“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.” Samuel Becket
Physical Benefits of Dancing
Dance has often been at the core of my spiritual life. Now, when I want to escape into joy or de-stress, I turn on music and dance around the house by myself. It is a perfect way to lift my vibration and chase away the blues! Dancing stimulates the release of endorphins which reduces pain and gives us a natural high in addition to increasing our metabolism and blood flow. During the sixties and seventies when so many people I knew were doing drugs, I was never interested because dancing gave me a high in a natural way.
Emotional Benefits of Dancing
Not only is dance good for us physically, it can also affect us emotionally in very positive ways. Over the years, I’ve met people who grew up in families where they were taught that any strong or passionate expression of emotion was not acceptable, especially if it was negative. In other instances, people I know needed to hide who they really were or what they thought out of fear that the truth would damage their relationships. Keeping our feelings hidden like this creates tension in the body and shrinks who we are, restricting our ability to express.
When we hide who we truly are and are fearful of expressing, we are denying our spiritual purpose. We are all in this life for a reason, and understanding who we truly are reveals to us the purpose for this lifetime. In terms of relationships, hiding behind what appears to be peacefulness also limits our relationships because what creates a more meaningful relationship is the ability to share what we truly feel and think.
Releasing Our Fear and Rigidity
There are many ways to release the fear of expressing emotions. Therapy and spiritual disciplines may provide us with many tools. Understanding why we are fearful is often helpful because understanding ourselves and our families allows us to let go of the need to protect ourselves. Finding friends who accept our passionate expression reinforces the feeling that we are truly loved for being genuine.
But dance can be a valuable tool in this process. Rigidity of body or mind is unhealthy for the spirit as well as the body, but movement stimulates the whole being to express. By using our bodies to release the mind, we become more aware of the mind/body connection and begin to feel a wholeness. If we allow ourselves to feel the joy of the movement, we can connect to our spirit and the Spirit that connects us all.
One of the most beautiful ways to explore the way that dance can aid our growth is in connecting with our spiritual selves through Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms Healing Meditation known as The Wave. There are groups around the country who meet to experience this together, but if you are not ready to move in a group, there are videos you can follow on your own. Still, the energy of a group can be exhilarating. Seeing others moving without inhibition often gives us the courage to risk a little more.
Connecting Body and Mind to Open
Dancing with music is not always necessary. Moving in silence allows us to penetrate the silence and the barrier of our own bodies. In that moment, the body connects to the mind, and we visit that place where body and mind are One. If we allow ourselves to move and feel whatever comes up, we empower ourselves. How can we possibly express what we feel if we can’t feel it? So that is the first step, to feel in the body and then the emotions. Then we must be willing to take that information and use it to transform ourselves into a person who is not afraid to express those thoughts and feelings. It takes commitment because it is not usually a brief process.
When we give ourselves to the dance, we stop thinking. Fear, shyness, judgments drop away and we are just in the moment—mind, body, emotions and soul are all One. In that moment, whatever we feel is just fine, and if we can’t express our feelings verbally, we can dance them. By dancing them, we may one day learn to verbalize them as well.
How often do you dance freely and let go of stress? Does movement help you release the fear you feel about expressing yourself verbally? Please comment and share your specific comments about this topic.
© 2012 Georganne Spruce
Related Articles: (Fear) You Decide, Deepok Chopra’s 7 Steps to Release Emotional Turbulence, Feelings (spiritualhypster.com)