dancing between action and surrender…10-6-22

Back-to-back dance workshop weekends, live community moving in and through, déjà vu from a previous lifetime.  But I just hopped on that dusty dance bike and, a bit shaky at first, felt my trusty body pedal down that well-worn path.  Surreal, challenging, tender, revelatory…all packed into ten days.  As often happens when we steep in intensity, a dormant sensibility, an insight that had been scrambling toward daylight, slowly begins to tease itself out.

What is able to come to light during an expertly guided embodied exploration always astonishes me.  A word on that “expert” thing.  Because it makes a difference.  I bow to Kathy Altman, a teacher who has been guiding me on and off over the last twenty years.  Her precise, perfectly timed invitations, her gentle and solid presence gave me the courage to start excavating that dormant sensibility. And I kept digging around this nugget all week.

The next weekend I was held in practice right here in Sacramento by Majica Alba.  This was her first independent (of me) 5Rhythms workshop offering.   It. Was. Stellar.  Words fail here.  Not only have I had the extended joy and trepidation of witnessing her growth and maturation, I’ve had the trembling responsibility of having a hand in this transformation and a front row seat to boot. So, to be a student in her space, to completely trust her to hold me as I continued with this embodied exploration, to feel the expertise of her support…see why words fail?  Maybe put yourself in my shoes a minute and feel….it was wondrous remarkable.

So what was hiding in the wings, waiting for its turn center stage?  It emerged during the first workshop as we moved in the lengthy span ‘tween courageous action on one end and being with things just as they are on the other.  The well-known serenity prayer is a quiet plea for wisdom, wisdom to know the difference between these poles.  When to be in action, when to surrender.  And that word—surrender—was just a murky insight that’d been scrambling toward daylight for awhile, begging to slowly be teased out.

I could have spent a year stretched out on a therapy couch intellectualizing how I unconsciously, habitually slip into busy, do-do-do action, unwilling to pause in that holy wisdom middle ground, fears about stillness being equated to irrelevance, worthlessness, death.  I am so long done with that couch thing.  Though I love my brain and I get how this process of writing helps my mind get what my body already knows.  So this embodied exploration of surrender continued in the second workshop, keeps moving through me, continues to reveal so much.  Can you feel the essence of this Mark Nepo quote?

“Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.”

What does this word surrender mean to you?  How does it show up in your life?  Can you feel the pull of gravity in your body, maybe even right here in this moment, and source it for surrender?  How do you discern when surrender is maybe a tricky cover up for inertia or collapse?  In the face of tension or rigidity, can you feel surrender work like a fabric softener without the losing the texture of clarity?  Can you surrender to what is, just say yes, give up trying to know?  Can you tap into the greater energy permeating through your life?  Let go of preference, surrender to life being in charge?  Hmmmm.  A breath here.  Thanks for trying that on.

Thanks for exploring surrender with me this weekend at Clara Auditorium.  We start with Tend Your Aging Body on Saturday, rolling our mats out to facilitate surrender.  We release bound and resistant fascia by gently partnering with gravity, surrendering to the gentle touch of the toys. You can drop in any of the four Saturdays or pre-enroll.  I’ll have lots of props, no worries, just bring a mat.  Video recorded for you.

Just a word on that “expert” thing.  Because it makes a difference:

“Bella’s knowledge of the human body is clear and deep… She showed me diagrams, offered metaphors…enlisted my absolute curiosity to look and feel WITH her…Bella is a brilliant educator.  I am inspired now to cultivate a relationship with my psoas muscle!  I just needed the guidance of some patient and skilled hands….One session with her has opened many windows into my own body.  I am tremendously grateful.”  MT

Clara Auditorium for Sweat Your Prayers on Sunday morning, too.  It has been so beautiful to feel us coming back to this space.  With “us” being such a fluid word.  So satisfying to experience so many new movers finding their way through the door.  Many tears falling as familiar faces re-appear.  I’ll be up front Sunday morning with a score that invites continued embodied exploration of…guess what?  Surrender.

Metaphors.  It’s like dancing for my mind when I hear something like “fish finding the current”.  I just get it.  This metaphor is an anonymous quote but says it all:

I am learning to live between effort and surrender.
I do my best and hope for what I want
but I do not resist the direction of the wind.

Yours  in the current, in the wind….Bella