Celebrating Freedom

Today is Zimbabwe’s independence day.
Technically we are celebrating 34 years of independence (so young!).

I have decided to join the celebrations today.
And to celebrate a slight different aspect than the political technicalities of freedom.

I am celebrating today the freedom that dances in my cells.
The freedom that is rising in people everywhere –
And in the people of Zimbabwe.
to follow and live our own deep Joy

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I am choosing to make today a celebration
for all those of us, in ways big and small,
Who are making space in our lives
for that which brings the deepest joy
different for each one of us,
equally valid for each one of us

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For me, personally, it is the freedom
To dance each morning,
simply because it makes me feel deeply good
The freedom to love my dogs insanely (I just finished feeding all five of them) 🙂
To serve the children,
to create a safe container for their free and beautiful spirits to flourish
as we create a school that can be big enough to love and hold and support them in their journey

The freedom to follow a path of calling forth the medicine of women
beginning with my own
The freedom to fall in love each day, many times over
with whatever connects to my heart and soul
trees, people, animals, life, you name it!

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I celebrate today
The freedom that I am experiencing at Kufunda
As people are choosing increasingly
to show up as themselves
instead of what our culture has told us to be
Sikethiwe, Fidelis, Admire, Tsitsi, Anna Tenis, Maria, Enock, Ethel,
and so many more
slowly but surely standing up to be yourselves
I honour you deeply
I see your deep grace, power, beauty,
And thank you for showing up
Life is richer – infinitely – with you in it 🙂

IMG_0620IMG_6387I celebrate today
The freedom I am experiencing in all our children here
as they discover that their curiosity and delight
are gifts that we treasure and welcome
Tino, Maki, Joseph, Emily, Claudia, Alice, Ayemu, Ngoni…
and all of you that I haven’t mentioned by name
You are sooo beauitful
Your gifts are already taking us all by storm

 Today I celebrate 
The freedom I experience in pockets of Zimbabwean society
freedom to speak, to sing, to dance,
to express the soul of this place and this people
To make choices that go against the grain of so much of what is here
Simply because it is what our free souls must do

Freedom to choose love over hate
Simply because hate feels heavy and toxic
and love brings joy and space and possibility and grace
Today I brought Mugabe into my dance
With gratitude
for all that he has taught us
May we learn the lessons well
Aah that he would join this dance of celebrating
the deeper freedoms that are rising here
One day perhaps he shall

For now I celebrate
with a light and overflowing heart
with delight in my being
for the joy and the freedom
that live here already
And for the MUCH more of it
that I know is possible and is on its way
as more and more and more of us
begin to choose
the dance of freedom

 Dancing on into freedom

…. At 42 I am exploding into my freedom and into my Self
All the old, boring, limiting nice-ness finally being swept away
by my dancing feet, and drumming heart
All those limitations of old
Fuelling my desire and clarity for Shift
That welcomes each of us
To Fully Show Up
in connection
To be Here Now
As the Noble, Awesome, Shiny people we each already are 🙂

Me, Alice, and my late Grandmother. Taken years ago.
Me, Alice, and my late Grandmother. Taken years ago.

 

Children at the centre
Lucia at Nyeredzi

 

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Fidelis Masimba

 

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Tsitsi

 

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Emily, Lillian, and Mary

 

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Hlekisani hugging Joseph

 

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Mukudzei dancing with the village

 

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Gogo Zonde and friend on their way to build compost toilets

 

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Community women celebrating at the funeral of Auntie Marie. Yes celebrating her life and her death with exuberant human joy

 

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Anna and Patricia – Stripey ladies at Women Are Medicine

 

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Prayer, Admire’s son

 

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Ethel


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Gratitude

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Engaging with whatever is, as it is

This morning I woke tired.
My dance was heavy, my tummy was achey, my movements slow
I judged it. I definitely judged it.
I wanted to stop. To dance when I felt better.

But thankfully that is not my practice.
My practice is simply to dance.
Every day,
With whatever is…

At the end my tummy was better, my movements freer
It was still a heavy tired body
But guess what, even heavy bones can dance
Even heavy bones enjoy to dance!

And so my little lesson this morning was
to Engage
Gently
with whatever the reality of the moment is

The less I engage something,
(and especially when I have pre-judged it to be bad)
the more likely it is to stay as it is

When I do engage I invite new realities to come forth

Gently connecting
with what is
As it is,
allowing deeper movement to arise
however awkward

In that meeting
I allow something new
and  altogether different
to come into being

It is literally a meeting
And in meetings
new things can come to be

It is Not about engaging in order to
change or fix,
but simply allowing what is
and dancing with it

It is a kind thing to do

And here I am stepping into the rest of my day
willing to engage gently with my tired mind 🙂
heavy body, cold feet,
and the brilliant autumn sun of Southern Africa

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Tiger Baby having a snooze, much like I wanted to this morning

 

 

Home Coming

Reflections from a Dance with my Heart – Part 1

These reflections are from a recent weekend dance workshop with Caroline Carey in Johannesburg called the Four Chambered Heart.

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IMG_7315I woke on Sunday morning after the first day of dancing.
I woke with grief
I felt how I was born into a world made far to small
Far too small.
How I was straightjacketed to fit into it
Becoming smaller and smaller
Being trained to fit
To fit
Into something so minuscule
Too small to contain the beauty and power of my soul
My SOUL
Full of fire, light and space

I cried for my own learned limitation
And for that of all the children
All those who once were children
being shut down, being taught to close themselves in
to fit into a world made smaller and straighter and more grey
than is the wild wondrous reality of it.

I cried that morning
For all those years of denying my deepest roots,
of shaving off my wild soul,
denying her
like Peter denied Jesus

I recognise the moment
in my vision quest some years back
where I fell to the earth
crying, howling even,
touching immense grief
in my return to Mother Earth.
The grief of experiencing how deeply disconnected I have been from her.

Yes there is joy in returning,
but first
a chasmic grieving in experiencing
the pain of separation.

So that was my pain on Sunday morning
even as I felt my soul returning
I cried for all the years of banishing
essential
parts of myself

I woke up that Sunday morning feeling the fullness of soul return
Breaking through old constrictions
dutifully put in place by my parents, and their parents before them,
and theirs before

It broke through with sobs and tears
Breathing out, gasping for air,
Aaaahhhh
Opening into
the vastness of this being that
I Am

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Dissolution – A message from the Lions

I am posting a message from a dear friend, Undine, in response to my recent blog on dissolution. She speaks of her own experience that resonates so deeply, that I asked if I could share it here. Undine is a Kundalini Yoga instructor, and a fierce and wondrous woman. She is also a dancer. She began to dance in December, during our Women are Medicine Retreat. As has happened for me, it has become a part of her daily practice. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Dear Maaianne and dear all,

I can so relate – I am experiencing that as well
Dis-solution

Yogi Bhajan always said:
Do not solve your problems,
Dissolve them

I have experienced a profound healing in and since Cambodia (and before) which feels exactly like dissolution of fear.

A quietude inside, resting in myself, in the moment.

In knowing that what is is
and what I can do is setting my intent, clear and precise,
dancing, meditating, yogy-ing
and for the rest – love live and live live – alive.

In the pristine wildernis of Bergplaas Reserve among the animals, this was exacerbated, taking the dance into a total merging with nature –
One day in quiet dark expectancy of sharing ourselves with each other,
Another day in wild joy down by the river,
Finally on the last morning
in a magnificent thunderstorm, in the electrics of the lightening and the rumble of the bhvuma…

We had many many animal encounters that were so special –
All the antilopes on our doorstep,
Eland Wildebeest Kudu Springbok, Blesbok, Duiker.
Then the black eagles.
The little ones like Dassie and Rock Rabbit.
The Rocks themselves.
The Kingdom of the Trees.

And – on the peak we were allowed to spend a morning with six white lions.

Being about 2 metres away from a regal lioness awaiting our arrival, we sat in awe. She looked at each of us with her amber coloured eyes, slowly turning her head – you, and you, and you, and you. She felt our souls, she checked if we were the ones she had been waiting for, patiently, at the fence.

Her mate joining her with his amazing white mane, lying down, they simply communicated, calmly, the following:

First heal yourself (dissolve fear)
It is time, do it now.
Don’t succumb to urgency,
Yes things are urgent, but without you taking the time to heal yourself, the world will end in any case.
Yes humanity’s future is at stake But all is now, There is only now
So heal yourself
Focus, Do it now, No matter what

I embrace you all,

Undine

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Undine in front of the rocks at Kufunda, and at a gateway of vines

Across the Boundaries

I dance so many different realities in the course of an hour

I dance heaviness
I dance shaking lose
I dance joy
Sensuality
Power
Rage
Boundary
Surrender
Release
Letting go
Taking flight
Opening, opening, opening
To all these aspects rising and moving in me

I am all of these
And none of them

Friending them is a sweet thing to do

Me as mighty warrior
As wild lover
As raging rebel
As tender child
As crazy fool
As soaring eagle
As dancing soul

Ai!

Blessings to all that is for this Life

Cheerful Knowing

I can dance it all

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Something is Changing in me, Is Changed

There is a different confidence in my showing up in the world
A quiet cheerful sense of confidence

It could be attributed to years of experience,
“Now I know what I Know, what I Do”
But No
That is not it

More important,
Much more important
is a different quality of Presence in this moment

There is a fear that has dissipated, disappeared…
A fear of being unable to respond well to what life or the situation might throw me,
A fear that I don’t really know everything I am meant to know

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A fear that has kept me mostly slightly dis-con-nec-ted
from each moment

Is Dissipating, as I am learning to Trust this Moment
As I am learning to Trust my Self
Learning to Trust my ability to move, to flow, to dance
with Life and what she brings
In this moment…
and the next…
and the next…

And so I can show up more fully to Whatever the Moment brings

I don’t have to try to always be one step ahead, 
and therefore never really Here

Its inverse is – “I can be right Here.
I don’t need to try to be anywhere else.”

And what a relief that is

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Whence does it come from, this Trust?
This quiet cheerful confidence 🙂

For me, the Dance has been the key

The Dancer knows

After hundreds of hours of dancing
Of experiencing moments – infinitesimal perhaps – but real nonetheless
where I touch deep alignment:
Body, heart, mind, soul
Together
Surrendering
Into Life

Into a place of being fully Awake – Alive
With All That Is
Where I am both Nothing and Everything

Touching Knowing
Deep knowing –
That I can Trust
Me and this Moment –
Me in this Moment

I can trust the instrument of life that I am becoming;
that I already am,
Perhaps because I am experiencing
that I am Life itself

Life dancing herself

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In the dance
I touch
A place from which anything can rise….

What a delight!

Dancing from this place
Dancing…

Self as Source
Self as Light
Self as Darkness

Dissolution
Cheerful knowing

I can dance

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Through the 10 000 Things

In my last blog, I wrote about learning to Open to the flow of life,
learning to create space in our bodies – and minds –
and in this to allow light and joy to enter us.

I realise that I need to add an important clarifying piece:

Being open to life
does Not guarantee constant joy.
(And wouldn’t that be somewhat dull anyhow?)

Sometimes life comes through as grief,
as rage, as fear, as passion,
sometimes it scares us shitless.

The question is,
Can we keep moving?
With it?
Without being subsumed by it?

I think the joy underneath that I am finding
is that all of these experiences are forever changing.
I am getting to know the underlying energy, river, flowing –
that can show up so differently in different moments.

I don’t need to mistake the expression for the flow.

My job has become to notice when I am getting stuck, or stiff –
Hooked into one or other of the experiences, or expressions, of life.
When I notice, I can begin to create space, returning to motion.

It’s a different kind of motion than the
relentless doing that exists in our culture.
It is being Here Now,
All of me;
Embodied me.
Moving with what is here.

(The Movement helps me Presence
The Movement helps me Open Space)

It is – literally and metaphorically – a dance
Dancing what is in me
As I dance stiffness, it loosens;
As I dance anger, it shifts,
sometimes into agonizing grief;
As I dance longing it unfurls into pure beauty –
Or sometimes painful sadness.
But it keeps changing.
Whatever is there
I just dance it

I don’t judge or deny these different manifestations.
I enter them.
And let them enter me.
In entering, I am creating space.
I move with them.
In the movement I am creating space:
Their hold, their density begins to shift.

***

The river flows.
I am a dancer of all its expressions,
The more I dance, the more I find myself
moving
between dancer, dance, danced

Sometimes I drop into the dance beneath
the anger, the passion, the fear.
And in that place I find
silence, stillness, grace.
Space

***

Perhaps this is part of what the practice offers.
A place to touch, or connect,
beneath the river of expression
beyond the 10 000 things

And yet the doorway is
through the stream of expression,
Through the 10 000 things

I am Loving this Journey. 
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