Barbara Winter’s Epiphany On a Bicycle Path


Barbara Winter

I love the story that Barbara Winter told me for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Enlightenment used to be the province of monasteries; nowadays, you may experience a mystical awakening during a stroll with your daughter! Here is Barbara’s very cool story, beginning with her bio.

Winter, the author of Making A Living Without A Job, is a self-employment advocate who travels the world encouraging and inspiring people through her writing and seminars to choose their right livelihood. Her newsletter, Winning Ways, which helps readers “turn passions into profits,” has been inspiring readers for more than twenty years. Click here to visit Barbara’s website.

One sunny afternoon twenty years ago, when my daughter Jennie was ten, we set out to visit my parents’ house in Santa Barbara, California, for an informal family gathering. Jennie was riding her bike and I was walking along behind her on a little bicycle path. Two blocks into our mile-and-a-half walk, completely out of nowhere, an absolutely wonderful sensation just washed over me. It was an indescribable feeling of divine connection and an overwhelming sense of total peace. I can remember feeling filled with joy. It was like all my senses were heightened—the sunlight got even brighter and I could smell the flowers more acutely than I ever had before.

And in that moment, I also had a deep sense of knowing that everything was, and always has been, unfolding perfectly. That knowing was so intense and so real that it was almost like I heard a voice saying, All is well. I was so taken aback by all this that I stopped dead in my tracks and just let it all flow through me. It was everything I had ever read about transcendental experiences, the kind that people worked their whole life toward achieving, but I had no understanding of why it was happening or what triggered it.

We often think that mystical experiences are triggered by an extraordinary event. And it ain’t necessarily so. It can be in the midst of what seems very ordinary. I was just on this ugly little bike path. It was so not the place you would think you would go to find nirvana.

The experience only lasted a couple of minutes, but the residual effects lasted for hours. We got to my parents’ house and it was like I was in a different state of consciousness—I was sensing everything differently. My sister, Margaret, and I were playing Scrabble, and at one point I looked at her and said, “Oh, I see how come you’re such a good Scrabble player, you can look at your tiles and rearrange them in your mind.” She just looked at me like that was the oddest thing. But all of a sudden I understood that she did this differently than I did. I was having all these insights into the people around me, people I had known all my life. And it was very noticeable. I remember Margaret looking at me and saying, “I don’t know what you have but I want it.” I was just so blissful and peaceful. It was a state of grace. It’s hard to verbalize how intense and profound it was.

I’ve heard people who have had similar experiences say that for the rest of their lives they try to get back to it, which I have never been able to do. Except that ever since, I have always been able to remember in times of crisis that I knew that everything was happening exactly as it should. And there’s a real calm spot inside of me that I can come from. So even though I’ve never been able to recapture that heightened state, I can always draw on it.

Click here to view all my posts related to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.


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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Like to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 44-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

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sixty-seconds-coverPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

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Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.

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