Years ago I found myself in a group of people, who I loved dearly, loved. The night before we met for dinner, a bottle of wine, and conversation, I had an experience. Now some people are blessed to have one big experience that opens them up, such is the case with Eckhart Tolle and others. I have had many experiences that have and continue to open me up to a bigger and bigger things. Leading up to the experience, I loved drinking wine, and would share a bottle on occasion with friends. I enjoyed the experiences greatly and enjoyed the conversations. The night before I was in meditation, my mind was running on full speed, and it was difficult to rest without getting caught up in identifying with the mind movement.
Let me flash back, I died briefly at Century City mall around 1999 or so. I choked on a piece of chicken and although at the time I had no idea what was happening, I was close to death. If it wasn’t for a stranger giving me the heimlich I wouldn’t be writing this. I saw light and heard myself say, “I am ready”, upon those words, my angels disagreed and the chicken popped out of my mouth, scrapping my throat. When I opened my eyes, my girlfriend at the time was crying, and many people were physically on their knee’s praying for me. I was very present to the seriousness of the event and had two seconds to thank the gentleman for helping me. The firemen asked how I felt and the doctor was concerned for me and my throat. I on the other hand wanted to talk about the light, which I brought up to the doctor, he smiled and said, “How is your throat Mr. Brown.” All business. Which I understand.
Now cut back to my meditation, mind racing; when inside of me there felt like a bump, then a moment of silence, and flashing light. Pretty cool. Like the experience at Century City mall with the chicken. The next morning I awoke, went about my day, then went to dinner. I felt lighter. The waiter asked if he should bring 4 glasses, I said, “No just 3.” That was it. No more drinking. But it shifted my relationships. It brought to the surface a huge thing, buried deep inside of me, this need for approval, to fit in, wine and drinking had allowed that for me. Suddenly the three people saw me as an outsider, the energy changed from fun, to having concern for me. I didn’t care so much about not having a taste for drinking anymore, I wanted my friends back.
So for years I dealt with needing approval, and with that came its sibling, proving. The dance was difficult and hard. It was exhausting, well I was exhausted. Till one day I was hiking, and began to feel how I was feeling inside. I got curious about these feelings inside, then a question came, “How come I don’t approve of how I feel?” So I started approving my feelings and cared more about how I was feeling. No longer trying to fit in. Miraculously people who I allowed to control my life began to fall away, and other miracles began to happen when I trusted my feelings and didn’t negate them for someone else and their approval.
Approving and proving can be a drug too. What I have discovered is the importance of how I feel, especially in a situation, relationship, or life. Look it can be quite difficult to trust your feelings when your eyes are telling you something different but your gut is like, “HOLD THE SHIP LISTEN PLEASE!!!!” We are here simply to “know thyself”. So now I tune in and listen. Speaking it can be hard, but not speaking it is torture. Thank you to the gentleman who saved my life and gave me another 13 years on this planet, you gave me the opportunity to have a beautiful daughter, write a book, teach, speak, host a radio show, be a dad, soccer coach, and so much more…