Photo by Xuan Hguyen on Substack
Diana Turner-Forte is one of our community whom I connected with through complete synchronicity several months ago now. i have completely enjoyed being present to her journey into wholeness. A professional dancer, you can now find her moving fluidly and attentively through unfolding moments in her 7th decade of embodied life. Thank you Diana! (GA)
This is the day God has made let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
My days are filled with more wonder and awe since I’ve stepped off the fast-paced train supposedly taking me to success and freedom. I’m referring to the train that offers everything including the objectification of relationships for profit and not too much real value. The train that proposes all the ways to succeed in business and sometimes even in life, but no real tangible rewards. The train that is nonstop until you wake up one day with the word “enough” on your breath and the throb in your heart to do something different.
Initially, in this endeavor I felt rather goalless, but that was not really true as I was paying attention and being moved along by an invisible power. The truth is that I was being re-oriented toward a different plan, a divine plan of which the purpose was much greater than myself. If I might say so, the re-alignment uncovered my unique expression and a deeper meaning in life. And so far it has not required a quest to a far off land doing mission work. Even as it unfolds there is no long-term plan except the constant vigil of being present and aware, and then what I need appears in due course. What is required is full attentiveness to the symphony and playing my own frequency and notes that are in harmony with the cosmos.
From my experience I find myself not where I thought I’d be and certainly my plans have been abruptly adjusted. There is no need for them even in a rough sketch. I can see the trajectory, a golden thread of my journey and not require certainty or approval of next steps; that’s a moment-to-moment venture. And I might add that as it is a new experience I try not to hyperventilate during my lapses into forgetfulness.
For the most part I can dwell in the in-between spaces—not squirming too much— and not grasping for the next project, goal, or event. My senses are acutely awakened for whatever comes next. I discern what is important and what situations or events are worth taking on and not necessarily for the task of involvement, but for service. This freedom is without strings and the reciprocity received through interpersonal relationships are the gift.
Time for contemplation and a willingness to not fill the quiet moments with activity but instead, allowing a sinking into stillness is both captivating and comforting. I sense a wholeness that claims me as I practice just being. Life is the dance and sometimes I’m part of the corps de ballet, sometimes a soloist, and at other times I’m a principal, but the exchange of roles is fluid. When I stay awake there is no confusion, as I move through various responsibilities. I don’t get burnt out by taking on too much, as other players quickly step in and join in the choreography. There seems to be a lot more substance with much less effort.
The awe leads to moments such as one of many described below:
A Swaying Dance
Humbled by their beckoning/ I join the lilting trees/ in rhythm to a soundless melody—on a Spring breeze./ Inspired by their naturalness/ rooted feet, torso fluid, side to side I sway—my body mirrors their movements/ each breath releasing knots of tension/ subtle arcs of soul and body in harmony with nature; then stillness—/ I smile, bow and thank the Longleaf pines for our shared—morning prayer.
Of course, this raises a curious question, a query I bring up often. Are we not meant to live like this day in and day out? I can think of many such instances as I’ve decluttered my life and become more in alignment with the harmonics of nature to discover something unique and special outside of myself, but inside as well. Sometimes it can be captured in words, a posture or music, but often it’s a memory that lingers in the mind received as a gift from God. It’s a realization that I’m not forgotten or separate from anything in the universe.
As an example, driving home from errands I glanced up at the clouds and some had formed into a heart: puffy white outer edges with a blue center. No kidding. What do you do with that? Sigh, smile, and say “thank you.”
Make no mistake, I’m not talking about a direct ascent to this state of bliss. In fact, initially, there were so many moments of doubt and perilous misjudgments that I wondered if I had lost my mind. However, the sweetness of the experiences affirmed otherwise. The act of becoming more intimate — you can hardly do otherwise— when the indwelling Spirit raises you and your fellow human beings to a consciousness of Oneness that saturates all of life, the soft sigh of the breath is almost overwhelming.
As we come to an appreciation that from subtle moments of inner dwelling words like this might arise and start to make sense: Be still and know that I am God, Psalm 46:10.It’s the realm of great poetry, literature, and art. Perhaps, music like Ludwig von Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy” got stirred from a flow of “still point” moments.
Enjoy the flash mob in Nurnberg, Germany.
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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 06/21/23