Moving Dreams

In my dreams I wake
Cherry blossoms fall like rain
On an upturned face.

I learned late last night that the mother of a student of mine had died. As my heart broke open to the challenges of navigating loss I began moving. This is what I wrote as I emerged. It is for you, Blake, and all those who walk with grace, with grief, with loss, with love as part of being in this world and of this world.
Blessings all.

“There is something pressing on me as I move, an overflowing cup of something that simply wants to be held – held strongly and deeply as the chords wrapped around it unwind. It is made up of dreams of magic, of healing, of the creative life force moving through me unencumbered. It is a whisper from the deep past as well as a beckoning into the future. The pace is steady. The pace is daily. The pace includes completion. The pace includes the poetry of my soul as it whispers to my heart enfolded in my hands:
Yes, Yes, Yes.”

The mist is like rain
Gently reminding, cleansing
A new day begins.

Staying Tuned

Breath breathing inside
Listening to the cadence
Of hearts deepest call

Recently I returned from a two week trip to Ireland which was inspiring, challenging and eye-opening on many different fronts.  The land itself feels tired though it is refreshed everyday with storms that sweep over the island and remind the land, and the people, of a wild and mythical beauty that used to be and is now only remembered in the stories of what used to be.  I wandered the streets of Galway and Dublin and thought…what chance do our young adults have to thrive, to feel nourished, to understand how important they are when bombarded at every moment with relentless invitations to escape into alcohol, sex, drugs, and virtual realities?

I dropped into a place of hopelessness that lives inside of me and then took a deep breath as I reflected on the workshop I just attended.  There are pockets of people and individuals who are lifting their eyes to see beyond the shadow our culture is casting, to feel into the new story that is being woven and participate in the weaving of it in their own unique way.  I am not alone in the work I do.  I am part of a whole voice that is emerging – it may have different trappings but the essential story that is emerging has familiar and similar threads.  I don’t think we know what it is yet but if you listen, you will begin to hear the call for connection, for attending to the health and development of the whole, for a gathering where the sky meets the water, where the masculine aligns with the feminine in peace and solidarity, first within each of us and then with each other, and where individual acts of courage contribute to the wellbeing of our children’s inheritance.

I am not alone in the work I do and it is sheer ignorance on my part that keeps that thought in place.  I listened to women teach these past weeks the same thing I teach though in a different format.  I was on my porch developing a new yoga flow for my practice.  I went to a yoga class the next day and my teacher taught the flow I had been developing.  I thought it was mine.  I don’t think there is a ‘mine’ anymore.  I felt, clearly, that in listening and moving, I was tapping into something greater than me but of me.  My responsibility is to express it as it moves uniquely through me and know the meetings that are happening all over the planet supporting an emerging new story to be heard.

Martha Graham illustrates this magnificently in the following passage:

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action.  And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open…

Wild Ways

Listen to the dawn
Colors chase the lightening streaks
Of cloud streaming shapes.

To be able to move in wild and surprising ways…

To shake, to see differently and allow the wild inner worlds room…

We all need room for the wild, the unpredictable, the mystery of living.

The day to day of a life lived through the virtual world happens in straight lines – linear and habitual.  As we live in a world dominated by technology and ever increasing disconnection from our hearts and hands, the wild in us has no place to express itself and is cornered into expression through text bullying, dares in the street, adrenaline highs, and is systematically absorbed into the virtual world where hunting and gathering is an art played out in games, in money, in sex, in education.  The wild, inner and outer, is all but being annihilated as we bow, as a culture, to the virtual world.

And yetour longing remains unsatiated and the call, our hearts’ call for connection, remains unanswered.

How do we meet the wild of our feelings, the depth of our longing and the need to feel connected through touch, through being seen and seeing?  How do we establish a tangible sense of living in this world? We have to come into a sense of embodied wholeness.  Learn to move in our bodies, in relationship.

Children are coming into schools as early as kindergarten with blinders on – seeing only themselves and the ‘screen’ in front of them.  There is less and less a sense of being able to relate and participate in the health of the whole of even just one other person.At age 5, as children enter kindergarten, the learning curve should be all about relationships, a sense of object constancy and a growing capacity to navigate the field of self and other.  If we plop our collective children in front of a screen, put an iPhone in their hands, a game board…there are serious and possibly unredeemable ramifications as these children grow up and emerge into the field of adults without having learned the basic principles of embodiment, differentiation, relationship, responsibility, integrity or, even, that learning is an active, generative experience. The damage is done.

If we insist on disassociating from our bodies, from a tangible, real sense of contact in the world, if we insist on a constant stream of distraction, entertainment, virtual relationships, if we insist on the status quo and simply keep plugging ourselves in deeper and deeper, the results are a certain collapse of will and positive engagement. And when that is questioned by an experience or awareness outside the ‘norm’ our inner voice claims,“Our needs are met, we are busy, our children seem O.K., the world hasn’t blown up yet…why change? In my‘virtual’ world all is well – I am in contact with thousands of people, Facebook friends, I can communicate with whomever, wherever in an instant, my child never cries and if he or she does I simply plug her in.  Sure, stomach migraines are on the rise, chronic illness due to stress related lifestyles are undeniable and the sense of being overwhelmed, malnourished, sleep deprived, never having enough time or doing a good enough job a constant nagging thought accompanied by the constant stream of text messages, emails, keeping up with the social media but…what else is there to do?”

For how many people is the following true?

I am busy.  I am making it in this world.  I may not know where my food comes from let alone if it really even grows but I am willing to live in an illusion of reality created by millions of dots and dashes because that is what I know as evolution, as success, as development, my survival depends on it. I can’t even remember the last time I actually talked with someone, holding their hands, looking in their eyes, feeling.  I don’t know what dirt feels like or what a potato looks like when it is growing.  I feel diminished, smaller in my life and less able to cope than ever before.  And underneath all the busyness, all the façade of activity and happy engagement I am unhappy and I know that I have lost something vital in my life. I no longer have any sense of my own place, of how I truly feel and am at a loss when asked, ‘what do you want?’  I have no idea so I just keep doing what I am doing and hope that something will change along the way.

All of this points to the crying need to stop, to listen, to feel, and interrupt the cycle of living in a virtual world without which we do not feel our relationship to the living planet, to ourselves and to each other.  Why change?  Because the joy, the deep sorrows of being, the heart opening, the health of the planet all reside in our willingness to change, to risk everything for love.  In deciding, every moment, to choose what is real around us, to come into relationship with our bodies, our feelings, to tolerate being uncomfortable, to learn how our minds work in relationship, to know our values and beliefs – all this allows us to live and act in our lives from a place of empowered, tangible, generative YES! A yes that is moving at the speed of life, free from the dictates of a virtual world that is moving at the speed of dots and dashes, not life!

Staying Alive

Sweet cadence arise
My heart springs into action
With the call of sap rising.

 Born with a spark that is mine…

I was listening to music with my fourteen year old daughter yesterday – belting out One-D songs at the top of our lungs while driving with the top down (lucky us!) – and woke this morning with the lyrics of one of the songs in my head…it goes something like this “if this room was burning, I wouldn’t even notice. ‘Cause you been taking up my mind. With your little white lies, little white lies…” of course the song is about someone else but what if we took that home and looked at all the little white lies we are constantly telling ourselves that are, literally, burning up our will to live?

And the song keeps pestering me, those particular lyrics, and I began thinking about what is burning in me? What is the fire that I keep trying to put out, to squelch, that has me sludging through my days rather than celebrating?

All of us are born with a spark inside that is uniquely ours – a spark that will burn and flame and direct us if fanned from within yet we look outside of ourselves to keep our fire going.  We look outside of ourselves for direction, for purpose, for something to do and the longing for this unique spark to be met is extraordinary and…when it isn’t met I think we try to destroy it.  We despair of ever finding a place and instead of going inside and fanning the flame ourselves, listening deeply to the sound that flame makes that is our and ours alone – we do our best to let it burn out, to put it out, believing that somehow, someway, in doing that we will find a home outside of ourselves, a place in the world, and meanwhile the spark refuses to die – when it dies so do you – and what rises in its place is despair, self-destructive behavior, anger…what would happen if we listened to what our spark is saying and followed it even in small ways?  What if we met ourselves?  I think this is one of the tasks of growing ourselves up…I begin again, today, to listen to a spark that has grown faint – to fan it from within and see if I can get a fire growing down in my soul that places me perfectly on this planet, exactly where I am to BE and let whatever doing rise from there.

There are other tasks as well which each of us point to in our own ways – differentiating from parents, becoming financially independent, navigating intimate relationships, finding work that inspires and doing what is needed along the way, educating ourselves through the process of formal education but also through the experience of living more and if that wasn’t daunting enough…learning how to navigate change and stay alive in our own lives!

So, take a breath, stretch your arms out wide, bring them in tight around yourself for a hug and open them wide again.  Feel your feet on the floor, notice where you are connected.  Close your eyes and listen.  There is a flame inside that is always burning and it is yours, only yours…what can you do today that is a bow towards that part of you? An expression of the gift of you on this planet? How can you move into your life?!