Forever Embedded in my Heart

by Lila on September 30, 2015

Photo by Davielle Huffman


There are just some dances that stay with you…forever.

Beach Dance was brought to the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, California this past weekend as part of a three and a half day event called Life is a Verb Camp.  Created in 2013 by my friend, Patti Digh, this retreat-like event is a beautiful playground for grown ups, aka big kids, to gather in celebration and remembrance of courage, creativity, community and compassion in our lives and in others’. And while that description describes why I went (I’m drawn to those kind of offerings because Beach Dance provides opportunities to experience similar things every time it happens), it doesn’t come close to describing how this experience made me feel.

Did I feel courageous when I stood in front of 100 plus people and sang Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” a cappella?   Absolutely.

Did I feel inspired by my own creativity when I took not one, but two art classes in mediums out of my comfort zone? Most definitely.

Did I feel welcomed and well-loved by the community of folks who attended from around the country and the world?  Without a doubt.

And what of compassion…how did I feel that?

I felt it through my entire being when I stood in this line of gorgeous souls shown in the photo above. This line, this moment and the moments that preceded this photo are forever embedded in my heart and in my body.

What happened when this line of dancers formed at the end of our dance on the last day of camp was…compassion. What happened when seventeen people stood hand in hand facing the ocean together was…compassion. What happened when all of us took the opportunity to stand, unannounced and unobtrusive for a few minutes, behind a gray-haired woman who sat steadfast in the surf in a wet suit and just held space for her and for us as the waves tumbled toward her and broke across her chest again and again was…compassion.

The image above and the one below captured what my eyes saw and my mind will remember.


My body captured everything else that compassion can offer us if we allow it to move through us – forgiveness, understanding, empathy, tenderness, grace, love.

Forever embedded in my heart is this camp, this woman, this dance.

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