The floor feels cold and hard on my hands and knees. Harder even, as I pound it in frustrated blows. Crawling now, reaching arm forward, grasping air…”where are you?”
My practice leads to me to explore connection and identity. As I sense into my body, I discover a story of isolation, longing for belonging, seeking. I feel myself in new terrain; not only within my practice of Authentic Movement, but as facilitator of this particular circle of movers. How deep can I go as space holder? My mind shifts back and forth from mover to facilitator and back again.
Rising to my feet now, I step forward, still reaching. Scooping air in big sweeps, gathering space into my center. Still…”where are you?”
I’m exploring what it means to hold space, to contain the circle, to work with varying depths of connection, the dynamics of power, accountability, and responsibility. As I navigate this new identity as “creator of healing spaces” I am challenged to continuously deconstruct my own expectations about what the process of healing actually looks like.
Sitting in the witness circle, no one is moving. The center is empty. I breathe in, let it out slowly, waiting for activity which doesn’t come. Is it time to end the session? What happens now? Where are you? How long should I wait? “Stop waiting,” the answer comes through clearly. I stop waiting.
When you are a person who moves, stillness can feel like an unbearable weight. Impulses and sensations rage like invisible oceans held in thin skin and unyielding bones. Yet, inevitably movement can only be found in stillness; stillness is the space in which movement is held. Thus, movement is not opposed to or different from stillness, but is rather an inseparable part of it.
Moving again, arms held wide, palms facing the ceiling. With each moment, holding and holding, my arms feel heavier and heavier, until…”what are you holding?” Dropping my arms, lowering down to the floor, I soften and release. Pulling shoulders back, my heart comes forward. I lift my chin and breathe deeply, openly.
With responsibility often comes a sense of burden, of work, like a sinking boat being forced afloat. Yet when we listen deeply, we learn that we are already and always being held by Spirit. The burdens we carry are often created out of a need to feel important, to feel useful, or somehow in control.
Having something to do gives us a sense of identity and value to others, which makes us feel safe. In trusting Spirit, we can let the weight go and simply connect heart to heart, opening into the freedom of true connectedness.
Slowly gathering both arms in now, palms to heart, I notice warmth and containment. Whatever I was seeking, has been found.
My story of isolation matured into a story of work and struggle; striving to be seen and have my efforts validated. My seeking to find someone to validate me prevented connections from forming, therefore reinforcing the story of isolation.
Unable to center on my path because of a nagging sense of lack, I felt un-whole. By exploring the intersection of mover and facilitator through embodied practice, my body awakened my mind to this recycling of old pain, even within one of my most sacred of identities — that of healer and space holder.
Drawing now: blue chalk, blue paper, blue skin. Seeing the egg form. Ovum. A place of pure potential, a container within a container.
The feminine is often spoken of as a vessel. The work of the womb is to contain and nurture life until it is ready to contain and nurture itself.
Life requires a vessel, a place for the sacred task of living to emerge and enact its expressions. The vessel is really a gift of potential.
Movement is over. The circle is closed. I leave a money offering, turn down the lights, and glance back through the empty space before finally closing the door.
Creating and holding space for healing work, is a question of navigating the tension between expansion and contraction, growth and safety, exploration and boundary-setting. Too much holding and the fire goes out; not enough, and everyone gets burned.
And yet, within and beyond this back-and-forth dance of dynamic tension, is the ever-present resonance of stillness. Spirit holds all. The expansion. The contraction. The spaces in between, where witness, dancer, and dance meet and connect.
In the still space of pure potential, Spirit holds all.