We have become so distracted with everyday life that we have become unfocused of our own energy. I go through the day making sure I complete a checklist of to-dos and try to juggle a few more things for the week. Energy depletes , and its not about sleep, its the “unrest”. We forget to feed our soul, our spirit and our chakras are screaming out “Look at me! Look at us! Listen!”. The weight and the responsibilities become so heavy.
We live on this beautiful, green island, the sea is all around us. But it all doesn’t matter when we’ve got our chin down, shoulders slouched over and as if stomping up an endless incline. I have been tired lately, and it shows. It was by chance, I went over next door to discuss an event with my neighbour…
Elaine Stewart runs The Space Penang , apart from being my neighbour and one of the main partner at The Hillside Cafe and Bar , she is a wonderful person, a mother of 3 beautiful boys, AND she is also a yoga instructor. She is like sunshine.
Elaine introduced me to to Inner Dance. I thought it was a session of dance and sweating out all your bad energy, a session about physical release. But it wasn’t, it was really the opposite of physical. Its a spiritual healing modality rooted from an ancient Filipino babaylan (shamanic) tradition, which is today called Inner Dance.
“…Inner Dance is the intuitive remembrance of the true self through heightened inner awareness of bodies, minds and emotions as Energy. Coming to the awareness of this energy brings people to a more strengthened, sustainable and harmonious existence with other beings and the planet itself.” www.bahaykalipay.com
It started out with getting comfortable in a dark room, filled with gentle music and light incense. You are told to lay down on a mat, to choose a pillow or bolster to support your neck or to elevate your legs. To just get comfortable.
“…Breathe…Close your eyes…Breathe…”
Elaine and her assistant went around the room, she spoke softly, over the music, guiding us gently in our state of rest. It was easy for a few minutes while finding my comfortable spot, with my eyes shut. Then I felt her lift my arm and place it away from my body, so a part of me was off the “safe zone”, off the yoga mat, leaving me open and vulnerable . It changes things slightly.
“…You are nothing, …You are everything…”
Usually when my eyes are closed, its when I am about to go to sleep, or enjoying a moment, for a fraction of a minute, its tasting, or kissing, eating, or I’ll have my eyes closed when I want to avoid a scary scene at the movies. But to keep them purposely closed for a length of time when your mind is wide awake, is something else!
“…Listen to your heartbeat…”
About 20 minutes into the session, Elaine facilitates your journey deeper into yourself. The music seems to envelope all around, and its just her voice I was grabbing on to, it was the only other human contact I could connect with. The sounds and beat of the music was getting stronger and being physically inactive, I felt my heart pounding in my head.
“…Go, go, go”
Music, if you let it, will help you fly. I was affected by the strong drum beats, you are soaring, you are smiling, and if you really want to, you are laughing in delight. This was my favourite part of the journey, I was dancing in my heart. Aware of all my muscles and each spasm and twitch , my head was giving me all these colourful images of movement. It was an African beat, beautiful pulsating images of raw dance. I wanted so much to be part of that freedom, the feeling of letting go was further encouraged by Elaine’s choice of words. “Go.”
Moving into the next phase, the music changed into something so lonely, naked and pure, instead of strong beats or sounds of rain, it was just a voice singing, maybe it was the angelic echoing haunting sound of the voice that pulled me back in time. You break away from all the things that you think “make” you, your experiences, your education, the way you dress, how much you have in your bank account, what you own, people around you, your insecurities, what you’re good at, your credentials, tedious things that annoy you, it all chips away, who are you without all these? Here I cried, tears just poured out, it was a release, I thought of my late father, his face, and how I missed his presence. You are still chipping away, and to do that I had to go back in time. You are a child…for a moment…then …No, go deeper, go further back, you are energy. YOU ARE ENERGY.
It was draining. The maze was within me, pushing and pulling walls down. The hardest thing is confronting what I was feeling, that the journey of my inner self needed to be looked after. Your chi, your chakra, whatever you want to call it, needs to be looked after. Your inner world is bigger than you think, centre your energy. It takes practice, it takes courage . Looking inwards, is the hardest thing. Getting to know your self and not looking away is the hardest thing. I don’t think I can master it overnight, of course not. “Feeling” is “seeing”. Chipping away at yourself and shedding all the everyday “noise” , takes time. There is no time, yet time is all you have. Own it. Its yours.
We were slowly brought out, with more encouraging guidance from Elaine, the music again transforming and shifting your emotions and images in your head. We began the “wake” gently. It has been more than an hour ago we laid still, with our eyes shut tight, we sat up slowly. We were brought back to the dark studio, to the present, realising again that there are others in the room. Human bodies that journeyed with you, but I had a strong sense of alone-ness. We were encouraged to share, if you wanted to. A lady felt like a bird throughout her journey, 2 college students remarked that it was a different journey the second time around, one confessed she cried. In the beginning, I had to skip my turn of sharing. We went full circle before I could find my voice again. I want to be stronger, I want to be “aware”, the realisation that my “energy” can either work for me or against me in life. It will take time, but time is mine.