How Falling Into a River Woke Me Up

When I was 17 I fell into a river.

The experience woke me up to our extraordinary and natural powers that are beyond our ordinary understanding of reality.

On a bright summer afternoon, hanging out with friends in the Oregon coastal mountains, I slipped off a boulder into the cold, swiftly moving water and was swept downstream.  

Next thing I knew, I was watching myself from above. Far below my little teenaged self was carried by the river, bouncing from rock to rock.

Time slowed down and I felt embraced by an immense sense of quiet, peace, spaciousness and connection with everything around me. My vision extended out across the tops of the trees and enveloped all of the people, rocks, plants and water. There was no pain, no rush, no problem. For a timeless moment I was suspended and simply witnessing the entire scene.

Then, suddenly, I was back in my body, pulling up onto the bank and shaking, violently and uncontrollably, as my friends rushed to comfort me.

These few minutes taught me, powerfully and irrevocably, that there is far more to this being human thing than we are usually told!

Falling into the river, seeing the world from far above and then  re-entering my physical body triggered in me a great fascination. I began to wonder:  How did that happen? Who am I really? What is the part of me that was watching from outside of my physical self? How can I experience more of that delicious feeling of spacious connection?

This fascination launched me into a lifetime exploration of mysterious and vitally important aspects of being human that are too often overlooked or denied in our modern rational culture.

Have you ever had an experience of suddenly seeing or feeling life from a very different perspective?

Several times I have told my Falling into the River Story to groups, and invited them to share their own out-of-body or out-of-the-ordinary experiences. People of all ages and of all walks of life have eagerly shared their fascinating stories, sometimes for the first time ever.

These include stories of unexplainable coincidences, insight, mysterious knowings, near-death experiences, awakenings, connections beyond the physical, superhuman strength, miraculous recoveries, cross-species communication, spontaneous healings, intense intuitions and revelations.

Many people tell me they were embarrassed and shy about their experiences and worried others would make fun of them or think they were weird or even crazy. Some said they always thought they were the only ones who had experienced anything like that.

I love hearing these stories. Each telling re-ignites me with excitement for our possibilities.
We all have these stories, many of them in fact. They are not weird. You are not crazy for having them.

These stories matter.
It is important to trust these experiences and to tell these stories.
These stories help us remember who we really are.  

You are living in a body and you are more than a body.
You have roles and jobs you identify with and you are so much more than any of them.
You have achieved, succeeded and stumbled and you are so much more than any of that.

The non-ordinary states are glimpses of and beacons toward your extraordinary yet natural capacities. Each one of us has extraordinary and natural capacities including healing, love, creativity, courage, connectivity, compassion, transformation, resilience, joy and heightened perceptions.

Telling these stories inspire us toward possibilities yet untapped. In telling them we wake ourselves and each other up to who we really are.

When you awaken, ever more and more fully, to who you really are, you experience what Joseph Campbell described as “...the rapture of being alive,” and you shine your unique gifts into the world with more ease and gusto.

I would love to hear your stories of awakening and of non- ordinary perceptions.

Where were you? How did it happen? What did you see and feel and notice?

How have these experiences changed or shaped your life?

I am so very grateful to the river I fell into over 40 years ago and I am so very grateful for the river of life that brought you here today.

With Love and Abbondanza for All,