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Where Soul Meets Body: What a Difference a Dance Makes

I really don’t want to be writing this, but that’s precisely why I’m going to stay with it.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty crappy emotionally and with a slight persistent headache. It’s a few days before my book officially launches, and I want to feel blissful. Overjoyed. Jubilant. If publishing a book is a moment of birth, I want to welcome this baby with open arms, fully relaxed and filled with gratitude. And I am definitely experiencing those moments. But not this morning. This morning I felt burdened and frustrated. Burdened because life has asked me to hold some painful personal healing points without my explicit consent. Frustrated with myself because I wasn’t feeling particularly gracious about the invitation. I mean, isn’t dedicating my life to supporting healing a constant conscious agreement to hold whatever appears? Why was I being so difficult?!

The truth is, as a recovering type A personality, I much prefer to choose to enter the unknown willingly. I like getting to take a deep in-breath of yes and making sure my bag is packed (with everything I need!) before journeying into the dark. And so, while recognizing that my personality was having a metaphoric tantrum at the door, I entered R&M’s Fusion Rhythms to work out.

Immediately, Michael Franti’s “Have A Little Faith” met me with compassion and invited my grumpy arms to open. Then, leg lifting to Christina Aguilera’s “Soar” released the knot in my belly and encouraged me to fly. By the time the professional dancer teacher, Ryan Smith and his cohort Wendy Rein, split the room in half so we could all face each other to Prince’s “When Dove’s Cry”, my playful hips had rediscovered joy. While leaping through Death Cab for Cutie’s “Where Soul Meets Body”, I realized my headache was gone.

As I moved through the rest of class, instead of resisting what was showing up unannounced in my daily life, I relaxed into holding the painful point. Minutes after finishing, I turned on my car in time to hear the radio playing, “I just want to celebrate another day of living, I just want to celebrate another day of life.” by Rare Earth. I smiled wide. Dancing hadn’t changed my outer circumstances, but it did help me shift inside. Message received.

In that spirit, this is for anyone who needs a little lift right now:

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