As I stand in a deep lunge, I breathe in, turn my palm to face the sun, reach slightly further and let go. I release the breath, bend back and touch the heavens with my out stretched finger tips. Suddenly I realize I am seen. As I dance in this space under the canopy of trees every cell in my body is stretched out bold and free. I am seen by my creator, soothed by his true love, and I feel the heart beat of this earth.
I feel a slight pull to hide, but loves kiss is so sweet, so I embrace the truth and let myself be in that moment. I am standing alone on my mat, alone on this blanket of woven colors dancing with love feeling more alive than I have in my thirty-four years thus far.
I breathe in and out. I let love in, and I let love out because being seen means I am alive. Being seen sets a fire in my soul that warms me in a way that will bring me back to this space of meditation again and again.
Sadly, in this life, I have felt my presence isn’t necessary for most. Friends could take me or leave me, and that was that. Invisible was the dress I wore to most parties. Attending a gathering meant one more reminder that no one knows me and too much surface level conversation made my heart ache.
Today, however, I participated in a backyard yoga practice, and I found myself seen. When I walked in through the iron gate opened wide for all who braved the early morning heat to breathe together and bare our souls I scanned the woven blankets spread out for us to put our mats on. I chose a spot off to the side and out of most everyone’s view. I got a new tattoo a week ago on my foot, and it has made my poor foot just a bit angry in this 100* heat. With ice packs in hand and a plan to lay on my back if need be, I tried to get out of view, so if I needed just to lie down, I wouldn’t be a distraction to the other 20 plus women. As more and more women showed up, they claimed their spots. I sat there just resting in the joy that my foot wasn’t over heated or in any pain. As the music played and our teacher took her place, I realized I was alone on this big blanket.
In my, at home yoga practice I am most often completely alone in my back yard lifting my hands up in serenader. It is often too early for my dogs even to want to be awake. When I step onto my mat, I feel like I am dancing with wisdom and being wooed by the Spirit of Truth.
This morning was no different, only it was. I felt like I could stretch out and be alone in this crowd with confidence. I wasn’t here to dance with anyone besides the summer breeze anyway, right?
Then came the moment when I felt the gaze of everything holy flood through me and bind me to the women around me. I was deep in a yoga flow, and my breathing synced with every soul under the canopy of trees.
Being seen is seeing for the first time. Knowing that my dance is not hidden, my journey is not invisible brought me to my knees. I was not alone off to the side or out of the way. I was right where the Divine wanted to dance with me.
So many of my moments have been hidden away because I was too scared to let people see me. Tucking myself away comes naturally, for this introverted heart seeks solos in my time alone. However, I don’t often want to see myself because I have dressed in designer negativity and handcrafted self-destruction. I didn’t know this morning when I dragged my tired body and aching foot out of bed that I would take these garments off and dance with these women.
Just after our yoga practice ended a warrior of a soul came over and sat next to me and began to tell me how she could see me. She saw me dancing with my creator and that this place will lead me deeper into my creative journey. Her words lit up my darkest most wounded places. Here I am, standing in some of the most complicated unravellings I have ever experienced and she sees all of it. She painted a picture of me twirling, my long red hair floating around me and the arms of God wrapped leading me through this dance. “In this place, he will give you rest,” she said. “Love will lead you deeper into your creativity and words will come back to you.”
I sat there speechless. The words, “Thank you” didn’t feel like they could offer up enough gratitude for her willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit, walk across the yard and tell me what she saw. A jumble of words came out of my mouth, and my heart overflowed with light.
Just because a wrecking ball has swung in and broken my heart, doesn’t mean I can’t find joy in the mess. Just because I dressed in chains and pains for years doesn’t mean I can’t begin to let them go and be free. Just because my normal has consistently been to hide in the negative corner with darkness doesn’t mean I can’t turn on the light.
So tomorrow I will return to my mat. I will be alone in my backyard, but I will dance and be seen.
I hope you dance…
Grace & Peace