I was walking down a long narrow hallway that seemed to be made of some kind of stone. It was a light colored stone. The ceiling of the hall rose into a high peak. There was no light coming from anywhere except the passageway that intersected the hall at the end. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.
As I moved down the hallway, one step after another, I became acutely aware of my body… the way it moved, the way it felt. I suddenly realized I was barefoot, stepping very lightly, gracefully. I felt the brush of soft silks against my bare legs. I looked down and saw what I was feeling… the sweeping caress of sheer red fabric attached around my hips, flowing to the floor.
For a moment I was stunned. I had never seen my body like this… graceful, sensual, glowing. It felt amazing to be inside this body, feeling it move around me. Feeling its power. In the dim light that cast long shadows down the hall, I saw a small glitter of red from a large ruby in my navel. I looked closer and saw that I was wearing gold necklaces and coins and chains of gold hung from my hips. I had gold chains on my feet and ankles, around my wrists, and felt them adorning my hair like a draped crown. My hair was long, thick, and flowing dark brown. It hung in loose plaits down my back. I was wearing a tight red top that left very little to the imagination.
It was an incredible feeling to be in such a sensuously powerful body. It was almost a bit frightening. I realized that while this body was very powerful, it could be used in many different ways, and I suddenly had the desire to use it in empowering ways. I have spent much of my life working on developing the power of my mind, of my natural female intuition, and the power of my spirit, but I must say I have sadly neglected to cultivate the power of my body. Until that moment, I did not realize what an amazing dynamic it added to the other three. I had been denying a part of myself, and in doing so, I wasn’t whole or complete.
Again, I refocused on the present moment, and selfishly basked in the glow I felt being in this incredibly beautiful body, the pleasure I felt at its every movement.
Finally, I came to the end of the hallway. I could only go to the right or to the left. I looked to my left because soft voices caught my attention. As I peered through the light streaming in from overhead, I saw two figures speaking in hushed tones. Two men. One faced away from me… a large burly man. The other faced towards me, a smaller man, but nonetheless a powerful man. I caught the glint of jewels on the hilt of the dagger he wore in his belt. He saw me then. Our eyes met over the larger man’s shoulder and I knew… I knew a thousand things… all from just a look.
I knew that he was my husband. I knew that he had many wives. I knew this was a time long ago. I knew that he was a very powerful, very wise man who was highly respected not only in his own kingdom, but also by those in the neighboring kingdoms, and throughout the region. He was legendary. He was idolized. He was young, strong, handsome, and powerful. And yet he was a man capable of incredible love.
I also knew, in that look, that I was his most prized possession… because he did not possess me. I knew that I was the only woman in his kingdom or anywhere in the region who had the right to choose her own life. I knew that I had been granted this right because of Who I Was. Not whose daughter I was, or whose wife I was, but who I showed up as. I was a powerful woman in my own right, and I had claimed a life of freedom for myself, and because I claimed it, my husband was wise enough not to try to control my spirit. He loved and respected me enough to let it be wild. This was his strength. He could calm my anger with a touch.
I also knew that regardless of the women that may share his bed, I was the only woman who owned the deepest place in his heart… and he in mine.
I also knew, in that moment, that he fully supported the task I was about to perform.
With his silent encouragement and acknowledgment in my heart, I turned slowly to the right and walked down the hallway away from him.
I soon came to a pair of large hand-carved dark mahogany doors. They were exquisite, reaching a height of over 10 feet. I stood silently for a moment behind the doors and gathered myself. With a nod, the guards at the doors opened them wide and I stepped through them.
I entered a large room with vaulted ceilings. A large ornate opening at the top of the opposite wall, with wooden carved pieces making patterns in the opening told me that we were in a very hot climate that required adequate ventilation.
Down either side of the room were huge columns that reached from the floor to the ceiling. In front of these columns were steps that ran the entire length of the room on each side. These steps led up to platforms that stretched from one end to the other, and between each column was a large ornately carved wooden chair… almost like a throne.
There was a man seated in each of these chairs. They had been summoned by my husband. Many of them had traveled hundreds of miles to hear a very important address.
I knew they expected my husband or one of his advisors to give it. As I stepped confidently and gracefully into the room, I could feel every eye on me from head to toe. I could even feel some of the men undressing me with their hungry eyes. I looked up and saw the pleasure and the delight many of them were feeling at my entrance. “They think they’re going to be entertained,” I thought to myself.
After all, I was legendary in my own right, and only a few have been privileged enough to experience me in dance, (or in any other way.)
I raised my chin, and looked each man in turn directly in the eyes. There was no music playing. No musicians entering the room. Just total silence. I stood there, facing each man. Sizing them up. Connecting with them.
Some of the men obviously saw this as contempt. They felt I was disrespecting them by being bold enough to look them directly in the eye. Some, I could tell, became slightly hostile. Some inwardly hated me for doing such a thing. However, on some faces, I saw respect… and awe.
They had come to hear a very important address, and so they did. I stood there in the midst of these powerful men, not to entertain, but to enlighten. I stood there, in the traditional robes of a woman used for her body, and I enlightened them with my mind. The address they were summoned to hear, was an address I chose for them to hear… and I delivered the address myself–in all my feminine glory… body, mind, and spirit. They all experienced a woman in her full power that day, and I knew they would never be the same.
I woke to the sound of my alarm clock ringing in my ear, and realized it was just a dream. But was it?
Two years later, I stood in a large group training in Salt Lake City and heard the trainer tell me and a group of other “pleasingly plump” women, that the following day, we would be performing for the group. A bellydance. We were told that they wanted to see “some skin” (just no nudity, thank goodness!) As soon as she announced our activity, I KNEW it’s what I was meant to do. It’s something I had already been.
The following day, I got the opportunity to show up for all the participants in that training, and show them who I really was.
After the training, a woman came up to me and asked, “so how long have you been bellydancing?”
I replied, “I don’t know, what time is it?” She laughed and said I was funny. I said, “I’m being completely serious.” Her eyes got wide and she said, “My sister is a trained bellydancer, and you were doing moves out there it took her more than a year to learn!”
I told her quickly about the dream I had about the woman in the red bellydancing dress. She laughed and said, “No wonder… you’ve probably been doing it for years in a past life!”
I walked away wondering… perhaps I did?
One thing I do know… since that day, I have really enjoyed bellydancing. I don’t do it for anyone else. I drive myself out to the desert near my home, and I bellydance for the universe… for all of creation… for me. And I LOVE how it feels!