I was at a festival, sitting in the front row of a dimly lit tent where two musicians were performing an acoustic set. A small girl walked past me, holding a red balloon, sausage dog. Her parents and grandparents were with her, all of them assembling in the nearby seats, or on the ground in front. The little girl remained standing, caught by the music, dancing with her red balloon, sausage dog.
It was a joy to watch her – the way she was captured, utterly oblivious.
This is the depth of expression many of my clients seek, having forgotten that they too possessed in once, using the beautiful practices of Creative Coaching to remember, once more.
‘Dance like there’s nobody watching,’ is a line from a song that just came to me.
As the girl continued to revel in the moment, I detected a feeling of unease within me. It was a sensation of conflict – both a push and a pull. ‘What’s this?’ I wondered. I then noticed that the little girl’s grandfather was trying to grab hold of her. He caught the edge of her t-shirt and tugged her backwards, towards the seats, but as soon as he let go, she stepped forward and began to dance again. Now, he tried to take hold of her red balloon, sausage dog.
It was interesting because the girl looked lost in her game, and yet at every move she managed to avoid her grandfather’s clutch. She danced with the music with just enough awareness to avoid capture. What this said to me was that she was conscious of this hand, and the implication of being caught in its grasp.
I realised that the feeling of conflict I was experiencing was the sense of freedom – that innocent, entirely expressive energy – and the appearance of boundaries, seeking to contain. At once point, the grandfather got up and pushed the girl right to the edge of the tent into the shadows.
When the writers and artists that I work with talk of fear, or blocks or a lack of confidence, or just ‘something’ they can’t quite clarify, holding them back, this is what they are grappling with: all of the experiences of being pushed into the shadows.
We learn not to dance in front of people, to block their view, talk too loud. Hands reach out to hold us still.
We are too young to understand anything other than a vague ‘law’ of ‘don’t’.
As children, with enough innocence and energy, we can slip free of that ‘clutch’. As adults it becomes harder, unless we begin the necessary work to free our minds from those ‘laws’ that are keeping us from fully expressing ourselves.
This is why I blog every day and release at least two videos a week: to be that beacon that says, ‘burn brighter than a spotlight.’
Book in with me today, if you are ready to come out of the shadows.