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.

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
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
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,
Opening into
the vastness of this being that
I Am


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
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.


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. 

Running with Lions – Vision from the future

Beautiful Alpha Male Lion that I met on foot in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe in October 2013

Did you know that dance can transport us beyond the realm of the every day? To the land between time. To dream time. To future. To past. We can travel with our souls. Dance can transport us.

On this morning, January 1st 2014 I travelled with a small band of warriors. Brave men and women seeking more clearly, fully, strongly how to walk with Light.

We danced a dance that took us from the past, connecting to our ancestors; to this moment balanced between past and future; and finally to the future – where the souls that are not yet born are watching us, seeing what we choose to manifest, and which dreams we choose to spin into the world.

Some of the magic that danced with our circle of women in Zimbabwe during the recent Women are Medicine retreat, danced with us here. In Northern Ireland.

A vision entered me in this dance. A vision danced with me.

The beginning of the dance was filled with light. With joy. So immense, so light, so bright. I felt like an angel flying high. High.

As we moved into the dance of the future, I met the Lions. The lions of Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. Perhaps they were the lions of everywhere. I saw how they are watching us and waiting. What will we choose?

And I cry. I am wrecked with grief, as I watch how as a collective we are choosing to destroy them. From this place of light and freedom I connect with the deep grief that is also true. Wondering how I can feel these two so close together, and wondering if I will ever escape the feeling of immense grief. A sea of grief. A vast vast ocean.

I experience how grief sinks deep roots into the earth.

Joy lifts me up – high. Grief brings me down into the centre of the earth. Both are needed. How can I dance between them?

In the moment where I experience each one, it feels like the only reality. In this moment I am wondering whether the grief will ever end. Ever?

I dance and dance and dance and then it moves through me. And I realise that I can dance with the lions. I can play with them. And we play. We romp, we run. The grief has lifted. I feel the women of my ancestral line behind me, strong beautiful women giving me strength. I am not alone.

I am in the future dancing with the lions.

And then grief returns, fills me once more. Back and forth. Joy and grief. Entwined.

I have a sense that there is something I am missing. Something I am not seeing. This dance continues because I am not yet seeing something.

And then I get it. Lion is asking me not to wallow in this grief. Not to remain here. Not to simply mourn him, but to use the grief to help me access his medicine. To fuel the courage, power and grace of Lion in Me. He is asking me to embody him. In crying I have created space for light and joy and Lion (!) to enter.

‘Let the light in’, Lion says, and ‘Run with me. Run with me. We have work to do.’

He looks back once, and then runs.
I run with him.
The courage of lion enters my body through the crack of grief that has broken me open.
Open heart, open soul, running with lions.

As we closed the dance – in that moment – rain fell from the heavens.
Bringing blessings.
Manna from heaven.
Soft Irish rain.

I am left knowing that I am not alone.
Lion runs beside me.
Ever-growing circles of dancers, dancing light into this world, dance with me.

May we all run with the lions, fly with eagles, go gently with deer.
We have work to do.
We have lights to shine.
And they have medicine to offer.


On Changing the World, or Not – Soul Dancing – Day 23

Yesterday dance and grief merged once again.

I had watched Happy Feet with my children. A joyful dancing movie that somehow was so utterly heartbreaking to me at the end. It ends with the humans recognizing the errors of their ways and then they stop over-fishing so the penguins can also eat and live. In this happy Hollywood ending I connected with the many lives, the many animals, the many eco-systems that don’t have this ending. And while my children were enjoying – I cried.

After the film I went into a dance where grief and impotence merged in me.

As I step deeper into my Soul Dance Journey I am learning that my work is not to try to Change the World. It is to learn to express the truth, beauty and joy of this Life through my Being. To freely express and be that God Spark which is at the essence of us all. Were we all to live from this place, the world surely would be different.

And that seems like a long long way from where we currently live.

How then to accept or respond to a world that is suffering so in this moment from our ignorance and disconnection?
Is it Irresponsible – to not try to DO SOMETHING? ANYTHING?

Another part of my recent journey has been to turn away from that which does not serve me. To some it could be seen as perhaps the act of an ostrich. Putting my head in the sand. I don’t experience it that way. I don’t find that following the atrocities in Syria, as an example, bring me clarity, or strength or joy to continue doing what is right for me or my immediate world. And even if I never seek out the details, they still seem to filter through.

What struck me yesterday was the force with which I felt the earth speak directly to me. Not through a newspaper, but through the piercing pain in my heart, when I touched the destruction that we are wreaking as humanity. It came through a different channel than a newsbroadcast. A channel – which it seems – I am opening in my dance, and I am sure can be opened in many different ways.

In my dance I also touched a place where life was less, was lower, consciousness was all but gone, higher life forms were no more, there was a darkness. It felt like a taste of what may lie ahead. It was hard to acknowledge that we may well be on our way to a darkness from which we will not return.

My mind cries out and says, “So now surely you have to Do something!”
But a part of me knows, that we can’t ‘Do’ our way out of this mess.
And so what avenue remains?

Grief and Impotence.

And I keep moving my feet, my heart, my being, breathing.

My work is becoming clearer to me
My work is to give permission for my light to shine.
To trust where it takes me – and what it asks me to do.

At one point in the dance there was drumbeat and I danced a very grounding earthbound dance. Then the music changed, but the drumbeat remained in my body and I kept dancing to its beat. I realized that I was off beat, out of tune to the new song. One song later a similar beat returned and I was back in tune.

Perhaps expressing through love, my divine spark, my deepest feelings –even when they make no logical sense to the outside world is moving to a different beat – one that is out of tune to our externally created society, but perhaps in tune with Mother. With Life. With Divinity.

Can I learn to trust that?

I am learning that I can return to right relationship in each moment,
Even if just for a moment.
Perhaps this is all of our work – to re-tune, to re-turn
And perhaps, as more and more of us open to moving from this place,
Our choices begin to change, our outlook, our understanding, our priorities, our way of being in the world.
Mine certainly have.
Not because we want to change the world – but because we consciously make the choice to be true to our innate spark, our soul, our spirit, our essence.

“Show me how you offer to your people and the world
the stories and the songs
you want our children’s children to remember.
And I will show you how I struggle not to change the world,
but to love it.”
Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I can love the earth In This Moment.

I can love the wild dog that frequents my porch, the mice in my meditation hut, my children, my husband, my friends, the trees, the wind, Myself (imagine that!), the people whom I sometimes blame for much of what is going on today, the weak, the strong.
In each moment I can weave the world a little more whole
through Love,
through Joy.

And then…
I feel the grief. It pierces me
And it leaves me
With a much deeper hole in which to feel
appreciation, love, and joy for everything that is still whole
The Jacaranda blooming in my garden
The sun bird and the night jar singing through my days and nights
The earth beneath my feet
The beat of my heart, that sways my hips…