July 19, 2017
by Laura Marianne Pickerill, U.K.
‘Anything unresolved presents itself in the practice and invites itself to be resolved.’ – Lucia Horan
Oh my goodness, how true is that? I had a long and painful period of time on the dance floor when I experienced acute jealousy. I became obsessed with how much I hated seeing someone that I shared a strong connection with on the dance floor, sharing one with someone else!
How could they?! What a shocking betrayal! How could they open up such profound feelings inside of me and then just swan off and offer their undivided (and much sought after!) attention to someone else?! WTF?! I thought what we had was UNIQUE!!! And so on …
This was the ‘scarcity mentality’ that we all buy into in different ways magnified X 100 … not enough time, money, friends, intelligence, ideas, love, touch, etc. But this scarcity mentality can be flipped. It’s a form of programming – but we can become deprogrammed.
I trained myself by forcing myself to look at the object of my desire interacting with the object of THEIR (current!) desire. Breathing while observing their interaction. Saying to myself, “This IS your experience. You are not separate from them. If she wasn’t in THIS embrace with this person, she would never have been in all those beautiful embraces with me. This open heartedness IS her essential nature – and it’s yours too. But you’re still learning and that’s OK!” I breathed through the ‘sting’ and gradually and slowly the sting lost its hold over me.
This practice extends beyond the dance floor. Now, when I see someone who I have extra special feelings for in an intimate connection with someone else, I (mostly) feel happy. Because connection is beautiful, period. Love is NOT an endangered commodity: it multiplies and multiplies as I expand and let go … the more generous I can be, the more I can receive.
There’s NOTHING about my own nature that cannot be magnified, wrestled with and then healed on that dance floor. This is why I am so in love with this practice.
11 lessons from 5Rhythms that no book has managed to teach me
*Whatever conflicts are going on for me in my own psyche WILL show up on the dance floor and be mirrored right back to me! I try to be ready and curious to watch and learn.
*If someone I love has a beautiful connection with someone else, it doesn’t make the love between me and that person any less valid. OOF… this one is VERY hard for me sometimes!
*To be open and brave enough to stand in front of another person, and to receive their loving gaze and to return it, is the place of ultimate healing, but SO SO difficult at first! The ego teaches us to avoid this type of exposure at all costs, and so we fight it tooth and nail! But deep down, the heart knows it was born for this loving openness. That place of profound ‘nakedness’ is where real connection takes place and the ‘constructed self’ simply falls away, unserving. The breath immediately becomes free from the constant effort of pretence. Ahhhh …
*Being equally loving towards another at the point of separation, i.e. when they choose to ‘leave’ me, as I am at the moment where they approach and come towards me with love, is the place where true PEACEFULNESS resides. Again, VERY hard, but trying, trying (softly!)
*The language of movement is authentic in a way that the constructed language of speech never can be. The body doesn’t know how to deceive and is, therefore, the instrument of the heart.
*Whatever emotions I come to the class with, whatever I am feeling as I move through the class, is never wrong. It just ‘is’. This awareness that it’s all OK is of profound benefit. It helps me to accept myself just as I am.
*When I can love and accept myself, and the range of internal struggles I face without judgement, I can begin to offer the same to others. And my relationships are transformed.
*I may have to keep going to classes for the rest of my life to learn these lessons fully, and I might never master them fully, but I’m committed to the endeavour and what a fun way to keep learning!
*The love that builds between me and the people I dance with is incredible. It goes beyond the dance to a place of mutual recognition: the common sense of emptiness and disillusionment with the limited connections people experience in normal society. These are the lacks that magnetise us together in this space!
*I can safely reclaim and EXPRESS my sensuality, openness, playfulness, rage, ability to say ‘no’, ability to say ‘yesssss!’, my right to choose, desire to touch and be touched in a way that no other place in my life has allowed! Phew!
*This practice on a Sunday evening may seem indulgent, weird, frivolous to anyone who hasn’t had the chance to experience it, (and I’m sure it’s not for everyone) but it’s actually anything but. We’re all there to clean out our proverbial closets, to expand into a more open, forgiving and loving way of being so that we can BECOME better, kinder versions of ourselves in our daily encounters with people. Again, we take 2 steps forward and 3 back sometimes, but that’s all part of the charm of the cha cha anyway!
The Quiet One
Always you seek the electric one,
That neon tetra that glides around the bubbling tank,
knowingly insisting upon your bewitched gaze,
Flirting with its fluorescent fins
That tremble against the warm illuminated realm it inhabits –
separated by glass from the ‘having’ of the gazer.
Always you seek the one that sends shock waves through your plasma when she swims within a hair breadth,
making them leap, exalted,
A symphony inside your blood swells,
Then scoops you up on the rolling
Wave of an adrenal-fuelled trapeze to the breach and beyond.
Always you seek the one who swims silkily close to you
Under the mellow light of Fall,
and stirs the yearning from
The depth of your womanhood-
As moist Georgia O’Keffee petals yield and fan out below.
Always you seek the one who exhales warm streams of intent onto your nape and the hairs stand like sentinels,
Awaiting the long-awaited command to finally release the fire…..
And then there’s the ‘Quiet One’.
The one that sees you when you are still and low like the slopes of the Dales.
The one who comes to you in these moments when you are too depleted to offer,
Simply because she wants to give.
And she sidles up with such quietness that she ripples no interruption to your beingness.
She studies your position momentarily,
With the mild frown of one in quilled puzzlement.
She contemplates you briefly but deeply,
As a geometry puzzle to solve or a rubics cube in need of the final twist,
Until she identifies the best shape to make with her own body,
To mold to you with the softness of a melted marshmallow.
And quietly she finds that pose,
She holds you from behind and gently navigates your spine,
Tracing the ribs with her hands
In terrain that feels strategic for her inventory.
Lovingly she marks her presence on the map of your ridges,
Like a child making hand prints in the shifting sands of time.
Gently she strokes your hair from your eyes,
Looping tendrils knowingly away from the places they obscure.
Softly she places her cheek to your back
And begins to hum a quiet echo of the sea
That lulls you back to your Moses basket –
that remote familiar place of Dead Sea floating.
Intuitively, she uses her body to rotate you gently in familiar circles,
A kindly teacher, guiding the hand of a little one to spell out her own name
(which perhaps she doesn’t yet fully know.)
She takes your hands in hers,
assertive and sure of her intention,
and places them warmed palm to palm,
Anjali mudra over your heart, guiding you gently back to yourself.
And when the mind begins to wonder,
How long can this last?
Surely she must abandon me soon.
She stays until the medicine is complete.
She will not leave prematurely.
The very intuition which brought her to you, binds her to completion.
Her departure is so tiptoed,
You never feel her ‘go.’
Holly Go-lightly, she returns to the seashell from whence she was gifted to you.
A Poem for Beki
Night has fallen now.
Evasive clouds have dissolved,
Or drifted away to other lavender skies in the steady
Rotation of the hemispheres.
The sapphire night is black
and full of mystery codes,
Yearning to be unlocked
In the spacious void of the dark.
Softly you come into candled being beside me.
My fingers unfurl as naturally as coming-of-age petals,
Under the tutelage of the sun –
Stillness with a pulse.
Offering silent words that words evade.
Two flames, soundless in their meeting,
Revere one another through hallowed skin.
And the eyes in their once resisted union,
Receive the holy communion,
That priests can only attempt to offer in pale Sunday imitation.
The eyes, enveloped,
Stream at the wonder of stars that came into being.
Thoughts are suspended in the inky night sky,
Only the streaming light of the moon remains,
dancing on the eye-globes of my beloved gazer,
In whose eyes, all the mysteries of my existence
Are beheld, still and known,
Through the holy balm of ‘recognition.’