There are a million ways to claim voice, we all have our own path. For me, dance has been instrumental in helping me find and use my voice in an empowered way. I was introduced to Group Motion, a weekly contact improv dance workshop, in my mid 20’s. During this time I was also learning Transcendental Meditation and studying how womens’ cycles are connected to the cycles of the Moon. All of these things showed me how to tap into the wisdom of my own body which in turn enabled me to hear the clear, authentic voice within.
This blog post was originally a journal entry while on a Group Motion Retreat in 2000. It illuminates how I was reflecting on all of the above, as well as my path and my purpose.
I’m sending blessings and love to you wherever you are on your journey of discovering and embracing your body wisdom. I support you in following your intuition and allowing that to move you into greater love and action.
How is that after so many days of stretching and dancing and breathing and meditating my shoulders ache and my neck aches and even my arms ache in places that have never ached before? Should my body not feel completely FREE of stress and burden, should my mind not be completely emptied of its old movies and inhibiting distresses?
Quite the contrary, my dear! Experiences like this offer opportunities; the pain in my muscles, the noise in my head – they are all part of the dance, and to wish them away would be like expanding without contracting, inhaling without exhaling, becoming active without knowing the passive. The aches and pains are signals and guideposts. They teach us in their own way how to be in the moment and how to listen with loving subtlety. Without them, we wouldn’t know their opposite; we wouldn’t know as fully the feelings of boundless energy, joy, and love. We wouldn’t know as sensitively how to approach others when they are wounded without knowing ourselves what it is to feel needy and fragile and scared.
What would it be like if we all had safe containers of love and support enveloping us when we needed to dive into the trenches of fear and mistrust?
When I first arrived in Sarasota, I looked at all of you skeptically and took my time in surrendering to the dance. But things always unfold as they do – the dance takes care of itself – and before I knew it I was swirling inside of it, making connections of the most beautiful variety, singing to my new companions, communing around earthly gifts of food and drink, cuddling in the moonlight, and getting triggered by the collision of all of our old hurts and wounds.
The dance of communication is as delicious as it is nauseating, as energizing as it is difficult. Throughout this week in Sarasota, as I have witnessed myself wading in the sea of unspoken words and feeling of grief, I have equally witnessed myself rising above the ocean, white and winged, flying with pride through clear air. I can inhale this air into every cell of my being because I have spoken my truth and have lovingly invited others to do the same.
I take this opportunity to revel in this phase of my life, to acknowledge the influence Group Motion has had and continues to have on my spiritual, physical, and emotional development. I notice my growing confidence, my ability to be grounded within myself in the midst of a sea of new faces. I notice how it is getting easier to make mistakes and learn from them deeply, while allowing them to be mere moments in time. I notice that my breath runs from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. As I inhale, my stomach expands, then my abdomen, then my chest, and then I hold my breath firmly in my neck – holding and holding and feeling the safety and flexibility of my body container. As I exhale, I feel the ripples of the most minute sensations of energy spreading throughout my body, starting with my head, traveling south, touching vertebrae by vertebrae, traveling through my arms causing them to spread out like a swan, flowing through my legs, and into my trembling feet. The power of that one breath encapsulates years of growing body consciousness and wisdom and reinforces my connection to the greater ego-free energy force. In this moment I experience pure connection with intuition, soul, FREEDOM.