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

Star Portal
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.

What does it mean when people say, “remember who you are?” And, why do we forget?

1002806_894756000154_1600458832_nThe oldest questions are still the truest.

Who are you?

What are you?

Why are you here?

When you “remember who you are”, what are you remembering?

Are you “awake?”

And, if it’s so important to “remember who you are”, why do we forget?

These questions have shaped my life since I can remember.  They have driven me in a fundamental commitment to live a life that matches the truth of my soul.

I “woke up” when I was 5.  I woke up again when I was 11.  Again, when I was 19.  And… again.

I have often forgotten.  Why?

In the last few weeks, through a series of ceremonies, intensely healing dance practices and quiet time with nature, I’ve “remembered who I am” yet again.  Who am I?  I am love, light, pure radiance – just like you.  And, me, personally?   I am a star priestess from a timeless lineage of star priestesses.  I come from the Early Ones from the Great Central Sun.  I carry original codes for planetary healing and balance.  I have incarnated countless times on planet earth, all of these incarnations (both past and future) culminate in the singularity of this lifetime and it’s particular evolutionary potential for all of life on planet earth.  I am an intuitive, a healer, a leader, a teacher of teachers, a dance shamaness, an earth keeper, a keeper of life’s true pattern for abundance and royalty which is only divinely aligned when stewarded in integrity with the balance of All of Life.  None of this is a function of ego.  And, it’s not woowoo.  It’s just true.  It’s a statement of soul essence.  It’s up to me to somehow embody it in the messy complexity of this life.  It’s up to me to “be” this as a function of surrender and showing up.  It’s up to me to walk the lifelong process of developing of a healthy, human ego and identity that matches this soul truth and makes good use of it.

That’s your job, too.

Your job, ultimately, once you remember who you are, is to live a life that matches the image within your soul.

Yet, forgetting is a part of the process.  Forgetting creates the whole journey of remembering as a recapitulating experience that deepens and becomes more mature each time it happens.  Cycles of forgetfulness and remembrance allow us to embody the soul in a truly magical, human, authentic, non-linear way.  If we knew the end of the movie, we wouldn’t be fully present for it.  If we always remembered, we would miss out on the funky, fallible, broken, exquisite depths of being human.  We would miss the dark nights that shape our souls when we fall down.   We would miss the pleasure of bumbling our way out of caves.

And, it’s a great risk to live fully awake.  When you put your true self out there, you risk being attacked for your light.  You risk being fully seen.  You have nowhere to hide.  You risk offering your your deepest love and truth to the world and being rejected or, worse, being wildly successful and so needing to tolerate great attention or power.  You risk needing to “keep it together” when the deeper rhythm of a soul centered life can in no way be determined by society’s version of success.

Risk is inherent to an awake life.  Get used to it. It’s worth it.

I love all the spiritual slogans and Facebook posts I see these days that say, “Remember who you are.”

We – the human species – are indeed remembering.  And this really matters, because, as we remember, we fan the spiraling fire of evolution by bringing our unique soul gifts to the world.  But, as we remember, let’s also allow some space to forget.  That compassion is the seat of a deeper liberation – a liberation into loving it all, a liberation into life on life’s terms.

As you wake up, listen.  Underneath the elevation of your soul’s majesty, you will hear a quieter tug to respond to this life with wisdom, courage and responsibility.  As you wake up, make a space in yourself to forget – and to remember again – more grounded, more real, more human.

I’ll meet you there.

Nourish Your Soul’s True Nature

Ohhhhhh….  It’s difficult to write at this moment.  The raucous wonders of Spring’s verdancy call loudly for me to close this computer to run outside into the tall grass to frolick with baby goat kids and flit with Roufus hummers who’ve recently arrived for mating season.

I am a part of this Spring.

You are a part of this Spring.

Seriously… the sap in you wants to sing.

It’s been my lifelong experience that my body and soul are one with nature – a specific and beautiful expression of one immense, harmonious and infinitely intelligent whole.  I’ve been disappearing into the woods to “find myself” since age 5.  Always, this wandering is a way home.

Think about it.  Everything in nature is itself – a cat, a rock, a living waterway.  Nothing, in its natural expression, is ever is not in alignment with it’s true nature.  Each thing has its unique suchness – a soul.  Nature simply is this way.  It is immune to the spell of culture and the clutter of the human mind.  That’s why our souls are so deeply nourished by time in wild nature.  We know ourselves more fully in the coherent mirror of the more-than-human world.

So, with this in mind, I invite you to take some time this week in wild nature to nourish your soul.

Don’t look for linear “answers”.

Just set your intention to be open to receive.  Observe.  See what shows up on your path. 

How does it speak?   What qualities do you notice?  How does it excite or scare you?  How might it show you a way to move more gracefully with a given situation in your life?  Perhaps you notice qualities or capacities that you can bring more intentionally into your daily interactions?

Let the deeper patterns of life work on you.  They will return you to your soul.

Love,
Samantha

Living a Life-y Life

Choice.  Change.  Courage.

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Here’s my question for the week:

Live a life of order, dependability, safety and culturally pre-defined pathways to success?

OR

Live the one, true, wild, strange, beautiful, magical, ever challenging, continuously learning, co-creative and constantly emergent dance of the life spirit intends for you?  A life lived in accord with the magic, chaos and order of life itself?

Uh… I don’t know…

I choose door number two.

YOU?

Who’s life are you living? 

Are you living the status quo or the rich and wild intelligence of life as it flows uniquely through you?

Are you willing to confess the ways in which you are out of integrity with your values or your soul’s wisdom or your truest dreams?

Are you willing to RISK the life you prayed for?

What will happen if you don’t?


I live with these questions as constant companions.  I care to live my life in integrity with my soul and with life itself.

There are infinite voices – subtle, ubiquitous, highly programed messages – that tug constantly at the subconscious trying to get us live the status quo, to sell us on some one else’s version of a fulfilling life, to convince us that meaning and value are to be found somewhere other than our homes, our hearts, our hearths – in screens and text windows and the measure of bank accounts.  We are surrounded by a deadening technological pulse of mass culture perpetuating  the desire engines of capitalism, splitting us from our simple, earthly, sensate connections with the very life-y life of life.  But, these voices don’t speak for soul… they don’t represent the deeper intelligence of life.  Business as usual generally doesn’t cause happiness, nor does it empower the soul, nor is it at all sustainable, let alone regenerative or full-bodied joyful.

I, for one, am incapable of feeling at all comfortable in in my skin in a “business as usual” life.

So, I choose to follow soul, spirit and the inseparability of my dance with the larger pulse and intelligence of life.  I do my best to listen and respond – to create my days as an offering and a prayer for joy, for truth and for the wholeness and continuity of the One Great Life.

This almost always causes change.

It always takes courage – more than I think I have.

Anything other than this leaves me feeling deadened and flat.

And you? 

Are you living “business as usual?”  Or, are you choosing?  Allowing the change?  Breathing in courage?

It’s chooser’s choice all the time.   No time like the present.

Make the prayer.

Live a life-y life.

This is my way of being home in the journey, and of coming home by being true to my self.

It’s not about easy.

It’s about honest.

It promises a life you can walk in – in your own skin – in the body you’ve been given and the unique gifts of your soul – in service and in harmony with life.

Love,

Samantha

3 Spiritual Upgrades to CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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1.)  Oneness excludes nothing.  No exceptions.  Unconditional love includes all things.  If we genuinely look into the mechanism by which oneness occurs, it necessarily EMBRACES the totality of creation.  No exceptions.  Oneness is the all-ness of the everything that is.  Period.

2.) Fear is the inception point of love.  Fear is life loving life, the root impulse of life protecting itself.  It’s the evidence of how much we care to continue to exist.  The human brain, however, has evolved to a level of complexity where we immediately INTERPRET our fears, and attempt to mitigate or make them go away.  It’s our interpretation and thinking about fear that quickly becomes dysfunctional – taking us into past and future thinking and running thought scenarios that are other than what is really occurring.  We then have a lot of feelings about these thoughts, and the dysfunctional loop perpetuates itself. LEARNING TO BE WITH FEAR IS AN EVOLUTIONARY PATTERN.  The root fear response is generally immensely intelligent and very much in the present.  The real path of wisdom is to have appropriate and mindful RESPONSE to fear, and to learn to inhibit secondary interpretations that create suffering about our suffering.  Then we can live awake – we can embody oneness.

3.)  The ego is NOT the enemy.  Our current spiritual story has lumped our whole personality into the category of “ego” and made the ego the enemy.  This is a really narrow view.  From a psychological perspective, the “ego” is a complex of sub-selves that make up the whole person.  These sub-selves are not in and of themselves a problem.  The problem is that they are largely unconscious, AND that there is a particular set of sub-selves we could call the “protector/controller” that are generally running the show.  The key is to develop an AWAKE EGO- to unplug the unconscious ways in which the controlling sub-selves manipulate and run the shows of our lives.  Once we begin to develop and Awake Ego, we can begin to surrender or repattern the negative and unconscious ego patterns that we commonly call “ego” so that we can live more fully awake, responsive, resilient and life-full lives.  Consider this:  the ego is a living operating system through wich we can convey soul and spirit.  It is the user interface between people, the vehicle through wich we navigate all of our relations.  We need it.  We are relational beings.  The real evolutionary growing edge for the human species is to relate coherently though personalities that are lovingly connected to ALL of who we are – both our humanity and our immensity as soul and spirit.

…think about it.  The implications are exquisite.

Why Being You Matters More Than Anything Else

Find Your Liberation! photo: Sean Stutchen

Why being YOU matters more than anything else:

It is simply too painful not to be yourself.  Doing anything other than the expression of who you really are is just to deadening, too confining, and too damn hard.  Inauthenticity to self is a road to disease, a path we were taught so that we could be controlled and become instruments of contol.

We are not that.  WE are free.  We are love.  WE are the creative force of god.

And, we are the cutting edge of mainstream – the crest of the rising wave of a new humanity and a new way of doing civilization.  WE are evolution.  Who you are and what you bring is exactly what the world needs.  It needs each and every one of us to show up uniquely as ourselves.

This is the spiritual ecology of the universe:  each of us is a unique manifestation of the divine mind that has it’s perfect place within the greater soul-ecology of creation.  Everything, every person, has a perfect niche.  It’s simply up to us to know this – have faith in it – and to let it happen.  Then, we get to (as opposed to have to) create our lives and our work in ways that feel good and fulfilling, uniquely, to each of us.   Then we get to be liberated in each moment we live as a true expression of love.

The world needs us desperately.  The world needs people who are awake to their true nature as love.  The world needs soulful, healthy people who turn towards each other and towards life.  The world needs us to create our work and our lives in this Way.

All the flags, all the people, universal peace.

Remember this:  We are not a counter culture.  We are not “the opposition.”  We are the light and the hope and the innovation that world is desperately crying for.  If you struggle with your work or with feeling as though you don’t belong, stop and listen to how the world is calling for you, how it needs your creative contribution and your unique gifts in order to experience a greater wholeness.  WE are the song of oneness – all the notes of the rainbow symphony – every one.  Listen to how Life is calling to you specifically – your gifts, your affinities, your capacities and even your unique pains and struggles.  It is showing you exactly what you can, and already do, give.

There is no more opposition.  In the past, we opposed “our enemies.  In the past, we resisted fear, anger, pain, grief.  We feared our emotions; we feared others; we feared or own imperfections and covered them in masks.  In the present, we embrace everything.  We live as the water – resisting nothing.  We respond.  We are response-able.  Able to respond.

This is how we are living the compelling case for everyone, anyone, to join us – by living our joy.  We create ourselves as a compelling case by being awake and by totally enjoying it!  We live the practical case to join us by needing less and having more bliss, by getting more done with less effort, by creating sustained, authentic relationships and by allowing our lives to be as fun, beautiful and dignified as they really are.  We live the compelling case to join us by turning towards whatever challenges us as an opportunity for greater harmony.

"All of life is a circle." ~Black Elk

Oneness excludes nothing.  It opposes nothing.  It collaborates with everything.   We collaborate with everything.

Life opposes nothing.  It just wants more life.  Being like life is the same thing as living as god, is the same thing as living as love.

We did not get here alone.  We are the dreaming of our ancestors.  We are the ancestors of the future.  We are the ones we are waiting for, and we’re not waiting anymore.

Much Love,

Samantha Sweetwater

ps.  If you know your life purpose involves leading, healing, spreading awakening and and building community THROUGH DANCE,  then join us for the next Dancing Freedom Facilitator Training – EMBODIMENT: The Practice.  March 2-11, 2012 at the Harbin Oneness Institute in Middletown, California.

pps.  If you want individualized help to Live Your Path more abundantly, effectively and joyfully, contact me for Soul Coaching.

What is Partner?

What is partner?

Endlessly, I am called into this sweet addiction to experience…
Teasing out the strands of marriage and usury –
true engagement untangled from insecure attachment.

I have exchanged with you the most sacred of contracts.
Our mirrors are well met.
Holograms harmonizing and expanding through the sweet friction of difference.

You are me.
I am you.
And not.

What is our honest alignment?
What is the form that can match our souls’ gifts for each other and for the world?

If I stop pretending that I have answers,
A great window opens,
A great river finds itself flowing through us and me and we
A gentle symphony begins its first notes.

(I think of the first time I tasted Rhapsody in Blue played by Benny Goodman…
Like that.
Like god on a good good day in the sun.)

There is no linearity to this poem.
Because, there is no where to go.
No WHERE to get to.
Only more here, more essence, more love, once more.

All the pains we have caused are forgiven
Our contracts are a sea of choice.

I choose this one.
This place.
This heart.
This body as the chariot for
A vast and uncontainable loving.

And you?
Shall we dance together?

~s.s.

October 2, 2010

Enough: What Is Most Essential?

What is enough?

What is too much?

It is immensely tempting, in this age of racing time and systems-wide failure, to get caught in urgency, to try to fix everything. We are powerfully called to DO, to ACT, to “be the change”. We are called to engage social and spiritual action in every direction and dimension of our lives – from recycling, to gardening, to political action and citizen lobbying, to supporting schools, to fundraising for Haiti, Chile and the rainforests.  Indeed, all of these sectors and more need help, but in reaching out to all of it, can we be truly effective at giving back to the world what it most needs?

We are called to become integral spiritual beings, to map our inner worlds in totality, to hone our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. Great idea. But, where is the ground? We measure ourselves against the achievements of activist giants like Paul Hawken or Lynn Twist, and we feel inadequate to the task at hand.  So, we become generalists. We become greatly skilled at navigating an integral playing field, but we become less connected to the specific dimensions of our own experience that inform the shape and tone of our greatest service.

In expanding to hold the ALL, the temptation is to take it ALL on. Isn’t this just another excess? If we make ourselves responsible for engaging the total system, working to change the whole by engaging all the parts, we loose track of the simple sufficiency of our unique gifts and inspirations. The shadow here is that nothing we do, nothing we give, nothing we are can actually be enough if we have to “do it all”. We end up recapitulating one of our deepest human wounds – the myth that “I am not enough.”

Yes, it is more than time to “be the change we want to see.” It is time to step up like never before. It is time to give. It is time to serve. It is time to fearlessly engage. But, isn’t it also time to step down, to relax into our humanity, to cease our seeking and finally, actually ARRIVE home to the simple grace, abundance and meaning inherent in our lives and relationships.

It is our “not enough-ness” that causes us, after all, to seek so ceaselessly to expand, be more, get more, do more. It motivates endless consumption loops and a reflexive grasping towards what we do not have. It is our not-enough-ness that causes us to place the value of the dollar above the value of our relationships, our moment to moment states of consciousness, and our connection with the earth and the animal worlds – things that are available to us all the time. It is part of the root sickness that generates the degenerative cycles of global capitalism and human addiction.

No human is designed to be everything. And this is a key point. As long as we are trying to do it all, we recapitulate the core wounds of inadequacy, self-loathing, jealousy, greed and insecurity that perpetuate our addictive behaviors, poverty and despair.

It seems to me that we need to restrain this impulse. Instead, we need to get specific, humble, anchored and real about what it is each of is specifically here to be and to do. We need to align our actions meaningfully with the SHINE of our SOULS, with our passion and our joy – in ways that are both powerful and calming. We need to root into the fundamental sufficiency of our hearts and spirits and our capacity to CHOOSE this enough-ness in every moment.  This is foundational for alignment within the greater harmonic of evolution happening at this time. No one of us can or is meant to do it all. Rather, we are here to co-cre-activate a personal, cultural and spiritual ecosystem of wholeness within which each of us is uniquely designed to fill a specific niche and play a specific role.

You are enough.

Dancing Freedom – Chapter 1

“Imagine then a dancer who… has attained such a degree of understanding that his body is simply the luminous manifestation of his soul; whose body dances in accordance with a music heard inwardly, in an expression of something out of another, profounder world. This is the truly creative dancer; natural but not imitative, speaking in movement out of himself and out of something greater than all selves.”
Isadora Duncan – The Philosopher’s Stone of Dancing, 1920

Photo by Wes Carson

Photo by Wes Carson

Creation Dances. The universe dances. When existence was born out of the great, undifferentiated field of the One, the dance was born. Since the beginning of time and the beginning of existence, being has been dancing with essence. Our souls are dancing the space where our spirit and our bodies meet.

The dance is the great unifier. Dance invites us into union with the masculine and feminine, seen and unseen, being and doing, spiritual and physical aspects of ourselves. Gently, fiercely moving us in the tides of our own bodies and emotions, it brings us right to the center of soul. To dance is to celebrate being human – being a spirit in the body living on this miraculous planet called Gaia.

Dancing Freedom is my spiritual practice. It is not a religion. It has no dogmas, no boundaries. It welcomes all bodies, all gestures, all gods. It invites diversity, and through embrace of the wild multiplicity of expression, teaches the truths of Unity. Dancing is spiritual because it is a way of joy. Joy means saying a divine yes to life – to the movement that IS life – all of IT – and, to our divine creatorship. When we move and just keep moving, we become one with all parts of ourselves and with the great cosmic dance.

I believe the dance can set us free. Freedom means that we are at home in our bodies and in our spirits. It means that we have fluidity between our inner connectivity and outer expressivity. When these two parts of ourselves are in dynamic flow, we live with soul. WE dance in the fire of love that is at the center of hearts. Freedom means embracing that fire – being ok with the full spectrum of our experience, at home in all of our stuff AND in our exaltation. I call this divine OK-ness. It is a place where there is no separation between the sacred and the mundane – a place where we KNOW that THIS is the true essence of sacredness. When we live here, we are free. Incredible magic happens. The world opens before us as a place of wonder, color, authenticity and beauty. Our instinctive, intuitive and worldly aspects reconnect. We stop going through the motions of life, and instead really feel the vibrancy and joy of existence pulsing through us.

No true freedom can emerge from resistance. What we resist persists. We are learning how to really love what is, how to embrace. The path of liberation asks us to surrender everything while we simultaneously hold the mother wisdom of creating safe space. What does this look like in the dance? It looks like working within a clear container of practice where we can really let go to explore. It means developing the clarity of our own sense of yes and no. It means exploring how our physical and emotional experiences are holographic reflections of all dimensions of our experience. Our skin is a sacred boundary. Our hearts have boundaries and borders that can be contained, entered, held, opened, surrendered. It is through naked dialogue with the bounded aspect of experience that we come to the blissful experience of boundlessness. It is through the existence of a contained self and a distinct other that we give and receive. When the flow is open in both directions, we can open to the infinity loop of creation.

Freedom does not mean being without boundaries. It means choosing boundaries, keeping agreements with our self and other and communicating clearly and cleanly. It means giving and receiving. It means knowing that we create our realities through choice. The dance teaches the total creativity of the moment. We be, do and act from an inner creative impulse that is always our own, always available for us to claim. It teaches us ownership of this creative impulse, and how to share that impulse without giving away all our energy. The dance teaches us healthy, heart-full ways to be authentic. This is freedom.

Dancing takes me home. This is my practice. My cells speak many languages: jazz, rock, samba, techno, dub, trance, silence. My body knows many paths in time and space: slow, fast, chaotic, graceful, high, low, lazy, energized, linear, circular, sweeping. I connect to the filaments of consciousness that flow through all things, all time and space. And, I surf the textures of dimensions far greater than this one. I ignite in the downward spiral of Love, Light and Energy: the core frequencies of embodiment. I release into the upward spiral of Love, wisdom and power – in action and in essence. Immanence and Transcendence. I return, again and again, to stillness.

I have seven sacred agreements I keep with myself:
1.) I will show up.
2.) I will pay attention.
3.) I will love.
4.) I will be myself.
5.) I will breathe.
6.) I take responsibility.
7.) I honor my body, my emotions, my mind and my spirit.

I keep these agreements …ask others to keep these agreements with me as we re-birth a culture of spirit in the body. As we return to these fundamental ground rules for spiritual practice, we create a powerful field for transformation and a safe space for all souls to dance.

Open Heart Empowerment Ceremony, Mount Shasta

Open Heart Empowerment Ceremony, Mount Shasta

So. You say you don’t dance…. It is a gift of life and right of passage to dance. Once upon a time, everyone danced. The world was born dancing. Mother god seduced father god with her great beauty, and thus, the universe was born. Original peoples everywhere on the planet have danced communion since the beginning of time. It is in your blood. We have danced the cycles of the seasons, the hunt, the harvests, the birth, marriage and death portals of life. We have danced to recognize the girl becoming the woman and the boy becoming man. We have danced for praise, gratitude, forgiveness, harmonization, re-genesis, and transformation. We have danced to become one with the elements, the directions and the devas. The Sufis swirl, the Quakers shake, the bushmen of the Kalahari jump, the Hawaiians hula. South Indian Kathak dancers tell the great Hindu epics in the exquisite detailing of fingers and eyes, while aboriginals, Tibetan Buddhists and Cuban Santeros invite divine energies to take over the body in states of trance.
Our dances reflect our connection to the earth, our beliefs, and the ways in which we relate with each other. They are the backbone of culture.

In this now time, we are coming together to dance a revolution of dancing evolution. We are bridging the mind and the body to create a culture of heart. Dancing is a path of truth. We come to truth through authentic connection and expression. We are not here to seek the truth, we are here to live it. We remember how to do this when we dance. If you feel this call, Dancing Freedom is your tradition. Certainly, it is my tradition. It is a choice. It is my choice. It is a re-birthing of cultural backbone and a celebration of peace. We create Oneness as we dance. WE re-weave the wholeness of the world and the coherence of community. We remember that being human is ok, and that, in this humanness, we can be ONE.

We are luminous bodies. We are light. We know this mentally as a truth of Quantum Mechanics. But, let us dance it – as Truth. Let us touch the knowing that true stillness is moving and that true movement holds all stillness. Let us dance to know our selves, and that which is greater than the self. Let us dance and come home. Let us dance and be Freedom.

Courage

Mid-August.  It is Monday night in Tokyo: hot, sultry weather and a room full of bodies in full motion.  Thirty dancers reveal the soul dancing as I “hold space” – just being fully myself and weaving light in the room.  The whole place vibrates, and I feel the earth sending waves of gratitude to us through the floor.

It is a remarkable and brave thing to dance your soul.  Naked, vulnerable and free, I see dancers opening body, heart and spirit in the motion.  Sweaty and blissful, I see people in divine radiance.  I see courage.  I see the whole person.  I see the dance of life, death and birth.  I see timelessness.  It’s exquisite!

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As I witness, I begin to contemplate this remarkable courage, expression and beauty.  I think about who these dancers are as people, as spirits, as wisdom keepers.  I shiver.

What is a person? A person is a collection of perceptions, feelings and actions.  A person is a skin bag full of bones, blood and heart.  A person is a miracle – with arms, legs, spine and a mouth to speak.  A person is a spiritual event happening one moment at a time.   A person is a body that includes the physical, emotional, mental, higher self, soul and spirit, all weaving together in one unfolding conversation of Self.    A person is a dance.

What is a dance? A dance is an act of essence.  It is a set of motions dissolving in space and time, never to be repeated again, known only through the experience of the dancer or the awareness of the witness.  A dance is a deeply courageous act.

What is courage? Courage is what I witness every day when these remarkable beings called humans come to do this incredible action called dancing.

Courage is naked self. It requires a willingness to perceive, feel and act.  It requires presence.  It takes guts.

When I see people connecting deeply to what their senses perceive, their bodies and emotions feel, and their dances express, I see raw humanity.  I see incredible, wild, truth.  I see diversity, and I see unity. I see divinity.  Courage is what I see when a person deeply perceives him or herself in the movement, allows that perception to be totally felt, and finds the willingness to express that into the dance.  It is risky.  There are no guarantees.  The gamble is our own freedom.

Tokyo Dance Curtains

Courage means being your self totally, without apology, shame or doubt.  It means being vulnerable.  It is a tool for being wide awake – totally alive and free.  Without the courage to be vulnerable, we can never know true power.  True power comes from embrace of life, not control over it.  The dance asks us to loose control and thus experience being – totally.  It asks us for real embrace.  You can’t dance if you are busy editing your own feelings and actions.  You have to be unconditional.  This is how we learn self-love.

Here in Tokyo, we are dancing.  People are coming together – body and soul – to Dance Freedom and sweat prayers.   Everything is breaking open: hearts wide open, pores wide open, voices wide open, expression wide open!  I am in AWE of what I see.  Awe.  There is no other word for it.  It get kundalini waves just thinking about it.

The freedom to experience and express the self is such a radical thing here in Japan.  Just the concepts of self-awareness and self-leadership are radical.  There is no word for sovereignty in the Japanese Language.  In this culture, there has been so little space to feel, so little room for individuation. Space is tight.  You get by.  You do what you are told.  You fit in and work hard and live in responsibility to your family and ancestors.  You live in the context of a larger culture, an older order and continuity over which you have no control.  Yet, there is an incredible momentum towards self development and a growing drive towards sovereignty.  There is also a call to release the old pictures of cultural identity to enter new possibilities of beauty.  People are claiming their power and recognizing that they are creators.  There is a spark of passion – soul fire! – coming alive everywhere, like the day glow colors on the billboards of this endless city.  These people are so courageous!

This new Soul Fire is idiosyncratic, self-affirming and radiantly alive.  It arrives as a wordless drive, or a will to know, and it opens the gates of the heart.   People are shedding the skins of culture and asking WHO AM I?  WHAT DO I WANT?  WHAT AM I HERE TO CREATE?  HOW CAN I LOVE – MORE?  HOW CAN I BE FREE?  WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?   HOW CAN I LET GO OF EGO?  Each place I go, I meet people struggling with the Great Questions.  It is time to dance.  In the dance we arrive at sensation, feeling and action: the simplest building blocks of our humanity.  We remember that the answers are not external, like new clothes or new jobs, but are held in the heart and in the ways in which we experience our lives. We find the courage to be ourselves, and THIS is the only real answer.  Let life be an endless question.  It is much more interesting that way.  This is where the Dance of Freedom begins.

Tokyo Crew 4

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires.”
— Clarissa Pinkola Estes