Kisses of Breath

by Julie on April 30, 2012 · 32 comments



My lifeline.

My place of healing.

My church of choice.

Dance – where I’ve learned to sink down into the layers of this body that I had feared for so long.

Most of you, those who read me fairly often, know by now that on Sundays I dance. I Sweat My Prayers with 149 other beautiful dancers.

Yet, even though you know I dance, I am not sure you know the depth of what dance means to me; what it has offered to me. When I first found 5Rhythms, ten years ago, I was in deep need of healing.

I can’t quite put into words what this practice of 5Rhythms has brought to my life – the movement and awareness and healing is so much more than any words could ever begin to describe.

Dance brings me alive, and the more I give myself to the dance, the more it strips away my defenses, my veils – and the more it reveals the truth of what I am.

When I dare to dance the truth, I have no idea what I will come to uncover.


Yesterday was Sunday and I danced.

And, it was Plant a Kiss day…at least for 16 of us bloggers who decided to see what happens when you plant a kiss and then write about it.

What was my kiss and what did I plant?

I planted the deepest desire to dance the truth, to unveil myself, to plant my kiss on the dancefloor with breath.

When we dance the 5Rhythms, we are silent with our mouths and generously expressive with our bodies. We ‘speak’ with the body. We breathe through our feet and move with the breath.

My kisses were breath, planted on the dance floor with each step.

As I breathed, I moved, and as I moved I discovered how powerful an intention is, how powerfully the body can express this intention to reveal. My intention was an offering of truth, of pure expression. I found so many kisses of breath – a kiss of joy, a kiss of love, a kiss of touch, the softest most tender touch of the skin; a kiss of power, a kiss of kindness, a kiss of whatever showed up in the dance, even those more painful places like grief.

As I danced, I was feeling joyful and then ‘our song’ began to play – the song my late-husband and I shared. As soon as the first refrains of ‘Killing Me Softly’…

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
killing me softy with his song
killing me softly with his song
telling my whole life
with his words
killing me softly with his song…

…landed in the cells of my body, I shuddered with grief and tears. Suddenly what had been such great joy moved into tears; and as suddenly as those appeared, just as suddenly a soft pair of hands landed gently on my shoulders.

I turned around and saw my friend. She put her arms out and I moved into her generous hug.

Together, we danced to the words and music that always take me back to so many sweet moments of life shared with Gary. Then, my friend surprised me. I whispered to her that this had been our song, and she whispered back, “I know. You shared that with me when we first met and first danced together.” I just looked at her in awe. That was at least eight years ago and she remembered.

You see, this friend just lost her husband, too, not quite three years ago. She knew how I felt and in her generous and loving way, she reached out to me to hold me in whatever feelings might show up. Her response was immediate, generous and open. She was killing me softly with her touch.

As Killing Me Softly ended, we ended our dance and I moved into other partnerships on the dance floor. I felt even more open, even more trusting, even more willing to plant my feet deeply, open my heart with more tenderness and vulnerability, and trust in the flow of the dance.

I moved with love, planting kisses with my feet wherever they travelled, blowing kisses with both in-breath and out-breath. As I danced, I marveled at how responsive the human body is to touch, both the touch of skin and the touch of intention. I could feel the power of the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

In planting love wherever we land, we never quite know what will grow. And, we never quite know if our own love will come back to us, through another.

Perhaps we are all planting kisses with the breath.




Plant a Kiss Day –

In the spirit of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s work, 16 inspiring and creative bloggers (including me!) set out to “Plant a Kiss” in the world on Sunday, April 29. Today each of us is posting about that experience. Click here to visit the main Plant a Kiss page, where you can easily link to all participating bloggers. For every blog that you visit and comment on, your name will be tossed into a hat for a chance to win one of many amazing prizes.

My offering? a copy of The Best of Unabashedly Female – a digital journey into the sacred feminine.

Image: Holding Hands – Attribution Some rights reserved by TheArches

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Amy May 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

The first post I’m reading about Plant a Kiss day and already my breath has left me. Stunningly beautiful post. I planted many kisses in honor of love blooming. Inspiring.

melissa May 1, 2012 at 3:54 am

thank you for your wholehearted honesty and vulnerability, for sharing your pleasure and pain. me too…5R has been a wise, fierce guide, unraveling, untangling, unearthing. gabrielle’s movement meditation reveals body wisdom and allows my soul’s language to speak. oh, and roberta flack…love.

Jeannie May 1, 2012 at 4:34 am

Julie, You never fail to touch me with your honest and raw posts. This one was deeply felt. Thank you.

Beth May 1, 2012 at 6:05 am

What an incredible journey – of love. Your strength and sensitivity flows through your words. I love the idea of planting kisses when we step. with each step a kiss. on mother earth. this is healing. thank you. xxx

Lynne malan May 1, 2012 at 6:57 am

wow..your words danced through ones’ heart.. light and airy…with a little bit of sadness… ending in a flight to fall into the kisses xx

Jenn May 1, 2012 at 9:18 am

Such a neat idea!

Susan S. May 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Kristin Noele May 1, 2012 at 10:30 am

I’m all teared up. Thank you for all of these kisses.

Jennifer May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

oh how the music can move us. xo

kristina clark May 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

how lovely for you both.

Melissa May 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Wow – so powerful. I love the idea of “planting kisses with my feet wherever they travelled, blowing kisses with both in-breath and out-breath.” And the reminder that when we allow ourselves to be seen and held, we’re able to plant more firmly and love more deeply. What a beautiful picture of what this day was designed to be all about. And may you continue to feel whole-heartedly supported.

carolyn May 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I love the rawness, beauty, honesty and connection expressed in this. I am reminded by Gabrielle Roth and the truth that I haven’t danced with abandon for far too long.
Thanks for the reminder, the candor and for being real.

alison May 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm

i teared up. thank you for sharing.

Rachél Payne May 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I have had several reminders to dance today. Yours was a gently exclamation. Thank you for sharing such an intimate and powerful moment.

Elizabeth in Toronto May 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

You planted another kiss by sharing your story.

DogsMom May 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I also have a friend who seems to remember the little bits of information I give her just in passing. And she reminds me when I need it most about the best times in my life.

Rani Primmer - Jagged Touch Studio May 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Your words and your plant a kiss offering was just magical!! Thank you so much for sharing this story. It touched my soul.

Jennifer Hagedorn Dizon May 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Planting a kiss with the words that I type right now. I am grateful for the reminder of how a small act of kindness can bloom and bloom and bloom.

Jen ♥

Lindsay May 2, 2012 at 3:51 am

How wonderful to express yourself in such a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

wholly jeanne May 2, 2012 at 6:46 am

we can kiss with any part of our body, can’t we? kisses from our lips, from our hearts, from our eyes, from the bottoms of our feet. then there are ephemeral kisses of memories and love that lingers on, despite all.

Sherry Richert Belul May 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

Julie, this is so beautiful. I loved your reminder about dance. And the kisses being planted on the dance floor. When that song came on, I thought it was a kiss from Gary. And, then, yet another kiss from your loving friend.

This — your journey, your honesty, your beauty — is a kiss to all of us.

Grateful to and for you. xo

leah May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I love dance and that use to be one of my fave songs. Thank for sharing something personal and your Kisses. back at you.

Lené Gary May 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm

What a beautiful post… and a beautiful friendship.

jessica May 3, 2012 at 5:20 am

Hmmm…the idea of planting a kiss with breath makes me think of planting a kiss with words, many of which are composed of breathy sounds. I wonder how I can use my words today to make the world a more joyful place? Thanks for sharing!

Laurie May 3, 2012 at 8:52 am

I found the Kiss blog hop via Superhero Journal. I feel so blessed to have found this circle of lovely blogs. This one brought tears to my eyes. Such gifts being shared.

Tina May 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

So beautiful…leaving me a bit breathless and teary with the vulnerability, bravery, & honesty of your sharing. Lovely.

marissa May 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I love the variety in the way you 16 ladies planted your kisses. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Amy May 4, 2012 at 4:35 am

wonderful! dance is such a beautiful artform. i work with dancers and they feel incomplete without it in their lives.

I love seeing how so many people interpreted this project in their own unique ways. It’s just wonderful!


Julia May 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

Wow…I feel I have stumbled upon a very intimate, powerful moment and been brought into it as I travel around the plant a kiss blOgs. Thankyou so much for sharing this beautiful excerpt from your life journey. I took modern dance in college on a whim, it was one of the most profound experiences of my life, I would love to get back into dance one day. 🙂

Julia May 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

Wow…I feel I have stumbled upon a very intimate, powerful moment and been brought into it as I travel around the plant a kiss blOgs. Thankyou so much for sharing this beautiful excerpt from your life journey. I took modern dance in college on a whim, it was one of the most profound experiences of my life, I would love to get back into dance one day. 🙂

Debra May 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story!! It’s so very beautiful! I never would have thought of dancing in that way! Thank you for sharing!

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