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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...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Which Lady Do You See?

There she is...but who do you see?
Do you see them both, or only one? 
Or one at a time...?
The young lass with her fur coat, and a feather in her hat, or the old lady with the head scarf and the sad eyes?
Or do you, like me, go back and forth seeing them each in turn?

The mind is a tricky place this way, needing definition, needing clarity, only being able to see one perspective or the other in any given moment.  And the image is black and white, clear and simple, and in truth it is neither one nor the other - yet at the same time it is also both at once! 

Whether our minds can perceive the whole is another discussion altogether.  Our mind rushes to organize things into categories or as belonging to one thing or another.  The mind is restless until it can assign meaning, place blame, create order out of chaos.  The mind will assign order where there isn't any (like seeing shapes in clouds), and define things so it can make sense of the world again, and be at peace.  Sometimes that skill is useful, like with language, math and directions.  Sometimes that skill is even beautiful, like with poetry, song, music in general, and even observing regularity and symmetry in nature. 

And yet there are times when the compulsion becomes limiting, and are we aware when that is the case?  Can we remain vigilant so that our mind does not confine a lovely image which contains multiplicity to either one truth or the other?  Are we able to expand beyond either image in itself and see how the artist must have been able to see?  The artist with each pen stroke held in their hand the possibility for both images to be seen.  With sure decision, carving the line of both the old lady's nose and the soft chin of her younger counterpart.  The equivalent in language might be a pun.  Perhaps it is also a bit like a magic trick.  And if we can pull our minds back far enough, and appreciate the outcome(s!), then we also have a chance to expand our minds.

We can grow into "yes and also this other thing."  Rather than "this, but not that."  They are both there all the time.  They are both true.  And also neither of them are there at all, it is clever pen markings on a sheet of paper.  Yet it provokes me.  I hope it provokes you too.