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 otherworldly 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 classroom) 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. 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. Ask it a heartfelt question-the first one that comes to mind
3. Receive the answer-it might be in words, pictures, a sense, a feeling, a sound
4. Write it down, or simply anchor it into your heart
5. What one microscopic step can you take right now to live more from that place? Take it!
With all my love,