Sometimes it’s during the day. Usually it’s at night. And I do it when I need to.
Needing to feels like there’s something in my body that needs to be expressed. Allowed. Just felt.
I can tell when I need to because I feel this hard, stuck, heavy feeling in my body. And I know it is something shouting “Hey! I’m here! Can you hear me? Listen to me, goddamnit!” (I think of my unexpressed feelings like sullen teenagers who just.want.to.be.listened.to.)
The feeling is not usually shouting to be saved. Or to be fixed. It wants, most simply, to be felt. To be acknowledged. To be seen. By me.
And so I dance. For me, it is the most powerful way for me to allow what is demanding to be felt.
Sometimes the feeling is a ton of joy that I need to let soak in before it evaporates. Sometimes, I weep. I sob. I growl. I dance in anger and rage. I move in sadness, in deep feelings of loss and being lost. I dance in surrender. I dance to surrender. I move to heal myself. To answer questions. To listen for the feeling I know is there but that I can’t name yet. I dance when I’m in heat…when my body is fearless and brazen. I move from broken to whole, unseen to heard, yearning to satisfied.
This practice can be hard work. Sometimes my body is dying to dance and I can’t wait. Sometimes, when what I am feeling is heavy, I want to numb it. Ignore it. Pretend it’s not there. Deal with it later. And just sit in front of the television (with a bag of Doritos) and block it out. It feels easier. Except now I know it’s not easier. Because the temporary numbing just covers it up for a bit. But it’s still there. Yearning to be seen. Yearning to be acknowledged. And if I try to numb it, it turns inwards against me. As bitterness. Anger. Self-destruction. Joylessness.
So I drag myself down to the basement. I light my candles. I burn some incense. I put my yoga mat on the floor. I turn on the music and off the lights. I sit cross-legged and I just let my body move how she needs to move. I feel. I allow. I let it go through me, around me, inside me and as it moves, it changes. I dance for as long as I need to. I cleanse.
I dance for myself. In myself. And I claim my space. Because no-one else is going to give it to me.
And for all of the women reading this and thinking, “but I can’t dance”, don’t believe that.
Depending on what I need, sometimes I just sit cross-legged and circle my head. Maybe I spend most of my time on all fours (very therapeutic…), letting my hips sway from side to side. Sometimes, what I need to do is to lie on my back and push my hips up to the ceiling. Slowly. Quickly. Circling. Sadly. Lustfully.
I want to share that feeling with you. I’ve got some live events coming up in 2016 and I’ll be releasing details soon. It’s going to be amazing. And I want you to join me. Stay tuned.
In the comments below, do you have any practices that keep you….YOU? If not, why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts.