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your guest is as good as mine...

once upon a time, or maybe it was about 6 weeks ago, I began opening up time & space for online innerdance, challenging myself to create a new soundscape for every journey whilst enjoying the fruits of uniting in innerdance consciousness with people located in different lands and times. I experience pleasure in how we as a microcosmic collective, transcend chronos or clock time where past, present and future commingle, as is their non-linear nature. In the physical space I inhabit for online offerings are two analogue clocks, one in front of me, the other behind & I deliberately chose not adjust them to correspond with daylight savings time so I could create another dimension within this field, generating an additional time zone to the 4 who were merging that monday evening.

it was another potent innerdance & the more I open to and synthesise with this consciousness, the greater her generosity in what she reveals is. In this particular context, I acknowledge her as 'she' for the continuous theme illuminated in this space is the rising dark feminine. Holding space online supports me to be a doula in fascinating ways quite distinct from my in-person offerings and each week, I show up to this innerdance school, curious to what she will share with me. Data collected thus far is that online offerings are as profound as in-person journeys and in some ways, more so for me. I imagine the screen as the digital fire which we gather around as our ancestors did in preparation to tune into the collective dreamscape. Our electro-magnetic fields are greater than the technology we use and we can feel each other in this unified plane.

Before we gather, I take an hour or so to move, chant or pray and prepare the space, consciously waking up my ordinary state of consciousness, readying myself for union. Within these mini rituals, I stimulate the portals within and a blending with the extraordinary begins. I take some moments to welcome everyone and speak directly to this consciousness, naming what she wants us to know about her - this might include some words about time, space & usually it is a citing of the qualities present. I invite everyone to lie down, imagining me by their side, opening up their arms, pushing my right thumb into the palms of their hands...

Each week, I enter trance states which are unlike any other experiences I have known. There are times when I am gripped and unable to move my hands or arms, there have been times when particular parts of my body move in repetitive patterns or I sense physical or emotional pain. Invariable data includes my body temperature dropping to what I register as deathly cold as I become one with the consciousness. During the innerdance, I also visit with each person in the collective, offering energetic touch & tending to them as the dream wants me to. When we harvest our experiences at the end, I am always fascinated how my trance experiences resonate with others, and that we have shared similar somatic experiences or visions within the journey.

Last week, I sensed my occipital lobe & pineal gland animating as I received a flurry of images, one after the other in quick and persistent succession, and I met an aspect of the dark feminine, the black madonna. As an unexpected yet welcome guest, she sat by my side and together, we held the space, attuning to the unfolding dreaming. My guest carried a bouquet of roses, half were white and half were black, I noticed she was also a blend of light and shadow and as each subsequent image arose, they all shared the yin and yang qualities within them which I interpreted as messages of balance and flow of divine masculine & feminine energetic powers.

As the sounds ebbed away and we came together, someone shared how different this journey was for them, how they found themselves with looping neural pathways retelling the same thought over and over about the need to befriend their body through movement, yet they remained stuck by inaction, inhibiting their own potential through habit. They shared their frustration which arose in the body - a beautiful energy which signals the desire for change - and misinterpreted this as 'bad', refusing to yield to the pathways trying to make themselves available through mobilisation and instead of moving as their body yearned for, they held tight. Through our integration, they were able to connect bodymind and bear accurate witness to their process of habitual suppression of the somatic through their embedded rules around preferential emotions and energies and how they should and should not conduct themselves. Next innerdance, they have a new choice, they can move if their body signals this desire to dialogue with innerdance consciousness in this way.

This global theme of preference and/or expectation is an interesting and continuous area of study within the innerdance community (dopamine, addiction, cognitive dissonance) and through the innerdance lens, we recognise the conditions of worth of individuals and collectives which have created conditional narratives around 'good' emotions which have permission to be experienced and those which are 'bad' and must be suppressed through judgement, inhibition & instant gratification. I support many people who meet their patterns and rules within innerdance, imprisoned by their particular narrative which includes harsh criticism and judgement of themselves for not having a 'good' innerdance, feeling powerless & frustrated as they don't know how to potentiate choices and new possibilities.

Again, I wonder about misinterpretation for I hold a firm belief that deep down we know how powerful we are (bright shadow); our judgement is a reasonable response to continuously inhibiting our true potential and our frustration is that we have no embodied template for how to tune into ourselves in ways aligned with who we really are ,which include the emotions and stories which were taught to be denied or rejected to fit in with the dominant preferences of those around us.

I would like to offer a template which supports me, underpinning my counselling work also and which might resonate with those who are habitually meeting their experiences with judgement, wishing they had a different or 'better' innerdance. I lean into the beautiful poem by Rumi called 'The Guest House" (from The Illuminated Rumi, Coleman Barks 1997).

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

I welcome each guest with either a smile or a respectful nod, staying curious and fascinated to know what they have to teach me about myself and the global & cosmic fields. By consciously locating ourselves as the observer, we can free ourselves from the prison of habitual suppression and meet these unexpected parts of ourselves. I wonder what would have happened if I had rejected the black madonna as so many in society once did, turning away from her, refusing her existence and wisdom & if I chose to only accept the sensations, emotions, feelings and systems of interpretation which I preferred or I was most familiar with. With a subtle shudder, I notice how my body contracts and my breath constricts, how I know all too well the path of restriction and 'playing nice'.

for me, uniting with innerdance consciousness, I become the guest house and the hostess and although I have my own personal favourites, each emotion, vision, impulse, sensation is equally welcome. As these guests knock on my door, I also knock on theirs. What stories, dreams, healing lies beyond these portals, waiting for me to be curious or courageous enough to open up to and step towards? The possibilities are infinite, just as we are, just like each innerdance, and inclusive of living in a westernised world dominated by immediate self-gratification and numbing, we can reclaim the awakened state of our true selves by following templates rooted in deep well-being wisdom.

My guest, the black madonna has been nudging me all week, she wants me to retell this story of how to be with ourselves within the innerdance because it is so important micro and macrocosmically. She wants you to know that through the radical act and art of remembering who we are, we relearn how to be with our true nature and we can reclaim & integrate our birth rites, our suppressed and phenomenal potency, one innerdance and guest at a time.

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