I met Drea Marz in Austin a couple weeks ago. For those who don't know her, you can say she's an interesting, deeply felt, slightly eccentric human being. I instantly connected with her energy. I did a Values Dissect with her over Chai Tea and she spoke about the importance of embodiment, expression, surrender, connection, and love as integral guiding and anchoring values in her life.
The next day, Drea taught me this humbling practice called witnessing, known as authentic movement. She's discovered in this genuine practice of embodiment that the human emotion lasts maybe 30 seconds, maybe less. It's your choice to do whatever with it. It's your choice to either surrender to it and allow it space to flow or to let it take control over you.
We set the container at 5 minutes. For 5 minutes, my only objective was to witness her. Her only job was just to be. In that time span, I saw and felt extremes, polarities, subtleties and sunk into the wide scope of the human experience and marveled over the capacity to express so vulnerably. I also saw a lot of me.
When it was my turn to be witnessed, I surrendered completely and my body made contact with everything around me- the floor, the wall, the chair, the table. My mind let go and I found my body able to express pain, fear and resistance and everything I had suppressed for a long time. I found humility and perseverance and the struggle between "I can do this" and "No I can't." It was revealing, relieving, and I wish I could recreate it again- but I can't, because I'm different now (ha).
At the end, we connected over the experience. And it was nice to be present with all those layers removed. There was nowhere to hide at that point. I saw her. She saw me. We're in the same vibrational frequency at this point.
What I've learned from this experience is the beauty of being fully expressive human beings and ways to connect in powerful and intimate ways. We all have different capacities for holding space for each other. It's only a matter of YOU being comfortable with embodying who you are, as you are, in the moment. If you could be that, awesome. If you could be witnessed being that, even better. And I believe all of this ties back to love, surrender, and connection.
We decided to do a phone interview to re-discuss these 5 values. Because conversation is connection and personally I needed more time to process. It's my mission to share amazing people who walk this world with amazing things to share and to spread along the way. Thank you for listening.
Below are some of my favorite quotes with Drea Marz, Mover, Feeler, Shaker, Poet, Contact Improv Dancer over EMBODY, EXPRESSION, SURRENDER, CONNECTION, LOVE. There's also the phone recording below for you people who don't read.
Nov 30, 2016 @ Over the phone
“And really what that means to me is feeling connected, to my physical body and where I’m at mentally. Being able to have thoughts that have them just as they are. Not attaching too much meaning to them, as well as being connected to my emotions. What am I feeling? And then feeling a connection to the world around me. So having all of the debris that keeps me separate dissolves. And that I’m able to have Right Response or just being able to respond with a conscious choice in every moment"
“A lot of it for me is breaking down cultural or societal expectations of what I’m supposed to be like, look like, act like and taking that back to what feels right. And so the practices that I do are stuff like singing, playing music, meditating, dancing, contact improve, authentic movement, witnessing, OMing, biking, sex, all of these things. Anything that I am expressing who I am at any given moment and then I get to see who I am at any given moment.”
“Where you are essentially putting your attention on a single point of connection and surrendering to that which is created. So it’s this constant process which for me is becoming aware of when and where I am contracting or holding on, or having some sort of expectation or attachment, and noticing that and letting go, and coming back to the point of contact.
And you can really do that with anything.
You can do that with your breath. I have that in my morning meditation. In the course of 40-45 minutes I have a million thoughts that come, and having compassion or value neutrality around it as well. “Oh, I’m thinking about that” and letting that go."
"So it’s basically a choice to come back. And there’s oftentimes where I don’t choose to come back. And then I go and spin, and it’s whatever, it’s fine. It doesn’t mean that I’m less of a human being. It just means that I want to indulge in thinking about this fantasy and that’s fine. But I think a lot of it has to deal with approval and compassion for where I’m at. And that’s actually taken awhile to get to a point where I can just be like “oh, okay. This is happening”
"When I feel connected to myself, I can just feel where I’m at. And it’s like I’m connecting to a human being, which is myself. So I can feel my heart, my body, I can feel where I’m at. And from that place, I can feel other people."
"I am always curious about what is going on inside of other people’s worlds. If I get to get inside another human being’s world, then my world gets bigger. And that is a gift to me. Because then I get to experience the world through another person’s eyes. And that’s just beautiful. People are fucking awesome. We’re here to learn from each other and I think we’re here to continue to expand perspective on what is real and true."
"And it’s also like what I was talking about before, the dance, when two people come together, there’s a third energy that arises. And that’s creation, where creative projects are birthed. Improvisation happens. Anything could happen."
"To be able to have another person or to be able to give another person something so that they can either feel the impact they have on you or vice versa is really powerful. I’m in a process right now where I’m waking up to just places where I went unconscious. And then having people that are invested in my growth and awakening to point out things that they see. And vice versa. But also knowing myself well enough and being connected to myself enough to sit and let it work me so I come out on the other side with more integrity and compassion. And a choice, ultimately. Do I want to continue to show up like that or do I want to show up differently?"
"I think that there is a lack of care and attention paid to the less glorified emotions. And so I was just thinking about the reverence I have for the lower realmed emotions. The stuff that we don’t culturally talk about or express. The darkness part of it and I think that my experience of learning how to love all parts of myself have made it possible for lack of better word, to ascend to a more loving, compassionate place. But I don’t think I could have gotten here without working in the underworld."
"I think it’s important to give that part of myself a voice. To be fully expressed and I think it’s important as a collective to create a place for that. And to love that. The entirety of the human experience."
"The more that I love myself, the more that I can give and love others and everything."
On how EMBODY-EXPRESSION-SURRENDER-CONNECTION-LOVE feel
It feels resonant. It feels true. And powerful. Sweet. Soft. Beautiful. Human. Raw. Alive. Connected. It feels grateful.
Grateful for you and that you’ve taken the time to do this with me and with people. I think that you’re inviting people to go deeper within themselves. It’s some pretty potent areas that you are touching. I don’t think people have these conversations all the time and I think it’s awesome that you’re doing it. It has me really drop in and help feel more connected and continue to ask questions “Oh what is that? What does that mean? Why do I feel like that? How does that relate to who I am in the world and what I am doing with my life?”
Here is the audio recording. I apologize for the quality. But it's raw and it's real. Kinda awkward, like the both of us. So there you have it.
I've been finding my energy waning on and off as I've been immersing myself more into this rabbit hole of personal growth and development.
I'm having a better time with myself and sinking into sensations as they happen.
Today, I had a small anxiety attack that started with a case of the "wtf am I doing's?" In my past behavior and pattern, I usually dissipate from this sensation with distractions. I found myself making hot soup, devouring that and feeling insatiable. So I had a bowl of sweet sugary cereal right after. Hot and cold. My mind was buzzy and now my body had more of the "wtf are you doing with me?" Anyone ever have one of those days?
While I was aware of what I was doing, I felt conflicted with how I can better sink into it and let these unfamiliar feelings pass.
I sought out connection through my community. I was able to write my Fear Inventory and read it out loud to a friend. 30 minutes of journaling. Drea also called me and taught me ways I can slow down. She gave me another challenge to consider. Stop/Drop/Roll on the Floor which I'm going to wear and consider as Breathe/Balance/Awareness for this week. Literally, I'll be rolling around the floor just as I did for the witnessing exercise and sending a video out. Kinda like BANDChallengeExpression but this will be BANDChallengeAWARENESS :).
The rest of the day was groovy. My body desperately needed rest. After digesting this interview, I'm now beginning to see how all of this interrelated and connected. I find embodiment and expression healthy. I find love and connection more easily. I find surrendering into sensations of things outside my control as something to value and experience all the same.
I'm forever grateful for this awesome connection I have with another mentor/soul sister I can connect with across distance and time via digital pixels and sound waves. It feels incredible. Thank you Drea!
Last thoughts to rant about: YOU are worth feeling into everything you need to feel. Let it out.
Thanks for listening,