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The Spiritual Hokey Pokey

One foot in, one foot out…one hand in, one hand out….then you shake it all about…you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.


Recently one of my teachers reminded me that everyday life is a fabulous mentor. I knew she was right because I had just experienced a deep lesson that started with my son singing the hokey pokey song. As he buzzed around the apartment dropping verses and shifting body parts, I had an epiphany that spiritual development often follows a similar pattern as the much-loved childhood dance.

The situation that most often tests my “resolve to evolve” is my work situation and my inability to consistently stay above the fray of the occasional workplace dramas.  As much as I want to let things bounce off me, sometimes I just can’t seem to resist engaging in behavior that I know isn’t serving my desire to evolve. It seems in a snap, I’m just like screw it, I’m not going to stay neutral, I’m not going to stay present, I’m not going to resist negativity…I’m going let my ego take over and go in full throttle. It’s the way I held my power in the past, before I realized that I’m only really hurting myself with these behaviors. I know that I’m allowing my energy and power to be syphoned away over things that don’t really matter in the big picture and leaving myself depleted of vital life energy. I also see it as participating in a larger pattern of negative behavior that brings our world down.

These days, it doesn’t feel like “not letting people get away with bad behavior toward me”, it feels like I’ve stepped in a big pile of crap.  Not only do I feel deflated in the moment, I start to doubt my ability to evolve beyond these habits and behaviors.

spiritual hokey pokey

My son singing the hokey pokey song triggered a breakthrough (and made me giggle) because it helped me realize that my personal development is very similar… cycles of in and out and shaking all about. Imaging this process as a dance made me realize that even with my faults, I am more IN evolving mode than I am out.  At a certain point, I made a shift in consciousness that even when I am stepping in crap, I REALIZE that I’ve just stepped in crap and I need to get out of it.  For so many years I found myself wallowing in crap with no idea how I got there!  We as human beings have the bad habit of not recognizing how far we’ve come and how many changes we have already made towards our own greater good. Instead we focus on what we’re not doing right, and this can stunt our development. The thing is, part of the growth process is making mistakes, learning from them, and making change little by little.

I have heard some spiritual teachers say that one day they had a spiritual awakening, and from that moment forward, their lives were instantly transformed. My experience has been different. I believe that many of us are having awakenings that we MUST change and evolve…to stop drinking, to be a happier person, to leave a painful situation behind… and after that awakening, we begin the journey to change our lives. I believe evolving is like dancing the hokey pokey…one foot in, one foot out, one hand in, one hand out…you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around…that’s what it’s all about.  

Photo by Christine. 

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