Tag Archives: Awakening to the Dance

DANCING TO FREE OUR EMOTIONS

“Dance first. Think later.  It’s the natural order.”  Samuel Becket

Do you have difficulty sharing what you really feel?  Do you avoid expressing negative emotions?  Do you feel torn between being accepted and being authentic?

Physical Benefits of Dancing

Dance has often been at the core of my spiritual life.  Now, when I want to escape into joy or de-stress, I turn on music and dance around the house by myself.  It is a perfect way to lift my vibration and chase away the blues!  Dancing stimulates the release of endorphins which reduces pain and gives us a natural high in addition to increasing our metabolism and blood flow.  During the sixties and seventies when so many people I knew were doing drugs, I was never interested because dancing gave me a high in a natural way.

Emotional Benefits of Dancing

Not only is dance good for us physically, it can also affect us emotionally in very positive ways.  Over the years, I’ve met people who grew up in families where they were taught that any strong or passionate expression of emotion was not acceptable, especially if it was negative.  In other instances, people I know needed to hide who they really were or what they thought out of fear that the truth would damage their relationships.  Keeping our feelings hidden like this creates tension in the body and shrinks who we are, restricting our ability to express.

When we hide who we truly are and are fearful of expressing, we are denying our spiritual purpose.  We are all in this life for a reason, and understanding who we truly are reveals to us the purpose for this lifetime.  In terms of relationships, hiding behind what appears to be peacefulness also limits our relationships because what creates a more meaningful relationship is the ability to share what we truly feel and think.

Releasing Our Fear and Rigidity

There are many ways to release the fear of expressing emotions.  Therapy and spiritual disciplines may provide us with many tools.  Understanding why we are fearful is often helpful because understanding ourselves and our families allows us to let go of the need to protect ourselves.  Finding friends who accept our passionate expression reinforces the feeling that we are truly loved for being genuine.

But dance can be a valuable tool in this process.  Rigidity of body or mind is unhealthy for the spirit as well as the body, but movement stimulates the whole being to express. By using our bodies to release the mind, we become more aware of the mind/body connection and begin to feel a wholeness.  If we allow ourselves to feel the joy of the movement, we can connect to our spirit and the Spirit that connects us all.

The Wave

One of the most beautiful ways to explore the way that dance can aid our growth is in connecting with our spiritual selves through Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms Healing Meditation known as The Wave.  There are groups around the country who meet to experience this together, but if you are not ready to move in a group, there are videos you can follow on your own.  Still, the energy of a group can be exhilarating.  Seeing others moving without inhibition often gives us the courage to risk a little more.

Connecting Body and Mind to Open

Dancing with music is not always necessary.  Moving in silence allows us to penetrate the silence and the barrier of our own bodies.  In that moment, the body connects to the mind, and we visit that place where body and mind are One.  If we allow ourselves to move and feel whatever comes up, we empower ourselves.  How can we possibly express what we feel if we can’t feel it?  So that is the first step, to feel in the body and then the emotions. Then we must be willing to take that information and use it to transform ourselves into a person who is not afraid to express those thoughts and feelings.  It takes commitment because it is not usually a brief process.

When we give ourselves to the dance, we stop thinking.  Fear, shyness, judgments drop away and we are just in the moment—mind, body, emotions and soul are all One.  In that moment, whatever we feel is just fine, and if we can’t express our feelings verbally, we can dance them. By dancing them, we may one day learn to verbalize them as well.

How often do you dance freely and let go of stress?  Does movement help you release the fear you feel about expressing yourself verbally?  Please comment and share your specific comments about this topic.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  (Fear) You Decide, Deepok Chopra’s 7 Steps to Release Emotional TurbulenceFeelings (spiritualhypster.com)

DANCING FROM OUR CENTERS

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”  Thomas Szasz

Who is running your life?  Is it you, deep from your center?  Or is it your family, employer or the mentality of society herding you into the role they want you to play?

The last time I visited the Biltmore Estate and met the Tina Turner Chickens, I also observed a sheep dog herding sheep.  I had seen this on the nature channel, but I’d never seen it in person.  As the dog herded the sheep together, they were so close they were touching, moving like one being.  After herding them to a particular area, he left, but the sheep remained sandwiched together as if they were afraid to each step out into their own areas.

 The Dangers of Conformity

I immediately thought of people and conformity.  How often do we allow something outside of ourselves to limit our capacity to be who we really are?  Conformity isn’t all bad.  It’s only negative if it forces us to be someone we are not or causes us to hurt others in order to be accepted.  The McCarthy trials of the 1950’s are a good example.  Neighbors reported neighbors for being communists and whether it was true or not was irrelevant.  People lost their reputations and employment by merely being accused.

Inner Self and Ego

 I don’t know exactly what Thomas Szasz intended when he made the statement I quoted today.  But I suspect he was referring to the ego/personality level of who we are, for the spiritual level that is deeper is something we find only when we let go of ego and go deeper.  It is eternal.  We do not have to create it.  But we do create the person we are in this lifetime based on the choices we make and the way we think.

Creating Our Personalities Based on Our Eternal Selves

If we are in touch with our eternal being, the choices we make from that place, rather than from external influences, tend to be wiser.  In modern dance, the pelvic area of the body is the center of our body and this core must be strong in order for the dancer to perform the off balance tilts, falls and swings that are unique to modern.  Without a strong core, the dancer flounders.

If we make choices from that loving center within us that is our core, our choices will have integrity and compassion, and will enhance our lives and the lives of others.  That deeper self is the basis of our personality, but making the right choices can lead us to an integration of the two.  When we dance from our center, we are One.  But if we always allow others to dictate how we think and act, we are being unfaithful to ourselves.  We are letting life happen to us rather than creating the life we want.

If we spend our whole lives hiding behind the temporary high of buying things or being entwined with a dysfunctional family’s dictates or constantly searching for a quick fix to happiness, we will never find who we truly are.  We will not discover that by following someone else’s lead in the dance of life.

Lead Yourself in the Dance

When you create yourself, you become the dancer and the leader.  You look at each opportunity in life and decide if it contributes to who you are or want to be.  You find the courage to step away from the flock and follow your own path.  You love yourself enough to take charge of your own life.  If you have not found yourself yet, perhaps you are not looking deep enough.  Perhaps you have betrayed who you are in order to keep peace and have security.

Fear always surfaces when we try to break an existing pattern.  It’s then we have to turn to faith. “When you have come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen:  there will be something to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”  These words have comforted me more often than I like to admit.  Have faith and trust yourself to become who you really are.  You are your greatest creation!

What challenges have you faced in becoming who you really are?  What helped you take the risk?  Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life, Being True to Oneself, Dare to Be Yourself

DANCING TO THE MUSIC OF YOUR HEART

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Do you ever feel that you don’t belong? Or that the people around you at work or home don’t understand who you are?  Are you searching for more meaningful experiences with others?

Tina Turner Chickens - Biltmore Estate

Is Our Inner Music Positive or Negative?

If you can answer yes, to any of these questions, perhaps you are dancing to the music that others don’t hear. And that’s okay as long as you like the music within. Is it a song of joy and love of life or of depression and sadness?  If you don’t like the song vibrating within you, then it’s time to change it.  If you do like it, then it’s important to just accept you are in a different place than those around you and that’s okay.

It is not surprising that we sometimes feel we are dancing to different music than the people around us.  When we are rooted in Spirit, we often do not share the values of our society at large.  We may try to explain to others who we are, but often they are not ready to hear this, for our different point of view threatens them.  In this situation, we experience discomfort because we feel separate.

But we are the only ones who can release feelings of separation by choosing to raise our vibration.  For example, I have a tendency to sing when I’m drying my hair.  It distracts me from the discomfort I feel holding the much too large hair dryer over my head.  Lately, I’ve been singing “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess.”  I suppose it’s wishful thinking.  When I finish drying my hair, instead of thinking the usual, “Thank goodness that’s over,” I feel cheerful and in touch with my passion for life.  Throughout my day, I dance to the energetic music I created from the heart.

Awakening to the Highest Response For All

We feel good when we feel One with All that Is.  When we meditate or walk by the seashore, we become One with the beautiful energy of Spirit.  In less peaceful situations, we need to allow that core energy to resonate within us.  We do not need to repress our feelings.  We need to feel them, then go within to take the time to choose a wise response.  We need to ask our inner selves, “What is the highest response for all concerned?”  That response will also be the best response for us as well.  We need to learn to be responsive rather than reactive.

The highest response does not always guarantee that the other person will agree or understand our perspective, but it is an opportunity to influence others.  Oneness says, “Those of you who have chosen to experience your awakening amongst the masses are planting the seeds of that heightened perspective in plain view, right where the world needs them most.  The lives of those you touch, even in passing, or teach by example, as you follow your own inner path in their presence, will be transformed by it.” (Pages192-193) Being different is often a blessing.

As with many things, we may not be present to see that transformation in our adversaries.  It will first be internal and invisible.  It may take place years from now.  We need not become attached to knowing what happens.  This was a lesson I had to learn as a teacher.  Over the years, so many students came through my classroom, and I never knew what influence I had on all of them.  I could only do my best and know that those who needed to learn the nonacademic lessons and were ready to learn, would learn.

Dancing With Others to the Music of Our Hearts

When others can hear the music to which we dance, we are energetically drawn to one another.  The more I concentrate on keeping my own vibration up through dancing and exercise, meditation, good food, mental stimulation, and positive thinking, the more I draw  like-minded people into my life.  After all, we are responsible for the song our heart sings.  Although it may be tempting, betraying the song within in order to connect to what is around us is never wise.

If you continue to dance to the beautiful music within you, others will begin to hear the music of your heart and soul.  Blessings for the New Year.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Beyond the Beyond (how music and prayer transformed Tina Turner), Heart Chakra Meditation, Conflict Resolution or Heart-Centered Communication

AWAKENING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN

“Some men (and women) have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.”  Martha Graham

Are you living the life you desire? What are your reasons for not doing that? Does every day flow peacefully as you easily move from one difficulty to another?  Or do you find your progress stymied by irritating and distracting events and issues?  What changes do you need to make?

Being Spiritually and Emotionally Stuck

Last week, I listened to a friend explain that she had not used the Emotional Freedom Technique I taught her to release negative mental blocks.  She was still thinking and processing the information.  We were in public so I listened politely, but I was surprised.  This was energy work not mental work.  I wanted to say, “It doesn’t matter what you think about it.  If you don’t try it, you’ll never know if it works.”  If thinking hasn’t caused her to become unstuck by this time, it isn’t the solution.

Only action can dig us out of our emotional ruts.  There is no perfect moment.  There is only the moment when we decide to act.  Thinking in a new way may bring us to this moment and help us see a new path, but until we act, we have not experienced the value of a new choice.  It is the experience that creates a new life for us.  Instant manifestation does occur, but most of the time what we want to manifest requires us to take at least one active step in the direction of what we want.

Only Thinking About Change Doesn’t Create It

Many years ago, I knew a man who wanted to get a job.  He was very spiritual and spent a great deal of time doing positive affirmations, but no job appeared.  When I asked him what jobs he had applied for, he answered that he hadn’t applied for any.  He just knew the right thing would come along if he kept affirming.  Finally, in desperation, he applied for one and got it.

It’s relatively easy to find reasons for not pursuing our dreams or making changes.  Our fear always gets in the way, and we camouflage it with practical excuses.  We can’t take the job we really want because it won’t pay enough or we’re sure we wouldn’t get it because we don’t have enough experience.  We create endless resistance.  We convince ourselves that making the change is impossible and come to a point where we feel good about not acting.  Accepting the status quo calms our fear, and it goes underground.

Taking the Risk to Dance in the Rain

But of course, the longing for something more does not go away and eats at us from time to time.  We find a good reason to change, but we convince ourselves it isn’t the right time.  Life is too complicated right now.  We don’t have enough money or support.  A wonderful unknown author once said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to be over, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Dancing in the rain, especially without an umbrella like Gene Kelley used, is a crazy fun thing to do.  We laugh, we sing, we let all that rain we were afraid would ruin our hairdo pour over us and we feel free like a child.  For one moment, we forget all the negatives and live life.  Without even realizing it, we have taken that blind leap of faith and are doing what we feared.

Taking the Blind Leap and Aligning with Godself

 So I wonder, what is my friend waiting for?  She has plenty of excuses not to act, but she needs only one reason to take that leap.  Oneness says that it is not courage we need to make this leap, but total detachment to outcome.  “That blind leap is one that is taken not within the confines of your mind, but is sourced within the depths of your heart of hearts.” (Page 76) By aligning with one’s Godself, one is able to know that “the outcome will reflect your highest possible good…” and “that there is nothing to fear.” (Page 77)

In the coming days, in the midst of the holiday bustle, let us be in touch with our heart of hearts, move lovingly through the storms, and take time to dance in the rain where we are open to all good things and cleansed of the fears that limit our joy.  Peace, Love, and Joy to you all!

©2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  How We Get Hooked and How We Get Unhooked – Pema Chodron; Letting Go

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THE SPIRITUAL DANCE OF INSPIRATION

Who inspires you? Whom do you inspire? Where does your inspiration lead you?

“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold.  That’s how important you are!”  Eckhart Tolle

You are unique. Live your life authentically, for only you can bring to the world what you were meant to bring.  If you do not live out your passion, it is not only your loss, but the world’s loss.  As the days grow longer and we spend more time inside, now is a good time to look deeper and explore whether you are living your true purpose.

I’ve been a dancer, teacher, and writer.  I love creating a new dance or piece of writing, but beneath all that is my real purpose—to inspire.  When I was first presented with this purpose, I thought, “How superficial.”  Compared to all the people who were feeding the hungry and curing the sick, it didn’t seem concrete enough to matter.  But then, I realized that I had done things I would never have done had I not been inspired by others.

As a teenager, I read about Isadora Duncan, the mother of modern dance.  She defied convention by living free from the constraints placed on the women of her time and created a new, freer form of dance.  She inspired me to become a modern dancer, but also to reject a conventional life that defined who I could be in terms too narrow for me to become who I truly was. As a result, dance became a powerful spiritual as well as creative practice, and in the process, my body which had been weakened by childhood diseases became strong.

In 1958, after living in the segregated South most of my life, I wrote an essay on prejudice for a ninth-grade English assignment.  My teacher’s comment was “With this objectivity, you would make a good journalist.”  She was the first person who encouraged my writing.  I was shy and introverted and couldn’t imagine interviewing people, but I thought, “Maybe people need to hear what I have to say.  Maybe my words matter.”  So I enrolled in speech classes and continued writing, knowing in my heart that someday I would write seriously.

By the time I had to make a choice about how to earn a living, another teacher had inspired me.  My eleventh grade history teacher had his students read and discuss classics like Utopia, The Prince, and 1984.  Instead of teaching wars, he used literature to teach the great ideas of each period and history came alive for the first time.

How Living Our Purpose May Inspire Others

As a result of these two teachers and the motivation that I could teach dance as well as teach English, I became a high school teacher dedicated to teaching students how to think.  I loved seeing their eyes light up as a concept became clear.  I loved seeing them become totally absorbed in creating a project.  I wanted to help them become lifelong learners and have the courage to become who they really were.

Find Your Calling to Live Fully

As my life has evolved and people have responded to my work, regardless of its form, I have come to understand inspiring others is my calling.  At the heart of each of us is a passion and purpose that enlivens us.  As it calls to us, we must find a way to answer the call or we will always wonder what could have been.  Sometimes the call comes from our interaction with others.  Sometimes it comes from that voice within whispering to us during the night when we lie awake.  Sometimes it slams into us because of loss and tragedy.  But it is our soul calling us back to ourselves and who we really are.  May you find your calling.

If you are searching for your calling, I highly recommend the classic book, Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, by Gregg Levoy.  It speaks deeply and eloquently about this topic.  If you live your calling, what is it?  Please share what it means to you under comments.

©2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  What Oprah Knows for Sure About Your Calling, How to Find Your Calling

ACCEPTING THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE

“Not everything that is faced can be changed.  But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin

Accepting Divine Order

When I first heard the term divine order, I latched onto it as way of describing the fluctuations in life that I didn’t always understand.  If a wonderful synchronistic event occurred, I labeled it divine order.  If something thoroughly unpleasant or tragic occurred, I labeled it divine order.  Divine order became the way I described all the mysteries in life.  It explained the unexplainable and helped me to accept what I couldn’t understand.

Learning to accept what is, whether we like what is happening or not, helps us to find peace and erases the resistance that may prevent us from understanding what is occurring.  At times, it may not be clear if what is occurring is a good or bad thing, but by accepting that it is in divine order, we acknowledge it is part of our reality.

Denial Undermines Our Power

People have a tendency to deny the negative experiences of life.  By doing so, we prevent ourselves from growing.  We need to acknowledge all experiences so that, if we are able to improve a situation, we don’t let the opportunity pass by.  Some things can’t be changed, but ignoring the ones that can only makes us feel less empowered or victimized.

The recent events at Penn State are a perfect example.  Many who were aware of the child abuse there chose to do nothing.  They denied and hid what they knew.  They refused to face the horrific effect their lack of action had on many young children.  Being unwilling to face their responsibility to stop this abuse, in the end, led to their disgrace.  Denial only delays the day we have to face the thing we fear.

Accepting What We Cannot Change

Unlike the Penn State disaster, there are events that occur over which we have no control.  The only thing we can control is our response.  A loved one becomes addicted to drugs.  Time after time they make foolish and dangerous choices, and time after time, we talk to them, and love them.  We may pay for them to see a counselor or go through a drug rehab program, but nothing we do changes their behavior.  We have faced the situation and are unable to change it, so we must accept it as it is.

Is the self-destruction of our loved one in divine order?  It is very difficult to believe it is, yet it may be the very experience that will eventually transform this person in a truly positive way.  In the middle of it, we have no way to know.  We can only accept what is and have faith that there is a karmic or spiritual reason for our loved one’s behavior.

Our society has encouraged us not to express negative feelings.  We’re supposed to be positive all the time, and in one sense, our society has encouraged us to deny what we really feel.  There’s nothing healthy about this although it is best for us to be aware of expressing those feelings appropriately.  But denying that we feel what we feel makes it impossible for us to resolve those problems and the issues around them.  We have to face it, if we want to change it.

The Divine Gift of Acceptance

Every year in January, a spiritual group to which I belong has a gift exchange.  We each bring an item that has meant a great deal to us, but one that we are ready to release.  The items are placed on a table and each person gets to choose.  Then, that person explains why they have chosen the gift and the person to whom it belonged explains what it meant to them.  Several years ago, I chose a stone a friend had originally bought at a Deepak Chopra seminar.  Across the stone is written “Acceptance,” and it lies on a table in my family room where I see it often to remind me that I need to accept what I cannot change.  Every year, I think, “I’m ready to let go of this.  I’ve learned about acceptance,” but inevitably life presents me with another lesson to illustrate that I still have more to learn.  I guess I have to accept the fact that I need to keep the stone for at least one more year.  How do you find acceptance with the difficult areas of your life?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Acceptance and Surrender, 12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow, Dangers of Denial

AWAKENING TO HAPPINESS

“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.”  Count Leo Tolstoy

It seems to me that the fall leaves are more brilliant than in past years.  Their colors vibrate with an intensity that feels like nature is joyfully expressing its aliveness.  Or is it just me?  Is the vibration of my energy higher than usual? Am I the one that is more alive?

Something significant has transformed my life.  Most of the time I am happy.  This was not the case in the past.  Today, many sources tell us that the vibration of the Universe is speeding up to lead us into a new age of peace, love, and community.  This change affects us all, and if we are in alignment with ourselves, we will flow with this new energy.  Not everything will be perfect and joyous, but our expanded awareness will allow us to make better choices and these choices will help us to be happier.

Thoughts Create Emotions

Despite the fact that this energy may be helping me to feel happier more often, I think there’s more to it than that.  Our thoughts create our emotions, and I choose to monitor my thoughts.  Reading certain books has reinforced the idea that how I think about a situation will determine how I experience it.  Any of the Abraham books by Esther and Jerry Hicks use this thinking as their basis as does Science of Mind.  At the bottom of the blog, I have recommended an Abraham video that does an excellent job of describing how to move from negative to positive emotions.

Balancing Our Energetic Alignment

We all need to pay attention to our thoughts.  The thought comes up, “I have so much to do today.  I’ll never get it done.”  If we accept this thought and attach to it, we set ourselves up to fail or feel stressed.  Instead, I think, “I have so much to do today.  It will be fun and satisfying to get it all done.  I look forward to today.” As I reconfigure the thought, I feel excited and know that all is well.  I start by making a list of what I want to do and set priorities.  That gives me a guide for the day that makes it easier to flow from one task to another.  I also love to check off each item as it is completed and this reinforces my sense of accomplishment.

Laughing at Your Face in the Mirror

Whenever possible I choose to spend my time with people who, for the most part, focus on the positive.  It is often difficult to maintain a positive point of view when we are around people who constantly irritate us.  However, the people who irritate us the most may be here to serve as triggers for us or we are here to serve as triggers for them.  Our conflicted interaction is an opportunity to learn major lessons.  At times, they are mirroring something in us that we need to see.

Recently, as listened to a speaker, I became very irritated, thinking, “She’s too dramatic.  What an ego.  She needs to tone it down.”  Then she announced that her topic that day was judgment.  I couldn’t help laughing at myself.  Not only have I been accused of being too emotional and dramatic, I immediately saw how she mirrored me.  Letting go of my judgment of her presentation allowed me to really hear what she said, and it was powerful.  Laughing at our foibles is an excellent way to raise our vibration.

Choice Empowers Us

When we consciously choose our responses to life’s challenges, we can begin to create the life we want.  If we see life as always happening to us, we have no power.  We can only empower ourselves by knowing that we can change our negative thoughts to more positive ones.  We can choose to find the best in each day, each person and each experience and this will lift our vibration.  Happiness is a choice.  Everything in our lives doesn’t have to be perfect in order for us to be happy.  Frankly, in this changing world, having at least one thing a day for which to be happy seems like a great gift to me.  What makes you happy today?  Please comment.

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  (Video) Abraham – Choose good feeling thoughts to get into the Vortex, Constantly Choosing a Positive Attitude