She's a LA Rams cheerleader was the gossip whispered around the bar. She danced with graceful confidence while exuding joy and playfulness.
I wanted to dance with her. Walking toward her table across the bar seemed to take me forever. I ask her for the next good West Coast song. There was a long pause...
This happened a long, long time ago in what seems like a different lifetime. I was a dancer. Not a "So You Think You Can Dance" dancer—but a "Dancing With The Stars" dancer. The West Coast Swing and Country Two Step were my dances.
Dancing, like everything in life, requires an intention, practice, and performance (displaying your skills). Performing is the fun part.
I learned to dance for two reasons.
My first reason was to meet "the ladies" (spoken in my best sleazy 1980s, coolio voice). According to my Mom, a man who danced well had very little competition. She was right (as usual).
My second reason was to learn to do something I sucked at doing. You see, I had zero natural dancing ability. None. Nada. Zilch.
I danced a lot, and within a few months, I got pretty good. I participated in a couple of amateur dance competitions and did okay. I met many lovely ladies. I enjoyed being a better than the average male dancer.
So what's the point? Why I'm I boring you with my "Glory Days" reminiscing about my dancing days?
I want you to understand the difference between intention and intuition. I also want to show you how intentions and intuition work together to create your future.
If you recall, I intended to meet "the ladies." But I am shy and introverted. The thought of hanging out in "drinking bars" and chatting up "the ladies" was painful. In my mind, the idea felt like walking barefoot on the hot sand to get to the ocean (think Dudley Moore in the movie "10"). I knew what I wanted to do, but getting it done was going to be painful.
One day, after my divorce was official, I was speaking with my Mom. Her intentions were clear. She wanted to increase the odds of me giving her a grandchild. To that end, she conveyed to me her dating and courting wisdom. Her advice was, learn how to dance. My initial reaction was an immediate revulsion, a spontaneous bout of cold sweats and a slight gagging sensation... Learning to dance was nowhere in my mind as a way to bring about my intention.
My dance experiences had never turned out well in the past. In fact, most of them included a massive hangover the next morning.
A day or two later, after my morning meditation practice, I pondered my Mom's advice...
I struggled to keep my mind quiet and receptive. I stayed detached from my emotions and considered a life where I could dance well. The first image that came to mind the "freestyle" dancing of my past which didn't feel right at all. Then, I saw myself dancing with a partner. She was faceless. In my mind, we were close together advancing around a wooden dance floor. We proceeded in synch with the music's rhythm. Connected, we moved as one person.
Everything about the visualization felt right. I stayed with the image enjoying an unexpected future. A future where I danced well. I liked how I felt in that future. The feeling of being a good dancer felt like John Travolta.
My intuition, my inner voice of knowing, vetoed my shyness and critical mind's concerns. I discerned the right actions that were to fulfill my intentions. Watch out, ladies—break out your steel-toed shoes—here I come.
The following Saturday night, I was on a dance floor taking my first country line dancing lesson. My quest to meet "the ladies" was underway. That night, I decided to follow my intuition. I went all to become a dancer.
My first action was to trade in one of my two left feet for a right foot. I then needed to find out where I tucked away my natural rhythm. And lastly, I needed to figure out how music worked.... Easy peasy.
... I waited for the cheerleader's answer. My mind was imagining her thinking the Dancing Bear from Captain Kangaroo had asked her to dance. Her face displayed a look of concern with a wee bit of apprehension. I'd seen this look before—she was going to say no.
That's when I quieted my mind. I was in the now—present in the current moment. I became the eye of a hurricane, a calm, safe refuge amidst the noise and clamor of an Orange County country dance bar.
Marissa accepted my invitation. The DJ announced a West Coast song, and I escorted her to the dance floor. Waiting for the song to start, I learned her name and that she was very, VERY married. Sixty-four beats into the song, with a relieved look she said, "You can dance." I winked. We had a blast.
There are things you want in your life (your intentions). More importantly, you have ideas about how you can get what you want. Those ideas are things you're willing to do and unwilling to do (for me it was barfly and dance). The things you would never do to bring about your intended outcome become possible.
The spiritual growth process makes you aware of your next best step forward. With this awareness, you can take that step forward with confidence. The path to your future becomes clear, and you fall in love with the person you become along the way.
The spiritual growth (awareness) process is:
- Right Meditation.
- Right Thought.
- Right Action.
It works. It's dead simple. And best of all, costs nothing (aka free). By mastering the spiritual growth process, you will live into a future of your own creation, one step at a time.
Let's start getting happy.