It’s honestly been a pretty rough week. A lot has been happening in my personal life. Most, good! But others send me for an emotional tail spin.
I made a big post about dancing for the mental illness in my family line a week or so ago. As if my Mother heard me, her health and living situation rapidly declined. Please don’t ask about specifics, because you don’t need to know. I share because this is a connecting post for anyone who has watched a parent decline, unsure when their last days might be.
It’s been impacting me in many different ways. It’s challenging for me to be present for my mother when I had such a dysfunctional upbringing. Many times I catch myself either shutting down or getting very emotional whenever I’m around her. These trainings I’m undertaking are so mind blowingly helpful for me to be present as an adult instead of a wounded child.
As I was processing this transition, I openly cried many times during a 5Rhythms dance with Ann Kite. I practiced letting go, and acknowledging the grief that’s in my heart from seeing my mom this way. I danced my broken heartedness as I danced the knowing that I’m not the only person going through this situation. This grief stretched my heart and deepened my capacity for love as I picked up the pieces of myself along the way.
A strange thought occurred to me during the dance. There’s this part in 5Rhythms called “lyrical”. I’ve been trying to feel what lyrical is like in my body and I just didn’t get it. How could one be light and airy but at the same time be grounded? I danced, and breathed, connecting with my feet. And that’s when the image of a dandelion seed came to mind. I danced until I became the dandelion seed, floating through the air on a big puff ball. And I asked the dandelion seed how it was grounded.
It was startling, because I just felt all my attention go to my hips. It took me a while to understand it (mostly because dandelion seeds don’t speak in English), but the seed just felt so confident in itself. It knew who it was. It was a fucking dandelion. And it knew it’s purpose, which was to grow into a dandelion. And in that purpose, it was connected to the web of life.
I was trying to find meaning and purpose in the fluff. Not the seed. The seed is the groundedness even though it’s not touching the ground. The seed knows who it is, and it knows what it came here to do. It’s that simple. How many times have I doubted who I am? How many times have I second guessed myself and have been ungrounded while flying through the air panicking?
This was when I asked what i was made of. What is the true nature of my own seed? As the music transitioned to stillness, I recognized that one of the reasons why I have been so deeply upset by seeing my mother this way, is because deep down I have a fear that I am crazy. That one day I will lose all my bearings on reality and just detach. Part of my grounding in lyrical and stillness was all about viscerally understanding and FEELING in my body that I am not my mother. I am not her mental illness. That even if I was born of her, that doesn’t make me responsible for what she does in life, or even how it might potentially end. I need to focus on being a dandelion, and not worry so much about the dandelion that sprouted the seed. I do what I can for her, and am able to do – but no more guilt trips. No more taking on responsibility that’s not mine. Time to focus on my seed and what I came here to do, not distract myself with the fluff and forget who I am.
Part of the floating in the air while being grounded, is being so connected to my purpose that I trust the winds to bring me wherever I’m needed. That’s the true essence of letting go and surrendering.
A deep gratitude goes out to my dance family, my shamanic family, and my farm family. The talks and the space for ugly crying has been invaluable. And a thank you to you whose reading this. May you have a beautiful week.
Bloom where you are planted.
Photo credit: Martin Konz