Exploring Emotional Intelligence

Altar by Annelies Verseveld

Altar by Annelies Verseveld

I just completed Module 2 of the Open Floor Teacher Training where our focus revolved around the often complex, personal and interpersonal realm of feelings. As movers we know there is no separation between body, mind, and emotion. We know that with every step, every loosening muscle, every rhythm and response, we tap into all levels of our being, including the emotions. 

Many of us come to the dance to reclaim the joy of being present in our bodies. After time, we may come to discover that within the infinite matrix of our body, there is a vast landscape of emotion shaping and informing us. And...it's not always comfortable. Whether in the dance or in our lives, can we come to understand that emotions are not a problem?  Can we come to learn that what is here - within our bodies - is good and trustworthy, even if it's uncomfortable? Can we stay present to what arises, be open to our feelings, and continue moving in order to resource ourselves - on the floor and in our lives - expanding our capacity to feel and fuel it all? I believe we can...and that's one reason why I continue to dance, to practice, to move and include it all.  

Our movement practice is not just a practice of becoming aware. It is a practice of becoming more emotionally intelligent. We move to gain resources that support us in navigating this realm with skill. We move to differentiate between our emotions and others - to know what is mine and what is yours, to stay present with another without taking their emotions on. We move to include the full spectrum of our feelings, embodying them with awareness - modulating, pausing and re-patterning our responses with choice. Emotional intelligence gives us the skill to fall apart and put ourselves together again. 

One of the founders of Open Floor, Andrea Juhan, says "We think we are thinking beings who have feelings, but in fact we are sensing, feeling beings who think!" And, because we are open loop systems, we are never alone in this - we are continually influencing and informing one another, shaping and being shaped via physiological resonance with one another. Let me say that again: we are open loop systems, which means we are continually influencing and informing one another, shaping and being shaped by the resonance we FEEL toward one another. This is one reason it's so beautiful and healing to practice in community - to dance together - to know that each and every one of us impacts the whole.

The next time you enter your dance, notice what you are feeling. Notice what and who you are drawn to. What arises when you move toward or away from solitude? What emotions stir when you move toward or away from another? Let your inquiry expand. Pay attention to your feelings. Allow them to inform and transform your experience!

Want to explore more? Check out our community calendar to find out where/when Open Floor or Dancing Freedom is being offered. Come...join us in the discovery! I look forward to dancing with you!

With love, Teresa