Sunday, November 24, 2013

Your Own Story

I love to watch dance competitions on television. They are so inspiring and wonderful. But, one thing that bothers me is that in just about every song, the dancers are performing a play whose meaning is very clear. And that’s fine from time to time. Music is always a story of some kind. But sometimes when I watch a dance, I want to decide on my own what the story is. I want to let the music along with the movement of the dancers inspire a story within me.

I want to have my own story.

Sometimes, I will have a client who leaves in the middle of a class. My automatic reaction is, oh, no, what did I do wrong? It must have been something I said/did/danced. After all these years I can realize that there are many reasons (not having anything to do with me) why a person might leave a class.

We all make up stories about what’s happening in our lives. Some are true but some are simply not.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bad morning and afterwards I had to go to the bank. I was experiencing blowback from my misguided attempt to “help” a situation. I had inadvertently lit the fuse of a social powder keg. I really felt terrible about it.

So I was at the bank standing at a newly hired teller’s window. She said that she was using someone else’s station and that she had to take a little time to do my transaction. This was fine with me – I needed to take a breath anyway. As I was standing with my forehead in my hand, I became aware that the teller again apologized because it was not her regular window. I realized that she thought I was aggravated by her slowness (which I hadn’t even noticed). Her perception was not true at all and I hastened to tell her to take as long as she needed, adding that I had just had a difficult morning and was not in a hurry.

This made me realize that often we read into others’ behavior what is not there at all. The difficulty, the negative judgment, the feelings of inadequacy are all in our own minds. We have created a reaction of defensiveness toward another person or about a situation, which is entirely unnecessary.

There is nothing to defend. We are not being judged at all. We are, in fact, judging ourselves and projecting that judgment onto someone else.

We are making up a story.

When you leave a space in your mind for, “Well, I don’t know.” Or “Let’s see.” Or “I’ll ASK,” you are opening a space for something new to come into your mind. When you decide not to decide about what just happened, you give yourself a new path. You have increased your ability to perceive something different (and maybe wonderful) by about 100%. Yes, sometimes a duck is a duck and a cigar is a cigar, but not always.

Create the space for your own story based, not on fear or defensiveness, but on intuition and inspiration.

What story are you dancing to today?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

No Other Place to Be

Tired of being the disgrace of the neighborhood, I planted a small flower garden around my house a couple of years ago.  I love it.  But I tend to over-tend. I am always afraid of doing something wrong, so I water, fertilize and deadhead, probably a little too much.  This year, the flowers weren’t doing too well.  In the fall, I got really busy and put off the watering, fertilizing and deadheading for a while.  Of course, I felt a little guilty, but after all, it was the end of the season.

Evidently, ignoring my plants was exactly what they needed.  Now I have so many roses, I can’t believe it.  I love this – it is effortless!  I guess I can just stop doing what I was doing and trust nature and the plants to do what it is they are made to do.  They, in their very own DNA, have all they need to grow and flourish.  They don’t need much help.  It’s all inside of them.  They don’t have to strain and try and get their leaves in a twist.  They just ARE.

Nature is in the ultimate state of allowing.  Nature is moment-by-moment.  If we could just stay in the moment and allow, we would hear the Universe calling to us more clearly.  Life is music and we all find our own way to dance to it. 

As a human, sometimes I feel out of nature.  Like I have to try and find a way into the flow that just is.  If I can take a breath, I realize that I am always in the flow.  There is no other place to be.

I found some music the other day that I really like.  Instead of worrying, I told myself to relax.  If the music speaks to me and I am listening, I will hear it and be able to make something out of it; I will be able to allow the music to lead me. 

I always find it fascinating to think that our ears are always hearing. They are always in the “on” position.   But so often we don’t hear when someone is talking to us directly because we are absorbed in something else.  There is nothing wrong with our hearing, we just aren’t receiving.

The Universe is constantly giving, but we forget to open our arms and allow. We forget to dance to the music.  Instead we argue and struggle with it.

Allowing doesn’t mean doing nothing, it means listening and seeing in this moment what is presented to us in the flow of life.

Just like the flowers, we are always in the flow of nature. Our DNA knows just what to do.  It’s all there inside of us.  

If I’m always worried about whether I am doing the right thing, it does not help me grow and flourish in the way I am meant to.  So I am letting go of myself, just as I did the flowers around my house. 

Every day, I go by my kitchen window and see beautiful yellow roses that don’t need me at all (at least not too much).  

They make me smile and remind me to just relax.  

So trust and allow your path to flower. When we allow ourselves to just be, we can grow and flourish exactly the way we are meant to. 

There is no other place to be except in the music of Life.  Dance to it. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


On occasion, when I am teaching, I have an idea to do something different.  Like adding an extra turn onto a tours jete, or adding a leap somewhere different.  Sometimes I find that I can’t achieve it in that moment.  But the times I do succeed, I am so happy with myself that I inadvertently pause and then I am lost in the song and have to catch up. 

It is a moment when I feel a little glow of success.

We all have those little moments of glory. We can pause and feel that happy glow.  And there is always the space to catch up.

Even when the moment is a total train wreck, you can still find your way back.

I am guilty of this (as is almost every woman I know):  Someone gives you a compliment.  You do everything you can to persuade that person that it’s not at all true.  The giver has reflected light on you and you are doing everything you can to stay in the dark.  In effect we are saying, “Don’t see me!” 

There were times in my life where. “Don’t see me!” was really a very healthy attitude.  If you don’t see me, you can’t criticize me or control me.  And even though that can seem safe, it is not.  Hiding serves no one.  You can get so used to hiding that you lose yourself. 

In a past relationship, I denied who I was because I was so afraid of making waves.  I thought if I could just conform and pretend that emotional abuse was not abuse, that I could somehow be happy.  I could pretend that this was what I deserved.  I remember my mother saying to me, “Well, he doesn’t beat you…” as if that was enough to make me stay. 

Writing this takes my breath away.  The habitual denial of who I was caused all kinds of collateral damage.  

I know now that I was really lost, but I caught up…eventually.

When you allow your own unique brilliance, that’s when everyone wins.  We all have a contribution to make, and it all counts.  When we make ourselves small, we are taking light out of the world. 
What you cannot do for yourself, you cannot do for others.  You can’t give what you don’t have.

When we allow ourselves to shine, we reflect that onto others.  We have more room in our hearts to allow everyone to shine. 

When you turn on a light, everyone gets to see it, and use it. 

So, when someone acknowledges your light, just say thank you.