What’s It Like To Be You?
Animals are very generous when I ask them this question – What is it like to be you? Can you share something with me about being you? The first time I asked this, the response caught me completely off guard. I was communicating with an eagle and within what felt like a nanosecond of me thinking the question I felt myself launch out of a tree and soar high up into the sky with speed and power that caught my breath and nearly stopped my heart.
Someone should have said ‘fasten your seatbelt!’ because what I experienced next was beyond anything I have ever experienced. I felt, in my body, the power and grace of that eagle taking off from a branch in a tree. It was as much confident pure unrestricted power as ease and effortless movement.
Imagine you’re a passenger in your friend’s new sports car and she/he says “watch this!” and then rockets the car from 0 to 100 in 4 seconds flat! Your body presses into the seat, your heart leaps with fun and nervous excitement. You’re thinking HOLY SHIT! And you probably laugh out loud. (For example in your brother’s Tesla. So much fun, Marc thx!)
That’s what it felt like to blast into the air with the eagle, except with no car. No structure around us, no system to frame us. We were wild and free!
We flew high over the treetops, gliding with ease. I was fascinated with the feeling of effortless power. We weren’t working or striving to fly a certain way. We just flew. The word ‘majestic’ kept coming to me over and over.
We landed on a branch high up a tree and perched there, looking out over the top of the forest. The forest extended as far as I could see. Blue sky. Quiet stillness. Serenity. Not a single other thought existed and yet our awareness stretched to everything at once. I had no other feeling beyond that moment. We were in a space of fully connected ease of being with an astounding depth of beauty.
We flew again; he took me down low over a lake and then launched back up into the sky before finally landing next to the lake where I thanked him and said goodbye.
When I connect this way I most often receive what the animal is sharing as words, images, feelings or sensations. The eagle exchange was an intense sensory experience. He wasn’t sharing words, but he sure was sharing sensations and visuals. I felt wings from my shoulder blades. (I don’t even know how to describe in words how that felt) My shoulders and back changed posture as I felt this stunning creature’s body from the inside. My neck and head sat differently on my torso..
The eagle had no thoughts of what happened before or what was going to happen next. We simply were. I was completely immersed in receiving from him. I didn’t ask questions or offer comments. I received. What’s it like to be you? and handed him full control over what happened next.
What did I learn from what the eagle shared? He doesn’t measure how fast or how high he can fly. He just flies. He doesn’t worry that he won’t be strong enough to fly or fast enough. He just flies. He lives with a deep knowing of his connection to all things. The eagle doesn’t say “I don’t think I can do this” or “I’m not good enough.” He just is. It felt uncluttered and free.
What’s it like to be you? is a powerful question. What’s it like when YOU open your eyes in the morning? What are YOU feeling and experiencing in your day? What’s it like to see the way you see? To feel the way you feel? One of my son’s is what we call color-blind (a terribly inaccurate term because he sees colors and who’s to say that any of us see colors the same way) I would love to see through his eyes even for 5 minutes. To experience his ability to distinguish shades and nuances in color that I miss.
What’s it like to be you?
Would the world be a different place if we shared ‘what it’s like to be you’ with one another? If we opened to fully receiving the answer to the question without trying to add our own input? To simply receive, to be fully present to another being. To intentionally NOT offer our own view, judgment or experience or what we believe to be this way or that way. It’s not an easy thing to do. It requires tremendous presence. We’re mostly programmed to be in control and to want to fix things. This practice requires fully letting go of everything we think we know, taking all of it, bundling it up and setting it aside, and then from that fresh, vulnerable open place, surrendering to the experience of another being.
Would the world be a different – better – place? Hell yes.