I turn 41 today, but for the first time in my life I feel a glimpse of timelessness. It’s a very unfamiliar feeling, to not feel of any age. Sometimes I have this strange sensation of being completely detached from my body. Other times I feel like a visitor who is just passing by. There is an ancient knowledge of me that my own body cannot grasp. A knowledge that my mind tries to contain and mold, as if it were a dam waiting to rupture. A timelessness in which death is irrelevant, where beginning and end fade into each other in an ever-illusive horizon, and where the aging of my body gives way to the expansion of my soul.
I am like water – I never die – I transform, and take the shape of the creeks and valleys I flow through. I am everything and anything all at once. My thoughts, the stuff that is constructed by my beliefs and perceptions, are limiting. But when I stand in the experience of my soul, I can feel my infinity. It is in experiencing the magic of life that I can subtly grasp my eternal self, thought it feels like trying to grab water with my hand. I have to just experience it, without trying to hold on to it.
It’s difficult to explain the feeling of timelessness. It’s like trying to conceive the ocean one drop at a time or measuring the length of the sky. It’s an odd occurrence to know that I am and I will always be. This same knowing is what helped me to reconnect with my grandmother after she transitioned from this life. Though I can’t touch her anymore, I can feel her essence all around me.
I used to be unable to explain moments when I felt immensely overwhelmed for no apparent reason, other than being present in a moment in time, and I’d begin to cry. Those moments happen very often now. Sometimes they come when I ‘m watching an elderly person cross the street, other times when I watch the interaction between a mother and her child, even when I’m contemplating a tree. I’ve come to understand that those moments are moments in which I feel the infinite wholeness of the universe and I experience my connectedness to everything at a very profound and spiritual level. In those moments, I understand the meaning of God a little more.
Last year on my birthday, the Google doodle was a hummingbird, and I knew that my 40th year would be an extra special one. I thought about all the spectacular possibilities. I went to Costa Rica for the summer, I had the courage to walk away from a career that was not fulfilling anymore, I developed and have been teaching a series of personal growth workshops, and I have a vision for the center that these workshops will ultimately develop into. But the most spectacular event that happened to me was the moment I realized I was more than my body, and that part of me will go on eternally, like a hummingbird, boldly taking on the next stage of my journey. I remember that moment so clearly, because it was the first time I felt bigger than my body, bigger than all that surrounded me. It was as if I was finally breaking out of myself. I realized that my limited perception of who I am had been my greatest prison.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thought and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind of prison for us restricting us, to our personal desires and to affections for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of [the universe] in its beauty” -Albert Einstein
I hope to continue to experience this limitless expansion of my soul. The journey of our lives is to understand that we are more than the existence of our physicalness. Far after a flower has completed her cycle of life, her presence continues to exist in the wind once entangled with her aroma, in the hummingbird once lured by her sweetness, in the light that once captured her color, and in the hearts that once witnessed her bold and gentle beauty. Like a flower, after our physical bodies have withered, our presence will exist through the way in which we chose to interact with the world. It is up to us if we want to be remembered as an aroma or a stench, as sweetness or bitterness, as colorful or faded, as beautiful or ordinary. As for me, I will continue to linger through the universe as the sultry, tropical aroma of gardenia.