INTERMUNDANE (adj): existing between worlds
It was like experiencing g-force. It was also strange to feel as if my face were one single piece of tightly-sewn skin and I could only feel I had eyes. And they were vibrating strongly, with a buzzing sound. I felt it throughout my body and my wrists were pinned together with incredible force. I was just back from my first OBE (out-of-body experience), lying on my side and completely paralyzed for a while, the vibration especially strong in my eyes, wrists and feet.
Paralysis is something I have experienced several times upon re-entering my body. It’s nothing to be afraid of really, and it doesn’t happen every time. I think it only does now when I’m supposed to pay attention to something, to really be aware of the body and all that it entails to be in it. Re-entry is more and more noticeable for me, however. Perhaps because I am increasingly lucid and therefore more aware, every step of the way. I often feel that swoosh of coming back into my body. It’s a short but intense re-union. And it takes a moment to come to my senses.
I don’t see my body though, when I’m having an OBE. I never have. I’ve never rolled out of my body or floated above it like some do. I’ve always just found myself in other worlds and then suddenly back inside my body. Vibration is not a constant either. It happened mostly in the beginning.
The maddening dance
I’ve been reflecting on paralysis and the great metaphor it suggests to me. To be dancing in both worlds can get very disconcerting. Because I have learned to become my own observer, I see the maddening effect of being trapped in the small mindedness that the body carries with it. Recently I got stuck upon re-entering my body. I found myself in the immensity of void, hanging from one of my legs and twirling at a fast pace.
I wasn’t scared while hanging there, not really. I have become my own observer in my OBEs too. I just called up my guides -those “XBeings” as my best friend calls them. They were gone and I had to summon them back, to give me a hand, because they had vanished before I was “done”. Imagine being in that void! It can be maddening indeed. But I wasn’t scared, because I know that I am assisted at all times -down here in the physical world and up there in my explorations. And so I asked for help: “guys, are you kidding me? help me out!” I’m a little bossy up there, I must say. What happened then was that in order to be able to enter the body, I had to let go of it, as strange as it may sound. There is a very deep message in that, one that is hard to live by. And I know to pay heed to that message.
I watch myself fall
That is spirituality to me: to become aware of my own dance. And the metaphor suggested by this incident did not go unnoticed. When I experience paralysis, I get the message to “wake up”. And so the metaphor is there, speaking to me, telling me to notice the contrast. And then I wake up.
At times I find myself really inept in the physical world and what makes things even harder is that I’m aware of it. In real-time even. And yet I can’t help it. That’s how overwhelming the body experience it. And for as much as I try to go beyond the restrictions, the traps are there; and I fall into them -and I watch myself fall. Of course I also get a very special experience. But it’s not easy.
Being in both worlds and in-between, there is a sense of urgency for me in the quality of my relationships, because I want to tell of my experiences and how incredibly powerful they are -and I can’t. I find the lack of connection and the superficiality of our interactions exasperating. When I’m in pain, my heart feels like a tiger pacing inside a cage. Try to tame a tiger! That’s how I feel about my spirit inside my body. And I know very well that as long as I am in the body, there are restrictions and rules. I just have to learn to adapt.
You can’t help your nature
I’ve seen my spirit, you know. In one of my OBEs, I got to “see” it. And it makes me smile, almost like a mother secretly smiling at a child who shows too great intensity, some misbehaving, but also some great qualities. In fact those qualities can only be enacted by the impulse of a great force. In life I like that kind of children myself -and even adults. I can’t be bothered with self-controlled, dull people. Sometimes I say I wish I were more like them but then I find their lives plain and sad, I really do. You can’t help your nature really.
When I saw my spirit, a lot of things made sense. The thing is, OBEs have taught me to pay attention to what I experience “up there”, see the strengths that I have and how they can serve me down here. There are many levels of “spirit”. I’m not too attached to any word so use whatever you like: spirit, soul, etc. In one of the levels, I have a personality and I recognize it in the way that I am in the physical world. I always feel like I have so many disparate facets in my personality and whenever I take any test to determine which type I am, I find I am each and every one of them, at any given time. I have a very wide range of emotions, traits and intensity. Of course now I understand why. But it doesn’t make things easier. I can go from 0 to 100, to 50: be in the pits of misery, dance in euphoria, be in the middle of that; explode in force, float in peace, be in the middle of that. When I’m frustrated or in pain, I feel the paralysis of being in-between, of not belonging; and I wish I were different. But then God slaps me in the face -as he usually does- and reminds me to be grateful for having this experience -of being alive, which we all came for, and that this maddening dance is a privilege of a magnitude that I can’t comprehend yet. It’s just that I am still learning to adjust. I am still a baby, you see.
Talking about babies: my ex-husband sent me a photo of him with a baby: “So I got a baby”, was all the email said, in his characteristic emotionally-awkward ways. I paused for a while. To be honest, I didn’t feel much, except that the baby was so cute and happy and I had to smile. It’s ok, I’m happy for him. But that’s not the problem.
I was busy doing something and so I just replied with my best wishes and declined his proposal to visit me with his new family (he lives abroad). I was still feeling nothing, which I thought was strange. And so I told my best friend who knows me in an uncanny way. “This is going to affect you” she said, alluding to the near-future. She knew the photo was depicting my worst nightmare -and biggest dream- at the same time, and would remind me of loss -the loss of something I’ll never have.
I get this kind of sign a million times. By now I know not to push for a meaning by sending the rational mind on a seek-and-destroy mission. I know this must be “waited”. It has nothing to do with time though, but time helps organize the things of life. That’s what it is for. So I put the photo of the baby in what I call my “latency pouch” and ask to be given clear sight about the whole thing.
If I’m honest, the baby issue is something I have pretty much made my peace with. But like I explained further up, it’s one of those cases where I do something and watch myself do it. Not really attached to it from a high perspective and yet actively participating in the small-minded dance of the physical life. So now I watch myself throw myself a pity-party. I have a conversation with myself where I simply perpetuate the bad habit of playing the victim. At the same time I feel that my higher self is observing the whole thing with a wicked smile, possibly even eating popcorn. In my mind!!
I know what’s going on. You see it’s all ultimately very simple: I need to let off some steam. Good, so I do that. I even tell some people -nobody cares. But I know there’s more. The sadness, the anger, the resentment… I’m sort of bored with it in a way. I “do it” but I don’t really care. Like I said, it’s the leftovers of some bad habits. And they die hard. And so with great compassion, I forgive myself for being small-minded.
But here’s the thing: I know that all the consequences of my actions are full of messages for me, to learn a lesson. That’s the hard part. What I mean is that I am aware that all the traps I fall into will bring me gifts -but it still hurts. So I watch myself stumble and trip and get sore. I can’t help what I’m doing but I’m alert. It’s ok. I know to wait for the messages. This is my training -what I have been prepared for all my life.
Thank God I have one friend who understands my process. She lets me let it all out. We do that with each other. She doesn’t judge and doesn’t run away from crap. I don’t either. I have the ugly in me, as well as the beauty, and so I don’t run away from either one of them. I can listen to anyone now. I can listen to you trashing your friends, your family, your life -and even God. I know it’s not you. I know it’s the pain speaking, not you. I know you’re not a bad person for saying that, I know there’s nothing wrong -or right. It just is.
The metaphorical journey
I calm down and a few days later I notice more signs that prompt me to pay attention. Many people get stuck in the metaphors of life and look for a special meaning for so many things. If they see 11:11 on a clock or something of the sort. We all tend to do that: to look for something special and extraordinary, something that will tell us we are special and extraordinary. Like I always say: meanings are personal and everybody will create theirs. But what’s important is the message, which is fundamental. And the message is simply this: be alert. Those signs are there for us to notice something different, so that we pay attention to how we feel or what’s coming. That’s all.
Damn! the baby’s cute! I remember the prompt: “look!” I’m about to leave a Café now, and I can’t fit my stuff back in my backpack. I’m feeling retarded as I keep trying, until I finally realize that both my sunglasses and eyeglasses are at the bottom, preventing me from stowing my iPad and Kindle. They both are prescription glasses. I stop. Ok, now it’s crystal-clear: there is something I must pay attention to. “Look!”, I feel a breath say, “there is always a reason for resistance; sometimes you can’t see it but you can be sure that at the bottom there is always something you need to see (eyeglasses) that will, in its turn, give you clearer vision”. My mind follows the thread, and I remember that when I’m in paralysis I am told to “wake up”. Then I see the metaphor and what the baby means. The baby brings something to me. Ah!
That’s how I live the metaphorical journey. I’ve learned to merge both the visible and the invisible worlds and for me, the interpretational tools are the same for OBEs, dreams and the physical world. A baby represent a birth and growth of something. It can be an idea, a project, a part of me. And it’s a boy, which relates to masculine energy. “The father!” the breath tells me now. The father! Of course! It’s my ex. What does he represent to me? Well, he’s quite extraordinary. I’ve never met anyone like him and probably never will. He can do anything, achieve anything. He is magic. The most brilliant mind I’ve ever known -so powerful! He is also the manifestation of a part of me. You think he and I met, just because? No: everything is a manifestation of what we have inside. And so he is a part of me, I brought him into my life for a reason. And now I have created that baby too. Well, I don’t know much more for now, but I’m quite excited!
Here is a secret from me to you: ALWAYS interpret with love. The invisible worlds, our guides, God, whatever you want to call it: they want us to succeed. It’s never about warning us -to scare us. You can choose to view things that way though, that’s what free will is for. But if you make the decision to let go of superstitions and negative warnings and any interpretation based on FEAR, you may find yourself on quite a ride. I’m just saying… Einstein said that himself: you choose to live in a friendly or hostile universe. It is entirely your decision. And I agree… from experience. The day I began to see that -everything changed. It doesn’t mean it won’t hurt though. Many people think that “the flow” is about everything being smooth. I disagree. However everything is so as to support our growth. If you can understand the difference: congratulations, you just set yourself free!
So I get a few metaphorical messages to pay attention. One day, on my way out of my building, an unusual series of incidents require me to stop a few times on the way, until I manage to drive out of my street. And it goes on and on until I reach my destination. “Stop”, “slow down”, is the message I get. So I pay attention. I say it in my heart: “ok, I got it.” That’s how I do it. It’s actually a covenant with my guides: “ok, I got it, let me know when it’s time to execute that order”. Now I notice my thoughts and emotions: a myriad of thoughts and emotions these past few weeks, if you must know. But the theme is One (pun intended): Love. And lately I have been immersed in Sufism and the amazing story of Rumi and Shams. For there is no Rumi without Shams. But it’s not about romantic love. It’s love for All That Is -otherwise called love of God.
So that day I was driving to an appointment with my Osteopath. He unblocks my entire body as I tell him about my weird stuff, my OBEs. It just happened naturally and it was so great to connect with someone. On my way back home I’m at peace. I take a wrong exit at a roundabout. Even though I can very well go back, I let myself be taken on another road that is a bit longer. Suddenly I spot a couple with a stroller. To my shock I realize it’s my ex-husband! I cannot believe it! I had declined their visit but now… I see a parking space (a real miracle here) and so I decide to stop and wait for them to walk to where I am. I must say I’ll take any chance to hold a baby. And I felt like seeing them.
And it was ok. We sat there and took pictures for 20 minutes. The baby was so cute and happy. He woke up just then and fell back asleep just as I was leaving. I was so happy just to have the baby in my arms; I was happy to see my ex, to meet his partner and I was very relaxed and felt nothing but joy. Well, I have felt at peace about him for a while now, but I couldn’t be sure of my emotions upon meeting his new family. What I did notice though is how much I have changed. I am not the person I was with him. And I can’t help but notice many things.
Back home I reflect on how sad it is to have a heart hardened by life. And I’ve noticed something in me: a softening. I was told once by someone that I didn’t know love. We were having lunch and I was criticizing a scene before us, of a ninety year-old man with a twenty-something girl and their young baby. “You’ve never known true love!”, the man said. I was shocked and offended by that comment. And yet, I knew that my reaction meant that there were something to it. And I understand it only now.
I feel compassion for my ex because his heart is a rock and it’s sad to be emotionally unavailable, to hold back. Because love is what we are. And it’s not the kind of love that we talk about. It’s something else, something completely different. You read about it, but to feel it! It’s not even a feeling. It’s like an opening. And I feel sad for him because he doesn’t know that love. To know love is to surrender, fully. It’s to behold the breath of God on my neck. It’s to know that we are fully assisted all the time. And I always want to insist on that, because we are: we really are assisted.
The ways of God
Now I’m looking at a card that I picked out that morning from my personal deck. I asked to be given some advice for the day. “Opportunity”: “stop”. And I did, I stopped the car and I took the opportunity to choose Love over fear.
Those are the ways of God. It’s all about suggestions, the breath in me speaking to me; it’s about nudges and very soft pulls and I have to be very open and sort of walk in the dark in order to perceive that. Living God is a sobering experience. We all think that it’s about big things, grand miracles. But like Teresa of Avila said, God is among the pots and pans and he comes in unsuspected places and forms. It’s funny because it only requires a slight adjustment to experience that, but it’s a quantum one in the end. In a way it is grandiose.
But it doesn’t feel like a victory, it just feels like recognition -the recognition of the truth of Love. It’s a stamp into eternity of this moment of growth, and all the steps that have led me to it. I have gone through resistance, but the intent to be better is always there in me and that’s what helps me through each moment.
This moment opens my heart and I feel like a flower. You’d think I’ve reached a destination but really this is just the beginning of something -and I know that.
When I stood there, holding the baby and thinking “truly, I’m too old for this shit!”, I was able to embrace the moment, to rejoice in the smile of little Daniel, as I held him up high and looked him in the eyes. And in that small moment I felt the convoluted ways of my life: the weight of my body, too old now for a baby experience; the gratitude for being able to feel the joy of holding this baby that could have been mine; the bliss of detachment from the need to have what was once so painful to not have; the blessing of God, who always knows better and is now showing me the way to soften, and open my heart, one step at a time.
This is Love: to fly heavenwards, to rend, every instant a hundred veils. Rumi
As I recall the ways of our marriage, so emotionally distant, I feel the subtle weight of sadness for a life he will probably continue to live with a hardened heart. And I remember the exact moment when I made the decision to walk away from my best friend. It was a moment so broken and impossible, that I was only able to move by the grace of a hope that only God could have given me, to walk away from a darkness that had settled in my heart and that I couldn’t stand anymore. It is the same pull that is now bringing me movement, opening me up like a flower, showing me the way out of paralysis -by waking up to love. And I will never go back.
So goodbye my love.
And thank you.
🙂 Marina CB – Always be brave, be free