Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness
Tag Archives: Spiritual Journey
“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying….The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.” Deepak Chopra
A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the Asheville Bookfest, selling my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, and visiting with an array of interesting people. I always enjoy these events because I have interesting conversations with other writers as well as with the people who attend.
Synchronicity Initiates Sharing
At this event, sponsored by Grateful Steps Publishing and Bookstore, I experienced some synchronicities that were interesting. In one instance, a man who bought the book was drawn to it initially because, although he wasn’t a professional dancer, he had danced in a dance production choreographed by Liz Lerman whose choreography often included non-trained dancers. What he had experienced was very meaningful to him.
What was interesting was that when I danced with a modern company in Washington, DC in the 70s, Liz choreographed a dance for the company. The man had connected with her elsewhere. As a result of this synchronicity, the man and I shared the deep meaning dance had for us both and the wonderful experience of working with Liz.
Art May Create Synchronicities In Life
He bought the book and I smiled as he walked away because I knew there was a surprise waiting for him in the book. There was more synchronicity to my connection with Liz Lerman. In the dance Liz created for the company, I danced a role that was a reflection of what I was experiencing in my life and dreams. In the dance I wore a red dress just like my self who was appearing in my dreams at the time. Both in the dance and in real life and in the dream, I was the woman in the red dress, rejecting traditional feminine choices.
Then yesterday as I signed books at Highland Books in Brevard, NC with two other authors, Celia Miles and Nancy Cash, I met a young woman who had studied with many of the same teachers with whom I had studied when I was a modern dancer. It was delightful to share these experiences.
Silence Helps Us See Deeper Connections
We all may experience synchronicities, but we may not be aware of it. If we are constantly rushing around without time to experience silence, we simply may not notice the new idea that pops up in our heads or the person who wants a moment of our time who may offer us a wonderful opportunity.
I can remember a time, after my divorce many years ago, that I was so determined to learn to be independent that I often rejected the help people offered me that would have been valuable. My unconscious had called for the help, but my conscious mind ignored it. I have often seen others do this as well, not only because they don’t want to appear weak, but also because the idea may seem strange and they are unwilling to pursue it to understand if it could be valuable.
I have been on a spiritual journey for as long as I can remember and have experienced many synchronicities so I suppose that’s a sign I am continuing to become more aware, for enlightenment is a journey, not a destination. When I was young, I looked at these unexpected connections and pleasant happenings as nice surprises. It felt like I had nothing to do with creating them.
Focusing On Positive Thoughts Creates Positive Experiences
When we are aware that we are all energy, our energy around a certain issue or need may help manifest what we want. Our thoughts are energy too, and as Chopra points out, we are more enlightened when we learn not to worry. At the root of worry is fear, negative energy, and that may attract to us exactly what we don’t want. When we ask the Universe to fill our needs and don’t worry about what happens, we help clear the way for what we need to manifest.
When we are more aware, we don’t miss out on as many opportunities. We are open to the synchronistic events that arrive unconnected to any rational choice. Certainly the most amazing synchronicity I’ve experienced in recent years was the way my husband and I met online in the very few hours that we were on the same sight. You can read about this at Awakening to True Love. There were many synchronicities including the fact that he was preparing to move to the area where I live and that I was teaching a workshop on how to release your fear a few days after he arrived in the area.
As a result of the many positive synchronicities I’ve experienced in life, I expect surprises to be good ones. When I can’t solve a problem, I trust the answer will appear when needed or I do the best I can, knowing that guidance will come at the right time. But I’ve also noticed that the more positive my general attitude toward life has become, the more I am drawing good experiences into my life. Spirit and I are One now and that’s the greatest miracle of all.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
This Saturday I will be participating with other area authors in the Sixth Annual Asheville Bookfest at the Haywood Park Hotel in the Atrium from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. For the schedule see http://www.ashevillebookfest.com/bookfest-events.html.
Four other authors and I will be reading at 4:30 followed by Thomas Rain Crowe, the featured speaker.
“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” Rene Magritte
Do you live your life on the surface or do you look within for answers and guidance? Do you tend to hide unpleasant feelings? Do you make a point to get in touch with all your feelings?
Life is full of hidden gifts. In the summer, leaves are green and then they begin to turn a multitude of colors in autumn—colors hidden from us until the season shifts into a new one. They fall away and we find silhouetted in the winter sky branches curling and twisting against the deep blue of the approaching night, revealing what was hidden the rest of the year.
Good Can Come From What Appears To Be Negative
We’ve all had experiences where something disappointing happened, but what came out of it was positive. When it first happened, we could only see the negative and couldn’t imagine anything good could spring from it.
Last week, I wrote about the two writing contests I had entered and how I didn’t win a prize in either one, but my book was recommended on the Huffington Post, and I received a high evaluation and good review from the other. So, what initially was a disappointment resulted in a positive outcome.
Negative Experiences Can Be Learning Opportunities
There have been other times that a loss or disappointment has opened the way to something new. When I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I connected with a wholistic doctor who taught me almost everything I would ever need to know to become healthy and stay healthy. He taught me that there was so much more I needed to learn that went beyond what western medicine recognized and introduced me to acupuncture and herbs, among other things.
Since that time, I have never had the flu or a cold and I never get “bugs.” I’m gluten and dairy intolerant and can’t handle preservatives or artificial anything, so I eat organic food. If I don’t know what an ingredient is in a food, I don’t eat it. Now, some people would say this is extreme and just not worth doing. I guess it depends on what you are willing to do to stay healthy, and for me, not being sick is a priority.
We Can Grow By Being Open To Learn From Disappointments
So, when these hidden gifts appear, we may not always see them as gifts at first. I was in a relationship with a man for two years, thinking we would marry, so I was devastated when we broke up. Before that, I had not been in a long-term relationship since 1986. I had experienced short ones and then a long period of many years when I never really dated. I just didn’t seem to click with anyone.
However, I learned so much about being in a relationship, what would work and what wouldn’t, that despite the original grief I felt, the experience prepared me for meeting the man to whom I am now married. Since I had made a lot of compromises in that two year relationship that didn’t work for me, I realized afterwards more clearly what I needed in a relationship. No doubt that helped draw into my life the man who is my perfect mate.
A Loss May Make Room For A New, Beneficial Experience
Then there was the time I lost my teaching job. I was put on administrative leave because I was unable to control a belligerent class that had been a problem long before I was given the class. The principal offered no support and the students received little punishment when I wrote discipline referrals on them. I was absolutely devastated.
However, with time on my hands while still receiving a pay check, I had the time to write and I decided to write my memoir. As I read through the journals I’d written since 1962, something very profound happened. I cried often, and through the process, I relived and healed so much that needed healing. It took ten years for me to finish and publish the book, but that initial commitment to do it led me down a new path that opened my life in many ways.
Because so much time had passed since many of the events in the journals happened, I was able to see some situations in a more mature way. I could see, for example, that my ex-husband behaved the way he did because he had never had guidance from parents who taught him a way to live with integrity. With that insight, I was able to forgive him more deeply and to feel compassion for him.
He was a man who had been taught never to show his hurt feelings. He’d had to be tough because, even as a child, his mother often worked at night and he came home from school to an empty house. In addition, his stepfather was not an honest man, so without his real father, he had no one to guide him. I came to the point where I realized it was somewhat of a miracle he was as good a person as he was, and I not only forgave him, but I felt at peace with all that happened.
We Can Only Know Ourselves When We Go Within
When we are unable to look beneath our surface, we not only miss the gifts hidden there, but we are unable to know who we truly are. Living a purely external life means we are only feeding our egos and ignoring our deeper selves where we will find love and a spiritual connection that will guide us to be the best we can be.
So often the best solutions to problems are not the obvious ones. They also may be hidden deeper if we look beneath the surface. The principal who let me go because I couldn’t manage a troublesome group of teenagers never really dealt with the problem. Getting rid of me solved nothing; in fact, he taught the students that their negative behavior would get them what they wanted.
Often like that principal, we are unwilling to do what is difficult because it is risky. But it’s been my experience that when I go deeper and ask for spiritual guidance, the solution that will work arises, and over time, I’ve learned to trust that. What’s hidden is often the buried treasure we seek—the solution that will enrich our lives.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
I’m celebrating Thanksgiving a few days early this year. Next week I’ll write more about hidden gifts that come to us, but today I want to celebrate some good news.
One of the hardest things to do as a writer (unless you are well-known or a celebrity) is to get good publicity for a book, especially your first one. This year, I entered two writing contests hoping I would win, but I didn’t. However, I did receive a wonderful review by a judge who understood the theme of finding an authentic identity and described the book as “immediately engrossing.”
How To Win When You Haven’t Won
That was the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-published Book contest. I received a 5 (the top score) on all five areas that were evaluated and the judge wrote the following review.
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
“AWAKENING TO THE DANCE: A JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS, a memoir by Georganne Spruce, is an inspiring book that will appeal to those, especially women, who struggle yet are determined to find their authentic selves in spite of what society wants them to be. This memoir will hold special appeal to readers interested in how Buddhism and Jungian dream interpretation can improve one’s life.
The cover is appropriate and eye-catching. The woman looks joyful and limber. I like the green and yellow colors and how the woman’s dance pants contrast with the colors. The back cover copy is very good. I like the summary and the fact that the author has secured two enthusiastic endorsements. I also like the author photo.
The book is immediately engrossing. Baby boomers on the early end of the spectrum will be able to relate, and younger women who have no idea what life for many women was like before the progress feminism has made will find much to learn here. Feminism aside, anyone who wants to live life on a different path than the expected will find much to inspire her (or even him) in this book. The author is authentic about her journey, and that fact alone shows us how much she has learned. This is an insightful, encouraging memoir sure to be appreciated by Spruce’s readers.”
Then a few days later, I received an email from IndieReader, where I had also entered their IndieReader Discovery Awards contest, congratulating me because they had recommended my book to the Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/indiereader/lena-dunham-book-recommendations_b_6134968.html?utm_hp_ref=books They also posted their recommendation on their website.
Expect What Is Best
When I first learned that I had not won in either contest, I was very disappointed, but I thought, “At least I had the courage to enter.” It took a while to let go of the disappointment, but I finally did and stopped thinking about it. Then these lovely surprises came, and I realized, as I have often in my life, good things can come when you least expect it and from sources that surprise you.
Gratitude Creates A Higher Vibration
So this is another example of how we need to try to remember to be thankful for some aspect of a situation, even when it doesn’t turn out the way we want. Expressing that gratitude, even if it is simply in the mind, does emit positive vibrations and that is always a good thing.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZTQ4PQ5ZN7F5
“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Eckhart Tolle
Don’t forget I’ll be teaching a Release Your Fear Workshop in Asheville, NC this Sat., Nov. 8, 1-3:00 pm, $15 at the door. For more visit: http://awakeningtothedance.com/workshops-2/
Can you easily find that quiet place within? How do you do that? Do you go there often? If you feel blocked, do you know why?
So many traumatic things have happened over the last month that I have felt wound up all the time, not recovering from one shock before the next one hit. But during the last two days, there have been moments when I could slip into silence, and just be there. Although I had several things to do yesterday, what I felt most was that it was the day after the big event—the election. I was just being with the results.
In the Silence, We Accept What Is
Some of the people I voted for won, others I voted for didn’t. Regardless of where I’ve lived, I’ve always voted. I take the concept of a democracy seriously and accept my role in it. It can only continue to be a democracy if the people are willing to speak out through their votes. I’m very concerned about that because only one third of the electorate voted this time. Why?
Were people fed up with Washington politics? Did they ignore this election because it wasn’t a presidential election? Could they not decide for whom to vote? Did the changes some states are making to the voting laws and districts confuse people?
The result of the election is just another happening I have to accept. Life is like that sometimes. We can’t control everything, but acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like or agree with what has happened. It’s like forgiveness. When we accept what happened, we simply let the incident be what it is, and we go on.
Experiencing the Silence Can Soothe Our Stress
This week I’m beginning to go on with many things, especially starting to create time in each day to bathe in silence and make room for the lovely creative thoughts that visit me with ideas for writing or solutions to challenges. When I take time to bathe in the silence, life feels good for a while no matter what is actually happening.
The other night, at the end of a snowy day, I build a fire and spent the evening bathing in its warm, frequently distracted from my reading to notice the way the fire glowed or flared up when one piece of log fell against another. Time became irrelevant. Only the crackling of the fire spoke to me and I relished each syllable.
Silence Opens Us to New Possibilities
Being in the moment allows us to feel and experience life fully. Those quiet moments are when those wonderfully outrageous thoughts come to us of doing wonderful things our egos don’t think we can do. As a child, I saw Jane Russell dancing down a staircase and in my day-dreaming state I became that dancer. I have never danced down a staircase, but I did become a modern dancer. Perhaps the dancer part of me was born in that moment before I even tried to dance.
When there are difficult decisions to make, I am grateful for the silence, for in that moment, I can open to the spiritual part of myself that tends to make the best decisions. In that place I can see more options, and I can release my fear of not making the right decision or of the criticism of others. I can not only listen to my inner guidance, but I can hear the messages it sends me.
Creative Ideas Emerge in the Silence
The autumn is a time when I am constantly awed by the beauty of nature as it slips toward winter. It always leaves before I am ready and suddenly winter is here with the cold, wind, and snow, but more than any time of year, winter reminds me of the value of being in the moment.
As the aroma of lentil soup cooking fills the house, I am perfectly content, needing no entertainment other than watching the wind blow the red and yellow leaves from the trees. I don’t need to go out and find companionship. Because I have stopped racing around doing things, I will rediscover that quieter part of myself within the silence, waiting for us to become reacquainted, waiting to send me another poem, or bless me for taking the vacation I need in the middle of the week.
Wisdom Lies Deep Within
We can be truly conscious only when we stop to listen to our inner voice and stop to take care of what is festering before it becomes a problem. When our egos become deeply involved in an issue, where they lead us may not be a wise place. But when we feel the ego expanding, we know it’s time to find the silence because that’s where we will find the best solution. When I go within, I often ask, “What is the wisest thing for me to do?” The answer I receive is always a better choice than what my ego alone would choose and I am most grateful.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herbert, Dune
How do you feel when you’re free of fear? How do you find that mental place? How does it affect your life?
I’ve never read much science fiction, but a few years ago when I read Dune, it motivated me to explore that genre, and for a couple of years, that was all I read. I was awed by the authors whose imaginations could conjure up whole new worlds—a talent that I hadn’t explored in my own writing.
To Release Fear, We Must Admit We Feel It
What really hooked me was the above quote about fear. It resonated because it was so similar to the experience I had when I learned to release my fear using the technique that I teach in my workshops. In order to release your fear, you must first be willing to admit it’s there.
At one of my workshops last year, a man came in with his wife, and when they introduced themselves, he said, “I don’t have any fears. I’m just here with my wife.” I tried not to smile too broadly and said, “Well that’s very nice of you to do that.” Afterwards, he came up to me with a puzzled look on his face and said, “I guess I do have some fears.”
Fear May Be Disguised As Other Feelings
It isn’t always obvious to us when we are experiencing fear. It may appear as resistance, anxiety, anger, withdrawal or other feelings that create problems in our lives. So, we need to remember that all negative thoughts and emotions are based on fear—either the fear of being inadequate or of being rejected. Releasing our fear when these discomforts come up is the best way to start dealing with the difficulties that fear creates.
We need to release fear as soon as it comes up because, as long as it is there, it blocks the mind from focusing on solving the problem. But what do we do after we’ve directed the mind to release the fear and we’ve let go of the fear? This leaves a space in the mind for helpful information to come through from the unconscious, such as our memories, the knowledge we have stored, or our spiritual source.
With A Clear Mind, We Can Receive Guidance from the Subconscious
When we have cleared the mind, we ask for guidance. We ask the mind to fill our current need. Recently, there was a conflict in a group to which I belong. It seemed like unnecessary drama to me and my first inclination was to walk away. Then, I realized that I was feeling afraid that this conflict would become an on-going thing. I released the fear and asked my mind, “What do I need to do—create peace or walk away?”
The answer was to create peace so I asked how I could do that. The guidance I received, which was not so much a thought as an intuitive feeling, was to write an email message to the leader of the group. I did that and so did others in the group. The result was that the conflicted parties talked and all is now well. I feel very happy that I took the high road. If I had listened to my fear, I would have walked away angry from something I enjoy.
Release Expectations about How You Will Receive Guidance
It is important to be aware that when we ask for a solution to a problem that we may be offered only the next step rather than the total solution. In fact, we may not receive an answer at that moment. We may be given guidance on where to find the solution, or we may be told to do nothing. Trust that when the time is right, we will receive the answer we need. Be at peace with that and continue to listen to your inner voice.
Clearing the Mind Allows Us to Experience Peace, Love & Joy
When we have learned to work with our minds in this way, we can trust that we will receive the information we need when we need it. This gives us a wonderful peace of mind. It allows us to trust ourselves, knowing that when difficulties arise, we are capable of finding good solutions. Without the fear dominating our lives, we are also able to love and become who we truly wish to be.
This practice of releasing our fears puts us more in touch with our deeper selves where peace, love and joy reside. When we can experience these feelings often, our lives feel rich and satisfying, but only we can create these feelings so that they are lasting experiences. When we rely on external things to make us happy, our happiness is fleeting. But going deeper allows us to be in touch with what is eternal and beautiful within.
If you would like to learn more about my November 1 Release Your Fear Workshop, visit my website and click on workshops.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5