Category Archives: Growth

On To Tango Upon Chiron or A Tale Of Dancing With God

planets_300_300“All motion begins in God and ends in God.  The universe is engaged in a whirling flow of change and activity. This is God’s dance. We are all dancing with God and God with us.

I’ve come under fire of late.  Yes, I’m experiencing my own Duck Dynasty moment. Friends of mine, deeply spiritual friends, who define themselves as wounded Christians, have been very critical of my speaking openly about attending mass. To them it is a slap in the face since they have a negative view of Christianity.  Not to be outdone, friends who identify as Christians have been very critical of my chanting and practicing kirtan.  I’ve been told it’s idol worship.  To both groups I roll my eyes.

My devotions and practices are mine.  While we are all created in God’s image, God is also created in our image.  I believe I have forged a distinctively personal path of spirituality that places the uniqueness of the individual, in this case me, at the center of his or her own spiritual universe with God — a spiritual partnership so to speak. Feisty and invigorating, yet deeply personal and self-revealing — this is my approach to my inner life and my relationship with God.

This is my dance with God.

dancing godThe scriptures are filled with stories of dancing. These dances are not planned, scripted ballets but improvised songs of freedom, hope and joy. They aren’t performed by trained and seasoned professionals but are initiated in the joyful celebrations of people to their God.

These raves of God are edgy and innovative – raw and spirit filled. They are the dances of the people, the seeds of raw potential, born not out of the exactness of ritual but in the spontaneity of the Spirit – filled with the rhythm of life.  The dance of God is the dance of the cosmos, the interrelationship of Creator, created (you and me), and life itself, the holy creativity of the All in All.

The dancing metaphor of all life is envisioned and embodied as a circle dance. The dance of the divine is moving, active, eternally both transcendent and immanent, and flowing together in a joyful and harmonious, rhythmic and resonant celebration of life. The great Artist of eternal life dances with the child and the Divine Mother. Each dwells in the other, outside of and within the created world.

The Christ, the Lord of the Dance, is the physical embodiment of the sacred dance of life, the incarnated vision and rhythm of the artistry of God. Whereas the Trinity is the music and the composer, the Christ is the one who calls to us to “come and dance” and promises that we need never lose the rhythm of the dance.

The Lord of the Dance takes the lead. Our role is that of the dancing partner who has the courage to get up from the safety of sitting and spread our wings into the unknown. In joining the dance, we break free of some kind of social sheath and give others the courage to follow their passion.

As we join the Lord of the Dance the Spirit becomes a whirling life force, becoming aligned with and at one with God and ourselves. The implication of this dance is that all persons dance a dance of mutual love, breathe together the breath of life, and pour out to one another in mutual giving.

Believe only in a God who would know how to dance.

We are all of us invited to the dance, though not all join.  But look what happens when we do. We fall into sync with the rhythm of life. The rhythms of the Universe echo within the music of the spheres until all are singing and dancing together in a beautiful and diverse harmony.

The time is now, and the dance is eternal. Don’t sit this dance out. Life is moves quickly. Buds burst in fragrant spring; fruits delight in fertile summer. Leaves change colors in autumn. Trees fall in whitened winter. Dance while you can. The world doesn’t need more conversations so much as it needs more dancing. When “heart speaks unto heart,” what comes next is less a conversation than a waltz or a tango, with all its unexpected twists, turns and dips.

The soul’s dance occurs both in the earthly here and now and in the heavenly beyond. The celebration of rebirth, beauty and hope surrounds and permeates our life. Harmony prevails in every step we take with God and with each other. We are lead in a new dance of human connection under divine direction.

The dance of God is a dance of love that moves and flows through the ins and outs, ups and downs of all of life’s joys and travails. The circle of our dancing is a powerful movement of shared compassion).

Too often in our spiritual life, we want to give dance lessons, to be the judges of dance competitions. I won’t be judged in my dance with God.  The Lord of the Dance can never be directed or contained. To join the dance of spirit, we need to break out of our square lines and ballroom boxes and let the spirit draw us in. The dance is a dance of unity of sound and sight, a unity of those who believe, and a unity of God and his creation.

And now, as Lawrence Welk used to say, “A-one, an-atwo.

 

On The Spiraling Wheel Of Life or A Tale Of To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.
Stephen Chbosky

For the past few weeks I’ve been suffering from writer’s block; why, I don’t know.  It seems that every time I sat down and tried to write, nothing would gel.  I knew the block was from within and yet, I couldn’t dissolve it.  Today, I woke up brimming with ideas. It was like dozens of voices pulling at me to get their story out.  Whew.  Now the struggle is which to blog on first …

I’m still searching for a full time job, hanging in there daily for my family, and putting in hours of work every day into myself, my health, my blog, and working on creating real change, and yet I still feel like I have nothing to show for my efforts.

The hours I’ve been putting into my inner work, spiritual practices and creative work have taken time away from the time I spend with my friends, family, myself. My friends tell me our relationships have suffered as I work on myself.  Distant relatives have attacked me for writing a blog telling me I’m self-absorbed.  Others say I’ve put them on the back burner while I work in hopes of pushing through the barriers towards my dreams of making a life I love.  We all to some degree have a fear of change … that pounding in the heart that says: turn back …. but it’s too late for that and change I must.

I am on the brink of something big, yet I can’t help but feel stuck some days. Have I become used to the way I’m living my life that I’m subconsciously avoiding taking the next step? Often I feel I’m working at the speed of a snail while my mind is drawn to things requiring less thought.

Before I started this blog my brain was becoming stagnant and the desire to move forward was in limbo. How could I ever get to where I want to be if I’m just sitting around hoping things will change? It’s like a spell had been cast upon me to stall any movement towards progress in an already slow moving journey.

Then, I remembered that this wasn’t the first time I’d felt this way. I had been in a mind stalling funk in the past. I remembered the last time I felt this way was shortly before I moved from California. I also remembered that not a month after I moved, I began regretting it and the desire to get back to working on myself started to build.

I realized what I needed to do to move forward – I just needed to rest my mind. I needed to take a break from trying to figure things out. I was trying so hard to move forward that I was driving myself crazy. So, I decided to take a week off to completely unplug and think about nothing that had to do with my inner work.

I let all of my emotions out to a close friend of mine; we had a heart felt conversation in which I explained to her that my absence from her life was not her fault, but of my own. I’m not very good at these types of talks, but assured her I was getting back in touch with what mattered. I started paying attention to the small things and began making more time for my friends and family. I needed to find a way to make an adjustment to not only spend the quality time with those who mattered to me most, but work towards my vision of who I was trying to be as well.

Things changed, people changed, and the world went rolling along right outside the window.”
Nicholas Sparks

After this talk, I made two commitments 1) to stop being lazy and start being more productive with my time, and 2) I wanted to find a balance between working on my dreams and also working on building my relationships with the people I love. I began taking 15 minutes or so every night to write down the tasks I would work on the following day. I started making myself accountable to finish those tasks before I could move on to randomly perusing other interests. Without realizing it, I was bringing clarity to the chaos of not knowing. One of the biggest mistakes I had been making was not making a specific plan that led to the end result I was chasing.

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill

So I find myself back in the same mindset I was in several years ago – I need to get unstuck and make new goals, have new visions and make some positive changes.  Yes, I need to make some major changes in my life.  One of the most complicated tasks any of us will face in life is the concept of making the right choice. I realize now every few seconds we have the opportunity to change our lives, our careers, our happiness. By making those changes the lives of many others, some of which we will never meet, will forever be changed as well.

I appreciate the process of self-improvement is far from easy. When you are aware of yourself, it is possible to enjoy this experience and be a better person. If there is one thing I have learned you must actively be engage in your life rather than sitting on the sidelines. If you just observe your life as it passes you by, you are just waiting for the end and not living.

What about you? Do you have a plan to move forward towards the changes you seek in your life? I’d love to hear them.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me and sharing your thoughts and feeling with me.  You have all been an inspiration to me on this journey of change.

Bhole Babaji ki Jai!

On The End Being The Beginning or A Tale of Regaining My Confidence

My self-confidence is shot.  Why is that you ask?  I’ve been unemployed for well over a year now and it’s really shaken my belief in who and what I am.  I’ve lost faith in myself. This period of unemployment has even upset my spiritual beliefs.  There are days I really wonder who I am and what happened.  Where did I make that wrong turn? I know I AM intelligent, well spoken, talented and more and yet, my self-confidence is shot and I find that I have given up on myself.

I believe you can get to where you want to be if you believe it.  More importantly, your belief in yourself is the key to that success.  Our personal beliefs play a huge role in how we view our own life. Your estimation of your successes and failures will depend entirely on the framework of your personal beliefs.

You must believe in yourself before anyone else will take you seriously.  In other words, if you don’t believe in your product (yourself), service or your dream, why would anyone else?

Don’t give up on your dreams, goals, aspirations or yourself for you never know how right they truly are until you put them into action.

How Beliefs Work

In order to build a positive and empowering belief in yourself, it helps to understand how our beliefs are formed.  We behave and take actions based on what we believe to be the reality of what we can do, not in accordance of what we are actually capable of.  Everything we see, experience, think and feel is adjusted to fit in with our belief system.  So our version of reality is a creation of our beliefs.  Once we decide we believe something it is accepted by us as fact and rarely subject to scrutiny.  Change your thoughts and you change your reality.

Our assumptions of what is real become our “personal operating system.” Much like the operating system on your computer, our beliefs control how we sort and file data.  We develop our personal beliefs about reality based on how we interpret the world around us according to our observations and experiences.

Many of our beliefs were formed in childhood and aren’t valid for us anymore.  Others we got from situations or circumstances that have taken place in our life and are no longer relevant.  Imagine trying to run your current software on Windows 1.0, or some other obsolete operating system.  The same could be said of obsolete belief systems that are still influencing how we evaluate everything in our lives.  It is important to understand “your past is not your future.”  Many people are afraid to go for the life they truly desire because of their past results (or lack of results).  Remember, it was most likely circumstances beyond your control that created your limiting beliefs in the first place. But that was then and this is now.

It’s All About Confidence

Your self-confidence is tied to your personal beliefs about who you are, and what you are capable of.  These beliefs are influenced by your self-esteem, and reinforced by the results you have produced in previous experiences.

Having an empowering belief system gives us the energy to pursue our dreams, and the power to overcome obstacles. It gives us a sense of certainty in our ability to bring about a favorable outcome.  With an empowering belief system you take on new challenges anticipating a successful outcome therefore your level of commitment is also be greater.  These factors will combine to create another successful outcome, which will continue to fuel your level of confidence.  This will allow you to bolster your self-esteem, further increase your level of commitment, and produce your intended outcome. As a result, your self-confidence will grow.

When you carry yourself with confidence, people will naturally be attracted to that quality.  When you have confidence in yourself, others tend to feel that way also.  When you speak and act with conviction, it changes the way the world responds to you.

Developing An Empowering Belief System

The key to creating empowering beliefs is to have some measure of control over the outcome of your goal and in order to control the outcome you will want to start small.  Starting small allows us to generate some momentum.  Start by setting a reachable goal and then take action towards attaining that goal.

I have two main goals I’m working on right now.  One is to be fully employed by October 31.  The other is to lose 20 pounds by August 31.  When I hit these goals I will feel great.  When you hit your goals you will feel great!

When you experience success, set another reachable goal in that same direction and follow through with more action.  Continue this pattern until you become comfortable with your ability to produce your intended outcome. There is no straight line to success. You will zig-zag and hit obstacles. Just keep going and remember to celebrate your wins.

As your feelings of confidence grow, allow yourself to identify with your success. Learn to view yourself as a successful person and attach feelings of approval to your positive experiences.  Developing and displaying self-confidence will change your life on almost every level.

Confidence is like a powerful magnet that will attract into your life whatever opportunities, resources, or people are needed to facilitate your ability to create the life you desire.

Bhole Babaji ki Jai!