Any moment can begin a deep opening that leads you much further than you would ever have imagined possible. There have been so many of those moments in my life–those gateways when a door that had been locking a vault suddenly slides open and you move into a completely new life, or at least what feels like a new life. There are the before and after moments. The I remember when. One such moment happened in February when a friend asked me if I wanted to go to Sunday morning dance. I hesitated. She offered a ride. I said, “okay,” somewhat reluctantly, but I knew that it was the right thing to say yes to this.
The first day on the dance floor, I was emotional, a bit edgy, and definitely self-conscious, but I tried to move into the songs, into the feelings that emerged. I would often be at meditation during this time on a Sunday so it was perfect to just be in the noticing, letting go, noticing, trying to be ever-gentle place that was the dance for me that day. The vulnerability of being in my body in front of–rather, among–other people was palpable. I felt great joy in moving, shaking it out, stomping and flailing around in what felt like the most graceful expression of grief, fear, sadness and wonder I could muster. I also felt a lot of fear, curiosity and desire as I watched seasoned dancers move together, their bodies in conversation with the music, the room, and the other dancers. It was a cold day, a beautiful day. I was spent at the end of the dance, my toes adorned with blisters from spinning on the soft wood floors. I was a changed person.
I went back again, still with some cajoling, and I felt more at ease, more capable, more in touch with how my body wanted to move and noticing when I was distracted by other people’s moves. I found myself opening up in new ways. I smiled more easily, had less fear about other dancers coming close to me. I have been going deep lately, not really quite ready to reach out and up into the energy of spring. The dancing has offered a place of introspection as movement instead of my usual introspection as stagnation. I find my body feeling more like home, and I feel a deeper sense of health settling in.
I had to miss a week to go to a Tibetan New Year celebration at my meditation center, and I felt a sadness about missing out on that time on the dance floor. I felt a lack that week, but then I was back again with fresh blisters and a new sense of quietude. My eyes smiled at others on the dance floor. I moved from the “I can quickly escape” position I staked out in the room into closer connection with other dancers. I even danced (very briefly) with a few people. It was sweet. It felt like home, and there was nothing that needed to be explained. It was all perfect, all the movement, all the tears, all the awkwardness.
I am looking forward to exploring what this new life in my body will feel like. I can’t wait to feel my feet on the floor and explore the rhythms that only my body can understand. I can’t wait to dance again. My heart is full of spring, even as I soak up all the introspective moments until it’s all bursting upward.