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Generosity of Spirit

My Love and I are taking off soon for a vacation!  Travel, for me, is one of life’s greatest joys and, as is the case with all things joyous, it is best when shared. Even vicariously.

What a gift it has been to talk of our travel plans with clients and friends and have them participate in the joy; expressing delight, asking questions, making suggestions, sharing some of their own similar adventures.

I am so grateful for these reactions. When you tell another person about something that excites you and they meet your enthusiasm, the whole thing gets exponentially better.

We might be tempted to call this a small thing, but it isn’t.  It exemplifies a generosity of spirit that can make life richer for all of us.

There is a reciprocity of joy, circling back and forth, endlessly building.

There is inspiration.  To join in on the experience of someone else’s adventure, celebration, accomplishment or milestone reminds us of our own ability to rise.

Also, the more we give the more we get! A generous spirit is an abundant one.

To truly meet another person where they are, be it joy or even grief, is indeed generous.  Because it can easily go the other way.  We can impose where WE are instead, meeting their joy with our envy, their grief with our need to see the bright side.

We all do this, it is human.  But when we open our hearts enough to come together in emotion, it can make us feel more connected, less alone.

I think that’s what it means to hold space for someone.  Just being present with another being, exactly where they are, letting the feeling resonate.

I so appreciate the generosity of spirit I’ve been shown time and time again. When someone says they are happy for you they have, in essence, gifted you some of their own happiness.  The best way I know to receive such a treasure is to say Thank You  … and then pass it on!

Jar of Ten

There are two things you may or may not know about me:

1) I have a hard time being consistent
2) I’m a girl who loves a project

A project requires planning and creativity (love), presents challenges that require problem solving (love), gives one a sense of purpose (love) and when you reach the end you can sit back and enjoy the result (love).  Then you get to start all over with the next project (LOVE)!

My struggle with consistency is that it doesn’t check any of those happy boxes.  Being consistent requires discipline and commitment, virtues that seem to have been misplaced somewhere within my cellular make-up.

But I do know from experience that consistency can be extremely rewarding.   For example, regularly meditating or journaling makes me feel so much better.  Ditto with exercising, practicing any beloved skill (guitar, vocals, dance) and staying on top of life’s chores.

I’ve been remiss in my good habits lately and have felt the need for a project to help me, so the other day while stretching after dance class this thought popped into my head: you need to make a Jar of Ten.

What the heck, you ask?  Let me explain. Read more

Love is All Around

Much has been said of the divisiveness permeating our Country today.  Yes, it is there and it is unsettling.  But there is something else I am noticing in the past few weeks: a desire for connection.

I am meeting more eyes as I walk through town.  I want to smile at you and I feel like you want to smile at me too.  We want to connect, even just for a moment.  I feel this pull to share what is best in me … love.

I believe love reigns supreme.  This belief is not born of religion or politics.  No one told me so, no one taught me so, it is simply my truth.  It doesn’t come with rules or exclusions, love is love.  And when I move from a place of love I see it all around.

This does not blind me to hate.  I see that too.  Mostly when people try to control how other people love or decree who is entitled to love. This behavior wounds me, all of us. But instead of diminishing the love – it emboldens it.  I see that all around; love standing strong. Do you see it too? Read more

Walls

Luisa’s note: This post is written by Jennifer Blankfein, one of my steadiest dance attendees. I love it because it champions the freedom and acceptance that are at the core of our classes. She expresses this beautifully while sharing the tale of a visitor who came to class and exemplified it all. Enjoy 🙂

No matter how we may reject the idea of a wall … the wall … we all have one. At times we rely on it to protect ourselves so others don’t see our insecurities or know all our secrets. Sometimes we may want to be able to hide in plain sight as we go about our business, without everyone knowing everything about us. 

The dance studio allows us to take down our wall. It provides a safe haven to express ourselves openly and without judgement.

We are a unique and wonderful group; women and man (ha!) of all ages. Some of us have been dancing for a long time and some are new to the class. Some people know the routines and some struggle and may never know them. Some people jump and turn and some don’t, some wear shoes and some don’t, some take up a lot of space and some stay in their small spot, some take a break, some do their own moves, some sing, some smile, some sweat…everyone is safe here. And each of us is an important contributor to our group … when we are together we become one – and when someone is not there others take notice. Our light shines through and our walls are down.

A few months ago Luisa’s class had a visitor, Cameron, join us to dance. Cameron is a handsome, buff, twenty-something guy who decided to come with his mom, Nancy, to the class she raves about. Being a first time dancer, and the only young man in the class, one would think his wall would be up … intimidated, shy and tentative… Wrong! There were no walls there…no first time jitters for Cameron.

I’m not sure if this was because he is a good looking male…comfortable in his skin…young…or if he just naturally feels secure and inherited bold confidence from his momma, but Cameron’s light sure did shine that day. He put 110% effort into learning the choreography, experiencing the freedom of dance and enjoying the rhythm of the music…there was no holding back. His joyful “experience”, like a halo around him, lit up the room for the rest of us…at least for me. Watching him smile and move next to his beautiful and proud mother was so inspiring and energizing… and together their joy was contagious. I’m so glad Cameron felt comfortable with all of us… easygoing enough to take down his walls of protection and security. I’m sure he felt we are open and accepting of each other and maybe that allowed him to express himself and be truly open to experience the joy.

When each and every one of us walks into that studio our light is equally as important as the next person’s light. And together we couldn’t be more bright. THE JOY IS CONTAGIOUS. I vote for no wall!

written by Jennifer Blankfein, October 2016