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The Double Meaning behind the blog title 'Dream Follower:'
First, for 14 years I was a ballroom & social dance instructor, and have studied both leading and following. I feel that learning to follow is full of nuance and is often misunderstood. I made it one of my personal goals to become a really excellent follow on the dance floor, and will probably talk a lot about the art of following - both in and out of the context of dance.

Second, I am a huge fan of author Michael Ende, probably best known for The Neverending Story. The book is incredible, and the first film captured some of the essence. (Please don't watch the other two films...I urge you to read the book though!) Anyway, at least twice in my life I have been caught in a storm of my own indecision, and my inner Moon Princess yelled to my inner Bastian...'Why don't you do what you dream?' I tear up even now as I write this little blurb. The tension between being practical, keeping my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds (at the risk of compromising my inner vibrancy, true self, and who knows what else)...and reaching for my true dreams (at the risk of losing everything) is still a very real struggle. In fact, one of those struggles lead to my 14 years of teaching dance, so we can see which voice won the battle that fateful day when I was staring at the want-ad...

And so I strive to be two kinds of Dream Followers in my life. One has to do with connecting with others, and the other has to do with connecting with my inner Moon Princess and the world of possibility that opens when I do...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sometimes I'm An Inside-Out Porcupine...

I'm learning to zoom out, which is critical in terms of self-awareness and growth.  While I'm in the middle of an emotional wave, it's a little harder to be clear, so I cherish the reflections that happened in my mind between those waves.  

Today I saw a movie which on the screen was your typical sci-fi post-apocalyptic action movie, in case you haven't seen it I guess I should warn you that it's called Snowpiercer and there might be spoilers at some point.  Maybe.  Although if you know the premise of the film that might be enough for my purposes, which is that all of surviving humanity is on this train which has all these features and gadgets that allow it to go on running, and in the movie it's been running like this for 17 years.

For my personal taste it had a bit too much gratuitous violence, but here's what happened while I was watching.  I decided to take it as a metaphor, and each person in the train is an aspect of myself.  Like any good movie, it had tension, in this case (for example) between the oppressed at the rear of the train, and the affluent rich guy-in-charge at the front. And it got me thinking about my own internal systems which I take for granted.  How do I decide what is most important to me, who is running the ship/train/body?  Who has who hostage?  Whose side am I on?  Because every conflicting priority can't simultaneously rule, perhaps internally we murder or cage or enslave our inner compartments. 

Maybe it doesn't have to be all or nothing, vanquish or be vanquished.  But on the inside, there are oppressed sad pieces of me, plotting their revolt, plotting a hostile takeover.  And for each of them, it is do or die, or wither on the vine.  Or maybe the reality is that none of that is true, and the best answer is to go off the rails.  Change completely.  Walk away. 

Anyway, there are a million perspectives and opinions even now as I write this - on life, liberty, what happiness looks like, how things could be or should be.  And sometimes, instead of pointing outwards, like they do on a porcupine, those barbs point inward, poking, prodding, judging, invading, and right now, I am learning how to hug and accept this awkward creature, an inside-out porcupine.  How can I let it know those barbs are sometimes too sharp without that becoming a new barb?  How can I let warmth ooze through and soothe the stinging wounds?

Because maybe it's okay to be attached to the train, the system, and buy in, and it isn't selling out.  Maybe being on board is the best we can hope for today, and the revolution is not until tomorrow.  Or maybe we're on somebody else's train and we need to get on our own.  Or maybe we have a stowaway!    

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