Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Resistance Really IS Futile


Though there are some Big Changes going on around here, I am finding that I spend a lot of my time feeling rather excited (and a lot of time in Deep Learning About Myself mode and actually liking what I am finding but that's another post).

Even just six months ago (and more so a year or two ago), I would have seen this personal life change as devastating. It would have sent me into a tailspin, crashing into the land of deep depression and self hatred.

I would have quit everything and curled up in bed.

But I haven't even come close to that kind of response.

It has been amazing to see that all the work I've put into overcoming my depression and anxiety and all the effort and devotion I've put toward all my spiritual practices...well, they've freaking, um, paid off. (That seems rather uncool to say.)

Seriously. This is a time when I get to see what comes of the planting I have done.

And it turns out that I didn't grow a thicket of thorns but rather a beautiful big tree. (Tree comes to mind instead of flower. Who knows why...though a tree is rooted and touching the sky, so that makes sense when I think it through.)

I keep wanting to say that things are actually not bad, that there is an ease in this life, that there is still so much love.

And that's true, but it's true because of this other stuff -- it's true because of my reaction to what has happened.

Curling up in bed and quitting -- that is Resisting What Is.

Resistance causes tension and pushes away the possibility of ease. Without ease, we cannot make good decisions. We cannot act from a place of love and joy and openness.

When we embrace WHATEVER is happening, it ALLOWS.

Allowing makes ease and ease makes for good choices and good choices make for positive change.

Allowing eventually leads to joy, regardless of the starting point.

Resistance causes pain. This is true on the physical, spiritual, and emotional level. (Because they're all the same.)

Embracing turns life into an adventure.

So things are good because I now expect good and I don't expect things to be other than they are.

You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk...

Erie City Cemetery

...walk walk walk walk walk walk walk...

Yes. I've been walking. A lot. More than ever in my life, thanks to my trusty FitBit.

Marcy would try to get me to walk and I would whine that it was boring and that I would rather dance.

Of course, walking does different things for the body than dance, but that was still not enough to propel me from in front of my computer, which is where you would usually find me when I wasn't dancing.

The FitBit though! (This is not in any way an ad.) It uploads to a dashboard and tracks your steps and gives me just enough of a reward to act as the carrot at the end of the stick. "Reward" being that I meet my set goals and then those goals turn into smiley faces and tell me I am a champ. (I am also...apparently...easy.)

Suddenly I am a Walker, making sure to get in my 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles) a day. I schedule my walking now just as seriously as I do my dance time. I usually get to about 12,000 steps and I want 15,000 to my daily allotment but I fear...obsession. (HA)

I have a bigger point here. Really, I do.

And that bigger point is that something about walking has truly surprised me.

Beyond the physiological benefits (and I have seen plenty of those even in just the first two weeks), there has been something happening with my brain that I was NOT expecting.

And it's taken me some time to figure out the difference between walking and dance when it comes to said brain.

Dancing makes me feel huge, connected, powerful, tapped in, aware on a divine level. It's hard to explain (though I do an okay job in this interview).

Powerful, though, is one of the biggest feelings it gives me. When I am dancing, I KNOW that I can do anything. It's not ego; it's just this deep knowing that I am ultimately CAPABLE. As we all are.

This feeling...I don't really get it anywhere else besides dance and it's strongest, of course, WHILE I dance. It can last but it fades rather quickly.

Now walking...walking does not make me feel this way.

Walking...((drumroll))...makes me feel calm and at peace.

Those are things I so rarely feel that I just decided that they were not for me. That I am tightly wound and that is that.

Alas...that is, in and of itself, a story.

I CAN feel calm and peaceful.

Walking washes away the anxiety and the fear and the nervous and the hyper.  And like the powerful feelings of dance, it doesn't last terribly long. It starts to fade pretty quickly.

Luckily, my FitBit reminds me that I still have more walking to do for the day...

You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Aspies in Relationship



When I was about 8 (2nd grade), I remember sitting on a back porch that hovered in the air, as the back of the row house was on a steep hill. I could see far. Things were not good in the house behind me and I was already feeling overwhelmed and sad.

Then I looked off in the distance, and there was my best friend, Karen, which made my heart feel a ping of happy, but she was...playing with someone else, which made my heart sink.

This hurt me deeply and baffled me because we were best friends, which meant that we only played with each other.

You are perhaps giggling but I was quite serious.

And I still am.

Now looking back, I know this was the brain of a young Aspie at work, and it's classic Aspie. One friend. One best friend and no other.

We don't get the friend thing that easily and more than one...overkill.

The other part of this is our brain's love of special interests. We find something we're interested in and we LASER FOCUS.

The stereotype of this is the little boy who loves bugs.

But it can be anything AND it can be anyONE.

So now at 45, I find myself finally learning some things that most humans just kinda naturally get at the age of 8 (or close to that).

Marcy (poor thing) has been my main Special Interest for many years. I wouldn't say for our whole 20 years together because for much of that my own depression and healing from it was my Special Interest.

Yet for those 20 years, we've been functioning in a way that appeases my "rules" about relationship. 

Including insulating ourselves to an unhealthy degree from other relationships because that made me so very uncomfortable.

For the past few years, I've been learning (and wow! this has been uber painful for this aspie) that Marcy can have other...friends.

Over the last year or so, I've even been trying (a little) to cultivate my own friendships. Though it's hard because I get super confused about my role as teacher and who is a student and when does that become friendships. (See? Aspies...we don't intuit this stuff; we have to THINK it. Very tiring.)

And in the last year or two, Marcy has helped me to see how much I RELISH my time alone, sending me on retreats all by myself.

I had no idea how much I love not having to talk to another human and not having to think about what they might want to eat or just any of the day to day interaction stuff.

As we've been uncovering my own Aspie-ness and its needs, Marcy has finally been able to identify her own needs, too.

Twenty years in...

So we're making some really big giant changes around here. And that Aspie part of me that was so sad about Karen? She still feels sad about the changes; she has a tendency to see rejection everywhere.

But the real Aspie me? The one who finally knows herself? The one who loves retreats and wants more time for spiritual practices? The one who needs to make HERSELF her own special interest for once (in healthy ways)? The one who needs to refocus on dance and poetry?

She is super excited about this Big Adventure we're about to embark upon and I think it will be rather inspiring to others...

You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dancing with Change


"Things change, Kundun," and then he snaps his fingers at the little boy who would become the Dalai Lama.*

(*From the gorgeous film about the Dalai Lama's early life, Kundun)

Good lesson for someone about to have his country taken from him and be forced into exile.

A lesson that always made me feel a little nervous every time Marcy and I would rewatch the film.

Change is not easy for anyone but add an Aspie brain into the mix, and it becomes exponentially more difficult as we cling to routines and things as they are and what we know.

Add in not knowing where the change is actually headed and you have an Aspie whose head just popped off.

But surprisingly? Mine has not.

Instead I feel a bit more like that echinacea at the top just about to totally unfurl. You don't know exactly what it will look like, but you know it will be an echinacea.

Things are different here, for sure, as we discover a need for each of us to have more space (spiritual, emotional, and literal) and as we take steps to allow for that.

But there is still love. There is still laughter. There is still all the shared space between us.

Things are different, and there were these moments when I thought that might just do me in. There were those moments of deep drama where I thought this was the end of my life as I know it.

But those moments passed. Rather quickly.

I have found a sense of freedom in myself that I didn't know I had.

I feel an internal openness that I can't really explain.

And not surprisingly, I have found that deep down...no matter what...I am dancer and dancing always saves me, gives me strength, puts me back into myself.

I didn't think, at first, that I could dance...much less want to...but then I did and I could and I wanted more.

I taught last night and my dance feels stronger again (this happens every few months).

At one point I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I thought, "Oh...there's something new and interesting..." and in that flash, I saw that this is it. Me and the dance. And this is good and it's enough.

More than enough.

You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Monday, July 14, 2014

When It Can Feel Like Everything is Exploding and Instead It's Just Beginning

A sitting spot of perfection

First I teach a workshop on unconditional love.

Then I realize that my superpower in this life or the "medicine" I was born into this life with to save myself and to use to help others is nothing more and nothing less than Open Heartedness.

So you know...I asked for this.

I made it clear to the damn universe or whomever is listening out there or whatever that I wanted more for my life and was ready for more from this life than gripping tightly to comfort and contentment.

Oy.

It can hurt. It can seem like everything you care for is about to just explode and go bye.

But if you sit in that and you breathe and you try super hard not to react from fear and anger...

If you allow that heart opening...

Magical and amazing things can start to happen that you would have never imagined before because your freaking imagination is just way. too. small. and it's bound by what's around it, what it sees, what it's been taught.

If you allow that heart opening, the imagination of the universe can come in and unlock all that fear and anger and turn it into love that is bigger than the human imperfect love you've known until now.

If you sit and breathe and allow and feel the reactions that are oh-so-old and full of stories but you don't actually act from them, you get something new and unexpected.

If you can tolerate all of this and ride this wave, you get a gift... You get a Real Adventure.

You get to free dance rather than line dance with everyone else.

Which is, after all, what I teach.

And...we teach what we need.

You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chautauqua Teaching, Week One

Today I head to Chautauqua to teach a Reed Dance Sadhana™workshop. I'm super nervous and also super excited to start getting this work to different audiences of people.

Yet my Aspie brain is having a super hard time with this drastically different schedule for the week and then going to teach somewhere new in a new space with new people... Even though I'm excited, that makes for some serious stress. So, you know, send me some good juju if you've got any to spare.

And here. A friend/student made this for me. The main quote is an African proverb and I LOVE it:



You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Be Nice to the Animal (It's Worth Repeating)

The animal, working in the studio
Sometimes when I do something wrong or silly or even if I just drop something or make some mistake with the Chipotle's order (just happened the other day and it was so very minor)...sometimes, in moments like that, I start yelling at myself.

"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

If it's really bad, I have been known to smack my own head. (Reality is not shiny, folks.)

Some time ago, when Marcy had just had ENOUGH of this, she turned to me and said, "Would you talk like that to a CAT?! Or a RABBIT?!"

Talk about cold water to the face!

NEVER. Never would I speak like that to one of our precious cats or rabbits.

I stared at her blankly and in one of her many moments of genius, she continued, "Be NICE to the Animal!"

We occasionally call one another animal, so you know. It worked.

BE NICE TO THE ANIMAL.

YOU are the animal.

I use this now with students and I invite you to use it with yourself.

Every time the inner meanies get going on their ugly, just say, BE NICE TO THE ANIMAL!

Perhaps write this on post it notes and put it...everywhere.


You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.