Dancing in the Dark- A Reflection on the Winter Solstice Celebration

When we celebrate the winter solstice, we celebrate the darkest moment in the year, the darkest moment in nature and as we are nature it is also our darkest time, and therefore an opportunity for deep rest.  This is mid- winter, it is the time of darkness, of cold, of wintery skies, and bare trees (even though few native trees shed their leaves, we are surrounded by many plants that do) This is the time when seeds from the fallen autumn harvests are borne in the soil,  resting in the embrace of the dark earth, warm and held through this dark time….and in this rest the seeds can dream up their plant dreaming, and we too with sufficient rest and holding can dream up our animal dreaming…

Rest is essential. Our culture doesn’t have much time for rest, or down time. We take tablets to “soldier on” as if rest and healing are unnecessary, as if it’s just better to keep on going. In doing this we miss the opportunities for deep healing that arises through resting. Anyone who has insomnia or just too many late nights, knows, we need our rest, we need to sleep. And just as we need this regular nightly rest, we also need the seasonal resting.  Nature has seasons and we too, as nature have seasons. Now it is winter, it is mid- winter. This is a time for slowing down, for turning within, for renewal.

So how do we rest in the dance? For a start by coming out to dance in celebration of the solstice, we are giving recognition to this seasonal marker. We are acknowledging and honouring the cycles of nature and thereby honouring an essential but oft forgotten truth of ourselves. This alone can be restorative. This reintegration with our true nature, as nature, is profound. It is at the core of my work and an ongoing unfolding within me, and in my classes. We let go of the linear myths of time and surrender to the cycles! We let go of the idea that we are separate from nature, from life, and dance ourselves home to wholeness.

I invite people to come to the dance with an openness to whatever arises, to be curious and playful. Embodiments Dance is a conscious dance practise, and like all conscious dance practises it seeks to provide a space for authenticity, of moving congruently, truthfully. And this is a deeply nourishing practise. When we let go of the “shoulds”, of the masks, and not worry about how we look, then we can drop into a space of moving and being that is more wholesome.  It is deeply restorative to simply be. Through the dance we learn to trust ourselves enough to feel our feelings, to embody ourselves, to be ourselves. And each time we turn up we are asked to do this.

And when we do turn up to dance we learn to trust this movement practise. When we allow ourselves to follow the wisdom of the body, we reconnect to our inner knowing, our innate bodily intelligence.  We come to a place of wonder and joy. We come to a new awareness about our human being ness, and all the opportunities, and potentialities within us and all around us. We reconnect to our bodies, and the body of this earth and all life on it.

Dancing our connection to the earth can be enabled by physically being on the earth, by being prone, lying down on the earth, or as if often the case in my classes lying down on the once were trees, now floorboards.   This act of lying down on your belly or back, and really feeling the ground beneath you is wonderfully nourishing. This is a really simple yet potent way to rest. When we truly surrender our weight, our worries, and selves to the earth we notice how supported we are. The body of the earth spreads our beneath us, ever present to us. The earth is holding us, so that we no longer have to hold ourselves.  We can truly surrender.

And from this place of being held, from this place of rest and transformation we can rise, supported and nourished. We dance our surrender, and then trust that having surrendered, having rested, the seed will germinate, the season of darkness will pass, and light and life will return. For at the winter solstice we not only celebrate the dark but we also celebrate the return of the light, So we come to celebrate the return of the sun, and trust that the sun will return that the days will grow longer- even as we enter what seems to be the deepest part of winter. And so too, we trust that the seed within us will arise. It will be aroused by the call of the wild, by the force of life itself.  And when we rise from the earth in dance, we rise with her support all around and within. We push off from the support of the floor/earth and rise up against gravity, using the force of life itself to rise and dance and dance.  This is the magic and the wisdom and nourishment of dance. This is the wisdom of the cycles.dancers_21see you in the dance
Sarah xx