Before transitioning into Autumn, I could feel the pull. The pull toward the earth, toward the ground. It began like a whisper; a quiet cadence indicating it was time to turn my gaze inward, to draw within. I sensed a hesitancy on my part - a discomfort even - in saying adieu to the creative, vibrant, sun filled days of Summer. I noted my desire to hang on, to squeeze out Every.Last.Bit of sunshine and sweetness from experiences and relations that enlivened a tremendous sense of intimacy with "other".
In truth, I didn't want to let go.
I soaked in the sun's rays and savored the final harvest from my gardens. I embraced opportunities to feel into the warmth of family and friends, to take in their gaze, to appreciate their presence. I sought the full worth of each moment in order to experience myself in relation to the outside world. And...although my intentions were pure, my grasp was too tight.
I know that when I grasp for an experience to be a certain way or modify my surroundings in order to change an inner state, I almost certainly will suffer. Whether I disguise it as self improvement or dress it in spiritual clothes, the dynamic is the same: Every time I grasp, I constrict life flow. I deny (subtly or grossly) what is present. I lean away. I lean away from the place(s) where I can experience a deeper connection with Who I Am.
How could I open to what was arising while simultaneously letting the weight of my preferences go? How could I allow the full spectrum of life IN – the discomfort AND the pleasure - without stifling the free flow of potential…or…avoiding it altogether?
Without a doubt, it is both within and through the dance that I most often discover revelation. That I discover healing. That I discover my connection to Source and all that my body knows. Taking my inquiries into the dance and exploring their nuances through core movement resources such as Toward and Away, Grounding, and Release allowed me to see a truth that arises time and time again: There will be moments on this path called Life that we will resist Just.Being.Here...and...there will be times and places in the body that we may not want to open, but if we can trust the process and stay with the movement, we may discover a place that is free from conditioned feelings or states - a connection that exists no matter what we feel or how the experience unfolds.
In our own rootedness we create a foundation for a different journey. We can slowly and subtly relax tension through small shifts of movement rather than force/will/catharsis and discover a place of softening that allows for greater range, depth and breadth – a place where shift and change are welcomed IN rather than pushed through or avoided – a place often called surrender.
All around us, nature is demonstrating gesture after gesture of grace and ease as we transition into Autumn. Watch any leaf fall from a tree and note the quiet yielding, the sweet ease, that comes with its release. Without hesitation or resistance, each one, in it's own timing, seems to tap into an innate knowing, a recognition, that it is time to let go. This is how the circle of life flows - from birth to death, inhale to exhale - each cycle an opportunity to enter, explore, and settle, again and again, as we dance through this creative journey called life.
Autumn teaches me many things - from honoring the fullness of my life with a grateful heart, to skillfully navigating through any grief that may arise upon completion. It is a season that reminds me to draw my awareness within, to renew my commitment to self-care, to encourage experiences that nurture and comfort. It is a season that rests in and is supported by practices such as:
Contemplation. Introspection. Deep listening. Intuition. Prayer.
Throughout the next few months, as we step further into the season of darkness, there is great potential for transformation and growth. How does the dance support you through these changing times? How does the movement encourage you to stay in the places where sight no longer reigns? Sensation reigns in the dark. Can you feel your way through these times and call on your inner light to illuminate any aspects that have been pushed aside, ignored, cast into the shadows? Welcome them into your dance. Move and include them all. It is within this inner dance, within the solitude of the season, that we have the potential to awaken...to our greatness, our love, our light.