Tag Archive 'dancing'

Apr 01 2010

Shimmying and Shaking the Genie out of the Bottle – Issue #47

I’ve heard that the experience of death feels like a genie being released from the bottle. Life can feel like that too when we free ourselves from the tight confines of our fears and programming. I am opting for the life version of releasing my genie, uncorking the big energy of my bottled-up life force.

I have put myself on a healing program that includes dancing, bouncing, shimmying and shaking every morning to move lymph through my body, reduce stress, oxygenate myself and free up my expanded energy field…and I am doing it outside! I am boldly going where I dared not go before.

In the past my fears have kept me from dancing outside, fears that the neighbors might judge me, embarrassed to reveal my white dimpled arms and legs, afraid that being barefoot outside might cut my feet on something, scared that sunlight causes cancer. But now, barefoot, bare arms and legs, I am shaking and shimmying my pelvis like Elvis for all the neighbors to see. All my fears are coming to light, coming to dance in the light.

As I was dancing I noticed that at times my shaking, bouncing and shimmying had a frantic element in it. I wasn’t moving in harmony with my fear, I was moving in disharmony, trying to get away from it. That shook loose a big learning for me — I see that so much of what I’ve done to protect myself from the big bad scary world, doing ‘all the right things’ has been fear-based.

I’ve been trying to control my world by carefully avoiding toxins and dangers — I’ve been anal retentively trying to maneuver my ducks in a row and keep them there. But all my efforts to get my ducks in a row just quacks them up! And the fears underneath those efforts to protect myself have proven to be more toxic that what I’ve been trying to protect myself from.

Fear has become a cork in my bottle, and, literally, in my bottom in the form of cancer. It is time to unclench! To pop my cork! To face and release the energy of my fear and anger and full aliveness.

A friend told me of someone she knows who loves to swim in the ocean but is afraid of sharks. He decided to imagine himself swimming into the jaws of the shark, right into the belly of the beast. He met his fear head on and the fear subsided. I am meeting my worst fear head on, I am facing the beast in my belly, cancer, and seeing that it’s just a frightened, pissed off little girl, curled up in a ball, in a fist, in a fetal position. Come sweetheart, let’s blow this popstand! Let’s explode into our full aliveness! You have a right to be here, to be fully here, with all your piss and vinegar, all the colors of your being. Let yourself be big and bold and alive! The universe awaits us with open arms!

Clearing this blockage, healing this little girl, and uncorking my aliveness has become my passion and my mission. I have kept my two cats Bo and Zeena captive inside, afraid to release them into the big bad world of coyotes and fleas and cars and other cats, afraid that I might lose them. They look out the window longing to explore the rich, scary, exciting world outside. In the spirit of liberation, I am freeing my kitties! I am opening the door and releasing them to this great adventure of life! I’m excited for them. I’m excited for me.

This is the great challenge of my soul, to face my worst fear, to face death, to face life. My brother has just set out to sail around the world, stirring his juices, rousing his soul, facing his fears. His adventure sounds more fun. But nothing is as important and exciting to me as meeting this big soul challenge. Sure, I have waves of deep sadness, fear and anger, but I ride those waves to solid ground where I remember who I really am – I am a soul on a great adventure, here to face and free my blockages, to uncork my full aliveness.

Are there places in you where your aliveness has been corked? I invite you to unclench, uncork, free that energy, and let your magnificent, big, bold genie self out of the bottle!

In love,
Jan Jacobsen

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May 11 2009

Fired Up & Drawing on My “Trust” Fund! 5/11/09, Issue #12

(Written Thursday, May 7)

I look out my window on this dark night and watch in frightened awe the wind-whipped Jesusita fire glowing in terrible beauty for 5 miles across the Santa Barbara mountains. My heart pounds as I see that a portion of it is racing towards us! There are urgent sounds of sirens, helicopters, planes, and a roaring wind; it sounds like war. During the day the winds had died down, and the fire slept (after destroying 75 homes the night before); it seemed we were safe. But the sundowner winds awakened the fire with startling speed into a house-devouring monster that is now spreading out of control. We are on the outside edge of the evacuation zone and are faced with the question, “What do we take with us? What is important? What can we do without?”

I am adrenalized and frantically packing essentials. Then Tom and I stop what we’re doing and look at each other; holding our gaze, he tells me, “Whatever happens, we will be fine.” I take a deep breath; I know what he means. We know how to come fully into the moment, into the here and now, and be in that state of grace where everything works out. That is our “Trust” fund, which we have access to at any time. Even if we were living in a newspaper tent under the freeway, if we are in the moment, in that state of trust, we are safe.

During the course of this fire, flashes of awareness have been coming to me that cancer is like a fire. My cancer is apparently “out”, but the doctor said there is a medium risk of recurrence; there are possible embers that could be whipped into a raging fire again, a body devouring monster, spreading out of my control – like my imagination! Sometimes I am aware of a frantic energy in me, trying to make myself relax; afraid that stress, like the wind, could whip the embers of cancer back to monstrous life. Then I am reminded of my “trust” fund, and I take a deep breath, knowing that I will be fine no matter what happens.

It is now Sunday. Over the last three days the marines landed and saved Santa Barbara! – the marine layer that is, blanketing us all in cool, moist protection. I am letting out a big sigh of relief. Tom and I went to a dance today where people gathered to commune, and share in our mutual experience of having been under siege and having survived. There were people at the dance whose homes had burnt to the ground; they had come to dance their pain of loss and their joy of community and survival. Dancing can be an act of healing ourselves. Animal’s bodies naturally tremble once danger has passed, releasing the energy of the trauma. Dancing is a way to do the same.

I danced my body in rocking, shaking, releasing movements; like a salt shaker, releasing salty sweat and tears as my heart welled with compassion for those who had lost their homes. This spilled over into compassion for all of us who have had great losses in our lives: homes, breasts, uteruses, relationships. Dancing, shaking, releasing stress and deep sadness, moving through the wreckage, rising from the ashes, as passion comes, igniting flames of rebirth and celebration – such is the dance of life.

Fires are a natural part of life. They serve a beneficial purpose. The fires in our personal lives can do the same, but that depends on how we choose to look at things. Perhaps it is no coincidence that last week there was a Buddhist sand painting exhibit here, which was exquisitely detailed and beautiful. On the last day of the exhibit they purposely destroyed it, demonstrating the transitory nature of material life and a letting go of attachment to how things are.

It is freeing to learn how much we can let go of; whether it’s a lost home, relationship, or uterus; we manage to rise from the ashes and recover our passion to recreate our lives. The human spirit has wings, like the phoenix, that carry us to new heights and new life.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.” Victor Hugo

What is really important to you? What is it you would take with you if you had to leave your house? What do you want to take with you when you leave this life? I’m taking my “trust” fund!

 In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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