This morning, at about 4 a.m., I was awakened from a very deep and mystical dream to hear the explosive sound of branches breaking.
This wasn’t a small branch, dead wood suddenly tossed down by the wind.
This was big branch, the enormous, shuddering creaking of major limb or even whole trunk, cracking apart from itself and crashing down into the woods.
For a brief moment, after the booming crash, there was silence. In fact, in that silence, as I groggily tried to orient myself to what was going on, I wondered if I was dreaming.
But then instantly, the chatter and screams of all kinds of birds: either heralding the shift in the forest hierarchy, or misplaced from their home, crying in confusion that they had been uprooted.
Changes in our lives sometimes seem to happen this way. One minute we’re asleep, or lost in dreams or daydreams or distractions, and then CRACK, there is a shift in the field, a tree is down, a major limb is lost and all around us the beep of birds goes off like a car alarm that won’t quit.
This particular breaking branch, fallen tree, wasn’t too near. From the sounds of it, perhaps a hundred feet away. I walked out into the woods this morning to find it, but everything was a green tangle I would guess as I walk further into the ferny glades, the break will reveal itself.
The break didn’t affect me too much… or did it? We live in a unified field. A tree one hundred feet away that breaks at 4:00 am, unexpectedly, out of the blue… this was a wakeup for me, literally. And whenever there is a literal wakeup, there is also a spiritual one.
We don’t always understand these signs of nature. I don’t understand yet, what the breaking branch means; I don’t understand what part of my life it applies to, what message I mean to receive, what I meant to understand.
What I think now, is that I am guided to understand that things happen all around us, even when we sleep. We’re part of the energy of everything. My own waking up, in shock, on alert, when the tree broke, and my own waking up further with the birds calling… I remember that I am a part of this forest too.
Even 100 feet away, in a house, in a bed; I am still part of this forest, I am still part of this unified field, I am still part of this nature community that surrounds me.
The unified field contains us all: all soul, all time, all space, all matter. What affects one, affects One. Even a breaking tree, affects the field around it.
I live above a bend in Oregon’s Willamette River; from my front window I can see the long stretch of river where two eagles have nested in the tall trees for a decades, and then the slow leisurely bend where the river sails past parallel to the house.
The Willamette is not especially friendly in the winter: it’s a wide, turgid river that runs very fast and high in the fall, winter and spring.
But in the summer, when the river is gentle and the sun is warm, the Willamette becomes home to to canoeists, kayakers, the occasssional skidoo, and sometimes plucky inner tubers.
What’s interesting to notice, is that what I see from my vantage point, is not at all what it feels like to be on the river, on a lazy summer day.
When you view the river from above, it’s flat and serene: a plane of reflection that mirrors the evergreens and maples along the shore. On the water, the boaters or inner tubers look like tiny black spots, like logs or branches in the water, and you can see that they’re making good time, flowing swiftly downstream.
When you’re on the river, however, it’s a whole different experience. For one thing, there are the birds: hawks and osprey and eagles soaring over like it’s a bird highway, swooping down for fish, and often fighting each other for the catch mid air.
On the river, the banks are wide: head out to the middle, away from the brackish underground trees and roots, and you realize how wide the river really is, and how fast the current is going.
In a canoe, it’s wobbly and precarious. In a kayak, fairly exhilarating. But in an inner tube, there is both the sense of vulnerability, and the cognizance that without a paddle or other way of pushing down stream, you’re going to be on the water a long, long time.
When you look with binoculars on the river, you can see that most inner tubists come prepared: hats, sunscreen, snacks, beer. They’re in for the duration… a long, lazy after noon of four or six hours on the water.
The discrepancy: of what it looks like from above, and what it looks like on the water, is striking.
IT’s the same way the Universe might see us, the big picture of this human life, moving all so quickly in the Flow. Whereas for us, with our drama and our emotion and the moment to moment of daily life, it appears like time is moving so slowly, like we have all the time in the world.
We’re on the river, birth to death. The thing is: from one perspective, we disappear 'round the bend in the blink of the eye. From another perspective, we're right there in the water, legs dangling in the current, eagles overhead, lazing down the river with all the time we could ever need.
Sometimes we find ourselves on the brink of facing something we’d really rather not face.
We might have to face a person we have conflict with.
We might have to face a situation that brings up old stuff.
We might have to go to a place that brings up old wounds.
We might have to be in an environment that triggers us.
When you find yourself heading toward an experience that is going to be a soul lesson, it is common to feel a lot of negative feelings.
You might feel cranky.
You might start blaming others.
You might get mad.
You might panic.
You might want to run away.
You might shut down.
And sometimes, if the situation or experience or person is about to really push our buttons from the past, if it’s about to really make you feel or remember the big wounds we haven’t cleared up yet, we can get very angry, scared and resistant to this situation.
In our resistance to looking at our past pain, we may lash out at others.
Most of us have done this many times in our lives: it is normal to not want to experience pain!
However, whenever you notice yourself being triggered, take a moment and resist the urge to lash out, fight back, run away or shut down.
Instead, accept the reality that you have come face to face with at lesson: the Universe is inviting you to clear your fear, release your anger, let go of your panic, stand your ground.
You’re being presented with this lesson, because you’re ready to learn it.
And… resistance is futile.
If you don’t learn it now, no worries. You will be presented with this same lesson, in this lifetime and in all future lifetimes, until finally, you as soul move through it.
If you can surrender to your lesson now, wonderful.
If you just can’t do it now… there will be time later.
We are infinite souls, in infinite state of expansion via the human heart.
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Sara blogs on spirituality and intuition twice weekly. Get Daily Divine direct to your inbox, plus instantly download the FREE ebook, "What are Your Unique Psychic Gifts?"