So long as we’re doing
one two three around the floor,
dancing is a bloody bore.
Only when we surrender to the spirit of the music
can we truly dance.

—Marion Woodman

If you take the words of this reflection too literally, you might think there is nothing here for you if you’re not a dancer. If you think, “I don’t like to dance, so this doesn’t really apply to me,” you’ll miss the deep teaching in these 30 words.

When you substitute dancing for just about anything else, this reflection is an invitation to discover if you are going through life based on a set of rules, regulations, scripts, or”shoulds,” or if you are tuning into instinct as a source of guidance and direction.

Rules and scripts are the “bloody bore.” Following your instincts is the true dance, and you are the only one who knows whether the moves are authentic for you.

This idea could apply to almost anything in your life:

  • The way you show up in relationships
  • The way you wear your hair
  • Your career choices
  • The way you talk and express yourself

One-two-three is the taskmaster that tells us that we must do it “right.” And when the taskmaster takes up residence in our being, we become haunted by perfectionism.

Of course, there are rules that are important to follow like stop lights, avoiding people with contagious illnesses, or principles of the physical world which are grounded in science.

But if the rule isn’t about safety or science, it deserves questioning.

One of the concepts that is at the heart of the Radiant Threefold Path — specifically the portal of Reclaim — is the idea of living your authentic truth, from the inside-out. And this is exactly what Marion Woodman is referring to in this reflection.

Surrendering to the spirit of what wants to move through you is synonymous with living from the inside-out.

And it’s not an easy thing to do.

It’s not easy to do because we are bombarded daily with words, images, and unspoken messages that tell us that the one-two-three of other peoples rules or expectations will bring us approval, success, love, or whatever it is we are longing for.

The one-two-three creates fear of getting it wrong or making a mistake, and causes us to believe that if we closely follow it, we will get what we want. But the sad truth is that even if we master the one-two-three, what it delivers may have little resonance inside us.

The most important question to ask is, “Are there any one-two-threes in my life that I need to question or completely abandon?”

Invitations for reflection, exploration, and action:

  • Where am I doing the one-two-three when I could be dancing?
  • Complete this exercise:
    • Write down anything in your life that you are doing according to rules, scripts, or expectations (the one-two-threes)
    • How does the one-two-three feel to you?
    • What would it take to move this one-two-three to a surrender into instinct?

© Victoria Priya, LCSW [formerly Vicki Tidwell Palmer] (2021)

Radiant Threefold Path articles are protected by U.S. copyright laws, and may not be reproduced, distributed, or re-published without written permission of the author.

Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman’s Body and Soul (©1998)
By Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick
(Reprinted with permission)

*This post is from the Coming Home to You Series. Visit this page for the backstory of the CHTY Series.



I want to support you to Return to the authentic truth of who you are, Reclaim what is yours, and Receive everything that is meant for you. So that you can Regenerate your life, your relationships, community, and the world.

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