Savannah Hanson: The incredible lightness of being |

Savannah Hanson: The incredible lightness of being

Savannah Hanson

Last night, I was flying along a small rural road with a bird's eye view of the countryside. The ease with which I was fulfilling this childhood dream of being able to fly astounded me. When I woke up, it took me a minute to realize which was the dream, which was "reality."

It took me back to a childhood of constant nightmares that did not end until my teens. One night, I dreamt that I was flying on a magic carpet with God sitting beside me. Thus ended years of sleepless nights and torment, always fearing falling asleep. Until my teens, I tried to stay awake to avoid the two recurring nightmares that played relentlessly and nightly, preying on my fears.


Flash to decades later. Waking up peacefully after a lifetime of anxiety is a dream come true. It is slowly fading, all the twist and turns of the labyrinth it took to arrive at such cellular peace.

Here is what stands out. For too long, spiritual practices mirrored the religious beliefs that called me a sinner and kept me twisting in self blame. What I discovered was that it was the self love practices that freed me. It was the willingness to dive in to my experience repeatedly and hold it tenderly at the somatic level, deep in my physical being, feeling the sadness, the grief, the loneliness, the lack. This is what we are being called to. Are we willing to hold our inner young ones, lost in feelings of separation, with tenderness?

Spiritual teacher Jeff Brown has written about the New Cage movement. The New Age was meant to free us of all the former traps along a spiritual journey. Yet many of us became entangled in the same snare, judging ourselves for our suffering. There is such paradox in the journey. If we believe our limitations, we will remain lost in them. Yet if we shame ourselves for any lack, constantly seeking the ways we are wrong, we will also remain immobilized.

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The middle way is to use mindfulness and inquiry to begin to witness a new path to inner freedom. Most of us believe the answer must lay with our work, our relationships, our finances, our health. Perhaps the stickiest belief is that our partners should save us. Such suffering arises when invariably they fail at the task.

We will continue to blame outer circumstances until the futility of that dawns. Then frequently the fault shifts to ourselves. We curse ourselves, believing it is some inner flaw that binds us to pain.


Yet the more we condemn ourselves, the less peace we feel. The equinox has brought up intensity in many. Perhaps you feel more emotional, cry or anger easily. This is not indicative of something being wrong with you, it is not personal. It is a planetary shift asking us to wake up to our inherent magnificence.

The way out is through. We must feel with compassion all that arises within, a task many are reluctant to begin. I traveled the world twice looking for an easier path — yet it turned out the shortest distance was always hidden within my own heart.

No matter what arises, can we bring compassion to our suffering? Do we yell at a child for being afraid, lost, uncertain? Yet too often we inwardly scream at ourselves for our perceived inadequacies.

We all want to fly free of suffering. Yet somehow we have been conditioned to believe we can beat ourselves into submission. It never works, not with children, not with us. Gentleness, tenderness, compassion, empathy for self and others. These allow us to feel safe in our own skins.


Because the journey can be so long and convoluted, it is easy to lose patience or faith. It is hard to know that there is a Mystery, a power so much greater then our little minds guiding us once we commit to the awakening.

So we open our eyes and see that there is a force offering us circumstances that repeatedly show us where we have believed in limitation. It urges us to wake up from the nightmare and witness the truth of the gentle dream. So we hang on to trust for dear life, as we walk home to the incredible lightness of being.

For information on private sessions or classes or a free 20 minute consultation, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at (530) 575-5052 or Her website is


Savannah Hanson will be co-hosting a free webinar at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday called “Discover Your Heart’s Voice — Stop, Drop & Ask — Live” with meditation teacher and Ask Love founder Bruce Pardoe. “Ask Love is a revolutionary online community where users support each other to meet life’s challenges and conflicts with an open heart as the most powerful way to achieve resolution and healing. The webinar showcases Ask Love’s extremely accessible practice called heart fluency.” Pardoe added that he and Hanson “will work interactively with web participants using the heart fluency technique to access their hearts’ voices. It is really a way to discover your inner oracle and highest authority.” The link for registration is:

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