Closeness

 
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It’s really blowing my mind how much there is to learn from dancing.

One of the patterns that arises is the fight for control between follower and leader.  I am learning to follow and I have a tendency to try to keep my leader from getting too close to me.

In the words of my teacher - I keep him out of my frame.  

When the leader is outside the frame there is a pushing around that happens - he tries to get in, I try to push him out….  it’s wobbly. And we’re not on the same page. Imagine a lot of arm action - it’s not something your eye wants to watch and it doesn’t feel good to be part of.

When I let him into my frame - which means we get closer - my hand moves around his shoulder blades, the space between us is less…I can feel my emotional and physical material coming up… when I let him into my frame… he can’t push me around.  I have made the choice to be closer and now he and I are in it. We’re together. And I’m having feelings.

Now the feelings are my stuff.  I’m sensitive and have my particular history.  Not everyone will feel this dancing. But we generally feel it in relationship.

We feel feelings when we are really close.  We push and pull and try to get comfortable.  

And what I am catching glimpses of on the dance floor (and honestly in life) is that letting go into the relationship is easier.  I have feelings - it’s really hard - I am scared and angry and tender…. but I’m not pushing and pulling either. And we’re moving.

I think there is a phase in our work on ourselves where we ask a lot of our relationships.  “I need this…” “I don’t want this…”. And then, there is a place where we surrender. I don’t pretend to be there but I feel like I’m walking up the mountain and can see that the peak is ahead.  That I don’t have to push and pull and worry all the time. That maybe there could be a very tender "us" that flows.  

And I am not talking only about romance.  I am talking about intimacy - with family, friends, lovers - with everyone.

A piece that is interesting to me about this flow is that once we’re close and moving together... even though there is a leader and a follower we are both very active.  Following is not passive. In fact it’s not really the right name for what the follower does. The leader usually determines the larger “moves” but the follower creates each moment with the leader.  

The masculine energy holds the structure but the creativity of the feminine steps into that structure however she pleases.

If we keep doing the work - reflecting, clearing, honouring, expressing - if we keep climbing the mountain one step after another we can discover a new kind of freedom.  

There is often a hellish path to get there.  But to be able to be creative and alive and relaxed in the arms of another…well…  I look forward to being able to write about it.

 
Alison Crosthwait