Updated: Apr 4
On Valentine's Day, we are all reminded and bombarded with the notion of romantic love, that love we all "grasp at" in our lives. The one that many of us put up a shield against, so that cupid cannot really pierce our heart. This is not the relationship of love that I'm writing about. I'm writing about real love – love that that moves us to drop self-importance and replace it with empathy, a very valuable emotion in our society.
How do we go about creating these new "real love" relationships? Philosopher and writer, Alain de Botton, says,
"We would be much saner and happier, (we all want to be happy!) if we reexamined our view of love...the real work of love is not in the falling (though you must let go and fall into it!) but in what comes after.”
Five years ago today, I wrote about what happened after a workshop with my dear friend Antonio Gonzalez Walker, "I am meditating, moving, drawing, writing, dancing and literally jumping (brinca) for joy each morning.”
“Movement and Meditation brings awareness to our daily routines to map areas of opportunity for wellness and productivity. We use creative mapping strategies to graphically align our intentions with our spiritual practice.
~ Antonio Gonzalez – Walker PHD @tonywalker_21
I further wrote: “Each morning, I commit to exploring deep feelings that I move through and then transition, to the "other side" with a "new code". A code that enables me to sense the same forces that were burning inside of me yesterday, only today I am able to navigate the day just a little more slowly and softly.“
I have been called tenacious by some in my circle and at times it didn’t feel like it was meant as a compliment. Consequently, I have become very curious about my passions. And rather than trying to control them, which hurts me too much...I am re-coding them through balance.
Was I able to sustain that passion for the last 5 years? No, not at that level...but I did complete my book, Complementary Alternative Medicine: Qigong, Yoga & Somatics in 2019 and in 2020 I got certified to teach!
However, dancing and creating art, which both bring me playful joy, dissolved away and I slipped on a wet, slick, mossy sidewalk and broke my wrist. For about 18 months after the fall and during COVID I went way INWARD, which felt like a deep rut; I got stuck. Fortunately, I continued to practice somatic movement…that is when I wasn’t sleeping!
In hindsight, difficult emotional times in our lives and deep introspection are invaluable to our health!
My poor nervous system was on a continual high and I needed to restore balance; I’m happy to say I’m progressing really well.
Self-importance and striving (my tenacity) got in my way and those experience live in our bodies. It's that pain in your neck that prevents you from letting the other person "be", just be who you fell in love with. It's that rigid mindset that's impersonating that pain in your lower back. Look to nature, creativity and playing on purpose to transition out of this pain. Co-create real and committed love.
Let’s circle back to the word, empathy? Webster tells us, Empathy (noun): the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else's feelings.
That's the relationship of LOVE I'm writing about. Love of Spirit, love of others and love of nature…connecting to the trees, flowers, grasses, animals, lakes, rivers, and oceans. It all begins by going deep into our natural bodies. My teacher Peter Appel says, "The magic is in your body".
Now that’s something to dance about.
~ Mary Ellen Hannon @maryellen.hannon