SELF ESTEEM SAMPLER
By Kay Walburger
Dorothy Ballon, A Senior Advocate,
Has A Magnificent Dream for All Ages!
“The Art of Living is Celebrating Individual Creative Self-Expression!”
Dorothy Ballon dreams awe-inspiring dreams of living life to its fullest by creating events to commemorate and share the enjoyment of our individual accomplishments with others. She sees that by celebrating more than just birthdays and holidays we can expand the pleasure of our Beingness. Each stage of life is precious and we are often so busy we forget to take time for ourselves or other family members and friends to enjoy the passages or stages we are in now! At age 85 Dorothy has had time to understand how important each moment of life is and why we need to take more time to savor its sweetness.
One of her most remarkable attributes is her ability to still dream dreams for the present and the future. So many people of her years have surrendered their dreams and live only in memories of the past. Dorothy has a dream for her peers to help them live out their years with more quality of life. As she has just finished reading and rereading Ram Dass’s newest book “Still Here”, she finds herself more inspired and encouraged than ever. Ram Dass is so honest and straightforward with his own aging challenges, that he is shattering “market-driven stereotypes” which hurt, and in some ways harm the elderly. The negative images or sentimentality about the elderly has in some ways robbed them of their power and purpose in society.
Dorothy wants to join Ram Dass in his mission to create new information and resources for expanding the possibilities of elderly people. She considers herself an advocate for seniors, and many of them come to her for guidance and a list of resources available to them in the community. She also gets on the phones and helps others find housing, medical, or financial assistance, etc. At this time she is taking an active part in creating some special guided imagery tapes just for seniors to help soothe and relax them, or to activate certain activity centers in their brain which will help improve their quality of life. It is similar to biofeedback work proven to naturally lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and promote a restful night’s sleep.
Dorothy Ballon the Stage Mother
Dreams and the ability to hold a vision for some desired outcome not yet seen in the visible world is an awesome talent and not for the faint of heart. In ancient times many of the tribal peoples would have a special person who was known as ‘The Keeper of the Flame of Faith’. This Keeper of the Flame would hold rituals and special feasts and celebrations to remind the tribe of who they were and what their purpose was. When times became difficult and they forgot who they were and what they had come to do, the Keeper told stories and redefined their collective dream.
Each time the Keeper of the Flame came to reassure the people of who they were, it reignited the inner flame that burns in every heart. The people would return to their daily tasks with a renewed sense of purpose, which made the work lighter and the days more agreeable for one and all. Dorothy is a Keeper of the Flame of Faith for her dear friends and they are the first to acknowledge her powerful influence in their lives.
“I feel like a stage mother to my special group of women friends,” admits Dorothy proudly. “My own life has taught me that we each need someone to believe in us when ‘life happens’ and sometimes seems to take us off course. Most people have a dream tucked away somewhere in their heart, and they need someone else to share that dream. Someone who will not stomp on that precious dream, rather see it with love. I have found a unique array of friends who are comfortable enough to trust me with their visions and dreams! I am often invited to participate in their daily lives as well as their creative expression events or performances!
“Creative expression is vital to me because at a very early age it probably saved my life. My family was what they now call dysfunctional because my father was an abusive alcoholic who made my mother, myself, and my brother live in constant fear. I was lucky because we always lived near the Pacific Ocean and I could run off to the beach to hide and play. The waves taught me to dance in the sand and I could play in the sunshine and make up adventures. I organized funeral processions for dead birds and I seemed to be drawn to create rituals. The ocean was a soothing and nurturing mother to me and helped develop my creative spirit,” remembers Dorothy.
It is important to know that Dorothy’s life is full and rich with a diversity of life experiences. Her sensitive nature has made her a lifelong seeker of understanding and wisdom. She has experienced health, wealth, adventures of travel, and exposure to many amazing people with contrasting philosophies and most important to the arts. She was discovered by Hollywood at a very tender age and became a ‘Show Girl’ in the movies. She was tall and beautiful and was paid excellent wages, which helped her escape her abusive home life. Hollywood was full of artistic and creative people who inspired Dorothy to pursue her lifelong passion for the arts. It is ironic that she was considered too tall (5’7") to be a dancer in the movies at that time, because that would one day become her greatest art form.
Spiritual Dancing —
Sacred Ritual of Worship
I am personally encouraging Dorothy to write or dictate her biography because she has such an amazing life full of intriguing experiences and adventures to share. In this article I intend to speak only about the theme of her life which is “Art” and the power of creative self-expression. Dorothy was in Europe pursuing her artistic interest in mosaics when she was referred to a special teacher who lived in Big Sur, California. She returned to study with this woman and fell in love with the exquisite beauty of the area, moving into a cottage near her teacher. It was there when she became very ill with an immune disorder, but refused to give into her failing health. She practiced every positive and natural modality she had ever heard of in the quest to restore her body to its natural vigor, grace, and vitality.
A gentleman from her church came to look in on her and to see if she needed help. As he observed her struggle, he suggested that she just give up and give into her illness. This only angered her and she was restless all night in a fitful half sleep. In the morning she awakened with a new sense of vitality. She had a vague memory of dancing in candlelight and smelling the strong and sweet scent of roses. She had an overwhelming urge to go to the stand of trees nearby and immerse herself in their energy.
She obeyed her urges to go out into the fresh air and sunshine and visit these trees. The trees seemed to have a special message of healing and welcomed and inspired her to start dancing spontaneously around them in a kind of sacred ceremonial dance of thanksgiving. From that moment on, her health and strength returned and the urge to dance never left. “I am sure dancing had a powerful healing effect on me and my life force,” declares Dorothy. “The Spiritual experience of dancing in nature was so amazing and unlike anything I had ever encountered! I had never heard of anyone with a similar occurrence.” At that time little or nothing was known of power places or earth vortexes of healing energies — she was being guided by her intuitive spirit.
“Many of my friends thought I had been so sick that I had had a hallucination and it was not real. A few felt that it was a Divine healing and because dance was involved I should look up Ruth St. Dennis, the first woman of modern times to dance in a Christian Church. Ruth St. Dennis, a contemporary of Isadora Duncan and teacher of Martha Graham, believed that dance was an important part of sacred worship ritual. I found her near the very end of her illustrious career and assisted her personally and professionally.
“The Spiritual aspects of sacred dance as coached by Ruth St. Denis herself, were my reward. In time, I danced “The White Madonna”, “The Dance of QuanYin”, and “The 23rd Psalm” in Christian churches. I am now convinced spiritual dancing has healing powers for both dancer and viewer!
“Today, despite my personal challenges due to aging, I love encouraging my artistic friends. I want them to remember that all creative self-expression is sacred. I want them each to know that they are unique and have talents and gifts of spirit to share. In that way they bless and inspire others of all ages! My artist friends also love to dance and we are founding a Spiritual Dance Association to promote more sacred dance in the world to heal all our wounded hearts and lives!”
“Life has invited me to come out and dance and I have surrendered to the music of my soul in Divine celebration!”
You may write to Dorothy Ballon, c/o Awareness Magazine, 7441 Garden Grove Blvd., Suite C, Garden Grove, CA 92841. .
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