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.  ❤

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

What are WE Harvesting? Deepen your awareness of what Summer is bringing into your life.

ImageIt’s late Summer.  If you’re like most people, you are doing all you can to squeeze the goodness out of these last luscious days, and to enjoy connection with nature, friends, family and your body in the radiance of the season.

It’s a precious time when our lives, like the trees, are fruit laden.  We buzz with the nectars of sunlight and shared community.  We pulse erotic juice into our movement – a delicious expression of expansive energy.  We play.  We are blessed in sweet anticipation of fall’s harvest.

At this point in the cycle, it’s good to take a pause and observe.   Ask:  what am I harvesting?  What is the fruit of all this connection?  What seeds are being planted?  In me?  In others through me?  Which ones am I willing to water and steward – not just for a little while, but in the deepest currents of my soul and lifestream?

Autumn is coming, and with it Harvest Time.  As we, the human animals, play in Summer’s radiance, traversing coasts, attending festivals, prepping for Burning Man and other late Summer gatherings, it’s good to turn towards our hearts, our beloveds and our communities and ask:  What are WE harvesting?

Is it new work, new love, a deeper turning towards something difficult, a greater commitment to something beautiful, an emergent sense of purpose, or the setting down of some old weight so you can walk tall again?  What steps are you taking to bring the accumulated energy of this time of light into the assimilative and co-creative time of Autumn?

This love dance we are in is a dance for the future of humanity.  As the elders have said, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”  It is for us to birth an emergent pattern for our tribes – one that works FOR life.

This is my prayer for our dances:  that they seed and bring to fruit the visions and connections, the courage and the surrender, the persistence and the joy, to feed and fuel an emergent regenerative culture.

May every step be experienced as the surrender of the fruit – a ripe and honest death – a rebirth into trust.  As Summer yields to Autumn, to Winter and to Spring, may each season’s precise mirror bring us ever more deeply into harmony with the implicate order of life – the sacred cycles that our lives, dreams and daily acts co-create as a love dance of spirit and matter.

I invite you, in these last long days, to bring your heart’s deepest longing and your authentic presence lovingly into your dances, into all of your relating.  Look into the eyes and hearts of your beloveds.  There, we will find our next steps.

Love,

Samantha

The power of WE: the good, the bad and the awesome.

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I am interdependent with everything.  The dance of my small self and my individual life is an empathic dance with All of Life.  I experience myself as a fractal of the whole.  Maybe you are like this, too?  My feelings are both personal and transpersonal.  If you relate to this, you are an empath.  Empathy is the capacity to have feelings connected with collective consciousness, the earth and other life forms.

Being empathic means being a very human Human.   It means that your human capacity to feel functions as a mirror and a measure not only of your individualized life experience, but for collectivity, as well.  For me, this manifests as being really sensitive and sometimes not knowing why I feel so much, but just needing to feel it all.

Just like everyone, have good days and bad days.  Just like you, I don’t always feel clear.  I don’t always have the answers.  I sometimes feel lost, confused, frustrated or just plain lost and lousy.  My heart and body feel it all.  And, I have come to know that my small self journey is a fractal of the whole of humanity.  And, because of this, I need your mirroring, your healthy reflection of the process of embracing life with love.  I need to grok (meaning: to empathically receive) the good, the bad and the awesome THROUGH THE LOVE OF OTHERS.  I CAN NOT DO MY LIFE ALONE.  I need you in order to fully know myself.

So, really, I am writing this blog to to THANK YOU.

I thank you for the way you embrace and embody the good, the bad and the AWESOME in life – every day.  It’s a practice.  It takes commitment.  And, I know you are worthy of this thanks.  After all, you wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t give a sh** about love, life and the planet.  So, thank you.

Here’s the reality:  I can not do my life without your love. I can not hold my small self in coherence with my collectivity without your touch, your mirroring, the solace and the HOME you offer me, and the courage each of you embody on our shared path. I am a being of collective intelligence. My heart is part of the Earth’s heart, part of humanity’s soul. My little life is a reflection of the whole. The pain I feel is often larger than me… and it is the pain I continue to know as the opportunity for our deepest thriving.

Together…. WE are the healing of this pain. WE are the return and the remembrance and the dance and the desire of All of Life to know itself in a circle – a circle of wholeness that honors all. ‘

I woke this morning singing with the earth, singing her loss and our cost – the cost of all that we have forgotten in the race to have more, to transcend our animal nature, to remove ourselves from the dirt of life.  Humbly, radiantly, I am embracing it all.  Comm-passion: passion in communion.  We HAVE IT ALL NOW.  Today, I return to AWEbundance.  Today, as every day, we are the one’s we have been waiting for… and that means living INTERDEPEN-DANCE wholly, in every aspect of our lives.

Thank you. I love you.

~s.s.

Falling Home

Falling Home

Silence falls in the space beyond story.

The subtle currents take us home.

We are known, human, his-story, her-story.
We are beginnings.
We are rememberings.

We are endings: each one of us complete in the now.
And, we are vulnerable.

In our sharing,
We paint heart resonance across the beyond.
We braid wholeness in body, heart and mind.
We offer ourselves into a space no more and no less
Than human and being.

Our stories show us the shape of home,
Offer up the RASA of hope beyond despair.

Our actions paint
The Audacity of Hope
Across a darkening sky.

And we gather the courage,
the willingness
to stand up again and again,
dance and sing again and again,
love and fall silent again and again
in the face of fear,
unbearable joy
and the slow to dissolve seed of indifference.

We are a small army of gratitude,
Truth fractals unfolding in time and space.
We are living answers.
We are lovers.

Falling, we are given wings.

– Samantha Sweetwater