Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Exactly six years ago from this month, I was attending a 10-day S factor immersion class to reconnect with my feminine body. Right before it was my turn to dance, I received devastating news about my company to which I had devoted 16 years of my life to serve children with disabilities. On that day, I got a glimpse of the power of a loving sisterhood:
My name was called. In my 7 inches, thigh-high black boots, I walked to the center of the room, knelt down, extended my arms into a child’s pose and exhaled.
The ceiling light was dim. A couple of corner lamps cast a warm, reddish hue in the dance studio.
My song started to play but I couldn’t move. I felt the cold surface of the shiny wood pressing up against my bare arms which were radiating heat. Earlier that morning, I had been filled with crisp, bubbling joy all the way up to my cheeks from dancing with my sisters in class. But at that moment, I felt as if there was a black hole at the center of my belly sucking me down into the core of the planet. The gravity pulled me down so firmly, no matter what I tried, none of my muscles fired.
A big dark disc above my head was pressing down through my body and flushing all of the joy down into the ground. I had no more left in my body. My shoulders were drooping. Tears were forming a puddle on my lap. I felt the room had disappeared. There was only me, a lonely little soul on the floor, in her black vinyl leather boots and sparkly midnight sequin dress. I grabbed the top of my head, buried my face in the long blackness of hair and started to sob. I was in a dark void and was sinking to the bottomless pit in pieces.
I felt the gentle fingertips of my teacher in the delicate space between my shoulder blades. Her fingers were cool to the touch, but I could feel the warmth of her heart as she whispered to me, “It's okay if you don't want to dance.”
“What the fuck are you talking about! As if quitting is an option!” I didn’t respond but screamed inside.
I braced my hands on my thighs as inch by inch, I rolled my spine up. I dug down in my heels and felt the burning of muscles in my thighs and the return of strength to my body. My song ended at the exact time when I finally stood tall with my head held high. It felt like a journey of a thousand years. It took every ounce of me to just stand up.
Through the tears, I opened my eyes to see all 19 of my classmates, forming a half-moon shape, protecting me as I sat and wept and held space for me. Their eyes were full of love and compassion and I felt my body soften and become grounded. Through the warm light, I felt the sacred support of a sisterhood. That was the very first time I ever cried outside my bedroom in America, in the 22 years I had been here, exactly half of my life.
I thank Divine for placing me in the loving arms of my sisters during those traumatic 10 days when my world was shattering at a speed that I couldn’t comprehend. They showed me the power of sisterhood and inspired me to create the same for other women. It was this sisterhood that held me and loved me and helped me to rebuild a life that is even more grand and beautiful. It is through this sisterhood, that I have gained enough courage to write this blog every week.
Thank you, my sisters. I love you.