The Wild Honey Buzz: Dancing Through '22
Happy New Year!
I don't usually make New Year Resolutions as I prefer to follow the New Moons in each month and the astrological calendar which places the New Year on the New Moon in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac that occurs in late March or in April and is connected to the Spring Equinox. However, this New Year 2022 coincides with the New Moon in Capricorn - how cool is that? This pattern continues throughout the year as the new moons will occur at the beginning of each month! So, given this situation, I am joining the masses to focus on my physical and mental health this year as these I consider the #1 most important things. And, in my natal chart, I have Capricorn in the 6th House of health, my sun is in Virgo which rules the 6th house of physical health, and I have the task master, Saturn, also in Capricorn in the 6th House which means I have no other choice than to focus on healthy habits.
Below is a list of some of my habits which I'm hoping to intensify this year while keeping the routine as simple as possible because I, like most people, have a lot going on and many time constraints.
"Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room." ~Kurt Vonnegut
I prefer solo, improvisational dance to partner or tightly choreographed dance and I'm completely uninhibited about dancing in this manner. I love being the first on the dance floor but I'm a party starter not a party sustain-er, ha! My favorite thing to do is to bust onto a dance floor when it's totally empty and show people how to do it, then watch them jump up and get into it themselves, then dance a few more tunes and disappear. It's one of my many strange ideas of fun (and may have something to do with my Irish roots...ever heard of an 'Irish Goodbye')? My job is to start the party, not end it.
I'm hoping to dance every day of 2022, if only as Mr. Vonnegut says, in my living room. I also have no problem dancing in stores if I like the music that is being played while I'm shopping. My daughter and I do this all the time...so much fun! We don't care at all what people think!
I can dance to any type of music, but I prefer hip hop beats or very fast old time bluegrass...I know...such different genres! The latter is a great aerobic workout! Twice a month, a DJ/Astrologer known as The Leo King based in Los Angeles shares a video of dance tunes I like as part of his Spiritual Dance Music Series. He does these on each New Moon and Full Moon. His banter and philosophies may not be to everyone's taste, but if you don't care for his somewhat controversial take on things, you can fast forward to the playlist and just before he begins the DJ portion, he says a prayer that always blows my mind...so sincere and beautiful, but again, he might not be for everyone.
The dance video at the beginning of this blog is of me and one of my favorite dance partners whom I don't get to see very often, but who is, as my daughter describes her, "basically my twin"....we were actually born 3 years apart but grew up dancing together in the hills of Appalachia. I love her so much!
In all kinds of weather, I have to go outside and walk or run or play in the dirt (garden) every day. A minimum of 1/2 hour is required for my sanity. I like to have fresh flowers in my home at all times too.
My husband and I have a very simple flow routine we like to do together starting with a series of standing poses and ending with seated and lying ones. On days when we don't do the entire routine, I like to do at least the downward dog pose, forward bend, backward bend and side to side. The idea is to bend your spine in all directions every day.
I meditate before I go to sleep and when I first wake up in the morning. I practice a combination of Christian Centering Prayer meditation and meditation based on the sanskrit mantra, So Hum. Meditation is the way in which I maintain my devotion to and relationship with the Divine.
I keep a journal of prayers, reflections, collages, lists, astrological notes, doodles, rough drafts of poems, etc. I enjoy drawing flowers and each month I choose a different kind of flower. This month, I'm working on orchids.
I know this is important, especially for women my age, but I don't like it! So I suffer through it about 3x a week and do a basic series of upper body exercises with 10 pound weights - 3 sets of 15 repetitions...so boring...I get through it by listening to interesting podcasts. In the summer when I swim, I tend to skip this and just do some pushups when I'm doing yoga. I am not a gym person... you won't catch me in a gym!
PLAYING MUSIC AND SINGING:
This is something I'm hoping to increase in the coming year. I have a beautiful little baby grand piano that I'm not very good at playing it, and like dance, I like to play improvisational tunes primarily, although I did bang out some half way decent Christmas tunes, and I love to play Celtic songs and sing them, along with old hymns.
I don't believe in dieting but I have had good results from intermittent fasting. I don't eat red meat and very little chicken and turkey, but I love fish and seafood, so I'm basically a flexible pescatarian. I drink very little alcohol but relish a good red wine or a glass or two of champagne on special occasions. I like to avoid caffeine but I'm crazy about decaf, soy iced mochas...yum! I drink a lot of herbal teas and take supplements prescribed by my naturopathic doctor based on a yearly analysis of my blood. I eat chocolate every single day and cannot live without it. Same with bananas; I have to have a banana every day, sometimes two bananas!
COMMUNITY, RELATIONSHIPS & CHARITABLE GIVING:
So, watching me dance or interact with people, you'd never in a million years think I'm an introvert, but I am an introvert who behaves as an extrovert when I'm with people. So weird but so true. For every social interaction, I need gobs of alone time to recoup my energy because when I'm with people, I'm with them. I'm not a leach, I'm giving out a lot of energy and I'm also an empath, so I'm picking up a lot of energy. This drains me, so I have to respect my social boundaries. I'm generally better in one on one settings than in groups. You won't find me at "girls night out" events, tupperware parties, book clubs, wine clubs, or any kind of clubs, ha. I am involved in a faith community and support outreach ministries through this community (financially and with time commitments). I like to make up committees for myself and serve as the president...another odd thing I consider fun. One of these committees I call the "Mama Betty Lou" Committee. Mama Betty Lou is an 89 year old member of my church, and my committee duties are calling her twice or more times a week, visiting her, running around town with her and just being her friend. Gosh, it's fun. Friendship is obviously very important for one's mental and physical health and it requires nurturing, attention and give and take. I'm so blessed with wonderful friends and in order to have a friend, you've got to be one. Any relationship which I feel is not reciprocal, I let it go. I'm fussy and choosy about my friends, especially my "inner-most circle."
The cost of healthcare and lack of access to healthcare is an enormous issue in the U.S., especially in under-served rural areas. This Christmas I was introduced to The Health Wagon, an organization that provides free healthcare services to people in rural Appalachian counties where there is a substantial need. As a gift to me, my daughter made a donation to this organization in memory of her uncle, my brother, who lived in one of these counties and who passed away in October of 2021. I am hoping to continue to support this group and all of the great work they do.
Obviously, our health is directly tied to the health of our beautiful Mother Earth because if we can't breathe the air or drink the water, and don't have food to eat, it won't matter how many weights we lift or pushups we do. I admit that this is the area in which I have the least amount of faith. I feel that my choice to not consume red meat is my primary act of love for the Earth at this time.
And the bottom line, the most important relationships in my life (second only to my primary relationship with God).......my husband of 35 years, my son and daughter...without these 3, I would not be me. They are the key ingredients of my joy, happiness and well-being and will continue to be my number one focus in 2022.
What about you?
Do you like to dance? What are some of the practices that support your health and well-being? What are some of your favorite charities and causes close to your heart? What are your hopes and dreams for 2022 for yourself and for our world?
"On with the dance...let joy be unconfined!" (Lord Byron)
Wishing you all the very best,
~Marianne, aka...Wild Honey