The Divine Dance and You!

What is The Choreography of Your Life?

“The Divine Dance sketches a beautiful choreography for a life well lived. In our joy or our pain, true life is always relational, a flow, a dance.” — Bono

Dear HeartFriend,

What I call a dance, Florence Shinn, artist, author, metaphysical teacher, calls a game. In her book The Game of Life and How to Play It, she writes that most people consider life a battle, but it is not, it is a game.

Whether you call it a game or a dance please know that in this post I’m using the terms interchangeably. I’m speaking to the principle that in all creation there is a divine pattern, sometimes called God’s perfect idea, perfect pattern or blueprint.

Jesus said it this way, “The kingdom is within you.” Plato, the philosopher, spoke of this kingdom as the “perfect pattern.”  

 

When you think of the acorn that grows into an oak tree, or a seed that grows into a watermelon, or bulb that grows into a tulip or rose, It becomes easy to recognize and accept that there is a divine pattern in all creation, including in you and me.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity in his book, Keep a True Lent also asserts this idea, he writes, “…I am one with the principle of never-ceasing growth and development toward the fulfillment of God’s perfect idea that is firmly fixed in all creation.”

Perfect and Evolving

At the same time that this perfect pattern is within us, we are evolving or growing into the perfect expression of it. Yes, and the journey of growth is a dance of being in the world and yet not of it.

Let me ask you:

Do you feel there is a place in the universe that you are called to fill but you’re not sure what it is?

Do you believe the universe is for you and always has your best interest at heart?

Do you long for more ease and flow and less efforting and struggle in your life?

Do you believe that all things ultimately work for good?

If you said yes to more than one of these questions, Shinn offers this powerful insight for consideration, “There is a perfect picture of this  [divine pattern] in the superconscious (Source, Divine Mind, Spirit, Kingdom, God) mind. It usually flashes across the conscious as an unattainable ideal – ‘something too good to be true.'”

“In reality, it is man’s true destiny (or destination) flashed to him from the Infinite Intelligence which is within himself.

“Many people, however, are in ignorance of their true destinies and are striving for things and situations which do not belong to them, and would only bring failure and dissatisfaction if attained”.

She echoes the classic example of the person who climbs up their career ladder only to find when they get to the top, the latter is leaning against the wrong wall.

My Imaginary Playground

There are many forms of dance. Dance can be used as therapy as a means to celebrate joy or as a support to move through grief. When I think about dance as it relates to the spiritual journey and balance, it reminds me of square dancing where someone is appointed to call the steps that are to be taken by the dancers.

In most American forms of square dance, the dancers are prompted or cued through a sequence of steps by a caller. Here is what I find interesting and would like to loosely correlate to the divine pattern within each of us.

Modern Western square dances are not learned as complete routines, the dancers learn basic movements, each with its own distinctive call, but do not know in what order they will be called.

I invite you to join me in my imaginary playground to play with the idea of the Universal Divine Perfection within as the “Caller in your life. This Caller nudges you with aspiration, desires, and guidance to help you get to and through the next stage of your own personal evolution and growth.

Most of you are familiar with the phrase, it takes two to tango, often use in reference to a conflict situation. I am using it in reference to the concept that we are co-creators with the perfect idea that is within, and in the dance of life, there is a call and a response desired to the call.

Kensho and Satori – Two Paths To Life Growth

Dr. Michael Beckwith, the founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center speaks about two different paths to life growth: kensho and satori. Kensho is growth by pain; referred to by some as the universe giving you tough love or the “cosmic 2×4”. Beckwith suggests that kensho is our soul’s way of calling on us to grow.
I have had my share of kensho tough love experiences, which in retrospect I have learned to call blessings. Do I want to experience them again?  Absolutely not, however, they are part of my valuable learning which has brought me to my current stage of growth and evolution.
“I never lose,” said Nelson Mandela, “I either win or I learn.”

Satori on the other hand, is growth by awakening; referred to by some as the illumination that might happen at any moment in time.

Isn’t that what we all want, growth by illumination? Since for me that happens only occasionally, I prefer to listen and respond to the gentle nudges of the Universe for growth. As you might imagine this requires quieting the mind and listening.

In my endeavor to be in that space of listening, I have found it helpful to frequently affirm that I am open, receptive, and responsive to the activity of the Holy Spirit in my life. And yet I still have those moments when I forget. Again I refer to it as a dance.

The Call and Your Response

As in square dancing, we learn the spiritual principles (basic steps). But we don’t always clearly know the choreography that the divine pattern

Caller and Square Dancers
Caller and Square Dancers

within is pulsating (calling) — as our deep desires — wanting to express through us. If we’re willing we get to create the mental, emotional and motivational environment through which that which is potent and possible and latent within us can come forward and express in our life as our life.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t help that our brains have evolved to hold onto negative thoughts like Velcro and let the positive thoughts slip off like Teflon. The good news is, the kingdom of the realm of right ideas or the divine pattern patiently waits for our response to Its call.

Beckwith reminds us that real thinking is about paying attention. He writes, “The idea of turning within is not really a technique, it is the idea of losing interest in the thoughts that are passing through our awareness and the world and the experiences they reflect. It is beginning to hear and to be captured and fall in love with the transcendent of what is possible in our life as our life.” 

Jesus said it this way, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any person will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and will sup [dance] with him/her and he/she with me. (Bracketed word added.)  Rev 3:20

Are you still playing with me in my imaginary playground?

Wikipedia offers this excerpt regarding dances: “Dances are designed by applying one or both of these fundamental choreographic methods:

Improvisation, in which a choreographer provides dancers with a score that serves as guidelines for improvised movement and form . . .  Improvisational scores typically offer wide latitude for personal interpretation by the dancer.
Planned choreography, in which a choreographer dictates motion and form in detail, leaving little or no opportunity for the dancer to exercise personal interpretation.”

Do you believe there is an overall arcing divine plan for our lives, as I do, and yet because of free will we have choice to improvise. As partners with the divine pattern (Caller) within, we have latitude in how we choose to respond to the call. It could be as slow as a waltz, as fast as a salsa or anywhere in-between.

The Divine Dance

I love the thought of a divine dance. In Father Richard’s new book, The Divine Dance, he writes, “Spirituality is whatever it takes to keep your heart space open. That is daily, constant work because your ego and the events of life want to close it down. You have to work to live in love, to develop a generosity of spirit, a readiness to smile, a willingness to serve instead of to take…”

I do believe it’s possible to enter the divine dance and stay in the music of the dance longer whether it’s joyful or painful with our spiritual practices. That can happen when we choose to dance with the intention to respond to the call.

In order to hear the call, Father Richard makes this suggestion“Each morning you take your inner temperature, observing if your energy

Ask - Seek - Knock
Asking – Seek – Knock

is loving and flowing outward or negative and sucking in. Contemp-lative prayer helps us witness and recognize these outer flows and inner suckings.”

Ask and Receive

If you’re asking how can I be more sensitive and receptive to the Divine Pattern that is within me, here are some recommendations:

Practice asking. The scripture tells us to ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.  When we ask, we become available to hear. When we seek we become available to find. When we knock the door is opened because it is always open.

Practice mindfulness. Pay attention. Journal your dreams, listen to the music that’s humming in your mind and heart or on the radio, notice what books attract your attention or may fall off the shelf in front of you, practice meditation, get out in nature, be in a spiritual community, etc.

Practice being in the space of openness, allowing, receiving, and surrendering.

I love hearing from you.  At what stage of call and response are you?

Would you comment in the comment box on your practice of responding to the inner call of your divine pattern? There are many more practices that can evoke an inner and outer response and I would love to hear yours.

As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.

If you know of someone who may benefit from this post I would love it, if you would take a moment now to share it with them

If you would like more personal support, you may contact me through the contact box below.

As always, on this site, there are, affirmations, and meditations to support you on your journey to self-empowerment.

If you found value in this post please be the first of your friends to like and share it by clicking on one of the social media buttons below. You’re also invited to follow me on Twitter and like me on my Facebook page.

LOL = Lots Of Love

Candy

Are You Ready?

Ready, Set, Action!

“I see your life as already artful, just waiting and ready for you to make it art.”
— Toni Morrison

Dear HeartFriend,

For many people the question Are you ready” brings up the idea of a goal they want to achieve, or some challenge they may be facing. In the case of a natural disaster the question rhetorically is asking are you prepared?

Am I ready is a important question we often ask ourself. Especially when we are starting a new relationship, starting our own business. starting a diet, taking control of our life, starting a new job, becoming who we truly are or in any seen or unforeseen change that might occur.

Rather than addressing the important issue of how to be ready, this post is inviting you to consider the various stages that are involved in the process of readiness, pre and post the physical action stage.

Ready is a question that usually implies immediate action. One of the definitions offered by Merriam Dictionary is “prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action; prepared for immediate use…”

Here are a few examples of the use of ready:

“I’ll be ready in 10 minutes.”
“Can we leave now?” “I’m ready when you are.”
“Your prescription will be ready in about 20 minutes.”
The car won’t be ready until tomorrow.”
“We got everything ready for the party before the guests arrived.”

The common and legitimate expectation in our culture is that ready equals action. One example of this is illustrated by this excerpt from Elon University which clearly outlines their expectations to new students:

“Are You Ready?”

  • “Are you ready to be introduced to and challenged by….”
  • “Are you ready to discover and debate the intersections…”
  • “Are you ready to share your ideas and openly explore…”
  • “Are you ready to passionately and respectfully engage with…”
  • “Are you ready to be an Elon university citizen, helping to sustain…” Concluding with,“We expect you are ready…”

Recently I had an inner nudging to update my License Unity Teacher certification which would allow me to offer classes for credit to those who are considering a path to ministry.

I must confess having been retired from public ministry for 6 years “Am I ready to begin publicly teaching classes  again?”  is a question I began  asking myself.

Gratefully I have released asking that question and have moved forward. However, the perspective held by many in our culture is, you will know because of the action you take.

A Different Perspective

In the research for the e-book that I’m creating I came across an interesting description of readiness that gives a different perspective.

If you tend to mentally beat yourself up with questioning whether you are ready or not when you are considering or preparing for change, I believe you will appreciate Dr. James Prochaska’s, psychologist, concept of change in stages.

Rather than a yes, no, or maybe answer, Prochaska, presents a model of change that differs from most change programs like stop smoking, dieting, etc.,where taking action is the first step. He invites us to consider the following stages:

Prochaska’s  model of stages of change:

Pre-contemplation: These people have rejected change or are thinking about making a change at some point in the future.
Contemplation: These people are thinking about making the change in the near future and seek support.
Planning: These people are preparing to make a change soon.
Action: These people have done their research and are ready to take steps to put their plan into action.
Maintenance: These people are realistic about the dangers of relapsing into their old behaviors and about compassionately dealing with setbacks.
Termination: Using the tools and resources available in managing the stress of change, these people are not the least bit tempted to go back to their old behavior.

Recognizing where you are in this model of change supports you in  compassionate awareness of and acceptance of the stage you are in.

That being said, If you are wanting to anchor a behavior change, then I recommend giving yourself a minimum of 90 days or as long as it takes. When you lapse from your holy intention, this is the time to be especially kind and compassionate with yourself.

The good news is when you look closely at this model you realize that each stage is an action stage.

Releasing Thoughts That Block Action

It is also important to acknowledge that our thoughts can block us from taking the positive action required to take us to the next stage. As we know, repetitive thoughts and words create new beliefs, beliefs create actions, actions create behaviors, behaviors create experiences, and experiences create our destiny.

Folks who study this kind of phenomenon, say that the average person thinks more than 60,000 thoughts a day and most of these thoughts are repetitive.

In noticing your thinking patterns, you may discover they are not in alignment with the change you want to make or with your core values.This awareness provides you with the opportunity to replace them with thoughts, affirmations and behaviors that are harmonious with what is wanting to emerge as your true radiant authentic self.

Awareness is the first step to change.

Paralyzing Thoughts
ParalyzIng Thoughts

Most negative thoughts aren’t conscious, we’re not even aware of them. Nevertheless, everyone at times has negative thoughts, but mentally strong people don’t let those thoughts hold them back or drag them down.

Instead, they respond to their pessimistic predictions and harsh criticisms with a more productive inner dialogue. They stay motivated to do their best by talking to themselves like a trusted friend or a helpful coach.

Marisa Murgatroyd, founder of Live Your Messages, recommends these shifts in mindsets:

How you frame whether or not you are ready. Instead of saying “I’m not ready.” say “I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be.” Take action and keep taking the next step. Allow your self to grow into your Image of success.

Dealing with overwhelm. Re-frame the feeling of anxiety to, “I am up against my growing edge.” Embrace that feeling. Learn to compartmentalize and focus. Focus on one thing and make that the one thing.

How do you schedule your time? Parkinson’s law says work expands to the time allowed for it. Instead of trying to figure out what to do next learn to expand your capacity. Shift the mindset from, “I’ve only got an hour to get this done” and reframe it to “Wow, I’ve got a whole hour to get this done.” Commit this to yourself and to serve. Serve your needs rather than serving the needs of others through their emails and phone calls during your scheduled time.

Language changes: There are bridge words and there are roadblock words. You could say, “I’m broke”, or you can say, “I’m resourceful, I’m capable.” You could say, “how can I ever afford this?” Or you can change it to “I’m committed to moving forward.”

Let your words be instrumental in bringing forth the highest good you desire. Speech is an intermediate step in the creative process between thought and action or material substance.

With practice, and a little bit of disciplined effort, you can learn to direct your thoughts to only those that will support the manifestation of your chosen dreams and goals. As the scripture asserts, “So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.”:

As I modify Elon University’s example of expressed expectations to new students, and a Marianne Williamson’s quote, let me ask you:

  • Are you ready to be challenged by what it means to be in the world as the brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous child of God that you are?
  • Are you ready to hold the paradox of oneness rather than an us versus them in consciousness?
  • Are you ready to let go of the victim mentality and cease playing small?
  • Are you ready to be the powerful person you have come here to be?
  • Are you ready to passionately make manifest the glory of God? Concluding with, The Universe expects you are ready.

What is calling you or nudging you to move forward in your life? Are you ready to say, “I’M AS READY AS I’LL EVER BE!”

Ready If Called
Ready If Called

I love this encouraging word from Confucius, “It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.”    

As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.

I love hearing from you. Are you considering some new change? At what stage of action are you?

If you know of someone who may benefit from this post I would love it, if you would take a moment now to share it with them.

If you would like more personal support, you may contact me through the contact box below.

As always, on this site there are, affirmations, and meditations to support you on your journey to self-empowerment.

If you found value in this post please be the first of your friends to like and share it by clicking on one of the social media buttons below. You’re also invited to follow me on Twitter and like me on my Face Book page.

LOL = Lots Of Love

Candy