Monday, February 1, 2010

Moving Meditation: Fun is the Key

When I was in my teens and backstage with one of my good friends awaiting our entrance in our costumes and make-up, we would pace and pace and pace some more. My hands and feet would get cold. My throat would feel tight, but the second I heard our music start and I danced into those lights, all of that just went away.

Like magic.

Yet each time, no matter how many times I'd done it, I would feel all those same feelings, not able to believe for a second that this would not be the time that I would fall or forget steps or perhaps vomit all over the first row.

But I kept going back for more because dancing was and is who I am. Despite all the panic and the fear of the unknown (as each performance is just that), it was Fun.

Saturday night, for the first time in way too long, I got to feel all of that again. The panic, the fear, the cold hands, the disbelief that I put myself in such a position, and yet the thrill of the mere idea of dancing in front of others, of having this opportunity to show "my stuff."

My ballroom dance partner and I went to my first (he'd been before) public ballroom dance event. I only know two dances...I only know a few moves of those two dances...I am not perfect.

Though I postponed it one dance longer than need be (my nerves were strongly active), the second my feet hit the floor, it was all gone. It was just me and the music.

Though I thought I wouldn't have very much fun sitting and watching, I was wrong. To see the joy on people's faces as they did this thing that brought them joy in their bodies -- to witness that was a gift, as it always is.

There were some good dancers and some not so good, but they all had that one thing in common -- Fun. They were having fun. It did not matter what was going on outside the doors to the dance hall, because while we were in there, it was just dancing and joy and laughter and the occasionally trip that led to silly.

What I noticed more than anything was the light emanating from their faces.

I would find myself mesmerized and smiling from our table.

This is meditation, mindfulness, full embodiment in action, and it's all about Fun.

This is what so many of us are missing in our lives. Our bodies are meant to move and they are meant to move in ways that bring us joy.

Here's a challenge for you this week:

Think back -- as far back as necessary -- to a physical activity that let you leave your Self and your worries behind.

Did you forget about your math test when you were on the playground playing Chinese jump rope?

Did you forget that your parents yelled at each other every night when you would ride your bike down that big hill?

Did you forget that the boy you thought was cute called you a name on the bus when you were speeding along on your glitter wheeled roller skates?

If you were never active as a child, what was it that you wished you could do? Skate board? Pirouette? Run the bases faster than anyone else?

This week, I double dog dare you to get out there and do one of these things and see if you can't help but laugh. See if you can't help but sweat and not even notice.


claire said...

The light emanating from their faces is something I notice again and again when I walk the Camino to Compostela.
The last time I forgot everything is when I went kayaking at night in the mangroves to the bio-luminescent laguna -- last week. White-water rafting also does this to me.
I love walking -- which is not quite the same as dancing, for my thoughts often walk with me.
Thank you for another great post.
Blessings and more blessings on you and your life.

Jeanne Klaver said...

Running! Bicycling! Speed is what I craved and the faster the body went, the better. Now, I'm sooooo into slowing down and feeling the earth beneath my feet. I love hiking. We have 5 feet of snow on the ground, so guess what you inspired me to do? I'm going to buy some snow shoes this afternoon—Honest I am!

Dia said...

You describe so well that 'oh, my gosh! I can't believe I'm going to do this . . . ' & then it all goes away!! YES - & that emanation of light - that's what it's all about!!
For me, it's also dance!! & Tai Chi/ Qigong - love that you place dance as moving meditation. It really is, isn't it?