I went dancing last night. Let my body move as it desired. Let myself be free of right steps/wrong moves and expectations. I simply moved. In the opening music my body whispered to me, 'be gentle', and I was. Gentle with it. And my body responded and began to move freely. For two hours as the music stirred my soul and my spirit took wings I was immersed in the wonder of being free to express myself through dance. It was heavenly.
Years ago, (1996ish) I took a four day workshop on Gabrielle Roth's five wave movement work. For years afterwards, whenever possible, I actively engaged in The 5 Waves by joining in dance groups whenever I could.
And then, I started to work at the shelter and found myself mired in the pain of so many lives in turmoil, of so much drama and trauma. For some reason, I let go of movement. I let go of dancing and convinced myself -- I didn't have time. I was too busy. The shelter needed me more.
And I became stuck in the pain and lost sight of the promise of all that is possible in our world.
It is the challenge of working at a place like a homeless shelter. When so many lives filled with pain come together in one place, there is little room to breathe freely. I think one of the things that happened inside me was I felt that to move freely would take me away from that place, and I didn't want to do that. I loved my work. I loved being there. The people. The possibilities for change. The idea of creating it. I loved the feeling of making a difference everyday.
And so, I stopped dancing. Except for when my daughters and I went to the Choices Saturday night dance during seminar. Then. I danced. We danced. Moved. Spun and twirled and bent forward and backwards and under and around. We danced and I felt alive and free and oh so powerful.
I stopped dancing with my group though because somewhere within me was the belief/fear that to dance would open me up to the world beyond the shelter. And I wasn't ready, yet, for that to happen. I found my home at the shelter. I didn't want to leave it.
And now I have, left, and now I'm finding myself beyond the pain and sorrow and trauma of a homeless shelter. I still believe I can make a difference in that world. I still believe it's important work. I just know that being immersed in the daily workings of a shelter is an invitation to shut down the bigger perspective of the world beyond its doors. I believe there's a time limit on how long one should stay at a shelter -- whether client or staff.. And if one does stay in the shelter/work, it is imperative that one keep moving, keep doing things, everyday, to create emotional, spiritual and physical well-being -- and that's what I had quit doing to a degree. I opted for the myopic view that I could take care of others without first taking care of me.
It's easy to become isolated and insulated in a shelter. It's easy to lose contact with the promise beyond its doors.
And now, moving again, I know how important it is that I move the pain out and connect back to the promise of the more that awaits when I free myself from the belief -- this is all I can do.
There's so much I more I can do when I set myself free to move.
I am dancing again.
I am happy!