Someone recently was asking me about dance, and how to overcome feeling self-conscious and caring what other people think…

She was saying that there are times when she can really let go, and other times not…

I couldn’t help smiling and thinking, “Welcome to being human!

My thought is that like any other practice, what seems to be in the way, actually is the way….

When meditating, sometimes it is this effortless, blissful, open experience —but a lot of other times we are distracted, resistant, uncomfortable.

Even in the expressive dynamics of Dance Tribe, having a practice orientation is very different than the prescriptive idea that someone should “just let go and have fun” like the old joke, “be spontaneous, now!”

It seems to me the true power of having a set of tools to practice is that they are valuable not only all the time, no matter what the arising experience is, but that actually those tools are perhaps most valuable when we find we are judging the experience we are actually having as being somehow wrong or evidence of how defective we are!!

Right there… THAT’S the thing to work with… What’s it like to breathe, stay present, evoke kindness and curiosity right there with THAT?!

Just like in the more internal space of seated meditation, in an active movement practice, right in that moment of self-judgment, awkwardness, the desire to escape, the false belief that if only we were somehow not ourselves, we’d be having the experience that (supposedly) other people would find more lovable and acceptable…

That’s the moment to stay present, get curious, and turn on your self-compassion.

I have been engaging in dance in community as an awareness practice for over 20 years now. It has changed my life in radical and subtle, and subtly radical ways, and it has influenced everything else i do personally and professionally.

i have danced angry, insecure, grief stricken, confident, playful, sensual, ecstatic, and everything in between —which makes sense, because this is how it is to be human, and a practice orientation means being with ourselves as we are and working as unconditionally as possible with whatever is arising..

So my invitation to you this week (on the yoga mat, meditation cusion, dance floor, or anywhere else) is:

Meet yourself as you are, and let the elements of breath, movement, awareness, energy, stillness, community, rhythm, curiosity and kindness work their alchemy as the journey unfolds.

Hope to see you soon!

{For any new friends you’re inviting —this is a short post on Shyness & Authenticity}