On March 8, 1996 I died. The universe had been trying to get my attention for years but since I hadn’t listened, it finally got heavy-handed with me. This is what happened.
I was living somebody else’s life, not mine. Along the way I quit dreaming. I quit being Jeane. I did what most of us do—I grew up and became “responsible.” I told myself I didn’t know what I wanted but I did: I wanted to live and work exactly as I am now. So why didn’t I?
Culturally, we live in a system that needs workers so everything is geared to that. We no longer live off the land. We’ve created a structure that requires money to survive. Our society needs us to quietly move into the work that keeps it going. Large corporations don’t want us to desire or question, to be individuals. They want us to comply. Our families are concerned for our ultimate security so we are guided away from our dreams and into “realistic” lives.
I remember when I lost my self. It was 1971 in my new father-in-law’s kitchen. I watched him go about his decades-old preparations for work, as I was just beginning a lifetime of learning mine. I had such an awareness of loss in that moment. The tectonic shift took place and I was no more.
I believe in a benevolent, active universe. I also believe “it” participates with us in our lives. So when we get off track it will continually try to right us. And this is what had been happening to me for decades, but I’d ignored it. If we watch and listen, if we are conscious and act on the guidance, this universal intelligence can bring us back to self. But I wasn’t listening. So on March 8th, in the wee hours of the morning, it got my attention: I hemorrhaged.
I died many times, over the course of 24 hours, and I want to tell you it was a peaceful experience. Beyond the initial blast of pain, there was no pain; no fear, no sorrow, only peace. But there was a message. I was told it was my choice to stay or go but I needed to know I hadn’t accomplished what I’d come here to do. I chose to stay. And an important thing happened. I was made to fight for my life. I have never taken it for granted since.
This death was symbolic as well. It represented the death of my old way of being, making room to birth the new. I was being put on notice. The time had come for me to live—to truly live, fully alive.
We’re all meant to walk our own unique paths. If you find yourself off course, take it from me—act on the messages as they come and skip the drama. It’s better when the universe doesn’t have to take us to our knees. Trust me on this.
The next post will tell how this event brought me back to my art.