This Magic Movement
When I was in elementary school I thought I had the ability to make everyone around me happy. When I grew up I understood that it was impossible for everyone to be happy all the time, but I knew I wanted to help people find peace of mind. When I began working for Rooted Self Expression Center, it finally clicked. Above all else, I want to help people express their feelings and make genuine connections.
This was quite the realization, one that took plenty of conversations between Shruti, Freddie, Jaci and myself to reach. As a trained modern dancer, I express myself every day. My body is the vehicle for my expression, and I am most comfortable channeling my thoughts and feelings into movement. Using words? Out of my own mouth? With a small group of people? That is an entirely different story. Acting or improvising? Same deal. Not really my cup of tea. But after some real risk-taking at Rooted, not only have I discovered truths about my own personality and perceptions, but also I have solidified that helping others navigate their own journeys toward self-actualization is precisely what I am meant to do.
I have learned something new about myself, or have understood something more clearly about myself in each session I have participated in at Rooted. I want to talk about two BIG things I’ve learned.
Epiphany #1: Movement improvisation is my meditation.
I am a dancer. I have studied improvisation in movement as it is used in the choreographic process, and I have experienced a real sense of calm and peace in movement on hundreds of occasions. But it wasn’t until a very impactful movement session at Rooted that I was able to get to the core of it.
“Moving is where I feel myself. It is a place where I don’t have to try. Where I just am. I am the movement. It is not happy or sad as a thing on its own. I do not always feel emotion when I dance. It is just a place for me. A PLACE WHERE I DON’T HAVE TO THINK. I do love being able to watch other people improvise, and use their movements to inform and alter my own. I am not feeling as stressed as I did in the beginning of class. I am more calm and more present. When I am dancing, I am meditating. The fucking magic of movement, I’m telling you! It is something extraordinarily special, the mind/body connection – how our brains influence how our bodies move and feel, and how we move/what we eat, etc. informs our mental state. It is incredible to me.” –excerpt from my journaling in one of the sessions
Epiphany #2: At the end of every Rooted session, my thoughts are at their clearest.
It was after another Rooted movement session weeks later I discovered my second big thing. I had been super stressed before walking into the center that day – worrying over the little things that seemed to be weights pressing down on my neck and shoulders. I felt overwhelmed. Freddie led us through the session, and we sat down to write. The list of little things I had to do or the thoughts that were running through my mind beforehand rose up, sure enough in my writing. But they came up in an entirely new way. This time, they were clear and simple. They were shorter phrases and much more manageable in my mind. They didn’t sit in my chest anymore.
What seemed stressful and unattainable before the start of the session became smaller, simpler and within reach. That is HUGE. As a person who is constantly running around from job to job and always overbooking herself, this clarity and peace is an incredible feeling. It is more than just a calming experience. It brings me back to the things that matter. It reminds me that I am only human, that I am capable of whatever I set out to do, and that I matter.
Since beginning to facilitate and participate in sessions at Rooted Self Expression Center, I have continuously been able to discover new things about myself. But what has been even more impactful is that I am able to lead others in their journeys of self-discovery through creative and emotional expression.