As we continue to dance Mary Oliver's Starfish, I continue to explore the depths to which her words take me. Tonight, my line was, ...."was willing to be afraid". I was immediately struck by the knowing feeling, that I operate from a fear based center, radiating outward, yet once again acknowledging the resistance that energetically comes from this way of dancing my life. I am constantly aware of the struggle against my nemisis, fear. My thoughts, as I entered the dance, were, what would it look like if I was willing to be afraid, and surrender to that feeling, without the dissecting and trying to figure it out and understand it, without the resistance that comes with fighting fear? What if I could accept that fear is often an inevitable emotion, but that it does not have to be the driving force? What if fear is just fear, and not a monster to attempt to slay? What would it feel like to melt into the emotion of fear and practice acceptance rather than anger and frustration? What would it feel like to not fear, fear? A strange conundrum. These are all concepts that feel so foreign to my way of doing life, that I don't know what that might feel like. What if the fighting of fear, only fuels its momentum and creates more fear, that creates a dizzying, out of control, spiral dance? I entered the dance, and found myself clutching the raw brick wall in the dark, back of the dance studio. I was moved to reach upward, in an attempt to move forward into and through it, futilely of course. I could feel myself struggling against the rough, uneven wall, reaching with a strangely irrational feeling of hopefulness, although I knew I could never move up or through the wall, yet I kept trying. I began to dance, as though I did not have to accept the futile struggle against the wall, but could dance with the wall, as if it were another living entity in the room. My dance continued to evolve, as I moved and rolled along the wall, and reached until I felt taller and stronger. The texture beneath my fingers became somewhat soothing and familiar with time. What if I could continue to reach up and forward, without the expectation of moving through the inevitably impassable brick wall? What if I just moved along it, feeling it's roughness on my hands, my arms, on my body, through my clothes, without allowing it to irritate me, without the need to pass through it? Without needing and wanting it to be different? What if feeling the roughness, the impenetrable walls that seem to sometimes be at my every turn, are just part of this dance, and that it is essential to my survival to learn to move along it, only reaching as far up as I can, knowing it will sometimes be uncomfortable, and that its roughness will scratch, even hurt my body? What if I can begin accepting that I cannot reach through it, no matter how hard I try? Do I stop trying?
What if I "was willing to be afraid"? What if ????????
4 days ago