Once upon a time there was a woman (me) who felt disconnected from myself, others and the world. I felt victimized by life, left behind and led astray. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it was listening to Cat Stevens on repeat during road trips through the Southwest. Maybe it was going on pilgrimages to every sacred site I heard about. Maybe it was getting by with a little help from my friends.
One day something shifted and now most days there is an openness and trust in life and a default of gratitude, that life is a gift and my job is to enjoy it. Not an equation to be solved, but a dance partner to be danced with. I think back to watching Flashdance religiously as a child in the 80's and think those lyrics got into my subconscious, "Take your passion and make it happen! I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life." Seriously.
In this tango between you and time, between love and loss, agony and ecstasy, gratitude and disappointment, dreams and desires, there is one thing that when I'm a little stuck, a little lost or have a little extra love to give that I do. And I wanted to share it with you.
I sit still.
I think of the thing that my heart yearns for the most.
And then I wish the essence of that dream for as many people as I can think of.
I put my sincere energy and attention in their direction and dream for them.
I think there is an exhaustion in always focusing on ourselves and our desires. (Note- of course some of us have the opposite problem and don't focus on them enough.) However, when you get to the heart of your dream- whether it is abundance, true love, freedom, success or optimal health, there is a such a power in praying for others, wishing them all the joy you wish for yourself.
There's a saying in Egyptian a friend taught me. He said it is "ow'balik" which means "I wish for you what you wish for yourself." Exactly.
You can pick a rose and tear off one petal for each person's wish as you walk through a garden or around the block. You can go to the water's edge and throw a stone into the sea for every wish for every person. You can write their names down on a piece of paper and burn in a fire and know that energy of that prayer will go up in smoke to the sky. You can make up your own way.
Qoya is movement with meaning. It is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. We remember our truest essence that is wise, wild and free. So, one more amazing way to pray for these people could be to dance the prayer and imagine while you are moving, visualize their dreams are coming true.
We could be on to something here. Maybe even, dare I say, the evolution of Flashdance!?!?!?! (Side note- can someone please help me do a Qoya Flashdance Flash mob? I mean, they both have the word Flash in them????)
Caveat~ we never really know what is best for anyone else, so I always have an addendum to these prayers that says, "For the highest good of all involved." And I don't pretend to know what that is. The gift of the gesture is to shift from individual struggle to collective grace. To remember that we are all in this dance together and to offer the power of your presence to another. For you left brain scholars, there are plenty of studies that show the healing and measurable effects of prayer and intention. (Read the Intention Experiment or E squared.) And for you right brain mystics, I highly recommend the novel The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. On my first trip to Paris I stumbled into the Tumbleweed hotel where you can stay for free if you read a book a day. I would have earned my night's stay as I finished this book in 24 hours. So so so so good.
If we were going to make this blog post simple, it would just be a reminder to slow down. Look into your heart. When you see the things that light up your soul like the north star lights up the sky , go into the tenderness of your own heart and pray that others know this joy, this peace, this satisfaction, this savoring. As an experiment, just notice how you feel when you shift your focus onto the well being and thriving of another.
We did a version of this at the Qoya Costa Rica Retreat and it was powerful. I hope it is for you too.
Hope to see you on the path! (Links to upcoming events below!)
Or remember, there are always FREE Qoya videos you can do online anytime!
Let the path be beautiful,
May 1st: In honor of Beltane, come to a Co-ed Qoya Class at the Standard in Miami, Florida 7:30-8:45pm, $30, price includes spa access.
May 17: Join Rochelle Schieck at the Reveal Conference May 17th in NYC!
Sept. 4-7: Join Rochelle Schieck for Qoya class and so much more at Soul Camp in the Poconos Mountains! (early bird until May 1!)
Oct 4-6: Get your ticket for Austin City Limits and then join us for Qoya classes in the Am and dancing all day to great live music!
Oct 17-19 A pay what you can Qoya Retreat at the inspiring Menla Retreat Center near Woodstock, NY
Nov 10-21 Join Rochelle and her mentor Marcela Lobos leading a Women's Journey through the Four Winds Shaman School in Chile
Nov 29- Dec 6 Experience a service and safari adventure into Zimbabwe doing Qoya movement and rituals to integrate this powerful experience.
March 28- April 4 Join Rochelle for Qoya's favorite week of the year with the sixth annual week of movement, ritual, community and pilgrimage to Blue Spirit Retreat Center in Costa Rica
Stay tuned for more dates being added to Salt Lake City, Germany, Minnesota, California and Australia/New Zealand!
Also, are you interested in becoming a Qoya teacher?
Click here to see different opportunities to explore more of Qoya to create your own home practice or share with your community.