I started doing Nia again after a long absence. I love music and movement, and Nia combines both of those elements in a way that is joyful and nourishing to my body and can be playful, if my mind lets it. It’s been about 4 years or so since I last attended Nia regularly, and although it took me some time in the beginning to get over my self consciousness, I had gotten to that place of joy and nourishment and playfulness . When I stopped going regularly, I felt a loss. So it filled me with delight when I heard of a Nia class that was starting up at a place and time I could attend.
Ahhhhh, but here I am in that space of beginning……………again. That place of awkwardness and gawkiness and ugly duckling-ness. But something different is happening this time. Yes, I still hear and feel that voice in my head that kicks in and says “You can’t dance! You have no rhythm! Look how off you are! You are the WORST person in the class! Don’t come back!” These thoughts cause me great suffering when they take hold and they cause me to see what isn’t really there. But what I love now is that their grip isn’t quite as strong, and they don’t scare me as much as they used to. I can peer into them a little deeper, talk to them, ease them. I can watch them rise, float and fall away. I can imagine them dripping off the tips of my fingers and toes as my body rises, floats and falls away to the music. And I can rejoice that these thoughts no longer blind me completely from seeing that I am, in fact, a dancer and that there is a grace and freedom and fluidity in being authentically, awkwardly me in that moment. I do experience joy in the movement of my body and the music regardless of whether I’m old, whether I’m off-beat, whether I’m doing it like anyone else or whether I’m doing it “imperfectly”. And I can – yes, I can even slow myself down enough to, as Brené Brown puts it, “lean into my discomfort” and learn to cultivate joy in being a beginner……again and again and again.
This piece is called “Heart of A Dancer” and she embodies the grace and freedom and fluidity of being authentically who she is in the moment – a dancer. She doesn’t care that she may not look to others like she is a dancer, she may not have the culturally defined body of a dancer, she may not have the “right moves” or be in the “right position”, but she loves to dance and, in the end, that’s all that matters. She lives from her heart, her life flows from that place of love and it is full. She is unashamed. When she hears the music, she lifts her arms and is ready – to dance! She radiates from the inside. For me, this is the dance of life. Heart open, willing to risk and be vulnerable to do our dance, reach for our heart’s desire, radiate deep love inward and then, outwardly into the world.