Life is a Sacred Art that Turns Awareness into Rhythmic Being – Gabrielle Roth
Perhaps my being in my own creative cosmic dance drew in this inspiration, but however it came through, I was guided today to share some words from Gabrielle Roth, an incredibly influential teacher of meditative dance, creator of the 5Rhythms movement practice, and a shaman in her own right.
Gabrielle felt that physical movement was an integral key to unlocking spirit and integrating spirit with your sacred temple body. She was dedicated, heart and soul, to exploring ways to engage spirit and creativity through movement, but ultimately to “create life as a work of art” (something we both share) and to access unity of experience as a cosmic dance:
“Mine is the art of inspiring people to turn themselves inside out, transform their suffering into art, their art into awareness, and their awareness into action.” ~ Gabrielle Roth
Perhaps her words shared below may provide impetus to ignite your spirit to move through you:
“We all share the wound of fragmentation. And we can all share in the cure of unification. Healing is the unification of all our forces — the powers of being, feeling, knowing, and seeing.
I look in the mirror and I look out the window and I see myself and others struggling to be in our bodies. Struggling to know who we are and what we need. To like ourselves, rather than wanting to be somebody else, or somewhere else. I see our inability to relate, to communicate from the heart, to overcome our distance and alienation from one another. I see us avoiding each other’s eyes, at a loss to know what others need. I see people searching for direction, trying to summon up their personal power, longing for the strength to be independent.
The wounded healer in me knows that healing our driven selves comes from our ability to empower our bodies, hearts, minds, souls, and spirits once more, bringing them into vital unity. Spiritual healing means taking responsibility for being a whole person. We have to take responsibility for being a body, for having a heart, for possessing a mind, for awakening our soul, for opening to our spirit. We need to do right by our body, purify our relationships, use our mind for creative freedom and not enslavement, free the soul from the ego, and undertake the spiritual journey. A whole person is an inspired person, one who embodies the spirit.
Disease is inertia. Healing is movement. If you put the body in motion, you will change. You are meant to move: from flowing to staccato, through chaos into lyrical and back into the stillness from which all movement comes.
If you let your heart be moved, be open to the risk and the adventure of feelings, letting them work through to completion, you will change. Tears turn into smiles, anger into embraces.
If you free your mind to experience and complete each of your life cycles, integrating their teachings and tasks, you will change. It’s when you stop moving through life that you get caught out of place, that you react to adult situations with childhood emotions. Moving completely through your life makes you whole.
If you awaken your soul, you will change. Engage your characters. Watch yourself act them out. Master them, and you’re free to be, feel, think, and act as your distinct self.
The spirit in motion heals, expands, circles in and out of the body, moving through the layers of consciousness from inertia to ecstasy. Open to the spirit, and you will be transformed.
Movement is my medium and my metaphor. I know that if a wave of energy is allowed to complete itself, it yields a whole new wave, and in fact that is all I really know. Riding these waves means joining the cosmic dance that, as Dante says, ‘moves the sun and the other stars.’
Movement is the movement of change. In my experience, if you put your psyche in motion it will heal itself. Movement is the medicine. Each of us has the power and responsibility to heal ourselves, to be our own medicine man or woman. Awakening our innate powers of being, loving, knowing, seeing and healing involves ongoing work at all levels and in all dimensions of our self. In your deepest center, you are the stillpoint. You are the rhythm beyond stillness, the feeling beyond compassion, the sexual energy beyond celibacy, the life force beyond death, the vibration beyond inspiration. The moving center is within you.
…Our soul, our true self, is the most mysterious, essential, and magical dimension of our being. In fact, it is not a separate reality, as traditional Western thought views it, but the cohesive force that unites our body, heart, and mind. It is not a ghost trapped somehow in the physical machinery of our body but the very essence of our being.
Each soul is unique, and we are called upon to break out of the minimum security prison of conformity and mediocrity to experience our soul’s true magic and power. Like a plant it needs to be nurtured to grow and blossom, and to be freed from the entangling, obscuring weeds that tend to take over. The soul is an artist. Its nature is to create, and its natural expression is in the sacred archetypical roles of the dancer, the singer, the actor and the healer. Life is a cabaret, and our challenge is to act out our essential self on the stage for the world.
Though the soul is not a thing, it is our beingness, that which gives us being. So its presence and absence are visible. Its presence manifests in being awake, attentive, energetic, alive. It is the spark of life. It is absent or dampened when we lack vitality, elan, energy. It is the true self we are seeking in all our explorations, and yet it is not somewhere “out there” but right here now, underneath the false roles we’re always casting ourselves in.
Freeing the soul, freeing ourselves to be soulful, means empowering ourselves to really see what’s going on in ourselves, in others, in our lives. This seeing is not the ordinary sort of looking we’re habituated to. Looking operates on the surface; seeing probes beneath to discern the essence, the motion, the energy. Looking is just a matter of regarding things things according to our preconceived, static ideas. But as the new physics and biology have clearly shown, our surface impression of the nature of reality as static naively misses the truth of the constant motion and infinite space that truly constitute reality.
Carlos Castenada in “A Separate Reality”, gives an arresting example of the difference between seeing and looking. Don Juan describes the death of his son who was crushed by rocks on a highway. “The workers stood around looking at his mangled body. I stood there too, but I did not look. I shifted my eyes so I would see his personal life disintegrating, expanding uncontrollably beyond its limits, like a fog of crystals, because that’s the way life and death mix and expand. Had I looked at him I would have watched him becoming immobile and I would have felt a cry inside of me, because never again would I look at his fine figure pacing the earth. I saw his death instead, and there was no sadness, no feeling. His death was equal to everything else.” Later he tells Carlos that seeing is “hard work.”
Seeing implies detachment. Looking implies attachment. Looking is with the eyes. Seeing is with the whole being. Looking at myself in the mirror, I think that my nose is crooked and too big, my eyes too small, my hair too fine, my hips too wide. I judge. I assess myself by some external criteria that have by now become part and parcel of how I look at people. But if I stare into my left eye in the mirror I see only a still, perfect little doll-like figure of myself in the midst of a deep pool of subtly changing reflections, probably an image much closer to the truth. It is when I can see myself with interpretation that the magic of being, the pure wonder of existing is revealed…
… Life is sacred. Life is art. Life is sacred art. The art of sacred living means being a holy actor, acting from the soul rather than the ego. The soul is out of space and time and hence always available, an ever-present potential of our being. It is up to each of us to celebrate and actualize our being, and to turn each meal, conversation, outfit, letter, and so on, into art. Every mundane activity is an opportunity for full, authentic self-exploration. The soul is our artistic self, our capacity for transforming every dimension of our lives into art and theater.”