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What if art was your prayer?

Greetings Beloveds, What if art was your prayer? What if your body was a sacred vessel? What if your creative expression was medicine? What if your dance transformed our collective stories from suffering to freedom? I’m whirling with joy, and jet lag, as I contemplate these questions. I’m making my offerings in America after a month steeped in the magic of Bali. The nectar of Balinese ritual theater is still melting in my heart as I write this. My fresh experience of ancient magic is flavoring my present moments. Bali refreshed my passion for ritual living and sacred dance. Every one of us can access our creative potential through ritual dance.  Nearly all Balinese people experience sacred dance and participate in rituals to sanctify life. You too can live artfully by introducing meaningful, heartfelt rituals into your life.  You don't need to be an artist or a dancer on stage. Connect with the divine through sacred dance at home. Liberating your creative expression into your everyday life will empower you. Try taking five minutes for some movement medicine in the morning.  You don't have to be an accomplished artist to live artfully. Life becomes magical when we translate the way we live into a work of sacred art.  Receive the blessings of sacred dance. Sacred dance is more than just entertainment. Experiencing devotional art is like receiving a gift.  Sacred dance as performance is a shared, transformative experience for both the artists and the audience. Let sacred dance be like medicine for your soul. What if we collectively carried a deeper understanding of sacred dance together as a community? What if we came together to experience the transformative power of ritual theater?  How would that impact our world? I want to encourage this line of inquiry because it hints at a new possibility. Ritual dance has the power to lift the veil.  Ancient cultures remind us of the greater significance of ritual dance. Yet, modern dance icons show us that there is a place for ritual dance theater in modern culture.  You need only look to dance pioneers like Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, or her student Martha Graham, to understand the influence of ritual dance theater now. These great artists introduced sacred dance back into western culture. What a gift! Dance is for healing and magic.  Ritual dance is an invitation to reflect in a sacred mirror.  We offer our embodiment of universal archetypes, gods and goddesses on the altar of transformation. The dancer and the audience both are healed and transformed through the shared experience. The possibilities are infinite in ritual dance.  Ritual dance taps into a profound power when designed as a prayer. Ritual sanctifies life. You will open to receive profound beauty when you imbue your dance with sacred intentions. This is the power of ritual dance.  Ritual dance recognizes life as sacred.  In sacred dance, you rise above material attachments and hope to find liberation. Aim for deeper joy and spiritual connection with your dance rituals. Infuse your movements with the divine reality. Sacred art soothes our soul’s deepest desires. Allow for the creative unfolding in the moment whether you're dancing at home alone, in a circle of sisters or on stage. Bringing presence, and mindfulness, to your movement is the key to unlocking the power of sacred dance.  The magic of happens when you infuse your art with sacred intentions. If you're a performing artist then you may bring forward blessings for everyone to receive. Your audience receives this medicine and carry it forward. In this way, the essence of your art ripples outwards into the world. Have you felt your heart calling for a higher purpose expressed through art? In ritual art you defy the ugliness of the world. Ritual art is a cycle of creating that evokes transcendent beauty to heal and transform together. This is a profound and joyful path to liberation. If you feel called to embody sacred dance in your home practice or as a performing artist then come to peace with discipline. In all forms of dance we work hard. It’s a process of refinement towards a worthwhile result. This process of sacred dance is not about perfection. Sacred dance is about being an open channel. If you choose to share your dance with others there is an exchange of energy between you and the audience that can heal. As a sacred dancer you may be open to receive grace through a balance of discipline and surrender. Sacred dance is an empowerment. It takes showing up again and again to meet the dance.   Dive into this process. It will burn away what is no longer serving you. Experience freedom in dance. Dance like the ancients danced. Your dance has the power to bring heaven to earth.  Dance to unite Mother Earth with Father Sky. Dance to find harmony between the mud and the lotus. Dance to find the sacred in the mundane.  Root into your ritual dance with a deep sense of nourishment. Look to the sky from a grounded space with great aspiration. Expanding outwards as you spiral through time and space. Whirling.  In this way your art becomes your sadhana, your spiritual practice. You’ll be empowered with purpose through your embodied effort.  Penetrate deeply into the heart of your dance. You’ll encounter your shadow as you peel back the layers of sacred dance. Light will fall on your inner critic as you burn away that which you‘re not. Your wounds are powerful opportunities for self exploration. Your shadow may manifest as lethargy in your home practice, performance anxiety, or difficulties in collaborative partnerships. Know that challenges are inevitable opportunities for expansion on the creative path. Unblock with compassion. How will you face the hidden parts of yourself that come forward in the dance? I hope you’ll meet yourself with infinite patience, and so much loving kindness and compassion. If you’re experiencing blocks then make peace with your shadow, your anxiety and fears. It's not often that pushing harder or forcing your way will result in a more abundant, expansive and creative flourishing. It’s the lotus flower that moves through the mountain with grace, floating peacefully on the flowing river. Take the first step on this journey towards becoming an empty vessel for sacred expression. Be willing to call in resources, guidance and practices to work through your creative blocks. Open to allow for divine energies to emanate from you. Burn away all that you're not. This is not about being technically perfect or skilled. It’s a journey of the heart and soul. Understand the value of your dance. Then you will carry it with reverence. Connecting to the deeper meaning in your dance will light a fire in you. Sacred dance is an experience to be felt rather than a goal to be achieved. There are so many rewards on this path so come out and dance with joy! If you’re still reading this then I trust your soul is longing to dance. This is your moment.  Dance and doors will open. Dance with me at Lightning in a Bottle at the Living Village Culture!

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