The Buddhist part reminds me that I am being my best when I am mindful-- one of the core principles of Buddhism. The Pole Dancer part reminds me that I am happiest when I engage in some sort of play. The joy that overcomes me from pole dancing sings to my soul.
While I am not an official Buddhist, I am drawn to its teachings. I love the gentle reminders of who we ALL are (Awakening Buddhas!) and that our suffering is a result of grasping pleasure and running from pain. I love learning about the Middle Place and ways of reaching it through meditation and mastery of thoughts. I love the notion of staying put when things are tough, for those moments are the best teachers. I love the eightfold path and its suggestions for how we might speak, think, act, and earn a living. I love the simplicity of Buddhism and the challenge of the practice at the same time. I find I am a better being when studying it. I am happy when I am here, now, no matter what might be going on here and now. At least I can melt into the middle of it and just be. The happiness doesn't necessarily come from the content of the moment, but from the moment itself.
While I am not an official Pole Dancer (at least not a paid one or one who performs for others!), I love pole dancing. I've been doing it for about six years-- smitten after my very first lesson. My pole is in my living room-- I can swing around with happiness and catch a view of the Monterey Bay at the same time. I love the joy I feel when my body flies effortlessly around the pole. I love the strength achieved from new moves, particularly upside-down push-ups. I love the grace and femininity I feel from dancing and moving to the music with only the pole as my partner. I even love the barrage of bruises that cover my legs when I try to master something new. They're indicators of courage and dedication. With pole dancing I also love the playful mystery that surrounds it all.
So I am neither an official Buddhist nor a professional Pole Dancer, but I call myself a Buddhist Pole Dancer. What gives? I am less attached to labels and more drawn to feelings. Buddhist Pole Dancer resonates deep within. As a barometer of my well being I can usually trace it back to these two indicators: my practice of mindfulness and my willingness to play. When I am at my best I am a Buddhist Pole Dancer. Knowing this about myself gives me easy guidance when I am off track. Am I present in my life, nurturing my spirit? Am I playing on my pole and connecting with my body and my innate need for fun? Whereas an answer of No confirms my funk, an answer of Yes indicates a path of wellness.
What empowering descriptors encourage you to be your best and serve as a guage of balance? I'd love to know!
*No Buddhists or pole dancers were harmed in the making of this moniker. I hope they weren't offended, either. :)