I had planned to go to a tango lesson and social dance. I work A LOT and it would be a nice break. Plus, I was curious about the teaching style of the guest artist who was coming from out of town to teach and perform that night. Since I can easily get lost in a work trance in front of my computer, I had set myself an alarm for one hour before I'd have to leave.
When it came down to it, I was indeed in the grips of a work trance when the alarm went off. I hit snooze, then again, and again. Finally, I stopped and had a talk with myself.
"Okay. You have to decide if you are going to tango or not."
I stepped away from the computer and went downstairs to the kitchen to see about something to eat while I relaxed into my feeling sense to know what I really wanted to do.
I contemplated my question by reviewing my thoughts about why I wanted to go:
- a dance experience I once had with this tango instructor was interesting, enjoyable, and rather different
- some things I had heard about his teaching style were curious
- he usually teaches far away from me and tonight he would essentially be in my backyard
- doing something recreational instead of work seemed an emotionally healthy choice on my Saturday evening
- it would be nice to support the tango event organizer, whose efforts to keep a good tango scene going in our area I appreciate
All those thoughts told me to get my tail in gear, hop in the shower, get out the door, and go!
But when I considered moving my body into action, I did not feel happy. When I envisioned myself actually over there amongst the people, taking the lesson and dancing, I felt myself in that picture with a strained smile on the outside, trying to extract happiness through interactions with others, with a persistent dull weight on the inside that dampened my spirit like depression. For all the value I believed the experience held for me, my spirit simply did not want to go.
When I envisioned myself staying home, or rather, not going, the corners of my mouth turned up in a tiny, involuntary smile and I felt light-hearted and free inside.
So, I'm not going, I concluded to myself.
Now that I wasn't rushing out the door, I joyfully concocted a snack, and then another, relaxing and feeling into my next move. I was HUNGRY!! and I wanted something TASTY!! Then suddenly, I felt like feeding the horses. It would be an early dinner for them. My crazy work lifestyle lately had us on a noon-time breakfast and midnight dinner schedule. I had just seen them at 1:00pm and it was only 6:00pm. But going to feed them now felt like the joyful course of action. It’s what I wanted. And then I could catch the market in town for something tasty after feeding them. My next move was hatched. So off to feed the horses I went.
This was our winter season, so when I got to the horses, it had already been dark out for a couple hours. My equine companion of 28 years had been having some lameness issues lately and it was a new habit of mine to step into the barnyard first thing upon arrival and inspect the quality of her gait as she walked around in anticipation of the pending meal. Once I logged a satisfactory observation of her comfort level in walking, I would begin the feeding ritual. Tonight, at the edge of the visibility cast by the barnyard lights, something looked wrong. Rose was walking with great appetite but her quality of movement was way off. Her haunches were crooked to the left like she meant to walk straight but kept falling left and catching herself in the hind end. I watched a few minutes more to verify whether it was a momentary, weird incident of movement or truly a sign of trouble she was having. The strangeness in her gait continued. I texted my vet.
Fearful thoughts about what I was seeing flooded my mind and colored my observations and descriptions. I thought she was neurological and veering because her proprioceptive senses were compromised. I once had another horse who turned up with neurological signs and had to be put down only two weeks later because she was laying flat out on the ground and couldn't get up, all four legs stiff as a board and fifteen hours of hot sun ahead of her. So this really scared me. But then while Rose was eating her dinner, her eyes and face looked bright, alert, sensible, and peaceful while she stood with her pelvis in a very crooked position, shifting often and flinching once. In this moment, I thought maybe it could be a mechanical misalignment with a pinched nerve hanging in the balance. It was hard to know what was going on with her. I tried to keep my head about me instead of letting fear run wild. My vet rearranged her schedule to come down and see her the next day.
When I was satisfied that I had observed Rose thoroughly and done all I could for her that night, I proceeded to the market as per my original plan. But now I didn’t feel hungry anymore. I found it hard to pick out what to eat because emotions I hadn’t quite felt yet were a quiet storm beneath the surface. When I tried to feel what I wanted to buy for my own dinner, I felt grief and tears instead. The market loud speaker announced only 15 minutes to closing. I made some quick decisions and checked out.
On my way home, I thought what a mistake it would’ve been if I had gone to tango that night. I cringed at the idea of my horse enduring so many more hours of her strange condition before I learned of it, and how things would’ve been different if I texted my vet at midnight instead of 10 after 7. How much harder or less possible would it have been for her to rearrange her schedule if I had reached her that late? I saw how spirit’s voice of joy led me to the right course of action for care of my horse, and I felt grateful appreciation and deeper trust in this voice of spirit that abides in my core… in my feeling sense… in my heart of hearts… in the place inside my mind where I have to stretch inward to get to… deeper inward than any of my thoughts.
Seeing how this voice had led me to best action from an omniscient perspective that I personally did not have, I asked this voice deep in my core, "Will Rose be okay? Will she make it through this?" Holding this question and feeling inwardly without thinking, a joyful sense of well-being began to resonate in my core. It gave me peace and a knowing that the answer was yes.
Authentic movement… Trusting our intuitive inclinations… Following our joy… These are not just "nice" spiritual practices that sound hip and make us feel all warm and fuzzy. These spiritual practices are essential components of our navigation system. Every day offers each of us hundreds of cross-roads intersections of choice. How do we discern our course of action? Well, there are essentially two methods to choose from: either we decide the best course of action based on our learning and beliefs, or we feel into what feels right based on what we feel intuitively in the now in the unknown. The unknown is basically a code word that means without adding any layer of interpretation from learning or beliefs. The now is a code word for a very related phenomenon,... Login as member to read the whole explication