November 17, 2009

Day 5 Visual Creation- Everyday Dance

I wrote the following for the Soul Motion quarterly newsletter. There is a column called “Everyday Dance”. Here dancers speak of how we take what is learned in the dance out and into our everyday lives. Soul Motion is a practice, a tool, like meditation or mantra, to be used in realizing oneself without veils, at least for me it is. This is an account of one of the many ways I use the dance in my life, one that is very pertinent to both the time of year and state of my health in this moment.

”On the ground, head hanging, hair tendrils sweep the dance floor from side to side. My eyes are closed, both look inward. There is a call to rise, a call to duty, I feel it in my body, feel it second only to the call to stay here, on the floor. Like a seed, I remain closed, filled with potential and faith, know that eventually I will heed the call and come back into community, find the together part of ”alone together“. Until then I enjoy the sweep sweep sweep of my hair, use my body to prepare this holy space. I came here to hold the ”high watch“, as it turns out I found the grace and necessity of holding the low watch instead. I can not hold the group until I can hold my own sweet self. Giving myself this restorative pause, held in the pulsation of so many souls in motion, honouring exactly where I am, is holding the place of witness, witness to self.

I do this same thing here in my everyday. I am frail at the moment, not strong like the womyn you may know, the one who gyrates, shakes and sweats for hours in a state of ecstatic bliss. Living big and ”out there“ has taken its toll. Like the trees outside my window, I have had to drop my leaves and turn my focus inward. It is time to let the sap I have cultivated soothe my weary body. I am taking a break from the ”high watch“, instead I am choosing another mantra, one I hear repeated over and over when travelling between school in California, and a home life in Canada filled with family, community and this work. ”Securely fashion the oxygen mask over your own mouth before attempting to assist others“. In this moment I am going to simply be mindful of how I am being breathed.”

Bernice Raabis is the commitment maker behind and is presently attending the Tamalpa Institutes Movement-based Expressive Arts, Embodied Leadership Program, in Marin County, California. She lives with her BIG family in the mountain town of Nelson, British Columbia, and is co-owner of Nelson’s newest movement studio, set to open this month.“

It was a real challenge to be limited to 300 words. I am grateful for both the experience and to have been asked by both Vinn and my curly haired Devi Dasi sister Steph. I love you both very very much.

”Do you feel you have a bigger purpose for being here?“ is the question in 12 days journal #219


  1. Frankly, I'm too freaking exhausted to ponder bigger purposes! LOL. I don't know if I really believe it matters anymore if I have a bigger purpose or not. Right now, it just feels like more responsibility than I can handle. I want to be a small fish in a big pond for now.

  2. Oh sweetie i am so right there with tired even to come up with anything better to say.

  3. I like the tree in fall metaphor. It is very powerful.