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Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Pilgrimage Statistics 

Consecutive Days Riding:  87                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 88 

Today’s Mileage: 6                                              Total Trip Mileage: 711

I believe that an ability to laugh at yourself and your life circumstances is a key to a long and happy life.  As I ride the bike this evening I found myself chuckling at the comments of several friends.  They were speaking of my decision to scale back on the daily blog postings to only three a week to free up time for work and other interests.  I continue to ride the bike daily, and search for pilgrimage sites. These individuals all stated some variation of “well it’s about time!”

This is not the first time in my life that I’ve made a decision and then had family or friends announce that they had silently been “hoping and praying” that I would change course. When I asked them why they waited till then they noted: “because you were not ready!” How often I have personally used that same phrase with clients and friends.  We all undertake activities with some goal in mind, and become immersed in the process and dance of the activity, diving in deeper and spinning faster.  Others watch, sometimes with amazement and or concern, wondering how long you can keep up the pace or the depth of commitment.

 Life is a process and our goals must constantly be tweaked and sometimes may demand significant shifts in direction and intensity.  I have met alot of wonderful people in my expanding circle of blog readers, and I look forward to continuing to reach out to join with other sincere spiritual seekers and pilgrims. My youngest son commented the other day” “Dad you are pretty serious about this blog.”  I laughed and told him that I hoped there would be a day, somewhere in the future, when he might sit down and read my thoughts.  That he might gain some insights into his father and perhaps some insights into himself. 

This got me thinking about an issue that is important to anyone who creates.  I mentioned in one of my first postings that if you are a writer, artist or poet the most common form of feedback you get is no feedback at all!  You must have faith that your efforts will bear fruit and that it will bring insights, recognition, accolades, or whatever it is that you seek. Hopefully these efforts will have a positive impact on your own journey and dance, and perhaps the journey and dance of others.  I wrote a poem several years ago as I returned from a nature walk in which I pondered how my efforts would be greeting upon my return home to my family.

Can you blame them?

It’s the Donuts

Heading home

   Another walk ended.

Images on film,

   Words on tape.

Does it matter

   To anyone?

No not really!

Well perhaps

   The geese

      Whom I disturbed.

It’s the donuts,

   Bagged and resting

      On my car seat,

Which will be

   Remembered by those

      At home.

Maybe later,

   Days or years

      Into the future,

The images and words

   Of my passage

      Will inspire and delight.

But for now

   It’s the donuts,

      With glossy sweet surfaces,

         That will satisfy their hunger.

Protective parents are easily disturbed!

I never really lamented the fact that my creative efforts were not embraced by my two young sons or a wife preoccupied with the demands of motherhood. I had faith that a time and circumstance would arise, in my lifetime or afterwards, when these efforts would “touch and reverberate” with others. In addition to having faith that your creative efforts will somehow matter, you also have to “set the bar” with respect to how you will judge success.  Is it fame, or fortune, or seeing your work on a museum wall or bound in a book that will signify success? The following poem written on a nature walk in 1997 summarizes my thoughts on the matter:

 If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched a multitude of souls,

That became a timeless classic,

That would be nice.

 

If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched crowds of people,

That brought standing ovations and fame,

That would be great.

 

If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched a handful of people,

That connected them with each other

   And the natural world,

That would be tremendous.

 

If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched a single soul,

That helped them through their day

   And added meaning to their life,

Then all my efforts have been worth it.

I trust that most of you will recognize that with this posting and the presentation of these poems, my faith has been justified.  I hope you the reader find the images and words of my passage to be inspiring and delightful.  If it touched you then my efforts have been worthwhile!  Have a wonderful day… I’ll be back on Saturday.

The most important audience for our future... the children!

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Pilgrimage Statistics 

Consecutive Days Riding:  84                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 85 

 Today’s Mileage: 8                                             Total Trip Mileage: 695

 As I ride the bike this morning I think about how quickly the celebrations of the New Year have come to an end.  How quickly we find ourselves back on the path, back to the grind and the demands of life. We strike off again with a hand full of new resolutions, refreshed motivation and knowledge that spring will soon follow the cold biting winds of winter.

Life is a Dance!

Yesterday I shared with you a number of quotes and images to ponder as you faced the New Year. One of my regular blog followers made that comment: “Funny how some authors lend themselves to quotes, and others, also favorites, will hardly have a quotable sentence in a whole book.” Almost two weeks ago I produced a blog entitled: Inspirational Sayings: Gifts With Out Instructions.  I noted that inspirational messages, while important, may be meaningless if the person receiving them is without the skill, abilities or resources to meet the goal they are working towards.  My viewer’s comment got me to wondering about Wisdom.  Is it always useful and meaningful? How is it that some people can present it in a sentence or two, while others need a whole lecture, book or lifetime to express it?

I googled the phase “Words of Wisdom” and found over 18 million references. The search broke them down into general categories which included: Funny Words of Wisdom, Inspirational Quotes, Words of Encouragement, Short Words of Wisdom, and Words of Wisdom and More Good Advice.

How do I make sense of the sources and forms of Wisdom?   To begin, I must speak in a general way to what I see as the primary motivation of our journey through life. I believe that life is a process. Like a dance, it is a balance between two partners.  One partner is represented by our desire to find meaning in life, to understand it, and to make it at best, predictable.  This partner tends to explore the past for patterns and the future for possibilities.  The second partner is represented by our desire to experience life. This partner lives in the moment of the sensations of the dance, the rhythm and beat of the music, the spinning and twirling and the movement of the dance.  One partner reviews the past and points to the future as the other spins and twirls in the moment.  Together they can achieve a balance that advances both causes and fills both desires.

Something is not in balance!

I believe that finding this balance is a major goal for most individuals and that it is the healthiest goal we can undertake!  Some people fall short of this goal, as they fail to see life as a dance. They may deny one partner to the advantage of the other.  They act as if life is a solitary dance and as a result turn all of life into an intellectual puzzle, or a hedonistic free for all.  Others recognize the dance and the presence of the two partners, but then give dominance to one, allowing them to be the sole leader and director of the dance.

I have observed that if one has not found this balanced dance, that person often feels as if something is “missing.” They feel as if they are missing a partner or are unable to “get onto the same page of music.”  The dance becomes a struggle. When you achieve the balance, comfort and joy are found and the dance becomes effortless!

Back to the question of Wisdom!  I believe that wisdom comes about when we recognize patterns in the dance and can make predictions about choices and paths we might follow.  This experience can be put into words and represents the Wisdom of Meaning.  Wisdom can also arise in the experiential realm of the dance.  This is “known” but not spoken and shows up in the ease of the master athlete when a racket or bat becomes but an extension of their arm.  The person with this wisdom imagines a movement or a dance step and it just happens.  To some it may look like magic or the product of the supernatural, while others will recognize it as the Wisdom of Experience (knowledge of the dance movement).

 I believe that each type of Wisdom has two forms! Personal Wisdom is unique to our story and circumstances but may have little application to others.  There is only one eldest son of Lee and Rose Ann, born in Iowa, raised in the Dakotas, veteran of the US Navy, artist, poet, therapist, college professor and now a stationary pilgrim! My personal wisdom has created many an interesting story, as my students regularly attest, but only bits and pieces of it reverberate with my listeners. The other form is Universal Wisdom. It is achieved when the dancer sees common patterns in their dance and the dance of others.  This wisdom is realized in the shared aspects of the dance.

Balanced Dance!

For all my uniqueness, I share many experiences with others; of being an eldest child, a veteran, a therapist, a teacher, a parent, an artist.  I believe that what makes me a good teacher and therapist is my ability to weave and highlight this more universal wisdom into the details of my stories.  Sometimes I try to distill it out into a quote or a sentence or two (i.e. Be certain, but humble!).  At other times I highlight it like a bright thread running throughout the story.  I hope the listener might recognize similar threads in their own histories and follow them to find the universal wisdom in their lives. I believe it is this universal wisdom that makes up the bulk of the “inspirational and motivational quotes and advice” people view as gems of wisdom.  Personal wisdom on the other hand might be intriguing and interesting, but does not reverberate with many other people.

Back to the question of why some authors and teachers are so quotable and others are not? Some individuals hold primarily personal wisdom even though they may harbor a great deal of knowledge about topics of interest (e.g. hold a PhD in an area).  But look as hard as you can and you will not find the universal gems. Other individuals have achieved not only a level of universal wisdom, but the ability to distill it down into a handful of words or a poignant and relevant example. These gems are often embraced by others as a gift and/or a significant discovery.  This is in part because it seems that the giver has done all of the work of mining them from a life lived, a life dance embraced!  I caution you to recognize these as gifts but not answers.  They are insights into patterns, universal yes, but patterns that you must work to uncover in your own dance.   The universal wisdom is only valuable if we make it personal in our own life.  It must be transformed into personal wisdom, and used to bring balance to our dance. Otherwise it is just a showy piece of costume jewelry and not a special treasure.

Dance like no one is watching!

A quick note on today’s blog title; I have been planning a drop in gathering for my eldest son as he leaves for the Army in three days.  He informed his mother today that he will not make it to the event.  I have a suspicion that he is looking for an excuse to not let family and friends say their goodbyes.  This saddens me but is not surprising.  He has made a practice out of making his choices, while ignoring the needs and desires of others.  That is his choice!  All I can do is try to glean some wisdom from the whole experience, which is why I also remind myself: “The best laid plans are just that… plans!”

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