An expat’s reawakening

Jan 3, 2020 | 6 comments

I woke up on November 13 and, as I lay in bed before getting up, I realized that  something was different. I felt alert and very alive but I had had the feeling many times before over the past three years and those feelings quickly reverted to the plodding normality of my morning routine. But this had a different “feel.” There was something happening beyond my brain’s ability to comprehend.

My normal way of reacting is to think, to use my brain to try to figure things out, but that morning I was able to put my brain in neutral and just let myself accept whatever came. What came was gratitude. I was overwhelmed and filled with gratitude. I was in a different space and guessed it might be similar to a positive drug trip. It was wonderfully special!

And, after a lifetime of repressing feelings, I realized that my feelings were flowing freely and not surrounded with caveats and cautions that my mind often imposed. I was, in that moment, free!

Morning on the Rio Tomebamba.

I am grateful for many things but this experience was not the normal acknowledgment of being grateful for something specific. It was also not a thanks to an outside person or entity for bringing the experience to me. I was just awash in gratitude. My mental concepts and words are not able to fully express what it was like.

Afterward, my modern mind started looking for the causes. My 20-year quest to become a more loving person must have been a factor. My move to tranquil Cuenca eight years ago must have provided a setting. Soon, some common sense arrived to point out that the causative factors, if in fact there were some, are not only multiple but unknowable. Secondly, why demean the experience by breaking it down into its component parts? The experience is greater than the sum of its parts if we assume that that is the correct way to characterize the experience.

It has been seven weeks since my “reawakening” and internally the sense of openness and freedom has, at a less intense level, continued. Everyday activities take less energy, have a bit more sparkle. I find myself  greeting more strangers, smiling and laughing more, feeling much less anxious about things and, for whatever reason, there are more hugs.

Life has never been better!

Dave Nelson

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