You stare at the floating silvery craft, knowing that you’re about to climb aboard but feeling a bit foolish that you can’t quite see how you’re suppose to get in. Is there a door? Do you just sit on top? Are there handles? How does this thing work? As if it can see your puzzlement, a panel lights up on the side, and you instinctively know to place your hand there.
Your touch activates something and after another flash of light and a whirring hum, the top opens, almost as if dissolving from solid into vapor, and a ramp folds out and down in front of you. You poke it with your toe to see if it’s solid, and it seems to be.
You step onto the ramp, incredulous that you are about to climb into a floating silvery craft without knowing who or what it is, but propelled by a sense that feels right, like you know you’re just supposed to do this.
At the top of the ramp, you see a shimmery golden seat in front of you, and instinctively know to sit down. The shimmering gold feels more like a plasma than a seat, but somehow it holds you and you relax your weight onto it. Instantly the top of the craft closes and you feel a slight lurch as the whole thing rises, then smooths into a silent glide.
Sitting on the shimmering golden plasma, you feel oddly at peace – odd because you’re not resting upon something solid, you’re not sure who or how this thing is flying or driving or whatever it is doing, you have no idea where you’re going, and this much uncertainty would, in the past, have had you twisted up with worry. But for whatever reason, today’s just kind of working out, you’re trusting every experience you’re having, and it just seems to keep working.
Who’s driving this thing? You wonder out loud.
Instantly, a mirror materializes out of thin air and floats in front of your face. You see your own familiar features reflected back to you, all looking exactly as they do every day except for a tiny flicker of light at the center of the pupil of your eye – a spark you don’t remember seeing before.
I’M driving!? But… where are the controls? You aren’t sure if you’re speaking out loud or just having the thought, but instantly four buttons appear as if on an invisible dashboard in front of you:
FAST. SLOW. UP. DOWN.
You reach out to touch the buttons, but before you can reach them, they vanish and are replaced by a yellow smiley face button with the word “KIDDING” beneath it.
Okay. Well, I want to see what’s beyond the big brick wall, you say to whomever or whatever is obviously responding to you. Except I don’t want to get zapped again.
The golden plasma making up your seat, swirls upward and draws letters in the air in front of you. “A” “R” “E” …. It scrawls in elegant calligraphy, letter by letter, until the message “ARE YOU SURE?” is floating in front of you in perfect sparkling script.
Yes. You’ve decided. You’ve come this far, you want to keep going. You nod your head and say again out loud, “YES.”
A fuel gauge appears on the invisible dashboard, indicating that the craft is low on fuel.
“I don’t even know what kind of fuel this thing takes!” you shake your head with bewilderment. “Get whatever we need to take care of it.”
The floating craft now opens up a giant windshield-like portal in the front and you see that you’re still hovering above and around the circus tents and cemetery from your earlier explorations. The window widens, and you can sense an invisible plasma-like presence between you and the world below, transparent like glass but shimmering as if you can see the molecules dancing with aliveness, quite fluid rather than solid.
Descending to ground level, the floating craft lines up with one of the circus tents and approaches, gathering speed.
You cringe and instinctively bring your knees to your chest as it appears that you’re going to crash into it, but in the moment of impact, you see the invisible plasma bending and warping as it collides with the characters and voices within.
The entire tent spins into a swirling mass like a tornado of images, voices, and people, and you see your entire life played out like a movie at warp speed – every experience, every relationship, every location, every conversation, every thought, feeling, emotion, and belief morphed into a stream of colorful goo.
The invisible sparkling plasma envelops and illuminates the colorful goo you knew as “your life,” and the entire accumulation of lived experiences swooshes through you on your golden plasma seat, with an intensity of sensation that startles you as it bores through your chest – touching every nook and cranny of your heart with the highs and lows of your life all at once.
You’ve just felt everything you’ve ever lived, the full spectrum of peaks and valleys and excitement and boredom, all in one instant. The joys you had wished would last forever, the pain you had wished would go away fast, and everything in between – all passed through you as if you’d taken “Your Life” in pill form and had just swallowed it whole.
You feel it all, as it moves through you. And just as soon as it has rushed in, it vanishes, and is followed by the lightest of gentle breezes wafting through your heart – the sweetest music you’ve ever heard, except you’re not hearing it with ears, but rather with your heart.
“Did I just die?” you wonder.
The golden plasma calligraphy scrawls in front of you: “You are now fully ALIVE,” adding a heart-shaped emoji beneath the statement in a playful tone.
Now the floating silvery craft turns toward the cemetery.
Oh, no. You hunch your shoulders, bracing yourself for what’s coming.
“BREATHE” the golden swirly calligraphy instructs.
You take a deep breath, as the invisible plasma windshield races toward the rows of tombstones.
Again, the entire scene spins and swirls into a tornado-like mass of images – the stories of every person buried in the cemetery spiraling upward into a black vortex of experiences, hardships, crimes, losses, pain, suffering, and grief.
“BREATHE” the golden swirly calligraphy instructs yet again, and you force yourself to exhale, dreading what might be about to come.
The invisible plasma of the floating craft collides with the black tornado, enveloping and illuminating that which has come before – every hurt that’s ever been held by someone who had to hold it alone, unacknowledged, unvalidated, unwitnessed – that which has been held in the unconscious of previous generations, in the DNA of your ancestors, and therefore in the DNA of your own being.
Like the swirling circus tents of your personal lived experience, the tornado of human darkness rushes through your body all at once, flooding you with a rush of intensity as you feel the horror and blackness of all that’s ever been rejected, discarded, ignored, and suppressed in the human experience.
But just as soon as it enters, it’s gone – metabolized and neutralized by your willingness to feel it, hold it, and be it – if even for just a moment.
Again, the intensity of sensation is followed by the lightest whisper of a breeze, bathing your entire being with a tender sweetness you didn’t even know was possible to sense.
You feel yourself becoming lighter and almost spacious, and wonder if you’re somehow dissolving into the golden plasma that seems to be the order of things in the floating craft.
“NOT YET” the golden swirly calligraphy replies, apparently reading your mind.
Zooming back over the cemetery, the craft descends nearly to ground level so that you can see the graves again. Instead of the unprocessed emotions etched into the stones, the stories now reveal different qualities of the deceased:
“She was a compassionate listener.”
“Her singing brightened the room for us all.”
“He could fix anything.”
“She made the best chicken stew.”
“Quick with numbers.”
“Invented a new way to put a roof on our cabin.”
“Read poetry to us every night at bedtime.”
Taking in the magnitude of talents and gifts of those who’ve come before, you suddenly feel strong, powerful, elevated by the human capacities that have been developed over countless generations, and you can’t help but wonder what will be etched on your own tomb when it’s your turn.
You’re still contemplating when the craft turns toward the enormous brick wall, and you feel the flicker of a grimace arise, as you remember the electric shock you received earlier. By now, you know what’s coming in this apparent game of giant bumper cars, but the vast size and intensity of the wall still makes this one feel daunting, and you hope it won’t last long.
The invisible plasma windshield lines up with the wall, and you see the stark messages and jagged lines of the graffiti. The hum of the floating craft increases in tone and volume, and it hurtles forward to impact the concrete blocks at full speed.
“DO. NOT. QUESTION. THE. WALL”
You see the giant letters on the wall at the same time a button appears on the dashboard of your floating craft: “WATCH THIS.” A grinning emoji appears beneath the button, and you can’t help but smile as you whap the button with your palm.
The plasma windshield impacts the brick directly in the center of the word “NOT” and the wall contorts and stretches, wailing as it begins to spin into a whirling mass of jagged words and fragments, electric jolts sparking in every direction.
Slowly at first, then gaining velocity, the tornado-like vortex spins, incorporating every institutionalized belief structure and socially-normalized assumption into a blur of lines and sparks, the once insurmountable wall stretching like taffy in the swirling metabolic function of the plasma.
You see images and hear conversations at warp speed, the aggregation of the entire human experience of distorted power dynamics, manipulation, control, authoritarianism, oppression, and the excuses made for abuse of power, all spun into a gooey mess.
By now, you’ve already expanded into a more spacious version of yourself, so the impact of this intensity doesn’t actually feel any more intense than the previous goop, but the sheer magnitude of these crystallized distortions takes your breath away as it moves through your being, and you’re thankful for the golden sparkly calligraphy reminding you yet again: “BREATHE.”
Thousands of years of humanity, all wadded up and smooshed through the portal of you in a globby plasma goop.
And then just like that, you’re through. Or it’s through you. Or something.
The wall is no longer a wall, but rather a sparkly web of creative potential, a supply house where one can stock up for the grand adventures into the territory beyond. What might be needed? It’s all here – infinite and vast, the profound depth of human talent and skill and cumulative genius, all ready to share and be shared.
You zoom through the sparkly web, picking up a dose of kindness, a bucketful of curiosity, an extra helping of “quick with numbers” just in case, and a big heap of “wonderful singing voice that lights up the room” and decorate the floating craft with your creations for the road.
That heaviness you felt in the circus tents is now completely gone – replaced by a lightness of being that feels indescribably joyful, whole, and free. And even though you don’t know what’s to come or where you’re even going, you feel full of everything and anything you might ever need.
The word “confident” flits across your mind and you laugh at the way the word doesn’t even come close to describing this… this… unstoppableness, this knowingness, this infinite trust in yourself and in life and in whatever is to come.
Having metabolized every shadow in the human experience, you no longer have anything to fear, and you are wholly, truly free.
Realizing that every experience in the circus tents brought with it a choice, a fork in the road, from which you chose your next step – and that step by step you found yourself now here in a floating silvery craft filled with all of human potential, you suddenly get it:
Steps always emerge from whatever is here now.
They always have, and they always will.
And now that you’ve left the realm of Expectation, an entirely new trajectory of steps will reveal itself, one by one.
A button appears on the invisible dashboard and you grin as you press it firmly: