Get Your Life Out Of The Box: 5 Unconventional Tips for Tuning With Your Soul & Creating Your Dreams

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Do you wake up for work feeling excited and curious about what your workday holds?  Or, do you wake up wishing you had a ticket to Hawaii?

When was the last time you felt that kid-at-Christmas rush in regards to you J. O. B.?  Or, do you sit at your desk feeling a little like stale toast?

I’ve lived my whole life out of the box.  I worked an office job for one summer in college.  I found out everything I needed to know.   I’ve never looked back.  I’d much rather live the light of my soul and passion than a slow, comfortable, predictable death.

Boxes work for cereal, but not for people.

You were not born to embody the status quo.  You were not born to fulfill the over-baked cookie cutter dreams of a culture that has lost it’s center and it’s sense of meaning.
C’mon… you were born to deconstruct boxes.  You were born to shape the world through your unique vision.  You were born to live the passionate truth of your soul.

You were born to do what you love.

Doing what you love isn’t just for lucky people.  It’s for anyone with a little bit of courage and a whole lot of love.  It’s for anyone who is willing tap into inner listening through body awareness and the messages of spirit and nature – and to take consistent, substantive steps to bring that awareness into the world as your work.

It’s for anyone who would rather dream than die.

What steps are you taking today to do what you love?

 

Here are 5 unconventional, and in my experience, highly effective, tips to live the dreams and create work that you love:

 

#1:  Stop doing what’s not yours to do.   

This may sound like a negative goal, but it’s not.  It’s the foundation for all big yeses.  The biggest reason most people don’t “get to do what they love” is that they are too busy doing what they think, “needs to be done” or just responding to whatever is in front of them.  Your body knows the sensation of YES.  Excitement = life.  If you don’t feel aliveness in what you are doing.  Stop doing it.  (It just takes a minute to feel this.  Take a few breaths and center in your body.  Then, just ask.  “No” feels dead or tense.  “Yes” feels awake, pulsing, tuned in, available, curious, present.)

#2:  Follow the feel good.

Once you get centered in the basic body sensation of yes (or no), then it’s time to tap into a deeper sensation.  When I say “follow the feel good,” I don’t just mean simple pleasure (tho that’s also a really great indicator).  “The FEEL GOOD” is the sense that what’s happening in your life is alive, lit up, potent, juicy or growthful for you.  The FEEL GOOD is the sensation of living in integrity with your soul.   This can include incredibly challenging situations.  It can also include shifting an attitude or behavioral set point – like letting yourself laugh or make intuitively driven decisions, even if you are “a serious person.”  To find that sensation, all you need to do is get a little quiet and check in with yourself – under the noise your body and your soul know what’s alive for you.

#3:  Fall In Love With Learning.

Dreams are never constant.  Dreams grow with you and your evolution.  And, they are co-generated by your willingness to explore, grow, learn and have new experiences.  Your soul is a voracious learner.   Feed your dreams by feeding your desire to learn.  Plus, if your dream involves doing something you’ve not yet achieved (which it hopefully does!), you will likely need new tools to achieve your goals.  Don’t be afraid to be a beginner and to ask for lots of help.

#4:  Choose a Better Story.

Life is really a fabric of stories.  You get the story you tend and love.  What is your “creation myth?”  Is it the “scrape and save” story, the “live at the margins so I can be free” story, or the “dreams are dangerous, best to follow the rules “ story?   I tend towards the “love always saves the day” story with a strong streak of “Hobbit with an elvin sword saves the world,” and an equally strong streak of “The Goddess meets The Medicine Path.”  It’s wild fun.  I also live the story of my life in a universe in ceaseless expansion and evolution whilst living on a gorgeous green planet that is teaching me (and all of humanity) the wisdom of limits.  I love how that story empowers my “life as a Great and abundant adventure” story.   What story do you choose?  (Some other fun options:  romantic comedy, inventor of universes, successful artist re-weaving the world through beauty.)  Once you get clear about your core stories, it’s useful to tease out aspects of them that might be in incongruity.  Congruity supports an uncomplicated experience of yourself and a unity of your energies in action.  If your story isn’t working for you, re-write it in a way that supports your FEEL GOOD.

#5:  Expand Your Concept of “TEAM.”

The universe wishes you well.  Seriously, you have a really BIG team.  You have all the people who know and care for you, who you touch and who have been touched by you.  You have colleagues and teachers and students.  You have special loved ones and core friends who know you inside out – both through affinity and time depth.  They have your back, and you can call on them any time.   And – here’s the real expansion – you have an unseen power team that is always supporting you, helping you to make better choices and waiting in the wings (for your request of help) to assist your awesomeness and your dreams.  Your unseen power team includes your Higher Self, your angels, your ancestors and your totem guides.  If you are reading this, it may be time to reconnect with that team, or to open to it’s existence simply by ASKING, if you haven’t already.

Bonus Tip:

Stop giving energy, attention or money to success gurus, unless you get a deep body yes to what they are offering.  Marketing is wicked accurate these days in terms of targeting your deepest fears and desires with perfectly programed language.  Start from the assumption that you are ENOUGH exactly as you are.  Ask, what do I really need and want to support my health, wholeness, happiness, growth and the manifestation of my dreams?  Then, ONLY go for this.

And, if DANCE is what you are most passionate about, if it’s your medicine and your magic, your home and your liberation, then come train with me as a Dancing Freedom Facilitator.   The next training is April 25-May 16, 2015 at my home, Seven Seeds Farm.  Find out more here.

…to your box free life!
Love,
Samantha

How Life On a Farm at the End of the Road Has Changed Me

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Oh.. the pleasures of soil and birdsong and baby goats and lambs!  This land is a living dance of earth medicine.  This is a place where we can truly remember the ancient patterns of planting dances, rain dances, harvest dances, a place where we can feel the ancient future patterns of dancing for our lives in harmony with all of life, where we can engage dance as a divine ceremony for the greater whole.  It’s a place where we can eat the food we danced for, wash our cell-ves in the water we danced for, sleep on the sweet earth we prayed for, and hatch our days into the dreaming awake prayer of a better world.  It’s a place where body and soul can heal in right livelihood, optimal nutrition, and deep nature immersion.  It’s a place where there are no veils between the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of our aliveness, where the birds and the bees dance with us, and where there is an honest, natural invitation to feel at home – just laying in the long grass in the sun.
It’s a place where community is exhalted – not because we say so, but because community is what makes this all possible.  Our hands tend the soil and our dancing feet tend our joy.

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In my year an a half here at Seven Seeds Permaculture Farm, I’ve learned that the medicines of fire and the water are real.  I knew they were real before. But, now they are real in the visceral, embodied sense that I have daily relationships with them.  I tend my hearth daily… I chop the wood that makes the fire.  I am a part of the dance of that fire.  I know the deva of that hearth intimately.  It is my warmth, my comfort.  It takes all my prayers.

The water comes straight out of our ground.  It’s real water – untreated, unmediated.  It is free, so I am free in drinking it.  It is the spring of my body, the pulse of my blood, the fluid medium that makes my life possible.
These are truly my deepest allies – in all dances and all prayers.
I’ve learned how to bury my sadness in the dark earth and how to give my greatest intentions to the winds.  I’ve learned to watch for the first hummingbird of the season to feel the lifting joy of spring in the place where the sap of the trees and the wisdom of my body are one.
I’ve learned to celebrate frost because it represents the deep nourishment of quiescence.  I’ve discovered that the clouds are an endlessly innovative reflection of my own mind.  And, I’ve found that hours in sweaty work communion with weeds or thorns or manure can heal things we don’t even have words for.
Oh… and did I mention food.  I’ve learned that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that compares to the medicine of food that you’ve grown yourself on live soil with real water, sun and a whole lotta love.
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And, dancing in this wise community of about 3,000 people, I’ve taken an even deeper step into bringing my most authentic, present tense truth to my facilitation.  We all live here.  We all know each others stories.  There are no masks.  There is no trying.  There is only an invitation into the teaching of the moment and the truly great medicine of the dance.
I have been forever changed by this place, by the wisdom of the mountain and the old growth forests above the farm, by the indomitable strength and courage of a community that truly stewards its water, seeds, soil and land, and by the experience of life as ceremony – every every day.
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It’s a quiet change, a seasoning, a deepening.  It’s not bells and whistles, but a change of great patience and persistence – like the oaks.  It’s a change that has softened my bark – like the madrones.  It’s a change that begins from witness, a knowing in my bones that I am a fierce protectress of the earth.  That protectress finds her roots in planting seeds, tending them, watching them grow, and seeing the children eat the fruits of that harvest.  That protectress tends her roots with daily visits to the secret spot by the creek to pray.   That protectress knows where she’s from.  It’s a change called knowing a Real Place as home.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts and responses.  ❤

What is God|Consciousness|Spirit|Goddess??? Tell me in a way that I can understand.

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God comes by many names.  Consciousness, Spirit, God, Goddess… is there any difference between any of these?  Really, no.  The difference is in the listener.The universe is constructed of information.  That information is Conscious.  The sum total of that Consciousness is what some of us call God, some of us call Goddess, some of us call Consciousness, some of us call Spirit.  What you call it ultimately doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you have a conscious relationship with that Consciousness.You will see and describe God|Goddess|Spirit|Consciousness through whatever lens makes the most sense to you.  That lens will be shaped by your culture, your experience and the proclivities of your soul.  To be real, it needs to be an authentic lens of feeling and experience, not just a collection of stories you inherited and repeated from your family or your context.

It is always bigger than you, yet paradoxically, also you.  It is always part of the larger experience of self that includes your inner awareness and the intelligence of what is outside of you.  (It’s something you can source for yourself, and it’s something you can rest into when you need a friend.) The way you see and describe it may shift upon your context – who you are talking to, and what part of that experience you are trying to express.

For example, when I’m talking with geekier types, I call on my own geeky experience of Consciousness-as-me having an experience called my life.  When I look deep into my own meditation and the inner dialogue of my daily experience, there is always a meta-dialogue going on that I easily recognize as a function of the intelligence of the universe-as-me.  A lot of geeky types get this.  They get that there is a part of themselves witnessing themselves that is bigger than themselves.  This amounts to the experience of Consciousness.  They get that how they interact with this this experience affects their moods and how powerfully they can bring presence to the day-to-day-ness of their lives.
Alternatively, when I’m talking with women, I often call on the Goddess.  Women understand the multiplicitous, ever creative, ever changing face of consciousness, that is described archetypally as the myriad faces and phases of the Goddess.  From the infinite, cool compassion of Quan Yin to the fiery fury of Kali, women understand that Consciousness, as a reflection of their own everchanging, creative essence as women, is a full spectrum of energies and essences that are innate to the manifest forms and functions of the universe.  They also get birth.  They get that things come out of nothing – and they get born through the feminine principle.
Just hold in your inner awareness the biologic furry of birthing in the same space as the luminous patience of a woman nursing an infant, and you begin to get it.  When you look at the many many faces of the Goddess (and of Gods when engaged as a pantheon), you see our seeking to name the specific meta-patterns, or archetypes, of the thing we called God.  This works really well when you’re wanting to relate to particular creative, destructive and preservative powers of the universe.
And, when I just want to be simple, I often say, “Spirit”, or “God”.  These names, for me, are both singular and embracing.  They are ways of calling to the magnificent, always present intelligence I am having a personal conversation with when I pray.  They are the everything that permeates the everything as a fabric bringing the world into form.  They are my own mind and awareness.  Everything.
Often, I use all the words at the same time, just to collapse our tendency to create wars over definitions.But, I DO use distinctions in how I speak to the various manifestations of Consciousness.  Consciousness, like people, is not all the same.  When I pray, I often pray to Tunkashela.  This is the Lakota word that refers to the specific aspect of God that cares for and listens to the humans.  I’m a human.  Somehow, it works for me to pray to the part of the intelligence of the universe that really cares for me.  Over a lifetime of praying in this way, I’ve seen amazing results.  So, this is all I need to keep doing it.
To make matters even more complex, you can also talk to Nature, or the Earth, or Gaia – or all that is manifest and the intelligence that manifests it.  Or, better yet, you can just listen to it.
But… I’m getting too complicated, here.
To really answer this question, you have to understand paradox.  Paradox describes the fact that the opposite of a great truth is often not a falsehood, but an equally great truth.  The universe doesn’t really give a shit what you call it, so long as you call.  The key is in the relationship you create.  But, the way to create a great relationship is to be specific.  Soul-fit is one of the keys to deep relationship.  So, your relationship with God|Consciousness|Soul|Spirit is best narrated in a way that feels authentic and honest to you.If you’ve never done it before, it might feel really awkward.  But, just start.  Open your mouth and talk to God|Goddess|Consciousness|Spirit.  That’s how you build a relationship.  And, that’s how the words start to make sense.

Why is Dance a Medicine?

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Dance is my first medicine.  I started dancing when I was 13, locking myself in the wresting room at my highschool to create dances about war and peace, relationship and spiritual states beyond name and form.   It healed me.  It made my life make sense.  It made life possible.

And, because it is a true medicine, because the dance was my first true teacher and has shown me everything about life and love and community, I created Dancing Freedom.  These days, I teach all over the world, and train others to spread this work around the planet for healing, awakening and evolution.

But, I’ll confess…

Every once in a while, I begin to doubt this practice.  I look around our world at all the challenges we face, at global warming and species extinction, at clear cutting and factory farming, at injustice and inequities of all kinds, and I think, is this enough?  Are we contributing enough to this magical, broken world that so desperately needs healing?  Are we giving people the tools and the skills needed to mend the broken hoop?  Are WE helping to mend that hoop?

Then I pull my thoughts back into mindful stillness.   I pause, take a deep, dissolving breath of clear air, and listen.  And, in my way, I pray.

Every time, guaranteed, I get the same answer:  the world needs this dance.  The world needs this medicine.  The world needs people who are alive in this way.

The answer comes not from thinking, but in the quiet spaces in between thoughts – from the space where god makes a home in my body and soul.  The answer comes from the whispering trees, from the rushing stream, from the moist soil, from the frogs- all celebrating the way the dance opens my heart and cells more deeply in communion.  And it comes almost daily, in email after email, Facebook post after Facebook post, from people like you, telling me that this practice has changed their lives.  Often they say things like this, “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this practice is different.  It’s special.  Thank you.  It’s the best thing in my life.”

Why?

When I say “medicine” I don’t mean it in the limited way that Western Medicine uses the word, but in the ancient sense, referring to anything and everything that wishes us well, and the deep things in creation that we can align and co-create with in order to live a more full, loving, divine and human life.  The word medicine used in this way refers to the animating force within creation that is amplified through our right relationship with specific objects, practices and ways of being.  The most basic medicine is love.  Other medicines that may be familiar to you include sage, sweetgrass, cedar, tobacco, Grandfather Peyote and Grandmother Ayahuasca.

I was overcome with this truth today as I prayed with water and sage and the slow dancing of rain. I felt all those who are dancing and teaching all over the world. And I knew – we are remembering the old ways and creating new ones as we go.

Dance is an original medicine. The first peoples danced and sang to create the world. They danced and sang to heal, to thank, to align, to sustain, to destroy. They danced with the Ancestors and with the Circle of All Beings to remember and sustain wholeness. They danced to be one with Spirit. This is the essence of Dancing Freedom – freedom to belong fully to life.

We came to this earth with Original Instructions.  The instructions we received from those who sent us were simple.  We are here to care for and steward the Earth.  We are here to tend and propagate the plants.  We are here to befriend and support harmony with the animals.  We are here to live in alignment with these universal instructions, and to give the unique gifts each of us has been given as a soul.  And, we are here to create beauty.

Dancing Freedom, first and foremost, is a creation of beauty, disappearing just as soon as it arises.  It is also a space that supports both universal and personal alignment with these instructions.  As you dance and pray, the very nature of the practice reminds you of how to harmonize your life and actions in integrity with the Earth and All of Your Relations.  At the same time, it is fruitful ground to receive very specific reflection and instructions for your Unique Self and purpose in the world.

Because it can do all of this, it is medicine.  And, while it is not a panacea, it helps.  So, begin here.  Come dance.

The dance, as with all true medicines, will help you take the very next step.  And that step is the only step that can possibly set you free.

Love,

Samantha