Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dance Church

I could count on my fingers (probably of one hand) the number of times I have attended a church service. Once I was dragged along with my friend Michela after a Saturday night sleepover. Once or twice was a mandatory activity while I was at Keats Camps. One time was with my cousins who attend church on a regular basis. And the last time I stepped foot into a Sunday morning service was in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec where I couldn't understand a thing that was being said.

This past Sunday was the first time I attended a service that made any sense to me. The first time I felt like I was on the same wave length as the others in the room. Dance Church. It happens every Sunday at "The Moving Centre" on Baker Street in Nelson, BC. Dance Church is non-denominational, all-inclusive, everyone is welcome, every body is a dancer. "It is a conscious dance practice, a moving meditation, ecstatic dance medicine for the soul", says their posters.

As a new friend I met, Jesse, explained it, "It's like, you can try to make yourself look as foolish as you want and you will never get anyone taking a second glance. I tried, but not a person gave a care in the world."

That's what Dance Church is all about. Moving your body to music in whatever form you want. It's about creating positive energies and sharing with others your gift of movement. The energy when you walk up the narrow staircase and approach that room is incredible. Such a respectful environment for all. If everyone could start everyday with a feel good dance session, this world might glow a bit brighter. As you jiggle and jive your way across the dance floor, you'd be amazed at the connections you can make with people through the beat of the music. A smile or acknowledging gesture during your dance usually turns into a hug and words of appreciation after the session. Sometimes you get so entranced in the dance and the music that it's as if you've entered an alternate state of consciousness, free of any externalities.

Then when the beats finished, we circled up hand-in-hand, all the men clumped in a pile in the centre of the circle. We showed gratitude to Men in honour of belated Father's Day. We acknowledged the strength and the vulnerability of Men. We thanked Men for sharing their presence and their gift of dance with us. Anyone who had something to say could chime in, and it was a safe place for sharing. A place where freedom of expression is encouraged. A place free of judgement.

Now that, to me, is how Church should be done. Another Sunday service to add to my handful, but the first one that made sense to me. Thank you, Dance Church, for rekindling my faith. My faith in the power of movement, energies and human connections.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Deer Solstice Deer

I have just returned from the most magical encounter with a pair of deer. As I walked alone down a dark residential street of Fairmont, I noticed two deer trotting beside me. Although I have no fear of the dark or of being alone, it was almost as if they were prancing alongside to reassure me that I am not alone. I couldn't believe my eyes, so I stopped moving my feet to ensure I wasn't dreaming. Sure enough the deer stopped too. We made eye contact for more than a brief second, until I psyched myself out and continued along the road. The deer continued with me, seeming almost like a "Follow the Leader" kind of thing, except I didn't have to explain to them any of the rules. I was so deeply enthralled by the connection I was sharing with these deer that I did not see the giant puddle approaching in my path. Before I could even react, my flip-flop bearing feet were no longer just cold, they were now wet and muddy too. As were the cuffs of my favourite pants. Life goes on, and if that's the worst tragedy that occurred in my day, than I'm in good shape. I then lost kinship with the deer. But no complaints here; thank you deer for guiding me home.

Happy Summer Solstice to one and all!

May the summer bring you extraordinary endeavours and endless joy.