Sorrow, Joy and A Prayer for Elizabeth

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I wasn’t sure how to start this post, as it seems unreal.  I felt the need to be very careful with words.  To get it just right.  To come from a place of authenticity, grace, clarity, peace...and love.

Saturday morning I was at a dance competition with my daughter, which is a place that brings me tremendous and inspiring joy, when I heard that a member of our neighborhood community had suddenly passed away the day before.  He was young (my age), had a lovely wife and two young children.  Although we are not very close with the family, we do know each other casually. My first reactions were shock and sorrow.  The first thought, and I think what came out of my mouth to the person who told me, was how my heart was broken for her (Elizabeth) and those kids.  How “my heart goes out to her.”  Having suffered a great loss, although very different, I remember how that deep sorrow feels.  It’s as if someone shredded all the cells of your body and sucked all the oxygen out of the air.  You feel it in your bones.

In direct opposition to that news, was the experience of the weekend.  Laughter - lots of laughter - excitement, lights, music, costumes, happy children, happy adults and joy.  A group of people that share and express great love. You can feel it in your bones.

After the dance bubble floated away, and reentry into life came again, these questions came to me:

How can two emotions (like deep sorrow and joy), so seemingly opposite, exist at the same time?

Where do they come from?

What’s underneath?

What’s the source?

Like the answer to most things, it’s incredibly simple.  And so obvious it’s sometimes hard to see.

L O V E.

When you look underneath the hood and see what lies at the CORE, the deepest most sacred place of sorrow, pain, sadness...joy, happiness and peace --

it’s love.  Love is at the core of everything.

Although they can seem so different, they come from the same place.

Think about this, the physical sensations of fear and excitement are the same:  rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, tingly feelings, sense of something big.  It’s our mind that processes the event we are experiencing, from events in our past, and tells us which one to choose.  “You should be scared now!”  Or, “Be excited!”  But those are just thoughts.  The actual origin is something different.  They both come from a neutral place of impending action.

Thinking back about the sayings “my heart breaks for you”, or “my heart goes out to you,” what I am really saying is,

“My heart is full of love for you.”

If we have awareness, we have the ability to reframe the experience of giving for the giver and the receiver, through the thoughts and language we choose.

My heart isn’t really breaking for the young widow in my neighborhood, my heart is FULL for her.  It’s so full of love for her experience that I feel it physically.  But instead of identifying that feeling with pain, I will keep it where it originated -- in love.

THAT’S how I want to hold it, give it and for her to receive it.

A place of expansion, not contraction.

Not from a place of more pain...but from light, love and peace.

When we remind ourselves that behind ALL emotion is love, our hearts open, we shift to living from our “seat”...we are free.  We live more fully.  We move out of “mind” and back to our soul...our Spirit...where love lives.  The place beyond life-death-life cycles, who has what, gossip, what our kids are doing, and constant approval-seeking.

Make every choice, every day, no matter what it looks like to others, from the deepest, most expansive, most original, most creative, most sacred place of love.

Every. time.

That, dear friend, is how to live an authentic life.

Connecting Death, Dance and Community

The cycles of life - birth and death - bring out community as we gather in communion and celebration to support, honor, love and hold.  We drop all of the nonsense, the small stuff.  We live into something bigger than ourselves.  We expand.  We Love.

All of the arts - including dance - bring out community as an expression and celebration of love, joy, humanity and ultimate creation.  We do not create, creation comes through us.  It is our openness, our connection, which allows the creation to come alive.  We expand.  We love.

(I think it is no accident that at the center of PeaceLoveHipHop is Love.  Just making what I think is an obvious point.)

When we are in community -- helping each other, supporting each other, loving each other -- we are at our strongest. We are more powerful as One, than we are alone as one.  We expand.  We love.

Please join me in a community of people who want to live from love.  Who want to find and operate from the sacred, deep roots of creation.  Where life is always existing.  Where honesty and truth are the only rules.  Where power comes from integrity, clarity, awareness, purpose, and service.  Where we teach each other, learn from each other, and lean on each other, without judgment...EVER.

Where hearts are full, not broken.

It’s all about love people.  It really is that simple.

My prayer for Elizabeth:

Words cannot express...

I am so sorry for your...

My thoughts and prayers are...

I hope you find peace in...

Stumped.

A loss for words.  My mind is blank and jumbled and confused and pained.

So I asked my heart.  My heart says it is broken open and full for you.

So I asked my soul.  My soul says to find stillness and connection to Spirit.  The words will come.

So after stillness and Spirit...with love...this:

May the peace and love that is God find its way to you, into your bones, through the caring words, strong arms and full hearts of us all - seen and unseen -

surrounding you with light.  

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