Tag Archives: Awakening to the Dance

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

AWAKENING TO EMBRACE CHAOS

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”   Deepak Chopra

What is your first response when life feels chaotic?  Are you at ease with chaos or do you resist it?  Or does chaos excite you with its possibilities for change.

Changes May Feel Chaotic

I’ve read that the vibration of the universe is speeding up; therefore, our sense of time is changing too.  No matter how fast I move, it seems that I can’t get as much done in a day as I used to.  I could blame it on my age, but I know that’s not the reason because I’m still very energetic.  But time is only one of the elements that contributes to my feeling that life is chaotic.

Life is changing on every level.  In the last year, I have made the choice to complete a book and have it published.  This will happen in the near future and I will soon be posting information about it on this blog.  This has required that I learn about aspects of online technology and marketing that do not come easily to me.  As a result, I feel I’ve been living in the midst of chaos and stressful change.

Change and Chaos May Contain Hidden Gifts

Change often seems overwhelming, and our fear of change may develop into a resistance to embrace new experiences and limit our possibility for growth.  A wonderful spiritual teacher of mine told her students to ask the universe for what we needed because the universe would send it to us.  She also warned us that it may not look like what we expect nor come when we want it.  So, what if exactly what we need is buried in this chaos and change?  If we are unwilling to look at what is there, we may not notice the treasure.

That’s the problem with chaos.  It’s so distracting.  It may also bring conflict into the situation.  Even if it’s good chaos, it may face us with too many choices.  How can we deal with all this?  Oneness recommends the following: “When your energies are at a low ebb and you are experiencing resistance, it is time to pull inward and not to escalate adversity by directly confronting those circumstances.” (Page 94) In the silence within we can consider the value of each choice we face and get in touch with our inner, higher selves.  When we look inward, we are more likely to make wiser choices.

Embracing Change Leads to Spiritual Growth

I’m sure that you, like me, have met people who resist any change.  They may be satisfied with their lives the way they are and don’t want to “rock the boat.”  They may also fear any unknown.  Chaos is disconcerting because it reminds us that having the ability to totally control our lives is an illusion.  Our fear about it often comes down to one major fear—that we will not know how to successfully deal with the change.  But the reality is that if we’re alive, we will at sometime experience adversity, and that’s not always bad, for it often brings us face to face with lessons we need to learn.

I really admire a friend of mine.  In the last two months, her husband has had to have surgery, then he injured his knee, then their dog died, then the day before they planned to leave on a trip their car developed a major problem.  Obviously, this has been a stressful time, but she has had a great attitude because she accepts each thing as it comes, looking for a positive solution, doing the best she can without letting anger and resistance create more problems.

“For to realize the full potential of this journey, it is necessary that you be willing to immerse yourself in the treacherous waters of change, knowing that the ability to swim like a champion, under all possible conditions, is within you.” Oneness, (Page 97)  My friend is definitely swimming like a champion.  If you don’t know how to swim, this is a good time to learn.

When we can embrace the possibilities that chaos offers and trust that the answers we need lie in our deeper selves, we no longer need to fear the chaos.  Without the fear and beyond ego, we will always be led to decisions that are for the highest good of all.

How do you manage the chaos in life?  Please share your specific comments.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: The Universe As I See It: Order and Chaos, The Calm Before and After the Storm, Chaos and Disorder: Why We Need Them by Dr. Larry Dossey.

DANCING TO FREE OUR EMOTIONS

“Dance first. Think later.  It’s the natural order.”  Samuel Becket

Do you have difficulty sharing what you really feel?  Do you avoid expressing negative emotions?  Do you feel torn between being accepted and being authentic?

Physical Benefits of Dancing

Dance has often been at the core of my spiritual life.  Now, when I want to escape into joy or de-stress, I turn on music and dance around the house by myself.  It is a perfect way to lift my vibration and chase away the blues!  Dancing stimulates the release of endorphins which reduces pain and gives us a natural high in addition to increasing our metabolism and blood flow.  During the sixties and seventies when so many people I knew were doing drugs, I was never interested because dancing gave me a high in a natural way.

Emotional Benefits of Dancing

Not only is dance good for us physically, it can also affect us emotionally in very positive ways.  Over the years, I’ve met people who grew up in families where they were taught that any strong or passionate expression of emotion was not acceptable, especially if it was negative.  In other instances, people I know needed to hide who they really were or what they thought out of fear that the truth would damage their relationships.  Keeping our feelings hidden like this creates tension in the body and shrinks who we are, restricting our ability to express.

When we hide who we truly are and are fearful of expressing, we are denying our spiritual purpose.  We are all in this life for a reason, and understanding who we truly are reveals to us the purpose for this lifetime.  In terms of relationships, hiding behind what appears to be peacefulness also limits our relationships because what creates a more meaningful relationship is the ability to share what we truly feel and think.

Releasing Our Fear and Rigidity

There are many ways to release the fear of expressing emotions.  Therapy and spiritual disciplines may provide us with many tools.  Understanding why we are fearful is often helpful because understanding ourselves and our families allows us to let go of the need to protect ourselves.  Finding friends who accept our passionate expression reinforces the feeling that we are truly loved for being genuine.

But dance can be a valuable tool in this process.  Rigidity of body or mind is unhealthy for the spirit as well as the body, but movement stimulates the whole being to express. By using our bodies to release the mind, we become more aware of the mind/body connection and begin to feel a wholeness.  If we allow ourselves to feel the joy of the movement, we can connect to our spirit and the Spirit that connects us all.

The Wave

One of the most beautiful ways to explore the way that dance can aid our growth is in connecting with our spiritual selves through Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms Healing Meditation known as The Wave.  There are groups around the country who meet to experience this together, but if you are not ready to move in a group, there are videos you can follow on your own.  Still, the energy of a group can be exhilarating.  Seeing others moving without inhibition often gives us the courage to risk a little more.

Connecting Body and Mind to Open

Dancing with music is not always necessary.  Moving in silence allows us to penetrate the silence and the barrier of our own bodies.  In that moment, the body connects to the mind, and we visit that place where body and mind are One.  If we allow ourselves to move and feel whatever comes up, we empower ourselves.  How can we possibly express what we feel if we can’t feel it?  So that is the first step, to feel in the body and then the emotions. Then we must be willing to take that information and use it to transform ourselves into a person who is not afraid to express those thoughts and feelings.  It takes commitment because it is not usually a brief process.

When we give ourselves to the dance, we stop thinking.  Fear, shyness, judgments drop away and we are just in the moment—mind, body, emotions and soul are all One.  In that moment, whatever we feel is just fine, and if we can’t express our feelings verbally, we can dance them. By dancing them, we may one day learn to verbalize them as well.

How often do you dance freely and let go of stress?  Does movement help you release the fear you feel about expressing yourself verbally?  Please comment and share your specific comments about this topic.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  (Fear) You Decide, Deepok Chopra’s 7 Steps to Release Emotional TurbulenceFeelings (spiritualhypster.com)

DANCING FROM OUR CENTERS

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”  Thomas Szasz

Who is running your life?  Is it you, deep from your center?  Or is it your family, employer or the mentality of society herding you into the role they want you to play?

The last time I visited the Biltmore Estate and met the Tina Turner Chickens, I also observed a sheep dog herding sheep.  I had seen this on the nature channel, but I’d never seen it in person.  As the dog herded the sheep together, they were so close they were touching, moving like one being.  After herding them to a particular area, he left, but the sheep remained sandwiched together as if they were afraid to each step out into their own areas.

 The Dangers of Conformity

I immediately thought of people and conformity.  How often do we allow something outside of ourselves to limit our capacity to be who we really are?  Conformity isn’t all bad.  It’s only negative if it forces us to be someone we are not or causes us to hurt others in order to be accepted.  The McCarthy trials of the 1950’s are a good example.  Neighbors reported neighbors for being communists and whether it was true or not was irrelevant.  People lost their reputations and employment by merely being accused.

Inner Self and Ego

 I don’t know exactly what Thomas Szasz intended when he made the statement I quoted today.  But I suspect he was referring to the ego/personality level of who we are, for the spiritual level that is deeper is something we find only when we let go of ego and go deeper.  It is eternal.  We do not have to create it.  But we do create the person we are in this lifetime based on the choices we make and the way we think.

Creating Our Personalities Based on Our Eternal Selves

If we are in touch with our eternal being, the choices we make from that place, rather than from external influences, tend to be wiser.  In modern dance, the pelvic area of the body is the center of our body and this core must be strong in order for the dancer to perform the off balance tilts, falls and swings that are unique to modern.  Without a strong core, the dancer flounders.

If we make choices from that loving center within us that is our core, our choices will have integrity and compassion, and will enhance our lives and the lives of others.  That deeper self is the basis of our personality, but making the right choices can lead us to an integration of the two.  When we dance from our center, we are One.  But if we always allow others to dictate how we think and act, we are being unfaithful to ourselves.  We are letting life happen to us rather than creating the life we want.

If we spend our whole lives hiding behind the temporary high of buying things or being entwined with a dysfunctional family’s dictates or constantly searching for a quick fix to happiness, we will never find who we truly are.  We will not discover that by following someone else’s lead in the dance of life.

Lead Yourself in the Dance

When you create yourself, you become the dancer and the leader.  You look at each opportunity in life and decide if it contributes to who you are or want to be.  You find the courage to step away from the flock and follow your own path.  You love yourself enough to take charge of your own life.  If you have not found yourself yet, perhaps you are not looking deep enough.  Perhaps you have betrayed who you are in order to keep peace and have security.

Fear always surfaces when we try to break an existing pattern.  It’s then we have to turn to faith. “When you have come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen:  there will be something to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”  These words have comforted me more often than I like to admit.  Have faith and trust yourself to become who you really are.  You are your greatest creation!

What challenges have you faced in becoming who you really are?  What helped you take the risk?  Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life, Being True to Oneself, Dare to Be Yourself

DANCING TO THE MUSIC OF YOUR HEART

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Do you ever feel that you don’t belong? Or that the people around you at work or home don’t understand who you are?  Are you searching for more meaningful experiences with others?

Tina Turner Chickens - Biltmore Estate

Is Our Inner Music Positive or Negative?

If you can answer yes, to any of these questions, perhaps you are dancing to the music that others don’t hear. And that’s okay as long as you like the music within. Is it a song of joy and love of life or of depression and sadness?  If you don’t like the song vibrating within you, then it’s time to change it.  If you do like it, then it’s important to just accept you are in a different place than those around you and that’s okay.

It is not surprising that we sometimes feel we are dancing to different music than the people around us.  When we are rooted in Spirit, we often do not share the values of our society at large.  We may try to explain to others who we are, but often they are not ready to hear this, for our different point of view threatens them.  In this situation, we experience discomfort because we feel separate.

But we are the only ones who can release feelings of separation by choosing to raise our vibration.  For example, I have a tendency to sing when I’m drying my hair.  It distracts me from the discomfort I feel holding the much too large hair dryer over my head.  Lately, I’ve been singing “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess.”  I suppose it’s wishful thinking.  When I finish drying my hair, instead of thinking the usual, “Thank goodness that’s over,” I feel cheerful and in touch with my passion for life.  Throughout my day, I dance to the energetic music I created from the heart.

Awakening to the Highest Response For All

We feel good when we feel One with All that Is.  When we meditate or walk by the seashore, we become One with the beautiful energy of Spirit.  In less peaceful situations, we need to allow that core energy to resonate within us.  We do not need to repress our feelings.  We need to feel them, then go within to take the time to choose a wise response.  We need to ask our inner selves, “What is the highest response for all concerned?”  That response will also be the best response for us as well.  We need to learn to be responsive rather than reactive.

The highest response does not always guarantee that the other person will agree or understand our perspective, but it is an opportunity to influence others.  Oneness says, “Those of you who have chosen to experience your awakening amongst the masses are planting the seeds of that heightened perspective in plain view, right where the world needs them most.  The lives of those you touch, even in passing, or teach by example, as you follow your own inner path in their presence, will be transformed by it.” (Pages192-193) Being different is often a blessing.

As with many things, we may not be present to see that transformation in our adversaries.  It will first be internal and invisible.  It may take place years from now.  We need not become attached to knowing what happens.  This was a lesson I had to learn as a teacher.  Over the years, so many students came through my classroom, and I never knew what influence I had on all of them.  I could only do my best and know that those who needed to learn the nonacademic lessons and were ready to learn, would learn.

Dancing With Others to the Music of Our Hearts

When others can hear the music to which we dance, we are energetically drawn to one another.  The more I concentrate on keeping my own vibration up through dancing and exercise, meditation, good food, mental stimulation, and positive thinking, the more I draw  like-minded people into my life.  After all, we are responsible for the song our heart sings.  Although it may be tempting, betraying the song within in order to connect to what is around us is never wise.

If you continue to dance to the beautiful music within you, others will begin to hear the music of your heart and soul.  Blessings for the New Year.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Beyond the Beyond (how music and prayer transformed Tina Turner), Heart Chakra Meditation, Conflict Resolution or Heart-Centered Communication

AWAKENING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN

“Some men (and women) have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.”  Martha Graham

Are you living the life you desire? What are your reasons for not doing that? Does every day flow peacefully as you easily move from one difficulty to another?  Or do you find your progress stymied by irritating and distracting events and issues?  What changes do you need to make?

Being Spiritually and Emotionally Stuck

Last week, I listened to a friend explain that she had not used the Emotional Freedom Technique I taught her to release negative mental blocks.  She was still thinking and processing the information.  We were in public so I listened politely, but I was surprised.  This was energy work not mental work.  I wanted to say, “It doesn’t matter what you think about it.  If you don’t try it, you’ll never know if it works.”  If thinking hasn’t caused her to become unstuck by this time, it isn’t the solution.

Only action can dig us out of our emotional ruts.  There is no perfect moment.  There is only the moment when we decide to act.  Thinking in a new way may bring us to this moment and help us see a new path, but until we act, we have not experienced the value of a new choice.  It is the experience that creates a new life for us.  Instant manifestation does occur, but most of the time what we want to manifest requires us to take at least one active step in the direction of what we want.

Only Thinking About Change Doesn’t Create It

Many years ago, I knew a man who wanted to get a job.  He was very spiritual and spent a great deal of time doing positive affirmations, but no job appeared.  When I asked him what jobs he had applied for, he answered that he hadn’t applied for any.  He just knew the right thing would come along if he kept affirming.  Finally, in desperation, he applied for one and got it.

It’s relatively easy to find reasons for not pursuing our dreams or making changes.  Our fear always gets in the way, and we camouflage it with practical excuses.  We can’t take the job we really want because it won’t pay enough or we’re sure we wouldn’t get it because we don’t have enough experience.  We create endless resistance.  We convince ourselves that making the change is impossible and come to a point where we feel good about not acting.  Accepting the status quo calms our fear, and it goes underground.

Taking the Risk to Dance in the Rain

But of course, the longing for something more does not go away and eats at us from time to time.  We find a good reason to change, but we convince ourselves it isn’t the right time.  Life is too complicated right now.  We don’t have enough money or support.  A wonderful unknown author once said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to be over, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Dancing in the rain, especially without an umbrella like Gene Kelley used, is a crazy fun thing to do.  We laugh, we sing, we let all that rain we were afraid would ruin our hairdo pour over us and we feel free like a child.  For one moment, we forget all the negatives and live life.  Without even realizing it, we have taken that blind leap of faith and are doing what we feared.

Taking the Blind Leap and Aligning with Godself

 So I wonder, what is my friend waiting for?  She has plenty of excuses not to act, but she needs only one reason to take that leap.  Oneness says that it is not courage we need to make this leap, but total detachment to outcome.  “That blind leap is one that is taken not within the confines of your mind, but is sourced within the depths of your heart of hearts.” (Page 76) By aligning with one’s Godself, one is able to know that “the outcome will reflect your highest possible good…” and “that there is nothing to fear.” (Page 77)

In the coming days, in the midst of the holiday bustle, let us be in touch with our heart of hearts, move lovingly through the storms, and take time to dance in the rain where we are open to all good things and cleansed of the fears that limit our joy.  Peace, Love, and Joy to you all!

©2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  How We Get Hooked and How We Get Unhooked – Pema Chodron; Letting Go

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