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

Trust US ~ A Prayer Share

ImageWhy Unify?  Why pray?  What does life want from each of us, and for all of us, together?

Today, I am preparing for VISION and for a major ceremony with UNIFY at Beloved Festival next week.   This is spirit’s voice through me in this moment:

I trust each of you, to the depths of my core, in the listening we hold as a collective.

What arises  in the diversity of our voices, our inspirations, our dances, our visions, reveals the key of DIVERSITY within the prayer for UNITY.  Meaningful unity requires that we each see, know, and engage from different angles in consciousness.
Life says – you can not do it wrong.
Just love.
The land is speaking.
We’re in Shasta camped around an alpine lake nestled into a quiet valley at 7,000 feet.
The air is filled with the smoke of wild fires burning throughout the region.
I woke at dawn to silent, violet haze and the love screech of two blue herons – rare at 7,000 feet.
Herons are harbingers of the collective intelligence of PEACE.
My dreams last night were a vivid, multidimensional tapestry kundalini, spiders and fires.
Remember – we are the weavers. We are the web – our human consciousness is one of the most powerful bioelectric/psychic forces in the universe.
In the listening, I am hearing the continuous echo:  JUNTOS TODOS ES POSSIBLEtogether, everything is possible.
If any one of us goes deep within, we find both terror and palpable electricity, the divine excitement of this planetary moment in which we live.
We are the ones who choose.
Love or fear?
We are the ones who will remember or be lost forever.
This is the ancient and the future calling of the evolutionary potential of humanity.
As the skies fill with smoke of the wild fires burn out of control, I am confronted with my powerlessness.
In the face of the fires, what can I do?  …nothing.
But, within me, rises a deep call – Juntos, Todos es possible.
Hands, hearts, bodies, souls – aligned together in action, for life.
So many different actions for life.
Fire fighters, prayer keepers, dancers, mothers, lovers, farmers..
Together, we can birth a new world.
Flow, flock, lead dissolves to follow.
LISTEN.
Allow.
Step in.
Engage!
Let go of being right. Listen to the calling of life. INVITE.
COCREATE the harmony of the whole.
PULSE with and for and through.
Life wants more life.  Love wants more love.
This is ours to be.
This is ours to give.
This is our response-ability, our duty, our joy.
WE are UNIFY.
We are freedom.
We are love.
Love,

Samantha

Today – On Freedom

What is freedom? Really?

Lately, I’ve been in a number of heated conversations with European friends who express a huge distaste for the American concept of freedom, pointing to it as a root cause for the excesses embedded in globalism – values and behaviors that have wrecked such greedy havoc on the planet.

But is freedom the problem, or is it a narrow interpretation of our own highest ideal?

This morning I danced at Sweet’s Ballroom. Sound Master Ron Jones played an exquisitely lucid and diverse set. He put on a track sampling Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech. At first I listened with a kind of hypnotic rapture. Then, I started thinking….

Freedom – for all of God’s people.

I, too, have this dream.

The unique context of freedom in America is precisely this – that all people can have this dream and can have an opportunity to live it.  This concept has uniquely defined the social justice movement on our planet and will continue to for generations to come.

I am not defending “the American Dream.”  I am not interested in arguing about rights.  There is immense hubris in the privatized, selfish and narrow grasping at freedom that has become the norm for many.  And, the concept of rights itself often overlooks the balances implied between the rights of one group over another – witness the disaser we have gotten ourselves into by giving corporations personhood and all the attendant rights and privileges of the most pampered of citizens.  However, I defend the duty to defend freedom.  I defend the duty to be for and uphold the values of freedom and justice.

Listening to the music and moving body and heart, I let my mind travel to a talk that sacred activist and environmentalist Belvie Rooks gave on Thursday night, telling us tales of the cold and barren “door of no return” where countless thousands upon thousands of kings, queens, mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, aunts and uncles of Africa were shoved onto ships and ferried to death or servitude. They traveled a route so greusone that for hundreds of years, the shark migration patterns in the Atlantic shifted to follow the death ships.  What price did they pay?

What is freedom?

Spiritually, it is both an invitation to transcendence, and a calling to embrace whatever is. For, we can not really control anything but the way we respond to life.

And, yet… freedom is also something so tangible, so real. It is defined by what it is not. It is not bondage. It is not servitude. It is not indignity. It is not slavery, or being used, or being degraded.

Freedom arises as we choose to fully value people, and value our world. Freedom arises as we choose to steward our interconnectivity from a place of deep responsibility to our fellow beings.  Freedom arises through a duty to live in accord with a higher law of grace.

And THIS is where the concept of freedom gets deep. For, we can not have a meaningful freedom without responsibility. We can not expect to be free people if we do not act towards the freedom and enoblement of others. We can not hope to live the dream if we do not address where we place our bodies, our planet and other people in bondage through our choices.

So. I have a dream.  I dream, in the vast web of inter-dependent life, that we all choose to co-create a world within which all of god’s creatures can be free.