I find myself faltering with this ‘blog’ thing. Why the hell be SO personal and put this stuff out there in the public domain where everyone will find out about the struggles and imperfections – and possibly then question my professional abilities? my competence? my health-y-ness?
It’s hard being honest, integrated and public, but when I started @bigbeatsdance it was for that exact reason. Part of my own growth and integration is stopping the fear that I will ‘lose’ something if I stand up in any way less than perfect and as I have said in another post – perfectionism is a slippery slope.
For me…It ALL happens on the dance floor!!!!
At the Wild Chocolate Club this week, I was so excited. I was hoping to escape into music, rhythm, movement and breath as always; to ‘fly away’ in my mind to some lost and lovely dance, but this time, even before the dance part – I was faced with my own actual body. No journeying off for me today. Just me, my body and 28 other people whooping and joyful around me.
How do you ‘do’ shame…disappointment…self-loathing in a dance form? WTF? This form of dance practice asks nothing of the dancer but to be total. As in, whatever comes up, just move it. Put it into the dance. Anything – thoughts, feelings, inner visions, colours, memories – anything – just move it… and so there was I.
I am aware as I said in my last post, of avoiding so many feelings from times in my life where things were difficult, traumatic, painful. I am a bit disappointed though to find them so deeply seated in my body in this way, and to feel that sting of shame again. How did I let myself get SO FAT? and this obsession being such a red-herring…
Matt Khan says ‘Whatever Arises, Love That’, and this has been my attempted mantra since 2015 when I did my dance teacher training. So frozen to the spot, tears streaming down my face I tried to send love. ‘I honour this past’ I said to myself. ‘Fuck this past and it’s endless misery’ answered despair. ‘I love that despite this past you have remained so open-hearted and lovable’, said ‘me’. ‘LOVABLE????’ spat my fifteen year old ‘Are you BLIND?’. ‘Lovable’…said I, ‘And brave, and honest to keep coming back to heal this stuff because it is your story but not your definition’… To receive the ultimate kindness and compassion from the very one who keeps bashing me and keeping me small moved my shame and despair into grief. One hand on heart, one hand on belly, just slowly, gently rocking, there was just this moment or two of integration. How I wished that the music would keep playing forever – that I did not need to get myself back together for the end of the dance.
When I (anyone actually?) am that vulnerable – the hardest thing in the world is to be around other people and my instinct was to run. Instead I shuffled myself back to a wall, partly obscured by a curtain and found that I couldn’t stop weeping. A familiar panic started up. ‘Got to get my shit together before the lights come on’ and ‘Don’t be a drama queen, don’t attract attention’. A dear friend had realised I was wobbling and just came to sit. She knows some of the issues that come up for me when I am not being Mrs Competent. She sat, just seeing me, just honouring where I was at, and you know? It felt good not to be alone, but I was embarrassed, and the kindness made me feel that I could weep forever, so I told her to leave me be – just so I could get myself together enough to drive everyone home!
This Wild Chocolate Club coincided with the last day of the Ecstatic Awakening Dance Teacher Training and so around me, blooming like beacons were the new teachers who had been on retreat for 5 days. They had laughed, and cried, and danced, and shed layers and opened and transformed and were an energy all of their own. One of them came to me and gently, sweetly said ‘Do you know that you are a big reason why I did the training?’. Imagine my shock. ‘Me?’…’Yes you – because you showed me that I didn’t have to be perfect, or sorted, I just had to be me and that was good enough’…
Isn’t life clever?