Okay, okay I’m writing, I’m writing. Believe it or not I feel like I have no choice but to be here. All I wanted to do was crawl into my bed with my latest book (Rashi’s Daughters – I’m enjoying it more than I though I would it seems very well researched) when I began writing in my head, and once it starts the only way to stop it is to… well… write.

So voila here I am and I’m going to debrief from last night in writing. Although what I really would have loved to do was debrief with a cup of coffee with my fellow organisers. Thank you Frayda, Eliana and ADINA!

So what was all this Letting Go  all about? Yes I’m sure all of you who couldn’t make it have been wondering (or am I flattering myself???) Well even if you weren’t curious read on.

The idea began as letting go – and began with a Greek plate. You know those ones they throw at Greek restaurants. Well everyone received one of these clay plates (although I must say everyone was much more interested in the food) and were instructed to write or draw any thing/person/negative belief holding them back from being their best selves. Some needed wine (many glasses) to do it, but everyone did it and put it around the patio where we were going to dance. (No one knew who’s plate was whose.)

Yes you heard me correctly (or shall I say read) DANCE. No not the Polka or Tango. Nothing that required any sort of anything that resembled our friend (or enemy) Coordination. I think a lot of women were ready to leave but were too polite. (Kudos to them because I can understand how scary it can be. I don’t know if I would have gone if I hadn’t organised it.) But everyone was ready for the unknown and our experienced free dance teacher, Adina lead the way guiding us into our bodies bit by bit. A soft, gentle, tribal introduction to your head which you’ve never met really except for thinking with it and putting makeup on it. Or your shoulders which you’ve sighed many sighs with. And okay I’ll own it. I was introduced to my shoulders which I know I sometimes hunch with anxiety. Adina introduced us to it all gently as I’ve already said, with great humour and with a lot of love.

And that’s the thing about dance, it begins a love affair with ourselves. (And if we don’t love ourselves who can we love?) As our mask falls away of who we think we are, who we present ourselves as – we just connect with our body from the inside out. ‘Hello ankle, hello pretty painted toes.’

And yes as you shake your head and think, ‘Not in a trillion years would I be caught dead doing that.’ I would answer, ‘Well you only live once, would you rather die having not danced?’

I know that I’ve met myself since I did a Free Dance session with David Gerbi (I don’t think I would have gone to that if I didn’t host it as well.) I was way, way, way out of my comfort zone as our little group was told to go dance free style with ‘whatever comes’. I remember looking at the group as I began to move and thinking, ‘This is crazy. I can’t do this. What does it mean to let my body go and follow it?’

Well anyone who came last night will know what it means to follow your body. At the David Gerbi session I didn’t have Adina’s soothing voice wash over me as I found my different parts. I tried to move and as I ‘danced’ I observed everyone else’s intense concentration and free-flowing, beautiful movements. I must have looked awkward with my funny, start stop motions (as my mind said, ‘this is mad’ I stopped. Then David would say, ‘Don’t think with your head, just move.’ Then I would start.) No one was paying me any mind, they were far too self involved. Thank goodness. And I freed up and I let go of my mind. Said ‘Hi’ and ‘Goodbye’ as Adina schooled. And it was a wonderous feeling of something new – very hard to put in words. But I’ll try…. My body had a story to tell and as I allowed it to just move, it told what it wanted, needed, desired.

Fantastical I agree, but true. Dance does that I think, it is freeing, it is letting go of our insecurities, our boundaries, our shackles of ‘normal’, things that weigh us down. Especially free dance that’s beautifully and safely guided in a group.

You may think, ‘Why don’t people just dance by themselves, especially if it’s just free movement.’ I used to think that. I’ve learnt though that in a group when you let yourself go and you experience safety, trust is built. Trust and love. If you could have felt the adrenalin and pure loving energy last night of encouragement you’d understand. Am I wrong anyone who came????? You can comment – please do! Words can’t create that in the same way as dance. (Words can facilitate a lot but sometimes you need to experience the safety and trust to really feel it. The words ‘You are safe with me’ is not the same as when you’re seen dancing and are danced with and smiled with and laughed with and clapped with. All those ‘with’s say the same thing over and over again – you are loved and safe here in this world. I do hope I’m making sense.)

Now I need to note that this free dance is a special ‘Five Rhythms’ dance. What we did last night just touched the surface, apparently you can go much, much deeper into it for a much longer time. I look forward to trying it some time. (Yes with Adina.)

Okay back to last night’s story. So we danced and said hello with our hips to each other and as a grand finale we all had a chance to dance with our plates to the middle of the circle and show our special movement which everyone mirrored (come on that’s so validating is it not. To be seen and safe!!! I’ll admit it was freaky as the negative, mummyfying thoughts burst through, ‘You can’t do that. You’ll look so silly!’ but, you know, ‘HI’ and a big ‘Goodbye! to let them go.) and then each person at the end of their movement (some went in pairs, in groups, it was for as long or short or whatever you chose) broke their plate – smashed it really – into the black oblivion of the night – letting go of whatever was holding them back, to a roaring OOPA!

And then we all danced wildly to Zorba the Greek and drank wine and made merry for the rest of the evening. Or something like that. (I didn’t really have wine because it makes me sleepy an unfortunate side effect and that wouldn’t do as a hostess now.) But really it was fun and I think we were all awed by what we had done, that it had actually worked. That a crazy dream had become a reality and we had all broken plates. (Something we’d never let our kids do in our kitchens.)

So at the end of the day for all of us who danced women of all ages, places and hip breadth, it’s not so scary anymore. (I must say I was very grateful for having tried this free dance thingy beforehand because it is very different and the more you do it the more comfortable you feel because you realise we are all the same. It’s a great, wonderful, empowering equaliser. God must have free danced His way through the creation of the world how else is it so chaotically wild and beautiful.) So thank you everyone who joined in and had a wonderful time. I hope you carry it with you as I do in my heart for what is possible to achieve inside of us as well as with others.

I must add if you think free dance is wild you need to do a dream workshop. I had one of those at my house and boy that is just another blog.

And yes, yes I will post the Sweet Potato soup recipe. For now I’ll quickly add the Quinoa Salad recipe compliments of the ever generous healthy gourmet (not to mention sweet voiced) Naami.

Healthy, Very Delicious Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

Cooked Quinoa

Chopped very small:

Carrots

Pepper

Red Onion

Parsley or Coriander

Cut less small:

Hearts of Palm or Canned Asparagus

Black Olives

Cranberries

Dress with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Salt.

Voila – Sorry theirs no measurements. You can kind of figure how much you want of each as you decide how many cups of Quinoa you do. I don’t think you could ruin it all the ingredients are so yummy!

(If you want to know how to cook the quinoa I posted it a while back, you can do a search on my blog site.)

Now I really can go to bed! Goodnight.