How do you know when a corner has been turned in your life? What are the before and after moments that signify transitions? Why is there so much resistance to making a change, and yet so much relief once it finally happens?
The metaphors are many, from the journey through Lewis Carroll’s Looking Glass to the epic Odyssey of Ulysses , the human condition is preconditioned on change. When it comes to survival and evolution, one of our most important talents is our ability to adapt.
Combined with our capacity for endurance, these traits are what enabled our species to thrive and proliferate to the extent that we have. Our distant ancestors in the Savannah were by no means the fastest or the strongest.
“Stick-to-it-iveness” is what set us apart from other predators. Long before the emergence of agriculture, our ability to pick up a spear and keep walking until the antelope we were following dropped from exhaustion is why we had food to eat. Our ability to adapt to new environments and a willingness to go outside of our comfort zones is why we were able to spread out to the far corners of the globe.
Grit and determination, combined with cleverness and keen powers of observation gave us a boost on the evolutionary ladder. Our minds are uniquely equipped for self-reflection and beyond that, we have the power to act in service to a larger belief or story that goes far beyond our tribal unit.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the power of memes is what made us what we are today. Not in the sense of the captioned photos and cartoons that are ubiquitous on the web, but as in “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation.”
But regardless of our best intentions, our ability and willingness to endure can work against us. If you’ve ever been in one of those places in your life where you felt stuck, this was probably your endurance sabotaging you. By giving credence to false hopes like “Things will get better one of these days” or “Someday this person will change” we set ourselves up to endure less-than-loving situations for far longer than is healthy.
Fear is another factor that helps us stay stuck. Enduring the ‘known’ even though it’s a real drag can feel safer than taking the leap into the unknown. One thing is for sure, once you make a big shift, there’s rarely a chance to go back. Things are never the same once you go through the looking glass.
If you think about any big transition that’s happened in your life, it probably came about in one of a few different ways. Things can happen totally by surprise, with unforeseen circumstances coming out of left field that turn your life upside down or send things sideways as the case may be. Sometimes it’s deliberate, with an ample amount of foresight, planning, and careful decision making, which is probably the least common situation for most of us.
And then there’s the infamous “last straw.” A situation finally reaches the breaking point and all of the things that you’ve been pretending don’t matter are suddenly thrust into stark relief — leaving you with no other option than to abandon ship and move forward. The metaphor of the phoenix rising from the ashes is fitting for this scenario.
Like that mythical bird shaking the ashes from its wings, when you find yourself thrust into the unknown on the fresh side of a big transition, that’s when it’s time to rally the positive power of endurance to your side and channel your cleverness and adaptability. Things will be different, so you need to be ready to change. New opportunities will appear, so it helps to be quick on your feet. And regardless of the obstacles, if your heart says you’re on the right path, you need endurance to hang in there.
Change arrives in all shapes and sizes and takes any number of forms. Businesses open or close, courses of study are completed, or a new person shows up and you feel like you’ve known them forever. Some are intentional, some are accidental, and some changes are simply a result of the passing of time.
I can think back on markers in my own life when I turned a corner and nothing was ever the same. 1980, my first morning in Santa Cruz after hitchhiking out from Colorado. 1989, signing the lease and getting the keys to Ameba, the clothing and music shop I had on Haight Street in San Francisco through the rave years on the 90s. 2007, registering the name and launching Conscious Dancer magazine. A few high points among the ups and downs — I’m happy to still be riding the wave!
To build upon a phrase by the great Stevie Wonder, “dancing in the key of life” means understanding the difference between being stuck and knowing when to take the leap. Self-reflection and self-awareness are the dials on your dashboard that keep you on the road to higher consciousness, and keeping your body in motion helps you stay in tune.
When life is leading your spirit in an upward spiral; the air is fresher, the skies are brighter, and the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!
Sending you love and light until next Monday,
All the best!
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine
This week’s Dance First Members Spotlight shines on Laura Martin-Eagle, one of the 5Rhythms’ community’s most energetic and enthusiastic facilitators and workshop producers based in Lawrence, Kansas. She’s hosting Jonathan Horan in January, and the workshop is filling up fast!
A pioneer in movement bring the somatic message to the Heartland of America, Laura has established herself as the center of activity with her founding of 5Rhythms Kansas and as proprietor of the groundbreaking 5Rhythms-centric Be Moved Studio.
Be Moved offers weekly classes in a wide spectrum of disciplines including yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, as well as 5Rhythms. Laura has been studying, performing and teaching various dance forms in Lawrence for over 40 years.
Originally trained by Gabrielle Roth, she received her Waves level certification in 2001 and her Heartbeat certification in 2010. With 45 years of yoga under her belt she’s also recently received her 200 Hour Yoga and Shamanism Teacher Training certificate.
This winter Laura and Be Moved Studio are delighted to announce that they are hosting Journey into Trance :: 5Rhythms with Jonathan Horan, Jan 25-26th, 2020.
“Trance is a tricky place, a place not many understand. It’s a mindful state that only happens when you get out of your way and fall into your true self so deeply that something inside clicks and you are simultaneously being and witnessing yourself.“ — Gabrielle Roth
Join Jonathan and Laura as they bring and welcome the 5Rhythms spirit to Lawrence for a two-day workshop January 25-26th, 2020. If you’re at all within range of this rare offering, reserve your spot today as it’s sure to sell out far in advance.
Check out Laura Martin-Eagle, 5Rhythms Kansas, and the Be Moved Studio, online at: www.5RhythmsKansas.com