That invitation felt like a delicious cocktail of divine intervention and desire to play hooky. My favorite flavor.
So of course I said yes.
And that is how I found myself Wednesday morning – driving up the coast to an unknown location, late and lost, wandering around someone’s property mumbling “gorgeous barn…gorgeous barn…where the fuck is the gorgeous barn!?” – cursing my instincts, even as I followed them. Because deep down I knew.
I knew this would be one of those happy accidents that starts with resistance.
It didn’t take me long to have that sense validated. Even as I arrived late, sweaty and stressed with some leaves stuck in my hair, I felt the “rightness” of the space and how I was supposed to be there. As I locked eyes with my friend, now pregnant with her first child, and saw the wall of windows behind her that looked out to this faerie forest, I could feel it.
I could feel me there. The me that has been patiently awaiting my arrival.
It wasn’t an immediate reunion with myself that morning, but a gradual one – even with some shy awkwardness, mumbling and fumbling around myself avoiding eye-contact.
That was the beginning. Reconnecting.
But that all started to change when my friend invited us into the movement of Qoya by spinning various parts of ourselves in gentle circles – first our wrists, then our arms, head, ankles, and finally our hips. I kid you not, when I say I nearly wept with relief at this motion. Even as I write this my whole body is doing a deep inhale. And exhale.
Because it was in the circles that I remembered.
Purposely asking my body to move in circles and curves, accentuating the bumps and swells of my soul felt like pouring a cool glass of water over my parched head – like standing under a rain shower and being watered down to the tips of my toes. Warm feminine rain.
And just as I was starting to rejoice in this sensation, to be fully present to this experience in my body, I started to have these thoughts.
How is it that I had forgotten my body could move like this? How is it that I had fallen back into my old ways of lines of moving as if between two panes of glass – forward, backward, up or down. I knew better than that! Hadn’t I just written a book about this? Wasn’t I all over this!? Why the fuck did I keep forgetting to find and feed the feminine in me with my body? When, when, when was I finally going to get to that place of remembering this and STAYing there?
These are the mean-spirited things that ran through my mind as I moved in that class. Berating myself, even as I felt relief for having reconnected. Lamenting the loss of an soul-promise intention, even as I greeted the arrival of it at my door. It was weird and embarrassing, leaving me grateful all this ruckus was happening inside me, safely hidden away from others. Or so I thought.
This was the middle. The street fight.
Thankfully, just about as this was reaching a heightened crescendo in me, my friend instructed us to move into downward dog, reminding us that we could drop down at any time into child’s pose if we felt so moved. And then she asked a question that finally pulled the cork out of my bottle:
“How would you move if this were a prayer?”
At which point, I dropped down to the ground to child’s pose with a soft thud and quietly started sobbing. And the universe started talking, softly rubbing soothing circles on my lower back. And I stayed there having the earth hold me as I listened and filled myself up. I stayed there long past the point when others had moved on. I stayed there knowing I wasn’t alone. I just stayed there. Until I felt ready to move again.
And that was the end. Sacred union.
That was when I remembered (again). Everything wants to be round – including me, it seems. Beginning – middle – end…string them together and they form a circle. A cycle. Forgetting wasn’t a fatal flaw, it was a natural consequence of the turning of the wheel. Remembering wasn’t meant to be a forever state of being, it was a constant process of renewal.
I wasn’t wrong. And I wasn’t right. I was simply a human being moving forward. Like a round wheel.
Sometime during that dance class I made another soul-promise to myself – and this one I’m pretty sure I can honor. I want to bring some reverence back to the process of forgetting. I want to stop participating in my own shame when I have lost my way. Forgetting isn’t shameful and neither is remembering nobel. They are simply two sides of the same coin – integrally linked and connected to each other, not separate and distinct. I need both of them in me. To turn. And move forward.
Even as I resist. Even as I embrace.
I remember that now. But I reserve the right to forget it again.