Posted By Lynn / 5th August 2012 /
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver
I’ve been going to where the wild things are lately. Just like Max in Maurice Sendak’s famous children’s book, sometimes we need to just slip away and “let the wild rumpus begin”….
Here’s the recipe I’ve been cooking with…
1. Gather in a room with lots of people – the more, the better
2. Listen to loud, pulsating, gyrating Latin music
3. Begin moving your body
4. Notice places in your body that you never imagined existed
5. Let go
6. Shake your booty
7. Smile ( :
8. Feel more in your body than you’ve felt in a long time
“Let the wild rumpus begin!”
Throughout most of my first Zumba class I initially felt very self-conscious and up-tight, but I kept at it as there was a part of me that knew something special was happening if I would just get out of my own way. Once I got out of my head and into my body, my learning really began. As I looked around I could see everyone in the room moving and gyrating with smiles on their faces.
Like Max, I was transported to a place where magic began to happen.
All of the sudden the heaviness of the day began to melt away. My burdens, “to do” list, plans and worries from the day began to fade into lightness. Humor was more accessible. The mood just didn’t stop after the class was over — it opened up a new way of being in myself and with others, a lighter, more connected place in myself that was infectious. Just what the doctor ordered!
Getting wild in this way takes us to a place where nothing else can. It helps us access the wisdom of our body and a mood of lightness – the type of freedom we can only give to ourselves. This doesn’t come with the empty promises that our consumer-driven world frequently offers us a good life – the kind of external solutions such as alcohol, expensive vacations, and buying a new car.
I am adopting this as a regular practice, one with lasting promises. I love Zumba, but I invite you to figure out what works for you – whether it is dancing in your living room, taking a class, going to a disco or a party.
Try it sometime, you might just like it….and get wild!
“…don’t just think with your head, think with your whole body.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Posted By Lynn / 19th September 2011 /
This being human is a guest house
every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
I spend many hours a day, many days a week doing something that most people don’t do. I hold the space for emotions to unfold. As I do this, I welcome emotions as gifts. Gifts which unravel a story revealing a window into the soul. I know that it is in this space magic happens. The magic is the emotional place where new learning can emerge. Without it, there is nothing but the story.
Along the way our world has begun to look at emotions as a liability. While I love positive psychology, I think if we too quickly dismiss our negative emotions, labeling them as “bad” and jumping to the positive before investigating, we miss out. All too often in our “one button touch”, quick fix society we expect solutions to every discomfort or problem. This reductionistic and mechanized way of being leaves us as individuals and as a society stressed and hurting. We don’t have to look too far to see the consequences of this way of being our world has adopted.
Some assume negative emotions to be a sign of weakness — something to purge or destroy asap. If they are a blemish indicating something is broken or wrong, we can only swallow deeply in order to be “strong”, put on a (; and push, push, push those emotions down and away….
hmmm…. How does that feel? Really feel….?
I find they have a way of creeping back up and hijacking us in the forms of depression, chronic pain, back aches, anger outbursts, fatigue, headaches, addictions, etc.
What if we took a closer look at our relationhsip with our emotions?
Perhaps we might look at the emotional realm as sacred. If you think about it, all learning occurs in the emotional world. Everything. Perhaps our anger, sadness, jealousy, other negative emotions are just our being’s reminder that there is a need in there somewhere that wants to be understood and acknowledged. Not acknowledged by merely acting-on our emotions (which may be helpful at times), but going in and listening, understanding — the way we would with a friend.
We often assume there is something externally conditioned about things in our lives which cause problems or create uncomfortable emotions. And yet in stepping back, we can see it is how we’re looking at something, our unique observer which informs our reality. Our emotions are a way in to better understand and take care of ourselves. By avoiding emotions and viewing them as “problems”, we really begin to have problems.
What if we greeted our emotions with warmth, receptivity and curiosity?
Imagine yourself having a loving conversation with your anger, hurt or sadness…either internally, writing in a journal or with some expressive activity.
In that conversation, your emotion is validated, understood and heard…..
As you acknowledge emotions you begin to allow and hold the space for them….non-judgementally, not clinging or pushing away, but allowing them to be present. .
As they are present you can listen and be present with awareness of their purpose so you can begin to acknowledge it’s function in your life. ….listening in on a deeper level may allow an awareness to surface that otherwise you might never know.
Also remembering that when strong emotions arise, they are not permanant but shift like the weather, mellowing and fading eventually.
This process allows us to have a deeper, more intimate relationship with our self. As we become better attunded to “listen in” with love and compassion to our emotions, we become better equipped to take care of our self. Freedom is moving in to these feelings and acknowledging they are inside, not outside. This keeps us from endlessly looking for external solutions to our “problems” and blaming others. If we don’t listen in, we don’t know we have a need and we can’t take steps to make a request, an offer, say “No” or set a limit. In “listening in” our lens expands, allowing us to see different possibilities unfolding. This is the foundation for transformational learning.
*An added bonus — as we are learning to be more present with our self, we can embrace others’ emotional experiences to allow for true intimacy.