Archive for March, 2011

The Joy of Dancing

After days meeting with old friends, eating delicious Peruvian desserts, and not exercising much, I was in need to move my body. The intense traffic and my bank account discouraged me from enrolling in any of the popular dance academies in Lima, so I decided to take advantage of the subsidized classes in my neighborhood. A classroom with light blue walls in an old building, six blocks from my parents’ home where I am staying, and the best part, only $2 per class. What I didn’t know was that most of the students were over 60 years old. It was a bit shocking to see that the instructor was older than my mom. In any case, I decided to stay and be open to experience the class with my older fellows. What followed after the first minutes of warming-up, was a sequence of 70’s music, some merengue, salsa and Peruvian folklore. The instructor didn’t mark the rhythm properly, but that wasn’t an impediment for the group of ladies to enjoy the moves and sing the lyrics as they followed the choreography. It was lively, the ladies were very energetic and looked so happy…just beautiful. They all seem to know each other, they were chatting between songs, and at the end of the class the instructor announced that the relative of one classmate passed away. A ceremony was going to be held. They were coordinating how to get there, who would go with whom and so on. A couple of ladies were also wearing a T-shirt with the slogan: “Tai Chi Group of Jesus Maria” (Jesus Maria, is the name of the district), which made me think that these ladies were very active and had an extended circle of acquaintances from other class groups as well. They all looked content, and connected, they were clearly enjoying their time and the company.

A while ago, I was asked which activities had heart and meaning to me, I answered that dancing was until that moment the activity that made me feel the greatest. I was thinking in the joy of dancing like the ladies from my neighborhood, Caribbean rhythms, lively beats, my experience with flamenco in the past, sober, passionate, fun, so expressive. But just recently I joined a workshop of Somatic Arts, the art of listening to your body. One component of it is free dance, a different type of dance that lies on the same beauty of expressing yourself through your body; but without a pre-determined compass or style. This type of dance takes you deep into your soul, your memories, your emotions. I had a beautiful experience with it: first the music brought me on my knees while moving the rest of my body in circles, then some energy pulled me to the floor, I was lying on it…the body then wanted to rise, and started making circles with the upper body as the body and the spirit were up to standing, looking up, the circles continued as they got bigger, she had the need to elevate, her tippy toes alternating on the floor, now some jumps, wavy moves with her arms, she wants to fly, but she can’t, it doesn’t matter, she can still expand herself to the infinite…she gets a bit tired, with the energy left she gathers the love and energy around her and bring them to her heart, her imperfectly beautiful heart…from lying on the floor she came back to her beautiful inner universe.

Dancing can take us to different places, to excitement, to dark places, to pain, to love, to fun. I haven’t returned to the dance classes with the ladies in my neighborhood, but I thank them for the wonderful gift of the joy of dancing, and to my Somatic Arts instructor for introducing me to a new and liberating experience. Whether it comes from freeing repressed emotions or from awakening the joy in your system, dancing uplifts you. Put your heart in your moves, if you are alone, make sure you have space, close your eyes, free your mind, do whatever your soul and body tells you to do, follow the flow, kick, bend, form waves, jump, expand!!! Celebrate YOU! Give yourself this amazing gift, YOU totally deserve it.



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Thought of the Day

I learned the hard way that thinking on oneself is not the same as being selfish. It is not easy to be true to oneself without disappointing others, but you have to make sure that the only person you don’t disappoint is yourself. With time, the conscious decisions you make might not be less painful, but certainly they will give you the necessary strength, and will keep the shine of your life force.

Good vibe and energy to you all

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Thought of the day

“Trying to make things remain the same is useless as well as impossible. Our task is to contribute the best of our energy to every situation with the understanding that we influence, but do not control, what we will experience tomorrow.”

From: “Anatomy of the Spirit”, Caroline Myss

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After talking to a friend yesterday, the mom of a 7-year old girl, I couldn’t feel other thing but huge respect and admiration, and to certain extent jealousy of her joy at describing how fulfilling and beautiful has been for her to be a mom. It is a huge responsibility, it is hard work, but only a mother/father can describe the immense joy that seeing a child growing means.

I wouldn’t make justice by comparing the responsibility to being true to oneself as it is the responsibility of raising a child. However, in a way, I think it is a beautiful analogy: the responsibility to listen, nurture and develop your true self with giving birth, nurture and help develop a human being. If you have read a previous post about Life Coaching, you will know who Petula is. She suggested the idea of thinking of major changes in life as a baby…I don’t know how this baby is going to look like or will be doing in some years from now, but at the moment she needs attention, it is my responsibility. My heart was telling me to let her come to my life, and I let her. In a figurative way I didn’t plan this baby, but I knew clearly that I wanted to keep her, having the baby felt in alignment with myself and now is my responsibility to raise a healthy, strong, confident, and most of all joyous person.  She doesn’t have to be a prominent figure, maybe she will, who knows, for now, I just know that I need to take care of her every day. I still have to discover what her preferences are, she is hungry everyday; today she wanted to be fed with words, and that’s what I gave her. I accept this responsibility with joy and optimism, I won’t let you down, I won’t let you go; the universe, your friends, and I will be with you to help you expand through horizons and to wherever you were born to go.

With admiration to those brave people who make the commitment to live in alignment with their true self through life, even when that means making the difficult decision of not bringing some babies to life.

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