years and mapped these into a huge trilogy called My Big TOE (Theory Of Everything). He was also a collaborator of Bob Monroe’s in the early days of The Monroe Institute. I  had just heard about him and had just spent two days binging on his videos on Youtube, barely getting any sleep. At this stage I was still completely overwhelmed by what had happened to me and didn’t understand a thing -except that it was making my life even more complicated. It was making ME more complicated.

I was reticent to attend the three-day event at first, but as it turned out, it was to take place in a hotel that is literally three minutes away from my apartment -door to door. If that’s not a divine invitation, I don’t know what is! And so I accepted the invitation, as scared as I was of it all. I was scared to be with people. I had spent the last twelve years pretty much isolated from social interaction, except for family and occasional business obligations. I cannot overstate how difficult it was for me to walk in that place and sit among that group of people. I was uncomfortable with myself, I was ashamed of my body -I was ashamed of me. I was especially stressed at the prospect of being with men, as in the little socializing I had done in the past few months I had only seen women. So many women: alone and damaged, like me.
I was also nervous to encounter only nerds with mouthfuls of acronyms and complicated thoughts that I had occasionally heard asking questions to Tom in his videos. But it turned out to be a pretty eclectic crowd and I was lucky to be seated for three days next to the one male-type I’m always comfortable around and know well: the Scandinavian man. And so with a protective wall to my right and an agreeable, young Norwegian to my left, whom I knew wouldn’t look at me -a woman- as if I were a donkey, I was ok: I felt safe.

I liked Tom Campbell from his videos and in person his qualities were even more evident. More importantly he is the embodiment of his message: that love is the answer. What I most like about him is that he is not the guru-type that creates a hype around himself (especially the tiresome ‘I’m so humble’ type of hype), with an entourage of groupies who light candles for him. In fact he doesn’t entertain his ego with a 30-minute introduction on how he is saving the world, so as to not distract you from what  is really important, which is the message.

Tom and II don’t have a photo of him on my night table, with little candles around; I don’t need to pray to him; I don’t need him. What I have is what he reminds me of when I think of him: love. The one thing I will take with me from the conference is his hug, full of love. I felt it so strongly, I had tears in my eyes. It was when we got to take a photo with him that we each got a hug and I can feel it in my body as I write this -it is something to experience! That is a true master: one that exudes love. It’s hard to explain that, but that’s all I knew at the end of the three days. It really made an impact on me. And I’ve held this memory in my heart ever since, as it is the single most important reminder of what this journey is all about: to evolve toward love. And he is pure love.What stuck with me as well was when he explained that it’s all about being love, not doing. That we are always busy with doing and forget what’s most important.
At some point his wife Pamela -the One as he calls her- spoke for a few minutes. And I can tell you that all the women there noticed the way he looked at her. It’s impossible to describe the light, the love in his face, his eyes. It was really a sight to behold -the sight of hope- and something I’ve kept inside me ever since, something I want to remember. I’ve seen it -therefore it’s possible.

Mercifully, Tom didn’t go into much nerdy stuff and rather talked normally about interesting subjects we all wonder about, such as the in-between-lives process of death and many other things. For anyone who is familiar with spiritual teachings, Tom’s message is akin to them, albeit more scientifically-based. For the nerds I would recommend that you read his book. I for myself have tried -unsuccessfully. I prefer the Bhagavad Gita, you see. And God knows I tried reading My Big TOE. I gave it a chance. But by chapter 2 you could have fried an egg on my forehead. I need poetry in my life, I can’t deal with such nerdy classifications and acronyms. Sorry Tom! 😀 But it’s ok. For both the nerds and regular people, please check out Tom’s Youtube channel. Everything is there as he makes all his findings available to all so that you don’t need to spend a dime.

Tom doesn’t really go into describing his own OBEs per se, which is great because at that time I didn’t want to hear about anyone else’s explorations so as to not receive any external influence. But his comments gave me an insight into my first experience. There had been a part that heralded difficult and dark moments. And within the OBE I had said to myself: “it’s ok, there’s a scary part, but there’s beauty beyond this, just hang in there and you will see the beauty”. The thing is, the scary part was over and done with very quickly, because I accepted the premise that it was just something to go through. And I wasn’t really scared. It doesn’t escape me now that I know how to do that in this physical world too, and that despite occasional moments of resistance, I do have incredible endurance to withstand difficult situations. Tom said the scary stuff is just our fears and that we are not given circumstances that we can’t ultimately handle. In fact it all goes away when we become aware of them and face them. Pretty much like in life!

What he explained to us was that it’s all about evolving, about growing, about learning. And that there are infinite possibilities. Everything he spoke of I got to experience later on. He mentioned some tests that we go through and it wasn’t until two years later that I remembered that part, when I got to be seriously tested myself, up there in my explorations.

For me Tom Campbell is simply the embodiment of love, hope and possibility. A reminder that a true master (which he doesn’t call himself) is honest, kind, sincere and will never seek to take power from you by entertaining attachment to his persona. He is just here to explain to us that we’re here to learn and that we can each be a light in the world, instead of fighting what we disagree with or suffer from. That it’s all about love -and I couldn’t agree more.

Love is the answer – Tom Campbell