“When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That’s about all you can do.” -Leonard Cohen
To me, Leonard Cohen was a total God. His music takes me deep into another world where I can swim and dance in his poetry. His music has moved me through grief and sickness and it just never gets old, no matter how often I listen. I remember, I was at a Stevie Nicks concert when I heard he’d died and immediately left. No offense Stevie. Leonard was a poet, a buddhist monk, a ladies man, you name it. Leonard was the man and he seemed to know a thing or two.
My friend Cynthia once asked me if I’d rather be right or happy. It took me a long time to understand the question. After asking me this over and over I finally got the message. If we don’t forgive and let go feelings become a part of us. Anger. That was one of my words. Anger is always justified and justifying is making ourselves feel “right.” But when we are angry, we can’t be happy. Would YOU rather be right or happy?
Cynthia taught me the key to transmuting pain and anger, grief and sadness, or whatever “it” may be is to embrace it rather than push it under the rug. As they say “wherever you go, there you are.” Growing up around some tough old school Catholics taught me to stick my chest out and be strong. I later learned every time I “toughed something out” I was only pushing “it” away, rather than actually healing myself of the pain it brought me. I acted out a lot because I didn’t believe vulnerability was my friend. I built walls around me that only grew more rigid as the years passed. Anger was my shield and my guardian. I guess I thought it could protect me. Later, with some help I realized it was only hurting me. The walls of anger were pushing life out and shoving love away and I found myself very lonely. By choosing the embrace over the fight helped soften my heart to eventually love myself more…I’m still really working at this!
In beginning to shake off my anger, I found my dancing feet again. It’s what we do isn’t it? We dance on bikes and embrace the daily pain and struggle that life hands us. Social media seems to be the easiest tool these days to disappear into. It’s an escape from the embrace. I invite you to put your cell phones away and “put on your red shoes and dance the blues” or “raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig.” Let’s move through whatever “it” is and face it. Let’s transmute the struggle so that we can thrive, instead of just plain survive. Joyryder has creates a space for this but it can be done anywhere. Dance in your kitchen, sing in your shower, meditate on the top of a mountain or by the sea, or close your eyes in a subway car and tap your feet.