Forgetting the Fear

The tops of the trees swayed. We heard laughter and a few admissions of fear. The ropes whirred like a Porsche on the autobahn. Feet dangling. Hands braking. Tree-top walking at its finest.

We had a brilliant idea today. Five kids. Two adults. And a walk through the tree tops.

The last time I did an obstacle course 30 feet above the ground was for a science show with the kids. We were hired to film the segment for a popular show (Galileo). And although we only got to do a few elements of the entire course, I was fine with spending two hours in a harness and hanging on for dear life in front of the camera’s lens.

In real life, doing such an obstacle course takes serious stamina and a tad bit of crazy to complete.

So today, as I climbed to the heavens with my love and all those kids, I completely forgot to be scared. I was more concerned about the littlest child clicking his carabiner onto the right wires. Then, as I mounted the ladder as the final participant, I realized — at nest level with most birds — that I was afraid of heights.

The truth was I had no time for fear. What lay before me was a job to do. I needed to keep up (and not keep everyone behind me waiting) so I clicked, changed, clicked, whirred, wailed and wheeled my way through the entire thing. There were easier obstacles to conquer, which gave us a reprieve, until the next physical challenge met each and every one of us. Upper arm strength here. Coordination and balance there. By the time we got to the final element, which was a free fall 12 meters down (that’s 35 f-ing feet for you English system folks), I was happy and tired. Five innocent faces peered at me from below. I couldn’t let them down. What was I to do? Remember the fear or simply free fall to the beat of my own heart.

Don’t scream, Christine, I told myself. So I squat into the fall (like I saw my daughter so elegantly do) and screamed at the top of my lungs all the way down.

I am certain there is nary a bird in those nests now. But I made it, shaking and laughing. With a small admission of the fear I had so thankfully forgotten until the very end.

Miracles Take Time

Time is one of my favorite topics. It affects absolutely everything in the Universe, inanimate or not. How long a thing, person, plant, planet or pet exists depends on the isochrony of the clock.

When I was a graduate student, I brought my love of language together with my love for time in a course on the study of timing in speech. Words and time melded into a cacophony of noise and blips on a screen. My final presentation was based on President Clinton’s Inaugural speech, measuring the length of time it took for him to say “My fellow Americans.”

According to Wikipedia, isochrony can be defined as “the postulated rhythmic division of time into equal portions by a language.” In other words, how long does it take to say something and how even are we with its delivery?

Sometimes it takes years — and its delivery is neither even nor measurable.

In my experience, life cannot be measured by the speed of words, although linguistic professors might disagree. Trying to quantify speech is a noble and — in my mind — fruitless effort. What and how things are said are less important than the meaning that lands on the listener.

How we define things informs our experience much more than the speed with which such things are conveyed. Slow plays a central role when we realize the tempo of life cannot be measured in syllables or Southern drawls. In this sense, Slow means mindfulness. We bring our minds — and our hearts — into the equation of Truth, resting there like a swan on a lake’s edge.

My son amazed me with his courage today. He knew — in his heart of hearts — that speaking his truth was more important than following someone else’s guidelines. He wants to switch schools to find the square hole for the peg he has carried through his entire school career. So he took matters into his own hands and wrote a letter to the school principal who runs the school he wants to attend. Despite her office’s initial rejection, he spoke his truth — in his own time and with his own words.

The result was a tearful call from the principal who said, “I want to meet this kid.”

Force may chip away mountains, but authenticity moves them.

Miracles take time. In fact, they are beyond time. Miracles are not the fulfillment of our every wish, but the realization of what is already there. We tend to believe in miracles when things go our way; but if we dig deep down into That Which Is, we realize that miracles are really the emergence of what we already have.

If you know something is true beyond reason, evidence or physical manifestation, then wait for the miracle — for it will come. You are not insane, but wise beyond words. And time too.


Get Lost and Return

We all have Lost and Found stories. It is a part of life that things — and people — come and go in our lives.

But have you ever had an item mysteriously disappear only for it to return under equally mysterious circumstances? As with most everything, we have a choice about how we view such losses. In my mind, things are never really lost. They are merely in movement. Sometimes they travel to far ends of the Earth before returning to you.

Whether it is an inanimate object or a living being, we are one massive gyrating ball of energy. We undulate to the pulse of the Universe. When we play by its rules, the most incredible things happen.

I once lost a camera in a New York taxi. Someone from Venezuela found it and returned it two months later.

Losing my camera in a NYC taxi was the first real lesson for me in the Universal Law of Loss and Return. After I discovered the camera was missing, I fretted interminably. It didn’t help. So I decided I needed to release my emotional hold on it. I went into full acceptance that it — and all the memories I had captured on it – was gone. And then a young Venezuelan woman left a comment on my mother’s blog, claiming she had seen a picture of her on the camera in front of her newly created blog and if the camera might belong to her.

She left the comment on my birthday.

Releasing our hold on things and fully embracing What Is So is the key to energy’s return.

Another example of this is how I learned to accept that my most precious necklace (aptly named My Power) feels the need to travel. About five years ago, it mysteriously disappeared. Just when I had finally come to terms with its lost, it showed up in a pocket of a jacket I hadn’t worn in a year. Recently, I misplaced it again, but having been through this before I knew it would show up when I least expected it. I found it in my gym bag a week later.

Last year I accidentally left my wallet in a Freiburg taxi. As I was about to get upset, my friend reminded me of the Universal Law I was getting to know so well. I admit I entered a state of doubt, but decided she was right. Five days later I got a call. The wallet’s contents (including all credit cards!) was found in a garbage bag at the central train station. The angelic man (whose last name meant angel in German!) insisted on driving to my doorstep to return it.

My son accidentally dropped his bus pass somewhere between school and home. An anonymous person returned it via mail without a trace of identification.

When things like this happen, it feels like a hug from the Universe.

Just yesterday, I lost my calendar. I have no memory of it slipping from my hands. But now it too has delved into the ocean of energy exchange. I allowed myself to fret for a moment, then entered the space of acceptance and anticipation. I’m looking forward to its journey and possible return – in whatever form the Universe decides it will be.