Don’t Stop the Music – Soul Dancing Day 10

After days of heavy body – emotionally and physically – today we ripped again.

Glorious Sweat.
Do you have any idea how utterly glorious it is to feel sweat dripping down your neck, running in your hair?
To me it is heavenly.

I love how I have moved through different landscapes of my soul and body over the last few days.
Explosive joy, and for a while I believed that if only I dance this is how I can feel.
Piercing clarity. If only we all dance this is how we can all feel.
Then stillness. Ah how sweet this slowing down is. Really Dance is Magic.
Then out of left field – heaviness and heart ache
Sadness and grief even – and then nothing…. ?!?!?!?!?
Ah but wait
Then flow again – release.
And Bang! I have circled round to something that is not quite joy, but just a sweet and vibrant energy of strong expansive expression.
Large, quick, active movements
Of body.

I see that I can’t control what happens
And that although there may be experiences
That I prefer
None is really better than the other
Sadness has given birth to resolve, to clarity, and to depth of feeling
Joy births wings
Anger births clarity
Can I welcome them all?

And trust that they are transient
This too will change

I almost didn’t dance today.
It is my children’s birthday.
Instead we all danced.
We all danced :).
Even my husband came in the end.
And Danced.

We ended with quiet music,
And my body showed me
How beautifully it can move between Speed
And Stillness
Just like it has moved
Between Sadness and Joy
Exuberance and Frustration

In the still movement
Everything Feels More
Feels closer
Attention expands –
From expansive Movements
To expansive and quiet and clear

That we move through
That we can move through

Neither is my soul
Neither the sadness
Nor the joy
… Landscapes

I wonder what is underneath the landscapes
What remains, when all else falls away.

I will take this question with me
Ponder it, let it enter me
Just like the landscapes of the days past have

Back to Soul – Soul Dancing Day 8

Anna Hanschmidt’s Night Time Dream after a day of Tears

Yesterday was a day of Tears. Rivulets, becoming streams, becoming rivers.
That sounds enormous. It wasn’t.
It was raw. But not about enormous feelings.
It was like the heart had cracked open
And found inside only sadness
And longing, deep longing
Sadness for the absence perhaps of that which my soul longs for
And being touched deeply in moments of entering into that
And perhaps a feeling of bereftness for those only being moments.

I don’t dance alone – others are dancing also
In places around the world
And it seems the tears were common to several of us
And this deeper touching into ourselves.
On this particular day.

I include some of their voices….

I danced a wonderful ‘Listen to your Body – Find your Centre’ Tango class… which also made me cry because I felt my centre – and at that instant felt how many times I had not felt it. So on goes the journey. Let us hold each other. I don’t know where my life is heading, my relationship, the place I’m living…  I just know that even if sometimes I can’t see it: I grow more myself each day, and that’s worth all this chaos and not knowing…”

“I had the same, this morning, dear Maaianne. We are connected in this rainbow of Tears. I know I was meant to be a “Dancer of Tears” to live the Mystery of how our Body can serve as a direct connection to deep E-Motions and with this to be deeper alive.”

And another dear friend, in response to the question of “I wonder where this is heading” answered….

“I think… back to our Souls.”

This morning I woke and realized of course there will be tears
And sadness
In returning to our Souls.
I am sure there was joy when the prodigal son returned
But also a sorrow for all the time apart

And so on this Sunday morning
Here is my commitment:
To continue to lean into Dancing my Soul’s Language
(on and off the dance floor)
Touching Nature
Touching Life
Touching Spirit

However Sad,
However ‘whatever’ that it is is ;-).

“I will dance the essence of things….”

“You don’t just dance to move
You dance to make connection to nature
To make connection to Spirit”

Anna Halprin

I will dance the essence of things………


Soul Dancing – Day 7 – Entering Sadness

I noticed slight grumpiness, tiredness, irritation and sadness upon waking. And invited by a new friend I took these consciously with me into my dance.
I touched the heaviness of my heart. Perhaps underneath the stream of life there is always a little of this – grief for the world we live in, sadness for all the trees felled, birds dying, life not being exactly as we would like it. I don’t know. But today my dance was mostly Sad. Heavy. Slow.
Slivers of sunshine broke through. I think this is the nature of life. But it felt important to stay with the density of my body, and the feeling of my heart.
The music didn’t always ‘fit’ with what I felt I was feeling J. It reminded me of life – dancing with what is thrown to me, and still remaining True to myself. Dancing with what life brings – even when it jars – and still remaining true to my self and my experience. Not always easy.

And also open to let it (life, the jarring music, whatever it is)  influence me, touch me. In the dance it sometimes took me deeper into sadness, sometimes let me coast on a brief wave of joy that broke through a cheerful piece of music.
Connected – and – True.
As I end this mornings dance I say to myself and to everyone:
Let us be gentle with ourselves. We are birthing a new world.
In this simple act even of just moving our bodies more consciously, listening to them, listening to Life, We are birthing a new world.
Let us be gentle with ourselves.

Soul Dancing into Stillness – Day 6

Touching stillness. Slowing down. So intimate this dance.

Even the wild dance of days before is intimate. It is really meeting myself in my body as I move, as I let the music move in me, through me. And yet – in the quieter dance moments, I become more conscious of the intimacy – of the listening to – and meeting myself.

Joy is still there. Such joy. Small moments of quickening. A sense of love flowing. But also simply being with myself in movement. Nothing more, nothing less. Deeply intimate.

Katrin reminded me of something important. The burst of energy and the release of wildness is a meeting of something and someone in me that often I don’t meet. It is connecting to a fundamental aliveness, vibrancy that often lies hidden. What a delight it is to meet that part of myself.

Having touched that – it is then exquisite to move into the place of slow, still connection. Slow, still connection.

Today was slow and still.

With such gratitude for the miracle that is our life – and the teaching and learning that is available everywhere  in every single moment. And right now it is coming home through Dance.

Dancing Soul – Day 5

Today I entered into madness. But it came from the music. Such MAD music – it almost scared me. Perhaps because I had to surrender to it.

Madness when it arises naturally from within is simply nature expressing – wild nature expressing Wildness.
What when I am bombarded by mad music and I recoil in some fear, because I feel I am not ready for it?

But then I enter it, stumblingly, awkwardly, uncertainly.
And enter and enter and find that I move funny, strange, ugly. Not elegant, beautiful, graceful…?
But I keep entering and suddenly all the labels fall away.
And I am simply the Dance.
And the music simply is food to spur me on.
Wild. Released.

I love myself in the dance.

And I have moments when I love the Moment so much I have to gasp.

I love myself and I love the moments that I am moving in – in the dance.

Aaah! I say and Dance on.

Dancing Soul – Day 4

Today I noticed how long it takes me to fully enter the dance. Mind stays with me for a while – quite a while. Censoring, judging, the music, the movement, continues to ponder the themes of the day. Busy busy mind

And then suddenly suddenly suddenly something shifts – the music, the movement, the soul of the moment moves into the foreground, becomes it all. Suddenly I find myself being surprised at myself, what is moving through me, suddenly I notice that I am motion, I am sweat, I am breath, I am dance. I am lost in the moment – and it expands and becomes so big, so bountiful, so explosive, or perhaps later in the movement when it moves towards stillness – so expansively still.

It is ALL Prayer. It is prayer. It is Love of Life. It is Love. Simply that. Love. And in that is Joy. Immense Joy.

Today I arrived at the home of a friend. Full of my bubbly joy, from these days of movement. I shared, I bubbled. In the course of our time together our conversation moved to less happy things. An old story of torture and pain in our troubled country. A new story of arrests. And my bubbles took on the pain and became immense sorrow. Tears came. Sadness filled me. My friend apologized. But I simply said ‘it is all good.’ And it is.

What the dance is doing is enabling Flow. I can flow from joy to grief in an instant. And it is Beautiful and True. And – here is what is new – I am not getting stuck in either. I can probably move equally fast to anger, fiereceness, even fear. The emotions are not good or bad – they are. Just like there is slow and fast and sombre and vibrant music. And I am learning to flow through it all.

Each day I have come to the dance with an issue, or concern. Each time I have danced it into oblivion. Not that I ignore it, but I land at the end with a deeper, richer, wider perspective. My body and soul can hold it all – with such spaciousness. What was a mountain literally turns into a molehill in the dance.

I realize we don’t all need to dance – but there is something here. Something here about flow, perspective, surrender….

And this is only day 4!

Journals from a Month of Dancing

August quickened something in me, and the voice that has quietly been whispering to dance, to dance, to dance became more insistent until there was nothing for me to do, but ‘put on my dance shoes’. Those would be my bare feet. Find good music, turn up the volume, empty my house of my family – and Dance.

And so I did. This Saturday. For an hour and a half. Having been conscious for so long that I don’t have a teacher or a group, I suddenly found simply Soul. What more is needed? Really?

Let me offer my one and only disclaimer as I enter into this month of dance and of sharing it:  This writing may seem a little fantastical at times, my experience is not of groovy cool Sunday afternoon dancing. It is of learning to dance my souls expression. To release, to surrender, to enter into a union of sorts…. Me and life, me and Mother, me and the essence of my soul.

It is – I realise – time to stop apologizing for not fitting into the mold of the normal world and normal language. Especially when it is one that we have so blatantly robbed of magic and mystery. And so – disclaimer aside – I realise this is in fact a journey into those very elements of Magic and of Mystery, through my body and through the gift of music.

I come to it with Gratitude.

During my first dance, I was stunned at the fury and wildness of what was released.

When my husband returned – with my mother in law – I wondered how I would keep dancing. He suggested our bedroom is big enough for me not to have to empty the house of people. And in fact it is. So the very next day, I did my second dance.

In this I had a moment of feeling that I was Mother dancing. I was both she and me – and perhaps we truly are one. There was great gratitude for the gift of being able to dance life with consciousness – from me And from life.

During this same dance, the warrior rose more strongly in me, and I remembered that in the medicine wheel as summarized by Angeles Arrien, the medicine or healing salve of the warrior is dance. And here I was dancing my way back into power, vitality, life force. Hear my cry – it is fierce.

My third day of dance was the day where I made a commitment to keep doing this for 30 days. Yeah!

In this dance I had such a strong experience of: “for this i was born”. My ego hastens to apologise to claim the name Dancer, and yet it is much more than this. I was born to express my Soul, my joy, my spark. And this is what I was doing last night, spinning wildly in my bedroom. Aren’t we all born for this expression?

I was using a Gabrielle Roth five rhythms compilation. She offers guidance in this one – and her words entered me through the experience…”Don’t do the dance, let the dance do you. Don’t do the dance, let the dance do you”. “It is all prayer”. yes it is. This is sacred practice.

And such fun too!

As day four begins my body is a little tired. My spirit is strong. My husband says I feel more open, more light and playful, stronger, clearer, sharper but also more gentle. And a lot more self-absorbed :).

My children are joining me in moments. Pre-bed family dance, early morning rising dance. Demanded by them. These are short. Dance-snippets, but they are beautiful.

I may be jumping the gun, but I have a sense that i am diving into a month that will change something at a fundamental level in me and in how I relate to the world. At this point it seems like simply this: to know and experience at a cellular level that I can open myself to Life force, to joy, to flow. Those are not in the hands of another. They are in my hands. As I open, as a I move – I enter more fully, the river of Life. She flows fast. I am not in control. But I am learning to swim, and to dance with life.

Gabrielle’s last words yesterday were “You are the Dance.”