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I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance (time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on the years and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance (time is wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on the years and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

I hope you dance
I hope your dancing
I hope your dancing
I pray your dancing
I hope you dance


This post is dedicated to a dear friend, Amy Pratt, known here as Bella.  Amy was a regular visitor, and even more than that – someone who brought much joy and love to every place she touched, especially in my heart.  Amy, you had a beautiful gift of reaching out and seeing the good, and in touching on something deeper in all of that.   You will be deeply missed, wonderful friend.  Keep dancing in the heavens.

Dance your heart out!
Creative Commons License photo credit: ooberayhay

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams." ~ Anonymous

Preface

What is that dance in you?

Typical days.  Consumed by deadlines.  Commutes.  Bills.  Running errands.  Playing family chaueffer.

It's so easy to get caught up in the mundane of daily living. 

Does it have to be that way, though?  Does it, really, have to be that way?

What if….

We open ourselves up to the dance that is there within our hearts…that touches upon our soul.

It's there.

And It Begins

An interesting thing has happened recently. 

I have been working with Katie West and Ina Lukas, from The Levity Project, on a micro-movement. 

Car dancing

Dancing in your car.  Or…really, dancing on your way throughout your day (however that might happen).

And this is about so much more than just dancing through the moments of your day. 

Think about this:  Would it feel "normal" to dance in your car (or walking down the sidewalk, or navigating the aisles of your favorite grocery store) ?  Or would this feel "weird", "different", "being seen"??

Why is it that we hold ourselves back?

There is a dance in each of us.  The dance to paint.  The dance to sing.   The dance to be a mother.  The dance to coach that little league team.  The dance to join the local community band.  The dance to dance.  The dance of passion.  Passion for whatever it is that makes our hearts sing!

To Dance

Car dancing. 

In the garage…in the driveway…it feels so safe…to let my hair down.  No one around…and it becomes so easy to be "me"…with wild abandon.

How about…

At a stoplight.  Other cars around.  Or walking down the street.  Or waiting in line for the next cashier. 

Exposed.

To be freely expressive.  To "dance".  In that place where I wouldn't normally dance.  Not alone anymore. 

Raise my arms. Move my body.  Bop my head. 

Surrounded by others…in the normalness of daily life. 

And to dance?

To express joy, to let the music engulf me…is both strange and a challenge.

Why?

Because this is not the expected place to dance?  Because others might *gasp* see me?  Because no one else is doing this?  Perhaps I have created some sort of unwritten standard in my head…one that says I should "fit in", that there's a place for everything (and this is not it), that it is easier to not risk embarrassment for the song in my heart.

The Cloud Is Lifted

Doing this thing.  Dancing in public…in a non-dance setting.  The car.  The sidewalk.  The neighborhood convenience store. 

Doing it.

Dancing.  In public.

Wow!

Getting beyond the fear, the wondering eyes, the thoughts in my head.

Everything seems suddenly lighter.  The sky is brighter.  Aggravations melt away.  This mini-celebration does wonders!  I feel like the world is "right" and "okay".  I see more of the humanity behind the masks of those around me.  Life is good.

And Such Is Life

Car dancing.  One small thing.  One deeply moving experience.

Life.

Mine.  Yours. 

How am I living that life?  How are you living that life?

There is a dance in each of us.  In you.  In me. 

Something that sets our heart on fire.  Something that makes us each dance for life.

What is that dance in you?

Let your dance out.  Be you.  That incredible, amazing you that sings and dances from your heart!

Join The Movement

The Levity Project is creating a compilation video of YOUR submitted car dancing moments!  We have an amazing sampling from all over the world so far, young and old alike – getting "out there" and dancing.  Creating change in themselves.  And touching in some way, those who witness this dance of joy.   Are you up for it?
**
•    Create a short video (10 – 20 seconds) of yourself (and others) car dancing (or dancing in whatever mode of transportation you use).
•    Click here to submit your video. (Please submit all videos by Saturday, February 27, 2010)
•    Contact me via the Contact Us page, with your name and location (to be included in the video).
**
NOTE:  The Levity Project video, of everyone together, will  premiere in early March.
 

We shall find peace. We shall hear angels.
We shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.
~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

Today I have Evita Ochel, from Evolving Beings, here.  Evita is a wonderful and dear friend, and really a beautiful soul who touches other's hearts with her caring and compassionate love. 

Read along, as I sit down with Evita, and she shares a bit about who she is, and where she is at on this amazing journey of her life.

1. Tell us a little bit about who "you" are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
I am a being, who currently lives in Canada. I was not initially born here, and no matter where I live  on this planet in the future, I simply consider myself “Earthian” today. I love traveling and exploring this Earth, and to date have visited over 15 countries.

Internally, I am a passionate truth seeker. I have a very profound love for nature. In fact, I have a huge passion and respect for every single species on this Earth. I am called to oneness with all and hold deep gratitude for this amazing planet and how it supports us.

I am married, but more than this, am in an incredible unity with an amazing being who not only brings out the best in me on a daily basis, but inspires me to constantly grow and expand to my highest potential.

In terms of career, as a teen I always had a strong interest in the health and science field and after my formal education became a high school science teacher. I loved being a teacher, and had no doubt that this was not only my calling but also one of my life's passions. However, as I taught and took very seriously to practice what I preach, I grew in many ways. It was at this time that I began to feel the limitations that this position had on my personal evolution, and so in June of 2009 I resigned from this position to become a teacher on a global level. I got some more certification in the areas of holistic health and nutrition and today am a writer, researcher and speaker in those areas, as well as in the areas of spirituality and consciousness expansion.

Lance's Commentary:  I'm drawn to your description of yourself as a "being".  Just the way you say that, it feels like you are much more than just your human self.  There's this real feel of connection to everything in this universe, and to this idea that we share this Earth we live on with every living thing.  What a beautiful view of the world!   

2. How long have you been blogging, and what led you to start writing?
I started the first of the three sites I currently run, 2 years ago. That was Evolving Beings.

Having gone through amazing personal transformations in the 2 years prior to this new venture, there was so much inside of me that wanted to be shared with the world. I felt a very strong calling to have a channel through which I could reach as many people as I could world wide. I felt like I discovered the secrets to internal peace, fulfillment and happiness, and wanted to help as many people as I could out there.

My husband knew that I had a passion for writing, as well as what “blogs” were (I didn't before this time) and so he suggested that I start a blog. Between his web development skills and my writing skills, Evolving Beings came to life.

A few months after that I felt the same strong call to have an outlet for my health, scientific and nutrition knowledge to help people lead healthier lives. This gave rise to Evolving Wellness.

Finally, later on that year, being a nature lover, and poet at heart, I started Evolving Scenes where I share my photography and short inspirational passages, in hopes of awakening a deeper love and respect for nature and life in people.

Lance's Commentary:  I first connected with you on your Evolving Beings site.  What I've also found since that first contact, is that all of your sites just complement one another so well.  I see that as the care with which you show in each of these places, and how it all connects back to you in very meaningful ways.     

3. What is the deeper purpose of your three sites?
That would be to awaken people to their highest state of being in every aspect of life.

Too many of us live and have lived on auto pilot for far too long. We don't act consciously, we don't speak or even think consciously. The majority of thoughts in our heads are negative, completely sub-conscious and virally driven. We are driven by many collective fears, greed and other various societal pressures. 

And all this would be completely fine if we were happy, but we are not. The majority of people live in unprecedented stress, emotional pain and do not truly know who they are or what true peace and happiness really feels like.

I didn't have to wait till I got diagnosed with a disease or suffered some tragic loss in my life to wake up and start making the most of life. Thanks to the right material, I “woke up” and completely transformed my thinking, my habits and my lifestyle from every angle. I achieved peace and happiness like I never thought possible. For the most part, I felt like I transcended fear and pain.

And that is what I want to help others with, through my writing on the sites. I want to inspire people to feel that same heaven I feel each day too, for I know it is possible.

Lance's Commentary:  Evita, know that you have a such a caring way of touching upon these deeper parts of the human soul.  This is a beautiful gift you have.
 
4.You live in Canada.  Tell us about something amazing that you have done or place that you have visited in this country you live in. 

What I love about Canada is the lush, vastness and diversity of its landscape. I have been to the Gaspe coast and seen some whales jump. I have visited Quebec City and appreciated its intricate European like appeal and architecture. I have been to Niagara Falls and enjoyed its breathtaking mighty presence. I also travel to our so called “up north cottage country” almost on an annual basis, and experience some of the most beautiful and serene places on Earth.

Lance's Commentary:  You make me smile, Evita.  Up north!  Hmmm…I think for myself and most of the readers here today…you already qualify as up north, just by the fact that you live in Canada!!  I know what you mean though.  That's a common saying here to, to go "up north", which is really about getting back to nature, leaving the hustle and bustle of daily living behind, and really feeling a stronger connection to this amazing Earth we live in community with.  So, I wish many moments of continued beauty "up north" and in all the journey's life takes you on. 

5.  Evita, when I think of you, I draw upon a deep spiritual grounding that you have.  Could you elaborate on this spiritual path, and what it means in your life?
I am really glad I have to say that you used the words “spiritual grounding” Lance, for that is exactly how I feel. I love experiencing myself as a spiritual being, while respecting this physical experience. I try to be balanced in both places at all times in my life today, and this has served me very well in every aspect of my life.

That deep spiritual path is the foundation of my life today. It is my rock. From it I draw my thoughts, words and actions. From it I draw my courage, confidence and faith.

For the first quarter of my life I lived very much like the majority of people today, seeing only the physical, with some small hints or flashes of some sort of spiritual aspect. Ever since I embarked on my spiritual journey however, life has taken on a delicious new depth. It has allowed me to transcend so many typical limitations and constraints. It has made me a much better person. It has drawn out of me a deeper love and respect for all things and beings. It has made me more understanding, perceptive, open minded and non-judgmental.

Today, I cannot imagine living any other way, and I love where this spiritual path continues to take me.

Lance's Commentary:  Evita, one of the many things that comes to mind when I think of you is love.  It's a love that just shines with such deep respect for life.  And that is life in many forms – from the greatest to the smallest.  And in that, I see this deep spiritual connection you hold dear to you, and how that is really the basis for the life you are living.  And that's a life – in every aspect that I have witnessed – that is filled with beautiful care and compassion for all living things.  Evita, know that I see your spiritual essence as a part of your soul…and a part that shines brightly out into the universe. 

6.  One more thing that I’m drawn to is your health-conscious living.  Have you always lived this way?
On a smaller scale yes, but in no way to the level that I live it out today.
 
Fast food or processed food was never really a part of my upbringing so that really helped me get on the right path of health. However, up until just a few years ago I lived with the common paradigms that most people hold, those being that: the four food groups are a must for good health, that doctors and drugs make people better, that sickness is inevitable and that we are victims of our genetics, fate and environment.

It wasn't until I started to really examine each of those pieces on a deeply conscious, as well as  academic, spiritual and ethical level that I realized a whole other world and truth. I immersed myself in a lot of research and looked inward, only to realize that there was so much to health and well being that we were losing out on.
 
Today, living in balance, or striving always for balanced living is key to me, and I cannot imagine having a wonderful spiritual experience, without also having a wonderful physical experience, and vice-versa. It has become a whole package deal for me to focus consciously on the mind, body and soul.

Lance's Commentary:  I'm not sure if you are familiar with the study of epigenetics (many personal thanks to Katie West for the introduction to this field of study), or really how we can change our genetic makeup at the epigenome level.  This is good news!  And it fits so well in line with everything you are talking about – and how we CAN change our genes, on some level, and really make strides in our health, for instance.

7.  You are out for a walk one day, and winds of change blow over you.  What happens?
Ooooh – exciting things happen! I love change. This is one of the other perks that I have integrated into my life in the past few years. I no longer fear change, I embrace it. In fact, I often look forward to it. Nature changes constantly with such peace and ease, it is only us as human beings who try to resist any kind of change. But change is a part of life, it helps us grow, expand and rise to our highest level of being.

Lance's Commentary:  Just looking at our natural world…what a great view of change!  

8. Tell us one unexpected thing that has happened to you in the last year.
Hmmm, just one eh? Well, I guess that would have to be, being approached by a publisher to write two books for them. Completely out of the blue one day I got a message if I would be interested in writing these two books a publisher wanted. I mean I knew I wanted to be a writer, but this was a beautiful surprise of having a publisher contact me, instead of me contacting a publisher. It was a great opportunity that gave me some practice with how the publishing world works, and also to build up my confidence for when it is time for me to approach publishers with my own book titles.

Lance's Commentary:  Evita, that is wonderful news!!  Having read your material now for well over a year…this publisher is onto something!   Your writing is deep and meaningful.  More than that, though, it touches upon something that includes a part of your soul. And this is where you shine, in the heart and soul you put into all that you write.    

9. If you had to pick one thing as your greatest achievement, what would it be (and why)? 
It would have to be hands down attaining the internal spiritual peace that I have found to date. Lance, not a day goes by honestly where I don’t feel amazing gratitude for where I am in my life at such an early age. Some people may not see this as an achievement in the typical sense of the word, but for me it very much is.

At this point in my life, it is not about what degree I got or what job, car, house or whatever the similar case may be. I am not a seeker of fame or fortune. Today for me, it is about whether or not I found a way to live my life with peace, integrity, authenticity, love, joy, and balance. And for the most part that answer is yes, and that is what makes me the most happy today.

Lance's Commentary:  This answer is so filled with beauty and love.  Evita, you radiate this gratitude in all that you do!  And the beautiful thing about this is that your sincere connection to what matters, this very deep spiritual peace, is something that helps others to feel more peace in their own lives.  I personally feel this every time we interact.  So, know that I completely see you living your life with authenticity, peace, joy, and love.    

10. Deep-down, Evita, what makes you, "you"?  And what does a typical day with your husband involve?
Well, I will start with what a typical day looks like for me and finish off with what really makes me who I am…

Our typical day can be explained by 5 words: love, peace, creation, serenity and laughter. Our days typically begin somewhere between 8 and 9am. From there we go to the kitchen together to have breakfast, whose signature ingredient is always some sort of a green smoothie. There is no rushing or stress of any kind. Normally, we have nowhere to go or must do's. Sometimes breakfast lasts 15 minutes, and sometimes up to an hour, as we began to discuss the joy and possible creations of a new day.

From there we go to our “work room” where we have 2 desks that face each other. We both work from home and this lets us spend a lot of quality time together, as well not be tied to any particular location.  We create our passions, we talk, we laugh, we bounce ideas off of each other. Naturally we have lunches and dinners together and some days are interspersed by yoga classes. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to spend each day with not only my husband, but my best friend and an amazing co-worker.

As for what really makes me “me”…. my strength, independence and calm state of mind, as well as love and passion for life. Life is a precious gift, and I love experiencing it everyday to the fullest!

—–

Lance, thank you so very much for inviting me to this interview with you. I appreciate so much all the work you do here on this site and in our world today. You truly are a lightworker, as you spread so much love, joy and kindness wherever you go. It is really such an amazing honor to be featured here on your site and call you a great friend.

Lance's Commentary:  Evita, I'm going to share my take on what makes you "you".  Our paths crossed well over a year ago, and in that time, I have truly come to love the person you are.  And that is because of who "you" are.  I think of this peace and calmness about you…one that makes others feel at ease in your presence.  And then there is this genuine warmth.  A warmth for life…although deeper than that…really a genuine warmth and caring for every living thing on this earth.  That is a warmth that touches me at my core.  You are so real, so approachable, so unconditional in the love you share from your heart.  That is "you".  And that is true beauty. 

Closing Thoughts:  As I have touched on above, you have such a beautiful view of life.  It is a view that feels so connected and grounded in the depth of your soul, Evita.   In every interaction we have had, I always feel a deep sense of peace.  That is you, sharing the purity of your heart.  That is you, caring with every ounce of your being.  That is you, sharing the love that is beautifully within you. 

The sky does indeed sparkle with diamonds.  Evita, know that you are a bright and sparkling diamond in my life. 

You can keep up with Evita by subscribing to Evolving Beings, and following her on Twitter.

she is as she's always been
Creative Commons License photo credit: cláudia gabriela marques vieira

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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