This week’s Dance First Member Insight is from Melissa Michaels, founder of Golden Bridge!

Integration and Emergence!

This past weekend, a small group of Golden Bridge movers and shakers stepped onto the dance floor for the first time in 15 months. With both a well-honed orientation towards solitude and a longing for connection, we entered into a landscape deliciously familiar and a delicate and new situation worthy of great care.

Consensual hugs and words of welcome flowed with familiarity. Yet beloved friend’s faces seemed strangely unfamiliar, all initially cloaked in masks of many colors. Soft and spacious music supported everybody as they slowly came into the room. Attention was uniquely inward.

As the music tempo picked up, upper bodies were naturally in motion. It took some nuanced guidance to help folks remember the mobility of the lower half of their bodies. Uncurling from months of sitting in front of a screen was an awkward process for some. Many seemed most comfortable moving around in their personal space bubbles. Patient encouragement inspired the dancers to step out, to move in lines, to widen their circles, to begin to move around one another. Step by step, we made our way: partners, small groups, eventually into one big circle.

With a whoop! we stepped into the circle, opening into our first in-person conscious dance event since the onset of Covid.

Once we stood together in the good company of our Ancestors and the Earth, honoring the original people of Her land, we were safe enough to reveal our full faces. For those vaccinated, masks came off. Breaths deepened. Smiles widened as our dance of integration and emergence set sail.

Our hours together were spent in moving contemplation about where we have been during this time out of time. What challenges have we faced? What shadows arose? What truths were revealed? What healings happened? What died away? What awoke? As we moved through this time of remembrance, tears were shed. Sounds of release echoed through the dance hall. Shaking. Softening. Some folks were shy. Pent-up energies had a place to wildly release after this year in lockdown. Free-floating fears were finally able to sequence through to quiet. On the dance floor, tender moments, celebratory moments, aha moments seemed to move as a stream of consciousness through us all. Fractal images from the many past seasons arose in our psyches. Stories of what went down flashed through our consciousness. The seemingly unconnected parts of our recent past began weaving into a clearer tapestry, revealing patterns through the wide-angle view that conscious dance enables us to access.

We took time to excavate and share our soul stories and to witness the artistic expression of one another’s journeys. Being seen as critical to any process of return and integration after an intense initiatory experience. We were able to offer one another some of that good medicine. We listened to poems pouring forth, word-scapes describing where people had been during this transformative time. We honored the healing capacity we each had to return, return stronger, softer, more real, more attuned to the realities of others.

From there, we were ready to dance into our dreams for the future, awakening our healthy wills to show up and serve. The drumbeat was strong. The lyrics oriented us towards our collective responsibility to tend to the vast social and environmental needs of now. What is calling to us from the future? Who are we now? How are the shifts in our lives calling us into ever more right-relationship with the world? Who are our people? What is essential? How will we dance out onto the stage of life?

Mask less, still alone, yet truly together!

The answers are still coming. This time of emergence requires slow and attuned listening and decision-making. One small step at a time. We go into the collective. We return home. Many of us have safe homes to return to. Some of us do not. Thus we continue to devote ourselves to the essential work of returning home to our bodies, this sacred ceremonial ground where healing is inevitable, creativity is activated, and liberation is possible.

Within Golden Bridge, we stayed open during this epic time on planet Earth, internally and in our work in the world. We would love to share with you more about how we embraced our inner challenges and our global community during Covid and this time of social and environmental reckoning. Our recent newsy-letter is here. Golden Bridge & Melissa Michaels: What’s happening! May you be inspired.

We are now returning, rooted and rising! You are welcome to join us along the way. ///

In the dance!


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