Warm greetings to you dear dancing community, 

As we head into summer here in the Rockies, and of course some of you are heading into winter, I find myself deeply contemplating pleasure and detachment.

Pleasure … the all encompassing scent of the lilacs in full bloom; the life giving taste of fresh watermelon juice; the vision of our dancing community intensely in the beat with the next generation of leaders stoking the fires from the center; the sound of birds in their Springtime chorus at sunrise; the touch of soft fabric on my sensitive skin.

Detachment … all of this coupled with needles poking me daily, the transformative agent of chemo being poured directly into my pelvic cavity to specifically challenge any last cancer cells hanging around, sleepless nights on steroids, pinching, burning, and searing sensations unlike anything I have ever experienced also waking me in the night.

As many of you know, this past March death came calling upon me. Diagnosed with a progressed fallopian tube cancer, I chose to fully open into the healing journey designed for me. I surrendered into surgery within 3 days of the diagnoses. The handiwork of my brilliant oncological team was highly successful. Your love lit the way. And my resilient body and spirit met that threshold moment with tons of faith and focus. Recovery resounds. I let death know … Absolutely NOT. Not now. Not any time soon. There is some significant living my soul in this body is still to do.

And with that, I have been invited into a delicate process of transforming all that permitted this disease to take up residence in my body. That leads back to pleasure.

I have learned to really slow down and savor the absolutely miraculous beauty and love that is all around me. I have learned to lean in and let the community carry me when I could not do so for myself. I have learned to truly savor every sweet and sane moment. Ah, today I can eat and enjoy. Today I cherish my husband’s sea of kindness smiling through his eyes. Today I can take a walk.

And tomorrow, I may be suiting up for more chemo or wrestling my way in the aftermath of it’s reign throughout my body. Ringing in my ears. Razor blade sensations in my gut. Burning in my heart.

Pain.
Pleasure.
No preference.

Well the truth is that I do have preference. Personal and collective pain are old friends of mine. But pleasure needs a special place at the table now too. Not indulgence. Just simple appreciation of the wonders of life. Sometimes we have choice about what we can focus on. Sometimes we do not. But when we do have that choice, what are we doing with it?

Full presence is really what is helping me get through, simply leaning into the sensations, whatever they are. This moment is delicious. My head is clear. This next moment’s discomfort is almost too much. My head hurts a lot.

Detachment. Full presence.

Life really is our teacher. Today, I find myself so grateful that this cancer’s teaching is just edgy enough to cause me to let go of everything that does not serve … hairdos, habits, destructive dynamics, false beliefs, resentments, lack of esteem, my own desire to do and do and do. All of it. And life as teacher is benevolent enough to allow me to pause, to deeply digest the medicine that is mine to embrace and alchemize at this time. Fresh herbs growing wild in these Rockies. Chemo in my belly. Detachment.

But ultimately it is the love that flows through the hands of those who inject the chemo, the love flowing through those of you who send messages, the love we each choose to give and receive that heals any of these owies. The medicine of love pouring through all ports and people is far more powerful than any of the chemicals or diagnoses. It is the force that heals all.

And for me, dance continues to be the most powerful place to practice giving and receiving this love, to practice being present, to practice befriending the painful places, to practice expanding into the pleasure … to awaken into the spaciousness of detachment and full engagement, both.

Please join me there.

This summer, consider joining us for our weekly study group, for our day or week long workshops, for our annual talent show, or for our Sunday dances. Our next generation leaders will be shining bright through all of these programs, weaving an intergenerational and sustainable web of collaboration.

“And when time seems to bring on the pain, I look for the rainbow, cause the sun also dances with the rain.” ~ Jeremy Roske (from the People Rise CD: Rainbow)

Summer in the Rockies. Bring on the rainbow!

All colors. All ways. All love.
Melissa