The Divine Unknowing – The Source of All Knowing

Like God is in heaven and we are too and we can trust the benevolence of the universe and ourselves. Is that how you felt when you did something that made little sense at the time and was a bit fearful, but later, maybe even years later, you understood why you were moved to do it? Humor me and take just a moment to acknowledge yourself for your faith and courage. From what place do we get that nudge? I call it the divine unknowing (Intuition, instinct…it’s all the same.) I’d like to share with you a story about that shimmering place and John-Roger. Next week I’ll share about what I learned about it with Michael and clients.

As a child and even teen I had little fear of dancing. In a remote all- girls’ boarding school, I had the only boyfriend for miles, the nurse’s son. The big appeal of him? He could dance. But then I moved to New York and dated a professional Broadway dancer who always moved in perfect rhythm to even the beat of the subway train. In comparison I felt frozen, stymied, like a 13-year-old boy at his first dance. I started counting beats to dance even a little. I walked into a ‘real’ dance class in New York city with all my southern guilelessness, and beamed wide at the ballerinas in the mirror. They looked me up and down in what I’m sure was not hip attire, averted their eyes and ignored me. I would never dance in public after New York.

However, years later, I took a trip to the far east with J-R. I stood upon the temple of Philae, Egypt meditating and at once I felt under my bare feet a heartbeat. If felt like the Lord to which the temple was resurrected was inviting me to move in concert to this primordial rhythm, to come into the bliss I felt must surely live on the heaven side of my fear. I started spontaneously dancing on that temple and every other all through Egypt and then Israel…

Dance became my unlikely conduit to greater spiritual awareness. When I got back to the states, though I hardly felt qualified, I started a free form dance class which I named Soul Dance to assist others to find that same freedom-to leave their cares about what they looked like among their other worldly belongings- outside the door. I started the class from a place of complete unknowing. An inner calling proved to me that we don’t need to understand why we are doing something to do it. Rather, understanding comes from aligned doing.

A few years into facilitating Soul Dance, I was attending a meditation retreat at Asilomar conference center. One of the facilitators, who had attended Soul Dance, challenged me to endeavor to embody the magic of ecstatic dance in a performance (rather than just being an anonymous dancer in a darkened class room) I was terrified of the idea but knew this was my next stretch. The only rehearsal was the next day, the day of the performance. Most folks had known for a while that they would be performing and had come prepared. My only preparation that morning was to get very nervous, change outfits, get more nervous, attempt dance moves in front of the only mirror- a sliding glass door that reflected the wild Pacific Ocean behind me, cry, reassure my toddlers Mommy is fine and then to repeat the whole process.  I mean, dancing with the divine unknowing works swimmingly in the darkened sanctuary of a large group but is quite another thing on a brightly lit stage by oneself in front of an impartial audience. Especially, when I was supposed to be doing the very thing I encouraged folks not to do at Soul Dance-which is to entertain.

At the rehearsal/sound check the next day, a professional dancer had just finished performing his perfectly executed choreographed act right before I shakily walked up the steps to the stage for my turn. The M.C. commenced to loudly congratulate him on how amazing his choreography was as I cued my music and started dancing entirely free-form. The M.C. a former dance teacher come therapist, my former therapist, dismissed me with “Okay, we got it. That’s enough,” after just a few moments. A cold sweat walked its unwelcome fingers down my back as a hot flush cupped my cheeks and I shamefully stumbled off the stage.

My spiritual teacher happened to be watching in the back of the room. I walked up to him and mumbled apologetically that I should have taken ‘real’ dance classes before even thinking of facilitating Soul Dance, let alone performing! He informed me that, actually, I should not have taken ‘real’ dance classes, and that if I had I would only follow pre-planned choreography instead of surrendering and allowing Spirit, not my mind or conditioning, to move me, to dance me.  That I would be loyal to my pre-planned steps instead of to divinely inspired ones.  I knew how what he was describing, complete with a simple drawn illustration, was how I wanted to dance and more, how I wanted to live.  I wanted to be led by the palm of the Lord upon the small of my back, guiding me onward. To truly follow God’s lead, not man’s.

Therefore, at the performance the following day, I was determined to not move at all until the Spirit moved me, even if that meant standing still and just staring at the audience for the entire song. When they announced my name, I shakily climbed the black wooden stairs and walked slowly to the front of the stage into the spotlight, literally wondering if I would live or die. I stilled as the music started and completely surrendered into the Divine unknowing. I stared into the audience, into Spirit, for what seemed like an eternity. From that highly intended state, I started falling deeply in love with them, with the blinding spotlight, with the black, textured wood of the stage, with every note of the music, with the space between the notes… I became aware of a spiritual vortex of light before me. I opened my arms wide, stepped forward into its embrace and started dancing with God as my partner.

I have no idea what steps I did, but I came off the stage to a standing ovation. I floated back to my teacher, who said, “Very very good” over and over to me. This was when I committed to beginning a lifelong romance with the Divine Unknowing.

Your Divine Guidance

In the next blog, I’ll share more about how I experience the Divine Unknowing in my intuitive counseling practice. In the meantime, take please take 30 seconds and answer these questions:

  1. 1. Surrender right now into the divine unknowing, feel those unseen arms around you, as you walk off the cliff of your mind into Spirit.
  2. 2. Ask it a heartfelt question-the first one that comes to mind
  3. 3. Receive the answer-it might be in words, pictures, a sense, a feeling, a sound
  4. 4. Write it down, or simply anchor it into your heart
  5. 5. What one microscopic step can you take right now to live more from that place? Take it!

With all my love,

Alisha

What We Can Learn About True Freedom From Ex-Convicts, Special Ops Vets and Byron Katie

Alisha Das Hayes and Byron Katie“Sweetie, you’re not getting this. I could be like Hannibal Lector and bite a nose off a face. I could have my guys kill for me, but I liked it to be up close and personal. I killed pimps, cho mo’s [Child molesters], dealers…the cops would actually thank me, give me back my weapons, and say have a nice day, sir.”

This is from an actual conversation I had recently! I sat on the floor with Viking. * He’s three times my size, and he just laughed when I asked how he killed in prison without weapons. He had made a journey few ever will—from the most violent death-row convict to a free, (mostly) peaceful man.

Allow me to fill you in on the twenty-four hours before this conversation. I had gone to an invitation-only Byron Katie/ Inside Circle Foundation (ICF) event in California wine country. This was to be the first time ever ex-convicts (and we’re talking former lifers) would share with “free people” the transformational work they’d done in prison. I had come because Byron Katie’s daughter, Roxann, invited me and I trusted her implicitly, but I had been told nothing about what would occur.

In the training room, I saw the roughest-looking men I’d ever seen. I thought we were there to serve them but they were clearly intending to serve us. Big Andrew* whooped a Native American invocation as sage burned. Rob, a biker with a long white ponytail, read stunning inmate poetry. Then they presented the ground rules. We didn’t make it past the first one—no violence.

Please Read The Full Article on The Huffington Post

Alisha Das Hayes on The Huffington Post 

 

Prodigal

Prodigal 

Martyr, Predator, Loser, Whore. . .
whoever is in you-
gather them unto your wide heart.
For ‘God loves all His creation’*
(Including yours.)
While you rushed out to live the good life
the parts of you that weren’t good enough
slipped out the back
and suited up in disguises hewn of your humiliation
After your winter of sorrow turned to summer of denial
you flung those stifling cloaks deep into your closet of shame.
They were hidden but not forgotten
and that made all the difference.

Yet your abandoned children of the night
clutch the very energy of the gods. Therefore,
pause
your frantic fray to be good, to be okay.
Gently summon them forth.
Lift their coarse veil
and look them full in the face.
Gaze long enough and you’ll see,
peeking out from a mass of unkempt shame,
your original innocence.

Can you hear them?
Their voices may catch from years of being told,
‘Shut up! I hate you! You don’t exist!’
They may sputter and then spew
the things we shouldn’t think and shouldn’t say.
If you simply listen without judgment
(Aye, there’s the rub, but too, the key to the unlocking heart)
until they have been finally and truly heard,
their tarnished words will start to run clear and pure.
You will discover you always wanted the same things-
You just deeply misunderstood each other.

You stop fighting the war
no longer being waged against you.
You offer your smooth, lily-white hand
to the gnarled, dirty-brown one bearing the calluses meant for you.
You tenderly embrace your leather-cloaked self
as they let the dagger slip from their baby-soft fingertips.

You see now that you had wrought a sliding door
so only one aspect could slip through at a time-
Good or bad; light or dark
But you know now:
you are what the earth and sky have in common.
You are the living bridge
And you are that which has no need of a bridge
You are the Christ who sees it all the same
(Love)

You tenderly gather yourself to your heart, a newborn.
You are ready now, to love wholy-
Nothing withheld from the Holy of Holies.
And you finally understand
‘It takes great courage to see the face of God
because first you must see your own.’

Alisha Das Hayes

I wrote this poem after a session I did many years ago. It  describes work I do to assist one to recognize, acknowledge, listen to, love and reintegrate disowned parts of themselves. Prodigal (their title for it is Love’s Unveiling) is handed out as part of the curriculum for the University of Santa Monica’s Graduate Course. I dedicate it to Ron Hulnick, with undying gratitude for being my mentor in this and all things.

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