Guest Profile

Matthew Nelson

I choose to be here—in this body, on this Earth, at this time. I have been challenged--with anxiety, depression, physical pain, and loneliness. It’s easy for me to get stuck in my head, spinning myself into a wild tangle of ideas and emotions. I have played the sad, resentful song of victimhood. Enough is enough. I am grateful for the fierce, vital, and sometimes uncomfortable force that pours through me. Through movement, dance, meditation, and communion I continually find home in my heart and body.

At 20 years old I accepted modern dance and somatics as my medicine the way some come to Jesus. I studied dance and somatic practices because my life depended on it. I had always taken the constriction and discomfort in my body and spirit for granted—it was all I knew. In becoming a dancer I learned to feel. In fact I learned that moving and feeling are practically inseparable, and that with practice I could learn to BE differently. I could inhabit a different state of consciousness by attuning to my body and movement. I became a dancer, bodyworker, movement therapist, choreographer, and even a college dance professor.

Now I’m here with you. Thank you for seeing me. When I let you see me—when I really yield to it—I stop worrying that I’m weird or not enough. I might even drop my shame—for my desires, pleasures, and pain. This is the power for me of moving together, touching each other, speaking, and listening to one another. We are social animals, and we can learn to let go into our natural ability to BE together with a few simple tools. We can forge agreements that keep us safe enough to take the risk of being vulnerable together, giving each other the permission to be our authentic selves. I find healing, play, and fulfillment by holding these spaces. I am so grateful I get to practice being myself with you. It’s my honor to see you, and to know your divinity. I invite you to join me in reclaiming the home of our bodies together.