Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mindfulness in Motion

It's been about 3 and a half weeks since I dove headlong into conscious dancing styles, and for all sakes and purposes, it feels good. I love dancing. I have since I pretty much exploded onto a dancefloor my freshman year in college at a fraternity (which would shortly be my fraternity) winter charity ball (they still have the charity ball to this day--that year was the first year they held it). However, as many of you knows, clubs--how can I put this eloquently--they suck. There's so much judgment going on that it's oppressive just in that aspect. Mix in alcohol and heck there may be some recreational drugs kicking around in the room, and you've pretty much got an environment that has almost no appeal to me. So I haven't danced as much as I might otherwise have done.

So Many Styles, So Little Time: How Can You Pick Just One?
The world of conscious dancing is a rather broad one here in the bay area. I've already checked out several different styles including:

There's a 5 Rhythms class in Mountain View that I'm started to fall in love with, and I recently tried Biodanza and am really intrigued by it. Both styles have a teacher holding the space, which to me is really essential. It helps to keep everyone's energy vibration at a higher level through intention and awareness. In other conscious dances that I've been at where there isn't a teacher doing this, the energy usually drops to the lowest level that the group naturally holds. Typically, this causes me to close up so that I don't feel drained. This has been an ongoing challenge of being so open; I have to be very conscious of what is going on in an environment, especially when I'm opening myself.

Spiritual Work for the Lower Chakras--You Remember Them, Don't You?
Most of the spiritual practices I've seen really spend a lot of time with upper chakra awareness:

Opening your heart (4th chakra)
Speaking your truth (5th chakra)
Learning to understand yourself & Truth and to intuit your answers (6th chakra)
Connecting to the divine (7th chakra)

But all the yucky stuff that really holds us back is down in the lower chakras. That's where all the developmental stuff, the old family issues, power issues, desire and sexuality issues, and plenty more hang out. Blockages for me often look black in my system, and I often run energy through my body to erode these. The dancing seems to do a great job of jarring things loose. It's been turning my dreams into an ongoing decompression session as I get down into this stuff. Two nights ago I was dealing with how much I hated high school. I sure thought I was done with that, but my body still remembers it. Even though my head and my heart may be reasonably clear of high school, my body now needs to heal from it and let it go.

Issues Moving: Eating & Shame
I feel like I'm only a few weeks old. I feel very new and at times, a little uncertain. My balance has been off at times, so I've been refocusing on how I move my feet with my dance. I'm also finding these interesting dichotomies of body shame and body confidence. I've felt this difference before, but I'd always thought it was more of a mental state. It's really fascinating to feel this difference and understand it through my body. When I'm in a deeper confidence in my body, I feel extraordinarily powerful in relationships, especially with women. When the shame aspect is kicked up, I don't want to interact with others at all. Everyone feels threatening in some way (I know, it sounds crazy coming from a six foot four guy, but this is the truth of the matter).

Also, when I'm dealing with low chakra blocks (especially in the 2nd), food becomes a real challenge because it all feels like it's pressurizing that area. It's super uncomfortable. So a part of me kinda doesn't want to eat, which is a horrible thing for me. My energy has such a delicate balance now that regular eating throughout the day is vital. I almost feel half-diabetic with how I have to manage my food.

All The Happy People: Where Did They All Come From?
I've already had an influx of new and fun people come into my life through dance. Intuitively, I knew this would happen for several months as I neared the end of my work contract. Dance has brought many super cool people into my life, and I expect that it will bring more. I'm just trying to keep moving with a light step and a lot of integrity to let people come and go into my life as things evolve. It's a beautiful practice thus far.
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