Let's admit it, only about 99.9% of us are dealing with something right now, right?? So when you go to a place like Kripalu it is inevitable that you will have some kind of breakthrough (yes, it's not a "breakDOWN" it's a "breakTHROUGH"). The last time that I visited Kripalu (which is the largest yoga center in the US), I had my break-through in a Grief workshop. All day long they offer a variety of yoga classes, workshops (both lectures and hands on) as well as outdoor activities. I was feeling a bit too run down to partake in the Grief workshop again this year, so instead I opted for a double dose of JOURNEY DANCE, with the Oh-So-Amazing Toni Bergins. I'd danced my heart out on Saturday at Toni's Journey Dance...she had LIVE DRUMMERS!!! You could feel the beats pulsing through your feet and into your soul. We broke down any "I'm Too Cool" barriers by dancing like no one was watching (despite the fact that there were about 70 people in the room), and would at times grab a partner and have to look into their eyes. Let me tell you how LIBERATING it is to be dancing around like a complete asshole, and then to simultaneously look at a complete stranger and sing to them at the top of your lungs "YOU ARE AMAZING!". I mean - really -- how often do people look one another in the eye anymore? Especially when it concerns strangers and mildly embarrassing dance moves...
SO, Saturday was pure bliss. Sweating and dancing and laughing and not caring what anyone thought - including myself. I want to Journey Dance every day, and I think that if everyone did a little Journey Dance that the world would be a better place. Anywho....about 2 hours before our departure Kylee and I decided to sneak in one more of Toni's classes before hitting the road. The vibe of this class was totally different than Saturday. A bit slowed down, super fluid, and for me - very intimate. Now, just to set the scene - Toni has you visualize and act out all sorts of crazy shit while your dancing. So today, we were SHAMANS. We were dancing around like lunatics, and she guided us through: "put on your shaman clothes, whatever clothes you want your shaman to wear. and now dance around in a circle, because THIS is your shaman healing circle"...so on and so forth. This may come off as crazy, but I promise you it is truly and utterly amazing. During this time my mind was so crystal clear, and visualization became NO problem for me. I could picture specific, detailed images once I closed my eyes...so clear it was almost frightening. I'm going to give a weekend full of Kundalini yoga the credit for this ability to visualize, focus, and meditate on a thought, emotion or image. Powerful stuff. So as a Shaman, Toni instructed us to start healing. So I did. And this was the picture, clear as day, that was going through my mind as I danced around with eyes closed, acting this out:
My Dad was with me. And he was smiling....I was reaching into his head and pulling out all of the bad stuff. And then I figured just incase that didn't work, I wanted to fill his heart so that no matter what bad stuff may happen, no matter how things work out - that he would take comfort in the love that I gave him, and that he would always have with him. So first I was removing stuff from his head, and then taking love from my heart and filling him up. I just kept doing this over and over for awhile as tears were running down my face. And then I figured that I needed some healing, so I put all of the love that my Dad has been giving me over these past 24 years and put it into MY heart. And THEN I pictured my Mom, and I sent HER love....love that I was able to cultivate after a nourishing weekend at Kripalu, love that I have gotten FROM here and my Dad, and the love that I have been getting from my friends.
And then as Shamans, we all danced our way to the center of the room to finish our healing dance - and to throw all that bad shit into the "fire". At this point it took everything in my power to keep from losing it. Usually I'm pretty good at crying when I need to cry, but something told me that once it started it wasn't going to stop - and we were only half way through class. The Journey Dance hour ended with us standing alongside our partners and then taking turns dancing....the non-dancing partner just holding space for them and observing them. It wasn't an "I see you" but it was an "I SEE YOU...I see your pain and suffering and love and beauty. I see you." Well holy shit balls, I've never felt so vulnerable!! Because what was being seen was me totally scared and sad. A long savasana allowed me the privacy to cry it out and I felt feeling like a bit of weight had been lifted off my chest. Some times we are ignorant to the weight of our emotions, and it's something as simple as pretending you're a shaman and dancing around with strangers that helps you to digest it, break it down, and breakTHROUGH. A ton of gratitude to the amazing TONI BERGINS for allowing me the safe and sacred space, along with some encouragement, to come into a better place emotionally and spiritually. Namaste!