Hello, Sweet Beings.
I had some fun body reminders this week. . . or perhaps we should describe them as body “re-discoveries”. You know how sometimes you gain a random but useful insight? You feel excited about this; fresh and new. And then, over time, you forget. Sometime later, in the not-too-distant future, you notice the same thing all over again. It feels obvious, but still, ultimately delightful.
Here's the scene: driving in my car. Okay, maybe rushing just a bit to get to the gym (outdoor class)—on time. There’s a truck in front of me going 23 MPH. I feel impatient. Then I notice the impatience. I take stock of how impatience sits in my body. It’s tense. Not a pleasant sensation. As I’m driving behind this truck, it occurs to me that perhaps someone’s beloved grandfather is driving. I wonder what it would be like to comfortably drive 23 MPH in a 25 MPH zone. Who are you? And how is it that you’re not in a hurry? I then imagine that surely I’ve stymied some other driver by not driving as fast as they’d like. Surely I’ve been the slow driver from someone else’s perspective. And then my thoughts returned back to my body and I noticed how curiosity and compassion felt in the body. So much more comfortable!
Here’s the second scene: I’m doing a recorded Peloton class. New instructor (new to me and new to Peloton). I understand (and appreciate) that the instructors primarily want to inspire us, to motivate us, to push us—to make us pedal harder and faster. I get that. I love that. This guy was young and hyper and I judged him to be contrived, to be putting on a show, a performance. Yeah, and then I noticed my harsh judgment. . . and how it felt in the body. Not so much fun. My imagination kicked in and I considered what it might be like to be a 29 year old man leading his first Peloton ride, how nervous I’d be, but how much I’d want to give the viewers a good riding experience. Again, as I pedaled my heart out, my thoughts returned to my body, and I realized I had come around to smiling as sweat poured off my brow. I was having fun!
We can watch our thoughts and emotions. We can track those elements back to the body, noticing the impact. It feels empowering to shift. It feels like a kindness to shift. I’d never have any awareness of this practice without dance. Dance, Open Floor specifically, has taught me how to track the impact of thoughts and emotions on the felt sensation in the body. Ultimately, I get to choose. Isn’t that fabulous?!?!. . . .and so much fun?!?!
Please join me on the dance floor tomorrow and see what new insights you gain in the process.
Glory Beans, it gives me unbridled joy to tell you that our beloved Lori Saltzman will lead us in the dance tomorrow.
Doors open at 9:45am Pacific.
And here’s the poem, which absolutely charmed me because it speaks so beautifully of the body. . . .
Consider the Hands that Write This Letter
after Marina Wilson
Consider the hands
that write this letter.
The left palm pressed flat against the paper,
as it has done before, over my heart,
in peace or reverence
to the sea or some beautiful thing
I saw once, felt once: snow falling
like rice flung from the giants' wedding,
or the strangest birds. & consider, then,
the right hand, & how it is a fist,
within which a sharpened utensil,
similar to the way I've held a spade,
match to the wick, the horse's reins,
loping, the very fists
I've seen from the roads to Limay & Estelí.
For years, I have come to sit this way:
one hand open, one hand closed,
like a farmer who puts down seeds & gathers up
the food that comes from that farming.
Or, yes, it is like the way I've danced
with my left hand opened around a shoulder
& my right hand closed inside
of another hand. & how
I pray, I pray for this
to be my way: sweet
work alluded to in the body's position
to its paper:
left hand, right hand
like an open eye, an eye closed:
one hand flat against the trapdoor,
the other hand knocking, knocking.
Sending wild, messy love,