The gifts of dance

As we step into a new year it is easy to get busy with making plans and resolutions. This is a time of the year when we regularly remind ourselves that we need to get a hold on the steering wheel of our life, we need to “get ourselves together”, we need to set goals. And there is nothing wrong with these urges, and at the same time I find it equally important to remind myself that I don’t need to control everything, that there is an art in receiving, accepting, surrendering. So many times the best things in our lives arrive to us without plans.

This year I invite you to practice going with the flow as much as you practice planning and executing your plans. And going with the flow is not the same as doing nothing. Going with the flow is a very active and conscious process. It invites us to stay present, to stay alert, so we can always choose the best current to go with, instead of just being tossed around randomly. Going along plans or going with the flow reminds me of two people, one going on a voyage with the kayak, and the other with the sailing boat. The first one sets goals, makes plans, like “I’ll paddle 3×3 hours every day, rest in between and I’ll reach my destination in ten days”. The other prepares its boat as best as he can, and then waits for the wind. When there is no wind, he rests, when the wind is too big, he struggles, and there is no way of telling when he will arrive to the destination. His plans look like this: “I’ll do my best to prepare and then I’ll be vigilant and wait for the wind”.

5Rhythms is the practice of going with the flow. When we dance the rhythms we don’t try to create the best movements, instead we continuously practice being vigilant, being present. We tune in to our inner weather and we also receive inspiration from the group, from the music. Instead of making plans we take whatever is given to us and we make the best out of it. Again and again, every minute, every movement. We don’t create our movements, rather we find them. They are coming to us, like a long row of gifts. Our only job is to stay curious, and keep opening these gifts, keep getting them out of their wrapping papers, and admire them.

If you practice receiving good things in the dance, you’ll became an “expert receiver”, you’ll get better in spotting opportunities, you’ll get better in staying awake and curious. It’ll bring you unexpected joy!

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