Last night I was angrier than I have been in a long time. It wasn’t the same snappish, annoyed angry that I get at Xander…it was deeper, more sudden and more intense. It was a purely visceral experience of rage, and it took my breath away.
I went into my office, shut the door, and sat down with my computer. I watched a YouTube video, checked a link or two…and then I stopped. This is not what I want to do, I thought. This is not what I need. What I need is to dance. Right now.
And so I did.
Here’s the thing: I talk a lot about how we can express ourselves through movement and how dance helps us (and by “us” I mean ANYONE) break through barriers and work through emotions. But I still have a lot of trouble (Oy, SO MUCH trouble) remembering this when I’m feeling crappy. There were so many years when I didn’t really dance at all…I think it just became a habit to not-dance and not even think about it. But last night I threw together a playlist (which I will attach in a comment), and I just let it out.
And it was…AMAZING. One thing you can say about intense emotion…it puts you in your body. And it was exactly what I needed. It made me realize, by extreme contrast, how ungrounded I usually am when I try to dance like this. Even when I take care to warm my body up, I don’t think to ground it, to feel my feet rooting into the floor, to feel my awareness settling into my feet, ankles, legs, hips, belly. But last night I was there. I was grounded. I was present. This kind of grounding is toe-wiggling times a thousand. It changes everything. And, apparently, I needed to get really viciously angry in order to remember it.
I never thought I would be grateful for rage. But this time it was a blessing. It jolted me back into my body. It made me need to dance, it made me remember that need, and it made me able to fully experience my body as I danced.
I rode that wave of rage into the dance and let it Move me until it was done.
…Maybe every emotion is a dance in the making. We tense up and fight the ones that feel bad because we’re afraid to feel them in their entirety. We worry that they’ll break us somehow, that the pain will never leave us. But maybe if we just let the feelings rock us, shake us, crack us wide open…then that would be it. The emotion, fully expressed, would dissipate, leaving us in our bodies, fully present. And maybe, just maybe, we could get to a point where we would welcome every emotion, good or bad, as nothing more nor less than what it is: a physical sensation waiting to be expressed and thereby released. What would it be like not to dread feeling sad or angry or embarrassed because you knew that, no matter what the feeling, you could dance it out and let it go, and possibly be left with profound transformation and insight?
That sounds pretty amazing to me. I never thought I would be glad to be angry…but I sort of am. A little. And even that little bit is progress.