Peppermint steam wafts between us, this friend seated across from me at Pete’s. Her whole being emanates open ground as she poises the $64,000 question: “How do you feel right now?” My body tentatively poises on the edge of detection, I watch my mind try to busy it’s way into territory it knows nothing about. I actually feel belly butterfly queasy, shallow breath…this is dread, this is fear. I am grateful to feel and name it.
Maybe you are judging right now? How odd, this revelation from someone who does the work and is way past being young. But I have been treading this territory for years and I have arrived at a palpably vulnerable edge. I am not backing away from it. If you’re into the Enneagram you’ll understand the mechanics, but the mechanics are not important here. I learned a great deal this August, but what reassures me, is the comfort of knowing I am in plenty of good company. That many people have a challenging time knowing what they are feeling. Flanking me in the heart wound triad are those overwhelmed by their feelings (I can only imagine) and those busy tuning in to the feelings of others (this is my wing, so I get this one as an extra bonus).
This weekly newsletter has been going since 2005 so, if you are not a new reader, you recognize the personal heart excavation topic as old news. Years ago, at first glimpse, it was frightening recognition of the vast fortress surrounding my heart, the creation understanding from childhood story, the dismay at the extent of the project. Then, over the years, the dismantling narrative, highlights from the onion-peeling saga. The call to teach was, to a certain extent, motivated by the weekly vulnerability this stand-in-front-of-the-room job demanded, medicine I knew I needed an appointment with. Wounded healers teach what we need to learn. Truly, in the last couple years, I have felt the final shreds fall.
It’s very naked here. In some moments I find myself wishing for walls again because now I am looking down into a big old chasm. When I breathe in, it opens dark and wide and I often sense, just beyond reach, the tantalizing richness in there. And then I breathe out and it closes some, gets more murky and inaccessible with a tinge of hopelessness. I am staying right on this edge and just as I wrote this line a hummingbird flew in front of my window and this big spasm of joy welled up from in there and spilled over the top and I can still feel it even as I write, tears well. That’s why I am staying here.
I’m not sure where we will travel in 5Rhythms on Thursday but I do know where we are beginning. Thank you for your support and encouragement as I guide us through the traditional warm up in a whole new way. Talk about vulnerable. I really do not know what this chapter is. It is not the rehab-focus of Release the Beast (come Friday to explore the pelvic bowl!) and it is not the linear alignment-based hatha yoga I teach at the studio. I can only call it dance lubrication right now. The beat of the music moves us as we dance our way into shapes, fluidly explore the edges of form, bring juice and life force to all the places a dancing body needs to insure full and healthy surrender to practice. It is moving through me so it is moving through us and the degree of grounded gliding presence in every body by 7:00 was joy to witness and all the motivation I need to keep exploring. The only thing I can promise is that it will be different than last week!
Ending with these opening words from “To the Lies That Become Us” by Jewel Mathieson:
“…This body is for asking those questions that do not live in the mind
These questions have a life of their own or death
Burial grounds in the heart of my friend
A shovel and a map
The treasure is everywhere…”