A New Year - A New Way

As 2018 begins in this winter season, I can feel the pull of two distinct directions. One aligns with the natural rhythms of the season. It beckons me to honor the pause...to slow down and move inward in order to receive the blessings of the earthly dark. The other guides me outward, walking single file toward a new year's resolution that demands I take action NOW! In years past I more often followed the external path, allured by

newyearnewwaylookwithin.jpg

the collective momentum surrounding this time of year. I made plans, got down to business, and began bringing creations to life. I was praised for being diligent, focused, and devoted, and although my motivations were pure, passion quickly waned when external objectives exceeded inner listening...when service or purpose trumped my own self-care. 

The well established pattern of moving forward and placing service over self.care certainly fed my sense of meaning and purpose, but often came at the expense of my own inner well. 

aaron-burden-190447.jpg

If I learned anything from 2017 - undoubtably one of the more challenging and destabilizing years for many I know - it was the importance of calling on our greatest resource(s), seeing beyond our fears, and prioritizing our self.care! Personally, I was challenged to re.evaluate my sense of self, value, and alignment - to source them from a luminous center that was not bound to whether I was clear about the trajectory of my work or

purpose...to how many offerings I created...to how "successful" I was at my trade. Life was calling me to move from the outer to the inner. From a path of external resolutions based on objectives and results to and inward inquiry based on the resources that most supported me:

somatic awareness + conscious movement + active imagination

As 2018 begins I challenge you to commit to your personal practices...everyday. To make a priority of your own self.care and nourishment. To tune into your body and listen to what is happening on the inside. It is through this dialogue with your own soma that you will remember yourself home! That you will come to understand the systems of response within your own mind/body/soul and anchor yourself in your own luminous center - grounded, engaged, awake, in choice. 

Choose embodiment! Choose Life! Join me!
Love, Teresa

"Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born.
Even with the summer so far off I feel it grown in me, 
now and ready, to arrive in the world.
All those years listening to those who had nothing to say.
All those years forgetting how everything has its own voice
to make itself heard.
All those years forgetting how easily you can belong to everything
simply by listening
.
And the slow difficulty of remembering 
how everything is born from an opposite and miraculous otherness. 
Silence and winter has led me to that otherness.
So let this winter of listening be enough for the new life
I must call my own." 

David Whyte

The Call for a Vision - Part 2

Vision

Art by Hans Walor

"Trust what is being revealed. Let whatever is present be your practice. 
The dance is the gateway. Your Body, the greatest Oracle you'll ever know!"

Whether you're seeking greater clarity regarding life purpose and meaning, and/or undergoing the transformative cycle of a major life transition, the call for a Vision is often the same.

It is akin to the Hero and Heroine's Journey, a passage or initiation of sorts that asks us to RE-MEMBER and return in a new way. As in the dance, there are multiple doorways and thresholds, points of challenge and reward. PAUSE. Fully arrive. Take your time and open your attention to each encounter. What do you sense and feel? What do think or see within your imagination? Trust what is being revealed. Let whatever is present be your practice. The dance is the gateway. Your Body, the greatest Oracle you'll ever know!

If you've been around me for a while, you know that I don't just talk about dance, but experience it as a means of transforming my relationship to Life. As a means of encountering my Soul. It is a visionary practice, a waking dream, one in which a single profoundly clear moment can remind me to re.member. Dance isn't the only resource or gateway. Weaving ritual, listening to dreams, activating your imagination through movement, writing or art...all of these practices support an encounter with Vision. With Soul.

There is no right or wrong way. But I DO believe in the power of movement to carry us through this journey in a good way. In an integrated way. In a way that aligns with our deepest soul's vision. The dance is a resource that supports every aspect of creation - the destruction, the gestation, the vision and the manifestation. It includes the fullness of Who We Are - body, mind, emotion, soul - anchoring and stirring up ALL levels of our Being.  Because of this, it is likely you will be tested along the way, on the dance floor or in the dance of life. You may meet fear and limitation, and refuse or choose to cross the threshold. Remember: There is no right or wrong way to dance. It is the journey not the destination. The questions rather than the answers. The wonder rather than the claim to know that will bring you closer to an encounter. Stay close in. Keep arriving at the door. Keep showing up and the dance will show you the way toward greater authenticity and inspiration, freedom and response, and the ability to learn and listen.

THIS is the dance I am called to follow. And why I don't offer a rigid set of structures and forms to follow. I want to see you dance from YOUR truth, from YOUR story, from YOUR vision, and if you don't know what it is yet, to create spaces where you can discover or create it. Where you can fully embody it!

Whether you're seeking greater clarity regarding life purpose and meaning, undergoing the transformative cycle of a major life transition, or feel the call for a Vision this Winter Solstice, I invite you to dance to reexamine your truth, clarify your vision, recommit to your most vibrant life, and believe in yourself enough to go after what you LOVE. 

Join me in this dance of life - on the dance floor or in a private Soul Coaching session.

Abundant blessings this Winter Solstice,
Teresa

The Call for a Vision - Part 1

Take a moment to SLOW DOWN.
PAUSE rather than collapse. 

SETTLE...
into...
yourself.

What is the rhythm of your heart today?
What are you in relation to? 
What is stirring to life within you?

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

After years of exploring my relationship to the seasons I am beginning to notice a familiar rhythm that resides within this transition from autumn toward winter; a particular pulse or sensation that follows me year after year. It begins with a deep desire to slow down. To draw inward. To WAIT. To wait and LISTEN for the still, soft voice from the deep.

For me, Winter IS the season of new VISION, yet the dance toward that vision - toward the Call - can feel very much like dancing in the dark. These days I can feel the call toward something new; a liminal space where something is stirring and being called toward birth. Tension arises, though, when I notice the felt sense but am unable to see or name it. What is coming to life through me? Where am I being called? Who or what am I becoming? The questions are often more interesting than the answers for these are the dark phases of creation. Where impulse is born. Where longing is met. 

I know this place - very well - in my body. It is my mind that struggles to grasp and understand. The dance teaches me that, within these dark moments of creation, the most benevolent thing I can do is WAIT. Be patient. Listen. Trust and have faith in the unknowable; in the unfathomable act of not knowing.

DSC_8862.jpg

I turn my gaze inward to notice the inner pulse...the IN-pulse within my body. Wait. Listen. Resisting the tendency to move too quickly, I rest with awareness, waiting...patiently...for the inner pulse to become clear. For the call to action to arise. And from this place, rooted deeply within, I move and trust that what takes form through my body and through the dance will transport me to new understanding and experiences. It always does. Inevitably.

In many wisdom traditions, when a person undergoes initiation, the Call is the same. One must set about re-membering what has been lost, make radical changes to the way one lives, then

come back together in a new way. This often requires enormous courage because we are up against our own fears and limitations, as well as those of the  collective. The work can be slow and arduous. Requires patience and kindness to move through layer upon layer upon layer.

Imagine dancing through doorways, PAUSING at each threshold and listening at each point of arrival. What are you in relation to? What is releasing or becoming clear? Who are you becoming? If, like me, you cannot yet see or hear, keep arriving at the door. Keep showing up. And trust that each time you release or clarify it is in service to the vision...to SEEING and hearing the call of the heart. The call of what is arising anew. The call for a vision.

To be continued....

With great appreciation and love for your witnessing,
Teresa 

Interdependence of Living Things

Image: Carrie Garcia

Image: Carrie Garcia

What is the relationship between independence and interdependence? Between freedom and responsibility? Every time the 4th of July rolls around, alongside pleasant lakeside gatherings with friends and family, my mind begins to wander toward the state of the world (both inner and outer) and how aligned or misaligned I feel in relationship to what is present.  Somedays hours can pass without inspiration, without movement. I sit, most often perplexed, confused, entangled.

The truth is, I rarely get ANYWHERE when I attempt to THINK my way through something. When I try to understand or fix or resolve with my mind alone. Most of the time this creates more tension. More restlessness. More separation. 

Through conscious dance I have (re)membered  that I am FAR more effective when I am anchored IN my body. When I trust my intuition. When I STAY in the dance that is presenting itself. It is through the movement that I access wisdom. Through my body that inspiration is felt and revealed. Regardless of the obstacle. Regardless of the question. I take it INTO my dance. I welcome it ALL. 

I welcome my sense of imbalance, frustration and grief. I feel the blatant inequality, broken social structures, and seeming corruption of the system. I turn to the disparity and discrimination held within and without, the places in my own body where separation and borders exist. I invite the textures and qualities. I listen to what is moving, aiming to stay with sensation rather than story. Receiving every message from my body as inherently wise and trustworthy. Receiving every step of my dance as an act of (re)membering, calling all parts home. Into wholeness. Into inclusion. Into the truth of INTERDEPENDENCE!

The fundamental underlying principle of EVERY living organism in the natural world is interdependence. Interrelatedness. Connection, not separation.

Every part of the web of life informs and influences the other - nothing, NO thing is cut off or separate. And we, as human organisms, are inherently and intrinsically part of this. Part of this web that relies and thrives when diversity is fostered.  When interactions between a variety of species are upheld. Regardless of country, border, race or religion...personal identity, belief, or value. 

I want ALL OF US to know this more and more deeply. Not with our minds, but with our bodies.

To feel it in our bones.
To breathe it into every cell.
To expand our hearts and minds toward that which is life serving. And yet...

We live in a world that encourages disembodiment. That supports distraction and medication as measures to cope with the challenges of life. The trouble is...when we lose touch with our bodies, we lose touch with the earth. When we disconnect from our humanity, we disconnect from one another. When we forget our common ground, we forget our shared life with all things on this beautiful earth. 

Movement is crucial to this awakening! It is essential to our well being and effectiveness as change makers. If I choose to advocate for freedom, love, and equality I must place myself there first! I must MOVE my way toward hope, enCOURAGEment, engagement with community. I must (re)member the WHOLEness of my being within every cell. Taking my place, step by step, dance by dance, within the interconnected, interrelated, interdependent web of all living things.

Will you join me? Love, Teresa

Surrender to the Dream

It arrived on Monday, May 1, 2017. Beltane. A time when Spring is at her peak and the energies of Life burst forth with verdant abundance and fertility. Renewal, sensuality, vitality, joy...a time to bring ideas, hopes and dreams into action. This was the day in which the news arrived: 

Teresa Reid, this certifies that you have completed the Open Floor Teacher Training. 

Inhale. Exhale. Deep sigh. Tears. While congratulations swarmed in...support and love and encouragement from peers and mentors, family and friends...bittersweet tears flowed across my face. Relief. Praise. An echo of loss. Here I was, standing at the threshold and completion of my training, just one week after leading my final Monday Open Floor (for the time being). The irony was too much for my mind to handle. My ego, so full of ideas, perceptions, and dreams of how it was supposed to be, went into full blown tantrum!

"This isn't how the dream goes," it murmured, "If you align your heart and soul to the path that calls you and follow your bliss it's supposed to flow with ease, right? Doors are supposed to be opening rather than closing!"

I had crossed some kind of threshold, indeed. Arriving somewhere I never thought I'd have to come. I didn't know how I had gotten here. I couldn't see where I was going. The vision I had devoted myself to for the past 9 years, including an image of who I wanted to be, the work I wanted to share...the DREAM of aligning my

work with what I loved...all of it was up and ready for the Dance of Surrender. 

I had crossed some kind of threshold, indeed. Arriving somewhere I never thought I'd have to come. I didn't know how I had gotten here. I couldn't see where I was going. The vision I had devoted myself to for the past 9 years, including an image of who I wanted to be, the work I wanted to share...the DREAM of self-employment and aligning my work with what I loved...all of it was up and ready for the Dance of Surrender. 

One of my teachers, Toko-pa, speaks of this place as initiation by exile. You'll know it, she said, when your world view crumbles and everything you know about how to BE in the world dissolves - when you don't know what's next and part of you wants to go back but you can't. It is in these moments of exile that the only thing left to do is INHABIT the place WHERE YOU ARE - to let the absence you feel enlarge your life.

To let the absences we feel enlarge our lives.

I have always believed and experienced this work as something that is ALIVE. It meets us where we're at; continually moving, shaping, and molding us within the fires of discipline and surrender. The Open Floor training taught me discipline. Commitment. Holding a clear, heart centered vector. And now, on this threshold I am learning a thing or two about surrender! How to serve the work as it is NOW, not as I wish it could be or as it is lived by another. How to orient to an internal compass rather than external value, opinions or attachments. How to discover my way to honor the work, the dance, and how it lives through me...at this point in my life. 

That may not look like ANYTHING I had imagined. In fact, it may look more like letting go. In some ways, by surrendering my dream I am finally learning to BELONG to my work. To know my love of movement is integral to Who I Am. It is the true calling of my medicine and although I can't always see or understand where the dance is taking me, I know it is dynamic. There will be moments of expansion and contraction, togetherness and exile. Some doors will open while others close. By holding a long vision of the dream while surrendering outcome...committing to endure while following the tiny whispers of my heart...I know, in time, something will emerge. Something beautiful will emerge.

I Love You ~ Keep Going ~ Teresa