Side By Side

 In A Better Life, A Better You, Life Stories

By Julie Daley

My childhood was full of turmoil, chaos, and grief. As a child, it was hard to function in the chaos. I found my own survival strategies and they served me well as a child, though not so much as an adult. But the turmoil and trauma weren’t the whole story. There were some wonderful times, too. Amazing times, really.

Traveling Side By Side

side-by-sideWe were a family of bright intellects, muscular bodies, artistic tendencies, and big hearts. I remember times when I was young and we were all together, all five of us – my mother, father, two sisters, and I – side by side.

We would sing together as a family. These are the times I remember as happy times. I remember one time in particular when all five of us were singing at the top of our lungs…

Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money
Maybe we’re ragged and funny
But we’ll travel along singing a song
Side by side

… all five of us as we travelled across the country in “Big Go,” our big red ‘Goliath’ bus rolling along from the west coast to the east coast. I especially remember seeing the geysers of Yellowstone Park and the monumental size of Mount Rushmore as we made our way to New York.

Untangling Patterns

During these vibrant family moments, we were together and happy, all five of our vibrant Spirits present and together, singing…

Don’t know what’s coming tomorrow
Maybe it’s trouble and sorrow
But we’ll travel the road sharin’ our load
Side by side

In some ways, it’s ironic to think back on these lyrics* because they capture many of the patterns I began to untangle when I did the Hoffman Process – patterns like catastrophizing, denial, scarcity, feeling like we were/I was different, addiction to struggle, and depression to name a few.

Through all kinds of weather
What if the sky should fall
As long as we’re together
It doesn’t matter at all

Unfortunately, the weather grew rough and the sky did fall – at least that’s how it felt to seven-year-old me. We didn’t stay together as a family. Dad left. The turmoil of Mom and Dad’s troubles caused a lot of sadness, anger, and grief. The divorce was hard on all of us, particularly because we just didn’t have the tools at that time – in the ’60s – to process all that happened. Back then, people didn’t talk about stuff like infidelity, divorce, financial troubles, and feelings.

Quadrinity Healing

This is why the Process brought great healing to my Quadrinity (my spiritual self, emotional self, intellect, and body). The work of the Process brought me back to center, back to my essential nature. It taught me that no matter what patterns I’d adopted and how they’d affected my life, my essential nature still is, and always will be, exactly that – essential.

The four aspects of the Quadrinity working together in harmony is something I had to experience in order to truly know the power of my presence and the harmony of unity as a whole human being. It can be a hard concept for us to get, but when we get it by way of our own experience, we finally know what it is to have presence – to BE present.

A Quiet Mind

I remember the first moment I experienced the beauty of a quiet mind during my Process. It is here, in this present moment, that I know the peace and tranquility of a centered, embodied Spirit. What a gift it is to be at home in my body.

Looking back at these moments of pure joy and togetherness, I now know how our Spirits were always alive and always loving. I can see how I was always lovable. And I can feel my Spirit’s joyful nature.

This is a gift of the Process: returning to this ever-loving presence that IS Spirit alive in a human body.

See that sun in the morning
Peekin’ over the hill
I’ll bet you sure, it always has
And sure it always will

*Lyrics are from Side by Side, written by Harry M. Woods in 1927 and recorded by many artists over the years.

Check out the upcoming Cultivating Presence teleclass on April 3rd.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Cynthia Nelson
    Reply

    Julie – I love this story. I sang with my troubled family as a child as well, and felt the joy and peace of a lot of love in those times. Although there was intense pain and suffering of addiction throughout my family, we still had (and have) love for each other. At my Hoffman experience, I learned that I could handle the dark, bleak feelings when they arise. I need not distract myself or try to pretend they don’t exist. This has opened a door to accepting my whole self and, with mindfulness, every moment for what it brings – a panoply of authentic experience overlaid with love. And, though I’ve lost my lovely parents, I continue to sing.

    • Julie
      Reply

      Cynthia, Thank you for sharing both your experience as a child and at the Process. Yes, “a panoply of authentic experience overlaid with love.” So beautifully expressed.
      I love that you continue to sing. I’ve just begun singing again. In fact, last Sunday afternoon, my two sisters, my father, and I were together and we sang this song as well as others that we learned on this trip across the country. While my mom has passed, my father continues to love to sing and, when he’s up to it, play the piano. I’ve learned that being human isn’t an image of perfection but rather a willingness to engage the whole experience of what life offers. Again, thank you for your beautiful comment and sharing what you experienced at the Process. Many blessings.

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