Sunday, January 27, 2013

Your Way

My class is not a technique class.  The only rules are to have fun, sweat and not hurt yourself or others.  Much like life.

Not everyone uses the same road to get to the same place.  And even if you’re in the “same place” as another person, your experiences (though similar in some ways) must be different just because you are you.  You have your own road to follow.

We all have our own path and can make our own way.  We have an affinity for the ways that are right for us and should trust that. 

I get in touch with my spirit through dance and meditation.  Dance is my church, the way I express my faith.

It’s not the church of my childhood, where I alternately had the fidgets or fell into a deep sleep, but the joyous church of my adulthood.   

I am not criticizing organized religion.  I know that many get peace and solace by going to a place to worship and feel a sense of community.  That’s truly wonderful – but I had to go to church when I was a kid.  I had no affinity for it.   I just wanted to keep my head down and not get into trouble.  In general, I’m not crazy about rules. 

Today, even when eastern modes of spirituality are rife, we still somehow have the idea that there are only a few legitimate ways to explore spirituality.  As I have explored my own beliefs about spirituality, my practice has changed.  At first, I didn’t think dance was a valid way to the spirit; that’s not what I’d been told.  I used to do sitting meditation on a cushion in front of a self-made altar with lit candles.  I felt that I had to sit there for a certain amount of time, or it wasn’t authentic.  If it was not at least a half hour, I thought, somehow I was cheating. 

I have changed and I don’t do that kind of meditation anymore.  My intention is to drop into the space between my thoughts to find the silence.  I don’t always get there.  But now, I’m okay with that.  If I can’t get to the silence, I just start thinking about what I know to be true.  Or I consciously acknowledge  my gratitude for my life, just as it is, right now.  

While dancing, I let myself feel the joy.  Sometimes, of course, it’s a challenge.

When I meditate, I can usually reach a place of peace and silence.  Often I can’t stay in that space for a long time.  But I no longer feel guilty if my meditation doesn’t go the way I think it ought to.  I just accept it.  It’s my way. 

There are no rules except to be totally accepting of my path.  

Trust your own way.

Your road. Your rules. Your dance.

Your life.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


After class one day last week, I made a comment about what I wanted to work on this year:  the dropping of old hurts and resentments.  I understand that holding onto to resentment is hurtful to me not to the object of my irritation.  Every grudge is like a brick I have to carry on my back.  And it’s tough to dance with a load of bricks on your back.  Whenever I’ve been able to let go of resentment, I really have felt lighter, freer and happier in every area of my life.  

So why is it so hard to do?

Five minutes after I announced my intention to drop resentment, I was referring to a relative as s***head.  Oh, and her husband, too.

I was already off the wagon.

I truly want to drop all the nonsense of holding grudges, so what stops me?  Why is my knee-jerk reaction to call someone a s***head? 

Yes, it’s very satisfying on a “lower-self” level, but it doesn’t serve me.  At all.

So now, I’m working on two things: to drop the bricks and be nice to myself while I’m changing my default switch.  I have been thinking about ways to do this:

 Look at a person from a different perspective – through a different lens. 

Remember that we all have our challenges and that you can never really know what’s going on inside another person and what lens she’s looking through.

However, I need something simpler than that if I’m going to make any progress.

Upon reflection, I think the best way to accomplish this is to just, in every moment, choose love.

Love helps us to be compassionate about the foibles of others and of ourselves.  Love allows us to give each other a break.  Love remembers to be kind.  Love remembers that our faults are really places where we’ve been wounded.  Love sees only the light in another and acknowledges the light in ourselves.

Love is the music; life is the dance.

Love lifts the bricks off our shoulders and sets us free.