Dear Dancers of the Dance,
What would the world be like if the feminine were honored? And what if the feminine being honored in this blog post meant using the forgotten power that lives within us to co-create our reality with great spirit by trusting the feeling of truth in our bodies? To use this power, many traditions explain how the feminine force requires us to know our wholeness. Beyond the perception of polarity, we are invited to grow into feeling more peace with paradox. One example of this is realizing the conversation about the masculine vs. the feminine isn't one dimensional. We were born into a masculine dominant society, so we put our attention on elevating the feminine to bring a sense of partnership between these forces within ourselves and within the world. The goal is always an outcome that honors the interconnection that lives between all of us and all things in all dimensions.
Beyond the masculine and feminine, a long list of forces are looking for bridge builders, such as the bridge between light and dark. Since many of us reading this identify as lightworkers, it can be hard to revere the darker times in our lives. For most of us, they are the times of greatest transformation, but not without real risk. Not everyone makes it through challenges with ease and triumphant celebration. At the same time, if we think about ourselves and those we love, the most common way people gather the courage they need to bring their light to the world and rebirth their own consciousness is through the dark night of the soul.
However, is it really a dark night of the soul? Or is it more a dark night of the ego? When the ego reaches its pain point, it can either:
1) recommit to its preservation through isolation, entitled frustration, and negative pleasure that feeds its painful perception of reality
2) shed a layer
Like a caterpillar into a cocoon or a snake that goes blind as it sheds its skin, the ego can surrender to a force greater than itself, the great mystery. When most tempted to close down, you can still choose to open up. Through the trust in life's animating force to guide this next part of the journey (rather than your limited perspective as an individual), a feeling of resonance in your bones guides your next steps. You offer your pain back to the earth for her to alchemize as she wishes, and offerings are made with gratitude for what you have. Even grief becomes a form of gratitude, and your perception of life remains sourced from the interconnected web of love.
Qoya honors the feminine and embraces wholeness in the movement classes and videos where we gather. We begin with an invocation for all parts of ourselves: mind, body, spirit, and soul. We honor the power of breath to carry our intention as the foundation to co-create our experience. We begin gently, moving in a circular motions to invite the body to open. We open up to feel the physical sensation of an open heart and open hips. We offer our movement as prayer for ourselves and others. We dance with shadow and contrast. We harvest the wisdom from the exploration of our more habitually hidden parts of our selves, and then we shake ourselves free to choose love again. We celebrate that we have this choice, and we dance as a group to remember our essence as wise, wild and free. We share our experience with a partner, vocalizing our truth. We thank our bodies for the blessings they gives us with stretching, and then...we rest.
How does this work in the outside in the world? See some suggestions from seeds that are planted in each part of class so they can be watered and grow outside of a class.
Set Sacred Space: Invoke the energies of clearing, protection, and blessings.
Creating a Theme for a Qoya Class: Choose to focus on what is most important to you.
Breathing and Intention Setting: Center yourself with your breath. Reclaim your ability to co-create your reality with your focus.
Circling: Listen for the truth more. Release force and effort, and slow down.
Heart Opening: Whatever you are doing right now, can you do it with an open heart?
Hip Opening: When your sensuality is considered sacred, your life force increases.
Movement as Prayer: Pray in a way that resonates in your heart. Keep the conversation between you and the Sacred alive.
Shadow Contrast Dance: ____________________________________________
Shaking: It takes courage to experience the challenging parts of life. It's wise to know the ways out, as well as the ways in. What are your ways out?
Choreographed Dance: Know you are not alone. Wake up to the community of those who are truly right there with you.
Free Dance: Trust your intuition to guide you. Trust the deeper inner knowing you carry. Trust the power of your authentic expression.
Sharing with a Partner: Have an honest conversation with someone you care about who cares about you.
Stretch: Stretch your body. Stretch your mind. Stretch your heart. If you do daily stretching practice, you're more likely to be ready for the times life stretches you.
Rest: Resting is not optional. Have you ever been a little under the weather and someone said to you, "Oh, you should mentally, physically, and spiritually exhaust yourself!" No! Rest doesn't mean vacations. Rest is the daily practice of resetting your nervous system to a place of presence.
Did you notice the place I left blank after the shadow contrast dance? I did that on purpose with the intention for you to contemplate, ask, and answer for yourself: in your daily life, how do you honor the uncomfortable, challenging reality of facing the opposite of your intention and what you yearn for?
Individually and collectively as a society, we are being invited/forced to look at the uncomfortable, challenging reality of facing the opposite of our intentions and what we yearn for. This Full Moon after Halloween, after All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and the Day of the Dead leads us into the cauldron of opportunity to see the role of darkness's mystery as it unfolds our understanding of ourselves and our lives.
One of my favorite things about Qoya is that it is creates a structure with enough stability that you can courageously explore the deepest truths of your inner world. So does the energy of this full moon.
Virginia Rosenberg, our Qoya resident astrologer, shares:
The Full Moon in Taurus on November 4th (1:23am EST) glows in the dark. Embers smolder on the ground after a prayer fire. What is darkness? Is it the absence of light? The inability to see? A blanketing cocoon of mysteries and deprived senses? Or is it an invitation into our extra-sensory perceptions? Darkness has been subjugated. It has been repressed and made scary in order to support dominant cultural narratives that uplift the light. In the dark, we encounter fears and debilitations. We also meet Power in raw form and embrace a certain closeness with experience that isn't accessible in the light. Darkness delivers us to the deeper interior. It is a direct portal to intuition. It is thick with imagination. It is an encounter with the portions of our being that never forget. It is a gate into the wild, where primal instinct and supernatural gifts are potions bubbling in an alchemical cauldron. It is the hidden magic of the womb and the tomb. The caves and recesses of being that we traverse to commune with galactic source. This moon invites you into holy endarkenment. Enlightenment is only half the story. Old roots are crumbling. Allow the collapse. When we encounter the death of what can no longer be, we prepare the world to receive that which is reborn. Set your sights on the version of self that is becoming: be the answer to our ancestors prayers.
To expand your capacity to embody this energy, I invite you to dance with literal darkness. Clear the space around you so that can be safe to move, and with your eyes closed or with a blindfold, explore your relationship and understanding of the darkness by dancing with it as a dance partner.
To encourage this, I will only offer audio here for some guidance while you dance with the darkness. However, you can easily do this without any guidance and simply make a playlist for as long as you would like to move with. Click here for a playlist with some songs we use in Qoya for the shadow contrast dance. You can also practice your ability to stay centered by simply walking in the darkness of your own home or outside.
Click here for the guided audio movement ritual.
After you've done some movement with the audio or on your own, linger in the shadow of your own light for a moment or two. When it organically evolves and shifts, let it. If you need some help shifting, remember there is always shaking.
Now, from an embodied place of embracing your wholeness, I ask again: what would the world be like for you if it honored the feminine?
What would my world be like if it honored the feminine?
I would take a stronger stand for my deepest truths and values to honor, protect, and show appreciation for Mother Earth and all of her creations.
I would softly let go of the programmed preferences of society that always want more and better, and instead, answer the call to serve to something greater than myself.
I would name what excites me and delights me the most. I would explore what I'm best at and where I can make the largest impact and put my attention there.
I would say thank you to the martyrs before me whose sacrifices allow me to offer myself to the experiment of this time: "Can I make a larger impact giving from my energetic overflow than my exhaustion?"
I would take more naps and work smarter vs. harder.
I would fuel my commitment with choosing grace vs. resentment.
I would allow the emotional authenticity of life to penetrate me to my core while remaining an observer of awareness perceiving awareness.
I would dance ALL THE TIME.
I wouldn't feel alone.
I would feel that we are all one.
And you? How would it be for you if the world honored the feminine? I'd love to know. Please hit reply, post on social media, or whisper it from your heart to the mountains, and let's see if we can hear each other's answers as they are carried on the wind.
I offer Qoya with a prayer that it supports and encourages the call within each heart to participate in these turning of the ages in ways that resonate: mind, body, spirit and soul. Everything.
With my whole heart,
Qoya was recently featured on SheKnows. Enjoy this interview with our beloved Qoya teacher Revanna Powell on what a Qoya class is like.
Love this blog?
Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.
RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE
INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS
INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS