For more than two and half years I have been walking closely with my friend Michael as he lives with brain cancer. Recently he shared his health adventure as part of a healing stories project. I was so moved by how he felt his healing began when he stopped worrying about how many days he had left and instead started asking how much love he could receive.
Itâ€™s a beautiful story (I happen to be a part of it) and you can watch his entire presentation for the Health Story Collaborative on Facebook Live. He makes this key point starting around 24 minutes in.
I love the sense of adventure in the question â€œhow much love can I receive?â€
If we are part of the universeâ€™s movement towards more love and more consciousness, we are all going to get caught into this current one time or another, pushing us more deeply into love.
â€œYouâ€™ve got that glow!â€
Watch someone fall in love and you might notice them dress differently, come into better health, or find the courage to change jobs. Falling in love is generally a happy story but it can still be uncomfortable because it includes changing your sense of identity and letting go of many aspects of your old life.
It was a health crises that really pushed me to lean into love in a new way. The situationâ€™s urgency pushed me through the discomfort of love again changing my identity and my life. We all have our accidents, major losses, health issues and traumas. In the moment it can feel like they are completely derailing our lives.
If the purpose of the universe and our lives is to come more fully into love and consciousness then even the disruptions â€“ especially the disruptions â€“ can catalyze our movement into more love.
Love is always available to us, yet receiving it can feel like an act of grace. We can make ourselves more available for this healing love through spiritual practice. Because love is always about relationship, Iâ€™m especially interested in collective spiritual practices in which relationship is part of the practice.
All of us need a way to practice giving and receiving in community. There are many forms: singing in harmony, attending mass, team sports, and my personal favorite, dancing in a circle. These practices can only be done in community. They are ways we practice being in community.
A student in my practice group is currently in a health crises. Sheâ€™s practically ecstatic with her recent experiences of receiving love in a new way. I delight in hearing her say â€œI have never felt so loved in my life!â€
An immensely creative person, she had done many forms of healing and spiritual deepening when she came to me to learn more about qigong. Last year she started dancing with the Wisdom Dances practice. Even though it was very uncomfortable for her, I strongly encouraged her to join the class because she had a very small support system and I wanted her to taste the experience of being interwoven in a circle.
Last week she was able to experience a healing circle of support with her family, sharing joyful, loving tears with an ease sheâ€™s never had before. Because she has been practicing dancing in a circle of support I am not surprised – yet still utterly delighted â€“ that she was able to overcome huge internal resistance and live this feeling in her life. Iâ€™m so happy for her and thankful she gave me permission to share her story!
May the question â€œHow much love can I receive?â€ be your guiding companion. We all want to see a world that is more loving. In addition to transforming our culture and institutions to center around reciprocity, we will also be transformed by receiving more love than we currently can imagine. This is the hope that guided me through cancer and my hope for our collective future.
Drop in any week to Healing Waters Qigong, a Spring Forest Qigong practice group, or to the Wisdom Dances dance practice, based in Laura Shannonâ€™s research on traditional dances as tools for healing and transformation.
A Tender Space for Transformation
It can be so frustrating to feel that the healing or creation you seek eludes you. This is why I help people address the root energetic and spiritual nature of their challenges through qigong healing.