I have come to recognize the privilege I carry in consciousness. I particularly enjoy the privilege of embodied consciousness—the somatic experience defined by movement and awareness. I have had the resources, curiosity, and drive to investigate my somatic experience deeply through movement, dance, bodywork, meditation, sexuality, and simple presence. For me these various approaches integrate to the degree that I don’t even differentiate them for myself: Breath is movement. Dance is meditation. My creativity can bring me pleasure when I am simply present in the moment.
Like most people I experience my fair share of pain, anxiety, loneliness, and other discomforts, yet my practice with embodied consciousness in particular gives me the great power and privilege to endure and transmute such states of being over time—I am far from helpless. My discomfort has been both a curse and a privilege, motivating much of my practice. I have been exposed to some rather esoteric and intriguing practices. My gratitude for all of these experiences is immense.
Perhaps great privilege comes with great responsibility—certainly it comes with the potential for sharing. Yet, I cannot give my privilege away. The currency of consciousness requires some level of participation from all involved in its exchange.
For a long time I was ashamed of the embodied consciousness that I could not escape, and that I did not know how to share. I danced mostly in the studio, shut away from other parts of society: The average person does not attend modern dance concerts. I remember going to night clubs in Philadelphia in the early 2000’s trying to navigate my own awkwardness around my unusual movements, my discomfort with sexuality, and if nothing else, my relative sobriety! I rarely met the eyes of others. Over many years I have come to understand that staying present with the creative power of my embodiment while engaging with people is a powerful gift. I look for invitations from others—witnessing me is an extension of their consciousness. Perhaps being witnessed in the pleasure of my embodiment is the most exquisite way I can share my privilege. I prove to people that such experiences are possible; even probable. Embodied consciousness is attainable.
What privileges do you carry—perhaps inescapably? What do you have in abundance? Do you circulate and share your privilege? Do you ever feel ashamed of it?
Societally we are taught to think of money as our prime form of privilege and currency. Financial abundance is surely relevant, yet its meaning diminishes once our basic needs are met. Money in the bank may have potential, but it actuates nothing. Consciousness, love, and creative pleasure cannot be directly bought, sold, or given away—they require a more active form of exchange. They take practice. Investment in practice calls in the privilege of consciousness. To me this is the pleasure of being alive in this body, today. It is never too late to enjoy and trust being ourselves.