Small World Body
By Paloma Todd

MY SMALL WORLD is in my dancing body, within my own space, connected to the universe. There are two things that are very important to me; my body and dancing; because life is a dance and dancing is a movement of the soul. My dancing soul opens my body to my soul's rhythms and therefore I am effortlessly connected to life and to the world.

The last major Arkana card in the deck of Tarot is a culmination (similar to the feeling of 29° in astrology) of a process of self-knowledge and self-discovery. The major Arkana ends with the image of The World. In the image we see the body of a person, dancing within a circle, surrounded by the four elements. I see this as an image of completion, the end of a journey, being centered within myself, my space, and my world. The inner journey ends up in my body; my body is my home, it is my first and last world, I inhabit it, I protect it, I take care of it, I suffer with it and feel immense pleasure and immense pain.

My body in movement is commitment. I'm committed to listening and following. As soon as commitment comes so do the questions: How do I relate to my body? Do I listen to it? Do I know how it works? Do I know what it needs? The answers are all there within the small world of my body. Every cell is a world. I am made of worlds within worlds, I am a Universe. Physical reality holds the movement of my body and it rocks my soul. When my soul dances, and I allow my body to follow, I automatically deepen my commitment to life:

If I am tense, I dance
If I want to express myself, I dance
If I want to discover, I dance
If I am sad, I dance
If I am happy, I dance
If I am, I dance
If I dance, I connect with the universe

Dance makes me feel transparent, but when I dance I am seen, leaving me feeling safe and vulnerable at the same time; such is life. My story is within my body, as I move my story develops. When I move to my inner rhythms I can feel myself.   Others seeing my dance may connect with this feeling; they see me, they feel, they free me. When I dance I feel free, being seen is freedom shared. My dance is a reflection of my self acceptance.

I engage in life by dancing life and loving life, even when it's painful. When I take care of my body I take life in my hands, so I try to keep my body in good hands. Caring for myself is the most beautiful dance of all.

How do I move? How do I walk? I've learned to read my movements. I've learned to read the story of my body. I feel the pains and the joys, my angels and my demons. I dance alone, with myself. I dance in my bed, in my room, and even in my mind, I dance for my friends, and with my friends.

Movement is energy and movement creates energy. I can feel my energy when I dance. When I am angry, I feel heat. Where and in what situations do I feel heat in my stomach, cold in my feet, the itch in my hands? When I have something to say, what happens to my throat, to my voice? When I feel fear, how is my body feeling? When I feel love, is it in my chest, my stomach, my sex, or in all of them? Where is love located in my body?

Often times I am in my own head, disconnected from my body, perceiving with my rational mind, but forgetting to pay attention to what my body is perceiving, and saying to me. I read, I sit, I watch TV, I work; and if I don't notice, I get into a mechanical frame of mind and my body behaves and follows. It is then that I stop moving to myself, I domesticate my movements. I follow the line. My movement stops being different from others.

Do I own my body? Who owns my body? Do I own my dance, my right to move? Do I follow my body? Do I follow my truth? If I feel scared, lonely, bored or hysterical I dance and it saves me. If I feel fantastic and I dance then I feel even better. I wonder sometimes why following my body feels difficult. It is hard to be brave all the time. Dancing is an act of bravery and commitment. My dance is me, my dance transgresses myself, and it pushes me beyond limits.

My small world expands. My body is my ally, my counselor, my protector. I consider a balance in my life of movement and passivity. I realize that taking care of my body and expressing its movement is political. Our bodies are Aries Points. Therefore the small world of my dance is a dance for all, a dance for humanity, and a dance for the Universe.

I listen. I listen to my heart beating, my lungs breathing air in and out. I listen to my pulse, the beating of the blood in my veins, flexing my skin up and down in an imperceptible movement. I can feel the movement of blood in my veins, of the food in the body, in and out. My body has rhythms and sounds, so small but so intense. These rhythms are mine. When I stop and listen I find the reflection of my inner movements, and my inner body voices. Everything within me moves, and every move is my dance. I move to my own pace, and I feel free.

A small dance in a big world.