Viriditas Newsletter, April

Dear Viriditas Community,

If you give up your dream, you die.” This quote from the movie Flashdance had a huge impact on me when I first saw the movie over thirty years ago. Alex, the main character in the film, dreams of being a professional dancer, and yet she is too afraid to audition for ballet school, even though she is invited to audition by the school. In the film, she eventually overcomes her fears and the final scene of the film is her glorious dance for the audition, a scene full of courage and joyous triumph.

What are your dreams? What are the yearnings of your soul? Do you have the courage to dive down into the deepest part of yourself and to discover what you truly long for? If you are like me and you discover what your soul wants to manifest, you will notice that qualities like love, joy and peace are part of those dreams. That is always a sign for me that I am tapping the Wisdom of my soul. And then the fear comes. I deeply understand the fear that the movie Flashdance so brilliantly shows the lead character working through. When the vision for creating a performance piece that was about my healing as it had been inspired by St. Hildegard of Bingen (the piece that would later become Feathers On The Breath Of God) came to me in meditation, I was immediately filled with terror. Waves of shaking hit me and I was flooded with tears. “How could I possibly do anything like this?” I asked. And yet deeper than the fear was love and a commitment to the truth of my soul. Marianne Williamson explains it so beautifully when she writes:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

As most of you know, one of the most magnificent outcomes of creating Feathers On The Breath of God was that I became a tap dancer and met my current husband David Sharp. Now, five years after the first performance of Feathers, David and I are in the fourth year of our monthly tap dance event Tap Into Transformation. This month we took the theme song from the movie Flashdance: What A Feeling and created a tap dance which incorporated some of the choreography from the film. Infused with the power and joy of the dance, we then asked our dancers to draw what the “dance of their lives” looks like. Here is a photograph of some of our dancers at the end of the night as well as a photograph of some of our drawings.

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Tap April drawings

Speaking of dreams, I was honored to support the manifestation of one of the dreams of Randy and Amy McIntosh, the co-directors of the Kutandara Marimba Center. Each spring, Kutandara hosts a benefit concert for a non-profit working in Zimbabwe. I attended this year’s benefit concert which was for the organization Tariro. Tariro is a grassroots non-profit organization working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by educating young women and girls. Founded in 2003, Tariro’s work with Zimbabwean girls emphasizes the importance of women’s education as an effective response to the AIDS epidemic. The event was held at Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist fellowship in Lafayette. The performances were glorious and I especially was moved by the slide show running behind the musicians showing images of the girls that are being helped by Tariro. The work of the Kutandara Center as well as Tariro reminded me that in the midst of all the chaos and oppressive events of our times, there are great people who are being guided by the wisdom of their souls to do beautiful and uplifting work. Check out https://tarirohope.wordpress.com/ to find out more about the work of Tariro.

tariro 3

In closing, I would like to thank you for being part of my dream: to create a community that is inspired to live lives that are about strength, joy and peace. I hope you are all in the midst of manifesting your most powerful and creative dreams. I would love to hear about them!

In Viriditas,
Jeannine

 

Dreams: Waking Dreams, Part 3 of 6

(Excerpt from Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine by Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka, M.D.)

sleep

But when noise and turmoil or loud conversation prevail in the surroundings of a sleeping person, the air will echo. Then outside air will strike back the air which is found in the person, because the elements are also present in the human body. As soon as the soul notices this movement in the air, it will draw its energy back to itself and cause the person to wake up. It often happens that someone unwillingly awakens through sudden noise, touch, or unexpectedly in some other way. (CC 85,14)

Those awakened by noise disturbances, such as a baby crying, a snoring spouse, or a barking dog, suffer a deprived dream life, and since they have little dreaming, there is no rest. Those who wake up after a harmonious dream cycle will enjoy a completely rejuvenated nervous system. This has been confirmed by dream researchers. The nightly fluctuation of periodic awakening is accepted today as healthy and refreshing. The leadened deep sleep in one stretch will not create a refreshed awakening. The refreshed morning arising is related to dreaming, whether the dreams are remembered or not.

As soon as the marrow of the sleeper increases and is strengthened, the soul restores the whole continuity of the sleeping body. In this manner it takes back the gentle wind, which had been sent out of the marrow of the individual for his repose, and the person awakes again. If one often awakens at intervals and between times falls asleep unexpectedly, then the marrow will not acquire its complete richness and energy, and the limbs will not be completely rested. But the person who often wakes up and then sleeps again will invigorate marrow and limbs in a very pleasant manner. It is similar to the baby who often sucks and again stops sucking to gather strength for its recuperations. (CC84, 31)

Do you awake refreshed after a night’s sleep? You can thank your dreams if you do!

In Viriditas,
Jeannine