By Theresa Puskar
Arche Meditation Center of Purpose and Joy
Oak Park, IL – September 22, 2019
“Let’s dance, let’s shout…shake your body down to the ground.” — The Jackson Five
For this month’s column, I attended Sandy Daliege’s one-day workshop on “Exploring Your Potential Through Mindfulness” at the Arche Meditation Center of Purpose and Joy in Oak Park. Sandy is a delight! She truly walks her talk and models generous and unabashed positivity that radiates from her soul to all those who are graced with her tutelage.
One of the first experiential exercises that she guided us through was a conversation with our subconscious. Throughout all of my years in the self-empowerment and consciousness-raising industries, I have never been guided as such. The conversation began with a question: “What is your name?” I got an instant response from my subconscious, and thus began a dialogue with her. The second question was, “What would you like to do right now?” This is where Michael Jackson came into play; as the response from my youthful subconscious friend was, “I just want to dance and shout and shake my body down to the ground!” I was delighted and tickled. She was perky and energetic. Of course, once the message was heard, I knew it was important to honor her request. So, during our lunch break, I walked the streets of beautiful Oak Park, headphones planted in my hungry ears, moving to the beat, unabashed and filled with joy, as I became the sixth Jackson for four minutes and four seconds.
“Form a bond of cooperation with your subconscious…Dialogue with her upon awakening each day…Keep your conversation private, and don’t forget to praise her.” — Sandy Daliege
While a great deal of transformational information and experiential exercises were shared in the workshop, I was especially delighted with the interplay with my young subconscious-self. As I listened to Jackson’s words in the song, I noted one phrase in particular, “I need to do just something to get closer to your soul, and you do know that I want you.” I pondered, “What more can I do to get closer to my soul?” As I ask myself this question, I welcome you to ask the same of yourself. I look forward to dialoguing with and praising her each day, and in doing so, continue to nurture a growing relationship between us.
Sometimes making the most basic commitments can raise our spirits and feed our souls.
The message I received from her was crystal clear, “Dance, dance and dance some more!” Backtracking a moment to my childhood, I was extremely self-conscious about dancing. In fact, my nickname was “Stiffy.” My inner critic kept me stiff and still for about 50 years. Then I reached that golden age of 50+, where I started doing what I wanted to, irrespective of how ridiculous I looked or what anyone else thought of me.
The real shift came when I was participating in the Deepening Process at Oneness University in Chennai, India. An integral part of the experience was a daily celebratory ritual that included several hours of dance and song. They played a plethora of ancient Indian chants, along with Beatles hits, modern gospel and classic rock. It was glorious!
I relish the fact that my spirit can join my body in “dancing and shouting” its appreciation for all of the wonders of my being. Freeing my mind of self-judgment and physical awkwardness has been liberating on so many levels! Is there any part of yourself that you have tucked away on the shelf of your subconscious? Is there any joyful practice that you used to do as a child before self-consciousness set in? Perhaps it’s time to grab that “microphone” scrub brush in your shower, or videotape your dinner preparation routine, posing as a world-renowned Michelin chef. It’s never too late to step out of the box of adulthood and listen to the whisperings of the innocent child that rests within your subconscious.
As I looked back on my past, I saw glitter, gleam and light…and I felt deep gratitude!
Another meditation that Sandy guided us through near the end of the workshop was delightful. She took us to the base of a hill, the top of which was not yet visible to us. Before starting our journey upward, she suggested that we look back at the terrain that we were leaving behind. She encouraged us to let go of the jagged rocks and challenging trails of our past. What surprised and delighted me was that when I looked back, I saw no jagged rocks, nor difficult terrain. The landscape I was leaving behind was filled with loads of sparkling shine and glittering wonder. I realized that my past, while at times, challenging, was a huge gift. When I heard the prompt of the “jagged rocks,” I tried to change the scenario I was visualizing, but what came from my subconscious was again, not a rough terrain, but a glorious carnival. There were rollercoasters and plenty of frightening amusement park rides, each, while scary at times, was illuminated with a radiance that was plugged into a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and joy.
When is it all enough? When are we satisfied, if ever?
I am so grateful for the experiences I have had in my life. It has truly been a glorious ride! The funny thing is that on my birthday this past March, I told my daughter how grateful I was for my amazing life. I explained that if I died tomorrow, which I have no intention of doing, I felt so blessed at the extraordinary life I have led. Her response shocked me into a reality check: “Well, I’d never know you felt that by the way that you speak in your day-to-day life!” I was flabbergasted. I took a deep breath, and then I realized that she was right. While I am so grateful for the delectable life I have led, there is always underlying angst and yearning; a sense of “This is never enough! That was remarkable but now what? Where is my next adventure? When will I achieve…experience… manifest…find…” So, I ask myself, and I encourage you to ask yourself, “When will I, my life, and my experiences be enough?” Will they ever be enough, and is if okay if they are not? Therein lies the quandary. So, I sit, and watch, listen and learn…
Theresa Puskar is an author, performer, speaker, minister and motivational audiobook producer. She is the creator of the “Terri” children’s book series, as well as being an actress and director. A powerful inspirational speaker and transition leader, Theresa edu-tains her audiences, by touching hearts and minds in a way that is engaging, joyful and life-affirming. Her most recent endeavors are her one-woman show, Causeless Joy, which she will be performing Friday and Saturday nights throughout the month of January at Trinity Lutheran Church in Warrenville, IL. She also has a new company, Dragon Soup Children’s Theatre Training and Productions, and two upcoming books, 8 Ways to De-Clutter Your Brain and The Good Morning Mind: Seven Highly Effective Habits for the Workplace. They are both available for pre-orders on Amazon.com. For more information, visit www.TheresaPuskar.com