Welcome to Reflections of a Buddhist Pole Dancer!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Learning to Fly While Staying Grounded

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game

Too late for second guessing
 Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts,
 close my eyes and leap…

And so starts Elpheba’s pivotal flight in the Broadway musical, Wicked. She knows she’s changed and the status quo won’t work for her anymore. She’s not angry, yet empowered. She’s excited and a bit bewildered by her new found faith. She defies gravity and stands up for the one thing she believes in: Herself. I completely “get’ how she feels, don’t you? 

It’s time to try defying gravity
and you can’t pull me down

But gravity is a funny thing, isn't it? In dualistic metaphors we speak of being grounded as a positive virtue, yet we also dreamily entertain thoughts of breaking free and flying past our limitations. We want it all: stability and freedom; predictability and the thrill of surprise. The good news is that they are not mutually exclusive. The base of both is an as-is acceptance of ourselves.

So sisters: We don’t need broomsticks or ruby slippers. We don’t need wishes or fairy godmothers. We don’t need wings. What we need is what Elphie had: we frickin' need to believe. No, not a narcissistic existence, but the belief that we are enough right now! That we are worthy today! That we are complete as is! With this innate knowledge comes innate balance. The wisdom to stay, the courage to go.

Yes. It's much easier said than done.

The prerequisite to belief is the exploration that begins with the simple act of self care. When we arrive at the point of believing in who we are, then we have come to connect with our cores, whether it be through trial and error or grand journey back to ourselves. When we see ourselves-- really see ourselves (free from the labels, pretenses, and stories) we are grounded in our integrity, truth and common sense. Our internal wisdom leads our choices, even if that means doing the laundry instead of going out for a night on the town. Our true north guides our decisions. We are still. We listen. We know. Our actions are regret-free and purposeful, chosen out of responsibility we’re grateful to have. A perspective of pleasure replaces duty. Yes, even sorting socks can be a mindful opportunity.

I’m through accepting limits
‘cuz someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But ‘till I try I’ll never know

This belief also helps us leave the ground and fly. We have the courage to take one step closer to the edge. We’re not quite careful, yet neither are we careless. We simply are. We take worthy risks because we are not afraid. We become a bit bigger and we laugh a bit louder. We say yes to ourselves…to our children…to our responsibilities…to our lives. When the time is right we listen closely and we might even choose a night on the town over doing the laundry.

Whether grounded or taking flight, we are fully awake. We trust, we make our own rules and we leap into the beauty of now.

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