Have you ever coined a term? Does your family or social group have some special inside language? Have you ever thought about how language our vocabulary comes into existence?
Language is a fascinating thing. It’s almost like a living, breathing, ever-evolving entity. Metaphysically, the word is where it all begins. The path of manifestation begins with a feeling, sensation or awareness. Then comes thought, which may or may not be colored by emotion.
Only then do we use our breath and bodies to make a sound. It’s no surprise so many spiritual traditions say that it all starts with “the word.” Once we create a shape in sound and put forth a vibration into the universe, the chain reaction of creation is started.
An idea given life through words is shared with another person. A group of people get behind an idea and decide to make it happen. New words catch on and spread into common usage, and language is formed.
Ideas that spread are known as memes. Long before the current use of the term narrowed down to mean digital photos with catchy phrases superimposed over them, a meme was simply the term for a cultural concept spreading through society by imitation.
One could imagine that the idea of using fire to cook would have originally spread this way. It’s like a lightbulb moment spreading from person to person. Oog the caveman would have always known about and possibly been frightened of fire. But when he caught on to the idea that you could roll a potato into the coals or dangle some raw meat over the flames with a stick, it would have been a revelation. Suddenly all sorts of things were much more yummy!
Ideas are adaptable and invite inspiration too. Take, for instance, the wheel. From the first piece of tree trunk possibly put into use to move a large rock, thousands upon thousands of innovations sprang forth to get us to where we are today.
The point is, with every word you say you have a choice in the moment to either raise or lower your vibration, to speak towards higher consciousness or not. Because words, songs, phrases, and ideas all get stuck in the magic mirror of our heads.
Case in point, the term conscious dance. In 2005, when I started calling myself a “conscious dance facilitator” I had already been DJing for well over 10 years. When we launched the magazine in 2007, calling it Conscious Dancer, we had no idea how well the term would catch on. Within a couple years it became very apparent that this was the term that the field was comfortable with, since then it has come into wide global usage and people generally credit us with coining the term.
The idea of meme creation has been on my mind lately due to a funny phrase that has caught on around the house in our family. Elliot is 12 years old, and loves to make ramen for himself when he needs a snack. So I’m watching him one day when a riff from an early 90s techno–rave anthem by Human Resource pops into my head. “I’m the one and only dominator.” which then comes out of my mouth to him as “You’re the one and only ramen-ator.”
Since then, with much hilarity involved, this has morphed into dozens of permutations for every situation for all of us. “I’m the one and only caffeine-ator.” “You’re the one and only pasta-maker.” “We’re the one and only chicken-chasers.” Anything that can be shaped (or butchered) into four syllables is fair game to append to the end of the phrase.
It’s fascinating how a verbal trope can become an all-purpose phrase that’s stuck in all of our heads, ready to be adopted and deployed at any moment. Think about it, how many little loops remain with you year after year, informing your consciousness for better or for worse? We all have a library of theme songs, advertising jingles, or phrases from influential people stored in the back of our minds, ready to help or hinder at the drop of a hat.
That’s why it’s so important to be conscious about what comes out of your mouth in the first place. The dance of language is a two way street, one person’s off-hand remark can become someone else life-long limiting belief. If you endeavor to make your half of the dance rich with love, kindness, levity, and encouragement, you raise the vibration for everyone who hears you, and yourself in turn.
May your words be uplifting, and your week be filled with fun!
Much love till next Monday,
DANCE FIRST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – Vitali Kononov and Moving by Touch!
Vitali is a well-known mover and shaker in the Bay Area somatic community, offering a variety of practices including Somatic Education, Bodywork, and Movement Re-patterning, as well as Contact Improvisation research, workshops, classes, laboratories, and performances.
Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, he’s also part of the Moving On Center’s somatic education faculty. His experience with improvisation as a performance discipline, therapeutic tool and contemplative practice began in 1997 and led to him teaching in far-flung locales such as Russia, Europe, USA and Mexico.
Every summer in Berkeley is a big event on the calendar, the West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam. Vitali is one of the driving forces behind this annual event that draws C.I. enthusiasts from around the world. This year it runs from June 29th to July 3rd and will be held in three different large beautiful dance studios on campus at the University of California.
This years theme is “De/constructing Power” and includes intensives with Ray Chung, Anya Cloud, Ronja Ver & René Alvarez, and special single classes with Cate Caraker, Cookie Harrist, Diana Lara, Jen Chien, Jo Kreiter, José Navarrete, Keith Hennessy, Kevin O’Connor, Ryuta Iwashita, Tja Will, plus labs, late-night jams, and more!
Visit the Moving by Touch website to join Vitali’s mailing last and learn more about upcoming workshops and events or to contact him directly for one-on-one massage therapy and somatic bodywork.
West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam
June 29 – July 3, UC Campus, Berkeley, CA