I danced in my office yesterday. By myself. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It felt great.
I told my husband and he looked at me with a mixture of alarm, interest and inquisitiveness – he has come to expect this kind of pronouncement from me.
As I shared my revelation with him, I knew that I had not danced in a long time. I simply hadn’t made the time, taken the time, created a space, etc. I knew it was an important moment.
When was the last time you danced? I don’t mean the kind of self-aware dancing that we do when we are dancing around other people. In public dancing is filled with little winks to the people around us, silly gestures that stand the test of time, etc. When we dance in public everyone is smiling – for one reason or another. Don’t get me wrong, it is a happy thing, but sometimes the dance is about other people.
But what if we just danced for ourselves?
Dancing alone is like smiling in the mirror at yourself – except with movement. You are probably familiar with research that shows that when we smile at ourselves in the mirror, our mood improves and our level of personal happiness increases. Next time you are feeling down, do something for yourself and smile in the mirror.
Dancing can multiply that same positive impact.
When we dance to music we love, we release energy and invite movement. We invite physical, spiritual and mental health.
Here are some dancing guidelines to support your revitalization:
#1: Move what needs to move.
If you feel like waving your arms or hips in a circle, do it. If your feet feel locked up, move them in circles. If you feel like flapping your wings like a butterfly, do it. Chances are if you are drawn to move an area of your body, you have some stored energy there that needs to be released. Releasing it will have a major positive impact on your day – and probably will have a major positive impact on your body.
#2: Integrate a spiral motion into your dance.
As you listen to the music, consider moving your body in a spiral motion. Start at your feet and move upward. When you get to the top, you might even raise your arms and let the energy release out your fingers as you reach for the sky. There is a reason for this type of motion – it will connect you to your highest levels of personal wisdom. Your dance might be fast. It might be to a beautiful slow song where you flap your wings and pretend you are a butterfly. But dance you must.
#3: Let the music take you away.
What is the music that makes you want to dance? Find that song! I have songs that have travelled through time with me. Here are a few favorites:
Mariah Carey’s “Make it Happen” still motivates me and makes me want to dance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q6xx0JfMBI
Try a classical piece is you like classical music. I love Vaughan Williams’ “Lark Ascending.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR2JlDnT2l8
See a few other musical meditations referenced on this web-site. (Check out our “Higher Wisdom” page).
Maybe your song is one that makes you want to cry. Lizz Wright’s “Soon as I Get Home” does that for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzuQSjvQI64
If you like vocal jazz another one of Lizz Wright’s pieces is great: Listen to “Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly” to make you feel like soaring. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgqrSgL6Rug
What’s your song? Send it in a comment – we can share out favorites!
#4: Dance alone.
You may be asking yourself, “Do I have to dance alone?” Well, yes. There is someplace you can be alone – in your bathroom, in your car, in your garage. Find it and DANCE IT OUT. It is completely freeing – it is one moment that is all about you. If we refresh ourselves from the inside out, we are able to refresh the people around us with more power and strength.
So, I’d like to invite you to dance with me. We don’t need to be in the same room and you even get to pick your own favorite music. What’s the music that makes you want to dance?
Dance like it’s a holiday ~ every day.
© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on motivational programs.