Thoughts on Commitment and Dancing.
There is a time for leaving, yes. I have been there. I have felt the pull of the ocean and sailed away from everything, and everyone in my life. I have done this many times. And so it does not surprise me that I found myself again wishing for wind in my sails.
My life is full with many things, you see. All are things that I chose from a deep place aligned with my soul. All are things that I love with the hugeness of my heart. All are things that challenge my mind and my body in delicious ways. And yet, the past few weeks I have been exhausted by all of the doing. And I once again found myself resenting all of these beautiful things.
This past Wednesday, I attended my weekly 5Rythms dance class – a freestyle dance that I took on as a practice last fall, and that has allowed me to deepen my connection with my body, with energies flowing through me and others, and with spirit. I usually have little trouble sinking in to a place where I can let go and allow the music to move me. This past week I found myself feeling the same as I was everywhere in my life: frustrated, anxious and trying to get back to a place of peace and joy.
And then, about half way into the two hour class, I remembered something really important: that place doesn’t exist.
There is no there, my heart whispered. Only here, now.
Suddenly all of the emotion that I had been holding in as I ran from thing to thing over the past few weeks came roaring up and I sank to my knees. My eyes welled with tears and I felt the floor beneath my body, solid: holding me. I had a choice to make – I decided to let go. Trusting myself and the safe space held by this dance community I love, I curled up on the hardwood floor and let the tears flow, beats of the song and the patter of dancers’ feet reverberating my body and soul.
Here I am. I am here, now.
My circumstances have not changed: I am still a little tired; my life is still full. Yet, I am here now in it, fully. My heart expanded on that dance floor, and in the days that have followed. I am again more deeply allowing my own truth.
That place I was looking for had not gone anywhere; it had simply been right here, waiting, as it always does, for me to stop trying to be somewhere else.
And through this experience I am learning about another kind of dance that has eluded me many times: commitment.
I am learning that commitment is not a hard line. It is not black and white. It does not involve trying really hard. It does not require pretending or faking it until you make it. It does not need forcing. Those are all strategies I have employed in the past when trying to commit to people and places and careers. And they have each helped me in a way. They have gotten me far. But at some point each one of my strategies failed, and I left, or the thing I had committed to fell apart.
When it comes to the kind of commitment that is sustainable and fulfilling, these strategies simply will not do. Commitment, like life, is a wild dance that cannot be tamed. Discipline and performance will not be the things that keep me showing up and saying Yes! to being fully present and engaged in my life.
Rather it is the permission to feel what I feel in each moment. The permission to break down. The permission to be exhausted. The permission to doubt. The willingness to let go of the way it “should” look or the way it “has to” go. These are gifts of deep trust. These are the hands of love I will need to dance with. These are the tools of faith I will need to stay.
And so, I allow doubt amidst these times of love and joy. I accept that I will at times be exhausted and frustrated, and lonely and lost. I will not banish my fear. And I will surely continue to feel every emotion under the sun. It is here, in this deep allowance, that I find I do not need to leave. It’s okay to be me. It’s okay even to leave, and, somehow, I find, I deeply desire to stay.
This is not the time of leaving. This is not the time of giving up on everything and everyone in search of a better more magical way. This is the time of finding a new way to live in an old world. This is the time to believe in dreams. This is the time to sink in to the uncertainty of each moment. This is the time to trust that my truth is what is needed to make magic today.
And so, I am here now, in this moment; embracing this heart-wrenching ride; this embodied expansion; this beautiful dance, of commitment.