Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Witnessing the Dancing Self

Betty (RIP) and Heather sharing movement at a demonstration in the park
What I teach in no way resembles a lot of what's out there right now, which I would categorize as trance. No trance here. The point of this practice is awareness.

There is a time and a place for that lost to the world trance experience. It's just not what I'm about.

I'll say that again: the point of this practice is awareness.

This can be uncomfortable because a lot of what we've been avoiding being aware of is painful.

It can be uncomfortable but it is necessary.

Avoidance is not the foundation upon which freedom is ever built. Period.

And freedom is the ultimate point of my work.

I want you free of all form -- whether that be the physical forms of yoga postures and formal dance, forms that don't come from your own body, or the emotional forms of expectations and shoulds and obligations that don't feed your soul.

I want you free.

The first step toward freedom is learning to witness the dancing self.

"Witness" is an important word here. It means to observe without judgment, without adding any more layers of crap.

Here's a typical conversation in one of my classes:

Me, usually jumping up and down or clapping, "That thing you were just doing at the end of that piece of music!? That was SO AWESOME!" (I notice they look like a deer in headlights) "Do you remember that thing...it was sorta..." (And I kinda demo but it was THEIR thing, so I really can't.) "Remember?" (At which point my voice has a pleading tone.)

Them: "No."

Sigh.

This reminds me that the witnessing of the dancing self is a pretty advanced practice and we have to always start at the beginning.

The very beginning is noticing how we are feeling as we move.

That takes a LONG time to get through the layers of and it continues, really, forever.

The next beginning stage is to TRY to notice, here and there, a movement that seems new or different and to repeat it over and over...feeling it, letting it settle into the realm of muscle memory.

(This is more important than you think. This remembering or the propensity to forget or to not want to notice...it says a lot about how you are living your whole life not just about how you dance.)

From there, we start to notice all the chatter in the brain as we move and we just notice it. We also notice our desire to talk back to the chatter. We attempt NOT TO.

Eventually we are moving within the noticing and noticing within the moving.

That takes time, and again, it becomes your forever work.

Once you get to the full moving noticing tango, you will be reaping the benefits of dance as a spiritual practice in all aspects of your life.

Did I mention this takes time and half assery will not get you here?

Half assery will keep you right where you are...maybe having a little fun here and there with the dance but never getting to the point of the dance circling in and out of your very being, transforming all parts of you into the YOU you were born to be.

That. That takes time. And Full Assery.


If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.