One of the best and brightest parts of my recent healing journey has been doing regular ecstatic dance.  I usually dance in my living room for an extended time at least once per week. I also go to Dance Divine on Sunday mornings, a conscious dance event in Vancouver.

Letting my body move without judging it or comparing it to others is so freeing.  And sometimes I discover parts of myself that I don’t like or that make me feel uncomfortable.

Recently, when I was dancing in my living room I encountered an unexpected block.  I realized that when I move my arms freely I am afraid of drawing attention to myself.  This comes from growing up in a beautiful feminine body.  I learned early that if I expressed myself freely, if I moved with pleasure, if I let my arms fling wide, it was assumed I was “open for business.”  Even moreso if I touched myself anywhere on my body, that got looks!

When I dance I desire to let my arms move freely.  I want to touch with love, run my hands over my body, feel the delight of being physical.  I want to celebrate sensuality and not have it mean sex! Ecstatic dance in a group setting is a safe place to do this.

But the pattern runs deep. There is a deeply held hesitation in my body.  It’s as if there is an inner protector always checking so see if the territory  is safe.

Why the hesitation, especially in my hands and arms? I’m worried that if I feel or show too much love, I am considered bait for sex.  Here’s an example of how ridiculous and debilitating this is:

The other day I was petting my cat on her cat post.   I felt my hesitation arising.  I was wanting to see how much pleasure I could feel from petting my cat. The cat herself adores when I tune in to my own pleasure of touch.  But I sensed the inner voice of taboo.  It sounds something like this:

“Don’t enjoy it too much.  You will get in trouble.  You will get unwanted attention.”

As if the cat cares or plans to take advantage of me. (Not!)

I kept on touching and enjoying the experience as deeply as I could.  I breathed through the emotions coming up.  I breathed through the taboo.  My cat and I are getting closer through this.

As far as dance goes, I am also letting myself sink more and more into the pure pleasure of it.  I am dancing through the taboo of sensual expression.  Especially in a group setting, this is very healing.

I am realizing how much my arms and hands are an extension of my heart. By moving my arms and hands freely, what I am learning ultimately is to trust my heart!  

If you want to experience ecstatic dance in community, come and check out  DanceDivine.

Love is your nature,
– Zoey Wren