One beautiful Saturday morning, I found myself walking through the streets of Manhattan by myself without a destination. Brice and I had driven into the city together and parted ways at the Om Factory where he was doing a six day Tao Healing Course. As I walked through the fashion district and Times Square, taking in all the sights and sounds, I noticed how expanded I felt. I remembered prior times walking through the city, and how I’d feel contracted and overwhelmed by all of the stimulation: the sights, sounds, smells, and crowds of people. My senses would feel as if they were accosted by the intensity of sensory input. I’d feel slightly defensive or protective, as if my inner radar was on alert for danger.
Yet at this moment I felt expanded, similar to when I am in the woods surrounded by the sweet melodious sounds of nature. About an hour later, while I was feeling particularly in the flow, enjoying watching all the people walk by, I had this thought: ‘I am no one.’ This thought struck me deeply. ‘Here, among all the throngs of people, I am no one.’ And after a brief passing moment of my ego feeling ruffled by this, a powerful sense of liberation washed over me. I experienced a similar, yet somehow more profound, sensation of merging with my surroundings that happens occasionally when I am out in nature. The next thought that hit me was ‘I am everything; I am one with everyone and everything.’
The next morning I was surprised the feeling hadn’t left me entirely, and in fact kept increasing throughout the morning until I could barely contain it. There I was, on an early Sunday morning, driving alone along the quiet FDR Drive, simply awed by the beauty of the morning when the feeling of expansion returned. I drove alongside the river, watching the sunlight reflect off the water, passing by these amazing bridges, each unique and magnificent to see. It was a feeling of falling in love. It accompanied by an exhilarating mix of joy, elation, and freedom.
I thought back to the many times I’d been swept away by this feeling. During my youth, starting around age 6, I would stare out the window into the sky for hours and write poetry. Not always, but often I would have this feeling of merging with the sky; any sense of self would disappear. Yet, I don’t recall it being accompanied by this overpowering feeling, which I describe as falling in love.
Then there was my first heart opening. Brice and I regularly exchanged bodywork, and on that day it was his turn to work on me. He carefully picked up a small bundle wrapped in silk and slowly unwrapped a beautiful feather. It was the first and last time he used it in our healing sessions. When he swept it along my energy field, I felt an intense shift in my field which I can best describe as a heart opening. This amazing experience was accompanied by the admonishment, ‘Do not get confused by these feelings and think they are feelings for the healer.’ I understood the message, for I knew how easy it could be to mistake this falling-in-love feeling as falling in love for the person doing the healing.
Although Brice and I did eventually fall in love, get married, and have a family together, I never forgot that lesson. I know I love all beings as much as I love him. I recognize my heart opening and the falling-in-love feeling has less to do with anything on a human level and more to do with a state of grace. This recognition has actually added to our relationship, rather than detracted from it. It is one of the foundation stones upon which we have built an amazing, loving, fulfilling partnership. Instead of looking for the other to heal us or complete us, we come together in our strength and wholeness, and support one another’s growth.
Since my first heart opening 27 years ago, these experiences continue to happen with more and more frequency. While visiting one of my favorite people, my mother-in-law Ann, she asked me how I was. I answered, ‘I feel as if I am falling in love.’ When she asked, with whom, I answered, ‘I’m falling in love with Brice all over again.’ Then a few years later, I answered the same question with, ‘It feels as if I’m falling in love with God.’ The next time, I associated the feeling with falling in love with humanity. A few months ago I was sharing all this with my Mom, and told her about this remarkable feeling of falling in love with self. However, on that lovely morning in June driving home from New York City, it became crystal clear to me that this incredible, indescribable, irrepressible feeling of falling in love had no object.