FOMO

Fear of Missing Out.

In our attempts to keep up with what the technologies demand of us now, we have tapped into and amplified a kind of deep inner tension and primal human fear that seems to sit squarely on our chest, day in and day out. And it is one that we are passing on to our children. That being, the unbearable terror of being left out of the loop. Of not knowing something. Of being “excluded.”

Does it in any way strike you as ironic, or perhaps more to the point, sad, that the more ways that we can know and connect to one another, the more intense the fear of missing something, or of being left out has grown? With our virtually infinite number of ways to gain access to anything and anyone now, there is still the ever-present fear that, if even for a moment you step away from your device, don’t bring it with you, or god forbid don’t answer or check something that comes in, that you will miss something that you cannot afford to miss.

Can you allow yourself to take a step back and feel all the way through you the intensity and the burden that this places on a life? And for a moment, can you imagine the enormous, indelible, and fear-based imprint this is leaving on our children? The anxiety, the vigilance, and the imprisonment that this generates within their growing psyches? And can you extrapolate out to how all of this leads them to believe that there is one recourse, and one recourse only; remain on guard and ever-attached to the demands of the machines. Always. No matter the cost.

No matter the way that it interferes with their ability to think their own thoughts, or to organize their time as they see fit. No matter how this interferes with sleep or with the experience of spending uninterrupted time with another. No matter the way that they, like Pavlov’s dogs, are continually at the beck and call of pings as opposed to the call of their own soul.

Think this one through. Or better yet, as an experiment, step away for a time, and see what happens. And if this feels too extreme for you, begin by asking yourself one simple question; “Realistically speaking, what am I most likely to miss out on, the vast majority of the time?” Another political rant? Another recycling of the same old themes in the news hopped up to make them seem as if they are new and worthy of your attention? A cute emogee? A post about how great and care-free another person’s life is, or how “amazing” their child is? A string of time-wasting, inane, throw-away, or insecure texts? A ridiculous picture or another stupid video that you just have to see, right now? A tweet from someone that you do not, and will not, ever know?

It just goes on and on.

It is time to get real with this one. Especially for our children. Otherwise, both they and we are doomed to suffer through the most obscene, asinine, time-consuming, and soul-sucking experiences that have ever been available to human beings. All of this happening every single day of our lives, and all in the service of never, ever, missing out on a single thing.

Interestingly enough, and despite all of our best efforts to keep up with the output being generated through the screens, we may just find that, in the end, we have indeed missed out. That we were, in fact, justified in our fears around missing something. Only, it will not be what we imagined. It will be something far worse.

 


 

 

Participation

 

I am in a yoga class, and the teacher is encouraging us to be sincere about our willingness to pay attention to the signals that the body is giving us. Instead of forcing or imposing something on the body, she asks, “Could we consider participating with the movement of our breath, and the true rhythms of our bodies?”

I cannot get this question out of my mind.

What would it be like to participate with myself in this way? How would it feel? Where would it take me? To participate is to share in something. To take part of. To enter into. To join in. There is no part of this definition that proposes a “doing to.” Or worse yet, a “getting done to.”

Think about it. How often do you do something to your body that does not feel good to you? Maybe it is eating or drinking too much, or ingesting the wrong kinds of things for your constitution. Maybe it is not getting enough sleep, or satisfying movement each and every day. Maybe it is using sugar or caffeine to perk the body up, only to go through the inevitable crash later on. Why do we do this? How is it that we have created a kind of split within ourselves where we can be feeling and knowing one thing, and then choose something in violation of that?

And how is it that not only do we do these things to ourselves, but that we also “let them” get done to us? Maybe it means working in a job where the corporate culture does not make enough room to meet the basic needs of the body; ones like respect, hunger, elimination, a sane pace, and rest. Maybe it means being in relationship with people who are so unsupportive, difficult, or harmful to be around that the best our little bodies can do is to ingest emotional toxins and turn them into tension, fear, and armor in the body.

To participate with the body is to enter into a relationship that is already there. Already set up for us to join into. Already available to share with us the gems of what it means to be an embodied being. We have forgotten this because we have come to believe that we can live outside of ourselves. We have come to believe that we can override the instincts and the messages of the body. We have come to believe that not only can the body wait, but that it should be able to line up with our modern day machine ethics of going and working 24/7.

It demonstrates just how far we have gone astray as people that we even need to make this a thing that we remediate and work on. No baby needs to be taught this. Nor any toddler. It is only as we get more and more conditioned that we lose track of the truths of the body. That we start to ignore or abhor its functioning, its needs, and its wants.

Try this. The next time you feel at odds with what is happening in your body, pause. Take a breath. Then, gently ask your body; What do you need? And then, go get it. Or do it. Or stop doing it. Whatever it would take for you to honor the need and participate fully with your experience of being in this body, in this moment.

The truth is, the only way that we can participate in this life is through a body. There is no other way. No other option. Instead of seeing this level of participation as a chore, an inconvenience, or unnecessary, what if you made the decision to fully show up for what it was that was happening with your body? No questions asked. Only a willingness to learn to remember what you have forgotten, but that is coded deep within you. Just a curiosity and a commitment around how you could develop into becoming a better participant.

 

No

 

My husband is telling me about a sales approach he and his employees are working with where the whole point of what you are doing with a prospective client is to get to the truth as quickly as you can. Part of what expedites that process is recognizing that a “no” from someone is just as good as a “yes.” I absolutely love it when I come across honest and authentic teachings in the day to day, and sometimes, even from the most unlikely of sources. In this case, a sales method.

Can you imagine getting to the truth, whatever it was in your life, alone or with others, as quickly as possible? No hemming and hawing. No hedging. No blaming. No avoiding. And could you also imagine that responding with a “no” was just as valuable as a “yes” in getting to that very same truth? No need to pretend. No need to fear what it would mean about or for you. No need to defend your position, or form committees as a way to garner back-up on why you get to refuse what it is that you do not want. Or need. Or feel comfortable with.

I have to tell you that as a women, this one concept alone is so revolutionary that had I known it earlier, I would have saved myself a world of suffering in my interactions with others. Especially with men. For most of my life I did not even know that “No” was an option. Not even when it would have protected me, or been in my best interest. Or how about this one? That I had a right to it; without explanation or apology. Just because.

How often do we say yes when we really need to say no? We do it all the time. We do it because we do not think others will like our response. We do it because we do not believe we are worth more, or have a choice. We do it out of fear. We do it out of habit. And we do it because that is what we have been conditioned to do.

Think about it. Every time we take into ourselves, or our lives, something which does not belong, we violate ourselves. We override the truth of our existence. The refusal of what we really need or want diminishes the power and the vitality of what it feels like to be alive. It makes a choice, instead, to live smaller, unsupported, and bogged down by the wrong things.

Like the toddler learning how to use the word “No,” we might be a little clumsy in our early attempts to draw a line. And sometimes that is why we can’t get ourselves there. We are afraid of how it might come out. Maybe that is in part due to how many “No’s” we have squelched over a lifetime; creating a backlog that feels like it has the power to destroy if ever unleashed. It makes me wonder if this is why we have such difficulties as adults with young children when they first start to realize that “No” is a choice. They can be absolutely drunk with the power of it all; completely unconcerned that we are put off by their refusal of something that we want them to do.

Do we struggle with them around this because we have become confused over our own right to assert ourselves? Do we resent the idea that someone else gets to do what we have not been able to do for ourselves?

If getting to the truth as quickly as possible makes sense to you, the truth is, we have just as much right to say no as to say yes. A commitment to getting to the truth will always be facilitated by our ability to respond as authentically as we need to. And, our ability to authentically respond will always bring us to the truth in a far more direct and satisfying way.

Isn’t There Enough For Everyone?

 

I am talking one day with the carpenter who is helping us finish up the last part of construction on our home. We are conversing about vegetables and fruit trees; swapping stories around how we are struggling to get some of the harvest before the animals take it all. He tells me a funny story about a relative who sits, day by day, poised to kill anything that takes even a single piece of fruit off of one of his trees. Shaking his head, he says to me, “Isn’t there enough for everyone?”

My God, what a concept.The resonance of this simple question strikes deeply within me. Not just the words, but how he said it. As in, why do we ignore this truth? Why do we act as though there is not enough for everyone? Why do we make insuring that meeting everyone’s basic needs is more difficult, political, and judgmental than it actually is?

While I love many of the basic tenets around capitalism (not something, by the way, we have at this point in time), for a long while now I have been realizing it is not enough. That it needs to be supplemented, not legislated, with a philosophy that includes heart, soul, and human scale actions. Personally, I really resonate with the idea of sharing, and in my mind, this is very different than charity.

Sharing comes when I take what I have, and naturally and spontaneously spread around what I have as I encounter others with a need. It is an exchange between equals that has nothing to do with elaborate giving plans, tax write-offs, or “the “have’s and the have-not’s,” but instead is born out of the moment and from a call within that is looking for nothing in return; other than a chance to give. It is a kind of “what goes around comes around.” A loop, where I am both giver and receiver at some point in the cycle.

Charity, on the other hand, implies a hierarchy, and a hand out. A way where one of us is below, and one of us is above. Pity, guilt, resentment, and desperation are often the companions of charitable one-way “exchanges.”

What if we all took stock of what it is that we have more of than we need? And then decided to look around for where we might share that abundance. This is not done as a way to save anyone, or to boost a sense of ourselves as being “the generous one,” but as the purest recognition of how resources are meant to be available for all. And how that spreading of resources can initiate from anyone, and at any time; no matter their circumstances.

What do you have more of than you need? What could you intentionally plant, create, or generate more of so that you would have some left over to share? How about your time, understanding, patience, or willingness to be with someone if even for a moment? Not because you feel bad for anyone. But because you can. And because it matters.

Can you imagine a world where we fed one another out of generosity and abundance? A kind of continuous back and forth reciprocal relationship with those we come in contact with? Not something we do because we are looking for anything, but because it is truly the most natural way to be with one another, and with what is available.

Embodiment

 

I am hung up in more traffic than I want to be in. It is hot. The glare of the day is wearing on me. I have to go to the bathroom. I am all done with the whole errand thing. Physically, and by association, emotionally, I am on overload. I just want to be home.

Because of how much I do not want to be where I am, I have found my way into an old thinking loop about someone else. None of what I am thinking about is pleasant, in my control, or any of my business. Suddenly I catch myself: Where are you, and why, of all places to be, are you here, in this particular place, in your mind?

Now, I could give you all kinds of reasons around why I am trapped in this ancient thought pattern from the past. And it would sound real, true, and legitimate. Yet, something in me knows better, and it has been revealed in the question I have been willing to ask myself.

What I see in this moment is that I have left myself. I have flown the coop of my own roost because it is just too uncomfortable to be here in this body right now. And as uncomfortable as the thought pattern about this other person is, it somehow feels preferable, less awful, than how I feel right now in my own body. Recognizing this, I jump into all of the sensations I have been avoiding.

I turn towards the heat which leads me to adjust the temperature in the car. I turn towards being done with errands, getting that message loud and clear; leading me to cross everything else off the list for the day. I turn towards needing to go to the bathroom, and decide that despite what my mind has said about waiting until I get home, I am going to use the porta potty at the farm; no matter what shape it’s in.

This all sounds so obvious. Ridiculously simplistic even. It almost feels embarrassing to point it out like it is some kind of revelation. And I could almost go there, except for the fact that I know better. And what I know is this. Despite how natural it should or could be to turn towards our most basic needs, we often do not. Despite how obvious it seems to make the adjustments we need to be comfortable across a day, we often do not. Despite the simple truth that as mammals this is built in, for far too many of us, we do not connect to this for it has been lost to us.

It is nothing short of revelatory to notice that when your mind is going nuts, there is a absolutely a physical origin or corollary. And that if you can crawl your way into the experience of being in a body, you will find the resolve you are seeking. Try it. The next time you are in a difficult mind state, ask yourself, Where Am I? Begin with the body.

 

The Animal Truth

 

Do you ever have the experience of imagining yourself through someone else’s eyes, and coming up really, really short?

One of the things I regularly do is watch my mind to see what it is up to. What it is talking about, imagining, or fretting over. Other people typically come up for me whenever I am in the midst of diminishing myself somehow. Recently, I have been saying to myself; “I actually don’t know what is in that person’s mind regarding me, but I sure do know that what I am thinking about right now is in my mind, does not feel good, and is something only I can change.” 

I see this as being one of the most critical things we can do for ourselves, one another, and our relationships together. That being, finding ways to get to the truth about our experience ASAP. Otherwise, we see ourselves through the wrong lens while believing that our misery is caused by how someone else feels about us, felt about us, or might feel about us; a kind of fear-based conditioning that we as people live under and use as a way to keep ourselves in line according to someone else’s standards. Very problematic unto itself.

But it goes even further than that. As mammals, we do have the capacity to sense and to know not only how it feels to be around another, but how they are truly feeling about us; beyond words. This is an essential capacity for all of our interactions with others whether they be ones we welcome or dread. This is the part of us that cannot be deceived or misled with words. Kids are really good at this. So are animals. It is only the adult human who struggles to make sense around how they are being received by a member of their own species.

In order to get better at receiving accurate information during an encounter with another person requires that we clean up our own act first. That we get a handle on where we make up things in our minds out of fear or past conditioning. It requires that we start to listen a little more deeply when we are in the presence of others. More like an animal or a kid would; not through words but through the tone and the feel of it all. Not through our thinking minds, but in an overall body listening kind of way. Easy examples are noticing a turn of the gut, a tension that suddenly comes up, hair rising on the back of your neck, or a general feeling of dis-ease when you are around someone.

This is not easy to do because most of us have gotten out of the habit of listening and responding to this kind of information. Most of us discount those sensations because we cannot prove them, articulate them necessarily, or because it would be ever so socially awkward and inconvenient to act on that knowing. Many of us have even had this innate capacity actively conditioned out of us when we were young by the adults who found that level of truth too threatening and far too inconvenient.

It puts me in mind of something I once read by Anodea Judith where she spoke of when we are told that we have no right to feel what we are feeling or know what we are knowing, a lie about our basic existence gets created and instilled in us. Really take that in. When you refuse, or feel unable, to live and respond from what you instinctively know, you obliterate the truth of not only what is happening, but who you are.

That is what we are really talking about here. How is it that we will live with the truth of who we are, and what it is that we are experiencing, while being in authentic and satisfying relationship with others? This will always be a moment by moment, in the presence of others, kind of experience that cannot be ultimately figured out except in relationship. And except by giving yourself permission, and by taking chances around how it is that you get to respond.

 

Being Seen

 

We all want to be seen for who we are. At its very core, this is not about winning a personality contest. It is not about laying out your credentials for others to admire. It is not about garnering fame. Nor is it about amassing a fortune or ego gratification. Instead, it is about being recognized. And in that recognition, finding your true place in the world.

What we are talking about here often involves being known beyond what we can see about ourselves all on our own. Therefore, we cannot always go this one alone. We need help. And this is exactly the place where it gets so very tricky. For many of the distortions we hold about ourselves have taken place in the taking in and believing of false and warped reflections we have gotten from others over the course of our lifetime.

This is what can leave us unwilling or reluctant to count on others in this way. We can take this in many directions. Maybe we wall ourselves off trying to do it all on our own. Maybe we over-rely on others opinions of who we are. Maybe we go to the wrong sources over and over again; either in our minds, or in the relationships we continue to create. Any way we do it though, either by closing off or going after the wrong things, will always leave us off the mark somehow. That mark being, the Truth of our existence.

Inside each and every one of us is the Absolute knowing of who we are, and why we are here. But after years and years of the wrong information, we learn to forget. And to distort and manipulate. And to settle for lives not even close to being seen for who we are.

Like following bread crumbs through the forest, having no idea where we are going or where it will lead to, we begin this journey of self-discovery by tracing ourselves backwards towards that original truth; with the starting point being right now. As in, is there a place in your life where you feel dissatisfied around how you are being seen, or the place you hold in the world? Is there a part of you that not only yearns for something else, but actually knows there is something else here for you? How is it that you most want to be known, and therefore seen, in this world?

This is not a job description. It is not a way of gaining acceptance or having your worth externally validated. It is not a way of making money. It is not about forcing someone to see something about you. It is the inward essence and the outward embodiment of what lives deep inside of you; looking for a way out.

When was the last time you felt truly seen by another? An experience that felt complete unto itself. A reflection you could see in another person’s eyes when they looked at you that had nothing to do with what you could do or give to them? And if this has not been available to you, do you have any idea why not?

When I was in the desert living in circle with 12 other women, I had daily experiences of being seen. It filled me with such strength. I felt supported in ways I have often denied myself, or did not receive in my first communities growing up. And it all began when I made the commitment to myself that I was going to allow myself to be seen for who I most am, and who I most yearn to grow into. This was not an easy thing to do. It meant putting myself out there. It meant being vulnerable. It meant admitting that I wanted to be seen for what was most extraordinary in me.

Being seen for who we truly are is not one of those human wants that would be nice if we got it, but that we could muddle through without. No. Instead, this is one of those central, core human needs that gone unmet will leave us resorting to the wrong things, while traveling the wrong avenues, to get those wrong things; in the end leaving us unseen and unknown to both ourselves, and the world.

Discomfort

 

I am up in the middle of the night and feeling so desperately uncomfortable. The bedroom has gone unbearably hot and humid since the electricity went out. It is this awful combination of a stifling and suffocating physical experience smashing right up against an oppressive inner dialogue that just won’t quit.

At one point, “I’m so uncomfortable!!!” bursts out of me. Tears come. And like a good thunderstorm clearing out the heavy, muggy, “oppressive” weather, something breaks. Something clears. Just that simple. And in that moment, beyond the physical and emotional suffering, I recognize that my biggest pain stems from the belief that I do not think this should be happening. I do not want to feel the way I am feeling. I cannot stand the fact that I cannot get it to be otherwise. And I cannot stop my mind from anticipating how my nighttime struggle is going to ruin the next day for me.

One of the things that we can absolutely be guaranteed of as human beings is that discomfort is part of the experience of being alive. Regularly. Daily. Sometimes even moment by moment there is a good chance that something just won’t feel right. Maybe it will be sensations of hunger or thirst. The need to eliminate. Temperature changes. Emotional ups and downs. Fatigue. Physical or mental pain. Tension. On and on it goes. All throughout the day. Every day.

It seems only natural to want to get away from what doesn’t feel good. To push hard either into effort or denial to try and make what is bothering us, stop. Likely for as long as we have been around and conscious, we have tried to come up with ways to alleviate the experiences too uncomfortable for us to be with. And while there has absolutely been an upside to this in our attempts to bring more ease to the experience of being alive (think indoor plumbing, heated homes, transportation, grocery stores, etc), it is not without its costs to try and re-make whatever it is that is bothering us.

Why not just try and get out of it somehow? What would be wrong with that? What’s the problem with trying to get away from what brings us misery? In a nutshell, the problem is, we often do not have the slightest idea of what it is that is actually causing us to suffer. No sense of the very root of our struggle. Instead, we focus on wherever our tendency to blame goes. It is the equivalent of shaking an angry fist at the weather as opposed to pumping out your basement. It is energy, focus, and attention misplaced, and misused.

If the weather would just be cooler. If the power would come back on. If my husband would stop snoring. If my mind would settle down. If I’d stop being such a baby and just get over it. If I could just rise above it. If those utility people would make us a priority instead of last in line.

I am not suggesting here a kind of martyrdom or masochism. Instead, what I am suggesting is that being with life, all of life, including the things we do not want, is a skill set best developed. More to the point, it is an absolute reality best accepted and honored. For no matter how crafty, skilled, rich, resourceful, or creative we might be, there is no getting rid of everything that makes us upset, uneasy, or uncomfortable.

The best instructions I ever heard on this one are: “Make all of the adjustments you know to make. Do all of the things you can do.  And then, surrender.” 

This is so very easy to say and often so very seemingly impossible to do. We think doing what we can do means being in control; having it our way. And we think that surrender means defeat, weakness, or giving up. It is none of this. Doing what you can do requires making an accurate assessment of both the reality that stands before you, and your skill set. But because so many of us deny what the existing reality is, and either underestimate or overestimate our sense of agency in the world, we are left unprepared to be with life as it shows up in the ways that do not validate the versions we have created.

As for surrender, that would require not only admitting our limits, but appealing to, and leaning into, something more than just our own individual wants.

What if instead of trying to create the world as we need it to be, we made the commitment to develop a skill set that included a clear sense of what was happening, coupled with our actual ability to meet it, and an understanding that there are larger forces at play than our own individual will?

The best way that I know how to do this is when in the midst of the discomfort, learn to notice your agitation. Then, practice asking yourself; What is really bothering me about this moment? What is it that I really cannot tolerate? Finally, ask for help. Open to a larger version than your own personal story of how the world should turn.

The only way to be with Life, including discomfort, is to actually be with it. This cannot just be thought about. It must be experienced. It must become a commitment, a kind of daily practice, to notice yourself when things are not going the way you want them to. It is about opening to a larger perspective that includes seeing that without discomfort, there would be no incentive to grow. And that if reality went the way we wanted it to go, we would not only shortchange ourselves, we would create a perfect storm for the exact wrong things to come our way.

 

Spaciousness

 

The space to do nothing. The space to be bored. The space to learn about yourself and the world without time lines, marketing agendas, or too much outside influence. The space to be on your own or with others without a lot to do. The space to get comfortable with yourself, by yourself, without the need for externals to make you OK. The space to feel. The space to just be. As is.

This is one face of childhood. And it is life-giving in its offerings of inner resourcefulness, ease within your own skin, the ability to know your own mind, the capacity to be with the up and down rhythms of Life, and so much more.

This is not an easy thing to find in a world that is suspicious and intolerant of nothing to do. Or having too much time on your hands. Or allowing for quiet. Or for welcoming stillness and solitude. Not to mention the epidemic of fear around feeling. Yet, when I look back and remember the unfounded concerns that I had that my children were not scheduled into enough things, or were missing out because they were not on Facebook, or learning about the world through the computer, I would tell that young mama, and all the ones like her, to rest easy. Why? Because this older and more seasoned mother knows some things as reflected by the way her young adult children are moving through the world now. The ways that they can keep their own company and be with life without trying to get out of it. The ways that they do not make themselves so busy that they cannot feel what they are feeling, or know what they are knowing.

In a week where I read that almost half of our children now will suffer from a mood disorder, a behavioral problem, or substance abuse, I am struck by the contradiction in this statistic with the conversation I had with one of my own children currently in the midst of a difficult romantic break-up. In our conversation, they spoke over and over again of letting themselves be with the process, giving themselves time, letting the hurt be there while knowing simultaneously that some day it would end. In sum, an awareness of, and an ability to be with, what is difficult. Space created to be with and feel what is there without looking for an escape route.

We live in a time when our children never have to feel anything they do not want to, nor develop a skill set to be with those very same unwanted feelings. In a time where because of the seemingly infinite ways of the modern world to keep them busy, entertained, distracted and checked out, they never get the experience of spaciousness in childhood. And it shows.

It shows in how they are more interested in what is coming across a screen than what is right in front of them. It shows in all of their fears and in their inability to be with themselves.Through the devices, there are far too many ways for our children to numb out and distract themselves when they hurt, bored, lonely, sad, angry, or disappointed. There are far too many avenues to never have to feel, or be alone, or to come up against yourself in any kind of a meaningful way.

Does it strike you at all that in a time of increased exposure to screens and all that that opens our children to, we have increasing levels of mood disorders, addiction, and behavioral problems? And while we can never point the finger at any one thing, do you see the possibility of a connection here?

What do you know to be true around the ways that the screens occupy, medicate, distract, and distort the beauty, necessity, and innocence of childhood itself?

As parents, if we can give our children a foundation of spaciousness, allowing for their childhood life to organically reveal and resolve itself, we give them the gift of knowing not only that feelings come and go, but that they have the capacity to meet what comes their way. This will never be possible in a world where keeping your children busy, over-scheduled, and glued to a screen is often seen as the best way to prepare them for life.

Find Your Hunger

 

Today, I was looking over notes from the time I spent in the desert fasting. What really stuck out for me this time around was, “Find your hunger.”  What that meant back then was to be with everything that I was hungry for. It was scary to feel that level of need because of how exposed, and therefore vulnerable, it left me.

It was also heartening because of how real, and how very true it all was. To admit what we are hungry for is both an exposure, and a possibility. And while most often we associate hunger with food, what I am referring to here is the whole human experience of want and need. An experience that holds the potent possibility of taking us all the way from deprivation and desperation to fulfillment and assurance. And then, back again.

For the past three years I have been teaching a form of sacred, conscious dance. Every single time I teach this, enormous waves of fear and resistance flood my being. My mind goes absolutely nuts with all kinds of thoughts. This is the last time I am doing this. I don’t want to do this anymore. Nobody wants this. This is a waste of my time. You’re putting too much into this without enough of a return. On and on it goes. This despite the fact that I feel so alive when teaching. This despite the fact that I feel deeply connected to self, other, and Spirit during this time. This despite what an amazingly creative and satisfying outlet this is for me.

After reading “Find your hunger” something around the resistance I feel to teaching this form got cleared up for me. You see, one of the things I am most hungry for is to be in community while I am deeply established in my own experience and connected to Spirit. I yearn for a palpable and visible interconnection of self, other, and All That Is. I long to be with others in a deep, present, soulful, real, and raw way. This is what I am hungry for. And when I teach this dance form, it opens me to the possibility of receiving what I most want. Which in turn, exposes me to the possibility that I may not get it.

I think that in the psyche of every human being our deepest needs stand right next to our deepest fears. And often we get them so tangled up that it seems that maybe it would be preferable to not put ourselves in the position of saying what we most desire and need. That somehow it would be better, safer, to listen to the fears around the impossibility of us getting what we want. The fears of rejection or humiliation. The fears of us not being worthy of getting what we need. The fears that what we most need and value may not be available, or honored.

Personally, I am seeing that one of the things that our world needs most is for all of the starving people to step forward, without blame or shame, and reveal to all what they are most deprived of. To stand fully and openly in their longing, so much so that the power of raw, real human need becomes an undeniable call to be heard. And responded to. Can you imagine how our world might change if real human needs became the guiding force for what we put our attention and resources to?

If you see yourself as starved for something vital to your well-being, could you be courageous enough to name it? Could you be daring enough to ask for it? Could you be bold enough to know that you deserved it? Could you be wise enough to see that with your deepest desires met, the world gets fed?