"What are my life priorities?" Like Hansel and Gretel and their trail of breadcrumbs, I have to return to this question for myself on a regular basis to ask if I'm still headed in the direction I want to be going. If I'm not careful I veer off onto old well-worn paths that are familiar but take me away from where I really want to go.
The soul seeks freedom, liberation, independence, joy. The ego's job is to keep us safe and secure. I grew up knowing well the value of safety and security. There was no question in my household that these were the primary objectives, and I'm so thankful to my parents for instilling in me the ability to take care of myself and my needs.
As I make my way firmly into the second half of my life, though, I long for more soul time. I hunger to expand, explore, discover. I've been lucky. I've had the privilege of careers that insist I never become too domesticated - theatre actress, yoga teacher, dance trainer, retreat leader. Even so, I find that my deepest cravings are for more connection to the untamed parts of me. I want to keep waking up, keep learning, being surprised.
For many of us this is a natural inclination as we age. As we become more able to assuage the ego and calm its fears, the soul finally has the freedom to shout to the high heavens, "My turn!" And yet the ego may still rear its ugly head and vehemently demand, "Be careful! Watch out! Hang on!" Mine certainly does. But my greatest joys come from the moments when I successfully quiet it enough to hear and attend to my soul's longings.
This is why I dance, why I lead trainings and workshops in play and voice, why I invite others to join me on adventures around the world. Just as in the fairy tale, I dutifully scattered breadcrumbs behind me to ensure I can find my way safely home, but it turns out the birds have eaten them all, and I don't really want to go back the way I came after all. I want to venture out into the unknown forest with faithful companions, and discover together the courage to defeat the witch who would keep us children, and make our own way.
The soul deserves its time. If not now, when? Come join me in the delightful 'unknown forest' of Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, this August, with one of my very favorite companions in soul play, Jovinna Chan. (Or see where else I'll be venturing this fall and winter, below...)
Blessings to all our intrepid, beautiful souls...