From where I sit the entire horizon is visible. There is so much I love about our cyber-connected world, yet it felt like a rare privilege to birthday after three days of total unplug. It’s how it used to be. We now have cell service after many days of disconnect. And I’m ready for Day 9, living and breathing in the lap of the natural world: wave-backed dreams; bird song on first rising; movement of sun, moon, tide; fire-tending. Joseph Campbell says “the goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
And there is always something special that emerges for me when I set aside time to do just that. Maybe you’ve had this experience. You vacate, get out of your day-to-day world, disappear for a bit. And then, seemingly unbidden, what you were removing yourself from, sits down right there beside you. Except it shines with a newness that was entirely elusive in your own back yard. I’ve had so many moments of illuminating, unsolicited perspective about my work in the world in the last week. For me, a lazy lack of focus is often rich breeding ground for fertile imagination. And I suppose it is one of the reasons I go.
Last month I had the privilege of a day of dance with Anna Halprin, movement pioneer extraordinaire, still teaching at the ripe age of 98. It was amazing to move on her famous Kentfield deck in the shadow of ancient redwoods and Mt. Tam, guided by this clear-eyed matriarch. Here’s what struck me most. She taught all day, skeleton by her side, frequently referencing it in guidance. Right away I was in love with this woman. There are so many ways to hold space for movement facilitation. And this way is so obviously mine. I keep circling back time and again, year after year, afraid that it may not be enough to inspire and motivate people. I play in the glory of the seductive revealing energetic fields that emerge when I drop into the physical: emotional, historical, insightful, soulful, spiritual. It’s not that I lose my way, it’s just that physical embodiment dependably invites me there and I follow it’s lead. But where the physical leads me is not necessarily where it will authentically lead you. It was glorious to spend the day with a teacher who implicitly trusts that inviting authentic embodiment is more than enough.
Take a moment to follow along with her brilliant opening exploration. Place finger on xiphoid process, very bottom tip of breastbone. Place another finger on coccyx, very bottom of tailbone, an interesting bony match in shape and size. Draw an energetic line between these two points, close eyes and breath yourself into the exact center of that line. Yet another way of coming to center. Not that I am obsessed with that. And what astounds me is to feel how psoas, originating on spine just south of last rib and traveling diagonally down to attach high on inside thigh—well the xiphoid to coccyx line crosses the line of the psoas right at our center. Front to back it’s located somewhere deep between belly button and curve of waist. It’s like X marks the spot.
This is an example of invitation via physical embodiment. Where that leads you energetically? Only you know. Breathe into it and then move from it. What do you notice? And this is the crux of what has dawned on me here. It leads you to a Deeper Being. And I know that this is where my work has been leading me for a long time. Everyday another basic principle of Deeper Being emerges: feeling from a deeper being, breathing from a deeper being, healing from a deeper being, contacting a deeper being, moving from a deeper being, supporting a deeper being, aligning from a deeper being, living from a deeper being, practice from a deeper being, nourishing a deeper being.
Stay tuned. The current shape of collaborative teaching Wednesday Waves has completely supported me in indulging this way of holding space in our dance. I’ll be home just in time to be out there dancing this week (yeah!); my next time as pilot May 16 will be an embodied introduction to the rhythm of lyrical. And dancing from a deeper being will be the loving focus of the next installment of Fluidity, Power and Release on Sunday afternoon June 3. It will be juicy. We’ve been explicitly traveling this territory in Self Care Yoga for a year now and this continues. Maybe it’s time for a name change on this offering, such an alive work in progress?
We live in such crazy challenging times. Joseph Campbell says “you have to say yes to the whole thing, including its extinction. Love informs the whole universe right down to the abyss of hell.” And Buddhist philosophy is right in the same ballpark as it encourages us to meet each day joyfully participating in the sorrows of the world. I can feel it right here, right now, with each breath. Living from a deeper being is fundamental, life-enhancing support for meeting a lifetime moment by moment with a healing presence. I need it, we need it, the planet needs it.