Tag Archives: Creativity

DANCING TO LIFE

“Dance when you’re broken open.  Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off.  Dance in the middle of the fighting.  Dance in your blood.  Dance when you’re perfectly free.”  Rumi

Photo by Sandy Jones

Photo by Sandy Jones

Does your dance of life include the dirges as well as the waltzes?  Can you find some peace or joy in the really challenging parts of life?  Are you able to let go when it’s time to let go?

It has been a tough few days.  My dear friend Sandy passed on this week although I hoped somehow she would survive cancer.  Whenever I think of Sandy, I think of her beautiful photography and her eternal dance with nature.  She invited me to join her one day to take pictures and I learned so much.  She had a magical eye and each picture she took showed me some aspect of the subject that I would have overlooked without seeing it through her eyes.

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Challenges May Often Change Us For The Better

Sandy was such an inspiration to me as I sometimes took her to chemotherapy.  During our rides, we began to talk deeper in ways we never had before.  She shared more of her life, and she opened like a blooming red rose.  I won’t try to describe the change that took place—I’ll let her speak for herself, so please take a moment to listen to this video, and meet my dear friend.

When I heard a week ago that she would make her transition soon, I began to really feel the loss.  I couldn’t bear the thought that we would never dance together again as artists as we had when she created a slide show to match the poetry I read.  Our exciting creative collaboration was really the center of our friendship, and it had been a long time since I had created work with another person.

Soon after hearing the news, I walked into my bedroom where one of her photos hung on the wall, a picture of a bridge over part of a stream with dogwood framing the scene.  And there she was standing on the bridge waving good-bye to me smiling, and every time in the last week that I have passed that picture, her image was there in my mind’s eye.  I felt such peace knowing she was ready.

Photo:  Sandy Swanson copied from the original

Photo: Sandy Swanson copied from the original

We Can Always Choose How We Respond To Life

Sandy reminds me that the dance of life is so varied and we can’t always make it be what we want it to be.  I am starting a new life with the most loving partner I could ever imagine; Sandy has passed from this life.  It doesn’t seem fair.  Life—it just is.  Someday I’ll be crossing that bridge too—we all will.  And it will be my final dance, but in the meantime I’m going to dance to all of life and feel each moment completely.

Dancing to life is about engaging with whatever is happening and feeling it fully.  We can kick up our heels joyfully or we can drag our feet remorsefully.  We can jump start new projects or we can slowly waltz around them.  It’s okay if the dancing hurts sometimes because life isn’t always good to us, but if we learn to cultivate joy, it can lift the quality of life immensely.

We Can Dance With Our Bodies And Minds

There’s no better way to find joy than to dance with our bodies or our minds. When I write I dance with words.  Others make preparing food a dance.  This week, the Olympic skaters will be dancing on ice.  When we hike in the forest, we dance among the trees.  A good dinner and conversation with friends is like a dance.  When we sleep, we may dance with our dreams.

When I feel sad about Sandy, I remember that she’s now with Oneness and she is well—dancing with the stars, I suspect, and of course taking their pictures.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                                   ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Finding Peace in Death, Navigating Loss and Dealing with the Pain of Letting Go

AWAKENING TO BE THE ARTIST OF YOUR LIFE

“What do we do with chaos?

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“Creativity has an answer.  We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order.  Chaos is a prelude to creativity.  We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it and attempt some ordering.  Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it.  Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible—combining holy patience with holy impatience—that is the role of the artist.  It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way.  We are all artists as children.  We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful.  Something sustainable.  Something that remains.”  Matthew Fox, Creativity

Creation Spirituality

Last week, I was privileged to hear Matthew Fox speak at a spiritual gathering.  He is a powerful speaker and leader, and his philosophy of Creation Spirituality is the basis for the spiritual community to which I belong.  Creation Spirituality is the belief that all creation is Original Blessing, and it integrates the wisdom of Eastern and Western spirituality with current scientific understanding and the passion of creativity.

Cover of "Creativity"

Cover of Creativity

We Must Be Creative To Solve Problems

To those who do not see themselves as creative, Fox’s quote may seem abstract, but as one who has participated in all the fine arts and for a time was a professional modern dancer, I know exactly what he means.  In fact, as surprising as it may seem, my studies of dance, theater, voice, and art have all taught me how to create a better life for myself because they taught me how to keep my mind open and how to create order from chaos.

In life as in art, we are continually faced with making decisions.  Using our rational mind to make these decisions is one approach, but we also have a right brain, as well as a left brain, that can lead us down many paths to solve each problem.  We are most likely to find a good, workable solution to the problems that confront us when we are willing to consider more than one possibility.

We Must Experiment to Create Order Out of Chaos

As a choreographer, I learned to experiment—try this movement and that.  I would develop a theme and then create variations to make the dance more interesting while allowing the basic theme to give it unity.  When this approach didn’t work, I threw out the movement that didn’t look good and explored how I could use another movement to express my idea.  Once in a while, I would choreograph a large portion of a dance and have to face the fact that it just didn’t work.  It didn’t communicate what I wanted, or it wasn’t interesting enough, or it just didn’t flow and I would have to throw out the whole thing.

And at times, I would just have to wait.  I could feel the solution to the problem simmering in the back of my mind.  Then, in a dream or while I was vacuuming or reading a book, suddenly the image would appear—a rhythmic pattern, a series of movements, a costume or concept—and  reveal to me the missing piece I needed to complete the dance.

Life often feels like this to me.  A problem arises and I don’t know how to solve it.  I research, talk to people I know and hopefully what I need to do becomes clear.  But at times, my daily life feels like chaos and no answers appear.  When it begins to feel out of control, I have to stop.  I remember that the answers to my questions cannot appear if I’m not listening with the “holy patience” that Fox refers to.

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Answers May Be Found When We Are Quiet

So, I go within to meditate or step into the natural world and let the playful squirrels or singing birds remind me I am a part of something more than the chaos that wears me down.  When I’m calm, I am better able to discern what I need to do.  It may be nothing or I may need to deal with the chaos by setting up a schedule and prioritizing what I need to do.  Using my creativity, I dance on that edge between chaos and order.

We are the artists of our own lives, and we have many choices about how to create order out of our chaos.  But the most important thing is for us to believe that we can.  We can only change the world if we believe we can change our own lives, and if we believe that, we will find the way to do it.  Because each time we succeed in creating order out of chaos, we inspire ourselves and those who observe our actions, who perhaps will be inspired to change their lives.

Our Lives are Sacred

Perhaps this is what Fox meant in his talk when he said, “If we have a sense of the sacred, we can change things.”  We do not have to do it alone.  In those quiet moments, even in the midst of chaos, we are in touch with Spirit.  We are reminded that we are sacred, our lives are sacred, and the earth is sacred.  We live in a creative Universe, and as we create our lives, let us remember we are each artists who can create order out of the chaos of our world.  No one else can do this for us.

How are you the artist of your life?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Matthew Fox – Creation Spirituality (video), How to Create a Balanced Life:  How to Feel Calm and Grounded, Everyone Is Invited to This Dance, Creativity

AWAKENING TO THE SACRED DANCE

“Something opens our wings.  Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.  Someone fills the cup in front of us.  We taste only sacredness.”  Rumi

Sergey Yeliseev

Photographer: Sergey Yeliseev

What is sacred to you?  How important is it in your life?  What role does it play in helping you deal with challenges in life?

Accessing the Sacred Through Creativity

I begin to write a poem inspired by a thought created by something I see in nature or one that comes to me through Spirit.  I start writing, letting the thoughts and images flow without editing until they stop.  There is no rational thought here.  It feels like the words come from a sacred place filling the empty page, and if I am writing about nature, a tree or an animal, it feels as if I become one with it.

Any creation is sacred.  When I am creating, it doesn’t matter what is happening in my life.  The conflicts, aches, frustrations all drop away and I am floating in a clear sky, peaceful and full of potential.  Opening my wings, I open my mind.

THE RAVEN’S DANCE

by

Georganne Spruce

The breath of the wind

Rustling through the maples

Touches my cheek gently,

And I become the Raven

Coasting on an updraft.

Wings touching the clouds,

I bend backwards and stretch

Upon the cool fresh grass,

My wings becoming

Arms again.

The crickets sing in my ear,

Their chorus of ancient rhythms

Inspire me and I dance

On the breath of life

As I have never danced.

Like the cave artist, I draw

My ecstatic dance through space

Singing with the crickets,

Dancing on the earth

Where fires will glow at night

Welcoming sages.

I will dance for them

My truths,

I will dance for them

My joy,

I will dance for them

The Raven’s dance,

Wings flying through eternity,

Littering holy messages

At their feet,

I will dance life,

I will dance life,

I …will…dance…LIFE!

Finding Peace At Our Centers

But when our wings don’t open, and the boredom and hurt don’t disappear, and no one fills the cup, what can we do?  This morning I had to balance my chakras before I could do anything.  The challenges of mundane life became a burden this week, and every attempt I made to move forward was blocked.  I’ve felt emotionally exhausted from not being able to complete the changes I needed to make and finally realized I was neglecting my spiritual self, and that was what was creating the problem.  When I am centered, the challenges do not become burdens.

English: A dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya perf...

English: A dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya performing one of the Karanas (key poses) of Natya Yoga. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Releasing the Ego’s Concerns

Often, stepping into the spiritual realm by doing meditation, affirmations, yoga or chakra balancing will take us to a place where we can let go of our ego and emotional attachments to the things that burden us.  When we have released the attachment, we can often see the situation more objectively and open our minds to solutions we haven’t considered.  But most importantly, it reminds us that there is more to us than our physical lives.

Connect With Spirit Through Nature

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For me, connection with nature has a calming influence and reminds me I am connected to all living beings and that awareness expands my energy.  The sound of flowing water, the soaring bird, the playful squirrel all remind me of the beauty inherent in all of us and that we are all One, connected by the energy of Spirit and that there is a peace beneath the surface chaos.

Art May Take Us Deeper

But words, music, art, or dance may also take us to a deeper level and bathe our soul in peace or joy.  Athletes often speak of being in the flow.  Regardless of the activity, when we experience the Oneness of that flow or connect on the heart level to a piece of music, art, or poetry, we are in a sacred space and become a part of the dance of life.  We are uplifted in the deepest sense and strengthened by our connection to the sacred.

How do you experience the sacred in your life?  Please Comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  9 Practical and Spiritual Tips for Letting Go of Unhealthy Attachments, Eckhart Tolle – Acceptance and Surrender, 5 Ways to Find Your Center When Life Feels Overwhelming

AWAKENING TO TRANSITIONS

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”  Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

How do you feel about transitions?  Does the uncertainty about the future disturb you or fill you with anticipation?  

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Autumn slipped in when I wasn’t looking.  Suddenly there was a tree along the highway that had turned red and yellow and began dropping leaves when all the other trees remained green and lush.  Soon a few older brown leaves that had clung to the oaks all summer began to fall, and some of the grass in the yard started dying.

Life May Grow Out of Endings

On the other hand, the side of the yard that was recently dug up to replace a drainage pipe has been reseeded and underneath the straw is  growing new grass, an interesting contrast to harvest time.  These contrasts in nature are a reminder that, we may find life where there seems to be death and death where we thought there was life.

As soon as I graduated from college, I married, and two years later, my husband came home and announced he did not want to be married any longer.  I was utterly shocked.  The thought of losing him felt like death.  As it turned out, he didn’t leave then, and we managed to keep the marriage together for another eight years of turmoil.  When it finally ended, it still felt like death.

But out of that death, I found a new lifeone in which I learned how to take care of myself so that I could make decisions from a position of confidence and choose to pursue an independent life.  As I felt more empowered, I no longer felt desperate to find another husband.  I was creating a life I liked and would only consider relationships with people who respected who I really was.

An Ending May Lead To A More Spiritual Life

Because of the economic changes in our society, many people have had to give up the life they led and adapt to a less extravagant way of living.  Others, who lived moderately, have had to pare down to the absolute essentials.  It is not easy to let go of what we considered the comforts of life, but it can lead us to something else of value.

When we can spend less money on things, perhaps we will spend more time with loved ones and also have the time to look within and develop our spiritual lives.  When we have nothing to lose, we may find the courage to follow our passions:  create art, open a restaurant, teach in a foreign country or become a hospice volunteer.  Endings can be the beginnings of a new life.

Years ago, when I taught drama in New Mexico, my students wrote a play “The End Is the Beginning.”  It was about some teens who made harmful decisions like getting pregnant and being involved with drugs, but in the end, they realized they had to change, and each chose to create a positive life.  I hope their characters were role models.

Transitions Are Rites Of Passage

Resisting the changes we can’t control is futile.  Finding a pleasure in the new will always make the transition easier.  Often the transition is a rite of passage following a major change that forces us to shift how we think about our lives.  When I had to stop teaching modern dance because of knee problems, I realized that far too much of my identity was bound up in being a dancer.  It took time for me to accept that my real identity had little to do with the specific thing I did.

A photo of the sculpture "Dancer and the ...

A photo of the sculpture “Dancer and the dance” by John Safer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This transition was not easy.  I felt like a ship adrift at sea. Over time, I began to see that creativity was a large part of who I was and that I was creative in many areas of my life: decorating my apartment, handling my finances, teaching English, and solving life’s problems.

My creativity was not limited to dance, and as I explored my creative nature, I looked deeper into the source of my creativity, realizing it was connected to my spiritual core.

It was then that I began to explore how to grow spiritually by reading, studying new philosophies and spiritual practices that would allow me to change in the ways I wanted to change.  What had once felt like the death of a part of me became a passage through which I found a richer life.  I would always be grateful I was a dancer, but it no longer defined me.

Spirit Is Always There To Guide Us

Transitions often frighten us because we can’t yet see what will replace what we have lost, but we have to learn to trust ourselves and know that we will be guided in the right direction.  When we have a spiritual life, we know that there is guidance beyond what is apparent on this earthly plane.  We can go within, release our fear, and allow Spirit to guide us to the next step.  Every change in life is an opportunity to expand and that is why we are here.

How has a transition led to a positive change in your life?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                          ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Transitions and Changes:  Practical Strategies, How Endings Make Room for Beginnings, How to Make the Most of Your Life Transitions

AWAKENING TO WHOLENESS

Dear readers, If there are inconsistencies in my blog, please excuse them.  Each time I preview it, what appears is different.  The post page keeps changing what I have put on.  such is the technical world.  Look carefully for the words with links.  They are not holding the blue color.

“I now have a view of spirituality I didn’t have before.  It’s a more integrated spirituality where wholeness is experienced throughout the entirety of our lives.  I now believe that separation of sacred and mundane is hurting our civilization more than helping.”  Dr. Amit Goswami

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Do you feel whole within or do you always feel something is missing?  If you feel whole, how did that come about?  Are you able to express it in your mundane life?

The End Is The Beginning

Today is 12-12-12.  Some identify it as the end of the Mayan calendar and the end of an era.  Some believe it’s the end of the world.  But one truth stands out above all the theories for me.  Every ending is a beginning.  We are leaving behind a life totally centered on rationality and patriarchal values.  This change is a beautiful opportunity to balance and find wholeness within ourselves and our world.

Making the SHIFT

I’ve  pointed out that we need to move from competition to cooperation, but today, I want to look at another split we need to heal and this integrated approach to spirituality is beautifully described in an article “Endless Emergent Possibilities:  Spirituality +Science =SHIFT!” by Kathy Young in the December issue of Science of Mind Magazine.

For many of the years I was a dancer, my spirituality came from the transcendence I experienced while dancing or creating dances.  I felt the same thing when I wrote poetry.  In those moments, I was (and still am) in touch with something greater than myself.  Athletes would call this being in the “zone.”  In those moments we go beyond the physical body to a place where there are no boundaries and no limitations.

Integrating Sacred and Mundane

In the article, Dr. Goswami states, “We see that anytime we have a creative feeling, we are engaging with the sacred.  It makes much more sense to abolish the separation and recognize that the sacred is the creative, and to actively invite that into every activity in everyday life.”  Artists and writers understand this although they may not necessarily label it as sacred.

Valuing the rational above all else has limited our development as human beings.  There are always times when we need to think rationally.  It allows us to organize, focus, and act.  It is a valuable trait, but it is only one aspect of mind power.  To be whole, we need to embrace the rational and emotional, the mundane and the spiritual, and the masculine and the feminine in each of us.  The Tao symbol is the perfect visual image of the balance we need to achieve, for the yin and the yang are intertwined.

Religion has given us an image of the sacred that is controlled by rules and the idea that we must transcend this earthly plane to become spiritual.  But when we find the spiritual wholeness at our centers, it is not limited by man’s definitions of what we should be.  Our mundane and sacred aspects become One and we experience a beautiful freedom that opens the mind.  As the mind opens more, we can accommodate new ideas and new visions.

Education Must Include Creativity

One of the worst things we have done in our society is to remove creative classes from our schools.  Art develops spatial awareness.  Music develops mathematical awareness.  Dance develops spatial and kinesthetic awareness.  Being involved with theater productions develops so many talents, I can’t list them all—all the above and psychological understanding of character, empathy, and how to take different elements and integrate them into a whole.

It’s no surprise that our most amazing business people are the most creative ones.  What if we started encouraging creativity in all areas of life and rewarded those who came up with new ideas?

Living Enlightenment On Earth

This morning I read an article that describes so perfectly what I am saying and what Dr. Goswami is suggesting about integrating the sacred and mundane.  On the Biltmore Estate, they are growing canola plants.  They will be harvested and the oil will be sold to local restaurants.  The left-over leaves will be fed to cattle.  After the restaurants use the oil, it will be recycled into biodiesel fuel to run the machinery on the farm.  Brilliant!

If we encourage and allow people to become the naturally creative beings they are, we can truly save the world because that creativity can take us to that realm where all the answers reside.  We don’t need to transcend this earthly plane to achieve enlightenment.  We just need to learn to live enlightened lives right here, right now and change our world so that we are all whole, healthy, and respect all life.  Bringing the sacred and the mundane together can heal all our lives.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Online Interview with Georganne: Dames of Dialogue

Related Articles:  What is Quantum Activism? With Dr. Amit Goswami, Scientific Proof of the Existence of God,  The Divine Feminine and Sacred Sexuality

AWAKENING TO BE SPECIAL

“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.”  Oscar Wilde

What do you strive to be:  a “normal” human being or someone special?  Have you started developing your special talent or are you waiting for someone to tell you you’re capable?

We Need To Feel Special

We all want to be special to someone, don’t we?  While I may laugh at Oscar Wilde’s comment about women, I have to admit that in a relationship with a man, I want to be important and special to him.  I think most women feel this way.  We want to be “the One.”

In our families, we want to know that we are valued by our parents and siblings.  We all need to feel important to someone, but the truth is that no matter how many people think we are special, unless we think we are, we won’t experience that we are special.

Children Need To Be Encouraged To Develop Their Talents

Ultimately, we have to see and respect our own specialness and see that it’s a good thing.  As a child I was very creative.  I designed my own paper doll clothes and wrote stories.  At about thirteen, I wanted to be a dress designer, but my mother discouraged me because that would be too competitive.  At fourteen when I took an art class at school, my teacher characterized my latest drawing of a phoenix amid crumbling and fiery Greek columns as unusual (weird, in other words).  I got the message: art wasn’t my thing.

Fortunately, my mother encouraged me to become involved with drama which I enjoyed and which led me to become a modern dancer.  But no matter what I did creatively, in my family it was more important to be practical.  It was okay to have fun with these creative things, but not to take them too seriously despite the fact that my parents had artistic talent.  What mattered was making money, not following your passion.

Don’t Wait For Other People’s Approval

Eventually, I gave up trying to gain their approval and just followed my own path.  Even if others couldn’t see it, I knew how much work and courage it took for me to become a dancer.  I knew I was special even if others didn’t.  I knew in the overall scheme of things I wasn’t a great dancer, but it didn’t matter.  It made me happy.

You see, my ex-husband saw me as an ordinary person.  He thought my dancing was a childish pursuit I would eventually tire of.  My hard work and accomplishment meant nothing to him because again, practicality was all he valued.  It hurt to finally understand how “unspecial” I was to him.  But I learned a valuable lesson.

We Are Each On A Special Journey

We are each special and unique in our own ways.  Our most precious quality may be something no one else can see, but we know about it and must honor ourselves.  To expect the world to see how special we are may not be realistic.  All we can do is express who we are, and if we are true to that, we will eventually draw to us the people who do appreciate who we really are.

This week two people who are reading my spiritual memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness told me that they couldn’t put it down.  One man read it in three days.  It’s nice to know that all the hard work I put into the book is paying off because the point to writing is to move and entertain people.   But it would never have happened if I hadn’t believed I was special enough to do it.  Do you know how special you are?

What gifts have you not developed because you are waiting for someone else to tell you that you are good enough?  Why not take the first step today?  Let me know how it goes.  Namaste.

©2012 Georganne Spruce                                                  ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Wayne Dyer Talks About Being Yourself (video), The Path to Unconditional Acceptance, Our Talents Are Our Gifts – Use Them Well

AWAKENING TO OUR GENIUS

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”  Buckminster Fuller

How many times have you been told your brilliant idea was foolish?  How often are your child’s creative ideas disregarded at school?  How often is an innovative idea ignored by those in power?

Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I attended a play last week about Buckminster Fuller, the genius who created many structures based on the geodesic dome.  He was a man with fascinating ideas, including the idea that humanity would someday use renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power, and the idea that we have the technology to feed all people on the planet.  Does this sound familiar?  He was a man dedicated to discovering what one individual could do to help humanity.  He died in 1983.

Genuises Follow Their Passion

I’ve always been drawn to Fuller although I don’t understand many of his theories, but like many geniuses he lived out his passion without succumbing to the pressures of being “normal.”  He also taught at Black Mountain College, near where I live, where the innovative choreographer Merce Cunningham spent some summers.  They both had a passion related to the use of space.

Monet, the Impressionist painter, was full of passion like Fuller.  Nothing could stop him.  Despite poverty, war, and the lost of his wife, his soulmate, he continued to paint, even in the bitter cold of winter, no matter how many times his paintings were rejected.  And because of that we now can experience the joy of viewing his paintings where light and shadow play in ways no painter before him had ever captured.

Monet Impression Soleil Levant

Monet Impression Soleil Levant (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

Following Your Passion Leads to New Insights

So what really constitutes genius?  Fuller also said, “I’m not a genius.  I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience.”  There’s no doubt that experience makes it possible for us to understand and create more because we develop more skills.  But I think what constitutes a genius is one who has a vision and follows it relentlessly.  That passion to discover and understand pushes us beyond the normal limits of human curiosity, and it is there, beyond reality, that we discover what no one has seen before.

After seeing Fuller’s story, I was left with this thought.  How many of the young geniuses in our schools are we losing?  Does anyone notice the quiet kid doodling in the back of the room when we celebrate athleticism and extraversion above all else?

Do We Encourage the Geniuses in Our Schools?

For several years, I taught gifted high school students in the New Orleans Public Schools.  These students had IQ’s of 130 and above.  I also taught in a small town in New Mexico and in other school systems there.  I substituted in North Carolina schools as well.  What I observed in these schools in contrast to what I saw in the private schools where I had taught in my early teaching years was shocking.

The students in the public schools did not see themselves as being capable of meeting any but the lowest standards.  They often had difficulty getting into college or technical schools because, despite their intelligence, they didn’t believe they were capable of much or simply lacked basic skills.  In some instances, they were so bored that they made little effort, or they hid their intelligence in order to fit in with their peers.  And no teacher dared challenge the status quo because they were afraid of being fired by administrators who wanted to keep everything within the safety of “the box.”

We Need to Love Intelligence

Fuller believed that all children were born brilliant, but that education and society destroyed their creativity.  I’m afraid I tend to agree.  We are obsessed with conformity and were particularly obsessed with it in the 1950s when I was growing up.  I was told many times that the creative things I wanted to do were inappropriate for me.  I was supposed to get married and have kids, not have a career, not design dresses or become a doctor.

Although I hope we are past the sexist attitudes of an earlier time, I feel that extremely intelligent and “nerdy” kids are facing a huge challenge.  They are often the ones who are bullied.  They are often ignored or their unusual ideas are laughed at.  They are often not socially at ease.  But they are also the ones like Steve Wozniak who may create the technology we need to save the planet.

We are facing a critical point in our development as a human race.  We need everyone’s creative ideas to solve the problems that face us, and our educational system and attitudes need to change to respect those with innovative and unusual ideas.  The development of new technology that will allow us to save the planet and feed the hungry requires two things:  creative thinking and technical skill.  Learning these skills should be the priority in our schools, not learning how to give the right answers on standardized tests.

Spiritually Healing Ourselves Will Heal the Planet

So, what does this all have to do with spirituality?  Everything.  Unless we can be who we truly are, develop and experience the talents we bring to this earth, and share our talents with humanity, we cannot truly be whole.  Fuller was often ignored during his life and suffered many setbacks, but he always stayed true to who he was.

If we are to experience wholeness, we must not only heal the limitations in ourselves, but also heal what is wrong with our society.  We must learn to respect the diversity in each other, not just ethnically, but mentally as well.  Because, if we can learn to accept more diversity and new ideas, we may discover the geniuses who will save our world.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Happy Birthday, Buckminster Fuller, Interview with Buckminster Fuller (video), (PLEASE READ THIS – Are We Failing Our Geniuses?

AWAKENING TO OUR WILDNESS, Being Authentic, Part 1

“Be your authentic self.  Your authentic self is who you are when you have no fear of judgment, or before the world starts pushing you around and telling you who you’re supposed to be.  Your fictional self is who you are when you have a social mask on to please everyone else.  Give yourself permission to be your authentic self.”  Dr. Phil

When you dance with life, which dance do you prefer: the one someone else created or the one you created?  Who are you really?

Getting in Touch With Our Untamed Self

There is a part of me that has always remained untamed.  As a child and for many years, it primarily remained underground.  I tried to be a good girl, not cause trouble, and do the right thing.  As a result, I was very uptight, nervous, anxious, and socially uncomfortable.  I had this feeling that who I really was, this thinking, creative being, wasn’t a good thing.

But there were two things that saved me.  The first was that my family spent many hours out-of-doors where I experienced Oneness with nature.  When the weather was good, we went on hikes, swam in lakes and rivers, and picnicked under the trees.  In the silence of nature, there were no expectations, only the silence in which to be.  And I loved our pet cats because they were cuddly and playful, but undomesticated unlike dogs.  They simply remained who they were.

The second thing that saved me was my creative nature.  That creative energy within felt like the real me.  It was spacey and flowing, unpredictable and joyful, not at all practical like the main quality of most of my kin.  As a child, I created wardrobes for my paper dolls; as an adolescent, I was in plays and wrote speeches; as a young adult, I became committed to being a modern dancer; as a mature adult, I began writing.  Those creative expressions came from a mysterious and unique place deep within me that no one else could touch.

Hiding Behind Society’s Masks

As I entered adulthood and faced my impending marriage, I became aware of the extent to which I had learned to accommodate who I was supposed to be.  Sometimes, I caught myself telling little white lies.  They were created to keep the peace, and I realized I had been doing that for a long time out of fear of being rejected.  I began to monitor myself and tried to be more honest in my communication with those I cared about because I knew I wasn’t being totally genuine.

But being a good wife, teacher, and dancer was stressful.  In Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, my spiritual memoir, I reflected on this dilemma.  “At times, who I was seemed as mysterious to me as the mystery of who Gary [my husband] was. What was behind the masks we wore? We put on our husband and wife masks and did the marriage dance, the balletic pas de deux—playing the prince and princess. We smiled, we touched each other affectionately in public. He brought me flowers when I performed and roses on Valentine’s. We celebrated birthdays, promotions, and performances. But sometimes beneath his persona as a police officer, behind the uniform and the revolver, I saw moments I pretended not to see—moments of insecurity he pretended didn’t exist, doubts—doubts about himself, our marriage, or me.”

We play out these conditioned roles because it is uncomfortable to go against society or our families.  People we love may desert us.  We may lose a job.  This happened to me twice because I refused to do what I felt was unethical. When others are comfortable doing the foxtrot, they resent our doing the tango. But as long as we wear the masks others create for us, we are dancing their dance, not ours.

We are taught these roles are who we are supposed to be, but who we are authentically can only be created by us.  Shakespeare said it best, “This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.”(Hamlet)  And that is the core of it.  If we cannot be honest with ourselves about who we are, we cannot be honest with others.

Being Authentic Makes Us Free

Being authentic is true freedom.  It puts us in touch with our Wildness, that purity of nature that lures us to the forest or ocean, for the energy and essence of nature is within us.  We are all One.  When we are in touch with our Wildness, our Oneness, we no longer fear the judgments of others.  We empower ourselves by accepting who we are, and on the deepest level, what we think of ourselves is all that matters.  This is not to say that we do not have to treat others in a responsible manner.  It does mean that we will take full responsibility for our own choices and accept the consequences of our actions.  If we mess up, we have to clean it up.

When we are authentic, we feel secure, for we are also connected with our inner spirit, and thus with that Spirit that is Oneness.  In the silence of meditation or nature or creative expression, we are able to touch our deepest core and who we truly are.  When we are authentic, it is easy to love ourselves.  When we love ourselves, it is easier to love others and to draw to us those people who will truly love us for who we are.

Next week, I will introduce you to a friend who has created a space in which to experience his Wildness, The Space With No Name.

In one sentence, who are you really?

©2012 Georganne Spruce                                                        ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

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AWAKENING TO VENUS

“Venus favors the bold.”  Ovid

English: 2004.06.08 Venus Transit, Celestron 8...

English: 2004.06.08 Venus Transit, Celestron 8″ Catadioptric Telescope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Compared to the sun, Venus is only a dot, and as I watched her move across the sun yesterday, I thought her rather bold and a rather wonderful symbol for us all. Life often looms large, like the sun, blinding us with its powerful brilliance and overwhelming what we feel are our small contributions to life.  And yet if each of us stood still, afraid to venture into the unknown or the known that seems too much for us, where would we be? Slowly and surely, one mile at a time, Venus progressed across the face of the sun, which is 113 times larger than she.  It took about seven hours for her to make the transit.  Not completing the journey is not an option.  She just does it.

Finding the Spiritual Courage to Fulfill Dreams

How many times have we dreamed a dream and hesitated or abandoned it because of fear—the fear that it was too difficult, that it would take too long, that it would cost too much, that it would require too much sacrifice.  But the price of walking away from our dreams is huge.  I have had dreams for which I worked for years.  I succeeded in becoming a modern dancer dancing with a company, but I could never make the other dream manifest—that of having a career as a dance teacher in a college where I could teach and earn a livable wage. Even though I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, I have no regrets and feel good about my attempts. In the last year and a half, I have felt a little like Venus trying to make her way through this huge project of writing and publishing a book.  As it turned out, the publishing part has been much more challenging than I could have imagined, and if I had had any idea how difficult it would be, I probably would never have started.  But the secret is this—I simply took it one step at a time and trusted that what I needed next would show up.  And it has.

Living With the Natural Flow

Most of life lives in trust with nature, moving through the natural cycles without questioning the process.  Only we humans use our minds to separate us from the natural rhythms that can support and assist us.  Trusting in nature or Spirit or ourselves allows us to also release the fear that often blocks our progress.  It puts us in the flow where all answers reside.

Venus Supports the Changes We Need

I taught Greek mythology for years and always made a point of relating the myths and the characters to real life.  Venus or the Greek Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love.  She represents beauty, truth, harmony, love, and creativity.  To see her as a sex goddess is to deny her real essence.  As a planet, she is the only feminine one.  In her bold move across the sun, she is calling to our attention all that she represents.  It is a time for the feminine to become more influential in our world, time for us to seek harmony rather than winning, time to be creative in solving our personal and world problems, time for us to learn to love those who are different, and time for us to demand a more transparent government to support truth.

Being Bold Enough to Change

The astrological influences of this transit are also interesting.  If you want to know more about those, I recommend Belinda Dunn’s website, astrodelight.com and her Celestial Currents for May.  She, too, affirms that we are in a significant time of change.  It is time to pursue our dreams, and the irony is this:  when what we know falls apart, it’s time to change.  In my community, I am awed by the number of people who are creating small businesses when the economy is so precarious.  They are boldly reevaluating their lives, examining their true talents, and using those talents to create a new life that feeds their souls as well as their finances. Our journeys are often not as peaceful and straightforward as Venus’ Transit.  But that is her journey.  We each have to follow our own. One of these days, I’ll actually have that paperback book available for sale.  When it’s done; when the time is right; when it’s in Divine Order. In the meantime, I want to remember that Venus teaches us to value harmony, and I’ll try to stay in harmony with myself, others, and the planet—boldly, of course.

What thoughts or feelings has the Venus Transit brought up for you?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Venus Transit* Astrology and Symbolism, June 5-June 6, 2012: The Return of the FeminineThe Meaning of the Venus Transit in 2012

AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE: Feel the Love, Part 2

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  William Shakespeare

Where do you find love in your life?  Is your only source other people or do you look beyond and find it reflected elsewhere?

We all need to experience love.  In every spiritual journey, love is the key element.  We learn about it through many experiences; sometimes in secondary experiences through which others have expressed their love.

Art Touches the Heart and Soul

A few weeks ago, as I walked through the entrance of an amazing garden, Wamboldtopia, I felt transported into another dimension, one which brought the ancient spiritual energy of the past into the present.  The energy of this place touched me because of the natural beauty, especially the bright red and iridescent lavender of blooming azaleas and the lush green of many kinds of plants.  But this garden was created by a wonderful artist, Damaris Pierce, to create a natural home for much of her art work.  As I wondered down the paths, I found elfish houses, graceful sculptured women, and the face of a Green Man, and through these, Damaris’ spirit and love of nature touched me.

Only a love deeply connected to nature would create this energy.  But that is what an artist does—connect with that inner source of spirituality, even if they don’t call it that.  That is why we feel uplifted after walking in the natural beauty of nature or through an art gallery where the art reveals the depth of artists’ souls.  When the two are combined, we cannot help but feel the love of Spirit visiting us through those creations.

Through Nature’s Creatures We Receive Love

Other encounters with nature can also activate our own loving source and bring it to the surface.  As I ate lunch today with the back door open to my deck, an older Siamese cat approached.  I had seen her in the neighborhood before and attempted to pet her, but she ran.  This time, I talked to her through the door with warm words.  Slowly I moved onto the deck, and she began to give me those double messages cats love to give:  you can pet me, no you can’t.  I sat on the steps and waited.  She moved closer and allowed me to pet her, then suddenly she jumped into my lap and started rubbing me with her head.  For a few moments, we were lovingly connected.

I am so grateful when I can connect with the creative energy of the Universe, for it is the very source of life.  We are all products of nature, all “kin,” as Shakespeare reminds us.  When I hear the birds in the morning, I am reminded how glad I am to be alive.  I am filled with laughter when the local turkey gobbler performs his dance for me.  I am inspired and irritated sometimes by the community of crows that negotiate in the trees outside my writing room.  Each is a part of life that reminds me I am part of the dance of life.

We Are All A Part of Love

It is this reminder that we are a part of nature too that can be a powerful healer lifting us out of depression or disappointment or loss, reminding us that we are more than just this life on this planet. That is why it is so important that we make time to connect each day with that loving, healing, positive energy. We are part of the Spirit that creates all life and that love will never deserts us.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Emerson’s Nature: A River Reading, Native Pride, Finding God   in Nature

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