Have you noticed how art and dance have an alchemic power to shift us, to transform us?
Stepping into a dance space I may feel tired and disconnected, yet an hour later I’ll feel life pulsating in every cell of my body.
Sitting down with an empty canvas I may feel restless, yet the brushes direct my focus into colour, form and expression.
Pondering the first line of a journal entry I may feel confused, yet by the time I put the last word on paper my thoughts will be structured and my mind at peace.
Having just returned from the second part of my dance therapist training, the alchemy of creative dance and movement is most alive in me.
Through an intense experiential group process I relived the experience of the 3 month old baby me who had to wear hip braces so that her thigh bones grow into her hip sockets.
I had a symbolic dream guiding me further on the path of love.
I gained new insight into how to bring more embodiment into coaching.
I connected beyond words with the tribe of my course mates.
And I’m feeling so light and present at the end of it all.
In fact we can scientifically trace that alchemic power of dance that shifts us profoundly.
Through movement we stimulate ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which are key to our emotional and physical well being. They boost our energy and motivation levels, and stabilise our mood, sleeping patterns and appetite.
Yet the alchemy also has to do with finding intuitive, authentic movements that have the power to express something deeper than words. Through dance I feel I can express nuances and complexities of emotions and states of being that I could not have begun to express verbally.
It is as if unconscious memories are floating up into consciousness.
And we dance these memories from chaos into order, processing and integrating the emotions that come up along the way. Like Shiva Nataraj dancing consciousness into the demon of ignorance, we dance clarity into the confusion of the little understood mysteries of our unconscious mind.
Allowing the body to shake out first its tenseness, a state of relaxation occurs in which original movement expands easily and the body finds constantly new and original ways of moving. The greater the sense of relaxation, the greater the experience of pure life force.
Sometimes this experience even feels like a trance, a state of grace, ecstasy and union with the divine or all living things in the universe.
There is a strong connection with my own soul within as well as with the soul of all outside me, present in the same space or beyond. In fact, through that connection the distinction between in and outside disappears.
At the end of a dance, there is a feeling of full presence and integration of all ‘bodies’, the mental, physical, emotion and subtle.
Isn’t that magical?
We’ll be diving into creativity on the next Maitree Community – the Sangha of Joy call. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more and share your creative alchemic experiences!