The Magic of Expression

Before I go any further, I want to express my gratitude to the Sunday Tribe for holding the space for me to slip in, shift and wriggle and find what I’ve been looking for.

Yesterday began the Halloween week of classes. Costumes, make up, flash mobs, props, playlists with a bit more of the unexpected than usual, and an opportunity to be something different.

For as long as I can remember I have loved Halloween. I watched so many scary movies growing up that my parents nic named me “Spooky”! I grew out of the intense, violent/gory scary movies and I haven’t been called “Spooky” in a while, but I never outgrew Halloween.

Every year it’s a week of pretending to move like monsters and other creepy things, loosely choreographed music and larger than life expression. Many of my students have fun with the silliness, whimsey and little bit of darkness that is my Halloween classes.

Until last Halloween my costume and make up was ugly. Vengeful Witch, Zombie, Vampire, Zombie Fairy. Last Halloween as I was beginning to draw my make up to be usually scary I suddenly didn’t want to be ugly anymore. I put away the theatrical blood, the wounds, the hair paint and prickly accessories intended to communicate my internal world.

I expend a fair amount of energy managing myself. Even when I dance. Not nearly as much as I used to, but still more than I’d like. I have battled anger issues, moodiness, depression and even exuberance (not manic happiness). I was too angry, then too excited and happy. (Really? Makes we wonder who’s really got the ‘issues’…) While I still find myself a bit unglued by frustration from time to time, anger is mostly in balance. I will lose my temper from time to time, generally under 2 sets of circumstances – a reason other than the obvious and to see what will happen. Is the latter manipulative? A bit. What’s my point in putting you through this?

Expression!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I put on a costume and make up, create the playlist (which is not all dark or Halloweeny), I get to step into a more open and acceptable space to play with the darkness. Or the light as we are in the song Celebration by the Bushmen of the Kalahari. The lyrics that the band Skillet put to Monster speak to this darkness. (I’ll include them to the end of this post.)

In my Halloween classes, I have the feeling that I can unlock the doors to expressions I normally would restrain. Nothing happens. My face doesn’t shift and have a snout; I don’t growl and snarl or scream and yell or suddenly chew out somebody – or chew on somebody as the case may be. I just feel as though I can be more expressive. More honest. Authentic.

Every I expected, from experience,  that what I would release when I unlocked the doors for that hour would be perceived as ugly; the dark side; my shadow; the monster. I decorated the outside to match the inside. Last year I changed my intention. This year I understand why.

I can be in the presence of my entire self – I can be wholly present – I can bring all of who I am. I let this truth create the class on Sunday. From this choice came pearls, cues from warm, rich places that were fully engaged in the experience. From this place came a sensual exploration grounded in the moment while still wide open to possibility.

I don’t want to be ugly anymore. I never was. I was afraid of not being accepted loved. The truth is that I won’t be loved or accepted more by playing small, dull or agreeable – then I’m accused of being a victim of my past, not strong enough to get out of my own way.

Now I really can let my dark dance merge with the light. That’s what authentic expression is – bringing all of it, whole, alive, shifting, clarifying and blending again into a swelling and resting ocean of emotion and spirit.

Every dance is a story.

It is in this dance, the dance of expression that we can release the pain, the spill-over, the frustration, the out-of-place anger, the uncertainty, the grief and the joy.

Dance is just another word for magic.

Monster

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
‘Cause if I let him out he’ll tear me up, break me down
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It’s hiding in the dark, it’s teeth are razor sharp
There’s no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart
No one can hear me scream, maybe it’s just a dream
Maybe it’s inside of me, stop this monster

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I’ve gotta lose control, he something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

© EMI APRIL MUSIC CANADA LTD; LANDRUM PUBLISHING; NOODLES FOR EVERYONE; PHOTON MUSIC; WARNER-TAMERLANE PUBLISHING CORP;

 From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/skillet-lyrics/monster-lyrics.html

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