Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why I Dance In the Street

DSC_4168 - Version 2I dance in the street because there is an unstoppable force that comes from the deepest depths within me that pushes me out my door and into the big world. When that force finds me, and takes hold of me, I am a hopeless slave to it’s urging.

I dance in the street because when that force finds me, it has no respect for my edges. My heart bursts open like the Grinch’s heart did on Christmas day. My skin can no longer contain my body. My house can no longer contain my dance. I become too big to be held in by these containers and I spill out onto the street because I simply have no choice.

I dance in the street because I long for more alive and more honest and more awkward. Because I want to see the real you, what you really long for. I want to know what really matters to you. Desperately. I want to see you and you and you come alive in the common streets. As if my own life depends on it. I hope that my gesture of awkwardness inspires something in you to be awkward with me.  Dance with me, pause with me, stay with me.  Eye to eye. Tell me something other than,”I’m doing fine thank you.” Because are you? Are you really so fine?

I dance in the street because I can’t do it alone.

I dance in the street because I have a longstanding and committed love affair with the earth. The grandest of dance floors. Not that we don’t have our moments, moments when I relentlessly test and resist her, but in the end, she has never let me down and I’m no fool. I know that any lover that devoted is worth my devotion in return.

I dance in the street because sometimes I’m an ungrateful lover and space just seems so damned hot and sexy. I get so damned aroused and shamelessly devour the space around me. I dance in the street because in these shameless moments, I’m like a helpless addict, drunk and intoxicated on space and no amount of it can ever satisfy my hunger.

I dance in the street because one day, not too long ago before the dance really found me, I saw this little girl dancing at a festival. I watched her in awe. I wanted to dance too but my mind conjured up reason after reason why adults don’t dance in the street. I dance in the street because I woke up one day and decided to listen to my body instead of my mind.

I dance in the street because the raw elements of nature make me feel so fucking alive. Because as a little girl, when it rained out I thought YES, THANK JESUS, and nothing could stop me from spilling out on the street and getting wet and cold and muddy. I dance in the rainy streets because I know that I’m not made of sugar or shit and no amount of rain can dissolve me and dancing in the rain delights and honours my little girl.

I dance in the street because I want to honour my little girl. Because I appreciate that she knows how to live a life of simple joy and fulfillment. Because honouring her keeps life colourful and infinitely more interesting. Because honouring her tells her that it’s safe and worthwhile to keep nudging at me. I honour her by dancing in the street because I never ever want her to stop nudging me.

I dance in the street for love. Because sometimes there are these magical moments when love brings everything together in a perfect orchestration. When I lovingly trust and yield and push off the earth. When I embrace and push off of space such that I feel like my arms are like wings and I can take flight. When I fall in love with you and you and you and feel my place in the flow of community. In the flow of something bigger, more mysterious and intelligent than I can ever know. When I fall in love with myself, wholly, simply and divinely. When I fall in love with myself just because and despite.

DSC_4163

 

 

 

 

What Moves you – Love or Pain?

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 7.53.45 AMI woke up this morning asking big questions about love.  What is true love? Does it exist and does it last forever.  Where does it originate? What moves us to love?  Questions that are far too big for one post so I’ll tackle these questions in chunks. Today’s post asks whether we are moved by love or running away from pain.  I do think that “truer” love is that which is motivated by it’s own sake, unconditional, altruistic.

I happened to examine that very question in a love letter. Love letters will be a regular feature on my blog. It’s by far the best writing I do. True love does that to you. Who I am writing to and whether or not there is actually a lover on the receiving end of the letter remains a mystery.

Please stay tuned. I have much more to offer on the questions of true love. Also, if my blog is at all interesting to you, I invite you to subscribe. Good morning and good day dear ones.

Dearest L,

Wanting to unearth more from some of our recent correspondence. This time on moving towards love. It was these two statements that linger with me now.

One thing I want you to know is that I am deeply satisfied with our relationship.

One thing I want you know is that even as I type this is realize I have the capacity for so much more.

And my text to you the following day:

... and my capacity for MORE than what we share isn’t necessarily a function of you or us inherently. It’s where I stand in time and where you stand in time and the limitations and around these places we stand. But even as I write this I question whether these limitations impact on any given moment. Does it impact on the ability to open? To love? To grow? And push? My deepening love for you … evidence that my heart is having a “fuck you” relationship with the boundaries.

… but as humans, are we built … are we built … to move towards love or away from pain. What moves us? I suspect the human tendency is to be moved by the avoidance of pain more so. Is it why as a society we move towards monogamy? Is it why you and I hold fear for what it is we’re doing?  And does the fear serve us? What if … you and I allowed love to move us? What if as a society we allowed love to move us rather than this fear of pain? How would that inform our choices? How would that change the quality of our relationships? Our lives?

My observation has always been how we move outwards is a direct reflection of our relationship with self. If that’s the case then is that we somehow fear ourselves and move from that place of fear. Do we move from a sense of lack, of fear of not enough? That sounds very familiar. It rings true.

We stand at the centre of our experience. How we relate to ourselves is the fundamental foundation for how we relate to others and our world. What if we chose love? Can we choose to love ourselves 5% more. 25% more. Wholly. From a position of self love. We are enough. Inner abundance. Now. From this power position, how then does this change our perception outwards? How then does it inform how WE move? How we move with another? In community?

Love. I choose love. In the face of fear. I choose to move towards love in all it’s many forms. In the face of fear, I choose to love.

And how is that we move towards love in the face fear. In the face of what seems like human nature? I come back to my opening observation. “My deepening love for you … evidence that my heart is having a “fuck you” relationship with the boundaries.” Perhaps there in lies the answer. Listen, carefully and dearly to the calling of the heart. Listen inwards. Hold and cherish the beckoning of the heart and let it lead your inner dance. Let it lead you outwards towards love in it’s many forms. Let it lead you in the face of fear for it knows no boundaries.

I love you dear L. Deeply and wholeheartedly. I choose to love and be loved by you despite that loving you scares the shit out of me.

Always,

D

 

Don’t Sell Yourself Short – How Others Love Us Matters

I saw this posted on a friends page and I wanna take issue with it. Our loved ones, if they love us should be paying attention to how we want to be loved. Do I want to be hugged after a crappy day at work. Do I want chicken soup with quinoa when I have a cold. Do I want my feet rubbed after a long Sunday morning run.

I spent too long in a marriage telling myself that it’s OK that my ex-husband didn’t love me the way I wanted to be loved. That it was OK because I felt deep down that he did love me and simply had issues demonstrating this. I spent too long ignoring that my own longings were being sadly unmet. If your lover can’t be bothered to listen and honour the way that you want to be loved then that is worth paying attention to. And the chief question to be asking is, why is that OK? Why is this good enough for me?

How we love and are loved matters. We need to be paying attention to our own needs and longings and asking. We need to be paying attention to the longings and needs of our loved ones. Not that our needs need always be met or that we must always meet the needs of those we love. But certainly, the self reflection of our own needs, and the sharing of needs, the conversation of needs and how we love and want to be loved is worthy and necessary to good healthy relationship. So. How do you love and want to be loved? Don’t sell yourself short. What you long for and how you long for it matters.

Living in Our Own Blindspot

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.55.46 PM

When I think back on my marriage of 16 years to X there is an image that so often comes to mind.  Countless meals sitting across the table from him.  I’d be there, ready and present, sharing the joys and pains and challenges of my life. Yet somehow, especially in the last few years we were together, he just simply wasn’t there. He was checked out and who knows where. Somehow, and sadly, I became his blindspot.  Somehow, I became invisible to him.

X and I didn’t really fight a lot. But when we did, they were the same three arguments. The chief among them being this fight to be seen. To be heard. To be valued. To feel that what I had to say was important and meant something to him.  I fought long and hard in this place.  I stayed in this fight because I felt that the extent to which I was invisible to him,  I wasn’t fully alive. I felt like I was literally fighting for my life. All those years, all I really wanted from X was to look up from whatever it was that had his attention. To look up from across the table and really see me.

Just yesterday I sent a text to a most dear and remarkable lover. Parting words as we drift away from one another:

Include

Yourself

You deserve it.

And the extent to which you do is all you really have to offer of any meaning.

What I was addressing in this text was what I perceived to be his inability to fully value is own worthiness.  Finding various reasons to numb out to his own tremendous potential.   Together we had this practice. To include the excluded. To question the many ways we box ourselves in and challenge the worthiness of these boundaries.

What occurred to me at the time I sent this text was how often in this quest to include the excluded, we can overlook to include ourselves. I was at a yoga training this morning and each student was to blindly choose an inspirational saying from several that our teacher had placed in an envelope. The saying I chose was so perfect for me and pointed to so much of what matters to me these days.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

After coming through the fucking shit storm I just came through, I can tell you with great certainty what true bravery means to me.  So much of what I’ve gone through has taken immense bravery. The night X left me, after 16 years of marriage,  blindsiding me after dinner (ironically enough while sitting at our dining table across from me), abandoning me  with a 6 month old baby. What it took to get through that first night.  Or the day I found out he had been unfaithful to me.  The countless days of having to solider forward as a single mom, reclaiming my life. All these things have tested my sense of courage and bravery.  But what I want to tell you is that despite all this, what I’ve come to believe is that the greatest act of bravery is to be present and honest and real with ourselves. And braver yet, to stay present, honest and real despite the fact that the person across the table doesn’t see you.

What I have come to believe is that this ability to hold, value and love ourselves is everything. That the quality of our ability to step outwards in this world is a direct reflection of the quality to which we are able to step inwards.  That the strength to which we are able to step out with is only as strong as the strength to which we are able to step in.  That our ability to be real and present with others is only as strong as our willingness to be real and present with ourselves.  That we can’t truly love another until we’re willing to lay it on the line for ourselves.

For me it hasn’t been easy to get out of my own blindspot. Being so undervalued in my marriage to X took a beating on my own sense of worth. Marriage is funny that way.  The opinions and beliefs of our spouse become a reference point of truth and reality for us. When our spouses turn on us it’s very disorienting.   Consciousness of this pattern helps.   Finding the people that see and and value us helps a great deal.  Probably the thing that helped the very most was a simple commitment to stay in love with myself despite all the despites. And time. Lots and lots of time.

Sure, there are times when we all fall out of love with ourselves, when we become our own blindspot. But the question then becomes, can we keep falling back in love with ourselves.   Can we stay alive and devoted? Patient and compassionate?  Can we keep singing our song regardless of whether or not anyone else is listening?  Can we be brave enough to include ourselves?

As I sit here alone at my dining room table, across from the empty chair that X used to sit in, I think well of my journey this last year.  This is MY voice. This is MY story.  It is dear. It is precious. And it is worth telling.