I don’t know if you remember that cringe-worthy scene in the show Friends when Rachel and Chandler were helping Ross carry his new couch up the stairs. With Ross shouting instructions from the other end of the couch, Rachel and Chandler lift it over their heads and proceed to climb the steps. As they round the corner –
“PIVEEEET!” Ross screeches, “PIVEEEEET!” (Pivot)
Here’s the scene if you haven’t seen it. Warning: Annoying nasal sound might leave a mark in your ears.
Here’s why this scene came to mind. I was thinking about manifestation all last week. There are so many modalities out there that teach the law of attraction differently and it can get confusing, even discouraging. I'm not saying that I found the ONE secret, but I did learn something in Bali.
In January, I arrived in Ubud in the middle of the night. It seemed foreign to me this time around. Maybe it was because everyone was asleep. There were barely any motorbikes zipping by when Dewa dropped me at the guest house where I was staying. It was surrounded by rice fields and frogs and geckos. Lovely croaky ribbet-y sounds hailed me as I dropped, exhausted on my bed after two consecutive flights. The mattress was hard. The mosquitoes were rife. The shock of arriving in an exotic country - another world almost - was stark, just like the greenish neon lights in the room. Jetlag decided to spare me that night.
My intention in Bali this time was to encounter the Sacred Feminine and Masculine. I enrolled myself as a student of the Divine. My intention was big, my drive even bigger. I flew over one continent, one ocean, and one sea to arrive in this classroom. But after a few nights in Ubud, nothing special happened. No synchronous meetings. No gentlemen appeared in my path to engage with. No women to learn from. I was completely alone and the malaise of being in a foreign place with no purpose sucked me into a familiar vortex of sadness and abandonment.
One evening, I decided to stop pretending I was enjoying my meal at one of the local restaurants. I decided to march right back to my room and have a good cry. I would probably be more industrious that way.
As I lay on my bed I thought about the long dry spell that I'd been trudging through. My feminine energy had been trapped inside a tough shell for too long, constantly imploding in the negative abyss. But beneath all that was a lingering sense of abandonment. Why didn’t men just show up in my path and come to talk to me? What about with those scenes in the movies when the woman is sitting idly in a café and the guy just comes up to talk to her? Why doesn’t that happen in real life? Why don't things work out for me this way? Am I destined to wither and die?...and on and on...
At some point in the middle of my indulgent victim party, I rose out of my body and saw myself lying there, defeated, in one of the most romantic and sensual places on Earth. I had been swilling these acidic thoughts in my mind for too long now. Too long!
I sat up. This was getting ridiculous really. To feel like the repressed and dried up feminine in Saudi Arabia was one thing. But to feel that way in Bali should not be allowed! A thought landed with a parachute from the sky: I will go to a nightclub.
Now if you knew me well you would know that I loathe nightclubs as a general rule. And when it comes to dating, a nightclub is certainly not where I would find my guy. As soon as I enter nightclubs, I am bullied by the pounding, the spotlights, the sharp silhouettes of people who are doing their best to violently lost their minds. Nightclubs are too loud for deep sensitive conversation. They smell of alcohol and sweat. They are often dark. There’s usually no place to sit, adding to the physical discomfort. So if you’re not on a chair, you’re dancing alone or with a guy who’s half drunk - or all drunk - and who clearly has something in mind you wouldn't offer if hell froze over. So you go back to dancing alone.
To me, nightclubs don't create opportunities for real connections with people, be they permanent or transient. Because of all the above, I had had a head-strong resistance to them. But right now, a nightclub seemed like the only choice.
I decided to go. I might hate it, I thought to myself, I probably will. In which case I will come straight home. Have you ever tried to get yourself to do something by simplifying it like you would for a child? So that I would stop moping, I promised myself that I would only walk to the club and take a look from the outside. Just a peek. If I didn't like the looks of it, I would turn back. That’s all I needed to do. Take a look.
So I looked up the hottest club in town and walked to it. It was a little far and it was getting late. There were no street lights at the curve of Monkey Forest Road. Finally, when I arrived in front of the club, I heard the music. The Latin beat came down from the balcony like a cascade of sensuous hands that took hold of my hips and swayed me. Now, I needed to go in! Ten minutes only, I promised myself. Ten minutes, just to watch, and then I would leave.
Turned out it was Latin night! And it was nothing like the pretentious clubs in Dubai. The music was so delicious that I stayed longer to enjoy it. Soon, I was dancing. At first, on my own, allowing myself to be pleasured by the sultry Latin flow. Then, guys floated in an out as my partners.
Halfway through the evening, Jorge showed up. Jorge was from Peru and I’m not sure if they usually make eyes like that in Peru but his were like a sea that couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be blue or grey or green. After dancing with a few of the (clumsy) guys on the dance floor, Jorge came as an inspiration. He was a quiet meditative man who took dance seriously, like a prayer.
He introduced me to the bachata. It was earthier than the salsa; slower, down in the hips, grounded, but also consumed with the sensual whisperings of Shakti. As I danced with him, I found my body yearning for it, knowing it well without the need to study the steps. And because Jorge, honored the space between us, he intuitively flowed with me, feeling where our bodies wanted to go, leading them with the deep wisdom of dance.
Before Jorge (and my Tango teacher in Dubai), I only encountered men who either resisted the wisdom and surrender of sensuous dance or got too excited about “knowing the moves” and spun me around the dance floor until I got dizzy and all I wanted to do was push them off a cliff!
In dance, as in relationships, there is push and pull, open and close, strength and vulnerability. Listening with your body and responding. Humility. And desire. Jorge symbolically created this sacred space with me that contained all of this. At the last strain of music, he always ended the dance with a hug and a "thank you" to show his respect and appreciation for the experience.
I didn’t know then, that for the rest of my time in Bali, Jorge would continue to be my dance partner, that there would be no one that I enjoyed dancing with so intimately but him. But that night, as we rolled with the bachata, all that Shakti wriggling around in my body opened a portal.
On my way out from the club, a handsome guy came after me and asked for my number. He said that he’d been afraid to talk to me all night but he had decided to give it a shot. Would I like to have a cup of tea with him sometime? Yes, I said.
My flirtation with this guy was brief but it was the beginning of an intense tumble with the Divine Feminine and Masculine, with the light and dark side of both. In the next couple of months, I explored the spiritual container of relationships more deeply than I ever have, bringing love, romance, and heartbreak. But the wisdom that all of this brought me moved relationship blocks that used to be mountains. And I was able to define for myself how the Sacred Feminine and Masculine meet.
All of this would not have happened had I not gone to “take a peek”, despite my fierce aversion to nightclubs. I could easily have gone to sleep a miserable woman that night and woken up in deep-rooted frustration. I could have continued to live by that pattern until the next opportunity to shift. I might even have given up on my quest.
Notice that the pivotal step that I took was small but it changed my pattern. Imagine someone jumping onto a railroad and pulling that rusty lever to change the train tracks right before the train arrived at the crossroad. The mental effort it took me to leave my room and walk to that club was just that: me changing the tracks. It moved me from a well-worn path of defeat in this particular area of life to the opposite of it. While I did experience challenges and some defeats along the way, I was still able to invite so much romance and intimacy into my life. And you know what? After that pivotal step, it was effortless! Things just fell into place.
So what’s your next pivotal step? What are you struggling to invite into your life right now? Is it abundance? Love? Forgiveness? Remember that it’s a small action, almost imperceivable in the grand scheme of things, but important enough to change your train track. How are you going to PIVEEEET?!
Share your story and your pivotal step below!