Sitting in the stillness of the gratitude meditation, we were guided through some questions, including what we wanted to bring to the group. Silliness popped into my head. Yes. Silliness. It’s the only way I could describe what I would bring to a moving meditation with a focus on dance. Granted, I didn’t intend for silliness to imply lack of respect for the moving, dancing meditation. Rather, silliness in the fact that what I’ve come to learn about myself is that lack of skill won’t necessarily stop me from at least trying something new.
This was the first class in a six-week program designed and presented by Sarah Haykel, a dancer and life coach I met at TEDX Buffalo Women last month. I thought she was amazing and fun with great energy. I also wanted to do more meditation in 2013. So when I saw she was offering an Arise and Shine program, my curiosity was piqued. When I saw it was offered on Wednesday mornings, my scheduled off/cross-training days in my half marathon plan, I decided to try it.
We opened the session with a gratitude meditation and setting our intentions for the session, for the day and for the week. Then came the moving part and we danced for 45 minutes based on the 5rhythms developed by Gabrielle Roth moving from flow to staccato to chaos to lyrical to stillness. (You can bet I’m going to read up more on Roth and moving meditation. I’m intrigued.)
Going into the movement, I attempted to abandon judgement. I never took dance lessons as a kid and while I love to move I’ve had several people tell me that I should never dance, especially in public. Enter the gremlins of judgement, comparison and fear of looking completely foolish. But while we fed off the energy of each other in the dance studio, we each moved in our own ways. We connected with ourselves through movement and the shared experience. When I started doing triathlons and I didn’t see myself as a “runner” or “swimmer” or “athlete.” In the same way, I came into this program not seeing myself as a “dancer.”
In the end, it’s all bullshit. In the end, I have the ability, perhaps even the responsibility, to define myself however I want. And that, my friends, carries with it tremendous power.
Quickly I settled into the music and followed the prompts from Sarah to move through the five rhythms. I noticed the voice of those past gremlins, but I didn’t follow their train of thought. I went back to dancing across the floor as the spirit moved me in the moment. I was sweating. I was out of breath. I was completely in the present moment.
What I learned in my first foray into moving meditation is that it’s the organic movement in the moment which matters. That the less I judge myself, the less I hedge my bets, the more opportunities naturally flow to me. I get to define myself. Others can help me through inspiration, through support, through being their own best selves which allows me to be my own best self. And when I’m at my best, it’s not about the results I produce but the life I create along the way.
How will you move in new ways today?