you are the dance, not the dancer

Your life is the dancer and you are the dance.

Spin that around a few times in your brain.

My oldest daughter Nina and I are listening to the HOPE series of meditations...twenty one days of Deepak and Oprah.

In the one from yesterday, Deepak said, "Your life is the dancer and you are the dance".

This is happening to me.

Even if I can barely get my mind around the concept behind that sentence, it's happening to me.

Whether you believe it or not, it's happening to you too.

Think of one thing in your life that you truly hoped would happen.

Think of one thing that you hoped and hoped would happen and it did happen.

I hoped to have children.

I wanted more than two.

I envisioned what sort of people they'd be.

This hope has come true a thousand fold.

Think of all that could have gone wrong.

And of course, with all the uncertainty in our world, much can go wrong now.

But in this moment I have the magical blessing of a monumental achievement of three healthy happy young adults who love me as I love them.

I speak to them, even the wayward middle child Miss Ava Vaughn, almost every single day.

I hoped, and I worked diligently, but I could only be a part of the picture that has created the beautiful painting I see before me today.

I am the dance in my own life, but my Life is the dancer, who interprets and creates as we go.

Am I leading or am I following?

I am grateful.

I am hopeful because I have seen the beauty of my past, the miracles of my children, the miracle of my college education, the miracle of my music.

I am being led instead of fighting to lead.

I can't lead because I am not of the divine and I have to dance and dance with grace and gratitude, but I cannot anticipate the next move.

Okay, admittedly it's a brain twister.

But there's a truth behind it that sets you free.

When in doubt, be still, be silent, be listening, be aware, be watching for signs, for clues, for messages.

Act when you know what you're being called to do.

In this approach you are being of service to Life.

My friend Siri the writer in Minneapolis, whose philosophies I value greatly, led a prayer series last December that I attended.

She talked about the idea of praying, yes, and about meditation, yes, but the specific idea I got from it was to LISTEN.


Listen, like you're listening for an answer.

Don't think about how weird that seems, just do it.

Instead of just focusing on your breathing or praying, "Please God save me", try listening.

I don't know why it's real but it's real.

Just think that way, don't over think it, just think it.

Think that you're going to listen and watch all day today.

People are going to tell you things and you can listen and decide if these things are warnings or truths or messages.

Your inner knowing will sift through.

When you see the owl or the eagle or the bunny in your yard, think about the message of hope for you in that.

Listen and be aware because it's all for you my friend.

Everything coming into your field of vision is all for you.

Watch and be aware, be silent and be ready.


A small story of yesterday evening:

Rob has been talking about baking bread.

First he wanted Nina or me to bake homemade bread.

I said, "Baking bread is not my deal, sorry."

Nina said, "I went to the store and all the yeast is sold out, everybody must have the same idea."

Then we all got brutally sick, so no one talked about baking bread for a week.

But Rob was searching for bread recipes while he lay feverish and coughing in his back yard studio in the garage.

And yesterday, admittedly, we were all three feeling better.

My son Jordan is in town now, staying with his father on the lake out by where my mother lives as well.

Jordan's been delivering groceries to my mother and to us.

He takes a list over the phone and drops bags of everything we need on the front porch.

He drops a bag for my mother in her vestibule at her building and she comes down and they wave at each other and shout from a distance to each other.

Rob asked Jordan to buy him buttermilk.

So yesterday afternoon Rob asked me if I wanted to help him bake bread.

I am still recovering and Rob has never baked anything in his life..he said that himself.

So I discouraged him from embarking on the project.

He was very saddened by my response, which was something like, "Rob, it's just going to be a mess to clean up and we have bread right now."

Poor Rob.

He went back to the kitchen and as I took my afternoon recovery nap, he baked a "soda bread" with buttermilk and eggs and baking soda and flour and whatever else.

When I awoke, the house smelled delicious.

I came downstairs around 5 in the evening and there they all were out in the backyard, ten feet apart or more, my boy Jordan, Nina, Rob, a big breadboard on a table, with butter and sliced cheeses and Rob's gorgeous and delicious big round loaf of the homemade bread.

Jordan set up the fire pit and had made a nice little fire.

Everyone was sitting around the fire with a beer in one hand and a thick slice of Rob's fabulous bread.

Rob was humbly beaming, a certain face of his I know very well.

He had succeeded and had brought joy to others.

I regret my discouraging words and I apologized.

Now we all agreed he's going to have to make his new bread for every gathering.


I didn't plan yesterday's gathering.

I used to think I had to plan gatherings for my children and even for Rob at his house.

I have been way too wrapped up in planning everything.

What we did yesterday evening I didn't have the energy, the foresight, or the creative vision to orchestrate.

Yesterday evening, all I had to do was wrap myself up in a warm shawl and sit down near the fire in a cozy chair.

I was able to watch my son learn a Neil Young song on a guitar the Rob had just restrung for him to use.

I was able to watch my daughter laugh with her brother.

I was able to see Rob share his first ever baking creation.

I was able to bask in the glory of being alive, of Springtime finally come, of people I love so much, all together.


One last note about my son.

He left California last week after having been exposed to several confirmed cases of the Virus at his workplace and in his friend group.

He came home to live right now at his father's house, and his father is a doctor and his wife a nurse, and they are on the front lines being exposed daily to severe cases.

The Virus is all around my son.

We three are primarily recovered now with no coughing, no fevers.

In my heart I feel that the ideal situation is to get the Virus and live through it and build up immunity.

This is the situation that affords you the most freedom and the least fear going forward.

I don't feel it's best for someone like my mother at eighty-five.

But it might be okay for my son.

There are no easy answers.


There is a lot to think about right now in our culture, in our society.

I think it's all extremely interesting.

I have never been so excited to be alive, so full of hope for us all.

I pray that what I have to offer will be put to good use in the coming days in every possible way.

"I want to spread the news, if it feels this good getting used, oh you just keep on using me, until you use me up."

This is Bill Withers, but this is also The Velveteen Rabbit.

I'm all in.

Love to you this marvelous magical morning!


1 comment

  • Petra Schmidt
    Petra Schmidt Bremen
    Hat's off for Rob's engagement! Great idea to bake bread. And Nina's Fire Cider also sound really delicious for me. "Ouf of darkness is born the light" Love to you all. Please stay healthy! Petra

    Hat's off for Rob's engagement! Great idea to bake bread. And Nina's Fire Cider also sound really delicious for me. "Ouf of darkness is born the light"
    Love to you all. Please stay healthy!

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