Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring It On!

  Yesterday was the first day of spring or the spring equinox. Looking around, the beauty of this season of renewal and expansion is beginning to blossom, literally. Spring is full of potential and awakening, it is a harbinger of birth and transformation. This first day of spring however, is rooted in the energies of balance, a special day in which day and night are equal. It is a reminder that even as we make plans and prepare to burst forth that it is wise to pause, find some solid ground, check in with our energy levels, do some self care. A reminder that giant leaps forward need to be accompanied by generous rest and nourishment.

Spring is a great time to dream big, make plans, embrace changes that spur our growth and evolution. It is a season ripe for transformation calling us to blossom into the fullness of life.

Dance under the sun and stars. Listen to, see, smell, touch and taste the magic of natures graceful awakening. Align with your own deep calling and open to the universe of potential, the seed of possibility ready to burst forth and bring dreams into manifestation. Spring it on and also care for it, care for you, with tenderness and love.           

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Things I Learned From Drag Queens

  This past weekend I went to New York City with a dear dancing friend of mine. We were kid and fancy free. We wandered our way around with plans to take in a couple shows. We went to a matinee of Mama Mia which was alright but seemed a bit flat, off day for the cast I guess. Wicked was next on our most wanted to see list but the only tickets available were 300 dollars or more. So we decided that Priscilla Queen of the Desert might be interesting and a few random friends (read strangers we spontaneously engaged in conversation) said it was a riot.

  Well a riot it was indeed! The song and dance filled story of three drag queens traveling through Australia so that one of them can finally meet his son was wild and playful, visually stunning with 600 costume changes that were each more dazzling and outrageous than the last. I smiled and laughed, and sat awestruck with delicious joy for all but the few scenes that reminded the audience of the reality of intolerance and hate that many people in this world would have experienced in place of the sheer unadulterated blast of happiness that we in that theatre shared.

  The show reminded me of the year I spent studying in Spain during college. I lived with a French guy named Gilles who was very openly gay. We had so much fun that year and one of our favorite things to do on the weekend was to go to the drag shows. I was nervous the first time we went that I would be the one to experience exclusion, staring eyes telling me that I had no business being there, but when we walked in not a single eyelash was batted, I was just another party goer. As we watched the show I remember having that same feeling of exhilaration, adoration and delight.  Eventually we got to know some of the performers and I loved talking and laughing with them.  I was young and insecure and they would always talk about going for it in life, being who you are and making no apologies for that. These were some of the wisest women I have encountered and anatomy had nothing to do with it.

These past few days I have found myself thinking about what I felt while watching Priscilla Queen of the Desert and what I have learned from drag queens. Here is what came to me.

~ song and dance are powerful forces that bring people together
~ everyone could use more sparkle in their life
~ who you are on the inside always trumps what you look like on the outside
~ life is best experienced with a slathering of laughter and a dollop of irreverence
~ when confronted by fear or dark forces diva walk right through them
 ~ it is also OK to be afraid, to be vulnerable, to cry
~ know who your true and loyal friends are and love them big time
~ sensuality and sexuality are part of this human experience and should carry no shame, guilt, or judgment for anyone, gay, straight, bisexual or transgender
~ don't give in to hate and don't let other people's hate infect you (don't hate the haters)
~ be who you are and make no apologies

and last but most important:




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

That Is My Story: Life On The High Wire

      My life is a bit like a juggling act. I have many roles and responsibilities on my plate and no real structure to hold it together. So actually it is like a juggling act performed on a high wire. There are times when I have just a few balls in the air and it flows with ease, but then there are times when I have innumerable balls to handle and it feels like either they will fall and shatter on the ground, or I will, or both. Reality check, this is a story, an imagining, a construct of my mind. The to do list has a basis in the reality of my life but my reaction to it is of my own creation. So it is in life, there is reality and then there is the story we create about it. This is my story.

 Yesterday morning I got up, tired and cranky, primed for drama. I went to look at my calendar and what I saw was overwhelming, the month is just starting and the page already looked mangled and defaced with my various scribbles of appointments, classes to teach, activities for the kids and so on. The mere sight of it made me begin to waiver. I felt suffocated and unsteady. I began to panic about all the balls I could drop and how I might fall. If I should fall there would be no net, in fact what would be waiting for me is the razor sharp jaws of failure, hungry and eager to crush me. My fear erupted and my husband was in its path. I proceeded to share this story with him, and not in a kind way. I whined and wailed about the crushing pressure, the lack of support from him or anyone, my certain failure coming, just a matter of time. Drama, drama, drama. 

 Don't get me wrong, I do have a lot to deal with and so does the rest of the world. It does get crazy and chaotic, a circus if you will. The kind of circus it becomes though is entirely up to me. In my mind I can create a story of wonder and adventure where I am strong and fearless ready to walk that tightrope or fly on the trapeze, or I can cast myself in a nightmare circus of the Stephen King variety where I am the helpless victim of a dark evil force, those hungry jaws of failure.

   The question then is how to shift gears, how to change the story? The hardest part is to wake up. Waking up requires a pause and once I am on the tightrope of terror gripping and gasping for air it is hard to pull back. I am gasping and struggling for breath. Aha! Breath! My very wise teacher Megha always says that fear and breath can not exist in the same space. Breath reminds me that all of this really is just a story because it is not an experience of the present moment. It is a projection into an unknown future, it is a dream, an illusion that I have conjured. Breath brings me back to the now, to my body where there is no story beside the state of being in that moment. I can feel my feet on the earth, sink into that support, the illusion drops away and I am safe.  

  We can not exit our stories completely as long as we live in the world, which is full of stimuli, activity, perception and judgment. We can however, learn to have better control over our thoughts and to be vigilant over the reality we create for ourselves. We shape our world and our destiny in our intentions, our perceptions and thoughts, but we can always come home to the simple abundance of the breath and the present moment. The present moment reminds us that we need do nothing because we are always perfectly held and safe. That is my story.