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My relational meditation: I find myself increasingly desiring connection and partnership. This can be terrifying, because historically, overwhelming desires can distract and disorient me. It’s easy for me to get into a frenzied state and lose my center, overstimulated by my physical attraction and internal anxieties: how I imagine she’s perceiving me, should I approach her, that feeling like I’m in 4th grade again. This comes up for me in dance more than in any other environment. When I lose my center, in dance or in life, life becomes about impressing this or that person, and making this or that thing happen. It’s a painful state of being, because its substance is lack. When I notice myself losing track of my own experience and slipping away into my perceptions about other peoples’ perceptions, I bring my attention back to my sense of wholeness within myself. This is just like bringing awareness back to the breath in meditation. It’s my relational meditation. I feel desire: I am desired. I want: I am wanted. I feel lack: I am complete and abundant. I draw all of the energies I’ve dispersed outside of myself back in, and my inner smile starts to take over again. I am enjoying myself and taking pleasure in my own experience. I need no external stimulation; I am drawing from the boundless fountain of my own heart, which draws its life from realms of total connection and unbounded wholeness. I often become agitated with myself on days when I find myself living too much in those out-of-myself, needy states. Yet these times are not mere distractions: they are also opportunities. I can use these moments where I feel pulled out of myself to remind myself of who I truly am and what I’m all about. My dance of life is truly my own, and I savor it to the full. Accompanying dancers may come along and savor it with me, but my focus is on finding and riding my flow, seeing where it takes me. My relational meditation keeps me at the center as someone who embraces myself and my own experience, especially when that’s challenging or lonely. My relational meditation feels risky, because it involves the little death of letting go the need to make things happen for a moment. But even if I miss out on a moment’s experience, I will at least and finally have my own. And that is really all there is, which is the magic I have to share.

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