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The Naked Muse: Spring Awakening!

April 2, 2010

“There’s a nude woman lying on the ground,” I heard someone say under their breath.


We were all converging into a closing circle for our Spring Equinox ecstatic dance celebration. Heads were turning, visibly distracted by the figure of an unknown woman lying on her side naked on the dance floor.  Whoa! When did that quiet girl have time to strip down? Must have been in these last few minutes of silent relaxation after dancing when our eyes were closed.

Faces looked towards me, the fearless leader, for answers to this mystery and what we should be doing about it.  Just carry on and gather for the meditation seemed to be most everyone’s impulse, so somewhat stunned, we did. The dance had brought us to such a delicious, inner space that it would have been a shame to disrupt it. The woman was peaceful, clearly at total ease with her lack of clothing. A collective exhale was needed.  We sat down, shut our eyes and joined hands.

Frankly, I loved this moment. It demanded you to be in it with no wiggle room. Pretty hard to be drifting into thoughts of what you might want for dinner or the doctor’s appointment tomorrow when confronted with such unabashed nudity. Wake up, life calling!  At the moment of each dancer’s discovery of our mystery guest, the mind simply stopped for a bit, shocked into the present. I’ve read zen stories like that where some fortuitous accident happens and an individual suddenly attains satori, a glimpse of enlightenment, as a result. Well, this was surely a Spring awakening!

Speechless, I was searching for something to say to the group to close the dance.  There were a few nervous giggles and I too, could have enjoyed laughing at the whackiness life had cooked up. Couldn’t think of anything clever or otherwise… all I managed was, “Happy Spring!”  My mind started to race as to what to do next… again… no answers. I was brought back to taking things moment by moment and trusting that it would unfold as magically as the woman had appeared. My mind had taken a hike and I felt calm…. funny how that works…

This beautiful, young woman was so poignant in her nudity. There was not an ounce of shame or fear in her. How extraordinary. And judging from our shock, how far we’ve become alienated from this natural state.  A naked body is so exquisite; it’s unfortunate that we seem to have become so uncomfortable around it. I couldn’t help musing on what a befitting offering she was for a Spring Equinox celebration, a living poem of freshness and innocence, like a new-born babe. Spring is a delirious and giddy time of year much like the atmosphere in the room as we began to clean up around her serene figure.

Life is  a mystery and moments like these remind us that we may not indeed, be in the driver’s seat… New life bursting forth in the Spring awakens our deep sense of wonder and awe at the Mystery. A naked woman, how divine! Beyond my anxiety of how to get her dressed and home, I was grateful for the beauty of this unexpected gift.

Turns out that one of the dancers had just met her earlier that day and had encouraged her to come. Neither of us could determine what state this woman was in, whether it was a psychological or drug-induced one. For me, that didn’t matter. Our guest was clearly in an altered space and therefore, quite vulnerable. Thankfully, she had been guided to seek refuge in our ecstatic dance community and not wander lost in the streets of Honolulu. The dance is always offered as a judgment-free sanctuary to all; she was in good hands.

The dance being a true refuge of safety and sacredness was made so beautifully clear to me this night. I deeply experienced all of us present as healers, magicians, angels of light and love holding space for this naked soul as well as ourselves. I felt so grateful for all people around the world joining together to create havens for freedom and unconditional love. That we may all be as fortunate as our Spring Muse to wander into open, loving arms in times of confusion and vulnerability!

“Just get naked.” That was clearly one of the messages offered for the Spring Equinox. I’ll leave that up to your creative genius…May you feel as fresh as a new-born! Happy Spring!

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2 comments

  1. I love this!


  2. “Neither of us could determine what state this woman was in, whether it was a psychological or drug-induced one.” Why does she have to have been in a particular state? Maybe she just felt more free by dancing naked. I know I do. Of course, I’ve been a nude model for art classes for 30 years, so I see nudity as a natural state, not one to be associated with embarrassment or shame. I recently went to a Dancing Freedom workshop, and for quite a few hours, I danced in my body’s pure and natural state. I had communicated a desire to the facilitator that I wanted to connect my dance to my art modeling job, and everyone seemed fine with it in the opening circle. I was the only naked person dancing for the duration of the workshop, and it felt glorious to be so vulnerable, so liberated, so open, and so blissful.



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