In Alchemystic YogaDance, we focus on how to effectively BE with our “stuff”. A crucial step on the conscious path is to become aware of our personality-selves; our feelings, our thoughts, core beliefs, patterns & behaviours. And once our self-awareness begins to evolve & grow, what do we do with this information? Unconsciously, we either indulge & identify with our "stuff" or we suppress it & avoid it. Consciously, we can choose to fully feel & learn from our emotional experiences, as well as connecting with & knowing ourselves as vast infinite beings, far beyond the limited beliefs of our minds. Both pathways are essential for experiencing ourselves as balanced & integrated beings of Spirit in both unmanifest & manifest form.

The human journey requires us to continuously experience various levels of ourselves, as both who we are, & who we are not, in order to know, experience & make manifest in physical form, who we truly are in our essence. We need one in order to recognize & experience the other. We can not know light without dark, joy without sadness, beauty without ugliness, acceptance without rejection etc. This is the intrinsic dualistic nature of the Tao.

 When we experience aspects of our personality-selves that are in alignment with our true nature, we feel a sense of expansion, a falling together, an opening up. We experience a sense of wholeness, of completion, of knowing & of peace. And the other innate aspects of our Higher-self open up congruently; joy, love, compassion, wisdom & knowing. Alternatively when we align with who we are not, we experience contraction, shutting down, unrest & a disturbed mind. We feel emotional & physical discomfort & even pain, that if  continuously enacted upon or suppressed long enough, can eventually manifest in form as dis-ease. The function of dis-ease & indeed all communication from the body/mind is for us to FEEL our way to who we really are. It is information.

 Invariably though, the tendency is for us to identify with whatever aspect of self/mind is presenting itself at the time, as "I". We identify as it, attach to it, become it ,& judge ourselves as “good” or “bad” for feeling it. Instead of perceiving “bad” aspects of self that appear, simply as reference points to learn from, we identify with them, in that  We think that our thoughts are who we are!  Then we  judge ourselves for “being” them. And often we attach to them further by masking & suppressing them, hiding these aspects of ourselves from the world, in fear of them being equally judged by others. In turn we then also project our judgment of these aspects of self that inevitably arise in others onto those around us. And the layers of non self build & multiply as an illusory experience of "I".

Often we judge others in an attempt to separate ourselves from this behaviour. Whereas in fact collective mind is one & Spirit essence is one. There is no separation. We are all the same. We are all appropriately experiencing contrast in exactly the way we need to, to make conscious choices for our own personal evolution & the evolution of the whole.

Eventually we may try to fix or change them in ourselves & others, convinced that they are who we are & that therefore there is something “wrong” with us that needs to be improved. Where attention goes, energy goes & it is our focus on these aspects of not-self, that in fact often further builds the illusion that they are real & only serves to cement them further into place. The difficulty arises when we identify with the illusion & believe that it is who we are. And that therefore there is a problem to be solved or fixed.

Our highest choice is to see beyond the inevitable experiencing of contrast , to the Spirit essence of ourselves & of others. Certainly to bring awareness to the mis-alignments from essence. But with full acceptance of their necessity in the experience of ourselves in duality. Without judgement or identification, & with compassion, acceptance & presence. Even gratitude!

The key is in realizing we are not our thoughts. And in understanding that in fact , beyond mind we are far more than we can ever imagine. The gift of the tool of the conscious mind, is that we have the power to consciously choose who we are. On the level of mind, we are indeed the creators of ourselves & we are able to choose who we want to be, only as a result of living these dualistic experiences of "self"! This is the process of conscious personal evolution & Higher-self realization. We learn to both connect to our vastness beyond our minds limited perception of who we are. And to consciously choose who we manifest as in form. By experiencing our thoughts & emotions consciously & choosing to animate that which expands & aligns us with our true nature.

In the game of identification with thought, Once we reach the stage of  no longer being able to live with this discomfort,  then often our approach is to attempt to heal the misaligned aspects of our being by analyzing them, talking about them & “fixing” them via a myriad of forms of therapy, inside of a framework where the “shadow” self is still seen as “bad” or “wrong” & is a problem to be solved & changed .

The Alchemystic approach is to recognize there is nothing wrong, there is nothing to be changed. There is only a dual experience of self, existing to define one another. The subtle shift is to see the shadow self as an illuminator of its opposite. We therefore let go of the idea of fixing or doing, & instead bring presence & focus on that which expands us, serves us, & therefore aligns us with Spirit. The shift is subtle in that it is not a turning away, but a turning toward. A dis-identification. A choice. A recognition with gratitude of the experiences of all aspects of being .

This shift occurs when we are able to experience that we are not our thoughts. Indeed thoughts, opinions, viewpoints, reactions, all will continuously arise & fall in the mind by its very nature. There is no shame in that. We all experience the collective mind moving through all of us, all the time. We are not this mind. We are not our learned behaviours, or our patterns. We are in fact whatever we choose to align ourselves with, whatever feels expanding & true to us, we are who ever we choose to be in this moment.

This knowing comes as a result of a dis-identification with our mind. We experience the nature of our natural innate selves in moments of mindless-ness, whether it be in deep states of meditation, ecstatic dance, connection with nature, sacred love-making , psycho-active medicines, experiencing beauty or expanding in love. We momentarily have the experience of our true selves outside of our personality selves. In these moments we experience ourselves beyond thought, as who we really are. 

 It comes down to a matter of attention . Where we choose to focus our awareness & thus shape our experiences of who we are being & what we are perceiving. Are we experiencing a higher Self-awareness or a Higher-self awareness? Again the difference is subtle & yet monumental. When we understand that our emotions are tools, designed for their use in this creation process, then we are no longer slaves to our emotional responses. Instead we are able to utilize them to create our personality selves in alignment with the truth of who we are in our essence. To manifest our Spirit essence into form. To do this we need to become aware of those thoughts & patterns within us that stem from mis-aligned belief systems, by paying attention to our FEELINGS. We become aware that our thoughts are misaligned from the truth of who we are, by FEELING varying experiences of contraction in the body/mind. We can release this trapped energy & emotion that is lodged in our bodymind , via yoga, dance, movement, voice, sound, crying , laughing, screaming, many forms of conscious emotive expression & release. And then we are free to employ the power of our conscious choice, to dis- identify from these thoughts & feelings. In the space we have now  freed up in the bodymind, arises our true nature. Which indeed has been there all along, underneath the surface , covered over by our illusory identity of 'self".

 When we are immersed in the experience of extreme emotional turbulence, it is not a situation we can THINK our way out of. And we realize that the space that shifts us most directly from one state to another in these situations, is PRESENCE. 

In our stillness is where all knowing exists, where we are already in our essence & where we effortlessly know & experience ourselves as who we are. We need only to create the space for stillness to arise. To distance ourselves from our pattern & our mind for long enough to experience a new perspective, a new way of being. To experience the truth of who we are, we need only to move out of our stuff & into the witness, into the moment, into the power of now.

An effective way to do this in these moments, is to experience the emotion that we are feeling in response to our thoughts, IN OUR BODIES. Drop the focus on the thought & move into the FEELING. Where is the sensation of the feeling in our body? What does the energy feel like? Is it hot or cold, how large is it? What is the intensity of the pulsation rate? Where is it moving? Is it pulsating right to left? Front to back? Up or down? Stay in your witness self, be curious. Feel as many different characteristics of the feelings & sensations in the body as you can. And then allow yourself to immerse with the sensation of the energy itself. When we dissolve into & as the energy of sensation, we realise it has no boundaries. When we can begin to open AS the sensation & not separate from or suppress it, it begins to dissolve into the space around itself. We experience ourselves as pure energy, contracting & expanding in response to thought. And as we relax into the opening of experiencing ourselves as energy, we merge into an enormous vast space where everything can be released & great transformation takes place. The contraction of 'I' begins to dissolve, & what is left is our innate essential being, in all its clarity, wisdom & deep peace.

In Alchemystic YogaDance, we practice yoga to get into our bodies, to stimulate certain energy lines & parts of the body & explore the sensations that arise, the feelings that are there, in our bodies. And then we use the powerful transformative experience of dance to feel deeper into the patterns lodged in our bodymind. Then we begin to release this stuck energy & create space to experience who we really are, underneath the layers of our mind. In sacred dance meditation we are able to bring presence to both aspects of our being. It is an experience of balance. We create space to freely dance our emotional self, responding to the feelings in our body & expressing & releasing them in movement. Exploring, feeling & releasing the layers, bringing us to the core of the beliefs held in the personality-self. And then we move into the spaciousness that is created from surrendering our minds in transcendental dance. We connect with our Spirit essence, in the timeless space of pure immersion into presence. It is from here that we have the opportunity to align with the reconnection, the insight , the expansion & the clarity that comes from connecting with our true selves & aligning directly with Spirit. In this way we are neither avoiding our emotions or attaching to them. It is a matter of balance. Of Yin & Yang. Of Masculine & Feminine. Of awareness of Not-self & alignment with Higher-self. 

When we bring ultimate presence to pain, it dissipates. Because the pain exists in the past & not in the truth of the Now. All illness is a past misalignment with the essence of Spirit. In the now, exists perfect health. This is the fundamental principle of Christ consciousness. Jesus was said to be an enlightened being who manifested extraordinary physical healing by seeing only the true essence of the ill, beyond their disease, as they truly exist in the now.

Dance can be a direct & effortless connector to the Now. It is so powerful in its dynamic ability to shift the density of past that has accumulated as matter in our cells. All we essentially need to do, is to learn to let go.

This is the work of Alchemystic YogaDance. Empowering us by bringing awareness to the misalignments in the body. Recognizing their role as the polarity that serves to show us our true selves. Releasing their energetic hold in our beings through movement. And recreating ourselves, by surrendering ourselves completely to the infinite healing potential of presence in sacred dance.

Often when we set an intention of manifestation, all obstacles to its fruition arise from within our beings. Therefore it is an ongoing and evolving process of applying these principles to continually being with our “stuff” on a day to day basis. And our ability to be with the “stuff” of others. We practice bringing acceptance & presence instead of judgement. To in turn realign & transform, instead of criticizing & deeming behaviours as wrong & attempting to fix them. This requires a state of refined, sharp, self-awareness throughout our daily lives. This is not a passive act of acceptance. Indeed it is a unification of both yin & yang. Combining the acceptance & compassion of yin, with the assertive realigning action of yang, that has its foundation in love’s yin wisdom. It is a fine art & a result of consistent & disciplined application & practice. And in the softness of its being, has the strength to move mountains.

“When he is born, man is soft & weak
In death, he becomes stiff & hard
The ten thousand creatures & all plants & trees
Are supple & soft in life
But brittle & dry in death
Truly, to be stiff & hard is the way of death
To be soft & supple is the way of life
Therefore the weapon that is too hard will be broken
And the tree with the hardest wood will be cut down first
Truly the hard & strong are cast down
While the soft & supple rise to the top.”                                        

Lao Tze, Tao Te Ching.


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