I started a new program this weekend and spent three days on Zoom with strangers. On the first morning, we were given journaling prompts to help us set intentions for our year. I had written show up fully. Do not be afraid of being seen.
I’ve been dancing between wanting to be known and wanting to hide for much of the last few years. I crave acknowledgement of loss, of unsureness, of the very human desire to belong. This very longing to be witnessed led me to sign up for the program. Where can I connect with others who care about compassion, empathy and emotion with the same deep seeking within me?
The desire to hide pulls me inwards. The fear of rejection moves me instead toward words and anonymous posts where I don’t have to see other’s reactions to my experience. Interesting, yes, how for almost a year now, I’ve shrunk to a world behind screens.
The universe laughed as the tension imploded and I found this line item on the agenda:
2:00 – 2:15 – Movement and Dance
In an in-person setting, the idea of dancing with strangers for fifteen minutes is squirm-inducing.
In a virtual environment, the pressure is only alleviated slightly.
I logged back on after lunch with a slight groan and told myself, ‘oh, hell, just go for it.’
Adjusting my screen up, I stood and I wiggled and I mimicked the moves of my new colleagues across time and space. Sixty five new colleagues from seventeen countries moved tentatively. Some looked unafraid. Others grabbed children and swayed in the light streaming in from open windows.
I miss people so much. The feeling of warmth as we move together. The nod of a head, or a shake of a hip, or even a knowing eye roll as we lean in uncomfortably.
I have no clue if anyone was watching me. It was just fifteen minutes.
I’m getting to the point where I’m living in the ‘Oh, hell’ space. I’m trying to care less if people fear my grief. I’m practicing the hellos, the here I am’s, and trusting that this story of mine helps others.
In my little box on the internet, my smile grew, and I allowed myself to be seen.
What a beautiful thing.