Dance With Me

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How does relationship actually work?  Friendship, family, romance, love, sex, acquaintances…..  so much of our suffering and our joy comes from relationship.  It’s where so much of our attention goes.

Are the people in my life there to meet my needs?

It’s so confusing.  Because when we are born - yes they are.  We need them desperately. So by becoming human we put ourselves in a situation of dependency.  

And then over time no one wants to do this anymore.  We’re grown up.

And even if we are intimate with a person.  Close. They will fail us. They will misattune.  They’ll miss us. They did this when we were babies too.

There is so much to say here.  What I am interested in in this moment is what is a self-responsible adult relationship.  Adult in that we are grown up not that we don’t have child parts. Of course we do.

My dance classes continue to illuminate….  here’s what I am learning right now. Connection.  For simplicity let’s just talk about hands. I hold my partner’s hand.  We have connection. Sometimes I push. There is no connection in the push.  Sometimes I pull. There is no connection in the pull. There is energy exchange but my partner isn’t present when I pull.  There is just a hand and I pull. It’s my energy that dominates.

Sometimes he pulls.  And pushes. In these moments I’m not really there either.  I can submit or fight. I can allow him to push or pull or not allow.  Either way we end up in a kind of no man’s land. If I allow him to push me then where am I?  If I fight him I’m also not really there - I’m reacting to his energy. I’m meeting it. But we can’t move.  We can’t do anything. All our energy is in the fight.

The pushing and pulling on both sides happens all the time in every relationship.  It’s not a bad thing per se. It’s a really good thing to notice, however. How we feel in each moment.  How do you feel when you push? When you pull? When you are pushed? When you are pulled?

The magic and the mystery that I am exploring is when neither of us are pushing or pulling.  There is an edge. In dance we can play with it - push and pull in micro movements to find the edge where we are both present and neither is pushing or pulling.  In this kind of connection I know my partner is there. I can feel him. The energy is flowing between us. In fact it feels like we are one. Because both of us have equivalent attention to our needs.  No one is being pushed or pulled. We are dancing.

I’m not saying conflict isn’t good or that we should be at peace all the time.  I’m saying the dance is valuable to witness. As we witness and feel into our place in the dance and what it is like for us we can choose what we want.

And notice that this is not about content.  Content is a sink hole. Who did what is a waste of energy.  You can do that as long as you want and I would really encourage you to explore what value there is in it.  What are you doing with your energy? All that really exists is how you feel in the moment in the place you are in the dance and what choice you want to make next.  

I tear up a bit writing this.  The implications are so vast. Can we dance with the people we love?  With ourselves? With our children? With our homes? With nature? With our bank accounts?  With spirit? Can we dance through lives assured of our oneness? Assured of our aliveness, our existence, our okayness, our belonging, our participation?

I feel so open writing this.  So much possibility. Tell me about your dance.

So much gratitude to my dance teachers for their wisdom and encouragement.

Alison Crosthwait