August 14, 2002
When my high school teachers offered me knowledge years ago articulating
the amazing insight into the flexibility of the US Constitution, I
realized thinking ahead and predicting all possible outcomes could
be a tough thing to do. Regardless of the specific laws it articulates,
the constitution's ability to allow its own self repair and growth
is an approach I thought wise then, and find wiser now.
Un/fortunately (really, as with anything, the word to choose there
is a matter of perspective in the moment), for a long time, I only
allowed myself to live life through the looking glass of ideas and
philosophies easily defined as rules. In the last few years, I've
come to an agreement within myself to minimize the rules so as to
allow the most flexibility in my life. I've decided on One Rule: all
things I do must be Life Affirming.
As I sit and think about that one governing idea I grasp to, I feel
empowered by it. The idea of holding each thing I do to that simple
standard feels right. I have long searched for "universal truths"
about "right" and "wrong"; my inability to find
any led me to this simplistic rule. I wasn't even able to identify
a "rule" such as "Killing is wrong" that has a
universal-ness to it I could easily embrace. In my belief system,
killing a suffering being (as in euthanasia) is not "wrong"
if it is their wish to no longer suffer. In fact, it potentially affirms
the Life they have had and offers them dignity and freedom to choose
the parameters of their death.
I was surprised to find so many definitions for the word "Life"
in the dictionary. It seems like such a simple thing to define because
I accept it as "existing," though that wasn't one of the
choices. More accurately it is "the quality that distinguishes
a vital and functional being from a dead body" (m-w.com).
In my own journey of self awareness, I have strived to appreciate
that distinguishing quality and savor it because it is the fundamental
gift required to create any other. I have found that in supporting
that life and "maintaining [it] as true" (Random House Unabridged
Dictionary definition for Affirm), I embrace my experiences with more
vital energy. Each time I am able to focus on the positive state associated
with my life rather than a temporal experience that might have caused
me challenges/negativity in a particular time, I am rewarded by the
gift of that moment which is often about the freedom to evolve my
self, partners, family, friends and community.
I seek to grow in my life by solely measuring
my progress over the duration of my experience. I measure this by asking
myself questions as I go:
- Am I living fully, being present in
each of the moments I find myself in and at any point in time able to
accept this as the last 5 minutes of life?
- Am I loving freely, without expectation,
giving without need and/or requirement of receiving?
- Am I existing openly, sharing of myself
with others without care of judgment - my own or anyone else's?
- Am I building a stronger connection
between my mind (that part of me that thinks), my body (that part of
me that does) and my spirit (that part of me that intuitively knows)?
- Moreover, am I transcending myself
and connecting with the greater Self, to be present with the Oneness
of all beings?
- Am I living in balance with myself
and the world around me as far as I am able to reasonably see my touch
- Am I creating peace in my wake, walking
with grace, living in the flow, and shifting energy around me through
the greater awareness of my intuition?
- Am I in integrity with myself? That
is, are my actions and my words in alignment with each other?
- Am I expressing myself fully, allowing
all of the magical arts within me a place to foster and create positive
- Are my actions able to inspire others
in their purity, intensity, integrity, ferocity, and sincerity?
- Does my presence work toward enabling
community and building something greater than my own self? Because I
know we can co-create a sustainable community of impassioned artists
uniquely expressing existence with the one-in-6-billon s/cent derived
from the grace and certainty we each touch within our spirit; I stride
toward that each moment.
- Am I actively co-creating an environment
which offers others a safe, loving, open space for their own self expression
- Am I creating partnerships that further
affirm these goals?
- Am I living fearlessly, that is, in
the strength of this moment without concern for the outcome?
- Am I being honest with myself in each
moment about where I am at? I have found that my own ability to be honest
and let go of being right directly correlates to my own healing.
- Am I open to my own self evolution?
Am I listening when you tell me how you see me and willing to examine
that information without fear, doubt, and emotion?
- Am I having fun?
- As I ask each of these questions and
come to the one, two, few or many in which I am not living to my ideal
standard, am I patient and compassionate in my own growth process?
I began meditating in October of 1998.
The past few years have helped me grow into these thoughts and ways of
approaching my life. When I first found Poi in Spring 2000, it became
a launch pad into the magic of Poi dancing. Within that art form, I find
a holistic answer to each of these questions. While I am engaged in the
trance of the dance, flowing freely and openly, I am completely in a space
of love and light and openness. I have moments when I am more than present
with this moment; I am transcending this reality and present with all
moments, open to all things. The combined gifts of the exercise, meditation,
performance art and self expression that Poi offers has enabled my own
self progression at an accelerated rate. For me, Poi is a vehicle by which
my One Rule can be applied.