Dancing into the New Year
Movement is life. Everything in nature is designed to move. Everything in your body, mind and Spirit is designed to move or dance if you will.
Fascia and connective tissue, muscles, joints are designed to move. If you have ever looked into a microscope at live cells, you can see how they move – they dance around each other.
Every body part has a function and all parts are interrelated. When one part stops moving from injury, illness, or trauma, all the other parts begin to adapt and compensate. If the parts stop talking to one another, things stagnate and the life force energy diminishes.
If you have been unfortunate enough to spent an extended period of time sick in bed or injured, you know how challenging it is to get back to moving. You feel stiff, weak, off balance. The best way for your body to start to feel better is to begin moving slowly and consciously. Gentle dance-like movements are a great way to lubricate your joints, warm up your muscles and bring a sense of lightness back into the body.
Every organ in your body has a function.
For instance, your liver produces bile to break down fats and filters chemicals. If your liver gets congested from too many chemicals, fats, anger (from the view of Chinese Medicine), your liver function will diminish and not be able to optimally do its job and you will start to feel sluggish and irritable.
One of the many functions of your brain is to create thought. (Although there are other theories about where thought comes from but we won’t go there right now). Your brain/mind is a thought machine. Just notice how thoughts just pop into your head and swirl around. It is easy to get caught up in thought and believe that all of your thoughts are true. Have you noticed that when your thoughts become filled with opinions, criticism, and judgments, the rest of you (your body and Spirit) doesn’t feel very flexible. You might notice your belly, chest or jaw tighten.
Invite your thoughts to dance by considering the idea that all of your precious opinions and beliefs might not be true. Invite your mind to dance by getting curious about your thoughts – are they true? Get curious about the people and things about whom you have judgments and opinions.
Like the breeze, Spirit is designed to move. You know how stagnant the air feels when the wind is not moving, especially when there is humidity in the air. How is your sense of Spirit? Do you feel like a warm spring day with a light breeze or do you feel like a hot and humid east coast day? What is bogging you down? What needs to move to bring a lightness of being into your life?
The best ways for body, mind and Spirit to move is to breath and to dance. To let the rhythm of music move you. It doesn’t matter if you “don’t know how to dance” or “you don’t have rhythm”.
Dancing – especially if you dance like no one is watching- frees your body, your mind, and your Spirit. If you allow your self-expression through dance and movement, it acts like a cleanser – like a spring flood moves downed trees and debris down the river, dance and movement opens stagnant areas of energy.
So… close the shades, put the music on, close your eyes and invite movement to come. Notice the parts of you that are easy to move. Notice the parts that feel stiff or shy. What does your mind tell you about this? No judgment, just noticing, inviting and allowing. How does your Spirit respond? I would venture to guess it is responding favorably. Your Spirit will thank you profusely for allowing yourself to dance your dance.
Many communities have Conscious Dance groups (aka Ecstatic Dance) where participants encourage and support each other in this exploration. So when you are ready to take the next step to dance with fellow Spirit Dancers, do a Google search for a group near you.
Bend, OR Ecstatic Dance group meets every Wednesday from 7-9 pm and Sunday morning 11:00 to 12:30 at the Old Stone Church. See you there!