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Post: July 9, 2012
Update: July 19, 2015

One Bite at a Time

Dancing in the Shadows of the Moon

from the Question Line Duo

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Summer is for reading!

We continue this series with Machaelle's second autobiography. This is sooo not your usual autobiography!


After you finished reading Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered, did you wonder "What happened next?" Then it's time to pick up Dancing in the Shadows of the Moon. In this book, Machaelle shares her personal story of what happened next and shows us the potential that's available in life by simply saying "Yes!" and meaning it. As she opens her daily journal to us and takes us through her days, important insights about our own lives rise to the surface.

We usually recommend starting out with Machaelle's first book, Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered. However, there are times when a person's first encounter with Machaelle's work is Dancing in the Shadows of the Moon and it turns out to be just the right introduction for them. So if you are new to Perelandra and something about this book draws your attention, by all means, go for it. There is much to be learned from Dancing and much to be enjoyed.

And if you've been working with nature for a little while or for a long while, Dancing will help you to understand your work on an entirely new and deeper level. It will knock your socks off!

For the two of us, telling you about Dancing is very different from describing our first reading of Machaelle's first book (One Bite: Behaving). When Machaelle published Dancing, we had both been working at Perelandra for two years.

From Jeannette
My first reading of Dancing was in a very different context — I was here at Perelandra, we (the staff) were reading it together and talking about it at lunch every day. It's difficult to describe my first impressions as they have long since melded with my second, third and fourth readings.

I do remember well my first reaction to learning about this side of Machaelle's work. I was beyond excited. At last, confirmation of something I had inklings about when it came to understanding life and death and the universe and how they are connected, how we humans are connected and how we are not alone in our journey through life. I was relieved to know that I not only have the support of the people around us, but support of people I can't necessarily see with my eyes or hear with my ears, and I can experience that support and interact with those who provide that support. I knew we weren't alone, but I hadn't been able to pull together the pieces of understanding until I read Dancing. Now I knew other people who understood this too — other people who live normal, successful lives and who aren't crazy!

Dancing challenged me to live bigger and broader and at the same time, in a more grounded way. In fact, I learned that in order to live bigger and broader, I had to live more grounded and stay involved and present. I learned to allow opportunities into my life rather than obsessively pursuing them. I learned there was no need to chase after becoming a "more spiritual" being and that living an expanded life doesn't remove me from the physical, mundane realities that are a part of what I wake up to every day. And expanding my life doesn't mean I get to lay back in a hammock, watching the clouds go by, philosophizing the day away. Expanding, growing a bigger, broader life means living with and facing challenges and difficulties and pain. And it means experiencing amazing, wondrous, fantastic moments too. Oh, and life still includes times to lay back in that hammock, watching the clouds . . . but philosophizing isn't really all that necessary, I can just enjoy the clouds. And then I can happily get back to the rest of life.

This makes me think about a comment we staff hear often from folks — "You are so lucky to be at Perelandra, it must be so wonderful to work there!" It is. This is so true. But, I hope you will learn through reading Dancing, that you can be just as lucky to have your life too.

From Beth
Reading Dancing in the Shadows of the Moon is a deeply personal experience. Imagine what it must have been like for Machaelle to live that deeply personal experience — and then the guts it took to share that with us. If you're familiar with Perelandra and Machaelle's work, you've probably caught on that she doesn't really do things without a purpose. And the purpose of sharing this story with us is broad and profound.

There are all kinds of things that we each have noticed or thought about in our lives — about how we function in the world, what's happening around us, the interrelationship of individual and group realities, and so on — which we may or may not have tried to figure out over the years. What Machaelle explains in Dancing gives you the information to put that into perspective, and the support to adjust how you function in the world in light of this broader reality — to embrace both the mundane and the fantastic. Yes, I said embrace the mundane. It's not just the "fantastic" that's special. The "fantastic" in your life won't be near as fantastic as it could be unless you also embrace the mundane. That's something I learned from Dancing.

I've learned many things when reading, and then re-reading this book. At the heart of it is: After reading Dancing, life looked very different, form looked different, and my obligation to be a part of reality, both immediate and beyond, was most certainly different. I also never looked at death in the same way again. I'm pretty sure you won't either.

What others had to say in their Amazon book reviews:

Excellent book. Very inspiring. I will be reading this book again as it is very mind boggling and very good. I couldn't put it down. — Anonymous

The cover says 'a sci-fi life in a sci-fact world.' The cover is right! I couldn't put it down. Machaelle Small Wright is a great storyteller with a truly brave sense of adventure, a wry/silly/subversive sense of humor and a deep spiritual sensitivity. Infinite thumbs ups. Ditto for Behaving. — Anonymous

Never mind sci-fi, this is the real thing! If you have ever wondered what life is really all about, this book will move you through your ring-pass-not (the limiting edge of your reality). It's true, what she says about integrating the fantastic into the mundane in your life, and that all the things you do in your mundane life lay the groundwork/foundation for all the fantastic coming in and expanding your reality. When I first bought this book, I wasn't ready to read it, so gave it to the local library. Now I went out and got it again . . . wow . . . for all you folks who meditate, who do all sorts of stuff to create your own reality, who would love help with making your dreams come true, here is the missing link. I tell ya, once you get into Machaelle Small Wright's work, the magic of co-creating with nature comes alive in your life. This stuff works. And this book, crazy reading as it may seem at times, is full of aha's that I have long suspected to be true and it's so wonderful to have them validated by someone just as crazy as me. Maybe we are the new norm. Take a chance, read this book, and check out her other one too — Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered, also MAP for health — that one may be easier to start. Go for it, go for the chance and the instructions on how to change your life for the better . . . and hang onto your hat! You are in for the ride of your life! — Anonymous

It will change your life. This book changed my life when I read it a few years ago. I am now re-reading it and getting more layers of meaning and comprehension. As all of Machaelle Small Wright books, it brings a much wider perspective of the universe we live in and what is possible in life. It's absolutely inspiring. On top of all of this, Machaelle writes in an easy style, using a direct and honest tone. The book flows fast, though you might want to re-read some parts just to grasp the incredible amount of information given. It's hard to put down. — M.S., Hawaii

Extremely good book, 100% worth its price. It is a book about life, death, other levels of existence, reality, nature intelligences. I have practiced her other books for having a better quality of life, and they all work great. I have read Dancing 3 times in these past 4 years. I recommend the expansive experience you'll get on reading Dancing. — J.V., Mexico

In Dancing, Machaelle recommends having a nice box of quality chocolate on hand while you read. And we second her recommendation. Our personal favorite is Frans Chocolates.

So find your bottle of ETS for Humans (for those sock-knocking-off moments), open your favorite box of chocolates and grab your book or ebook reader. Then sit back, read and enjoy. When you're done, you'll want to leap and say Yes! too.

— Jeannette & Beth

Purchase or submit a review for Dancing here.

Read an excerpt of Dancing here.