What is it about me and birds?
One weekend, not so long ago, I did a transformational dance workshop.
I may have mentioned it, it was called SheDance and the creation of two of my beautiful and magical friends.
I was compelled to go, even though I suspected it would be confronting. I was compelled to go even though logistically it was hard. I was compelled to go even though a thousand excuses kept coming up and I kept wanting to hold onto them and make them real and not go. Compulsion is a funny thing for me. It requires me to trust my intuition and inner knowing. And my intuition and inner knowing is NEVER wrong. Ever.
But still. I didn’t entirely want to go. I knew I’d be (momentarily) uncomfortable. And even though I constantly make my clients (momentarily) uncomfortable, it’s not that I love it. Momentarily discomfort is uncomfortable to everyone. Even me. But I know everything I want is on the other side. And it always is.
It was an incredible weekend. So beautiful. I cannot explain it in a way that would do it justice, but if you’ve seen it and feel compelled, look it up. It’s worth every cent and every minute and every momentary discomfort for the alignment I felt at the end. Centred in the middle of my being.
I channelled a lot of birds during the movement exercises over the weekend.
I have always wanted to be a choreographer, although how I imagine the moves in my head are not the same moves I can do in real life (a real dancer probably could do the ones I see in my head, but being a choreographer is probably not one of the things I have time for this lifetime). Except to choreograph bird movements. During the weekend we danced archetypes, and every time a difference bird came to me – a phoenix, a swan, a flamingo – and there was always a move to go with it (one time I might do this as a video blog and demo the moves. But only if you ask nicely!)
And so, I wanted to tell the swan story.
Deep in the dance somewhere – eyes closed, arms outstretched I got a message. She (inner being I guess) said, “You’ve always been a swan darling, that beautiful mix of awkward and grace…”
I saw a swan, graceful on top, with those funny little legs swimming hard below. Hardly making a ripple, but plenty of movement. Wrapping her children up in her wings. Awkward to begin with, then slowly growing into her beauty. I didn’t even realise I didn’t think I was beautiful, until she reminded me. I was always so tall. And skinny. And hiding. Or trying to hide. Even though I was tall and leggy and blonde and probably pretty cute for the 90s.
I was always going to write this story. In case you (me) need to take some time to connect with the truth of you. Confronting or not. Because the more time you spend getting in alignment with the truth of you, the easier it is to be yourself. And being yourself becomes the easiest thing of all. And life arranges itself around this ease.
Of course, I got busy. I told the story a couple of times, laughed and moved around awkwardly flapping my arms or standing on one leg (the flamingo!!). Once you’re open though, you’ll get the message again. A gentle reminder. And just like that the swan appeared again when I was working with a client in a group of women. She saw herself moving through her house like a swan, and nothing (that she didn’t want) could touch her, but she wrapped up her man and her children in the grace of that bird.
The swan is the symbol of inner grace, balance and commitment. Funny that.
On the river on our farm we have black swans. Beautiful but fiercely protective of their young. Soft but strong. A symbol of my childhood, etched with the sound of wind in the casuarinas and the smell of salty mud.
Have you danced today my love?
Have you opened your wings and felt their power?
Have you moved with grace and shone your beauty to the world?
Did you sing? Did you write? Did you hold space? Did you love them in the way that’s easy?
Did you be you, however she is? Awkward and graceful. Soft but strong.