After 22 years, I was finally able to spend time with my father in my favorite place to live, Vancouver. It was necessary for me to raise my children in Ontario. But my longing for Vancouver and my father never left me.
I lived in Vancouver from age 26 to 33 with my father living close by. We spent lots of time together and apart. But for me, having him close was amazing. My time living in Vancouver was the most challenging time and the most exciting. No matter what occurred I went for a walk to the ocean and everything shifted, almost instantly. There is something about the mountains and the ocean that feels like home to me. Energetically the city is different, it’s not something I can fully explain, but it is real for me, after 22 years it was still the same.
Spending every day for two weeks with Burt was an enlightening experience. To be in the presence of someone who loved me unconditionally, who gave me his full attention, appreciation and was completely present and fully open with me, this was a very new experience for me.
I see now as I look back after 2 weeks of being home, I see that being in his presence, full presence was like being my highest self all the time. The comfort I felt to be myself was so refreshing, I can see that I haven’t given myself permission to be myself all the time. Yes, it was easy with Burt, to be me, to see my beautiful and amazing refection in his eyes, but now it’s time for me to remember the feeling of ‘me’ and be it no matter what is happening ‘out-side’ of me. He didn’t ‘do’ anything, he was simply being and it was that beingness that allowed me to BE as well. As I write I find there are no words really.
In this moment, I imagine the feelings I felt in his presence, I felt excitement, peace, joy, love, stillness, clarity and most of all LOVE. As I look at the words to describe my feelings, they in essence are all LOVE. But if I said “my father made me feel loved” the response from most people would say; of course, he is your father, he loves you. But no, it’s so much more than that.
I spend time with a Guru in the late 80’s, her name is Gurumayi Chidvilasanda, she used to say; It’s easy here at the Ashram, now go out into the world and be it out there…I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. The feeling I got from Gurumayi, wasn’t always pleasant, because whatever I was feeling was amplified, if I was angry, I couldn’t hold it in like I used to think I could do, if I was sad, same thing and so on. Her presence, her alignment with the creator/life force/source/god, created a force so powerful that one could not escape it. That’s the way I felt with Burt. On the outside, he was just Burt, but the feeling that swirled around and through me was, were ineffable. All I can say to this is I felt ‘allowed’ to be me and I love that me in his presence.
One of the many things I learned is that being present, or aligning with spirit/higher self/source/great mystery/god is an expanded state, our natural state. So, when we are ‘there’ we are everywhere and with everyone. We don’t judge ourselves, or others. We love ourselves fully and love other’s too. We see god in everything. Swami Muktananda, Gurumayi’s Guru, said; ‘God dwells in you as you’. When I see that statement again, I see that it truly says it all. We as humans on this planet for the most part, feel that ‘god’ is this grand thing, beyond our grasp, when in actuality, we are God/Life Force/Source. The intelligence of life, the flow of nature and the universe; we are part of it all.
This human experience is simply that, the experience we came to have. I have written about this before and most likely will write about it again and again. Because as I grow into this knowing more and more, I feel more excited to share it!
When I was very young my father came home to an empty apartment, no wife, no kids and no stuff. All his life at the time was gone, my mother left him. As you can imagine it was devastating for him. But knowing this today, I can see that if she had not left him, he would not be the amazing man he is today. He has helped so many people all over the world and he dedicates his life to doing just that. Because as he discovers more about the truth, he feels compelled to share it.
After my mother left my father he was later told to stay away. As a young girl, I was very confused and so, so sad. A new ‘father’ came into my life and he took my virginity away at the age of 9. While this was happening, I had my first spiritual experience, I left my body and danced with God. I was completely removed from the situation while it was happening. I knew that this wasn’t right, but somehow I also knew, it was just an experience. I know that sounds weird, but when I go back to that time I feel the truth in that. Why did this happen to a little girl? Why is not a question I want to ask here. As a matter of fact, I don’t want to be in my head at all. When I go in my heart, I realize that who I am today is a summation of all my experiences, this intelligent universe and my soul created whatever it took for me to become me today. So, would I change anything? NO!! I have learned over the years that I really don’t know anything; my limited mind could never fathom the incredible magnificence of this life.
At 17 years of age I left home, and began the journey of self discovery, with my beautiful mother’s blessing. She somehow knew that is what I needed. She told me when I was young that I was a free spirit and I took that to heart. A few years later I met my father again. What an amazing experience. I discovered we are so alike, passions, body and mannerisms. He opened a whole new world to me. Yoga, meditation, A Course In Miracles, healthy eating, the power of the mind and so much more. After a few years, I discovered that in the early 80’s there wasn’t much out there as far as spirituality goes, so I felt a bit lost. As the free spirit that I was I explored other parts of life; sex, drugs and rock & roll. When the universe thought that that was enough, or my soul decided it was enough, I had a serious car accident, there were 5 people in the car, the car flipped over in Banff on black ice. I was the only one hurt badly, both my scapulae were fractured and my lung punctured. I remember that as I sit in the snow after climbing out of the car the pain was so intense and I couldn’t breathe at first. Then I could and there was no more pain. I realized now that I died. I don’t know for how long, but I remember the feeling. After all these years I am only talking about this lately because now I have a point of reference. The feeling I felt was God. Quiet like I have never ‘heard’ before. I was aware at first of the sounds around me, but they seemed so far away, even though it was all around me. Then all sound disappeared, as I type this I am feeling it again, how do I describe a feeling of bliss? A feeling I can call upon anytime I want. When I meditate I am there again. When I remember it, I am there again. No body, no pain, no suffering, no sadness, no fear, no nothing…..but stillness, peace and I guess I can describe it as LOVE, which is my favorite word for God. Then a face appeared of a man who had dark skin, he spoke to me. He told me I was dying, and that I had a decision to make, he didn’t tell me what to do, he just reminded me I had a choice.
After that experience my whole life changed. I met a woman who became a dear friend and she introduced me to Gurumayi Chidvilasanda and chanting. As I learned more about this Guru, I learned her Guru was Swami Muktanada, as I looked at his face in a photograph, I realized I knew him already, he was the man who came to me when I died.
Back on the spiritual path I went. Did I ever leave? I don’t think so, I believe that absolutely every experience is given to us so we may fulfill our destiny. What is my destiny? Heck, I don’t know. I just know when I write or talk about what I am learning, I feel fulfilled. Is that my destiny? I don’t need to put labels on anything, well that is what I am learning. I do still judge, but I am okay with that, I love that about my humanness, and somehow that acceptance of myself shifts the judgement.
Seven years after my car accident I met the man who would be my husband and father of my first child. He lived in Ontario, my mother and sister too. So, I moved back to Ontario, leaving my beloved father and my cherished city.
Our two weeks together has helped me grow so much, and made our bond stronger than ever. We made videos to share with others the things we talked about, things we have learned along the way and that we would love for others to explore themselves.
I do sometimes, have that longing I had when I was a kid, to have my Daddy back. But now I can talk to that longing and say, “I am exactly where I am supposed to be, because if I wasn’t meant to be here, I wouldn’t be. The human mind will try to justify and bring me back to that sad longing, but it isn’t sad for me any more. It’s uplifting and inspirational. It’s heart expanding and an amazing reminder that we are not apart, our spirit will always be connected.