October 18, 2022
I love having deep and meaningful conversations with people. Several years ago I realized how much I enjoyed connecting on a deeper level and how important this was for my personal growth. I love finding similarities, sharing experiences, understanding how others perceive life, and the language they use to express it. Engaging in this kind of ‘communing‘ and approaching it with an open mind, and open heart, strengthens the human connection. This is something I’m passionate about, and communication is one of my highest personal values.
Creating deep human connections…
Creating deep human connections became available to me only after I was able to connect more deeply with my own heart and intuition. There were many ways I explored doing this when I began my healing journey years ago. Journalling; meditation; time in nature; cold immersion; breathwork; and my favourite, ecstatic dance.
ec·stat·ic — /ekˈstadik/
1. feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement.
2. involving an experience of mystic self-transcendence.
When I discovered ecstatic dance, it was like a rebirth. I felt a freedom I had never experienced before. Moving my body in a free flow state, and allowing it without hesitation or fear of judgement. It was so liberating and empowering. It felt both strange and exciting! I needed to learn more and understand why this practice made me feel euphoric!
As a child I danced a lot! I took tap, and ballet, and jazz classes, but what I loved doing the most, my most joyful memories, are of putting on dances with my cousin and best friend. We would play songs from Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and make our parents sit and watch us perform. Reflecting on it now, the joy wasn’t in doing certain moves or steps, it was in feeling the music and just allowing ourselves to move freely and have fun! I even took salsa classes as an adult for a few years, because I knew I needed to bring dance back to my life. While I enjoyed it, there was still something missing for me.
It was oozing out of me…
Exploring this freeform movement involved allowing and accepting everything my body wanted to do; everything it was communicating to me. This practice felt ethereal, otherworldly, intuitive. My body just knew what to do, I wasn’t thinking about it. It felt like I was tapping into a wisdom my body held within it, that I had never been aware of. It was oozing out of me like a fountain, like a sweet nectar of self-love, self-compassion, self-expression, and self-acceptance.
Along the journey, as I was learning, I discovered “dance movement therapy” also known as DMT! Dance movement therapy is defined as “a relational process in which the clients and therapist engage creatively using body movement and dance to assist integration of emotional, cognitive, physical, and social aspects of self. Through embodied exploration and creative movement expression, DMT can offer access to unconscious material, expand awareness of the felt senses, and help deepen your understanding of your internal world. The benefits of DMT can include an increase in awareness, self-confidence, self-expression… supports the development of trust within relationships… in a safe and contained environment. Physical, emotional and cognitive shifts can occur as DMT promotes the possibility to study and experience links between actions, feelings and thoughts.” (https://dmto.org)
It was a sign, affirmation of what I already intuitively knew to be true. Dance truly is medicine.
I spoke to many people about it. I described it as a ‘moving meditation’; a joyful exercise practice (I’d always struggled with a consistent exercise routine, so this was a game changer); a way to release stress and stagnant energy from my body (dancing releases serotonin, the feel good hormone); a celebration (we need to celebrate being alive more); a direct communication with my Divine Creator (allowing more creativity to flow into my being); an intuitive movement. This felt most accurate to me, because sometimes I would move in a way that didn’t look like dance at all. That’s the beauty of it though you see. It doesn’t have to look like dance. That’s the main reason it feels so liberating. I don’t have to think, or worry about my movements looking any particular way, because it’s my own unique form of self-expression. I move however my body feels like moving. The space is consciously non-judgemental. No one cares what you’re doing because they’re in their own body, having their own experience.
This felt like the missing link…
To me, this felt like the missing link for the mind, soul, body connection, and I wanted others to experience it. So getting back to why I started this blog by telling you how much I love deep communication with people…
Trying to put this practice into words is sometimes challenging for those who have never experienced it. I find that using the words “ecstatic dance” automatically makes people feel like they must move a certain way. Countless times I would hear people say, “but I can’t dance”, or “I’m not good at dancing.” I explain to people that many times I don’t dance in the way they understand dance to be, or look like. Sometimes I stretch, or do a yoga pose, or shake my body, or do jumping jacks (I’m serious), or sit in stillness listening to the music, feeling the energy around me, or even just lay on the floor (I’ve done this many times). I move this way because it’s what my body is asking me to do, and I honour it.
This practice is an honouring of the body. Most of us don’t do this because we don’t know how. We’ve disconnected from our emotional body and are not able to ‘feel’ its communications with us. We numb, avoid and ignore the messages our body is offering us, instead of exploring, acknowledging and accepting them. This is a denial of our intuition, the innate wisdom our body holds, patiently waiting for us to come back to it, back to our wholeness. This awareness invited me to reflect on what words felt most true to describe this practice.
It was easy. Intuitive dance.
in·tu·i·tive — /inˈt(y)o͞oədiv/
1. using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning.
2. perceiving directly by intuition without rational thought.
3. easy to understand or operate without explicit instruction.
instinctive; innate; visceral; inherent; natural; inborn; automatic; unconscious; subconscious; involuntary; spontaneous; impulsive; unthinking
I have definitely had the ‘ecstatic’ experience many times, but only when I tapped in, connected deeply to my inner world, and allowed my intuition to move me. The movement is intuitive, and to me this feels like an honest way of describing it. I thought about calling it “intuitive movement” and had a conversation with my partner Christian Zero about it. He helped me come to the conclusion that using the word “movement” instead of “dance”, doesn’t encompass the musical aspect, and for me the music is essential.
Music is my love language. When a piece of music touches me, speaks to me, moves me, I feel it in every cell of my body. Music might be thought of as the container for the dance, you can also think of your body as the container for the music (it’s ok if you can quite contain it and have to let some out, that’s the whole point). While you could argue that you can dance without music, why would you want to?
“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen 🇩🇰
Our intuition is our inner guidance system….
We all have this “sixth sense” as some call it, and this beautiful practice can help you tune into it. Imagine feeling a confidence and freedom in your life, and in the choices you make without the need for validation from any external source. When we nurture our intuition, we strengthen it. Yes it takes practice, and the benefit of practice is how it can support your journey of life, here in earth school. It can allow you to experience life with more Love, Ease, and Grace.
Intuitive dance is a modality I carry proudly in my toolbox, because for me it’s all encompassing. It heightens my senses; helps me be more creative; grounds me; gets my heart pumping; helps me manage stress; connects me to the Divine Creator; enriches my experience of life; and allows me express those experiences in an empowering way.
I can’t think of a more wonderful way to live this life. Can you?
Holistic Wellness Practitioner, RHN, MNLP, MTLT
Edited by Christian Zero
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