: winding or circling around a central point and usually getting closer to farther away from it
Spiral (n.): 1551, Medieval Latin spiralis, from Latin spira “coil” (related to Spire, from Middle Dutch spier “blade of grass.”).
“This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than a perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.”
Frances E. Willard (1839-1898, American educator, women’s suffragist, social and Christian temperance reformer. The Temperance Movement in the 19th and early 20th centuries encouraged moderation in the consumption of intoxicating liquors or pressed for complete abstinence.)
“If we focus on the minuses, we go down the spiral. But if we are able to focus on the pluses, we can become stronger and put more meaning in our life.”
Petra Nemcova (born 1979, age 35, Czech model, television host, and philanthropist. Founded and chairs the Happy Hearts Fund. She is the survivor of the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 280,000 people including her fiancé. )
“The healing process is best described as a spiral. Survivors go through the stages once, sometimes many times; sometimes in one order, sometimes in another. Each time they hit a stage again, they move up the spiral: they can integrate new information and a broader range of feelings, utilize more resources, take better care of themselves, and make deeper changes.”
Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse -- Laura Davis and Laura Hough
“Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.”
Charles Stanley (born 1932, age 82, Pastor, theologian, author, and televangelist. He also senior pastor of First Baptist Church in northern Atlanta, Georgia and founder and president of In Touch Ministries.)
“Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.”
Vaclev Havel (1936-2011, Czech playwright, writer, philosopher, dissident and statesman; from 1990 to 1992, he also served as the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia since 1948.)
“Pick up a sunflower and count the florets running into its centre, or count the spiral scales of a pine cone or a pineapple, running from its bottom up its sides to the top, and you will find an extraordinary truth: recurring numbers, ratios and proportions.”
Charles Jencks (born 1939, age 75, American architecture theorist and critic, landscape architect and designer.)
A spiral as a map for healing is an incredibly powerful image. I love that quote by Laura Davis and Laura Hough.
I also love spirals as designs, because whether they are mazes or labyrinths they can symbolize a path to an infinite creative life, never ending and always expanding.
Serious transformational work is a circular dance of deep self-love. My dances can sometimes feel like a crude and amateurish version of crumping, messy, angry, intense, and sometimes filled with anguish, but thoroughly efficient in its ability to explode blockages and to drill down deep within my heart and soul. And sometimes my dance can be like a waltz, gentle, playful, dizzy and spiraling.
No matter what dance or healing platform one chooses for oneself, whether it’s freestyle, yoga, tai chi, walking, running, ballet, etc., it can take us on some awe-inspiring journeys of self-discovery. Infinity, as another circular symbol of Source Love, can provoke us to open and allow spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, social, occupational, and intellectual well being; and provide a myriad of opportunities to step through, around, and up along another rung of the life’s ladder towards our own personal awakening and ascension.
Not too long ago, I injured my feet and suffered stress fractures along with a couple of other foot problems. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I asked a beloved colleague for the contact information of her podiatrist.
Usually, I am really good about following through on my medical issues. But for some reason, I procrastinated with this one. I was hoping if I walked more it would miraculously work itself out. It did not. Instead, it probably exasperated the situation.
Sometimes, I can be slow. But, when I’m truly ready for the information I take action and events line up effortlessly, supporting me every step of the way. The doctor’s office accepted my medical insurance and I had an appointment within 2 days. After a series of x-rays and a thorough doctor’s examination, I invested in a pair of athletic shoes, a medical boot, and was given prescription for inflammation medicine. Eventually, I would need a cane for balance, a brace, and orthotics.
Not only did I listen to the doctor’s instructions, but I learned like a good dancer to listen to my body’s signals, especially in regard to the nuances of pain.
The other silver lining in slowing down and not having instant access to my feet was the ability to walk (or dance) with mindful intention. I could no longer ignore what or who was right in front of me. I had to look into the eyes of strangers, colleagues, friends, and love ones. When I did I could see those who were aware and awakening as oppose to others, like myself, who had the tendency to power through and step on another person’s feet. I could see when others looked away and were entrapped in some form of suffering. Dancing a very slow two-step gave me more compassion for myself and for my fellow dance partners. That physical disabling experience, which was not a disability at all but a gift, opened my eyes and heart in ways I could never have without that injury.
What in your life is spiraling and unfolding for you, and how would you like to dance?
Much Love, Tonya