Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Opening Up Your Heart – and Living Wholeheartedly

The Dance of Human Connection
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful Biodanza weekend retreat up at Harbin Hot Springs called “Heaven On Earth” – basically it was a workshop about affectivity and sensuality/sexuality, two of the key themes that Biodanza works with.  

When I first signed up for the weekend, I did not think very consciously about the topic that it was about – I was just eager to center my life more around activities that bring me joy – and Biodanza brings an overflowing amount of joy and connection into my life.  Since November 2010, I’ve been regularly attending my Biodanza circle every Thursday night in the same safe space, with mostly the same group of people, the same fantastic teacher – my little nest.  

Meanwhile, in my personal life, since breaking up with my ex-boyfriend in mid-May, I’ve really been focusing a significant amount of energy on getting comfortable being by myself and on supercharging my personal growth journey – something I am still very committed to.  I’ve been putting more energy into my professional development and taking this new CareerDevelopment Facilitator training course that I’m enrolled in this summer.  I’ve been trying out new and old yoga, pilates, and dance classes – a process of experimentation that I am continuing to enjoy.  I’ve been getting more intensively into local Bay Area meditation groups and finding community among people who share that interest.  I’ve been reading inspirational and educational books and blogs and getting into writing on this blog more than I ever thought that I would.  I’ve been taking time that I never previously had to catch up on old and new Grey’s Anatomy episodes.  And, I’ve been making efforts to connect more with people from my Biodanza circle outside of class.  

Go See It!
These are all wonderful things that have given me a hope and reassurance that there is plenty of joy out there in the world as a single person – in fact, as a single person, the world is kind of your oyster.  I certainly haven’t been locking myself away in my room by any stretch – in fact, I am overjoyed to be growing closer with some wonderful new friends.  For example, I went to go see the fabulous Happy movie documentary which is slowly starting to circulate around the world with a big group of new friends on the 4th of July – a perfect way to spend the holiday in my opinion – I totally recommend seeing the movie if you have the chance.

Still, despite the fact that I’ve been growing and changing and connecting out in the world this past few months, “taking things on the road” to this Biodanza workshop and exploring the topics of affectivity and sensuality / sexuality made me realize that in my own way, I have been closing myself off and placing significant emphasis on having things be ‘safe’ – I’ve been avoiding my vulnerability in order to avoid getting hurt – in a way my trust in relationships and the inherent given and take in relationship with others has been shaken over the course of my past few romantic partnerships.  Now that I’ve seen how easy it is for me to lose myself in relationship, there is a part of me that is afraid to venture down that road again.  

It’s like I trust myself hitting a tennis ball against a wall and pat myself on the back for being a good “tennis player,” but the idea of actually playing a tennis match against another person seems way too complicated.  That brings up the question – can you really play tennis or play the game of life and love all by yourself?

For those of you who are wondering, affectivity is basically our emotional connectivity and solidarity with other people and sensuality / sexuality is basically our overall enjoyment of sensations and pleasure in the world.  For more information about it and Biodanza, I encourage you to read more here, watch the Biodanza videos, and check out a class if it ever comes to your area. 

A badge from Brene Brown's website
For me, exploring these themes of affectivity and sensuality / sexuality up at Harbin Hot Springs this past weekend really opened me up in a way that I haven’t been open for quite some time – certainly not since I embarked on this more celibate, solitary path.  It gave me excellent opportunities to test the new skills of standing my ground and speaking my truth that I’ve been working on and gave me many chances to let go, set my anxieties aside, and enjoy the present moment.  I did Biodanza in a new space, with new people, with a new teacher – and even outside in nature from time to time – a big departure for me.  

Excellent book!
This past weekend reminded me how vibrant and loving I can be while also giving me a chance to explore the topics of vulnerability which I’ve been exploring through the work of Brene Brown lately.  I don’t have enough time to discuss all of her ideas today, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this woman’s work since I stumbled onto it a few weeks ago – I think she could become one of my main sources of inspiration and teachings.  I’m partway through her book, The Gifts ofImperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who YouAre, and I am finding it really helpful – almost as if she has been reading my mind!  

A great initial introduction to Brene’s work is through her Ted Talk video available at this link or below – I encourage you to watch it.

In a nutshell, Brene has found that people who are “Wholehearted” (as I hope to be) believe inherently that they are deserving of love and open themselves up to it even though doing so requires them to be vulnerability – they love with their whole heart and aren’t afraid to be with whatever comes up in their lives as a result.  I also came across this quote of the week in her Blog archives recently, and I feel that it really speaks to some of the things I am reflecting on coming away from the workshop this past weekend.  I’m sure I will speak tons more about her work on this blog in the future!

Finally, I am including a link to a great song by Modest Mouse, “Float On,” that I seem to have running through my head this morning – I find it reassuring and a great reminder to just go with the flow! 

No comments:

Post a Comment