Dear Dance Community,

Winter time Spirit seeds are starting to rumble up from the soils of our souls. WOW, what a time! I hope that you are finding solid ground in your hearts and simple deeds as everything quickens. All of this creative energy mobilizing is exciting and demanding, both. It is becoming ever more clear to me that as things seem to speed up, we also need to keep slowing down. Our systems do not need to be overloaded. We can take the time to not only act, but to rest, to not only create but to integrate.

doll3    Many of us in our dance community shared a deep teaching around this last weekend. During our Shakti Sisterhood workshop, 75 diverse women gathered from all around our country. Our opening night ended with a blanket of fog enveloping us as we crawled down the mountain, carefully driving to town from the StarHouse outside of Boulder. By the next morning, there was a blanket of snow covering our cars, our streets, our foothills. What we did not know is that just beneath that pristine white snow, there was a sheet of black ice. Only when we began sliding onto roadside embankments and not making it up the hill to the StarHouse did we catch on to the delicacy of our wintery situation.

The night before, in our opening dance, we powerfully invoked the spirit of transitions, honoring that we had joined together to explore our many passages throughout the cycles of life.  By the next morning, we were enacting a rugged transition, navigating the road from town to our womb-like gathering place. Forty women made it to the StarHouse on time to begin the workshop, confident mountain mamas with potent snow cars. Another thirty – five women did not make the drive to the StarHouse. Six of those women refused to make the trip no matter what.

Another WOW! What to do?

doll-Shakti    Women had traveled a long distance to attend this workshop. We only had this day and the next to cover our full mythic journey through the life cycles. This group of women that I had so carefully worked to integrate into a community the night before was now split in two locations. The group on the mountain was ready to attend to the curriculum of the workshop, some quite fragmented from their slippery drives. The other group wanted information about what they were going to do with their day. How was I, their workshop leader, going to deliver.

Not to mention that finding studio space on a weekend in Boulder is close to impossible. This town loves to dance.

So after many, many phone calls back and forth and some deep and honest community dialogues, I began to sort out how to proceed. With the group on the mountain, I led a short dance, just enough to help us all begin to quiet our highly activated nervous systems, mine included. I knew that time was of the essence. And I knew that until I knew, I actually was on yet another very slippery slope. Hasty movements were  simply dangerous. One woman had already slipped on the ice, taking a dive onto her head. Many women were scared. Some had their cars literally stuck on the side of the mountain, hanging on a snow bank where they had slipped during their drive up the mountain.

Mother Nature had seized hold of our curriculum and our women’s weekend was now fully underway.

Spirit was saying … Ladies, how do you truly want to meet transitions, the spaces in between? How do you work together in real life? Are you all ready to fully show up?

After some dancing and listening, the answers began to come.

1) We were going no where without everyone.
2) We needed to honor the most vulnerable ones.
3) Even though we love the StarHouse, the work can happen anywhere.

In the short dance we did on the mountain, the guidance came to me. We made our move. All of us were going to leave the mountain and meet in town to do the good work.

By 2:00pm that Saturday afternoon, we were set up in a lovely Boulder space that had opened up serendipitously, tired, but full on into the work. By Sunday evening, our journey had completed and, without a doubt, not a step was skipped. In fact, we had faced a collective initiation, of sorts. Before we fully launched into our life cycle study, we had built a field of safety, trust, and collaborative intelligence that ignited a uniquely deep experience.

The following are a few principles for life that we learned through our safe passage as a community of women … This group of strangers  became intimate allies, each woman showing up with outrageous courage, authenticity and the capacity to tolerate and collaborate.

Our snow scene taught us to …

~ Slow everything down until the next steps are clear.
~ Gather as much information as possible before charting the course forward.
~ Be sure to listen to all the voices.
~ Honor the vulnerability.
~ Ask for help along the way.
~ Trust and follow the quiet whisper of guidance.
~ Respect the impact of one’s choices.
~ Proceed with care.
~ Take time to integrate all that has occurred.

So as the 2014 Spring time quickening happens, please join me in remembering these basic embodied ways of being in community and communion together.

As an African proverb says: If you want to go fast … go alone. If you want to go far … go together.

I hope to see you on the dance floor. Below, please find some ways that we are going together!

With respect,
Melissa