Dancing with Will, the Ritual

Today is the first Full Moon of 2011. I chose this as a beginning date for a 40-day ritual I have been dreaming up to call in assistances I need with areas of my life and character where I feel weakest, and to offer myself more actively in the work that I have prepared my whole life to do. A dream I woke up with this morning gave me the title, Dancing with Will.

Twice in the last year, friends I have worked with have mentioned to me the need for will power in accomplishing some of the goals I am reaching for. Will power. I took their advice to heart. I have been turning the phrase over and over in the last months, considering. I tried to muster up more of it. A rebel inside roars back threateningly, destructively even. The struggle seems fierce so I back off and muse some more. Try again. Back off again.

I finally came to terms with some of the history of this struggle. During much of my life I used my will to lead a disciplined life that seems almost impossible to me from where I sit now. For the better part of 20 years I meditated 4 times a day; early morning, noon, dusk and before sleep. I fasted every Saturday, and on numerous other days. I was a minister, writing talks that I gave regularly, attending meetings and services several times a week. I had a full time job. I never drank alcohol or used any other such substances. All this time I was raising two gorgeous children. I was married and gave time and attention to that relationship. It took extraordinary will power to do all of these things. I had a will of steel and I used it.

At the end of those years came the breakdown I was heading for, as I see it from this distance. The force of my own will that had gotten me to such a place began to feel like Hitler, a tyrant over the parts of myself that had just wanted to be, to live, to stop and play, to love and live extravagantly with the senses, to say yes! and no thank you! very differently, to listen to my trampled inner guidance system.

I remember hearing that in the Kogi tribe in South America, the chosen shamans are raised for the first nine years of their lives in a dark cave, never to come out, see the light, or wander about. They are tuning in to something else, something the daylight world would distract them from. A breakdown can send one into a psychological state that resembles that experience – a cave-like, dark underworld, light-years away from the daylight world even as you are moving about in it. Such an event can be the biggest and best blessing a seeker will ever have, though it is impossible to know that until later. During years of being out of synch with the “upper world,” one learns priceless things about self, psyche, god and nature that won’t be discovered in any other way.

I have been coming through the breakdown years in stages. This year, 2011, though, I believe it is time for me to re-enter the upper world more actively and aggressively, though I’m not sure what that will look like. It will definitely mean recovering a relationship with will power. My efforts have not been going well. Will power and I seem to be like oil and water, or electrical currents that go “psssssssssttttttttt” when they touch. So I have been thinking we have to find a way to move with each other in a dance – not forcing, no pressing or repelling, just move around one another, noticing each other, dancing.

I decided to do some dancing every day during this 40-day period with some of the things that I need more will power to achieve. Do one career activating thing each day, change one lazy physical habit each day, small applications of energy and intention that hopefully won’t make the rebel forces too upset.

This morning I woke up with a dream that blew me away. In it, I was packing to leave a big house. A very old friend was around that I was really pissed, really pissed at. I was planning not to tell him I was leaving or say good-bye. I knew this was out of character for me, to be rude like that and to be that upset, but I was pissed! He saw me shutting my suitcase and came over to say something. I actively ignored him and walked away. He came up behind me and put his hands on my waist. I stiffened. Finally I turned to look him in the face so that he could see how angry I was. He put his hands on my waist again and started ever so gently moving my hips as he moved his, swaying, a subltle dance. I kept my own arms at my side stiffly, but started to move a little bit with him. Finally I put my hands on his waist and tried to dance more willingly, knowing that if I put my arms around his neck it would be more intimate but that wasn’t ready to happen. I woke up.

Will. That guy was Will! It didn’t even hit me until about an hour or so after I woke up that this was the exact image for the ritual I had been planning, starting today, and I woke up with that precise dream. Dancing with Will.

I love dreams so much! And ritual. Here we go.

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