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Dr. Cara Barker Headshot

In These Times, Why Not Dance?

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I am listening. While Rush Limbaugh is busy spewing negativity, others, are partnering hope that's practical. A heart felt thanks goes out to each of you who tuned into last week's article "What If Help Were Closer than You Think?" Double hugs for you who joined in the dance by your response. We are so busy these days, I know. It is tempting to go solo. But when the dance comes to life, it is because our Spirits have joined as one, and what comes forth is magical.

Shall We Dance?

I'm reminded of an amazing film I saw recently, produced by Peter Buffett, son of Warren, and entitled "Spirit Dance." This dance production tells the story of a young man caught in the soul-numbing existence of a meaningless existence, alongside others trudging along in that that suffocating noise that stifles the Spirit. Suddenly, his robotic, desperate plight is interrupted. He hears the Call of something in his heart he does not understand, but cannot deny. It is the Call of his ancestors, directing him to live an authentic, natural life. As archetypal Modern Man meets his ancient people's Wisdom, the effect is spell-binding. Returning to his everyday life an integrated whole, we witness its powerful message: we are designed to be spectacular beings. The Limbaughs of the world are not our biggest problem. Fear is our biggest problem. Fear takes us off the playing field, and out of a beautiful dance. It's our choice.

Harmony has been on my mind since last week's column, thanks to Freddie Ravel. If you haven't heard of him, do yourself a favor and check out and his TuneUpToSuccess. Who better than a musician, like Freddie, to note that partnering hope in community gets down to attuning our hearing and sound-making, developing harmony. If we assume that we are identical, we will miss something special! We each carry our own form of 'music.' Yours and mine might well be different. But if we are to meet with greater intimacy and aliveness, it behooves us to harmonize our uniqueness, and create a new, heart-based, revivifying composition. Imagine what we could pull off if we lived out our inspiration! Dancing moves us down into Wisdom body. Here, the worries over whether we are in a Recession or Depression vanish. What seemed problematic, stuck, begins to move in new and interesting ways. We feel better for our invention. We find solution.

The Spirit of Invention

We live in a state of constant reinvention. At our cellular level, our GI tract reinvents itself every 3-5 days; our skin, around every 30. None of which is orchestrated by our control, or affirmations. Change like this comes under the radar. We'd be nuts to fight this dance of life. Better to accept this reality as part of the Mystery, and harmonize with it. One thing is for certain: we are more than we think, more amazing than we can fathom. If we can reinvent cells, we can certainly reinvent the way we live in, and steward what we've been given. It's a heck of a lot healthier than focusing on what we might lose tomorrow.

How Dare We Dance in Times Like These?

The very idea of talking about putting more of our focus on dancing together might sound far-fetched, impractical. I am reminded of readers who've written about struggles with teenagers, bosses, losses. If ever there were a time for joining together, this would be that time.

The Minianka people, from Mali, according to Yaya Diako (The Healing Drum) tells us that the community dances as a means of regeneration, and healing. They believe the way we dance is a Way-shower: revealing our places of health, and disturbance. For them, dance is diagnostic and renewing, reminding me of something Elisabeth Kubler Ross told me long ago in an internship: "If only the world would dance and sing as One, our world would be a different place!" When we dance together, either literally, or metaphorically, we are not caught up in criticism's fire. I mean, really, do we have the luxury of spending time in debate over whether Michelle Obama should wear sleeveless dresses? Likewise, why waste our energy on those who wish her husband fail? Hurting people hurt people.

A Diagnostic Dream

How can we maximize our possibilities in times like these? How can we participate in a more joyful creation? A repeating dream came to me on the eve of Desert Storm, and 9/11: I was shown the world on the brink of destruction. The Divine spoke: "The only way mankind can save itself, is to learn to dance together. Tell them this." Creative harmony, born from chaos, is what restores our wonder, heals distress, and allows love to flow again through our lives and world. We are here to make beautiful music. Together!

Rumi, in the mid 13th Century, puts it this way:

"We have no idea who we are..."
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty, and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."

When dark clouds occlude our hope, let's dance! In the shower, on the street, in front of God and everyone, let's play, let's harmonize. It is responsible, not irresponsible, to step out of the collective, contagious groan these days. Let's challenge ourselves to make a fresh start today, risk spreading a few smiles, sprinkled with a tad of joy. Who knows? It might catch on!

As always, I welcome your sharing, inspirations, contribution, links, and dance. I'll do my best to respond personally.

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