Thursday, September 25, 2014

Taking the Stage

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.  ~ Rumi

 I love to dance. I love it from a soul place. It is my canvass, I paint with rhythm and movement. Dance lifts me up, connects me to my joy, it is my magic and my passion. When I am dancing I find myself. Everything else disappears, there is just me, pure and whole. I love other things too, but nothing goes right to the heart of me like dancing does. It sets me free.

When I am anywhere, and I mean anywhere, where there is music that moves me, and even a tiny space to to accommodate that movement, I find the magnetic lure, the call to the dance, irresistible.My inner impulse to dance overrides any shyness, any sense of propriety, any fear of embarrassment. POOF! My brain empties out and my body and soul are in command.

I recently put head phones on in an Apple Store here in Shanghai and the music got its hooks in me. I found myself dancing with abandon through the store. These were wireless headphones, I might add, so I could roam freely. Even more interesting than me, was the fact that all the locals in the store just ignored me, the crazy dancing foreign lady. Weird and awesomely liberating!

When I go to a club, which is once in a blue moon, I don't care if no one else is on the dance floor, I will get my groove on solo, I don't mind, more dance floor for me! Sure people might think I am audacious, or an attention seeker, I do admittedly have a strong performer archetype, people might judge me, but my love of dance is stronger than fear. What deep medicine it is!

Just this past weekend I went to an Oktoberfest celebration with my husband Stephen, and another couple. We donned our traditional German threads and proceeded to the festivities with gusto. We ate, drank the customary brew, and the band began to play. My friend and I made our way to the dance floor, the energy of the crowd and the music was big and boisterous, we entered the funky flow. We danced, and laughed, and danced some more.

As the evening was wrapping up I was high on the vibe, I felt like I could dance through the night. The band started to play 99 Red Balloons (or 99 Luftballoons), and that song hits a sentimental chord from my youth. I was swept up in it immediately. A woman near me suggested I should get up on stage. I immediately thought, "Wow! Yeah, what a great idea! I would love to be up there!" I got the attention of a band member in front of me and gestured to ask permission to come up, he shook his head no, so I was ready to let go of the idea, but a few moments later he was signalling to me to go ahead and come up.  A few helping hands boosted me up, and there I was dancing on stage! This felt amazing, so I took it upon myself to encourage other ladies, including my beautiful friend who I came with, to come up and join me. I am not sure if the band loved that part, but anyway, it all ended with me and my friend plus a number of other women up on stage having a ball! We finally made our way to exit stage left and allow the band to take back the entertainment.

Once we were back down there, one woman approached me and said, "Thank you so much, that was so fun and when I saw you get up there I thought, "I want to be like her.", and then I did it, I got up on stage! I would never have done that if you didn't go up there first." We hugged and parted ways. I probably will never see that woman again, but I will never forget her. Some friendships are momentary, but transformational.

The big deal of life is to know what we love and do it boldly. It is good to step out of our comfort zones and be a little wild, a little crazy. This is about being fully expressed as human beings, and not dulling down what lights us up, or makes us shine, for fear of what people will think. When one of us takes the stage, it gives others the permission and courage to go there too.

What stage is calling for you to come on up? In the moment, do you listen to your inner voice that is telling you to go for it, whatever your "it" is? We all must risk stepping out of the shadows and into the light in order to truly grow.  This is it, your life, dance on!!

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