Get rhythm when you get the blues

I didn’t know what to expect. Nervous and feeling a bit silly, I drove downtown. The neighborhood was beautiful, filled with so much green and shade.

I could just take a walk around here, I thought. No. Walk through the door.

When I walked in I was greeted by several smiling ladies who told me a bit about this thing called “Sweat Your Prayers.” I didn’t understand and really wanted to wait for my friend. But something told me to just go in and see. Walk through the door.

Crossing into the room I was unsure about what I saw. A few people were dancing on a beautiful wooden floor. A woman stood at the front playing music. A table had stones, feathers and a crystal on it.

The ceiling was made of old wooden cross beams that were dotted with a few antique-looking chandeliers. I just stood against the wall. I took off my shoes and focused my eyes upward. I studied the lines of the wood. The chandeliers had these metal pieces that looked like flowers or maybe stars. I studied them.

I soon found I was stretching a bit. Moving my arms across my chest. Hugging my insecurities close. The music was fluid and easy to move to. I left the wall and moved a little out. Still clutching my arms across my body, not ready to be open.

Then the beat changed and more people arrived and started to dance. I found that the more people came in, the easier I moved. I started to relax. I watched some and found that I didn’t really need to. I just wanted to feel the beat and move. So I did.

My friend came in and a flood of relief rushed over me. A familiar face. She smiled. I moved a little farther away from the wall.

For two hours I danced. I don’t think I have words to express what happened. My body seemed to know what to do. I found it moving in ways that it rarely does, but it felt so natural. I felt alive.

I found myself laughing at the freedom and joy that I felt. All these people were just letting go, just feeling and being open. It was overwhelming.

Twice I fell apart and sobbed. I was cradled, held and caressed. No words were needed. I felt safe to let it out. No judgement. Just being.

I was struck by how real and natural this all felt. It was as if I tapped into something ancient within that I didn’t even know was there. My body seemed to have been aching for this.

The connection I felt to humanity is what I’ve been craving. I’ve been so hungry for it. This is the entire reason I have been wanting to dance at night clubs. But without alcohol and the sexual tension to distract me from my real purpose, real things happened.

There is so much work to be done, but I’m feeling more hopeful and less alone that I have in a long time.

Last night I dreamed in dance. It was an exhilarating dream of movement, color, happy, sad and finally peace. I have no idea where I’m going, but I’m starting to accept that.

I’m choosing joy and that’s all I have to do right now.

*If your interested, 5Rhythms dance is held Thursdays and Sundays in Sacramento

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