Tag Archives: Awakening to the Dance

JOIN ME AT THE ASHEVILLE BOOKFEST

This Saturday I will be participating with other area authors in the Sixth Annual Asheville Bookfest at the Haywood Park Hotel in the Atrium from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.   For the schedule see http://www.ashevillebookfest.com/bookfest-events.html.

Four other authors and I will be reading at 4:30 followed by Thomas Rain Crowe, the featured speaker.

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INTERFAITH DIALOGUE EVENT

Grateful Steps Book Signing

Grateful Steps Book Signing

For several years, I was a member of a spiritual group that met once a month to share our spiritual journeys and to participate in programs that would teach us new spiritual techniques and expose us to a wide variety of spiritual beliefs.  It was one of the most enriching and inspiring experiences I’ve ever had, and I learned so much from what others shared.

I’m very excited about participating in the Interfaith Dialogue series on Thursday, June 19 at Grateful Steps Bookshop in Asheville, NC at 159 So. Lexington Ave.  I will present short readings from my memoir Awakening to the Dance:  A Journey to Wholeness.   As I read excerpts related to my spiritual journey, we will discuss the concepts presented and share experiences.  The event is free.

 My memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness is the story of a my search to find an authentic identity, creative expression, and a spirituality apart from traditional religion.  Although this spiritual journey began with attending a traditional church, I soon found that it was my love of dance and drama that really touched my spirit.  Through modern dance, I discovered the oneness of the mind body connection, and later began to explore other spiritual practices.  One by one, I enthusiastically explored techniques to release my fear, Buddhist teachings and meditation, Jungian dream interpretation, and Science of Mind manifestation techniques.  Each led me more closely to an authentic identity and a wholeness that transformed my life.

This is an opportunity to share and explore our beliefs, so please join us. 

WE ARE ALL ONE

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May your holiday be filled with peace, love, and joy!

DANCING WITH NATURE’S CYCLES

“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.”  Confucius

What do you feel about autumn?  Does it depress or invigorate you?  What is good about this change?

Living in the Midst of Nature

My yard is almost completely covered with oak leaves, and walking down the driveway is very tricky with the abundance of acorns and the slippery leaves.  When I walk down to get the mail, I have to be in the present giving full attention to where I step.  No matter how fast I’ve been moving through the day, I am forced to slow down.

Yesterday it was in the mid-seventies and I had the back door open while I ate lunch.  A strange sound like a light sprinkle of rain arose.  I looked up from the book I was reading, but it was dry outside.  The sound continued sparking my curiosity, so I walked to the door and looked up into the old trees in the yard.  A wind was blowing, visible only at the very top of the trees, and as it increased, a shower of golden leaves blanketed the deck and yard.

Some mourn the loss of summer and find the autumn depressing, but the changes in nature are so dramatic that I continue to be awed by them and am reminded that these changes are natural.  We can accept the change or be unhappy about it.  It really is our choice, and much of life is like that.

Awakening to the Wisdom of Change

Confucius’ quote reminds us that resisting change won’t bring us happiness or wisdom.  Change is a natural element of life.  In order to experience happiness, we must be flexible, accept the fact we can’t control everything or everyone in our lives.  When things aren’t going our way, we need to see what we can learn from the experience or how we can reframe our response to a more positive assessment of the situation.

Wisdom is also about change and growth.  The wise elders are the ones who can see the depth and meaning in life as it changes and evolves.  They are in touch with the eternal.  They see that, although we experience physical changes through the seasons, birth and death, moving out into the world and finding new environments, these are all physical experiences.  What really matters is how we see and deal with the change and our willingness to look deeper.

Limitations of Resistance

The unwise among us are the ones who resist any and all change.  They create a safe cocoon in which anyone and anything that does not fit is rejected.  They defend their way of doing things to the death—the death of the relationships they have or to literal death.  When we have been close to nature and attentive to its cycles, we know how futile this is.

Finding Happiness in Change

I am much happier than I’ve ever been.  Do I have everything I want?  No.  But over the years I have learned to be more flexible and that has reduced the stress in my life.  I am more accepting of the things I cannot change.  I love Alan Watts’ comment:  “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

This year I am definitely dancing with autumn, hiking up and down the mountains, sliding down slopes of dry leaves, looking up into the blue sky to be dazzled by the brilliant red leaves waving over head.  Like autumn, my life is in great flux, learning to promote my books, flooded with new ideas like the shower of leaves blanketing my yard.  I hardly know which way to turn, but it’s all good because it is taking me some place I want to go.

Nurturing Our Spiritual Selves

Now the weather is beautiful and I can be outside, but soon the winter will come with cold and snow and unpredictable weather.  Then it will be time to go inside, literally and figuratively.  I’ll spend more time promoting my book online, finding more silence and time for thinking about what to do next, snuggling under the blanket in front of the fire, going deeper.  What’s nice about winter is that if we have nurtured our own interiors, we have no need to fear this time.  And if we haven’t, it’s a good time to start clearing up our “stuff” without the distractions of sunshine and flowers blooming.

So, this week I’m going to plunge into the leaves, dance through them with my rake and move them into the plastic bags the city insists I use (okay, I’m still not happy about this, but I’m moving on).  And once it becomes too cold for pleasant hiking, I’ll just turn on the music and dance inside.

What do you like most about the autumn?  What does it mean to you?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related articles: What if Money Was No Object – Alan Watts

AWAKENING TO THE ONENESS WITHIN

“The moment this love comes to rest in me, 

many beings in one being.

In one wheat grain a thousand sheaf stacks.

Inside the needle’s eye a turning night of stars.”  Rumi

Do you often take the time to go within? Or do you stay stuck on the personality level serving ego’s needs? Who are you really?

I have always loved the cool quiet of evening. Perhaps it partly comes from growing up in a hot, humid climate trying to sleep without air conditioning. Snuggling into the coolness takes me to a peaceful place within, and, there, something deep within opens up. My muse may show up wandering through my mind with a new poem, or an insight about the day’s events may appear.  And at some point, a loving energy joins my reflections and I am One with All, just as Rumi describes in his quote.

Going Beyond Personality to Oneness

This place within is beyond personality; it is at the soul level. When we are at the soul level we are one with Spirit and we are one with all beings, “many beings in one being.” But how do we get there? In a world so focused on materialism and valuing what is external, how do we move into the deeper level?

In some ways, it just seems easier to not change. Change is scary.  If we change, we may lose what we perceive as the security of friends, family, or work. But this security is an illusion if we only live from the level of the personality, for “The truth of who you are is there within you.  Right now….It is not a state that you can ‘buy’ with obedience to any of the countless religious dogmas….” It is “through the vehicle of the original vision of some of those avenues, or through a path one blazes through the uncharted jungles of one’s own consciousness, that Oneness is experienced.” (Oneness, Rasha, page 321)

Releasing Our Attachments to External Definitions

At an earlier stage in my life, I defined myself mainly as a dancer. When I decided to move into another phase of my life, I realized I had become extremely attached to this definition.  I had to release it and look deeper for my real self. Many things helped: meditation, learning that controlling my thoughts would control my emotions, choosing to focus on the positive in life, learning to release my fear, and learning to let go of my attachment to daily drama.  I also explored psychology, especially Jungian psychology, trying to learn more about the way my mind and ego functioned.

Little by little, I stripped away the assumptions I had made and the ones others had made about me.  I began to ask the question: Who do I want to be? Eventually, I understood that I wanted to be a person empowered from within, so that the externals in my life could change without affecting who I really was. I think it helped that my life had always been pretty simple because I had never made enough money to spend excessively, and I grew up in a family where things were not the priority, people were.

 Clearing Out What No Longer Serves You

In order to go inward and follow the soul’s journey, we must carve out that alone time for our lives. We must learn to love that time. At first it may seem lonely not to be with people as much, especially for extroverts who gain energy from being with others, but quiet time is essential.  In that quiet, be honest with yourself. What comes up? If you don’t like what you see about yourself at the personality level, clean it up. Just like cleaning the closet, sort out what no longer serves your highest good. Throw away the masks and disguises. Gradually, expose who you really are to the world. Praise yourself every time you overcome your fear and take another step toward living from a deeper level. Find new friends and spiritual groups that are searchers like you.

Don’t expect everyone to like it, but know that having the integrity to be who you really are will eventually take you to that place of Oneness where the Universe is your home and all beings a part of you. The journey may not be easy, but through it, you will discover a love you never dreamed possible. How will you begin today?

If you would like to learn more about my spiritual journey, you may purchase my spiritual memoir, Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, as an EBook at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You may also read sample pages for free at these sites. It will be available in paperback in a couple of weeks. I’ll post on the blog when it’s ready.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Oneness (flash movie)Loss and Loneliness During A Spiritual AwakeningSanJAska: Your Work Has Only Begun

AWAKENING TO THE DANCE – THE BOOK IS HERE!

Design by Leslie Shaw Design

Is there some project you keep planning to do that will ignite your passion?  Are you willing to share what you’ve learned in life with others?  What has inspired you lately or who have you inspired?  How are you part of the One?

As many of you know from reading this blog, I’ve been working on a spiritual memoir for ten years.  Finally, I have completed it and it is available as an eBook on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  A paperback will be available in a few weeks.

What a journey this has been! I spent years going through the journals I’d kept since the 1960s.  I cried, laughed, relived events, pondered how I had changed through the years, and healed in many ways.  In addition to the personal healing that occurred, I started learning to write.  I took classes, joined writer’s critique groups, and asked endless questions of every writer I met.

The Real Story

What is the content of the book?  Basically, it’s about what it was like to be a woman trying to find an authentic identity in a time when women were narrowly defined by society’s stereotypes.  It’s about the years when I was a dancer and taught dance.  It’s about relationships and how the men I knew also struggled with society’s male stereotypes.  It’s about trying to balance creativity and practicality.  It’s about the challenges of working in school systems that were inadequate and the contrast between them and private schools.  It’s about the spiritual journey at the core of all of this and all the spiritual practices that helped me become the person I wanted to be.

Why Me?

I never thought I would write a memoir.  After all, I’m not a celebrity.  I haven’t been addicted to drugs or alcohol or been a victim of abuse—the subject of so many memoirs.  But at a very critical moment in my life, a woman suggested to me that there was value in sharing my journey—that other’s might benefit from it.  At that moment, I needed to believe something positive would come from my suffering.

I’ve also experienced great joy in life, and I wanted to share that too.  For me, there is nothing quite as transcendent as dance or love.  I experienced healing and growth through my career and personal life.  I accomplished my greatest dream.  I found my way to a wonderful life in the mountains of western North Carolina.  If sharing my journey with you will guide, entertain or enlighten you, then I know the years of work were worth it.  I guess I won’t ever really give up being a teacher.  Now, rather than being in a classroom, I teach through sharing my thoughts.

We Are All One

We’re all One, but each journey is unique.  I’ve learned so much from every person who has ever been in my life, and I’m eternally grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.  It is my greatest hope that this book will be inspiring or helpful to my readers in some way.  May you be blessed.

For more information on the book, click here or visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Next week, I will return to the theme of “Awakening to the World,” including some experiences from my trip to West Africa.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

AWAKENING TO LOVE THE WORLD, PART 1

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  Rumi

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Did you do something special for a loved one?  Did you perform a service for someone less fortunate than you?  Or did you feel depressed because you had no one to celebrate with?

It’s difficult sometimes not to get caught up in the mystique of Valentine’s Day or to want to ignore it completely because it is such a commercialized celebration, but the way we experience any holiday is a choice.  No one has to buy into the commercial version.  After all, this one is about love and that may take many forms.

Love Expressed Through Sharing

My Valentine’s Day was not romantic, but I felt showered with love.  The Universe has been good to me recently.  I will probably have my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness on Amazon as an eBook by the end of this week.  Yesterday, I spent the day working with Joseph D’Agnese who did my formatting and taught me how to use the Kindle Reader on my computer so I can proof the book.

This fellow writer loves to help other writers and overflows with enthusiasm and encouragement. Especially at times when I doubted that I could really complete this project, his positive attitude spurred me on.  He has answered my endless questions, even taken time from his own writing to format my book.  His generosity creates the kind of energy that makes competition obsolete and proves how powerful sharing can be.

Love Expressed Through Following Our Passion

This has been a long journey for me—almost ten years since I began the book.  But I always knew it was meant to be because every step of the way, what I needed showed up.  That hasn’t always been true for the rest of my life, so what was different about this venture?  Most of the time, when I think about the book, I feel excited, I feel love for it and for all those in the story who have been part of my journey.  This positive, uplifting energy expands out into the world and draws to me what I need.

Not only have I drawn the classes and assistance I need, I have drawn people into my life who support my success and share with loving and positive energy.  They have helped me to see my life and the world in a positive light and to learn to focus on what is good.  Wayne Dyer once said, “Loving people live in a loving world.  Hostile people live in a hostile world.  Same world.”  What we focus on can make all the difference.

Choosing Our Thoughts

My life is very different than it was many years ago before I learned this most basic truth:  our thoughts create our emotions.  At that time in my life, I often felt overwhelmed with sadness and negative emotions.  Although I had learned to meditate and that did help to calm me, it wasn’t enough.  Learning to control my own mind was the key.  I learned techniques to do that by attending a Unity church and later studying Science of Mind principles.  As a result, I felt better about myself and became a more loving person.

When we understand that we can control what we think and feel, it is very empowering.  This is significant in learning to love ourselves and therefore others.  When we feel empowered, we are less likely to let fear control us. We feel more peaceful. We are less afraid to step into new situations and learn new things.  We are less afraid to love and share.  Our very presence creates loving and positive energy all around us, uplifting and helping others and expanding our world.

Romantic love is a beautiful illusion, but the real deal is loving our humanity and that requires us to go much deeper.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will explore Rumi’s quote to further identify some of the barriers to loving and ways to open ourselves to love.

How do you express your love in the world?  Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Dr. Wayne Dyer–Emanating Love, What is Religious Science? 10 Core Concepts of Science of Mind