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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Breathing, Breakthroughs, and Belly Dance

Emotional Breakthroughs Show in Our Breathing, Body Movement, and Dance

Just yesterday, I had a breakthrough.

Now my life consists of "breakthroughs." I have them intellectually. (This is what gives me ideas for everything from blogposts to patents. There are several "breakthroughs" in Unveiling alone.) And I'm used to having physical breakthroughs as well; these have made me an effective dancer.

But yesterday something happened that was a bit unexpected, and I want to share it with you while the memory is fresh.

For the previous few months - post-Unveiling-publication - I'd been having a lot of fatigue. Through being kind and gentle with myself, through rest and (not-too-strenuous) exercise, through better diet and supplements, I was slowly getting better. But this improvement was wobbly, and after almost three months, I still wasn't back to full strength and power. In fact, just the day-before-yesterday, I'd had one of those days in which all the supplements in the world - all the vitamin B-12 and ginseng - were getting me off the launch pad but not quite into stable orbit.

And then, yesterday, several little things happened. I can't quite put my finger on any single one. But somehow, in the midst of all these "little things" - a real breakthrough occured.

The "little things"? Working my daily exercise with the Course in Miracles, which I started about two months ago. (If there is anything that is life-changing, this is it. And I was in huge resistance about one of those exercises, but somehow, wound up adopting the premise that it offered - that may have been a "pivot point.")

The "pivot point" may have been when Nimeera, another dancer with whom I met the day before, looked at me and said, "Breathe." (I didn't even know that I was holding my breath.)

It may have been waking up, realizing that I was holding tension in one of my favorite tension-holding places in my back, and then starting to use undulations to release that tension, and also releasing the "emotional issue" that I felt was linked to the tension spot.

It could have been any of these; all of them, or none. What I do know is that somehow, sometime, yesterday I began to move again.

Now don't get me wrong. I'd been "moving" all these past few months. A fair bit of the daily yoga and core, stretch and resistance training. Renewed long walks. And lots and lots of housecleaning and other chores.

But I hadn't been doing much dance.

I'd attributed this to having put all my energy into the Unveiling-publication.

But there was something else, a sadness that had been a part of my life over the last three years. And somehow, it released, and my body began to naturally do the "belly dance movements" once again.

That's right, I started naturally and spontaneously moving - the undulations, the figure-eights (of all sorts). The stretches, the neck movements, everything.

And I realized, once again, that the beauty of Oriental dance as a body art (in comparision with other, equally good and very valid body arts such as yoga and T'ai Chi), is that the range of movements that it gives us are fabulously superb for releasing emotional tension. They are the best movements for real body/mind/psyche integration.

That's because an Oriental dance technique, such as an undulation, corresponds to releasing tension up and down our spine. When we release emotional tension, we can release the physical. And vice versa.

So if we have even a glimmering of how the two are connected - some attention and awareness of how our bodies and our "emotional selves" work together - then when we get the slightest little release in one area, we can use the dance techniques to help us release just a little more. We use our body/mind/psyche integration pathway to leverage this release.

So, for example, a little emotional release - leads to an undulation. An undulation leads to a figure-eight. A figure-eight leads to paying attention to what we have "stuck" in our lower backs and pelvic area. And then we bring our attention to the emotional aspect, process it, and get a bit more release again physically.

And this is why I love this dance form so much!

P.S. I write about this in Chapters 14-16 of Unveiling: The Inner Journey. And in those chapters, I credit Diane Richardson, who is a Co-Founder of Relational Energetics (see I also suggest chiropractic and massage, and other healing modalities - Reiki is good, as are others.

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