To Dance, Or Not To Dance? This Is The Question
I’d been taking voice lessons for a couple of years and, much to my delight, had been cast in two great shows. My son had followed his passion to New York City where he was studying musical theatre. I didn’t yet know where my odyssey would take me, but a few surprises were waiting to be revealed.
One day, I showed up innocently for my lesson and my voice teacher announced, “We are doing Evita this summer….” I got the ‘you ARE auditioning' look.
I looked back. The chorus members dance in Evita. Short of my infamous tap number, I had not truly danced in almost 30 years. Who was he kidding?
After much tip-toeing around the issue, I finally gave in and went to the audition, knowing I had nothing to lose but my pride. I sang my bit (‘cause I’m a pro at this by now, right?), learned the dance routine with a big group (yup, that was me hiding in the back) and figured that was the end of it. I was now free.
As I was putting on my coat, the choreographer’s assistant pulled me aside and whispered that I was being called back for the second dance call.
I looked at him like, “Seriously? You are going to make me do the call-back? My original humiliation was not enough?? SERIOUSLY???” (I may have actually said all that with my outside voice.)
He laughed and told me, “We thought you were fun to watch!”
Something inside me died more than a little, and my stomach rolled over as I realized he was serious. I would actually be dancing in the call-back. Where was my son when I needed him for moral support? Oh, yeah, in New York City following his $@&*%#! dream in musical theater. No help there.
In dread, I returned for the second audition and scanned the room. Every other dancer was under the age of 25...and perky…in all the ways that 25-year-olds are still perky (harrumph). I used to to be perky when I was 25...25 years ago.
The choreographer, I learned, was Skyping in from Atlanta. The other directors were all seated behind “the table.” My voice teacher, who would be the musical director for the show, was there as well. I couldn’t look at him because I knew he was laughing.
The assistant choreographer grinned at me while giving us the instructions. We were to do leaps across the room so “Atlanta” could see our style and technical ability.
I have no technical ability, so I got in the back of the line in order to copy the dancers in front of me. I studied each one as they leapt across the room, taking mental notes. When it was my turn, those notes floated completely out of my terrified little brain. All that remained was a vague memory of a leap I once did in dance class in 1979. I leapt away, dazzling the directors. Trust me…it was a stunning display.
After this success, I was feeling pretty cocky, until the cherubic assistant announced that the choreographer wanted to see one more round of leaping, again leaper’s choice. All cockiness faded.
The dancers were now comparing notes. “What leap shall I do?” They were tossing technical terms about like experts.
I had no terms. I had one leap and they just saw it. That was IT! I was completely out of leaps. The line in front of me was getting shorter. It was almost my turn. What was I going to do???
An idea stuck like a bolt of lightning. “You know a leap! You had years of practice doing this leap as a kid. You did it all over the back yard. Leap like a deer!”
So I gathered my giggling self together (Oh God Oh God Oh God) and leapt across the stage like a freakin’ deer. My inner 6-year-old just took over. “You said I was fun to watch...well take this! HA Ha hA ha HA!!!” There was giggling (probably not just by me).
I left feeling euphoric. This whole ordeal could not have been more humiliating, yet I rose to the occasion with a playful sass I did not know I possessed.
And I was cast. As a dancer! Granted, I was not one of the premier dancers (thank goodness), but I was a dancer none the less. I had to learn hard choreography that challenged me on every level. I had to buy new dance shoes and fishnet stockings. And the best part of all, the sweetest of the sweet, was that my son was called in from New York to be a dancer as well.
I was at rehearsal one night learning the routine, and the choreographer actually paired me with my kiddo for a lift, not knowing we were mother and son. There was chuckling amongst the cast, which tipped off the choreographer, who eventually split us up, but I got a delightful laugh out of the whole thing and a picture by the show’s photographer of me being held in my boy’s arms. Twas a moment to remember. In my heart, I keep that picture right by the one where I am holding him as a baby.
Opening night arrived and I stood beside my boy backstage, awaiting the big dance number. In the blue glow of the stage lights, I saw him grin at me and sheer joy filled my heart.
I could never have planned this moment, but my inner child had delivered it to me. She carried me past my fear of failure, far beyond my comfort zone; and here I was, having a magical moment few mom’s have, dancing on stage along side her son in a high caliber production. It just doesn't get much better than that.
Leaping Into Life
In last month’s post, I described how Music was bringing a new vibration into my life and, as a result, everything was changing. Just like in that dreaded dance audition, I knew I had no technique to deliver me from the chaos I’d created.
While pondering my predicament, I received a message from a musician friend of mine. He had read my blog and was curious to learn how I was enduring my great deconstruction. It turns out he had his own experience with 432 Hz. Having learned about the benefits of this frequency, he had re-tuned all his instruments intending to record an album, but he became so sick that he re-tuned everything back to 440 Hz and cancelled the project. We enjoyed a wonderful phone conversation, compared notes, shared a few good laughs, and concluded that we had both catalyzed a tremendous inner clearing with our intent. The moral of the story? Be careful what you ask for as you just might get it.
I will confess that my grand cleanse is still continuing, and as yet, has not resolved any of my irritating physical issues. Instead, it bypassed all those pesky human concerns completely and shot straight to the core patterns, the ones that had created my issues in the first place. It enthusiastically weeded my inner garden of things like belief systems and safety programs and long buried emotional traumas.
I’d asked for freedom - no, I’d begged for it - and I was getting it, but I now felt stunned and raw, and confused about how to move forward. I’d lost the misguided purpose that had once motivated my actions, and was suddenly aware of my addiction to the pain that fed those old identities. I saw how “The One Who Grieved” still stood as a barrier between me and the new life I equally desired and feared. As a result, I wasn’t truly living, which was the cause of all my symptoms! The energies around me were just lying there dormant, honoring my dance with death. I needed to face the dying process fully so I could accept its gifts and then move on.
What would it take, I wondered to know, really know, that death was an illusion. That even in the face of great endings, there was nothing to fix for myself or for others? What would it take to trust that whatever life brought me was serving me perfectly, always had been, always would? What would it take to love life again, trust in its benevolence, its ever-evolving nature, and let it love me back?
That, my friends, would be a leap.
Leaping is a funny thing. It requires trust and fearless commitment. If you leap, you cannot hesitate or micromanage your flight. If you do, a picket from that fence below you will likely end up wedged in a most uncomfortable place. Nor can you know before leaping just what will catch you on the other side. The net appears while you are in the air. Perhaps it is better said that your wings emerge as a result of your courage, clarity, and commitment as you become airborne. The act of leaping changes you and creates the emerging result.
My leap into life became this: I signed up for Crimson Circle’s Dreamwalker Death class. I had wanted to take this intense workshop when it was offered seven months before, but I intuitively knew I wasn’t ready. Now the class was being made available again, and I had used the last seven months to release the gravity that held me anchored to the past. I now felt ready to move forward.
I discovered I was able to walk through the death realms as a sovereign being. I escorted my beloved mother to the Bridge of Flowers and set her free, finally understanding the eternal connection of our souls. I faced my own death, and given the freedom to leave, fully chose to stay, finally, but on my terms, for the joy. I felt free.
After this experience, I knew passion for life could be mine again. Energy could to serve me in new ways, and it was time to bring it fully into my human life. But how? This was uncharted territory.
Or was it? I suddenly saw how I had been preparing myself for just this moment.
Playing My Way Forward
I had always secretly wanted to bake bread, so this lit a fire under me. I got off the couch, bought a bunch of flour, rolled up my sleeves, and leapt in, figuring the worst that could happen is I would make a big mess.
I succeeded at the mess part immediately. How does flour manage to float through the air and cling to things the way it does, including hair? But oh, I was having a great time! It was immensely therapeutic.
If you have never made bread before, here is my run-down of the process:
You start out with simple dry ingredients (flour, salt, and yeast) and then add liquid, the catalyst that creates all the chaos. Everything becomes a gooey sticky mess. You will wonder if you discovered a new formula for a diabolical wallpaper paste; but then, as you play with it, some mysterious alchemy occurs, and the ooze begins to consolidate into something silky and substantial.
At the proper time (something you wildly guess at, by the way) you set your congealed mass “over there” in a container with a towel over it, and you don’t look at it for a really long time. This is hard. You want to look. You want to poke and prod things along, but that doesn’t help; because in the dark, protected from your prying eyes, magic happens and the dough expands.
When the dough reaches the top of the container, this is your invitation to re-engage it. So you take the dough out, and then assume you ruined it because it deflates the minute you touch it. But don’t give up. Shape that dough. Then set your mangled creations back “over there,” cover them up for another long nap, and step away. In an hour or so you will realize you didn’t ruin anything! Your creation now magically resembles bread!
Pop it into the oven, which is set at some ungodly high temperature that will transform your goo into something solid with a nice crispy crust, and Wah-LAH, you now have BREAD!
While some of my creations have turned out better than others, even the bad ones are quite delicious, and the best part is I don’t really care what happens. I am having so much fun! I feel like a kid playing in the mud when I am baking, transformed into a fearless, joyful 6-year-old.
If you watch little kids play, you realize they don’t have stories that weigh them down. They are curious and willing to try things. They don’t judge themselves as unworthy of success. They don’t even care if their visions are possible or not. They surely don’t worry about what other people think. They are just having fun in the moment, and the outcome doesn’t matter. What a concept.
The way forward became clear. When I played with the dough, I was acting “as if” I was already a baker, and the energies carried me forward joyfully. I just engaged the process of creation. I didn’t try to control it or protect myself. I trusted that each step would lead me to the next one, even if the results were totally unexpected (which sometimes they were). I didn’t have an agenda. I knew that whatever happened was in perfect service to me and my desire to bake, so the whole process was joyful. It was all a grand experience.
What Trust Requires
Ironically, to trust means that hope must die.
Yes, I know, we’ve been taught that hope is supposed to float, that it is the buoyant bubble that will carry us up out of despair; but my experience is actually the opposite. My hopes tend to be desperate desires that I hold out in the future, and because I do not claim them as my present reality, I postpone my leaps. Hope is nothing more than fear in a prettier dress.
When I hope, I want something to save me, I want to avoid releasing attachments or changing my life in significant ways. My hopes are born from need, and therefore, they always have an agenda. Trust knows, it doesn’t need. It has no agenda at all, except perhaps to play.
So I have been playing my way forward, trusting without hope, agenda-less, and I’m discovering that my dance is taking me in surprising directions, completely out of the comfort zone of mass consciousness.
Thankfully, my inner 6-year-old isn’t concerned about such trifling details. “Dance!” she says. “Play with me. Don’t worry. We can dance together now and I will show you how. You’ll see, it’s gonna be great!”
With her encouragement, I am relaxing into the moment and becoming more curious. I put on my Master Creator Attire each morning and engage my playful child whenever I pick up my guitar, or write, or bake, not worrying about outcomes or consequences. I surround myself with extra sparkles when I go out in public, or when I look in the mirror, just because I can. I find I’m laughing more.
The biggest change, however, is this: I can feel something stirring to life, rather like an enormous tiger. It is fierce, and beautiful, and sensuous, and just twitching its whiskers as it awakens. The energy vibrating from it is alive and deep, and oddly still, like death and re-birth, and it will likely sweep me into some very surprising adventures.
My inner six-year-old is thrilled. She has waited a looooong time for this and is raring to go. I discovered her today climbing up on the tiger’s back, pulling on his ears, urging me to leap up with her.
So I am. It is time to be born into color.
“Quietness” by Jelaluddin Rumi
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like somebody suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
The speechless full moon
comes out now.