One of the best and brightest parts of my recent healing journey has been doing regular ecstatic dance. I usually dance in my living room for an extended time at least once per week. I also go to Dance Divine on Sunday mornings, a conscious dance event in Vancouver.
Letting my body move without judging it or comparing it to others is so freeing. And sometimes I discover parts of myself that I don’t like or that make me feel uncomfortable.
Recently, when I was dancing in my living room I encountered an unexpected block. I realized that when I move my arms freely I am afraid of drawing attention to myself. This comes from growing up in a beautiful feminine body. I learned early that if I expressed myself freely, if I moved with pleasure, if I let my arms fling wide, it was assumed I was “open for business.” Even moreso if I touched myself anywhere on my body, that got looks!
When I dance I desire to let my arms move freely. I want to touch with love, run my hands over my body, feel the delight of being physical. I want to celebrate sensuality and not have it mean sex! Ecstatic dance in a group setting is a safe place to do this.
Why the hesitation, especially in my hands and arms? I’m worried that if I feel or show too much love, I am considered bait for sex. Here’s an example of how ridiculous and debilitating this is:
The other day I was petting my cat on her cat post. I felt my hesitation arising. I was wanting to see how much pleasure I could feel from petting my cat. The cat herself adores when I tune in to my own pleasure of touch. But I sensed the inner voice of taboo. It sounds something like this:
“Don’t enjoy it too much. You will get in trouble. You will get unwanted attention.”
As if the cat cares or plans to take advantage of me. (Not!)
I kept on touching and enjoying the experience as deeply as I could. I breathed through the emotions coming up. I breathed through the taboo. My cat and I are getting closer through this.
As far as dance goes, I am also letting myself sink more and more into the pure pleasure of it. I am dancing through the taboo of sensual expression. Especially in a group setting, this is very healing.
I am realizing how much my arms and hands are an extension of my heart. By moving my arms and hands freely, what I am learning ultimately is to trust my heart!
If you want to experience ecstatic dance in community, come and check out DanceDivine.