Tag Archives: dance

IN SEARCH OF THE NAKED TRUTH: And how I finally found it

The truth is that I long desperately for the simple and the stark. That I look around at the complicated ways we exist. At the stories we tell. And the loneliness at the heart of it all.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 7.22.28 AMI have fought for the truth my entire life. Raised by lies. Married to lies.  I’ve fought to hold a sense of true while standing on a wonky moving ground. It felt that if I didn’t stay vigilant and fight for the truth, that the ground would swallow me up whole.

So in the quest for truth, I became a lawyer only to find myself immersed in this world of story telling. And posturing. Where our simple humanity seemed to have no business being.

Then I found dance and movement. Movement.  The purest and truest of ways to be in the world. As soon as we start to make sense of it,  describe it, contain it. It starts to lose it’s purity.  The words and contemplation starts to narrow and contain experience.

I dance in the park quite often inquiring into the reality of how it is we move and exist.  I would inquire for hours into simply shifting weight from side to side. The many ways I could experience left. And the many ways I could experience right.  The the endless pathways in between. And in this simple inquiry, I felt so ridiculously alive and complete.

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I would ask myself, why if I felt so alive in this simple inquiry, was I teaching dance in ways that felt so complex. So layered and complicated. Why is it that we need to be so entertained by this form, or that form, or the promise of this or that. To lose weight, to free your soul, reach spiritual enlightenment, to lead you to ecstasy.  Why must we entice with such promises, when reality, for the sake of reality,  is so shockingly beautiful.

I came back to teaching movement classes recently. This past Sunday the inquiry started with the simple sway that happens naturally when we stand in stillness. This simple tiny sway that can be tracked back to a nearly imperceptible shift of weight. To the left. Then to the right.

What I can promise you, beyond a shadow of a doubt is that we all sway.  That we all shift weight. Trust me when I tell you that we all spiral.  That we all rise and that we all fall.  That there is truth and  justice found here.

Finally, as a teacher I can stay true to the truth and to myself. I need not make shit up, I need not pretend, I need not resort to anything other than the simple reality of what is already moving in us.  And that this simple truth is magnificent, and fascinating just as it is.

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Soul Motion Teacher Training: The ABC’s of Stepping In

photo - Version 2Here it is I stand. The passage begins here as I ready myself for the great step into Soul Motion Leadership Training. A few days from now I hop a flight to the west coast where I’ll join my teachers and fellow trainees in a year long journey of study in the most honest, alive, and vigorous practice I have come across. A conscious movement practice that’s caused my life to blow up before my eyes, dropped me to my knees, and stripped me bare to the soul. A practice that has pieced my life back together,  shown me my place in the bigger picture, and continually offers me promise that a life lead simply and honestly is more than enough.

One of things that stands out the most about the Soul Motion practice and sets it apart from others, is the the cherishing of the pause. The recognition that pausing offers us a place to rest, to recharge, to disappear, to meet ourselves with fresh eyes, and begin again. The pause offers a starting place from where we raise our gaze and allow ourselves to be amazed by the view. A place of belonging, that holds us patiently until the moment we’re ready to sink in, give weight, push off and step out. As I stand here in pause, I am reminded of Zuza’s teachings on the ABC’s of pause. The “deconstruction” of pause, I like to think of it as.  I want to cherish this moment. Linger, luxuriate, so I’ll deconstruct this pause and honour the significance of *this* moment

A is for Assemble DSC_4443 As I assess where I am in time and space I want to remember those teachers whose shoulders I stand on. Those who offer me a foundation upon which I rest my feet. For Jovinna for introducing me to Soul Motion, broken open, and without question drawn in without knowing exactly why. Lying on the floor like snow angels listening to Rufus Wainwright singing Hallelujah. Remembering this moment as I receive the earth beneath me. Receiving the the pulse of the earth. Feeling that pulse enlivening my feet and allowing this pulse to reverberate up to my knees, my belly, my heart,my head and hands.

And to Zuza. Include the excluded she says and it literally changes everything. The hardest turn is the great turn inwards she says. Practice, practice, practice.  In this moment of pause I practice turning inwards and including myself.  I’ve not always been so welcoming of myself but today am ready to hold myself dear as I stand here in waiting.

And to my ex husband who financially supported me on this journey.  The dance ignited in me a longing to seek a simple life of truth and authenticity and be alive at whatever cost. My longing to walk this path and his need to take the completely opposing path lead us so irrevocably in opposite directions. This dance cost me my marriage and my life as I knew it. Dropped me to my knees and stripped me bare until there were no places to hide from myself or from the truth. Therein lies the gem to this tragedy and a most reliable foundation to rest my feet as I assemble myself in pause.  Resting in the naked truth of me.  That I am enough just as I am. That I belong … here … now.  That this belonging is my birthright and non negotiable.

And to Arjuna, the founder of Soul Motion. As I’ve reassembled my life after my separation so many of his teachings have whispered to me and formed the foundation upon which I’ve picked up and rebuilt the pieces of my life.  Slow down, slower, and slower yet,  pause, pause frequently, wait for inspiration to find you, nothing needs to happen. He holds the high watch, wishing more for us than we can possibly wish for ourselves.  I stand now strong and true in the perfect embrace of my own high watch.  Knowing with the greatest of certainty that there is no more noble or necessary calling than that of the high watch.

And to that little girl. At that festival. Who danced in the street and dared me to dance there too. And I took her up on it. Over and over and over again.  I am a street dancer thanks to that little girl. I pound the pavement.  I dance under the open sky. I feel now my bones dense and hard. Stacked up one upon another beginning with the foundation of the small bones of my feet. Bones imbued with the countless shapes and shifts, starts and stops of the street dance.

And to my grandmother Juliana. What I remember most of her is how she danced everywhere and anywhere. Her kind, generous heart and warm smile.  Somehow, her little girl never ever stopped dancing.  I’m certain something of her spirit lives in me now.  My little girl leans back slightly knowing that grandma has her back.

B is for Breath

Closing my eyes and allowing my inhale to draw me inwards. Feeling my breathe pass through the nose, passing the back of my throat, softening the jaw and flowing down my spine like a soft flowing river.  Feeling the breath, like water meandering through my body. Passing over and soothing my wounded yet resilient heart.

Breath finding it’s way to my belly, finding a dance with the butterflies that flutter there in anticipation of this training.

Breath spiralling through my hard working arms. Arms that held up the lion share of my marriage for 16 years. That did most all of the heavy lifting as a single mom raising my baby boy.  Arms that have had to humbly relearn to flex inwards,  hold and love myself.  Breath now finding these most honest, nurturing and courageous arms allowing them to finally, after all these years, relax.

C is for Circular Awareness

I slowly exhale and trace my breathe as it spirals outwards and fills the space all around me.  A prelude to the dance. Simultaneously, I feel space brushing up against my skin. After my separation one year ago I recognized a desperate need to cast a wider net around me. Capture a wider circle of awareness. So I said yes to Soul Motion teacher training and now look forward to meeting my fellow traininees and teachers. To a community alive with authenticity and inspiration. A community asking why, and saying yes, with curiosity and open eyes.

I open to the sides and the awareness of the support and encouragement of my local community. Dancers, family, friends, teachers. My dear son and best dance partner.  He is my shepherd.

Looking back, I see the first half of my life and know this moment marks the beginning of a brilliant second half.  No more shrinking my life to fit someone else’s scared little box. I look forward to the second half of my life. To begin again.  A life of more and more me. A dance that is grounded and real. Alive and dynamic.  Open and available. A dance full of love, grace, compassion and a potential that opens in all directions and KNOWS. NO. BOUNDS.

photo 1D is for Dissolve

With a long audible exhale I let go. Soften my knees, jaws, and eyes. Empty. Surrender.

E is for Engage

Shall I step forward with the right foot? With my strong arms?  With my aching heart?  Jump in with my whole self?Waiting.

My whole life.  Waiting.  To  *fully*  and  *wholly*  and  *honestly* engage.

Thursday May 8th 2014.  Madrona. The odyssey begins.