When I talk about energy I am talking about the life force energy that is in everything. This can also be called ‘spirit’ and the spirit of each individual is soul. We are individuals, but also part of family, community, culture, nation, race, place in nature and a member of the whole earth and the universe.
As we live our lives, we do it through two dances – the Survival Dance and the Sacred Dance.. We move between them, but often we get stuck in the Survival Dance and need to shift for a more fulfilling life.
The Survival Dance – where we learn to belong and behave in family and larger community, including all life – talk, feed yourself, play with others, make a living, sustain yourself and your family, be useful to your community.
The Sacred Dance – bring your unique self, your gift, ability, talent to people and the wider earth community. This is a deeper living where we thoughtfully make our mark on the world – through music, art, dance, sport, teaching, mechanic, builder, nurse, doctor, inventor, farmer, vet, gardener, mother, father, therapist, birdwatcher, jockey, runner and so on.
Sometimes the Survival Dance and the Sacred Dance are the same thing, sometimes they are different. Sometimes the Sacred Dance becomes the Sacred Dance.
Our parents, extended family and community teach us our Survival Dance.
In an ideal world, our community would have elders to assist our families in guiding us to discover our unique gift or talent and helping us to develop it for the greater good. From the time a child is born, the whole village is watching what he or she is bringing to the village and helping them to do this.
In our modern Western world, we have become stuck in Survival Dance mode. We are focussed solely on getting as much as we can for ourselves and holding on to it at all costs. We are never satisfied with catering for our own needs – we always have to get more – we never have enough. The great god we worship is the Economy and the economic model that we believe in cannot work if people are satisfied and have enough. Our model has to be continually growing. The growth requires us to feed it by continually consuming the earth’s resources.
If we are to survive long enough to be described as a successful species, we need two things-
1. A planet with enough diversity of lifeforms to live on,
2. To change our behaviour and contribute to life on earth instead of consuming life on earth.
Each of us needs to learn our Sacred Dance – discover our gift and use it to make our contribution to evolution.
In indigenous cultures around the ages 12 – 16, young people would be brought through a rite of passage by the elders of the village. This marked their transition from child to adult. They don’t have the teenager/adolescent life stage like we do. Another part, and the main part of this rite of passage is to discover your gift. Who am I? Why am I here at this time in history?
One of the main ways this discovery is made is by undertaking a vision quest. Setting the intention to find your unique gift and how to bring that gift back to your village. In these cultures this meant spending two, three or more days away from your village, alone, fasting until you received your answer. Coming back and being welcomed back into your village as an adult with your unique gift. Elders would help with this. Being stuck in our greedy version of the survival dance mode we have lost the opportunities and the elders to guide us. Although, if you search for them, there are still some to be found.
Our soul is the part of us that knows who we are and why we are here. I am going to share a way I connect with my soul.
Start by setting your intention – why you are doing this activity.
What is my gift?
Why am I here?
Who am I?
Find your place outdoors in nature – a wild place – a place you feel drawn to – comfortable in. A place that is what it wants to be, not what humans want it to be. When you go there, have manners. You are a visitor. You don’t own it. Others live there – birds, animals, insects, plants etc. have respect for all of them. Ask permission from the place and the other inhabitants.
Walk around in your bare feet – sit on the ground – lie on the ground – make a next and curl up in it. Be quiet and respectful. Turn off your phone.
Repeat your intention out loud to the place and ask for its help. Lie on the ground and feel your body being held by the earth. Notice your breath and try to concentrate on breathing out. Let go of any tensions in your body. Feel the tensions in your body relaxing and flowing out of your body and into the ground to be composted. Know that you are safe there. You are not being judged or compared to someone else. The trees don’t care if you are driving a ten year old car!! The nettles don’t know that your clothes came from a charity shop! The birds don’t care if your house is modern or needs doing up!
Watch and observe everything around you – a tree or a flower or a bird or a rabbit or a river or a stone or the sunshine or the wind or the rain might have a message for you. Stay in your place for as long as you can. When you are leaving, thank the place and everything else there for allowing you to be there, for helping you and keeping you safe.
When you go home, if you like, you can write about your experience in a diary or journal or draw a picture and record it in a way that suits you.
By doing this on a regular basis, in the same place or maybe exploring different places you will start to hear what some people call the small, soft voice, gently guiding you closer to your true path.