Thursday, September 23, 2010

learning the fall tap dance....



The other morning, I joyfully found myself in front of a group of students talking about emotional awareness.  I asked them to write down 5 words to describe how they were feeling right at that moment.  I did the exercise too.  One of the words that I used was "flurried."  I don't know if it is a real word.....more like one of those words that sounds the way it feels.

Flurried.   Kind of a combination of fury, flurry, scurry and hurried.  A bit dizzy too.  Zippy energy, but a wee beyond balanced. 

September feels that way because of all of the activities that re-enter  life's scenes.  Summer has its own meandering pace, with sunlight haziness on fields of wildness casting long shadows on shallow thoughts.  Water sprinklers to cool salt-sticky skin, dramatic thunderstorms to drench out the pall of humidity.  Summer doesn't have a flurried feeling to it.  It's blurried like an impressionist painting.  Whereas September, when the nights are sweater cool, and the daytime skies sharpen like linen blue shirt collars freshly ironed, there is a sense of getting down to business. Realism.

It takes time to relearn the tap dance steps to the routine of September, especially when you've had a summer like mine that was riddled with kapows and kerflooooies.  I never did manage to get the old lenses into full focus. Too many layers of feelings got in the way and needed to be addressed along with a healthy dose of grieving.   Good thing it was summer and everything was supposed to look smeary.  Is that a word?  I like it.............. SMEARY.  

The thing about feeling flurried is that at some point you trip over your clumpy tap shoes because you're trying too hard to keep a pace that just doesn't fit yet and you STOP.  For a breath.  Then, the realization kicks in......... in order to have that sensation shiver through your veins, it means that you're generating more energy.  It may not be firing as efficiently as it could, but that's alright.  Routines take a while to recover, and the best you can do is to relearn while re-jigging and re-jigging until you get to a place where the shoes have been worn in and the steps become more natural again.   

The other thing about feeling flurried...........?  Read as it feels, it is a multi-sensory request to remind oneself that everything gets done eventually.  No rush.  No panic.  Stretch the zip over a longer period of time.   It's all about finding balance once again. 

As I led the class in a short "visit" on emotional awareness, it gave me a chance to stop, look and listen to my own array of inner tickings while helping them peak inward as well.  Whenever you do that, it can conjure up deeper sensations because more often than not a conversation about how you feel begins at exploring the branches of a tree  but very quickly, you dig under the surface to see how broad and deep the feeling is....how far the roots have spread.   

At first, they may seem like a flicker image........ a point and click snapshot, but feelings have roots and reasons to them that take courage and reflection time to peer beyond the snapshot and to find the words and the meaning ............ the reason WHY you feel the way you do.  New similar descriptive words, similar ones pop up from underground that coincide as well as dwell in the same place because they share the same roots.  

The more you look, the more light is shone on awareness.  This can be a frightening exercise because the messages may indicate the need to be honest about the need to make some adjustments or even some out and out changes. But what is a life if it isn't examined?  Its no life at all.  As much as our feelings can be a "wake up" call, they are also the light that leads us to a sacred place of vulnerability when you begin to wonder why you're feeling the way you do.  And it is in that holy space in our souls where growth and enlightenment begin. 

I returned to this class later in the week because I didn't feel a sense of completeness with the lesson.  I found a different class.  They had shifted.  No longer quiet and reserved, they were ready to be engaged in a conversation of sharing stories, expressing their opinions, and analyzing how our thoughts, feelings, physiology and actions are intertwined....... how much they impact one another. 

They are learning to read the signs of who they are and why they feel the way they do.  And the more we talked, the more confident I felt back up in front of a class of students leading.  They were finding their flow.  I was finding mine.   The flurriness disappeared.  A calm sense of empowerment replaced the vulnerability.  My footing is returning.  The zippy energy?  It's being channeled again.  

That focus I've been lacking in for the past 8 months?  It has returned.  Look out! My toes are tapping to the autumn beat. 

3 comments:

Brother David said...

Dana - I am recognising the buzz and September is almost over; what is October going to look like?
Not sure I could manage to Tap though the spirit is willing.
This all sounds like steady progress; we are coming up to another year end with the inevitable meetings and reports, but reviews can be good experience. I like your image of looking to see how far the roots have spread.

awareness said...

David...I would like to see you tap dance like nobody's watching. :) Truth be told, I couldn't tap if my life depended on it.

October? It will have a deeper resonating soul as we move into a place where reflection reveals new meaning. Homefires, hot tea, brisk walks, the aroma baking bread. These are the few simple things that come to mind as we slow the pace (because we can) May we find that place where we are able to close our eyes, bow our heads and seek out the stillness of prayer even for just a short respite.

Our roots spread more every passing year.....

TheMuddledMarketPlace said...

loving autumnal leg wearing!