Today the weariness and despair in my heart turned hopeful, and I breathed more easily. The inauguration ceremony was exactly as it needed to be. President Biden’s speech offered comforting strength. Lady G, JLo, and Garth Brooks’ musical renditions brought tears of joy and relief. But listening to the words and watching young Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman lifted my spirits and made me believe and hope again, that “We the People,” and our democracy can continue to thrive.

Thriving is a theme that was offered for contemplation in a group I participate in with fellow spiritual directors. The question was asked, “How do you define thriving for yourself?” I struggled to put into words what thriving meant to me, partly because I felt guilty for thriving during a time when so many are focused on surviving. And also because I compartmentalized thriving into various aspects of life; spiritually, emotionally, financially, relationally. I don’t seem to manage well, thriving in all areas of my life at once. Then again, does anyone?

Thrive Collage

Rather than fumble to find the words to describe what thriving meant to me, I turned to Heart & Soul Collaging™. I pulled out my collection of clippings, some of which have dates from a decade ago, and began choosing images and words from the felt-sense at the center of my heart––what does thriving feel like?

As I sit with the collage now, I’m struck by how all the people I chose to picture are reaching out or up, and that they are all dancing. Even the Japanese lady on the right, looking still and stoic, is reaching into the word Thrive, and performing a dance. I photographed her at a theater in Kyoto several years ago. So I learned through this collaging process that for me, the embodied equivalent of thriving is dancing. I need to dance, like Snoopy with his happy feet!

Today, January 20, 2021, more than half the people who voted in our country, along with our world allies have something to dance about. May Joe and Kamala lead us forward, through our collective healing, toward a united, fair and just democracy where everyone thrives, and has reason to dance.

 How do you define, or embody thriving?  When was the last time you danced?