Self Reflection, Intention Setting, & Dance
When you apply what you learn through action, i.e. journaling, dance, story, this action aids you in kinaesthetically conditioning your muscles and/or thought roads. Practice, whatever that may be, plays a role in re-wiring your brain and body to respond differently as you repeat new behaviours.
Just like sharing stories and writing down your feelings can be therapeutic, dance can also be helpful for expressing your complex emotions through movement, shape, pace, and intensity. For me, dance has provided a unique container, unlike that of sacred circle or a free stream journal. In dance I am offered space both inside and outside of my body, to process what I am currently experiencing and what I am carrying from my past.
What makes this “work” even more rich is that, when I feel ready and capable of ‘keeping myself safe’, I can also bring this work into interacting with other individuals in dance, consensual touch, and various approaches to communication (verbal, eye contact, and baby-step-like contact). In the container that is created and maintained in Conscious & Ecstatic Dance Celebrations, I have begun to explore at my own pace, unravel, and release fear patterns, while experiencing the empowerment that comes from re-wiring and re-writing my physiological, emotional and energetic responses to being alive and fully present in my body.
When we invite the conscious context of, “I’m going to move my body to release tension, to move through stress and fears, I’m going to sing to feel my diaphragm and notice where energy goes”, these practices invite in more awareness and may provide, in return, more feedback from your body-mind-spirit. Sometimes that feedback is expressed through sensation, be it an opening in your heart or a tightness in your back. Other times this feedback may be experienced through stories surfacing or emotions stepping forwards and asking for release or acknowledgement. Let us take a moment and consider how powerful it is to be a part of creating this space for ourselves AND being able to practice deciding what we want and need in those moments, not to mention being held by a safe container of community members all doing the exact same thing as you.
So, where does self-reflection and intention setting play a role in dance and movement?
Just as I step on my yoga mat and set an intention, I can also set intentions for what i want to let go of and/or receive on the dance floor. Sometimes I dance to interact with, feel, challenge, and meet the different parts and spaces of me that otherwise, in my day to day routine, go unnoticed, unheard, or unloved. Dance is another medium for me to communicate with my body and gain more connection, insight, wisdom, and interaction from Self and Source. I have gained more agency in my life through dance. I have felt incredibly uncomfortable and swamped in my own self judgement and shadows of fear. I have released worry and stress about not moving with grace on every turn, fixating on “looking good” and punishing myself for that one off balance tip toe. I have felt my heart whip open and leave the shrouded mind behind as my feet feel sensation like never before, like i was feeling the wind on my skin for the first time, like I could finally feel the impact of my presence in time and space, like i realized how much of a catalyst dance is for both the dancer and the witness. Dance is a practice where I can both take up space and feel it. It is here, on the dance floor, that I first met the Wild Woman within me. The dance floor was the first place, in this society, where I felt like my wildness, my undiluted sexiness, my full energy, was accepted, in raw, authentic form, to shine and be seen.
Join me, in sacred movement, to reclaim our bodies as OURS. We deserve to be present in our bodies in ecstasy, without the fears of being preyed on or the disassociation that can come from fear and trauma. Those days are over. The time is now, the healing is here, and the dance floor is ours. I will meet you, barefoot, on the floor.