I introduced 8 women to each other via the internet and through Brady Bunch boxes we met weekly, shared our hearts, danced our truth, cried, laughed, and built community.
As a Dancing Freedom facilitator, I know the power of ceremony and ritual, yet I didn't know if that would translate through ZOOM ... without being in person would the magic still arrive? Would people still feel connected? Would the music translate dancing solo in a room and still MOVE folks?
The answer, it turns out, is a BIG HUGE YES.
Again and again as we wrapped up the last of our 8 sessions I heard "I always feel amazing after our circles," "I look forward to this all week," "It's the highlight of my week."
There is something undeniably potent that happens within the Dancing Freedom format - the tradition is based off of shamanic principles... we gather in a dance CEREMONY - intentionally starting each session by calling our energy back to center, digging roots down into the earth, and opening up to Spirit.
As the facilitator I call in each of the elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether) as well as "our guides, benevolent ancestors, angels, ascended masters, plant devas and animal spirits." (an incantation I created for my individual reiki session with individuals.)
Then we open up a sharing circle, each participant gets about 2 minutes to speak to what is present in their body or share on the weekly theme (I was choosing archetype cards intuitively for our group that I would base the music on for this 2021 winter circle).
As we'd go around each woman would share her own individual highlights and struggles, and simply listening to each other is a true treat as we are not there to respond, we are simply there to hold space and listen. It creates a sense of reverence and authority for the person speaking to honor their truth and be witnessed. (Although a lot of the time we are not taking a "serious" tone)
After each of us has had an opportunity to speak and presence themselves, as well as listen to others we take that energy with us into the dance. In our first couple sessions I encouraged the group to turn off their ZOOM videos so they could focus on themselves and their dance without worrying about being "seen" through a camera.
It surprised me how deep we were able to go BECAUSE of this privacy and intimacy that ZOOM allowed. I had women join this circle who may never have come to one of my in-person groups because they actually felt SAFER to dance at home (in a I feel safe enough to take off my shirt and dance naked and get crazy right now kinda way) - such an awesome connection I had not thought of before we started!
For about 45 minutes the music set I created guided us all separately (simultaneously) through the elements in a wave from the earth into water into fire into air then ether and we'd recollect back in our circle as we completed the cycle and landed back in the earth.
Our closing circle is similar to the opening but this time it's an opportunity to share what you experienced or maybe an insight that you downloaded, ask for support if something challenging arose, or simply speak your truth aloud to yourself and be witnessed.
It's truly MAGICAL the way we would all be salve to each other's hearts simply by listening, simply by sharing, simply by being. The energy of a sacred circle takes on a vitality of its own and brings a circuitous sense of synchronicity, overlaps, natural understanding, heartfelt truth telling, and zoom-muted laughter.
I have been getting signs throughout my whole life that I am meant to teach and share this practice with more people. The highlights of my own life all are related to moments of deeply inhabiting my body through dance, hiking, ceremony, festivals, retreats...
This natural HIGH takes over as I become a beacon of spirit, a hollow bone for something BIGGER to flow through me, I am wholly myself and yet enlightened with a sense of purpose, drive, energy, and force.
And this is what the participants experience in our circles - becoming a vehicle of PRESENCE and SPIRIT and TRUTH... sometimes that shows up with tears, sometimes with laughter, sometimes with quiet hand over heart softening, sometimes as a memory coming up to bring meaning, or a download of information and insight - ALL OF IT IS SALVE/ MEDICINE/ HEALING.
And I can't wait to share more.
Join me for the one of the two upcoming SPRING DANCING FREEDOM CIRCLES and experience this MAGIC for yourself.