by Maria Arrington
I have been thinking about the theme for one of our dances suggested by Redtail: Giving Back to Spirit
. Remember that as a healer, I think in terms of energy exchange. In Quantum Physics, reality is expressed in terms of order. The world we see is the explicate order. The world of the unseen, of Spirit, is the implicate order. The structures of our entire manifest world are present beneath our seen world as a complex order, the ground of being from which everything springs in its own time and way. Everything that ever was or will be is part of that Order. I think of that Order as Creator, as Spirit. One of the characteristics of that order is the intrinsic necessity of Creation to flow into manifest existence and to return to the unseen.
Reality is always in flux. I experience God’s presence as the outflow of Creation into my world, into my heart, into the experiences and occurrences in the manifest world around me. I see the sweet chickadees and pygmy nuthatches at my birdfeeder as well as the eagles, owls, and hawks as expressions of this outflowing creation. When we speak of the word “Grace”, I am thinking of the incredible beneficent power of that unseen world filling our existence with goodness. When we choose integrity and loving responses in our everyday world, we are choosing to align ourselves with this goodness. When we walk the Good Red Road, we are walking as partners with this flow of Grace.
This beneficent Power flows in two directions: into and out of manifest reality. “Now you see it, now you don’t!” Power, Love also flows from us in our everyday world back into the unseen. Beneficent Power flows in two directions. I was raised Catholic, and my Aunt, who was a nun, used to say, “Who you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God”. I am no longer Catholic, but this truth has always stayed with me. We have choices everyday in how we treat ourselves and others. We have choices about what work we do and how we spend our free time. When we make choices that feed the positive nature of our world, we are returning that Grace back to the unseen. We are fostering a balanced flow of goodness back to Creator. This two way flow of Grace is the nectar that keeps our manifest world in balance.I have in mind the idea that the dance of Naraya is actually a force that keeps the rivers flowing and the grasses growing and keeps the animals and two-leggeds in balance with Nature.
We dance this dance to keep our world filled with clean water and air, good food, and loving people. Without this flow, the Hoop of the People is endangered. The Dance For All People is danced to renew the health of this Hoop, of this flow between the seen and the unseen. Many of the things happening in our world today are crippling the Hoop and preventing the people from experiencing the full beneficence of the sweet nectar that can flow between us and Spirit. When we hold grudges, act based on old memories and resentments, hold a low opinion of ourselves or our fellow humans, treat others or ourselves as if we are not capable of the very best, we are cooperating with the forces that are crippling the Hoop of the People. Our actions are our gift back to Spirit. When that gift is less than the best we are capable of, we are not supporting the Balance that feeds the Hoop of the People. So when we give back to Spirit, we must be sure our actions and responses are the best we are capable of.
Initially, when Redtail talked about Giving Back to Spirit, I thought of the smudge and sweetgrass, the sage and tobacco, the red cloth or even frog skins (aka $$$) that we use as exchange when we give to Spirit and those who we feel represent the action of Spirit in our lives.
Now, I am realizing that this view is limited. We are giving back to Spirit every time we act in thought or deed. If we respond to others defensively or with lack of trust, we are giving back to Spirit. When we carry on the dynamics of old resentments, or air gossip or negative viewpoints about others, we are also giving back to Spirit. And these gifts DO NOT support the Balance needed to keep our world healthy.At the dance, Clyde and Charles have talked about these old bones, saying that holding onto these things just causes us trouble. This is serious stuff. What do I want to give back to Spirit?
I have received many blessings from Spirit. I love the work I do. I enjoy teaching the healing work. I live in a house that is paid for, that is centered in the beauty of the natural world. I love to create beauty in textiles and beads. I have two very special four legged friends I live with, and I have been given enough prosperity to be able to purchase food, heat, clothing and the other necessities of life. But what do I want to give back? Certainly not something that hampers the existence of this world I so treasure!
I want to find the most positive, most holy responses and actions I am capable of, and I want to give back through these. When I distrust because of past actions, I need to let that go! I need to step out even if it feels unsafe, knowing that the grace of the Creator will protect me and make things turn out as they should. When I am tempted to say, “See, I told you so!” I need to look at this need to be right and let THAT old bone go as well. None of these things are easy, but they are necessary if I am to give back to Creator the caliber of gift that matches what I have received.
Simply giving back tobacco or red cloth is a very small and insignificant gift. It doesn’t matter much. What really matters is digging deep inside ourselves where things may not be so whole, and choosing healthy, loving responses. Giving these gifts back to Spirit will feed the Balance of creation in ways that are deeply needed.
In years past, we have actually touched on this theme in our dance when we talk about the sweet nectar of life that the hummingbird is seeking. I think of the image of the eagle about to launch into flight and I see my good intentions to fly above the petty attitudes and emotions that can so cripple us. I think of the wrought iron hearts we received at one dance. To me that heart has a flame rising from the top, the flame that allows Creator to burn off the little responses and defensiveness so that our best selves can give back to Spirit in a better way. It all hangs together. What do I want to give back to Spirit? What do you want to give back to Spirit?