“Play your shadow self,” my movement instructor said. “Are you light or heavy? Direct or indirect? Sustained or Sudden?” She asked.
Laban Movement is one way movement is analyzed on stage. Light and Heavy: Refers to the weight of our steps. Direct or indirect: Refers to if your are focused on one area, or if your attention is on everything. Sustained or Sudden: Refers to if you are moving gracefully or choppy (staccato).
For example, if someone is a boss they may walk with heavy steps, be direct with eye contact or words and move in a sustained (fluid) fashion. Someone with less confidence may walk light, be indirect in focus and have sudden (jittery) movements.
I did not know what to play last time? I have been different ways in different times of my life I thought to myself back then. We played one style at a time, then a combination of three styles at one time, and a trend emerged.
It’s easier to do movement styles in class, that are apart of how I carry myself in life. Styles that I do not identify with in life, are not only foreign to me, but a challenge to do in class.
We are each born into this world with a rainbow of possibility for our personality. How we present ourselves is based on how people have responded to us over the years. If we are praised for being a good student, that becomes part of our identity and how we operate.
If we are scolded for acting a certain way, that can be a part of what we suppress within ourselves. What we suppress within ourself is known the Shadow Self.
While reading, Eastern Body, Western Mind, the author talks about the importance of embracing the duality of yourself. If you do not, what you suppress within yourself, will be reflected back to us from people you encounter.
I attended a conscious dating workshop, where I learned how men and women develop and express their masculinity and femininity. I also learned that the romantic partners we attract tend to encompass the parts of ourselves we suppress.
Our goal in life is not to suppress any part of ourself, but to embrace the parts of ourselves that we have denied to both ourselves and to others. Often times, people feel free, only when they have a partner who loves parts of themselves that they feel are unloveable.
What is often missed is that we are capable of loving “unloveable” parts of ourselves all on our own. In fact, we must love those parts of ourselves to be fully at peace.
When I talked to my mother this weekend, I mentioned three of my habits that I have recently noticed, that are not flattering to me. I didn’t not berate myself, I simply stated them with awareness and love.
Today please consider embracing your yin with your yang, your masculine with your feminine, your light with your darkness, your wholeness with what you feel may be broken. Love it, love all of it.
You are worthy of your love.