Hello world. Thank you, as ever, immensely, for your kind attention in reading these words. I love to write in this modality, and knowing that you are there to receive and respond gives it density—it helps me to show up for you (and for me) with all the commitment and integrity I am capable of. I am grateful to all of you for sharing in dance, for talking with me, for guiding me, for challenging me and for supporting me.
On Friday, Amber Ryan substituted for Tammy at Tammy’s Friday Night Waves class. Amber brings her own blend of insight, tenderness, sharp insight and vision; and I have benefitted from her teaching on and off the dance floor.
Before class, I had a very full day. After a long day at work, I had a fast swim. I also shared a full meal—which I rarely do right before a class—with my small son. I wasn’t sure how I would fare as the energy of digestion, combined with the longness of the day, affected my system. I need not have worried, as the collective enthusiasm swept me along from the moment I stepped in. “How happy are we that it’s summer?” Amber asked, and was greeted by cheers and enthusiastically bouncing bodies.
At one point in the class, Amber said, “I am going to ask a question that might not sound very…spiritual. The question is: What do you want?” Her voice was theatrical, tender, almost beguiling. The first thought that arrived was, “I want my son to be happy. I want him to live a long and happy life!” Then, I flashed on many of the things I want in my life, and noted that I already have most of them, or at least they are in some kind of process of becoming. At some point, I considered that what I most want is to be love, to manifest love, in everything, in every moment.
My cousin Alexis gave me a card for my birthday this year that said on the front, “Happy Birthday to woman who lives life her own way…” and on the inside it said, “boldly, lovingly, beautifully.” She said she read it and felt it was perfect for me. It made me cry. Sometimes I might feel small or mean or inadequate, but really what I really want, what really guides me, somehow was visible to my lovely cousin. Nothing less than the total expression of love, total uncompromising presence of heart. That is what I want. That is my truth. The star that guides me.
I thought about one of my Buddhist teachers, Sharon Salzberg, who, when clarifying a misconception about the concept of non-attachment, said, “We would all be well-served to think much bigger than we currently do.” I challenged myself to think as big as possible, even in terms of the concrete world. If anything were possible, what would I want? What do I want?
I had some insights that I will return to in the coming weeks. About work, for example, and how I am directing my resources. Also, I have to ask myself if I still want to “be a professional artist.” And, too, do I really want a certain kind of love? Part of me wishes for a partner, a consort, perhaps a soul mate, but part of me is in love with the world, with my life, with all of the creative activity I get to immerse myself in—and is hesitant to couple. Is that just fear? Do I want love love? That kind of love? More points to ponder. Thankfully, I will have hours and hours this summer to contemplate, meditate, make and release.
I have had a stress fracture in my foot that since the More Than This workshop in April that faded briefly, but returned again. Toward the end of the class, I took off the dance shoes I wore to protect the foot, and moved with mindful curiosity, taking care not to jar the foot and only bearing partial weight on it, easing my balance carefully with its health in mind.
My mother-in-law, who was a black woman from the south, possessed a resonant oratory style, abundant good humor and flawless dignity. Once, when we were together, we heard the song, “God, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz.” I tittered. Having been raised Catholic, I always thought the song was tongue-in-cheek. You don’t ask God for a Mercedes Benz! You ask for world peace, an end of hunger, saint-like patience…something like that! But my very wise mother-in-law said, “Meghan, why wouldn’t you ask God for a Mercedes if that was what you really wanted?” She heard the song totally differently. The conversation opened a whole new line of questions I needed to pose to my mind. Why, indeed, wouldn’t you ask for a Mercedes?
What do I want? What do you want?
Amber played a dance remix of the Annie Lenox song with the lyric, “Sweet dreams are made of this….” She suggested that we think about what we want, and that we show it to others in the room. I lept into a gigantic dance with a friend who had just entered the class, bounding, spinning, emoting. In my head I said, “I see what you want! And I hope you get it!” I could feel her wishing the same for me. The beauty of un-conflicted, straightforward want is that it is, perhaps ironically, quite generous. When I want what I want, and I take responsibility for my wanting, I want you to get what you want, too. I don’t resent you for wanting, or even for getting. I even hope you get a Mercedes if that is what will make you happy! I carried the mantra around the room and repeated it in my mind to everyone I encountered,
“I see what you want! And I hope you get it!”
Happy summer, dear friends! May you live in the fullest expression of everything!
June 21, 2015, Brooklyn, NYC
This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher.