When Did You Stop?

If you’re life is not right somehow, and you don’t know how to get back on track, ask yourself:

  • when did you stop dancing?
  • when did you stop singing your song?
  • when did you stop telling your story?
  • when did you stop enjoying stillness?

These are universal ways of living your joy. They show self care, other love, and inner peace. When you lose your desire or ability to engage in these things, you lose a part of your soul.

This might seem like a frivolous list in today’s society, but we’ve been a pretty damaged society for a long, long time. We have been living by a clock, living for a paycheck, and measuring our value by someone else’s yardstick. Isn’t it time to do something different?

Healing Through Dance

Dance is a full bodied expression of a range of emotions that are reflected in life. When we don’t dance, or don’t dance in this way, we shut off that flow of feeling. As a society, Americans don’t dance. We dance for performance or courting. That’s it. Social dancing is for immigrants. Dancing with your whole body and soul is just unimaginable. Imagine it. Do it. Feel your body. Let yourself feel grounded to the earth. Let your body become the air. Let your body experience and release the fear, pain, anger, and whatever else is inside until it gives way to joy.

Dance to what? Listen for what makes your body want to express. Check out something tribal, something with driving drums. Do your hips have something to say? Try Latin, Polynesian, or Middle Eastern music. Does your heart have something to say? Try something lyrical, fanciful and light. Are you angry or filled with pain? Try techno. Feeling mellow and juicy? Maybe reggae is your groove. Let your body tell you what it wants to say and how it wants to say it. If you come from a culture that doesn’t dance, break the cycle. Movement is required for health. Be healthy.

Healing Through Song

Do you know why mothers sing to their babies? It’s an intuitive way to soothe and connect. Songs can also be a way to express and connect with a broken heart, find your courage, or feel your grief. Sound is energy. Energy is not meant to stay trapped in your body. Trapped energy creates pain. So let it out. Sing. Don’t do it like it’s homework. This is heart work. Sing loudly. With all your heart. Sing until you feel something stir inside.

Sing what? Think about the songs you sang when you were most happy, most present. Sing the songs from your childhood. Sing the songs from holidays. Sing the song that you listened to nonstop when your heart was breaking. Sing the one that fills you with hope. If you don’t have one of those, make one up. Create a new song that your heart can feel. One with joy that manifests out into the world.

If you’ve ever listened to a baby discover its voice, you know the magic I speak of. A baby can entertain itself by cooing and gurgling for hours. Rediscover your voice. Let the world hear what you have to say. Sing!

Healing Through Story Telling

Telling stories offers opportunities for healing in the same way that dancing and singing do. It gets the story out of you. If you have a sad story that make you feel guilt, sorrow, or regret, tell it to a tree. Tell it all. Cry it out completely. Release all of the misery and then never speak of it again. If you have an inspiring or happy story, telling it to someone else creates an opportunity for connection. It allows that uplifting energy to be passed along. So be sure to listen to other’s stories as well.

Healing Through Being Still

Where is stillness promoted in our society? The yoga studio is about it. We’re on the go, go, go plan from the moment we are startled into wakefulness. We think that productivity is where it’s at. Gotta get that work out in, watch that tv show, and make that dinner date. Being still and connecting to the pulse of the universe keeps you grounded. Listening to your own inner pulse keeps you present. You can’t live anywhere but in the present, but how do you do that when you never tune in? Try it. Be still.

When you do any of these things that you stopped doing – or perhaps never did – your body will remember what it was like to have that vigor, that energy. It will start to hunger for it again. If you keep going, it will release what is stuck and open up so that you can reclaim it. The reasons you stopped living in the flow of life don’t matter. Stepping back in through song, dance, story telling, and stillness do. Just do it.

And don’t keep it a secret. Share it. Do it with others. The world needs a bit more joy. …and a new standard of normal.

Note: This is not to imply that this is all there is to healing. This is a suggestion to help you help yourself. Healing deep wounds may require more than this to attain complete relief.

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