I don’t teach steps or do choreography, but I am a dance teacher; an Ecstatic Awakening Dance teacher. The journey to becoming the lead trainer for the School of Ecstatic Movement has brought me to a place of freedom. A freedom that has spread into all aspects of my life, well beyond being a facilitator of Sacred Space.
Making mistakes is easy, but embracing them is not. Becoming an Ecstatic Awakening Dance teacher helped me realise that being free of the fear of making mistakes and being vulnerable is an absolute requirement for transformation. That freedom lies at the very heart of Ecstatic Awakening Dance, using freeform movement to release pent-up emotions, still the mind and ultimately achieve a state of joy and ecstasy — a truly powerful transformation. For me, the transformation was becoming the embodiment of emotional freedom.
Facilitating Ecstatic Awakening Dance means creating a sacred space where participants can let go of their inhibitions and let their emotions run free, where they can feel free from judgement. Judgement by themselves and also the perceived judgement of others. To become able to co-create this space has meant going on my own journey first to become comfortable with all the emotions within me, the good, the bad and the ugly. As a facilitator, I have been faced with all of these emotions as participants go on their own journeys, so I needed to accept them in myself, allowing those emotions the freedom to just be, and to pass through the body and release their energy back to the universe. I also say co-create because this is a journey that involves being prepared and masterful at one’s facilitation but then letting go and surrendering the transformation to spirit, it is the living spirit that is moving through each of us that knows exactly what needs to shift in order to take you to the next level of awakening.
Self-acceptance comes from learning to love yourself and from embracing the mistakes you may make as opportunities to learn. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t still hear those negative voices of self-criticism and self-doubt, but I now have the skills to face these thoughts with grace and curiosity.
My role as an Ecstatic Awakening Dance teacher is all about letting the natural rhythms of your body take hold. There is no judgement in the sacred space I hold. In fact, the whole experience is carried out with the eyes closed. But you can still feel self-conscious even when you know nobody’s looking. learning and embodying this method, I was able to truly come into my body and get out of my head. That meant finally letting go of the physical hang-ups I’d carried with me for years.
When I first started running my own Ecstatic Awakening Dance classes, my internal critic would pipe up: “everyone is hating this”, “they’re so bored”, and “they don’t like the music you’ve selected”. I was experiencing a fear of failure and a fear of being less than perfect. The reality was that, at the end of these classes, participants were overwhelmingly positive about their experience. I began to realise that their experience didn’t really have anything to do with me, I was simply holding the space for them to go on their own journey. I began to trust the process. I began to see the bigger picture. I realised I wasn’t running the show and finally began to trust life. When you embrace the idea that you are playing the perfect part in your own and others' stories and let go of the need to control others’ experiences, you can let go of the fear of failure as your offering will always be perfect for the time and space. Those who need what you are offering will find their way to you.
As I let go more and more into emotional freedom, I found I could deepen my spiritual practice of Shamanism. Being able to trust in myself and my part in the bigger picture of the universe, and all the millions of tiny narratives that play out day to day gave me the space to grow my shamanic healing. I love co-creating spaces for people to transform. It really is my soul's purpose. By gaining emotional freedom through the Ecstatic Awakening Dance I have also gained spiritual freedom by allowing shamanism to be such a huge part of my working life. I have the freedom to express my spiritual self, which in turn helps others to transform themselves and in this act I know I am living my divine purpose.
I’m not a guru. I don’t hold any secret to happiness or success. But I do know how to help others reconnect with themselves and achieve their own personal transformation. It’s a privilege to see that transformation unfold around me whenever I step into the role of sacred leadership, whether that is working with clients individually or within a group during an Ecstatic Awakening Dance class, or as a shamanic healer. In short, it’s magic!
Do you want to focus on what you do want in life versus what you don't want?