Dancing With Courage and Expansion
Why do I always fall in love after Ecstatic Dance?
I remember posting that as a Facebook status once.
Well "fall in love" is pretty extreme, let's take it a couple notches down...
But seriously, the best connections happen naturally after spending 5 sweaty hours totally in your own body, openly engaging with other bodies on the floor, entranced in your own movement, while noticing where and how you navigate your own space within everyone else's.
It makes me wonder: If the world was an expansive dance floor, how would you choose to move? How do you see the world and your place within it? How much space do you allow yourself to take?
In Ecstatic Dance, there is no talking allowed on the dance floor.
It makes me wonder: What if we lived in a world where there were no words? And we all just communicated through movement and touch. Perhaps we would be able to feel ourselves more. Perhaps there would be less hiding. The phrase "The body doesn't lie" comes to my mind.
I had a good time dancing with myself for awhile. Not paying attention to anyone else, and just enjoying being slow with my movement without being too exaggerated to sustain my energy.
My love for people, regardless of age, race, gender is unconditional. And it goes without said that happens on the dance floor as well. I spent time dancing with two girl friends. And then spent a bit of time dancing with a shirtless and very sweaty man. We had maintained a healthy distance apart and had a lot of play mimicking similar motions together
And for the last final bit of the night, a boy around my height drew me in for contact improv. We had danced earlier in a group. I noticed him noticing me. I am impressed at his assertiveness in reconnecting. It takes confidence and an inner knowing. I celebrate that.
We started with my left elbow touching his right elbow. My head rolling on his shoulder. Arms gliding off each other, back to back. Tuning in and listening to his breath- soft, slow, deliberate. Practicing how to experientially learn boundaries and stay conscious and leaned in as opposed to rushing through and taking off.
Can we just agree, that contact improv is more intimate than sex? And I'm talking about the fast food Mcdonald's In-And-Out kind of ejaculatory sex that 95% of the world in their 20's perceives sex as.
During the closing singing ceremony, me and boy comfortably layed right next to each other on the wooden floor of this huge church that hosted over 100 sweaty bodies. He was slowly caressing my arms as I nestled my face near his neck. I appreciated the touch. I yearned for it. Since living back at home with my family for the holidays, it had been a full two weeks since I had felt touch like this. My system had missed it.
I don't care what you say. Touch is important. We are born to need physical touch.
He then slowly shifted his face towards mine. I knew where this was going. I had felt his soft gentle yet pressing hunger on the dance floor. This time I didn't turn away. I met him where he was. Curious and open. He kissed my lips. Just one or two pecks. Nothing extra.
Hmm. I tried paying attention to my pussy. #thepussyknows
She felt nothing.
It was good to notice. He continued to stroke my arm and I sighed, my head pressing against his chest.
Once the singing was over, we all got up to stand in a circle. I turned to him and asked
"So what's your name?"
You know, I figured, that might be important to know one day.
The boy is from France. It adds onto my theory that Europeans are more intuitive and forward with touch.
I wonder if he's just visiting. No time to lose...I know from my own experience, I'm more open and direct with my desires when I'm traveling abroad. I wonder how it is for everyone else...
He wrapped me in his arms as everyone circled up saying praises for those who've led the production during the night.
I lost my attention on him and redirected it to everyone else in the circle.
The thought "I wonder if people are going to assume we are together" came to mind.
I had mixed feelings about it. I was wrestling between the feeling of security and feeling smothered.
French boy then abruptly left the circle, right after signaling me with his hands that he will come back. I nodded in a "Yes, you do you!" motion and felt myself able to breathe a bit more with my own space.
3 people to my left was a girl (D) I had been quietly observing. We had met a few months back at a 5Rhythms class. She was squatting down on the floor, elbows near knees, looking around the room curiously. My first thought was how much I liked how she had both sides of her hair shaved and whether or not I could pull that look off too...
I was attracted to her before and still am now.
And when I put my attention on her, I felt warm heat expanding in my chest. There is a balance of Grounded Alertness about her that I am familiar with and also a reassured stillness, something I don't think she even realizes yet in herself. Like being comfortable in the body and deeply pensive or active in mind all the time. Or on the other hand, being restless in the body and empty in mind. It's this duality of being a shape shifter.
A squatting shape shifter.
So I went up to her and asked her how she was doing. And slowly, using precision in her own words, articulated the very feeling she had to the best of her awareness. Feeling energy drained and attributing it to not being able to tell her parents the details about her life as she is exploring her sexuality. Out of risk of shame or misunderstanding, not wanting to share and withholding. Feeling a lot of love and wanting to pay respect, but burdened by the weight of not having their approval.
OH, girl. I know that spot....
French boy came back and popped our bubble with the most stream of words I've heard him say to me "I have to leave now. Before my last train is running." His quick motions were in stark contrast to the slow and deep connection that was being built with nourishing conversation.
As much as I love connecting without words and through touch, I had little patience or interest with speaking with him. Especially at that moment. It's good to know. I noticed how easily irritated I was at the disruption and stayed seated on the floor and automatically blurted out "Facebook friend me!" As soon as the words left my mouth, he had already shifted his body towards the door.
I guess that's modern day intimacy for ya...those 3 words ^
Seconds later, before I could process what happened, my friend J came up and surprised me with a kiss on the cheek.
I maintained eye contact with D. I didn't want another energy to break our conversation. J got the message and left us in our bubble. He also practices Orgasmic Meditation. So bless him for his sensitivity!
This is a reoccurring theme in my life. I'm calling in men while seeking attention from women. Interesting...
She continued speaking and asked if I had any suggestions or advice. I struggled to give a clear response. The best I came up with is "All you can do for now is do you. Be yourself. The rest will follow in time."
What she reflected within me in that conversation are my own unresolved insecurities around the same issues. She's looking at me like i'm an expert intimacy coach and the reality is that I too have my own shadows with sexuality that I keep to myself, especially amongst family.
It continues to be a struggle to tell my parents the wild AND safe adventures of figuring love and intimacy, what it really means, from square one. Building trust. Understanding my body.
It pains me to admit my fears around my sexual experiences as I would only imagine this to create shame/misunderstanding/alienation.
How can we build trust and respect with people we love when this part of our lives is so hidden in the dark?
We continued to talk the rest of the night. Moving from the inner circle where we were ushered to leave to talking outside the Church with a bunch of other late night stragglers until we were the last ones standing. My romantic adventurer suggested continuing the conversation by the fountain in Washington Square Park. She said yes.
I appreciate her enthusiasm and general spirit. We mirror each other in that way.
It occurred to me that we never had the chance to meet on the dance floor. And yet, here we are, dancing in flow, expanding in vulnerability over our shared experiences. The "Me too's" and "I get it." Story by story. Holding. Listening. Observing. Feeling. Sharing.
While my ass was numb on the fountain concrete, my whole upper body was warm yet shaking. We shared the same history with our family and the lack of open intimacy growing up. We shared the same automatic response of mentally checking out in sex and defaulting to people pleasing before really checking in with our body. Grappling with what "Surrender" means and how to do it.
I spoke from my experience with the "play dumb and feel numb" narrative and saw that it got to her. I slowed down. While I have been developing more consciousness of my own patterns that I'm working on, I often forget that all of this is still a bit hard to digest.
Meanwhile, while we were talking, my kundalini shakes were reactivated again after laying dormant for the last 2 weeks in the deepest down I've been while being with family. Picture violent jerking motions from the upper body jumping high at random moments of high intense sensation. It was so good to have back in a way. Relief. Like I'm waking up again!
I felt super comfortable with D when these shakes were happening. I safeported D that I may look like a crackhead, but to not be alarmed. "This is just my Orgasm releasing. Take it as a compliment"
Fresh breath of relief that I don't have to hide my body response to palpable energy.
There was a moment when we were staring at each other's eyes, grinning cheek to cheek.
She broke the silence and dissipated with a simple yet bold remark
"I can feel my mouth stretched so wide across my face."
I really and truly admire her for her quality of awareness. And with that smile line, I shared what's coming from my end.
"I'm feeling buzzing electricity running through my thighs, the cold blast of expansion in my right chest, tingling and warmth flooding in my cheeks."
"Wow, that's amazing you can feel all of that"
"You can do it too. We're all human here. Feel into it."
I taught her about sharing frames. A weather report moment where you share what sensations you feel in your body. It's a language to notice the nuances the human body has to offer. It's pivotal to learn how to use your senses to actually access what is real.
Seriously, building vocabulary for how we are feeling in our body is what will keep us apart from the robots that take over the world in the future....so why not, HUMAN THE F UP!
D shared and played along. From that moment in itself, I felt more layers come off. More softening. Our 3rd, the entity that coexists between one and the other, felt warm and inviting, playful and suggestive, serious and humorous. Our limbic systems syncing up.
I told her about my vision of creating safe sensory containers for people like us- people who weren't raised in the right conditions to really know how to experience intimacy. I foresee it being a problem in the future and wanting to understand how to break the "collective cool" on the surface responses to penetrate deeper into what people are really thinking.
She said yes to doing a BEDTalk with me without even knowing what it was.
I laughed out loud. Honestly, the whole night it felt so good to laugh and hear her laugh, the echoes of our laughter, being the only two people in all of Washington Square Park at 2 AM on a Tuesday night.
Signing up enthusiastically for things one does not know about... I have that one too.
When I told her about the 2 min of eye gazing, 2 min of withholds, and 2 minutes of desire pulling, she screamed out loud. Like Ahhh!!!
Nothing like the fear of being taken out of control to make you scream in discomfort.
She opted out. And admitted she was scared and that there are parts she's not willing to admit out loud yet. Maybe next time? I looked at her and felt into it.
Should I playfully push or should I just let go?
Despite my desire to rock the boat and pop this flirty yet hesitant tumescence we've built up during the night, I knew that this wasn't the time or the place to embark any deeper than we've already naturally allowed ourselves too.
"I appreciate you for taking care of yourself. My guess is that it is hard for you to say no and I'm happy you felt so comfortable with me to say that."
"Thank you for honoring that"
Eye contact again. From two people who mean what they say and say what they mean. Yet another painfully awkward 4 seconds longer than the average that our generation allows before automatically tuning off and turning away...
Before we parted, I gave her a Courage reMINDmeband and a blessing.
Describing my experience with her and feeling met. Knowing it takes courage to expand towards deeper levels of truth and intimacy. My hopes for her that she actively seeks out her own truth and still stays leaned in past the discomfort and towards whatever her desires call out for. It's a journey for sure.
She received it beautifully.
All in all, it was a beautiful night.
Pure hearted. Joyful. Effortless. Flow.
Courage and Expansion.
It takes courage to go this far in with someone you barely know.
It takes trust to expand together in a way that feels good for both parties.
"Conversations like these doesn't happen often" she said
"Yes, I know. This is really special."
I decided then that I want to live in a world where we as human beings, social creatures just starving for real authentic vulnerable connection, can have more of this.
So we left it at that beautiful peak. At 2:30 AM, we parted ways.
Leaving with a lot of electricity and perhaps a little bit of some sexual tumescence, enough for there to be texts exchanged back and forth about how special tonight was once we got to our respective homes.
An active mind, tired body, and happy soul. More in tune that we're not alone.
I want to take note of the work I've done along this path of discovering consciousness in sexuality in this past year.
A year ago, I wouldn't have been able to lean in to even be physically close to men.
A year ago, I would have dissipated and ran away first from any maintained eye contact.
A year ago, I would have tried to social butterfly and exhaust myself talking to 20 different people in the room, mentally checking in and out, and leaving without really connecting to anyone at all.
A year ago, I wouldn't have shared so vulnerably or been able to hold space for someone to actually listen to them without just thinking of the next time to speak.
A year ago, I wouldn't have been able to hold the sensation in my body, to hold my ground.
A year ago, my heart wasn't as open as it is now for other people to feel safe enough to open theirs.
A few months ago, I probably would have even pulled, gripped, and manipulated the situation for at least a kiss to happen that night, attached to the idea of romance and less to the actual desire for the person. Not slowing down enough to allow myself to really feel. I wouldn't have had the consciousness to check in with my body or consider boundaries. I wouldn't have been able to appreciate tonight for what it truly was and felt it to be enough.
What is intimacy for me from tonight's experience?
Dancing with energetic shifts, noticing expansion and contraction, feeling seen and received in another's presence, seeing the beauty of each other's own internal light reflected right back so that generative love is created.
Thanks for listening.