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My Creator is a Dancer

It is time to cut the seriousness, taking ourselves so seriously that is.

Seriously, Isn’t it time to stop straining so hard to justify ourselves as a grain of the entire cosmos claiming we are the authority on whether there is a creator or not and if so what kind of a creator he or she is. Maybe that old phrase applies here. Get Real, seriously.

A dancer knows when it is time to pop out of the womb that every moment is a fresh creation. What’s there to do? We dance the celebration dance and the stay alert and alive dance as a kind of juggling act. Actually the juggling is already in process. We are born with a kind of binary up and down, expanding and contracting sort of perspective that means we are a creation in process, in the balance as they say. The dancer of whatever age plays within the balance.

So if creation is at hand every millisecond, what is there to decide? Creation exists. We can name it as life. We can observe it. We can catalog it. And within ourselves those tasks are daunting.

Luckily we are equipped with all the resources to probe and experiment with this life, both life that is us and our life that is interconnected with all life. Luckily we do not have to decide if this life is personal or chemical or extra-terrestrial.

A dancer knows that life is the next moment arriving with all its surprises. We do not have to surmise the characteristics of this life because by the time we make our cartoon dance of ourselves, life has divided a million times into another surprise. Why do we suppose that teenage dancers are eager for the next moment while their peers are imagining hundreds of ways to shut down the life they are given.

As an aside, it is curious that we can spend so much seriousness on whether or not we are right about a creator when we can not even decide how to treat the life at our finger tips. Take for example the polar bear as a creature that can solve any of life’s challenges of survival. Yet as we shove them out of their habitat, we can not devise a way to feed and treat them as real life.

Curiously, this the same way we treat insect species that we kill off daily and even our children have no place to fully play within the realms of their immense creative life. We work our children like they were factory rats and wonder why they have no idea what wonder and awe of life is about.

Back to the point of seriousness, we are given all we need to manage and shape our self as a functioning part of life. A dancer takes a simple image with a simple thought and a movement; adds a simple hope and begins to gather data from the richness of their experience. A dancer knows too that there are dials to amplify every quality of movement, focus and emotion and meditation.

Navigation is as simple as asking a question. Ahh, here is the debate of the creator. Can we ask a question of life and get an answer? People who have faced extreme life threatening challenges, say yes. Well yes is yes.

We can ask questions of life and get answers. Never mind that we believe it takes a life time to develop a relationship with life that allows us to ask or to listen for an answer. This is a matter of experience. Experiment with the experience, dare I say it, like a dancer delves into the rich qualities of experience.

Seriously, if we are a fresh creation every moment, isn’t it about time to stop beating around the (burning) bush and get into the business of participating with our life as it grows.

As the dancer knows, life takes attention, anticipation, sorting and discarding what is cumbersome,and of course being vulnerable enough to have fun with a mistake.

So for better or worse my creator is at work every millisecond and I might as well call life like it is. a dancer.

Oh and for all the takers of life, it is not easy and it is best to take those moments of silence that our ancestors treasured as ways to send and receive messages about our experience. It is also helpful to find others who love life to join us in preparing for encounters with the likes of the Christ who answers a question with a question about our empathy, our forgiveness, and our willingness to live a full life.

Outtakes:!?: What about the question if life is worth it, particularly if there is no creator to confer with for further encouragement. The courage of asking the question is sometimes left for the risk takers and the dancers who face their vulnerability in every part of their lives. And also, who is brave enough to ask if being without life is any less challenging on the other side than life is on this side? We might as well slow down our experiment and have fun with life. There is the challenge of real courage.
Tim Hurst 10/07/17

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Human or Transformer

When my grandson was a child I told him that when he became a man he would walk like a Transformer. As it turned out he has taken a liking to both Pilates that takes a malleable approach to movement and Weight Training that emphasizes the compression of building blocks in the body.

My interest is the way that the dancer weaves together the two worlds. The exercise and body therapy world has become fascinated with Structural Integration which I have experienced through the principles of dance and through the study of Craniosacral Therapy.

The premise is that the entire body is a network of interconnected fascia or soft tissue and this fascia acts as one elastic system that pulls the bones and organs into an efficient moving whole. This explains what the dancer and many body therapists know, that pain in one area of the body may be related to other areas of the body. See anatomytrains.com.

What fascinates me about Structural Integration is the dancer’s experience of balance and weight. Movement for the dancer is the springing of the entire body, an experience of fascia as a full body elasticity that requires a minimum of effort. The lines of fascia from head to toe are the study of the dancer who has developed an intricate understanding of the spiraling connections of muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body.

The dancer’s study is to clarify the signals that travel through the fascial network. With dance, the movement of the body is a delicate interplay of both directing those signals and understanding the way signals move. The dance training process is the interplay of sending signals and integrating the signals into networks that increase awareness. A networked movement can then be called on as a way to increase awareness.

The dancer’s approach to balance is telling in this process. As the concepts of Structural Integration explain there is a continuous compression and expansion of the fascia to organize the movement of the bones.

The dancer brings this process to awareness. Each movement is not a forced compression of muscles to get to balance. Instead balance is millions of movements sensing the placement of bones and the continual adjustments of fascia within the entire body. All movement is thus connected no matter how subtle or how bold.

Dance is uniquely placed to understand this process involving also the integration of intention, anticipation, and emotion. This understanding of the way movement is directed and nurtured brought the dancer to the use of the image

The image gives a way to translate the orders and desires of the person into movement. To do this requires an understanding of the way our networks receive and integrate data from each part of the person.

Basic to communication is the ability to receive data in the way it is sent. A parallel is the way different personalities communicate, by attention and empathy. Forced and directed communication must operate in the context of the entire person. This process is what the dancer has grown into an art form using a combination of feeling and visualization in images.
Second is the understanding of patterns of movement. The dancer has trained movement patterns to integrate into the entire body. These patterns network the body’s fascia and also the communication networks of attention and empathy.

This process is not a static set of movements but rather networked movements that are continually adjusting to a refreshed human system of emotions, awareness, and empathy. This is the process of nature that begins with simple movement and adds one variation at a time so the system integrates a pattern that is both a renewing of what is known and a surprise of a new creation.

Each movement is an interaction of compression and expansion continually adjusting as well as the human self receiving and reforming the experience of known patterns and creations of continually expanding creations.

The monitor of all these processes is the human self. We have mistakenly looked to the abstract brain as what needs to be trained. The dancer has developed the perspective of training our experience that includes the physical body and also all the other aspects of the person.
Tim Hurst 10/06/17

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Whole Body Networking

Today I experiment with a macro view of the entire body moving at once.

Since signals of all kinds move through our bodies all the time, my question is how do dancers network the entire body as one unit with many divergent purposes and directions.

I take my exercise with hips on top of a small ball to loosen my hips. The goal is to lift and lower my legs feeling the heaviness of their weight and using a minimum amount of force. I feel a degree more freedom of movement in my hip joints in this exercise.

I have already discussed my discovery of the dancer’s use of weight as floating up as well as falling down. This image along with my own of the double helix seems to require little effort and increases my freedom of movement.

While moving my legs, I want to unify signals traveling through my entire body. Many variations happen within one dance class connecting movement of the legs and arms, the erect spine, and the head and neck.

First I make specific variations on my leg movements with bent and extended knee. I lower and raise my legs with whole leg and with specific parts such as ankle, arch, heel as I lower and raise my legs. I circle my legs in these different postures.

Then I add my arms extending as a semi-circle out from my body. With each movement of my legs I coordinate the arms out and in. This regulates my breath into an effortless inhale and exhale.

Dance continually trains the two way movement of energy through the spine and out the top of the head. My movements have a new lightness and ease as I send pulses of energy from different areas of the spine upwards and down through my feet. This engagement of the whole body is a different experience from moving only the legs. I feel more liveliness and more anticipation before each movement.

Adding variations of head and neck movement with each expansion of legs and arms became yet another experience. I especially liked my reminder to connect the top vertebra of the spine with a slight bobbing motion of the head. Doing this I relaxed my neck muscles around my spine and even my jaw before tilting or swiveling my head.

All this networking is essential to me with my tendency to clamp down my movements with extra tension. Establishing these networks of connections help me to move more freely and with less effort.
Tim Hurst 10/04/17

Pulsing my outer hip muscles engages the pelvic diaphragm

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Dancing a Concussion

Struck my head again, a repetition I seem to lean in to.
Ice and arnica soothe a space of hope.

I can only think of loving the Centrum housing my third eye, pineal, and fourth ventricle all poised at the brink of tranquillity.

And yet as a practitioner of Craniosacral Therapy, I know my conversation can not push its way into the precious lung like sponges of my inner self. These seemingly unspeaking sparkles within me, these cells, can they lead me to the source of my concussion?

Like a conversationalist of any persuasion, I ask first what questions we share within these depths that reflect to the surfaces in my tottering movement.

I walk into the trees allowing my apertures to play among the nearest and the fartherest, among the subtle and the bright, the yellowing and the greening. Behind my eyes, I fall into a lovely hovering space.

It is here where I can counter my movements side and side, around and through, back and forwards. I can allow my eyes to spin ahead or behind me, tottering in the first steps it seems of my mind to pass a thought of myself from brow to resting point at the back of my head, which happens to lie just above my spine as it enters my brain.

And it is here that I can gulp enough to ask about the question I share with this light bounding amongst the tree sprigs. I can now admit that the grape vine leaf is like me, tittering at the end of a spindly twig. We both balance in ongoing movement shared with the breeze, with the sound of creek water below us, and perhaps with the warmth of our shared energies.

In this delicate shared space , I need not ask what life we hold in common. Going beyond the huge question, I must brave a glimpse of our clarity. What cells do we share and what wishes do we create as we discard and reshape phase upon phase?

To surrender the question and its journey through me, I ask to see life passing through my brain’s Centrum. I ask for the presence with my cells to inquire of their life.

And as if waiting for a distant breeze to return through the trees of an immense gorge, I move through my asking toward receiving a surprise worthy of the immensity on which I am delicately perched.

And yet I am not a grape leaf attached to a vine strangling the trees around it. I lift ankle and foot prancing in place as I spin on my precipice with a joy beyond anything I could imagine. My Centrum and I arrive at a moment of balance.

Yes my eyes ask only to grasp at a stare that will slow the turning. Yet my Centrum spreads a smile through me and I have no choice but to love the arriving moment.

My concussion registers my tottering around and through a stare, through a frozen landscape to a lush receiving of many versions of light and glimmering shape in resonant sounds that each of my cells can taste. My concussion is in conversation now and I can lay this dance of myself to rest to welcome waters of cleansing and gratitude to wash over me.
Tim Hurst 10/02/17