I read somewhere our lives being described simply put in two parts – the first half of our life and the second half of our life. If you are a golfer that second half can be described as the “back nine.” (Maybe that was a Carl Jung idea.) Now within these two halves there are ideologies and practices we engage in which, if we can move though them, bring us full circle to a completion in our lives. Call it a sense of wholeness, wisdom and understanding.
Last week as I was watching my dance instructor work with a chorographer to create a dance for me that I will perform in a showcase in April, I began to ponder the idea of our lives being a dance in two parts. The first part being a dance of survival and the second half being a dance of the soul. Two parts – survival and sacred.
As I get older I feel that shift from the doing or task part of life to wanting more of the soul part of my life. I wish I could say that I am there happily dancing the soul dance but more often than not, I am still dancing the survival dance. When I can allow myself the time to simply slow down and be quiet I can feel that soul dance bubbling up but our world has a way of pulling us back to a more base, a more basic rhythm that keeps us stuck in survival and we begin to lose site of the “task within the task” or our soul.
So what does this look like? The survival dance is task oriented. We are focused on making money, getting an education, raising children, and paying a mortgage. It’s about tradition, law, structure, authority, and identity. It’s about why I’m significant, why I’m important, why I matter, why I’m good. If we stay there and don’t move out of the “ego” how then can we ever really get in touch with the soul?
There are many things pulling me, even at almost sixty years old to remain in my perfect survival dance. I say perfect because by now I have the routine down. Remember it is all about the tasks – the doing NOT the being! How then do we move from survival to soul… here are a few things I do, or try to do, to help me get more comfortable in my new dance. The dance of the soul for which I would like to spend more time.
- meditation and prayer
- having a sense of gratitude
- spending time in nature
- listening to music
- practicing the pause
- exercise, movement and dance
- appreciating others
- spending time with friends
- supporting the community
- showing myself grace
So, where are you? Which dance are you dancing today? Is it the right dance to be practicing or, like me, is it time to learn a new routine?
I’m trying to learn a new routine!
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