The ripe field of rooting was up for exploration with the onset of Spring this year. I am a no-gloves dirt digger, despite messy caked nails and skin roughness. I love encouraging desirable tender shoots and uprooting the less beneficial invaders. It is rooting season and out on the practice floor we follow this thread as it spirals up from earth. What is the nature of the bond between our own deep roots and our instinctual animal bellies? And when this coupling is palpable, what feelings emerge as we continue the rise into the flub-a-dub of our own heartbeat?
And because of double-header upcoming Saturday workshops, I’m already exploring the territory beyond as we continue to ascend. First up, April 21 (we have space for you) is Centered , a practice of rooting and belly diving in ways very practical and also very esoteric. Gentle encouragement and quiet support to travel in there, a day devoted to the hara, the center of our physical and, many believe, our spiritual life. Buddha is oft depicted with prominent soft round belly, a symbol of his protective power, his healing wisdom, his nurturing compassion. I love that.
I’ve been exploring this gut territory deeply for a year now. No mistake my name is Bella. Last week I wrote about attending to what our bellies are turning toward. Or away from. By keeping our attention low and following feet and belly, we’re instinct-guided, from the word instinctus, meaning impulse, a hard-wired biological reaction. And because the next Saturday workshop explores intuition, I’m curious about instinct’s potential to fuel and usher us to intuition, a much more refined higher center ability. The word intuition comes from the word intuito, meaning consideration. They have this in common: both give us a sense of knowing something without being able to explain how we know. They both go the heart of the question “how do you know what you know?” Not what do you think you know. Not what you know because you think. Instinct and intuition are not about thinking at all.
So what is the connection between instinct and intuition and how might we practice Cultivating Intuition on April 28? I am slowly dancing into this one and have made it thus far: I can feel this grounded belly-informed instinctual thread filter up through my heart and be informed by the feelings arising as I instinctually move. If this potent impulse continues to rise, maybe we can ferry it to safe harbor in that sacred space between the eyes, third eye, ajna chakra. Careful here! We need to catch ourselves substituting what we are so skilled at: thinking, evaluating, judging, comparing. And simply refrain. Trust that we know.
This begins to clarify how we might cultivate intuition. Between the dance and the art making via collage we’ll have ample opportunity. Here’s the deal. If we’ve been alive long enough to be an adult and have been at least half-way paying attention, we probably have accumulated some wisdom from our life experiences. And when we are firmly rooted and tapped into gut instinct and this energy bubbles up unfettered through our breathing, beating, bleeding hearts…it filters into this rich well of know-how. Then we are intuition-ripe and we might have an “aha” moment or make a choice without thinking or be drawn to someone for no discernable reason or make a big risky move without planning. We move intuitively through the world. And in these fast changing crazy times that’s just a good skill to hone.
I hope you can join us for one or both of these Saturdays. They are becoming more and more intertwined in my being….