Rise and Thrive




Photo by Johannah Reimer

Photo by Johannah Reimer

"The body becomes the place
where the visible and invisible meet,
where physicality and spirituality are intertwined.
This is not a spirituality for the mind but a space
which opens all that is with the heart and soul,
hidden in the recesses of the body.
It is a place where mystery dwells and the life-force,
however one articulates it, can be in true communion with the flesh."
Celeste Snowber

Here's where we stand:
We have a cheeto for president, a cabinet of buffoons and assholes behind him, we are losing our middle class to wealth and poverty polarization, racism, sexism and many other isms are alive and well, and, well, I'm still fucking homeless with no help from insurance. 
I'm mad. I'm sad. I'm vacillating between hopelessness, hopefulness, inspiration and collapse. I'm worried about our world. I'm worried about my family and our sanity. I'm worried about all the people whose voices NEED to be heard and are handed a government that wants to shut them up. I'm worried about how to get out of my pajamas today. My heart is flooded with all this and more, as it works it's way up my throat and down my face in tears and snot. 

I want change. We all do. I want the kind of change that says every form of life is important and equal in value. I want the kind of change that says respect and equality trump money and power and politics. I'm so pissed that's not what our country voted for. I'm so very fucking pissed. But mostly, I'm heartbroken. 

It's hard to feel these feelings. It's hard to keep moving forward. And yet, you know and I know, the only way out is through. So here goes. I'm sitting here writing, taking deep breaths to keep myself grounded. I'm feeling my feet on the floor so I can embody these emotions, even as my heart and tears threaten to annihilate me with their intensity. I'm mourning for all those who will be further disempowered, disenfranchised and harmed. I'm mourning for my family who has lost everything due to mofo weird ass mold karma.

If you're mourning, or grieving, or raging, or celebrating and feeling inspired and moving forward- this is for you. 

Where in your body do you feel it?
Right now it's a stretching and pressure in my chest and an ache in my jaw. 
And what does that part of you body ask?
My heart is asking for my hands and breath, my jaw is asking to make weird moaning crying sobbing sounds. And so I do.
And now the tears are pouring down so hard it's hard to write but I don't want to stop them, they are so needed, so wanted. 
And now my heart says "LISTEN!" and so I do.
"Don't abandon me," it says. "Be with me as I unravel and pound and ache. Move me- stretch and rock and support me as I feel." And so I do.

And there is a strength, a power that comes. There is a calming and soothing and okayness that comes. Simply from being with, feeling, listening and following. That, my friends, is my deepest dance. My most profound experience of embodiment. Having myself as I have my feelings. I offer this in hopes that you can find your way through, using your body and your willingness to listen and follow. And if you have other ways you work with your heart, I'd love to hear them. There are infinite ways we can support each other through what we have learned about ourselves.

So as our world moves forward in directions unknown, give your heart what it needs, what it wants, what it's aching to experience. 
Dance your heart. And just maybe, we can dance ourselves into the world we wish to see.

Here's what the dancers had to day after class:

"I just gathered all my inner children, at all ages, and held them and danced with them and gave them safety. There's still a lot of vulnerability, a lot that's in there that wants to come out. So I feel strong and calmly centered knowing this is my work this week."

"I found this class to be really healing and liberating. At first it felt strange to be here, but everybody looked so beautiful in their own space. Thank you for liberating us."

"I'm trying to heal from an injury and today I felt trust in my body. The wrong move shatters that trust, so while I'm still tentative, having that trust is huge for me, this class is helping me to trust in my own way, my own space."

"I've been working with my heart a lot. Today the sadness and anger moved finally."

"Today's dance was a lot about being able to just see what's actually there- it's not exactly what I hoped for, but here we are. Just being strong with that, with what's needing to be faced."

"When I'm dancing I feel pure joy, I feel really ok- and I'm going to bring that to everything - to my family who needs it, to myself. Everything is heart right now- everything! I have so much love in my heart and it just kept coming up and I just said ok hi, thanks, please stick with me."

"It just felt good to be ok. Just for an hour, to be in my body, being ok, what a gift!"

Dance Invitation: When strong feelings arise, do yourself and the world a favor- feel them from the inside out. Feel you beating heart, feel the sensations that are longing to be felt. What do you need? What is your body-being asking for?