19 Apr Do you sometimes feel like you are drowning?
Jack Pransky will always have a special place in my heart. He changed my life.
I know it is a huge statement to make and every time I mention it to him, Jack smiles and quickly corrects me by saying, ‘It wasn’t me.’
Well, I try to be as specific as I can. ‘Your book did,’ I tease him.
‘I couldn’t have done it. It is not possible. Not even my book,’ he giggles. ‘You know how it works…’
We smile to each other like two kids who know the secret.
‘You had an insight and that’s what made a difference. That’s how it works. Insight can change everything.’
I sigh and nod. I agree with Jack and say, ‘But you pointed me in a direction I had never looked at before.’
It’s true. I met Jack one day in December 2014. I woke up that morning and immediately wanted to go back to sleep. That was quite normal for me then. I didn’t like being awake. Being awake was a nightmare. I remember opening my eyes and immediately feeling a swoosh of heaviness, exhaustion and depression.
I tried everything to shake it off. Nothing worked. I felt I was drowning – spiralling down into the deepest darkness. The ocean was swallowing me up. I was scared. I thought something was wrong with me. I had exhausted all my ideas and all my energy trying to do something about it. I thought I was broken and beyond fixing. That was supposed to be it – my life over.
I had one sleeping remedy that seemed to work. I would grab my iPad and browse. I couldn’t concentrate so I kept re-reading paragraphs over and over – but it worked! The wizard Sleep would soon kiss my forehead goodnight. And that’s exactly what I did that day. I grabbed my iPad and started browsing, hoping for the kiss.
I am not sure how I found myself on ‘Resources’ pages of Michael Neill’s book ‘The Inside-Out Revolution’ but there it was… Somebody Should Have Told Us! Simple Truths for Living Well by Jack Pransky. The title intrigued me because those days I liked knowing things…
I downloaded it and started reading. It gently drew me in. Instead of closing, my eyes opened wider and wider, chapter after chapter: ‘Our thinking is our life; wisdom is always available to guide us if we know how to access it; if someone’s thinking doesn’t change, they can’t change; when the mind clears wisdom appears; we don’t have to think our way out of problems…’
And then, ‘In low levels of consciousness, it is unwise to believe, trust or follow our thinking.’
I sat in bed, completely mesmerised. I was reading that our experience in life does not come from the external circumstances as such but from the thoughts we are having about those circumstances. I was learning that we experience everything in life through thought. And that it was unwise to believe, trust or follow our thinking in low levels of consciousness.
And the question hit me: ‘Is this what has been happening to me? Does it mean that my burnout, my exhaustion, my depression, result from thoughts about my life but not my life itself?’
I remember getting up, walking quickly around the room. I giggled. I laughed. I was completely confused.
And then I had an amazing experience. Suddenly, I saw a continuous stream of thoughts flowing through my mind like clouds scudding across the sky. I saw my heavy thought-clouds and all the dark feeling-shadows they cast over me. But I was just watching. I remained unaffected.
At the same time my attention shifted and opened – suddenly I could see through the clouds. I saw a deeper perspective. Wide blue sky opened up in front of me. And then I saw the sun… Light rushed into me and flooded my eyes.
My attention shifted again and I was back in the ocean drowning – spiralling down into the deep darkness. I had never seen it before but I saw it now so clearly – I was holding heavy bricks – heavy thoughts about my life, people in my life and myself. I realised it was NOT ME but those bricks that were dragging me down.
When I realised this, a miracle happened. The palms of my hands opened. The heavy bricks floated away. I saw them disappearing into the ocean-sky.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry! ‘Have I taken drugs? NO! For fuck’s sake! I am having a full-blown nervous breakdown!’
It was then that I felt it…
The buoyancy of the ocean took hold of my body and, without me doing anything, it literally pulled me up. I started spiralling upwards. I was being held – carried by life. I knew I was slowly being returned to the surface.
The first thing I noticed was an opening in my heart. Suddenly I felt a yes emerging from deep within my body. A YES TO LIFE. I will never forget this feeling of yes.
In the days that followed, my appetite started to return. I had more energy. I wanted to buy nice food. I wanted to text people with whom I hadn’t talked for a long time. Somehow the stories and ideas I believed about them didn’t matter any more – I just wanted to see their faces. I wanted to go out and buy a new dress…
And I did. I started to follow this new-found voice because it felt good inside. I remembered not to trust my negative thoughts. I remembered that beyond even the darkest of clouds – there is the most glorious sun. It is always there. My life started to unfold, slowly, step by step in the most beautiful ways …
Jack smiles at me. I smile back. I take a moment to explain the idea behind my my book. It’s simple, I say – I want to spread the message as widely as I can so that people know that wherever they are in their life right now and whatever is going on for them, they can be well and they can thrive.
‘But there is no guarantee,’ Jack adds. Yes. A little shadow of disappointment creeps in.
I take a breath. I know there is no guarantee and the only thing I can do is to point people in that direction, just like you pointed me – the rest is up to them. Or perhaps, even more accurately, the rest is up to life itself. But I can swear in my heart of hearts – if it happened to me it can happen to anyone…
We finish our conversation. I cannot wait to see him again.
And I cannot wait to see you too. If my story resonates with you and you have a nudge to drop me a message – do. If you have questions – ask. If you have a reflection or an insight – share it. You are not alone. I am looking forward to meeting you soon.
I want to leave you with one of my favourite Jack’s quotes:
All we are is peace, love and wisdom, and the power to create the illusion that we are not.
If you know someone who would enjoy these insights, please spread love by forwarding this to them. Thank you 🙂