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I recently was a parent chaperon at The Renaissance Fair for my son’s school. My small group sat down to watch a theatrical show. Most of the people watching the act were school children. One of the short performances was a woman dancing with ribbons on a long stick. At one point she became completely entangled in the ribbons and was no longer moving in sync with the music. Even though at one point her head was completely wrapped in ribbon she just kept smiling and dancing. I don’t think a single child noticed or even cared, they thoroughly enjoyed the show.
Similarly, I was at Zumba class dancing with the Deuces Wild team. The instructors called forward other Zumba instructors to move to the front of the room, of which I am one. As it turned out, I didn’t know a step of the choreography and with a packed room I couldn’t see the two Deuces Wild instructors well. In the past I might have just snuck away or at least moved back, but I kept going. I knew if I could overcome my self consciousness about not doing the steps perfectly, I would get the choreography mid-song if not sooner. As it turned out, that’s what happened.
Oprah’s life coach, Martha Beck, worked with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, on the Finding Sarah series. Martha created a large rope maze and Sarah had to be completed blindfolded. The exercise was to help Sarah reclaim intuition, instinct and flow. The Duchess who had not always exhibited those traits in her real life, cruised through the exercise almost as if she had not been blindfolded. It was interesting to me that Martha said that many people, when they sense they have gone off-course, will just freeze. They just stand there, blindfolded, stuck, deflated and defeated.
Sometimes we have a life challenge and we need to grieve. We need to go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and back and forth until we are ready for the next phase. Most of the time though we can find a small bit of light in the darkness and accentuate that light. If we are so deeply derailed by a break up or a bankruptcy for example, we might miss opportunities to connect, to give, to share or to love. In fact, that thing that has tempted you to drop permanent anchor is probably, if you keep growing and going, the reference point for your greatest contribution in the world.
J.J. Hurtak has referred to “naked suffering” as the kind of suffering that often comes with death or the chronicity of illness or disability. This is not existential suffering, but the suffering caused from a great loss. We have seen people who have suffered great loss or pain and give and love as if their life was a cake walk. Jackie Kennedy comes time mind having suffered the murder of her husband and brother in law as well as thriving after other emotional assaults.
A dear friend of mine who is a natural curandero told me as I struggled with a challenge of a serious nature to bless my challenge, knowing it is my greatest gift in disguise. He told me to keep going, keep smiling, keep giving. The book A Course in Miracles takes this so far as to say that it is our responsibility to keep going because it signifies to others that there is no hope when an external force permanently defeats you: “Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release.”
When we embrace the truth, that we are so much more than anything that can happen to us, we can recommit to experiencing joy. We can be inspired by the stories of those who came before us and persevered despite great loss and abiding suffering. We can always ask ourselves “In what way can I move forward, move on, take what has happened to me and make a contribution to humankind?”
(c) 2012 Jeanine Marie Austin, Ph.D., C.Ht.
Doctor of Life Coaching, Certified Hypnotherapist
Simply Divine Solutions
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