Over the years, a lot of babies have passed through my hands while taking their first breaths in the world. It is always amazing. Watching them in those first moments lovingly embraced; I always wonder if it is the high point of our experience of peace and contentment. It is so short lived. The first pang of hunger, dirty diaper, moment cribbed alone are just waiting around the corner to rock the boat. Luckily those disruptions are short lived too.
There is a magnetic attraction to babies. They are pure love with the capacity to receive it, be it and transmit it. Babies are the perfect of example of a state of FLOW where wholeness and connection are effortless. This is where most of us begin life, completely plugged in and ON-Line. Granted, we are not too complicated in the beginning and our needs are primal enough to be met.
Yet, the amount of time most of us spend content and in the flow starts to dwindle as our exposure to the elements of life increases. What is happening to us? Where in us, is it happening? Does something change? Do we miss a day at school where a critical developmental learning lesson gets taught? What drives us OFF-Line?
I think it happens subtly. All the major spiritual traditions talk about separation in some form or the other. Separation of WHAT, you maybe wondering. I’m pretty sure they are referring to our separation from the Divine but I think that there is more to it. We see separation in all forms all the time. Separation in our outer landscape might be easier to grasp. It’s a loss of authentic connection with family, friends, community, society at large. Who are we when we live devoid of authenticity and without healthy relation to the people around us, our surroundings, or environment? Magnetism dies and our experience in life is incredibly OFF-LINE. The pain that drives acts of violence is a helpless scream from living off-line.
Separation within our inner landscape is a little trickier to keep track of. Experiences which triggers us to separate from our sense of alignment, cohesion, synchronicity and eventually synergy definitely become an OFF-LINE catalyst. The dimensions of being: mind, heart, soul disconnect and loose balance with respect to each other. Our inner world of thoughts and feelings is as autonomic as breathing, blinking, hearts beating. As we grow from baby-dom and experience the world, we expand into layers upon layers of complexity and that is occurring quite autonomically too. It happens quickly. Our brains are collecting information like sponges. We go from babbling, slobbering, stationary babies to highly mobile toddlers with smart aleck come backs in a blink of an eye. By the time we are two years old, we have the capacity to demonstrate a range of emotions over things as trivial as ice cream in a five minute span that makes the color palette of a 64 pack of crayola crayons look limiting.
Along the way there are these situations that kick us out of flow. Someone says mean things to us. Someone physically harms us. We do not get the attention we are needing. Our parents are not attuned to us. The family unit breaks down. We stop feeling safe. Our hearts shut down. Our brains start telling us that we are not “good” enough. We start living smaller than the nature of our souls. We do the best we can to make do, to compensate. Slowly though, our internal landscape starts to accumulate a baggage of conclusions that are not true. The fire in our hearts gets dampened. The essence of our souls no longer feels free to express its truth. Slowly parts of us go off-line and we are no longer this effortless flow of connection and wholeness. This is the breakdown of alignment across the most essential dimensions of our being and experience of self.
Luckily we are resilient and have a capacity to persevere in suffering but it comes at the expense of our potential. Unchecked, it starts to take a physical toll and crushes our vitality. Have you ever had an experience within yourself or someone you know, where you felt like an illness showed up in response to messed up beliefs, a broken heart or a crushed soul? Can you relate to the On-Line state of flow or the Off-Line state of separation in your own life experience. Which state do you experience life most?