A wee note of explain-ey-ness: I kind of talk a lot about Dance of Shiva today, which is weird because that’s the topic of my other blog, right? It’s just that I’m not really talking about the practice itself.
I’m talking about shifting thoughts, recognizing patterns, backing up, rephrasing, re-explaining, re-evaluating and maybe even saying “I was wrong, but not the way you think I am.”
There. How’s that for not actually explaining anything?
So I invented a wacky system to help people figure out how to mindfully destuckify things and work on their stuff in non-annoying ways.
That’s old news, of course. My duck and I have been teaching this stuff for five years and we use pieces of it with private clients and at the Kitchen Table and at events and retreats and whatever.
And one of techniques that I recommend people use while doing this work is Shiva Nata — the Dance of Shiva — because
it’s insane it’s insanely great it makes the whole process faster.
By facilitating moments of bing. Yes, bing. Otherwise known as moments of ohmygod I just saw a pattern.
Sometimes we call these hot buttered epiphanies.
Anyway, some of my people have been talking about not getting epiphanies. Or not getting the ones they wanted.
Normally I would just give them the dude, you’re not doing it wrong enough because you have to do it really, really wrong to get the epiphanies lecture.
But there’s something else going on here. We need to throw out the epiphanies.
So I’m thinking I need to shift the emphasis somehow. Or re-explain.
Because I hate to see people missing the good stuff — both the good stuff that’s actually happening as well as the good stuff that’s still to come — because they’re so distracted by the anticipation.
And because those Gigantic Awakening Life-Changing Epiphanies … they kind of aren’t the point.
It’s not that these extraordinary oh boy I’ve been wrong about everything I’ve ever thought moments of bing and zing don’t happen.
Because they do.
It’s just more that the big crazy ones ultimately aren’t as important as the growing/coagulating/piling-on-top-of-each other pull of tiny little insights and the delicate synaptic clicks of mini-understandings.
I’ll take that one step further.
It is the accumulation of these little bits of understanding happening on different levels — these microscopic physical-mental-emotional connections — that elicits the Big Ones.
You work up to the big understandings as the little ones start snowballing and interacting with each other.
I think we need some examples.
Like recently when a friend of mine was trying to figure out how she could teach something without having to travel to do it. She did her Dance of Shiva ten minutes of flailing, and the next day she mapped out a series of local workshops.
It just happened. And it seemed so completely obvious that the realization didn’t feel like an epiphany. It just felt like something painfully clear that she just hadn’t thought of before.
Or Frank seeing his skeleton.
Or when I used Shiva Nata to quit smoking.
Each day I’d get a new realization about some small aspect of my relationship with addiction in general, and with this addiction in particular.
One day I realized that I was afraid to take time for myself, and that smoking was a form of permission.
And one day I realized that I used smoking as something to do to gird myself up for Uncomfortable Things That Had To Be Done. Like arguing with my boss at the bar about money.
So yeah. None of these were huge realizations. If you had told them to me in words, I would have said that I already knew those things.
The difference was that now I really knew them. Like, knew them in my body.
That kind of “knew them”.
Which was big. And because of that, I was finally able to see how my patterns worked, and what my options were for shifting bits and pieces of them.
And then I was done. I wasn’t a smoker anymore. And I didn’t miss it.
So if it’s not about epiphanies, how come I talk about epiphanies all the time, huh? HUH?
Backtrack a few years with me. Scooby doo noises.
Back to before my duck was internet famous. Before we were in the New York Times. Back when my Gentleman Friend had to run his own business instead of being on my pirate crew.
I was on the phone with my business mentor, complaining bitterly about my total lack of ability to make money with this thing that I was soooooo insanely passionate about.
About how devastating it was to love something so much, to know that it coould change people’s lives and help them destuckify so much faster.
But only once they do it. And I couldn’t get them to do it.
Because I’d meet these interesting people who could totally be happy Shivanauts and they’d want to know “So what is this thing you teach?” and then the conversations would fall apart in the explain-ey bits.
Me: Okay. It’s basically a movement form that changes your brain. It’s based on yoga and …
Interesting person: Oh, I don’t like yoga.
Me: It’s about using the body to make new neural connections so you can learn stuff about your patterns and then change them.
Interesting person: Why do I want to change my patterns?
Me: It makes you insanely coordinated. Like, you will never drop anything ever again.
Interesting person: Oh, I’m not coordinated.
Me: No, you don’t have to be. It makes you that way. Never mind.
Me: It’s a way to use your body to learn stuff about yourself.
Interesting person: Oh, like yoga. I already do yoga.*
* Or Feldenkrais or Qi Gong or Alexander Technique or or or …
So I was telling my mentor how tired I was of explaining. I was done with the explaining and I was done with people not getting why it was different or why anyone would want to do something that sounded so challenging.
And he asked me exactly the right question.
This is what he asked:
“Listen, maybe I also don’t care about patterns or change or yoga or any of that stuff. But I care about you. Why do you practice Shiva Nata?
You’ve said yourself that it’s hard and it makes you feel stupid and half the time you kind of hate it. Why?”
And I knew exactly why.
For the moments of bing. For the tiny realizations. The moments of oh that’s why I do things that way. The zap. The blink. The tingly, gradual understanding that I don’t have to keep doing things the way I’ve been doing them.
Because my world is infused with possibility.
That’s what it is. Moments of bing. On demand.
He said, you mean epiphanies. And I said okay. Hot buttered epiphanies.
Where I think my people are getting stuck.
There are a lot of Shivanauts now.
I never really learned how to describe Dance of Shiva very well, and I still stutter when I talk about it.
But that stopped being a problem. Because my duck has a cult following. People basically do Shiva Nata just because Selma thinks it’s cool. That’s enough.
And I don’t have to convince anyone anymore, gott sei dank.
But in the meantime, there are a lot of people out there — my people — hungry for epiphanies.
And like Briana and like Anna and like Pearl, they want a to see something fall from the sky or to find the message written in enormous letters.
Which I get. Who doesn’t want that?
It’s just that it’s so much more useful to use the practice to get blips and drips of information in regular doses. To know more about what you’re tripping over. To know what your walls are saying.
And then when the tiny gasps lead to the big explosion, awesome. And when they don’t, you have room to appreciate the tiny gasps.
I’ve always said there’s only one way you can’t get epiphanies.
But maybe I was wrong.
The one way that I knew that people could do Dance of Shiva and not get epiphanies was to not actually truly challenge themselves.
Because without challenge there is no learning. It might seem that you’re challenging yourself because you’re doing it badly, but if you were in class with me we’d be reaching new levels of fabulous screwing up, rocking your brain with hard, training it to make new connections.
And believe me. There would be zing.
But I realize now that there is also another way to miss epiphanies. And that’s to just miss them.
To miss them by overlooking the mini-moments of understanding that come together to become epiphanies.
To be so involved with expectations of the Big One that the small ones don’t get processed or acknowledged or practiced.
Though even if you do? I’m pretty sure some epiphanies will come along anyway. As long as you’re challenging yourself, it’s pretty hard to avoid.
Okay. I swear. This is the conclusion. Well, it’s conclusion-ey.
Here it is.
If it’s not helpful for you to have this waiting for epiphanies anticipation hanging over you, drop it. We can throw out the epiphanies.
Not throwing them out for good.
But yeah, maybe moving them aside to make room for small understandings. Because that’s the important thing. That, and the having a conscious, intentional relationship with yourself part.
The rest is icing. And it will come.
And an especially firm comment zen for today.
I am kind of obsessive and protective and crazed about Dance of Shiva.
Without that marvelously crazy practice changing my brain, rewriting my patterns and giving me a new relationship with the world, there would be no blog. The Fluent Self would not exist in any form.
And I might not even have a duck.
So please please please be gentle with my baby.
This is so awesome. I came to a very similar conclusion after having a whine yesterday.
Maybe I don’t really get the epiphany thing. But doing it turns my freaking brain on. And by that I mean, it turns me into Genius Willie, who has lots of creative ideas, and who can write, and is just generally great. Instead of Friday Afternoon Willie, who just stares at her screen.
OK, it doesn’t always always work. There are in between states. And there is sugar level, sleep and hormonal crap going on. But doing Shiva Nata generally lifts me up a level, at least. And jeebus creepers Batman, isn’t that enough?!
It’s a good thing your duck is famous. I would have never done anything this freaky and, um, woo, if it wasn’t for Selma. But she’s such a superstar that, really, I’d put peanutbutter in my hair if she said it was a good idea.
So, thanks, Havi. Your love for Shiva Nata, and your complete faith in it as something unique that works brain magic has convinced me to try something I would otherwise NEVER have considered, and it’s helped me be my super genius self. I am quite happy to forget about the epiphany thing. And will probably get a kick in the head a couple months from now and think: “Ooooh, wait! THAT’s what Havi is talking about!”
.-= Willie Hewes´s last post … New Year’s Good Intentions =-.
Okay first off I love love LOVE Dance of Shiva, the idea of it, the wacky science-meets-woowoo of it, the way it totally does help my brain here and there.
And you know, interestingly, I can totally see now as you’re saying this that I may have been one of those “I want big but I’m getting small” people, or, that I was seeing those moments but not connecting them to the Dance.
I think in part it’s because I’ve totally been not using the DVD, because it makes my shoulders hurt. Like, horrible grindy pain in my joints hurt, somewhere near the end of the very first part of level 1 on the DVD. So, I don’t do it, because my joints were poorly manufactured and they’re all out of spec and, you know, pain hurts.
But I still do mental Shivanaut stuff, like doodling the positions, or running through them in my head in different combinations, or just half-assedly doing them for a few seconds while I’m making tea, and apparently, that’s enough.
So, even though I still haven’t figured out how to be a proper Shivanaut, I have to say — thank you. Because I can totally see how just running the patterns through my brain is helping me coax out the threads of my patterns where I can see them.
…even if I’m still totally procrastinating reading the Procrastination Dissolve-o-Matic. *headdesk*
(also, Mom says hi and thank you again)
.-= Amy Crook´s last post … Contest! =-.
So ever since I got your destuckification kit and realized how effortlessly you combine physical and mental breakthrough stuff, I’ve been eyeing the shiva nata kit. I love challenges, but this sort of challenge puzzles me a bit… it’s not an obvious intellectual challenge, or an obvious physical feat, yet it does actually seem to be both. But I told myself ‘meh, it’ll be a hassle to order dvds and have them shipped to Thailand’ and several other things to stop me from buying it… because it seems so brilliant and yet so intimidating!
But then I read this post. And then I just saw that you ship anywhere in the world. And now I’m really teetering on the edge… so there might be another shivanaut flailing wildly (over the edge?) in the near future :).
.-= Zoe´s last post … Unleashing the Unconscious =-.
Ok. So.. I’m not Shivanauting because I’m traveling for quite a while and my laptop doesn’t have an optical drive to play the DVD. Boo hoo!
But my travels are having the Shiva Nata effect on me. I’ve totally been experiencing the mind-zinging, pattern-churning epiphanies you speak of. Both baby epiphanies and adult ones.
I really feel I’m re-wiring the way I operate. It’s so amazingly and insanely delicious, I have no problem imagining why you attached “hot buttered” to “epiphanies.”
I wish I could eat them for breakfast!
Hmm… I guess that’s why you packaged them, eh?
In any case, I’m utterly addicted, and can’t wait to try Shiva Nata when I get back home to continue destuckifying and biggifying.
@Zoe – so I’m thinking – “Flailing Wildly (over the edge?)” – it’s just one guy right?
.-= Wormy´s last post … Snow is just MAGICAL =-.
I was one of those waiting for The Message from the Universe and Everything to appear and all would be solved. At least, that’s what the word ‘epiphany’ means to me. Quite unsurprisingly, the message never came through. Still, I continued flailing. Then, the first ‘epiphany’ I had after doing the dance of Shiva is that those so-called epiphanies were actually more like realizations. Or that those little moments of insight were also very valuable, even thought they did not have epiphany-status.
Since then, I started paying more attention to and working with the small moments of A-Ha that revealed blatantly obvious patterns in my life I’d still managed to never spot before, or simple and elegant solutions to something that had been bugging me for a while, instead of waiting for the Big Bang Epiphany.
So now you’re telling me that all those realisations still might grow up and become an epiphany? Great! I’m quite content with the little moments of Zing as well, though. They’ve already had quite an impact on my life. Thanks for bringing Shiva Nata into my world!
I’ve definitely been that person — but of course I’m now seeing the pattern (hello, pattern!) that I’m always wanting fireworks and generally getting lots of sun-on-water.
That is, I’m always longing for the big and the sparkly and the rare, because that’s what my friends get and that’s what is noticeable, but I’m more the subtle but everyday.
So I’m going to try to pay more attention to the epiphanies I do get, the patterns I do see, however small! And I will aspire to get out of Level 1 some day.
.-= Julie´s last post … Will you have to start at the bottom? =-.
I admit to waiting for big bang lightning bolts of insight as well, but also noticing the incremental insights. I have not has as regular a practice as I’d like, but the little zings keep coming. I think it is a willingness to see them due to the tiny bit of practice I have engaged in. I believe the dance has opened my eyes, kind of like those “is it an old lady or a a beautiful woman” drawings where you only see one or the other until you see the other and then you can see both.
My shoulders don’t like horizontal 3, and in general I feel more comfortable with the verticals (except for 2, I always mess up 2!). But last night my dog had a hair in her eye and I was able to pull it off justlikethat. I was totally amazed 🙂 Butter me up!
.-= Andi´s last post … Learning a New Language =-.
Havi, your baby is an incredibly powerful being with an ancient lineage and friends in many dimensions. 🙂 It changes patterns, not just in human brains, but across the solar system and out to the farthest reaches of the multidimensional universe.
Meanwhile, we live in a culture that tries to evaluate everything by dividing it into measurable units and comparing it to some thought-form of an ideal outcome. X minutes of Dance of Shiva = Y number of epiphanies = Z amount of value.
Lasting change requires shifting the whole ecology of being. The tiny grains of sand within ourselves, as well the swirling galaxies and stars.
When the whole ecosystem of our lives changes, often through small, incremental, nearly invisible changes in the fundamental building blocks of our being, the transformation that takes place is fully supported at every level. No part of ourselves is left behind, to paddle against the evolutionary flow. These changes last.
So yay for your teaching, and for everyone who’s participating in this great Dance in a conscious way. May the patterns of wholeness prevail.
.-= Hiro Boga´s last post … Traveling Teeth Follow Rumors of Home… =-.
Its posts like this that get me really really curious about this. I feel like a bit of an internet stalker here… I can’t do the Kitchen Table (yet, maybe someday!) and I haven’t yet found a way to get the Shiva Nata stuff (a little put away at a time!! :)) but I know I need the comming together and pattern seeing so badly…
I get to things on my own… but the realizations are so slow and I let the patterns work themselves out across my mind over and over. I see the small realizations sometimes when I do Irish Dance (which I have yet to be able to do “right”) or go for walks… but I *know* its not the same…
Maybe I just wanna be one of the “cool kids”… maybe I just wanna be noticed (which would be WEIRD, becuase I am totally not the person who has ever done things to be cool or to be noticed by the cool kids… hmmm) but more its just watching the clip of Havi doing it… something zings in me and I wanna do that too… even horribly badly…
So despite not being able to fully join in I’m gonna keep working towards being able to get the Shiva Nata Beginner thing…
.-= Pam (@moonslark)´s last post … I want to change how I spend MONEY =-.
I love the phrase “knew them in my body”, it’s perfect for some of the epiphanies I’ve had in my lifetime 🙂 Like the day I really realized that I don’t have to expect myself to be perfect
Before, if you’d told me that nobody’s perfect, I would have said yeah, yeah, of course I know that.
But one day it finally clicked and I actually KNEW it. Like, really internatlized it – Oh, that means that I don’t have to expect myself to be able to do everything right. I’m allowed to make mistakes and be bad at things.
It was a good moment 🙂
Mmmm, it’s no secret that I adore you and Selma and Dance of Shiva. (Duh.)
Lately I’ve been thinking of my patterns a bit like a desperately knotted necklace chain. Or I’m the chain and the patterns are the knots? (Or some other hopelessly mangled metaphor.) And I’ll notice one particular knot and decide to untangle it and try teasing loose a bit of chain. And sometimes the teasing is tedious, and I’ll worry at it and then take a break, and then work at it and then walk away. And then suddenly, I’ll be meditating or writing or walking out in nature, and the entire tangle will unravel in a giant whoosh!
But yeah, the giant whooshes aren’t even close to constant or anything. Sometimes it’s just a little tiny whoosh. More like “huh, interesting”.
And maybe just noticing the knot is kind of a teeny, tiny whoosh in itself. Maybe.
.-= Briana´s last post … Idea! Connection reflection. And bunnies. =-.
Oh such a good one. I’ve had a couple of big-zip-pop epiphanies, but the one big-stuck pattern I’ve been working on, oh, forever? No big epiphany there. However, I have seen little bits of unsticking with it every time I do the shiva nata. More like you describe with the smoking thing. And it IS like tripping. Obvious stuff that for some reason just never clicked. And gradually, gradually, the tangled web starts to unweave, and I can see the pattern. I just need to figure out how to hold the vision. Maybe I should ask that next?
.-= Emily´s last post … Sticking My Neck Out…My First Excursion Into Knitting =-.
This was very much needed today. It helps confirm something that I was just starting to realize, and I thank you for saying it in black and white.
I just received my Shiva kit during the holidays (yay!) and I’ve been slowly trying to do some of the basic movements everyday. Not much is happening yet, but I do notice that there is some sort of “disturbance in the Force” going on with me. I am looking forward to making the little connections and discoveries that will lead to bigger ones . . . but right now I am just having fun trying to incorporate all this into my daily routine.
Mea Culpa. I wanted big epiphanies and I am not willing to let go of the wanting yet but I am also becoming much more aware of the power of the little tings and pops and…
this thing that I am just realizing is exactly what I used to teach teachers talked about by Donald Schon “reflection-in-action” and always understand intellectually but now am beginning to live it due to SN..
.-= Pearl Mattenson´s last post … 1.7.10 =-.
Thank you so much for this very timely post. I just tried Shiva Nata for the first time yesterday, and I really liked it. There were tiny tinglings of realization, and I thought “hey, I’m not having epiphanies, but I trust Havi when she says they’ll arrive eventually.”
My practice yesterday was totally as Kath describes it above: there was a “disturbance in the Force.” Except I haven’t always been as aware of the Force as I should be, so double realization: there is a Force and there’s a disturbance in it.
I feel that, thanks to you, I’ve taken the first step on a very long journey toward better physical and mental health. And I’ll definitely return to this post whenever I feel impatient; it’s a terrific reminder that practice makes imperfect, and being imperfect is, as you’ve pointed out so many times, really quite useful.
.-= Leslie M-B´s last post … Lucas the Photographer =-.
I’m pretty good with the epiphanies. I get rather a lot of epiphanies. My problem is that they scare me and leave me feeling overwhelmed. As in, “Who has time to deal with all of these epiphanies, anyway? I have 2 little kids who never sleep fercryinoutloud!”
Maybe something like the Dance of Shiva would help me to focus and not feel overwhelmed? I don’t know. Right now I’m mostly just trying to tell myself that knowing what I want to do eventually doesn’t mean I need to do it all right now. It’s OK to be slow-moving, even with epiphanies. Right?
.-= Amber´s last post … Figuring Out What You Want =-.
My adventures in Shiva dancing began last summer. In that time, I’ve had one or two moments of BING! and multiple little frissons of (bing), and many, many moments of ahhhhhh relaxation!. I’ve been enjoying the unfolding immensely!
What has been a real constant, for me, has been a decidedly fizzy feeling in my head after I’ve been flailing around for those few minutes. I find the fizziness very comforting — among other things, it seems to be letting me know that things are happening in there, even if they may need to simmer for a while before I find out what they are. That’s okay, too. In my experience, things that simmer slowly are well worth the wait!
.-= Kathleen Avins´s last post … Dramatis personae =-.
When I’m meditating afterwards, I have to remember to just listen to what’s there. Not ask “Where are the epiphanies?” Because they don’t like to just come out when you’re looking for them. They like to surprise you. That’s why they call them epiphanies and not hey-look-at-me’s.
.-= Eric Normand´s last post … A deep thought about pushups =-.
I feel like you’re talking directly to me. Yes! This was exactly my problem .. I was so busy waiting for the voice-from-the-sky (like the time I did Shiva Nata, sat down to meditate, and burst out crying because I realized I was heartbreakingly sad and had had no idea) that I was missing all the daily “oh, so this is why I do this .. how interesting.” moments. Which I started getting when I started practicing reiki, and get even more often when I am practicing Dance of Shiva regularly. And in many ways, I love those even more than I would love the grand epiphanies that I was waiting for.
When I’m trying to convince a skeptic to try it, I tell them that if they are interested in nothing else, they really want the effect it will have on their arms.
.-= elizabeth´s last post … art on alberta street =-.
Learning to relate to Shiva Nata is an ongoing relationship for me. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it stalls. Sometimes there are HBEs, sometimes not.
I’ve come to just let it be. I do it when I feel like it. I ask specific questions sometimes and sometimes not. Sometimes I do a hard 10 minutes and get nothing, and sometimes all I do is write the words “Dance of Shiva” and lightning strikes.
I’m okay with the flow. I trust it to be for me what I need each day, and I’m excited to know it will be there for me for the rest of my life.
Dear Havi and Selma,
I don’t know why, but reading this post caused me to feel that the time is now right for me to order the starter kit — so I’ve done that and I’m excited to get going!
I’ve done lots of different kinds of bodywork and spiritual practice over many years, and it took me a long long time to discover that the Work (whatever kind of work it happens to be,) was not about looking for giant earthshaking, burning bush experiences. In fact, looking for them often seems to drive them away. I’ve learned to relish the experience of the tiny shifts you talk about, really listening inside myself. The more I’m able to do that, the more I discover that for me often things that feel small at the time turned out to be giant.
Enjoy the journey!
.-= Andy Dolph´s last post … Down the rabbit hole =-.
Yes, yes, this makes so much sense.
I have to admit: I didn’t get the kit because I really thought I’d get epiphanies. More than anything, I was thinking, “Flailing my arms around is going to change my brain somehow? That makes no sense, and I totally have to try it.” It was this unexplainable attraction.
So maybe not expecting epiphanies somehow helped.
I celebrated my 1-month Shiva-versary the other day (yay) and looking back, I’ve noticed tons and tons of little moments of bing that came to me without my actively trying to get them. I’m talking moments of bing about patterns I’d been carrying around forever without ever changing them, or even realizing that they were patterns.
But, I really do think that if I didn’t do a regular mini-meditation and especially do a bit of journalling afterwards, I’d never have even noticed the bing.
Hooray for the bing!
(… PS You know, this is aptly timed, because yesterday was a Christian holiday called Epiphany 🙂 …)
I’ve always loved getting lost in the small mysteries of everyday moments. From the beginning Shiva Nata has helped me experience more of those small mysteries. In the midst of struggling to complete some small meaningless task I’ll feel my whole perception shift. All of a sudden the meaningless task isn’t so meaningless any more but a part of something bigger and grander than I could have ever imagined. I know it’s kind of a cliche but it really is the small moments that matter the most.
Hm, very interesting. What I’m taking from reading this is “less Archangel Gabriel, more Flowers for Algernon.” Like one day you just know how to do it, but it’s not some house-on-fire big deal to you.
I’ve definitely had those. “You mean just *that*? Oh. Well duh, I know *that*.” And the memory of “that” being an unscalable terrifying wall is very hard to access, especially the emotional feeling.
I love brains. (Not in an inappropriate zombie way or anything. It’s a pure, friendly love.)
.-= Sonia Simone´s last post … What Makes Marketing Hard? =-.
Thank you so much for this post, Havi. I am a new Shivanaut — I started January 2 and was completely impressed and comforted and thrilled by your Starter Kit book. (I find your writing so compelling and clear.) And one thing that really struck me when I read it was that it’s the perfect example of one of the things you’re teaching on this blog — you’ve taken something that could feel like a great big huh? and made it accessible to a wide audience.
I have been doing itty-bitty shiva sessions almost every day so far and have felt the tiny shifts in the way I approach things. And the biggest gift for me so far is that those shifts make me trust the fact that if I just point the boat in the right direction, some wind will appear. I never can predict from where or in what way but I’ve found in this little window of time since I started that the energy around me is moving. Mucho gratitude for Shiva Nata.
SO many great things have been said, I keep screaming “Yes! Exactly!” (in my head, I don’t think my coworkers would appreciate such outbursts.) I really can’t describe things any better, so I am quoting some of the bits that fit my experience best. How cool is it to have a community of people sharing what this amazing dance can do? infinite thanks to you Havi for bringing it into our worlds!
“The difference was that now I really knew them. Like, knew them in my body.” – Havi
“I have not has as regular a practice as I’d like, but the little zings keep coming. I think it is a willingness to see them due to the tiny bit of practice I have engaged in. I believe the dance has opened my eyes, kind of like those “is it an old lady or a a beautiful woman” drawings where you only see one or the other until you see the other and then you can see both.” – Andi
“My practice yesterday was totally as Kath describes it above: there was a “disturbance in the Force.” Except I haven’t always been as aware of the Force as I should be, so double realization: there is a Force and there’s a disturbance in it.”- Leslie M-B
“I trust it to be for me what I need each day” – Christine Myers
loving the twitter name feature!
.-= ilikered´s last post … This just might work =-.
The very first time I did shivanata, and sat down afterwards to chillax, I had an epiphany that I was waiting for the epiphanies instead of just being in my skin. Then I laughed at myself, relaxed, and enjoyed the buzzy brains.
I can’t say I’ve had any Big Epiphanies, but I have noticed things, patterns, stucknesses, and I’ve been able to firm up some habits I’ve been waiting a long time to start.
Let’s not forget what a great upper body workout it is! I have sexy, sexy shoulders forming and I only started on Monday!
Perhaps it’s not epiphanies, it’s *awareness*.
Whatever it is, I love the hell out of it. 🙂
Thank you, Havi.
.-= Amy´s last post … Thrumming Brains =-.
You know, just reading about Shiva Nata and the process of understanding leading to epiphanies, I think I managed to have a Shiva Nata moment without actually doing the practice.
What happened: Last night, I did a tiny flow of yoga poses, and then from cat/cow, I sort of started dancing, just flailing around and feeling the joy of moving with my body in an organic way …. and when I felt tired, I stopped for a cat nap.
And promptly had an epiphany about where I wanted to go with some creative ideas.
It reminded me so much of how the crazy, mind-bending, losing yourself in just flailing and then being still can give you the space to KNOW something.
Either way, all of this effing rocks. And so do you and Selma.
Thanks so much for sharing your practice with us.
Oooh, this is super helpful!
I just bought the DVD last week and I’m very excitedly waiting for it to come in the mail.
But I won’t lie – I have been building up the epiphany factor in my head. And this is good preparation for what the experience will actually be like that – that it’s a snowball effect of lots of little awesomes, rather than gigantic awesomes every day. (Which would probably be rather too much to handle.)
So I’m feeling prepared now.
Still totally excited though.
i think you’d still have a duck. but you maybe wouldn’t have known what to do with it. sorry, her.
I really am a full-on groupie. I went deeply into the epiphany zone last weekend and really benefitted from it, and I’m not sure how that happened! I’m moving towards something, I can feel it!
Wait I was going to say something. I guess I’ve always had a lot of creative inspiration, but no way to express all of it into concrete form. This is really helping to organize, prioritize, and balance all the stuff that I want to do. And help move out the stuff that I shouldn’t bother with anymore.
I changed my twitter avatar for the new year, to get rid of the holiday one I had. Afterwards I realized it was a picture of one of my vintage tub-toy collection – a rubber duck! It’s just so obvious, how embarrassing! Groupie from hell!
Anyway, I really am thankful for this, it’s going to be a great year!
I have just started doing Dance of Shiva. It is already breaking my brain, but mostly it makes me giggle how I can’t do it, and I like that! More soon on this front.
About knowing things, though! A wise friend of mine once told me that we have to learn everything three times: once with the head, once with the heart, and once with the gut. And I was all “well, no wonder I’m so frustrated all the time!” But in a good way. And I thought you’d like it, so here it is!
Okay, I’ve been thinking about taking the leap for six months, and I started following the blog last week. After this post and all the comments, I’ve done it: I bought the starter kit. I have taken my first step in becoming a Shivanaut.
.-= Shawna R. B. Atteberry´s last post … Life Insights from 2009 I’m taking into 2010 =-.
I thought of a great name for these! “Lil Piphs.”
Feel free to use that name if you like, or not, but I just had to share. 🙂
I haven’t tried the Dance of Shiva yet, but as soon as I can I will pounce upon the kit! Must. have. ASAP.
But I’ve been following your methods of talking to your stuff, and gradually I’m getting through to them. It’s taking awhile, because my brain resets itself at the beginning of each day.
Thanks again for everything you do! Between you and Naomi, my life gets a little brighter each day.
.-= Kimberlee Ferrell´s last post … Pushing Past Your Writing Anxiety =-.
I may not “get” Shiva Nata (probably because I’ve never done it), but I do “get” that it works for you. It’s a personal thing, like when I stare off into space when I’m thinking deeply about a problem. Or how I solved a programming problem one time by visiting a museum of modern art, turning a corner, and realizing that one of the paintings mapped to the problem I was trying to solve and the painter had solved the problem in his way and I could use his approach to solve my problem. (Breathe now.) The point is, it works for you.
You’ve done a good thing by building a place where people can come and feel like it’s okay to be out of the ordinary (and isn’t that part of being extraordinary?) and talk about ducks and pirate ships. I’d say that makes you successful. And pretty damned special.
Keep being you. It encourages other people to be themselves, epiphanies or not.
@Kimberlee: I will definitely use “Lil Piphs.” (you know it’s just one guy, right?).
Anybody else getting the sneaking suspicion that Shivanauts are going to take over the world one day?
Thank you so much for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear today.
.-= Visionsister´s last post … Vacation! =-.
“And then when the tiny gasps lead to the big explosion, awesome. And when they don’t, you have room to appreciate the tiny gasps.”
I hope I’m not showing myself as the only sick puppy out there by admitting that I thought of sex when I read this.
But, on the chance that my metaphor might actually help, here I go.
I don’t know about other people, but I love all parts of love-making. The flirty, blushing, teasing bits, the soft caresses and moments of just being and feeling, and then, of course, the moment of release. However, unless you’re lucky, you only get one moment of release in a given time period, but you can have lots of foreplay; lots of really awesome bits of time that lead up to an even better time.
So, when I get the money to buy the Shiva kit, I’ll be looking forward to Shiva foreplay as much as the Shiva-gasms. =D
.-= Holly Hunt´s last post … My First Personal Ads =-.
@Kimberly: “Lil Piphs!” Perfect, perfect, perfect!
@Holly: I agree! What a great metaphor!
@Havi: I so needed this, since I have been very guilty of waiting for the BIG epiphanies… and yet, I now realize that I have had so many small ones that I care to count. Thank you!
Yup – all of these things (comments and post = so helpful and true), plus:
I had a stroke. I have brain damage. Quantifiable.
I started trying the Dance as a way to reconnect things in my brain that are now, actually, broken.
I’ve always battled with depression. Post-stroke was harder than the usual run.
The Dance makes me laugh, and it helps me connect to NOW, and it allows me to NOT think (even for just a little while it can shut off the busy-head thing). It’s helped me get off heavy medication and helped me (sorta) get some balance back. It definitely helps with my depressive tendencies. When I feel crappy – just a few minutes of the Dance can haul me out.
Yeah, I feel a little hippie and silly doing it, and it’s hard to explain to people without sounding like I’ve joined some wacky cult. But Havi came Highly Recommended by a near and dear friend, so I put aside my typical eye-rolling-at-something-new and tried it. And it works. And that means everything.
The no-name here thing? Just a little hiding. It’s OK – I gave myself permission to say my piece without saying my name. 🙂
Also, THANKS. Big time.
@Holly Oh dear, shiva-foreplay HAHA! Sorry @Kim, you know I love ya, but I think that beats the pants off of Lil Piphs (which, by the way, reminds me of the Little Rascals!)
And shiva-gasms… *makes shifty eyes* that shouldn’t be hot…
But seriously, very cool metaphor.
.-= Amy´s last post … Thrumming Brains =-.
Dang. Wish I would’ve read Holly’s comment BEFORE The Hubby left for work. 😉
.-= Shawna R. B. Atteberry´s last post … A painting of what I want my sovereign self to be =-.
So I’m not a Shivanaut (yet), but this whole epiphanies thing–how many huge ones do we get in a lifetime? Not that there’s an epiphanies quota, really, but more like how many do we need?
I do PSYCH-K work, and I get these little bits of insight as I sit in whole brain position that are like flashes of sunlight off of a shiny windchime. I have to be open to NOTICING the flashes, then exploring the flashes, and pairing them together with other flashes and THEN I see the pattern. I usually don’t see the solution to break up the pattern for a while. That requires more openness and more noticing.
I’d say all the big epiphanies I’ve had in my life, such as This Job Is Killing Me or I Want to Have a Baby have all come as a culmination of lots of drips of insight. I can’t remember ever having a “heavens opening up and singing” moment without them.
.-= lynn @ human, being´s last post … Happy (belated) Ham Day, or why I need an odd sense of humor to live in my house =-.
This couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. I just realized that I’ve being my flailing as wrong as wrong could possibly be. Not just the flailing mind you…the actual practice part. Turns out I’ve been thinking I’ve been “practicing” but I’ve never even made it to the actual Level I practice. And wowza! Now that sort of flailing scares me.
So once again, thanks for the reminder about the goodness being in the mistakes.
.-= Katy´s last post … Christine Kane’s 5 Large Life Lessons of 2009 =-.
wow. this is so good to hear/read/think. I’ve been thinking a lot recently, turn of the year and all, about the many many self-growth/help/learning books, classes, workshops, and such I’ve tried over the last year, and how I wished I got more results from them. They were all wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but I think I showed up with these massive expectations. Part of me wished they were supposed to be magic, you know?
Now, a few ideas from a few different places have fallen into my lap in the last few weeks that feel like they changed everything – big epiphanies. I wondered why these, why now, and why not the other times this year I’ve been searching – then the image of a giant hourglass popped up. Each small moment of growth building almost invisibly on themselves to make the big change. Maybe sometimes change is like a light switch, but maybe most other times it can be as small as a grain of sand. (you know, to mix metaphors a wee bit)
I’ve been lurking here for some time now. Although I’m not a Shivanaut (yet?), it’s one of the places I come to to get epiphanies of many sizes.
(And my comment is late, but it’s been a busy weekend. I know it’s Monday but where I live – Tokyo – it’s a long weekend.)
“One day I realized that I was afraid to take time for myself, and that smoking was a form of permission.” When I read that, I had an epiphany about something I do that similarly gives me permission to take a break.
I also remembered a funny story about one of my friends.
Years ago we worked in a bank together in Toronto. At some point, smoking in the workplace was banned (so you know this is going back a while) and thus began the now time-honoured tradition of smokers going outside or to coffee shops to smoke. Meanwhile, the non-smokers only got pee-breaks or a quick take-out coffee+sweet.
One afternoon our boss was passing through the staff lounge and noticed my friend sitting there, doing nothing. He asked what she was doing.
“I’m taking a mental cigarette break”, she replied.
Mental Cigarette Break. It’s just one guy.
P.S. The boss started looking for her cigarette and wondering why he couldn’t smell smoke. He thought she’d said “menthol”.
Check this out: James Joyce invented the word epiphany. At least the way we use it nowadays and the way Havi uses it when writing about Shiva Nata. Ok, the word existed, but it was totally obscure Catholic technical language used only to describe the manifestation of divinity. Also a holiday.
Joyce busted it out in Stephen Hero and other works to describe a realization, and BAM! English has a new word to describe that feeling. For some intense analysis check this out: http://www.mrbauld.com/epiphany.html
See also satori.
I guess we also have insight and realization as more entrenched synonyms in English.
–Thorin the wordwhore
.-= Thorin Messer´s last post … What I woulda wrote =-.