One of the most important steps to experiencing deep connection with the Earth during our movement practice, is to approach our dance with an open willingness to surrender.
Surrender the need to control.
Surrender any outcomes or perceptions of what it should look or feel like.
Surrender to the energies of place.
This knowing returned to me during my thesis, where I consciously surrendered my physicality and offered my body as a tool for Earth’s expression. I relaxed into the soft grass, letting myself be held by the Mother, allowing the masks of separation to melt into the soil. And as the line between earth and body began to blur and merge, I felt her enter through the permeable surface of my skin. I felt the trees weave themselves into the cells of my lungs, and I could literally feel the sounds of the birds reverberate on my back, giving it shape and texture.
What emerged was a kind of dynamic communication between my bodily self and place itself. A subtle dialogue with the land, guiding how it wanted to dance me, to voice itself through me.
Where I became the moved, rather than the mover.
Where I gifted my body as an instrument through which the most beautiful of symphonies were shaped by the elements.
Where the land became the choreographer of my body-scape.
Allowing the mystery to choose me. To share in the ecstasy of inter-being, unconditional belonging and loving reciprocity.
Yet in a society that values masculine structure and directive management over creative flow, where our nervous systems are in a constant state of alertness due to unprecedented over-stimulation and unresolved trauma - surrendering can feel incredibly unfamiliar.
We see this in the epidemic of women who are rarely experience orgasms, especially with another person. Or in the abusive interventions of the birth process that masquerade as safety. And even more so in our dominance and control over nature. Both aggressive or subliminal attempts to tame to wild within and outside of us. Often how we do one thing, is the pattern for how we do all things.
Yet I believe our ability to surrender and yield is a critical step to dancing and healing our relationship with our environments. As it is in reaching orgasm and giving birth.
Of course, in order to surrender we must feel safe - but that is whole topic for another time.
Nevertheless, I believe it can completely alter how we see ourselves in the world. Because through the process of yielding to place, we not only recognise nature’s conscious capacity to move us rather than just seeing it as a backdrop, but we also adopt a kind of empathetic ecological ethic by seeing ourselves as one-in-the-same through our movement. That is, we recognise our inherent responsibility to care for it as if caring for ourselves based on felt experiences of interconnection.
And by allowing the land to be the informant of our movement, we release any mentality of anthropocentric hierarchy and shift towards more biocentric behaviour.
Choosing to consciously move in collaboration and harmony, rather than from a place of control or domination.
Thus creating space for an ecstatic dance with the mystery - in orgasm, in birth and in life.