“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer
Tell that to most people you know at Thanksgiving. Life can be overwhelming and the last thing we feel like doing is dancing. Our feet get stuck. It’s like trying to slide on unvarnished floors; there’s resistance. But I love Thanksgiving and the holidays. That’s when I feel my feet and hear my heart beat louder.
The music seems to slow and I cherish my friends and family who live each day fully, especially those who’ve overcome hardships like cancer. These women-friends enjoy each step and lift me up by their example. You know them. They’re mothers and daughters and sisters and lovers fighting to live and dancing with gratitude. They are like whispering angels reminding us that Thanksgiving is a time to dance.
Last year I received a special set of two books about angels. A friend who had battled breast cancer gave them to me. She’s a ray of pure light. The books were a collection of angel paintings by Anne H. Neilson entitled, Angels in the Midst and Strokes of Compassion. When my friend surprised me with them, I thumbed the beautifully bound pages with joy. I planned to read these author-signed copies sometime soon. But soon never came, and the books waited patiently on my glass coffee table.
Last night they whispered to me. Hang on before you jump to conclusions… I haven’t lost my mind. But something unexplainable drew me back to these books hiding in plain sight. I was tired and had slung my feet across the coffee table, exhausted by my pre-Thanksgiving prep. The holiday was days away but I had already spent hours shopping, cleaning and standing over the oven door. We’d soon sit down to enjoy a harvest feast like millions of other people in America, giving thanks for our bountiful lives.
Last time I looked at Neilson’s collected paintings of angels, I didn’t hear the dance music. I don’t think I was ready. I soon learned that Neilson started painting angel figures after she prayed to God asking for a sign about her purpose in life. After painting a young child-like angel one night, she learned the next day that the youngest daughter of a family she knew had died in a car accident. Neilson gave her painting to them despite worrying what they might think. When the family saw it, they realized the prayer they had asked God for – a sign that their daughter was in heaven and happy.
Both Neilson and the family believed God had answered their prayers. Neilson had found her purpose and used the profits from her painted angels to help charitable organizations. Before opening Neilson’s books, I was also feeling overwhelmed. My desire to build inspiration in the world with WomanScape was daunting, and holidays still reminded me of my son’s passing five years ago. When I spotted the angel books and randomly opened one to the section called Stories Behind the Music, the floor seemed to fall out from under me.
I had asked God for a sign just as Neilson had. My feet slid over the unvarnished floor that felt suddenly smooth.
WomanScape started as a dance to celebrate life and my special friend, who suffered from cancer, had given me a dose of courage I needed in these two books. She opened a door to the angels. The book is full of beautiful art – paintings and stories about the role of angels in our life. One of the stories explains how Kathy Lee Gifford visited Neilson at a show in Connecticut telling her that an angel had whispered for her to go and meet Neilson.
Last year, last night, last time… I hope I never forget to dance. Thanksgiving reminders surround us every day. Just look to the people who foster rich meaning in our lives. Women I know like Margie, Jodie, and Kathy do this for so many. When you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope you are inspired to dance.
Each new day is a new beginning –
To learn more about ourselves,
To care more about others,
To laugh more than we did,
To accomplish more than we
Thought we could, and
Be more than we were before.