Body movement was my second language and with it I could convey a myriad of feelings. When I indulged I felt energetic, strong, enlightened and creative. But dancing happened in bars. With men. And for over 25 years I had given it up, along with the freedom that I felt when I let myself go. I gave up my freedom (or once thought I did) to become a wife, a mother, an employee, a member of a fellowship that discouraged hanging out in dance clubs. I proceeded to work with the cards that life seemed to have dealt me. There was no time to dance.
Many years and multiple life lessons later, my daughter reintroduced me to the nightclubs after my divorce. I was hesitant at first as I could not imagine someone my age stepping out on a dance floor of young writhing bodies. What place would there be for me? Sobriety had taught me that bars were not a good place to meet men, and that really wasn't my objective. I just longed to move again.
The night I stepped under the flashing lights to dance again after nearly 25 years, sober, and with no agenda - was amazing. Pressed by fellow revelers, some obviously there for more than dancing, I realized that not one person had any concern for my age, my abilities or my size. Something deep within me was awakened by the music and the surrounding energy. This was freedom from the world of responsibility and fear. For a year or so, my daughter and I would make regular forays to a local hangout and allow ourselves to be carefree and fully present in a ritual as old as humanity. The memories of the ancestors in my DNA rejoiced and I allowed them all to take part in this other-dimensional space. It released me from the need to do anything but be fully present.
Research has shown that dance can improve memory and effect physical and mental health in many ways. There are even dance therapists that help to treat those with autism and dementia and can provide a safe outlet for freedom of expression ( http://www.goodtherapy.org/dance-movement-therapy.html). If the experts say it is good stuff...why argue? Often I suggest to my clients who are stuck to get up and turn on the music and move. It brings in oxygen, moves it through the body, and allows stuck energy an outlet that often leads to insight, relaxation and sometimes even euphoria.
Today I don't hit the dance clubs any more (seems I am asleep before the music starts) but I haven't stopped dancing. Why not give it a try and see how just letting your body go can help you move through the day?
What activity have you stopped doing that you love? What would it feel like to pick it up again?