Sunday, December 27, 2015

AMMONITE NAUTILOID PRACTICE: Celebrating Flux and Embodying Love through Dance

AMMONITE DANCE. Let's dance to integrate our past, present, and approaching future. Although the ammonite, an extinct marine mollusc, is more closely related to an octopus or squid, it reminds us of the chambered nautilus and serves wonderfully to illustrate our human experience. Here, I dance with the ammonite, symbol of continuity and survival when all is FLUX. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
"Our ability to find something to love, and to love again for the first time, depends greatly on how we resolve and integrate where we've been before. A great model for us exists in the chambered nautilus, an exquisite shell create that lives along the ocean floor." --Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Hallelujah for resiliency! That human ability to manage disruptions, constant change of addition and reduction! To rise and fall with FLUX. In Mark Nepo's description of the nautilus, he explains how the animal lives in its most recent chamber and uses the other to stay afloat.

You might ask why I am writing about resiliency at a time of holiday celebration. Like many, I am challenged by the winter holiday season. I am especially challenged when my darling Chiboogamoo travels to the Bahamas to teach his Emory course on Modern and Ancient Environments and is absent for New Year's celebrations. I must welcome 2016 without him.

Last night, we quietly and privately acknowledged 2016's beginning by viewing the most recent Star Wars movie and eating take out Chinese. We read our fortune cookies and kissed. 

To address the challenge of FLUX and my emotional rising and fallings, I have stretched myself in the past year in some of the following ways:

The Daily Creative Practice: Having a practice allows me to know what actions to take to maintain my physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual equilibrium. I may miss a day here and there, but I know how to return to a structure that keeps me afloat. Thank you members of the Daily Creative Practice.

InterPlay: This improvisational system buoys me. I feel so fortunate to have acquired certification in such a playful but wise way of experiencing my life. Yes to InterPlay buoyancy! Thank you Phil Porter and Cynthia Winton-Henry.

Forgiving: Even though my "forgiveness practice" is in its infancy, I KNOW that the act of forgiving oneself and others is POWERFUL. BIBO is part of this practice. Breathe in. Breathe out. Thank you Soyinka Rahim!

Love: It may sound funny to say this--I'm still exploring what love is. Being loving is challenging for me. I struggle with loving as well. What is love? I know right now, I feel exhausted and in need of renewal around love. Not the kind I have for my husband Chiboogamoo. Not that kind. 

But the BIG LOVE. Self love. Love for family, community, all of humanity. Witnessing so much violence in American culture and in the world haunts me. Even the new Star Wars movie and the previews that accompanied it were filled with communities at war and massive extensive killings.

Two years ago, I wrote this in a blog using ammonites as a metaphor for survival:

"Today, yesterday, tomorrow, before, and again in the future, I will return to this symbolic value of the ammonite: SURVIVAL. Now, at my wise age of 55, I am imbuing my ammonites' totemic power of "survival" with a playful, joyful dance. 

As each one of us gathers our years and deepens our wisdom, we experience the ebb and flow of life's gifts. We bid some friends good-bye. We change jobs. We face new environments. At each turn of the spiral we meet challenges, loss, growth, and new opportunities to survive with the exquisite appreciation of life's force. Life has heft and weight to it. 

Let's dance the ammonite spiral. Let's celebrate our survival from one day to the next with joy and love in our hearts!" 

--Hallelujah Truth, from "Ammonite Celebration" (see link below)

After I publish this blog post today, I commit to dancing the "Ammonite Spiral." During the next ten days, as I bring in 2016 without my darling husband, I will continue to return to this ammonite nautiloid dance. I will be dancing on behalf of LOVE. Love for myself. Love for you. Love for us all.
AMMONITE DANCE #2. (Collaboration: Art by Hallelujah Truth and Photo manipulations by Trish Weaver, then altered again by HT)

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. Soul Blog with me and tell me about your experience with the ammonite dance. Let's all dance together joyfully and with ease.

Other Hallelujah Truth related blog posts: 

ICHTHYOSAUR EYES AND AMMONITES: Fall is a time for introspection and pondering survival from mass extinctions

AMMONITE CELEBRATION: Dancing with the fossils as totems of survival and thriving existences



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