Yesterday I was dancing in my office.
Confession: I do this a lot. By now you probably know enough about me to know that I like to do things my way. Whenever I hear there’s a certain way things should be done, I raise my eyebrow a little (the left one), then the squinting starts. I’m peering through my wolf’s eyelash, engaging all senses, measuring the matter against my intuition to see if the it passes the sniff test.
The status quo gets questioned a lot in my territory, including the way I run my counseling practice. For instance, as a rule I space appointments 30 minutes apart – a far cry from the every-hour-on-the-hour standard of my profession. I like to allow space for my clients’ stories to breathe, to settle. Sometimes they even spillover into the next hour.
When folks keep the appointment with the material of their lives, they don’t usually know what’s going to come up. That’s the funny thing about “our” material: it has a life of its own, sometimes (ahem, a lot of times) without regard for how we’d like to spend our time.
Sometimes the material is light and easy; it serves an intentional checkpoint to tune-in, affirming you’re on the path, walking your walk, doing your work (hint: you’re always doing your work whether you realize it or not).
Other times the energy of what arises takes you under. The heaviness of grief, suffering, loss… it all needs room to breathe, to move and disperse.
Everything I hold space for registers in my body. I feel it all because that’s what the material wants; what it needs in order to move and be released is first to be felt.
This is the work people do when they sit across from me. I’ve “joked” nearly my entire adult life that my superpower is empathy. This is definitely one of those instances where something like 75 to 90 percent of what comes out in humor is true. (Read: this is not a joke.) I work very hard not to feel more than my share, but if it’s in my space I’m feeling it. Period. #piscesstellium
And when I’m feeling it in a big way, I know my work is to do something about it, to get it moving. To help it be on its way.
HERE’S THE THING ABOUT UPSWELLS OF EMOTION: THEY ARE SEEKING EXPRESSION THROUGH YOU. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
The best way that I’ve found to move the energy of big emotion is to move my body. I do it on my own behalf and I do it for others.
So every once in a while, if you peer into my office between appointments you’ll find me dancing. Sometimes I’m moving struggle, trauma, grief, doing my part to help it be on its way.
Sometimes I am dancing joy.
Among Jungians it’s common to hear of the flood of energy that comes when someone unravels a mystery or untangles a complex that has had them mired for so long. Carl Jung calls it the “untying of the fatal tangle.”
You might’ve heard me say before it’s basically an epic moment when the clouds part and the voice of Jimmy Cliff takes over the room singing, I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
When I’m in the presence of such moments, it sends shock waves through the room. There is just nothing like seeing someone witness, in real time, Spirit at work in their lives. That moment when you get to peer behind the proverbial curtain and see – really see – the what-for, it’s a sweet, fleeting moment when the Universe points and says THIS. And it always comes on the heels of weeks, months, sometimes years of deep, difficult, often invisible internal work. It is a sight to behold and always results in me wanting to hurl expletives (which I usually do).
Yesterday was one of those days. After session between our two beaming smiles, I slipped her a sticky note – okay, actually it was three sticky notes, all of which were warranted by the momentous occasion – and we said goodbye. I closed my office door, found a fitting tune, and danced.
I danced joy for her. For me. For everyone. Because the material of this world needs so desperately to be danced. And I, for one, cannot get through the wild whirlwind that is life without it.
Have you ever been so deeply moved by the inner workings of Life that it made you want to drop everything and dance? I sincerely hope you said yes to that grand invitation to move in full participation with Life.
“WHEN YOU GET THE CHOICE TO SIT IT OUT OR DANCE, I HOPE YOU DANCE.”
LEE ANN WOMACK
In Love & Wildness,
p.s. It’s difficult to find moves where you can hold the camera still.