Trauma and the Dance

One little known fact about me, is my passion for dance. I grew up doing what was termed ‘creative dance’. I loved movement, challenging my body, trying to do new things, albeit slightly difficult due to being born with my hips twisted. Dance was something that enabled me to express myself. Watching shows like ‘Solid Gold’ or ‘Ready to Roll’ and seeing the latest dance moves, was a quiet passion of mine. I loved it when Mum and Dad would go and milk the cows, and I would turn up my favourite music loud, and dance my brain out!

Then I met a friend who equally, loved to dance! Ah the magic of sharing that passion with someone!! She was far more flexible than me, but she had a way of both challenging and helping me to bust out, as much as my body would take. We often would dance all around high school, and when there was dances, it was nothing for us to be the high kicking sisters of soul!

But then dancing in general, changed. It was less about moving and expressing yourself, and it became more seductive and sexual. I didn’t like that much. The images I saw on tv were less and less desirable for me to mimic, and yet still….still I wanted to dance. Going to nightclubs was my favourite thing, not for the alcohol – which helped with me shyness – but more for the ability to just lose all sense of control on the dance floor and leave it there.

And then something happened. I’m not entirely sure what, but somewhere along the way, through different things I experienced, and traumas that I had to deal with, the dancing stopped.

Becoming a Christian, then moving back home for a while, was wonderful. I would dance and sing on the lawn, and all through the paddocks, until the sun went down. I was dancing and singing for my King. No one else. I was so alive, so fully present, so complete. But then that too stopped. I got married, and then became a Mum, then full time ministry happened. Dancing stopped, and seemed to be frowned upon back in the early 90s. Along with it of course, all secular music left the building, and I became one of ‘those’ Christians who only listened to Christian music, read Christian books, watched Christian tv and movies – I became very dull indeed.

So much of the passion and fire that lighted my soul, remained simmering away, and occasionally a Christian artist would put out a funky song, so that at least the old hips could swing for a few minutes! But then, it would all be put away again until…..Riverdance!

My God! And I really mean My God! When I saw that show on VIDEO, I thought I was going to combust!! I knew I had Irish heritage; and boy I just couldn’t get enough. My girls were kindergarten and school age, so any moment I could, I would put on that video and dance my brain out again 🙂 But the magic appeared, when the segment of Flamenco Dancing started up, courtesy of Maria Pages, a beautiful Spanish dancer. I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. She twisted, turned, stomped, smiled, looked pained and impassioned, all at the same time – and I had finally seen something that resonated so deep within me, it never left. When I was taken to see the show live, my knees wouldn’t stop shaking. Several of us went to the back of the theatre and busted out!

A number of years later, and more trauma to add to the mix, I found myself wanting to seek out proper Flamenco lessons, here in New Zealand. It was nigh on impossible to find, so I allowed a friend to convince me to join her for Belly Dancing lessons. Turns out I wasn’t so good at rolling that belly, but I sure did try. I so appreciate the form and passion for which they dance, but in the end, it just wasn’t me.

More time passed, and I realised through life and experiences, that I had started to distrust my body. I couldn’t dance, even if I wanted too. I longed to move, I longed to feel that fire, passion, creativity and freedom again, but I just couldn’t express it anymore. I live in suburbia, and I just can’t express myself the way I want or need too. I need open air and space, and that eludes me.

I’ve also come to realise that through different traumas that I have walked through, I have completely lost confidence in my body, and indeed feel like trauma is trapped within me. In my imagination, I am stomping my way through a magic dance routine, but my body just can’t seem to do it right now. I’m not sore or in pain, and age shouldn’t be a factor, but in my mind, I just feel so boxed in and caught in a fishbowl existence, I just can’t seem to conjure anything up regarding movement, now.

Interesting that back in 2019 at the Dead Sea, I was dancing down the hallways, dancing down at the Shabbat celebration, and we even got Neil up dancing away, shaking his hips!

I’m praying that as I identify the traumas and the toll they have taken on me, that Abba Father will allow me to dance before Him again.

But on this side of Heaven 😉

Be Blessed,
Sandi xx

Lockdown

It’s day three of this enforced lockdown, here in Snells Beach, New Zealand. The sun is on full display and it really is a beautiful day, beckoning the mixture of both cool and warm temperatures that are symbolic of Autumn.

What an incredibly strange time we have found ourselves in. Sure, I was warning people to be prepared, and yes I was marvelling at how people were just laughing in my face. But I didn’t expect THIS to happen quite so soon. What is THIS, you may ask? Being told that as a nation, the whole of New Zealand will be in enforced lockdown for four weeks.

My daughters and husband have their certification to prove that they are Essential Services. Much to my dismay, so was Sammy – as a paper deliverer. However, after alot of complaints and much abuse hurled our way, we have just been notified that we are no longer ‘essential’ – thank God for that!

I’m a homebody and I love being here. We are so incredibly fortunate that we have a majestic outlook over Kawau Bay and a big portion of Snells Beach. We have the good fortune (or at least I do as I’m ususally the first one up!) of seeing God paint such wonders and beauty across the sky each morning. But the thought that I can’t drive up and over the one entry/exit point from here, well that is taking a bit to get used too.

We have made the most of Zoom, WhatsApp and Marco Polo apps, and Sammy is doing online learning care of Google Classroom. The school holidays have been bought forward and now he is supposedly on a break; I’m still getting him to do a bit of work each day to catch up though 😉 I don’t usually get into all the techie stuff as that is normally Neil’s department, but I am so grateful that we can stay connected, worldwide.

I have been in touch with dear friends in the States, London and in Australia, and have been trying to maintain contact with family in Wales and well as home. I am particularly grateful for what I call our ‘Skywatch Family’ – friends we made on our last tour of Israel. They have been at the forefront of contact and have been keeping us up to date with the goings on in the America and the UK. I do believe some of them are in total lockdown now, as we are.

I guess there are some really amazing benefits and opportunities for all of this. I am not going to blast our government or lay blame anywhere, I am just going to accept this enforced lockdown as time with my family that is well needed. Time to set aside from all the busyness that crowds in and takes over, and time to reconnect on a more personal level. We’ve gotten the garden sorted, we’ve rearranged our office space and there is a HUGE cupboard that we are sorting through, gradually! The garage has had the car removed and Neil has set up another space in there for his work.

It all sounds ok, but I do wonder about our infrastructure? With so many businesses going online, and so many schools going online, will we be able to manage the overloading? I wonder about our already stretched healthcare system. We already had a problem with people not being seen on time, doctor and nurse shortages, and endless protests by healthcare professionals, looking for more pay. Do we really have what is necessary to weather this new healthcare storm? I don’t think so. But we must remain positive, and turn our worries into silent prayers of supplication to the one who knows it all – the end from the beginning.

So dear friends, whilst I sit here with a Unicorn headband on and laugh at my family wearing large green St Patricks Day hats, I trust that you have a great day and stay at home!