The Thread of Movement

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
— William Stafford

Throughout my life there have been common threads that have shaped and guided me in essential ways. One of the most compelling has been movement.

As a child there was nothing sweeter or more satisfying to my soul than dancing. I was often found moving through meadows and fields, across dance floors or recital halls. Movement was my sanctuary - the place I turned to, again and again, to reconnect with the joy of uninhibited movement and the deep peace of BEing in my body.

I spent years immersed in this realm, soaking in the gentle presence of my teacher and absorbing her gifts of body awareness, focus and group coherence. I breathed, moved and experienced dance through her lens…and yet…there was a part of me that longed to know, feel and open to a direct experience of my own dance. I wasn’t conscious of this as a child, yet it was clear that my greatest joy wasn’t found on stage performing ~ it was found in the magical inner dances that brought my imagination to life ~ in the playful inquiries that explored my relationship to the world around me.

Curiously I stepped away from this life affirming nourishment at 15, a time in which I most needed its medicine to counteract the incessant focus on the external realm, on fitting in and maintaining the status quo. In attempt to “find my own way” I set aside the greatest tool of discovery I had ever known: the inner wisdom of my body.

My focus remained outward for quite some time, through years of partnership, motherhood and care taking, and while these years were filled with great growth and blessings, a continual denial of meaningful self-care left me physically exhausted and emotionally tapped. I knew it was time to reframe how I honored and cared for myself by looking within and taking an honest look at how I was living my life. I began reflecting on what I love, what made me come alive, what brought me joy, what filled my inner well. The answer was dance ~ not the step 1, step 2, step 3 dance, but the eyes closed, awareness centered within dance. The “I am here and this is what is real” dance. Once a month I found a dark corner in the Cedar Cultural Center to be free of distraction and BE with myself in the most loving way imaginable: moving with and for myself, witnessing my inner landscape in relation to the rhythms of world music. Month after month I danced for nourishment and healing, to fill my inner reservoir. So utterly at home in my body, each dance became an opportunity to know and appreciate myself more fully and experience that which was most alive in me. Willingness, trust, beauty and love began to arise from the depths of my being as I continued to follow the pull of an inner stirring and surrender deeper and deeper into the movement. In one magical moment I arrived to a place of pure presence, observing myself moving and being moved in an awesome and humbling, essential and soulful dance. Time stood still. Nothing existed and yet everything existed! I had awakened to a creative force far greater than anything I could have imagined.

Life is movement; creation only a response. Creation does not need anything added to it, no reward, no approval, no praise. Creation is a moment filled with spirit, a moment when the soul reaches far and brings back God’s heart.
— Michelle Cassou

This tremendous intimacy set my heart aflame and propelled me on a journey toward truth, authenticity and awakening through the body. I spent years exploring my body in relation to the 5 Rhythms, Authentic Movement, Biodanza, Body Mind Centering, Dancing Freedom, Open Floor, Somatics, Soul Motion and Yoga. These practices transformed my life, awakening me to the abundant wisdom of my body and the divine mysteries that can be accessed through honest moving prayers and a curious open heart.

No longer a practice isolated to the dance floor, movement has become the compass that guides and supports me in inhabiting the wholeness of my life. This thread of embodied movement is my greatest ally and tool for transformation and healing. It is “the way”…the most life affirming and loving way I know.