The dance is LOVE
love burrows under the skin
infinity pours in all directions
i am hopeless
i have flown beyond
in this sea
of breathing silence
Center IS the dance
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Two days ago, I found myself desperately praying for clarity. I was so overwhelmed with what felt like too much to do, too much to hold, too many responsibilities and too little time. I was literally immobilized. (Sound familiar?) Compounding this, I simply could not hold the vast feeling of unknowing surrounding every aspect of my life, work and relationships – everything up for constant redevelopment and shift – EVERYTHING evolving – CONSTANTLY. The temptation to drown in the quicksand was huge!
I am in a place in my life where I have manifested and exceeded just about every dream I have ever had. Community, partner, business, opportunity, great health, good friends, global projects to change the world… all happening now. And, it’s all pretty whelming at times. My businesses has grown beyond my capacity to manage it alone, so I now have a whole organization working with me. My partnership is ever evolving – a home beyond definition – which is the deepest invitation I have ever lived to love truly and fully in the way of God – and which is totally terrifying at times. The global projects I’m working on are high-stakes and high risk and require both an expanded level of vigilance and presence and a very mature level of compassion and surrender.
Mostly, I love it… but, sometimes lately, I’ve been totally stressed out.
It’s been really interesting to see what I do. (I kinda think of myself as my own private social experiment.) I’ve been taking that frustration and anger and all the stuck and small feelings to God. Sometimes, I’ve been raging in my prayers. Like, “WTF, GOD? What’s this all about?”
God just laughs and smiles and says, “It’s for you.”
And, being a human being, sometimes I’ve gotten madder. (Anger is so predictable.)
But, by two days ago, I was just done being upset. I was just done arguing (which never works). So, I took a desperate prayer to god.
“Please god, give me clarity. Give me peace. I need your help. I need it now.”
What happened quietly startled me.
Instead of new information, I was gifted silence. Instead of visions of futures and projects, I was given presence. Instead of the clarity I have known before of guidance and direction, I WAS GIVEN PEACE.
Today, I am living the way. I am un-overwhelmed. I am at peace. And, somehow, easily, without effort, the path forward, one step at a time, is reveling its self as one of clarity and grace.
So, what I want to say to YOU, today, is this:
Make a prayer to clean the slate, clear the clutter, open your heart and free your mind. If you are overwhelmed, and I know you sometimes are, do what you need to do to open this space for grace. Dance, sing, meditate, go to nature, have a really good sweat, get yourself to a ceremony…. whatever it is. I promise, the silence is worth as much or more than the infinite space it contains.
Thank you, God! Much love! ~s.s.
Have you noticed moments unfolding in infinity? Have you noticed whole days slipping by almost without notice? Have you recently experienced yourself getting more done in less time than you could have possibly imagined to be possible? While sometimes, the most basic things take a near infinity?
This is because linear time has collapsed. We are now living life as art, time as art. …seriously. Time is bendable, stretchable, usable, maleable, expandable, collapsible, valueless and infinitely valuable.
Actually… time is the substrate within which you experience meaning and value. It is the “space” within which consciousness occurs and knows itself in an arc of unfolding action. This arc holds all your perceptions, all your relations and all of your memories. It IS ceaseless change, and it is eternally the same in it’s essential nature.
Because the fabric of time has in fact changed at this “time” in the arc of Earth and humanity’s evolution, you have more creative agency around how your perception and your choices shape your relationship to time than EVER before. How you use and place your attention (and energy) within presence and action is the sum total of the love and power you have available to you for your life. It happens here. It happens now. Period. In this sense, you have more creative power than has ever been possible before for a human being on this planet. It’s pretty cool.
Ok… What does all this neo-quantum-zen talk mean?
It means that is is now REALLY true that the only thing you really “own” is your time, energy and attention. The only place your really LIVE is here. The only time your really have is NOW. The only thing that really makes sense is to be more present, to love more, trust more deeply, give more, receive more.
If you really love dance, then dance. If you really love water, then do something with an for the water. If you really love children, don’t hesitate to become a parent. If you really love the earth, then be with her, work with her, co-create with her, sing with her, dance with her, tell her stories and let her help you with yours. If you really love YOURSELF, then be and do what you love.
What you do with your time, energy and attention is is not only valuable, it is the root cause and locus of value and meaning in your life. So, it REALLY matters what you choose to do with your time, energy and attention. It also really HELPS to take it all lightly. Like a feather knowing itself against the wind, you know yourself by virtue of the sweet friction you exert in the universe. It’s not complicated. It’s the Law of Experience. Living in time is how we learn, how we know, how we birth, how we grow, and how we go.
Time is infinite. You are finite. Use the blessed scarcity of your moments to expand into infinity. This is the real meaning of immortality… but, we’ll save that for another day.
They all hold in common that the arbiter of their actions is not located out in the world, but in a deep and personal connection to inner guidance and listening to a greater intelligence navigating their lives. Of course, this means that there is absolutely nothing I can do to control them. It’s impossible for such people to be fully themselves in the context of control. They navigate by an authority that is divine, human and entirely emergent through their own listening. It’s terrifying to love such a person – because one never knows what they will decide or what God will decide for them. But, it is this kind of love that shows us what love really is, not on romantic human terms, but on the terms the universe offers us to understand what life and love and consciousness really are.
To love such a person is to really love, to love unconditionally, to love as an art of setting another free.
In my experience, this unconditionality is both a prerequisite to and an ongoing foundational practice within any relationship that “works”. It’s not easy. It’s the hardest thing, and the most beautiful thing. The pleasure it offers is it’s own reward. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s just that, if you want a relationship that is really honest and true, courageous and surrendered, and authentic to your soul, it’s the only way to go. It’s the only path to soul level, sustained intimacy, whether with a lover, a friend, a child, a parent or a colleague. Unconditional love empowers each person to be wholly themselves. It supports each person to engage the other and the relationship itself (which is a third intelligence) from what is truly present rather than from what is past or what is projected into the future.
It takes a lot of maturity, softness and courage to create a relationship that lives in the present moment – a lot – because you don’t get to lean on future guarantees or projections based in past experience. You don’t get to create contracts to control each other or keep the other safe from experiences projected into the relationship from the past or onto the future because the past was scary. Rather, you operate from a primary contract to protect and uphold each others’ liberation. You get to gather yourselves into the present moment continuously as you do the healing work that inevitably comes up around the past and around what shows up on the path of your relating in the present.
This is the only true union – a moment by moment dissolution into love, honesty, co-creation, trust, presence, vulnerability and all the pleasure, pain, wonder, stillness, inspiration, awareness and responsibility that arises when we give ourselves totally.
Why would we do this? Simply because we can. Simply because we are given to do so. Simply because we need each other in order to truly know what it is to be free.
Imagine, just for a few minutes, the world you really want to live in – the one Yoko and John showed us, the one where you get to romp in the grass everyday, where the sun warms your skin, where your body is radiantly healthy, where everyone dances regularly, and where our parents and children and partners and lovers and neighbors are true friends.
Bring in the color. Tune up the sound. Make a smell symphony. Melt into it… just for a minute, let yourself have the world you imagine.
Where are you? Perhaps it is the home you never fully let yourself dream of, the relationship you thought was impossible, the business they said would fail. Or, perhaps it is the healing practice they said wasn’t valuable, or the art that nobody listened to, or the the silence you thought you needed to cover in order to be heard…
Go there. Extend the instant. Extend the interval. That is where your real power lies – right there – in the center of your imagination. That’s god power at work. Don’t let it die.
What can you imagine into existence?
“BUT…” you say, “I’m not sure I deserve this. I’m not sure it’s possible. I won’t be supported. What if I die?”
Imagine, just for this moment, that the universe loves you, that every single thing that has ever happened to you, is happening to you, or will ever happening to you, is perfectly aligned with your soul’s plan for itself and god’s plan for you. Just let that in. And, just for today, take another few steps into LIVING INTO the world you imagine.
Two(+) keys for today:
Give the world the benefit of the doubt.
‘Notice whether you imagine (project) good intentions or negative intentions onto the actions or others. Withdraw the judgement and simply imagine that that person or situation is doing it’s very very best to come to a higher order of resolution with challenge or change. Notice how this is profoundly relieving for you, because then you are no longer carrying the weight of that judgement. Repeat… notice. Find a more charged situation. Do it again.
Imagine new life where you currently perceive dysfunction or death.
We all have those things we look away from because they are unpleasant, or deadened places within our selves or our world. Often, we don’t know what to do about them, so we ignore them, or simply cope with them. Examples: the knee issue you’ve been nursing for two years but “have just gotten used to living with,” the homeless person whose particular energy and presence speaks mysteriously to you, but who you’ve never said “hi” to, the bare rooftops I’m looking at right now, that I imagine everyday as gardens, solar catchers and water movers. Every single thing you see that tugs at your body, heart and soul for an authentic response is an opportunity in latent form. These things invite you to apply your imagination to co-create a higher octave of being, of response, of solution or resolution or connection in your own life and in the world. Where in your life are you ignoring a potent opportunity to turn towards a challenge or a pain with creative openness to grow, to give and to be changed? Where are you pushing something away because it doesn’t fit your preferences or fantasy image of your life? Choose one thing or situation. Imagine it as a part of the world you want to see – with your heart wide open – and see what new responses arise.
“Better Than Imagined”
For me, the most potent key (or prayer) is the one where I use my imagination to conjure and coalesce the most beautiful, elegant, lovingly created thing (like Dancing Freedom, for example, or the organic feast I cooked on Saturday night), then I GIVE IT UP TO GOD, trusting that’s the Greater Intelligence of creation is a more brilliant, diverse, genius co-creator than me alone. This is where true magic happens. All you need to do is to allow yourself to engage a dialogue, a conversation, with whatever you perceive that larger intelligence and love to be. Just try it – dance it, talk it, meditate it, use your gratitude power to engage with it. See what happens.
More on imagination, creativity and liberation next week…
I love you so much,