Doing The Spiritual Hokey-Pokey

You put your whole self in,
You put your whole self out,
You put your whole self in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about.

“The Hokey-Pokey” — it’s one of those play-songs that almost all of us have danced to. It’s corny … but it’s kind of freeing because it can cause us to lose our inhibitions. It’s also fun because it’s something that we can do with others …. and it’s one of those things that has a certain universality to it. No matter where it’s done, it’s done pretty much in the same way.

Well … most of the time anyway. But put a bunch of kids in a dance studio and something a little different might happen. This video testifies to that:


One of the great things about this video is that it demonstrates the creativity that can flow from working with basic ideas. The song and the words are the same, but there’s room for self-expression — for dancing to the beat of your own (inner) drummer … “for doing your own thing” … and/or for going with the flow of another’s lead.

Today, we’d like to take the liberty to serve up “The Hokey-Pokey” from a different perspective. Instead of working exclusively with our limbs — our various and entire body parts — we invite you to join us in a more holistic dance. Let’s call it “The Spiritual Hokey-Pokey”.

This is a version of the dance that truly addresses our “whole self” — transcending (but including) our physical self to include our emotional (feeling), mental (thinking), social (relational), and spiritual dimensions.

The pictorial metaphor we’ve chosen to use to illustrate is “The Big Love Flower” shown at the top of this blog. As all five of its petals blossom, the Big Love at the heart of our True Self becomes fully revealed.

The idea behind this is that to be fully in bloom, we’re called to let all aspects of ourselves — physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual — unfold fully and completely. Unless — and until — we let these aspects express themselves we are out-of-balance and not displaying our wholeness.

This is why we use the Flower Image as the icon for “Wholeness” as one of Big Love’s “Five Heartbeats”. Importantly, “Wholeness” calls for two dimensions of activity: (1) healing and (2) self-development. If any of the petals are damaged, it needs to be tenderly and lovingly nursed to be restored to health. Then, it (and its companion petals) needs to be nurtured so that each and every one of them reach the fullest possible expression of its beauty.

We can, of course, put any aspect or our whole self “in”, “out”, “do the hokey-pokey”, and “shake it all about” at any time. In fact, that’s a good thing to do because it keeps us “in the dance of life”: “The Spiritual Hokey-Pokey”!

But there’s more. To the extent that we consciously and willingly work on out healing and development — our “Wholeness” — our flower will blossom in ever-emerging kaleidoscopic beauty. And as our flower blooms that way, we’ll be inspiring others to bring forth more beauty in their flowers as well. And, that my friends, IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!

Will You Have This Dance With Us?

Olivia & Steve


It’s Your Turn

One good dance deserves another. This one is a closely related variation — and just as much (if not more) fun. It also illustrates the importance of “connecting” the pieces so everything works as a syncopated whole. Take a peek and it. Then reflect on what type of “spiritual” message is your “take-away” from it and “The Spiritual Hokey-Pokey”.

Dem Bones — Doing The Skeleton Dance:

If you’re willing, please share your responses in the comment section under this blogpost as it appears on the Big Love Community Facebook page.


Big Love News

To maintain a sense of integrity, we always do our best to “do our homework” on the background of what we’re writing about. And “The Hokey-Pokey” is no exception. Interestingly, there is no definitive history about either the etymology (origin) of either its title words or its source that we found.

Best we can tell, it emerged as part of shared folklore over the past 300-400 years. While it may have been common in child’s play for those centuries, its popularity seems to have “blossomed” (convenient turn of a phrase, eh?) during World War II.

Isn’t it interesting how folklore contributes so much to our consciousness and social interplay? And, how useful it can be as a springboard for putting forth new ideas with a totally different context. It you have thoughts or other experiences in this regard, we’d love it if you’d share them!

If there are topics you’d like us to address, please send us an email from our “Contact Us” web page.