essays by shé

Essay #12: the third way

In response to what I thought was a benign comment, I was slimed by a nasty look from a co-op worker a few months ago. It was a doozy; folks nearby even commented on it: “whoa!”

How do you deal with situations like this? I’m usually too stunned to respond in the moment, which pisses me off later. And what are my options? I could only come up with two: either deflect her crap back at her, or take it in. I didn’t like either one.

Later that same afternoon, Dancer Karen came over. Through movement, she helped me discover a third way.

Imagine, here comes the attack:
Don’t take it in; don’t throw it back.

Catch it in one hand,
pass it behind your body to the other hand,
and thump it on the ground.
Stand up, and flick your fingers skyward.

I did this movement phrase over and over again: catch, pass around, palm to ground, stand and flick. I imagined the planet taking the venom and transforming it, toxins turned to sparkling dust: harmless.

After 10 minutes or so of this continuous motion, fear and anger turned to laughter. It was amazing. I felt free and clean and clear and strong.

I wrote down the phrase and vowed to remember it always. Right.

Since then–when I think of it–I have tried it on other cantankerous cranks. I do it in my head, or very small–just my hands–at a table. It works every time. A subtle shift of energy occurs and I am able to shake off the slime. I can respond from a position of strength and peace.

In a third way.




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