OK, I was meditating this morning, listening to a shamanic drumming CD. Shamanism, as I understand it, is an ancient spiritual system that helps you remain ‘heart centered’ and travel the path of the heart. The beating of the drum is hypnotic and definitely, for me, took me to a very strong feeling place.
What I noticed was that my body did not want to sit still like when I meditate at other times. I was just moving and rocking in a circular motion, while in a seated position.
I felt very soft, sensual, strong — at peace and on fire, all at the same time.
And then I realized that by going to my heart space with the drumming that it triggered a very primal urge in me which is dance and movement. My soul loves to dance and I was in my meditation this morning, connected to that space which kept me so in the present and so lost in the moment, at the same time.
When I was three months pregnant with my second baby, I listened to a yearning and started taking latin ballroom dance classes. I would watch shows like Dancing with the Stars and say to myself ‘I don’t just want to watch them, I want to do that!’. So, I did. And I did not let the practical reality that I am only going to get bigger and bigger deter me. In fact, I danced until I was 37 weeks pregnant and had the most beautiful pregnancy and delivery which was so healing for me and the family.
If you are so inclined, here is the 1 min short video of me dancing at 37 weeks. (I was doing the cha cha with my dance teacher Sergey. Every time I watch this, I kind of laugh. When you turn, you are supposed to have your hand across your waist but my hand could not go across and could only reach the top of my stomach!)
And since having my son Pranay in November 2010, I have gone back to dancing and what I am struck by is how the dances I like keep changing depending on where I am in my personal and spiritual process.
When I first started dancing, I was very convinced that I would like latin, rhythm dances such as cha cha, samba and salsa. And I did and I do. But I was learning them more because I wanted to explore a more primal aspect of myself. I also now realize that I kind of wanted to become a different person ‘on stage’.
I have always been called smart and cerebral (which I took back them to mean ‘boring’) who is nice. Where’s the sass in that??? I know I have it in me. So, I really dove for the very bouncy Samba, the Brazilian party dance. And I had a blast.
I also really liked cha cha since you can be a little sassy and have some attitude. (This is why I like Zumba as well – an outlet for a bit of attitude while breaking a sweat.)
And in the last few months, I found myself really exploring the questions around who I am and what really lights me up.
And I realized that as much I love embracing the ‘no-inhibitions’ feel of latin dances, I also love the more precise and cerebral aspects of me. That’s also part of who I am and I was kind of disowning them, thinking they made me stuffy and boring…while all I wanted was to be was fun and exciting.
What I have since realized is that as I continue to stay true to who I am at any point in time (and that keeps evolving and changing) that I will attract into my life all people and experiences that will further me on my journey towards authenticity. If that means some people find me boring, OK.
So, I started learning ballroom dances (tango, waltz, fox trot). Unlike latin dances which is just so free, ballroom is, for lack of better words, more ‘precise’ with the hold and ‘softer’ in its temperament.
I LOVE ballroom dances. It allows me to explore the many facets of my personality – tango is strong, sharp and passionate; waltz is so fluid and romantic; Viennese waltz is very pretty.
I used to look at ballroom dancers who did the waltz and said to myself ‘I can’t do that. That woman is so tall, thin and elegant’. Well….I really like the waltz, and I am doing it.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love the latin dances like cha cha and samba. I am just realizing that I don’t need to disown other dances because I don’t think I should like it or judging that it’s not me. Now, I will try it on for size and see what happens.
For now in terms of where I am in life, MY dance is TANGO – I love the precision, strength, intensity, passion and fire — with a nice sprinkling of Waltz (soft and pretty ) for good measure.
And, at home, I just blast music that I (and my daughter) dance to.
What lights you up? What’s your ‘dance’?