Like a splash of cold water from a high mountain stream

I’m bothered. Enough of these damn errands and to-dos!

I’m hot. It’s 97 degrees!

My wife and I are four days into returning to Longmont, COLO … after an adventure of at least a decade — living on the French Riviera for three months.

We are now through the worst of jet-lag — that name we have all concocted for feeling spacey, displaced, no-time-of-day-or-night-feels-right.

We have re-stocked our astonishingly empty cabinets and frig — hundreds of dollars, poof.

We are still unburying from heaps of mail, sorting out mistaken bills from Sprint, reactivating car insurance, sitting in long lines for the emissions tests to renew our car licenses, getting updated on my aging parents latest medical crisis, and oh yes — receiving a jury summons.

Yet on the surface of things, this day I write of is a plain vanilla Thursday. Only I’ve decided that I’ve had enough domesticity.

I want freedom, even if only for a few hours. For those of you that know about the (my) ennegram #7 typology, you are not surprised.

I steer the newly gassed car West, toward the mountains, beckoning me like Sirens singing of rushing steams, eagles swooping, towering blue spruce.

BUT soon enough, I actually notice that I am humming to myself the refrains of the Rolling Stones’ “I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.”

Let me count the ways:

I WAS going to hang out by the North fork of the St. Vrain river, streaming out of the Button Rock Reservoir … but NO, the way is blocked.

The 2013 flood-ravaged Highway 36 is STILL flashing its unbearable sign “EXPECT DELAYS OF UP TO ONE HOUR.”

“Well, I’ll just go up Highway 7 instead,” I think peevishly, ”and hang out on the South fork of the St. Vrain river.”

But NO, my favorite spot to pull over, park, and hang by this river is still TRASHED by the 2013 flood. Torn open. Picnic table buried in debris. Sinister-looking exposed roots. Desolation.

I notice a strange, down-cast, forlorn feeling — the same feeling I experience when I have to hike through the blackened stumps of a forest-fire. Although I know that this too is part of Nature, I still feel sad, unhappy. No satisfaction.

I rally myself for one last try. Maybe further up Highway 7, up the river, I will find a sweet spot. Not so violated.

It starts off badly: the highway department has blocked off cars from the parks upstream.

But I can walk in.

Behold: a picnic table still stands; a small (unviolated) sand beach; water running free and clear.

Ah. Relief. Good enough.

I walk to the river, bend over, scoop up the clear water, splashing my only face.

Suddenly my face comes alive
With mountain ore
And selenium
Mossy waterfalls and
Granite pulverized against granite,

Flicks of copper and melted snowstorm,
Craggy stone peaks confronting
Storm clouds charged with lightning,

Spring thaw, Summer run-off,
Atmospheric pressure and sun flares
And beyond:

Silent interstellar star light
Streaming down,
Mixed with black
Night and moon bath.


… instantly transported to this realm of richness, of magic. Here Spirit sings its intense song of THIS SUCHNESS.

Layer upon layer of magic reveals itself, in a splash … in a flash.

It is then that I realize: this is what happens in the Flash Awake. The mindfulness tool I have discovered, and am calling, the Flash Awake does this.

This moment is transformed … from its seeming flatness, into its multi-layered, multi-dimensional Essence. Its essential qualities shine forth. Its good, the true, and the beautiful are revealed.

Not every time … but most.

Sometimes, you can be seized by a Flash Awake, transported beyond the story that you are muttering to yourself in that moment. That mountain water splash jolted me beyond my story of “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

Other times, to feel the magic takes a little work. We could be so attached to our story at the moment (after all, we have all the evidence!) that the Flash Awake is not powerful enough to instantly reveal Essence.

STEP 1: It takes our willingness to draw in that deep, slow, six-second inhale, while we say to ourselves (and really intend this): “I am willing to let go of my story, at least for this moment, to see what else will be revealed to me.”

STEP 2: Follow this brave declaration with a long, slow, luxurious, six-second exhale, while you activate a different part of your brain by intending, “Let me open to the magic of THIS moment right here, right now.”

STEP 3: Continue inhaling in six seconds and exhaling in six seconds while you nod your head up and down in rhythm to this, allowing a smile to crack through (you get to choose the size of your smile, from ever-so-slight to a full-out crazy grin).

STEP 4: Continue this for ONLY ONE MINUTE (or five complete inhale/exhale cycles).

STEP 5: Then, ask yourself:
— now, what are you aware of?
— now, what do you sense intuitively?
— now, what do you feel in your body?
— now, what do you know spiritually?
— now, what have you been gifted?

I will stand by my claim that such a one-minute Flash Awake gifts you with more magic than any other Awareness … delivers to you more layers of richness and Essence of the Now than any other Mindfulness technique.

The further you are on your Path, the more this will mean to you.

Now go splash some cold water on your face (even if a mountain stream is a long way off).

OR, just repeat the five steps above whenever you want to wake up.

Splashingly, Frederic

Frederic Wiedemann, PhD
Founder, The Flash Awake Solution

* You can get an mp3 of this all-powerful “six-second breathing pattern.”
* I use this breath as the foundational breathing pattern for the Flash Awake.
* On the mp3, I walk you through the breathing and reveal the research that this particular breathing is one of the most healing that you can do, period.

* Just go to, and opt in
* (technically you are already on my email list, so this “opt-in” is just a formality to deliver the mp3 to you). This tool will serve you the rest of your life.

p.s.s If you splash cold water on your face, OR do the five steps above, please share your results with me at [email protected] What did you notice?!