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It was September 2012.

It was night.

I was lying down to go to sleep, my six month old lying in a co-sleeper next to me and my five year old in his bed on the other side of the small one bedroom we shared.

I was lying there, holding my children close in my heart, grateful for their amazing, beautiful existence and petrified.

I had taken my baby to her six month check-up that day and had been told by the pediatrician that she hadn’t grown since her last checkup.

The pediatrician who had known me for six years and who was very down to earth and didn’t scare easily had looked me in the eye and said, “You’re not eating enough, are you?”

I hadn’t realized until that moment that I hadn’t been eating enough.  I realized suddenly that I had been going to bed each night without dinner because I didn’t have enough money to buy food for my children and myself.  I had given my son dinner every night, but had chosen not to eat any dinner myself to save money.  I had gotten in the habit of lying in bed thinking about food so that I wouldn’t have to eat it.  Somehow I had not realized I had been doing this until the moment the pediatrician spoke in this way to me. 

And so there I was, lying in bed, petrified that I was a single mom with a full time, very “good,” professional job as a therapist at a highly renowned and respected local non-profit, I had a graduate degree from a IV League caliber, elite school, and was doing everything “right.”  And yet, here I was as a single mother with two very small children attempting to live on poverty wages of that same highly respected non-profit with no help really to speak of from anyone.

I lay there petrified and on the verge of panicking – as just about anyone would be.

And with all of my many years of “elite” training and experience as a mental health professional, out of all of the anxiety relieving techniques I knew and even taught my clients, what came in and saved me?  I certainly was probably doing some long, slow deep breathing.  I probably was doing some sort of gratitude list in my head.  I probably took myself through a “bigger picture” cognitive rigamarole to think of the “worst case scenario” and my “ultimate fear” so that I could fully put myself in that worst case scenario in order to assist my anxiety to slowly walk itself back down.  And I am sure that all of those things helped and were components of what got me through the next months and years of bringing myself out of this petrified, survival state of being that I lived in as I came out of my divorce and this period of my life.

But do you know what really saved me and what really was my teacher, my guide, and my mentor in and through this time?

This sounds bizarre and strange to my academically oriented, very grounded and practical self – but the truth is that what really got me through this time and what led me from fear into thriving was a simple and very unexpected thing.  What really saved me was a beam of light.

As I was lying there that night and for many months and years to come, I would start in that grip of fear, anxiety, panic, not knowing how I was going to support my children and myself and help them to survive and ideally even thrive as a single parent in a “very good” and respected job, but one that paid terribly.

As I was lying there each night, I began to feel a beam of light come down over me, over my body, over the whole room, the whole apartment, the whole town, the whole world, all of everything, and eventually, I would calm down and fall asleep knowing somehow that things maybe were in some way ok and that my children and I were somehow maybe safe and ok.

Over time, this light became like a friend, like a helper.  I would lie there at night and simply feel the beam of light over my body and I would start to let it carry me away, heal me, talk to me, soothe me, sing to me, become me.

And for many, many months, I felt the light essentially saying to me to simply let myself be healed, be nurtured, be cared for by it – even as I was at my work, even as I was multi-tasking taking care of my children, nursing my baby, going to the store, cooking dinner, doing the dishes, cuddling with my six year old, playing with them, sleeping, waking, all the time.

And so that is what I did.

I let the light hold me.

I let the light take care of me.

I let the light soothe me and remind me of all of the ways in which I needed to be held, I needed to surrender, I needed to be cared for, I needed healing.

And there were a lot.

As is true for many of us, I had been an overachiever my entire life and that overachieving went in some directions that were not good for me or for anyone else.

I had ended up in a marriage where I took on far too much – physically, emotionally, and in every way.  I had ended up feeling like a martyr, like I was giving and not receiving on almost any level.  And so I had left the marriage when I was 22 weeks pregnant with our second child and our son was 4 years old.

My then husband and his family were devastated and enraged by me leaving him and yet I did it as an act of survival for myself and for my children.  Nevertheless, I felt attacked and traumatized both by the marriage and by the act of leaving the marriage.

And so by the time I had given birth and had recovered from the c-section on my own, was getting no financial or practical support from anyone, I was exhausted and hurting on many levels.  

And so that light had a lot to show me of what needed to heal, of how I needed SO badly to be held and to simply be.

And like I said, I did this for months, for a couple of years – I simply let the light hold me and heal me and teach me and show me.

And after this couple of years, I started to know what it felt like to be more on my feet.  I switched to another job that paid twice as much, although was twice or three times as stressful.  I learned to ask for help a bit and got some.  My children got older and were thriving on every level, other than perhaps needing more time from me.

And over time, my relationship to the light expanded.  For a few years, I simply focused on that light.  It was literally my saving grace.  

And after five years of this, in the spring and summer of 2018, through a series of experiences, the light essentially took me into and showed me the cosmos.  

My level of survival and healing had finally reached a level, I think, that I was perhaps ready for another level of healing and expansion.  And so I expanded – fast and hard.  As I would lie in my bed or on a beach or under an oak tree in the mountains praying, the light began to take me up through the clouds and to the outer edges of the Earth’s atmosphere.  I would look down at the Earth and my life and myself and the light began to “show” me things, give me a perspective on my life circumstances or relationships that were so clear, literally a “birds’ eye view” that was incredibly helpful, clarifying, and blissful.  And through these experiences, my sense of well-being, calm, and sense of the beauty of life grew bigger and deeper.

Then, suddenly, in August of 2018, the light not only took me to the edges of the atmosphere of Earth, but suddenly began shooting me out of the atmosphere of Earth, out into the cosmos, through a membrane of “this universe,” into what I heard in my prayers was an “inter universal space of infinite universes.”  And in my praying, the light would have me sit in the middle of these infinite universes and I would be shown and given messages and perspectives of life in general, the nature of reality, the nature of life as energy, life of the cosmos, the nature of energy shifts on Earth, in my Earthly life, and even of time, space, the “past” and “future,” the nature of money and resources, notions of fear and healing, and much more.  (Many of these lessons are in the books I published in 2018 and 2019, especially the third book, Cosmos Speaks.)

As my awareness and experience of myself and of life expanded exponentially in this way, my sense of who I am, of what life is, of what is being asked of me, of what is possible, of what thriving is, of what health and healing are, all, not surprisingly, expanded exponentially as well.  I went through massive changes in my own life – with my job, relationships, friendships, and in many ways I can articulate and some that are beyond words.  In addition, during this time, even though much of what I experienced was extremely difficult (experiencing an intense and ultimately very difficult relationship, leaving my job, being a single mother in a pandemic), over the past few years, I suddenly also opened to a sense of thriving, joy, unconditional love, bliss, and incredibly deep peace like I have never known in my life.  Despite the many reasons that I (and we all) could absolutely legitimately panic or be scared in these times, I strangely have the most strong and deep sense of peace and well of joy, love, and thriving that I have ever had in my entire life.  At this point, what I mostly feel is deep, peaceful, joyful contentment.

My “baby” girl is turning nine and my son is turning fourteen.

Over the past nine years, I have gone from being petrified most of the time to feeling incredibly alive and deeply at peace – still a single mom, now living in this pandemic and quarantine, but with two kids who are utterly thriving and strangely enough, so am I.

And what do I attribute this to?  A lot of things, certainly, including some levels of real privilege, including my base knowledge of many therapeutic tools that have bolstered me through this time, unconditional love from a HUGE and wonderful family, many good friends, living in the paradise of Goleta, California, walking distance from the beach, and many other gifts of my life.  But honestly, I could have all of those aspects of life going for me and justifiably still be struggling and paralyzed by fear much of the time, as many of us are.  What I honestly think is the major reason I feel this deep sense of peace, joy, love, and thriving is my relationship to the divine, to the Cosmos, to the All that Is, to my sense of God.

Every person’s medicine is different.  Every person’s “cup of tea” is certainly different.  So this expanded sense of “the cosmos” or of us as beings of the cosmos is not right for everyone or maybe not even for most people.

But I do have to wonder – what would it be like if we as healers, therapists, workers of the realms of psyche, spirit, soul, the heart, the emotions, even the body, were able to access these realms of existence and to help each other, help our clients, help ourselves to reach this level of understanding of who we are, what we came here to be, what this perspective on life can be as us, can teach us and heal for us?  

Another way I think of it is like this – in neuroscience, we know, as mental health professionals, that if a person is operating from their “reptilian brain” or their hindbrain in fight or flight mode, they are not able to access the parts of their brains or themselves that assist with rational, logical, frontal lobe thinking, such as planning ahead, weighing the pros and cons of actions, empathizing with the needs and feelings of others, and so forth.  In other words, as mental health professionals, we do a lot to assist clients to come back into using their “whole brain” rather than staying in their instinctive fight or flight mode of simply using the more impulsive aspects of the brain.

Well, what happens if we extend this line of thinking to be not just about using our whole “brain,” but actually to being about using our whole BEING?

Some therapists are becoming much more aware of somatic forms of therapy and the mind-body connection.  And this certainly is also very needed and a great step forward.  I support that whole heartedly.

And what my experience has taught me is that there is even a farther step for at least some of us to go – from our awareness of our selves as using our whole BRAIN to our whole BODY to our whole BEING.

What would this do?

I can speak for myself – becoming aware of my whole BEING brought me into an incredible sense of well-being, continues to be instrumental to helping me to release anxieties as they come up, gives me a sense of purpose, love for myself, deep joy and connectedness to life, to others, to my own self love and gratitude to be alive.

If I had stuck with what I knew as a psychotherapist or even as a body worker and energy worker, I honestly do not think that this level of deep peace, joy, aliveness, and thriving on every level of my being would have been possible.

Again, every person’s journey is different.  Every person’s needs are different.  And this is not a blanket prescription or suggestion for anyone and everyone.

However, it is a testimonial to the potential power and healing that can come with an awareness of the vast, infinite cosmos that we literally sit in and yet often forget exists.

And it is a reminder perhaps for anyone who might benefit from a nudge or a tap on the shoulder that might say, “Remember who you are?  Remember this whole vast expanse of existence that is you and that is us?  You are infinite love.  You are infinite existence.  You are literally the All That Is.  And so much is possible as you.  Pure love and deep peace are here.  You are surrounded by stars.  They are singing and they know you.  And you know them.  Come sing.  We love you.  We are here.”

For anyone who wants to sing, I’ll listen and/or sing along.

Thank you for listening to me.

Infinite love to you,

Martha

https://medium.com/@livingtheonelight/riding-a-beam-of-light-finding-a-new-paradigm-of-healing-with-the-cosmos-and-beyond-134cec230e78