Today is my 67th birthday and I'm inviting you to celebrate with me. Who knows how many more birthdays I, or any of us, will have? I hope to be around for many more, but just in case I'm not, tonight, I'm going to get all dressed up, don a tiara, put on my high heeled shoes, and go dancing. And you're invited to join me!
While we're on the subject of dancing, in last week's article, When The Shift Hits The Fan, I suggested that navigating these perilous times is akin to "dancing on a tightrope, wearing high heels, going backwards." That image struck home with several readers, so I thought I'd share its origins.
Many years ago, I had an important dream. In it, I was walking on a tightrope, wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase, and wearing high heels.
As the dream unfolds, I'm watching myself from an enlightened observer's viewpoint; I'm cautiously making my way along the tightrope, every muscle tensed. My concentration is like a laser beam, every step carefully placed. Falling would bring certain death. There is no net.
At least not one that I can see. But just beneath the tightrope, out of my view, for as far as the eye can see, are angel wings. The wings are so close they almost brush up against the tightrope. But I'm so focused on not falling, I cannot see them. I'm blinded by my fear of falling.
Then my own observer voice in the dream whispers, "Look how hard she's working to keep from falling. What a pity she doesn't know she's safe. Someone should tell her."
Then I wake up and realize the dream's message:
"No matter how complicated and difficult the dance on the tightrope may seem, remember, Love is always present. There is nothing to fear. You cannot fall. Rest in this Love."
This message is ancient, the basis of religions and theme of the great works of art. But the power of this dream was in being shown that the "I", I call "me", is not separate from this Love. This great, universal Love is not only always present, it's who we are. It's who I am. It's who you are.
I had an artist friend make a drawing of the dream so I could hold on to the image. I still keep it in my bedroom where I see it every day. It's such a great reminder of this one eternal truth: Love Is.
How easily this awareness gets lost as we take up the trek on the tightrope! We work so hard to keep from falling, we fail to see the truths right in front of us.
Here's a little something to gnosh on:
What if we're really angels who've taken on physical bodies and wear funny costumes to hide our wings so no one will know who we are? And what if the density of our bodies and the weight of our costumes has made us forget we have these wings and an indwelling spirit whose nature is to soar?
Maybe we've forgotten we came here to let these wings lift our spirits and dance our lives. And maybe, all we need is just a little nudge to remind us to remove the costumes, unfold our wings and go for it.
Consider an event that happened recently at the Liverpool Street Station, in London. It could be considered a little cosmic nudge:
Telecom giant, T-Mobile, chose this location in the UK as the backdrop for a new advertisement, filmed during rush hour. It took 8 weeks of planning, 8 sound tracks of 60s thru 90s music, 10,000 people who auditioned, 400 people chosen, 10 hidden cameras, and a terminal full of unsuspecting commuters... some of whom obviously missed their trains! Watch this, it's amazing!:
And here's the reaction from some of those unsuspecting commuters who got caught up in the action:
What happened here? Yes, this was a commercial venture and not a spontaneous event. But something else took flight during those 161 seconds of filming. For those brief moments, you could see people lay down the burden of the trek on the tightrope and take up the dance. Maybe it was just a tiny glimpse of what's possible.
The Dance Is Always There
The funny thing is, like Love, the dance is always there inside these costumes, waiting to be set free. You could see people's faces being lit up, like drinking from the well of remembrance of who they are and why they're here. We need daily doses of this remembrance.
And what about you? What if you knew you could not fall? What dance would you be dancing right now in your life? And what are you waiting for?
Maybe you're waiting for your dance to show up and make itself known. But what if the way it really is, is the dance is already here waiting for you to step up to it? What if you, saying "yes" to the dance of your life, is the very spark that inspires others to take up their dance?
What if we laid down the weapons of war and put on our dancing shoes instead? That might sound silly or far fetched. I'm just saying...what if? Who's in charge of whether you dance or wage war in your own life? Think about that the next time you find yourself trying hard not to fall. What if you just danced instead?
Many people who left comments on You Tube expressed a desire that life could have more moments like the one that took place at the Liverpool Street Station. I suggest it can.
Maybe you don't bust into dancing in public with strangers, but then again, why not? If you were in the station that day, would you have joined in the dance? Or would you have stood off to the side and watched? Some people, afraid to miss their trains, scurried through the station and missed the moment completely.
Amidst the struggle and the turmoil of these times, let us not forget the wings hidden in the uniforms we wear. Make time to unfold them and dance for your life. There will always be trains to catch, clocks and calendars and cell phones to pull us back to the tightrope. But please, don't miss the dance that's waiting for you.
Dance it, before your wings shrivel up and there's nothing left to dance for.
I want to thank a frequent visitor here, frepstein, for sending me the link to the videos posted in this article.
Some of my best ideas for articles have come from readers. So thanks to those who have taken the time to email links you find inspiring or interesting to share here with others. It's all part of the dance we do together and the community we're building here, so I welcome your input.
Feel free to share links and ideas with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can leave shorter comments here in the Post A Comment section below this article. I endeavor to respond as much as possible, so be sure to check back after you've left a comment. Thanks also for sharing this article with your own community of tightrope walkers.
I'll be looking for you on the dance floor out there. Til next time, keep dancing!
Follow Dr. Judith Rich on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dr_judithrich