Thursday, October 11, 2012

Elder Dancer Wisdomosity: The Importance of Wonder & Awe

One of the things I immediately noticed about the elder dancers I work with was their willingness to try anything, and their refusal to cut themselves off from experiences due to feelings of "embarrassment" or shame or fear.

So often when I am working with younger people or people in middle age, I find a level of resistance that seems mostly like a waste of valuable time.  I have to coax these people along.  Eventually I get them (if they stick around), but they must be teased and prodded.

But elders are just like little kids -- willing to jump in because they know that is where fun is to be found.

Children are still coming from a place of wonder and awe, and elders have found their way back to that place.

I am currently reading an amazing new book by Christine Vaiters Paintner of Abbey of the Arts called Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings. (I highly recommend it even though I am only a tiny way in.)

She points out that it takes a certain kind of person to go into the desert, and "Alan Jones, former dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, writes that those are are willing to take the journey...have two main features: 'a heart and mind willing to pursue the truth wherever it may lead...and the kind of sensibility....that is captive to wonder, mystery, and awe'."

I see this every day -- this difference between the person willing to take the journey and the people who simply refuse or who are not ready.

Being around the elder dancers reminds me to keep saying yes and I am thankful to have a type of mind that has always felt deep awe and wonder, that has always been willing to pursue truth.

If you are in need of more inspiration for your journey into yes, here's a wonderful little bit from another favorite writer: