Sisters and Brothers: Let’s Dance!

Dance? What does that have to do with living as a kinder, more compassionate spiritual being?

Everything.

You see, we’re so often all up in our heads about this stuff. We’re so brain-centric. You’re busy evolving your life philosophies, meditating, manifesting, learning to be mindful…all of which is vital to the journey. But you sometimes forget that you have a physical body that wants to be a part of all this magic. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The energy of enlightenment and expansion doesn’t just happen in your thoughts, but all through your body and aura and beyond!

I’ve found that dancing is the best way to embody the expansion of consciousness you’re working towards. It’s also a joyful way to instantly lift your energy vibes. Dancing brings you into your physical form more fully. It helps you reclaim your body’s innate grace and beauty. Dancing is also terrific exercise, and as such it can help to improve your mood and regulate your emotions.

If a physical condition or challenge keeps you from literally getting to your feet and dancing, I ask that as you read the following you embody it in ways that work for you. Swaying to the rhythm, clapping along and visualizing yourself spinning and twirling to the music are equally valid ways to join in.

On the other hand, if you feel like you just don’t know how to dance, or you feel awkward and uncertain, please give yourself the gift of trying again. Some ways to get past your dance-phobia: turn up the music really loud so you can’t help but be absorbed into the experience, start by following your body’s inclination to stretch (yoga asanas make great dance moves) and close your eyes and just feel your way into the groove. Dance where no one is watching, not even your own judgmental self. Experience the dance rather than trying to perform it.

It’s easy to get started. There are only two steps to this process.

Are you ready? Step one is to put on some music. Don’t know what to listen to? Try Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, Prince’s 1999 or Roam by the B-52s. Michael Franti and Spearhead also get me moving every time. Dave Matthews Band, Skrillex, Regina Spektor, Duke Ellington…the list is nearly endless. Pick a tune (or a few) and crank up the volume. If you can’t blast it out loud, use headphones or earbuds.

Next: shake it! Move your body to the music. Follow the language of your body as it reacts to the rhythm and melody. If your mind needs something to do – practice learning the lyrics or belting them out. Try dancing for at least 20 minutes. This will give you time to really follow yourself into the groove and to release your inhibitions. Remember that your dancing is an experience, not a performance.

For extra credit you can share your dance practice with others. Dancing is a wonderful way to connect with other people without the need for words. Dance with little kids in the kitchen. Go to a contra dance (they’ll happily teach you the steps). Dance around a bonfire with your tribe. Go to an 80s night or a goth club with some fun-loving friends. Find an ecstatic dance community near you. If you’re really into it, take a dance class, though try not to let it trigger the need for perfection. The purpose of dance, in this use, is pure fun and open connection with your source energy.

Once you’ve discovered how good it feels to dance with abandon you’ll probably want to make it part of your regular spiritual practice. I like to put on my favorite tunes in the evening and dance around the living room. Your practical side will feel productive, as dance is great exercise, and your wild and free spirit will soar as you let go and move to the rhythms of the music. You might even notice that you feel clearer and more creative – try a dance session before you sit down to work on a project and see how it goes.

Sisters and brothers, I will testify, dancing regularly can change your life. Let’s groove!

Nikki Starcat Shields is an author, writing coach and leader of transformational writing retreats. She's also a licensed Pagan priestess. She invites you to a process of unfolding creativity. The world needs your unique wisdom - now is the time to finally take your inspired book idea and bring it forth into the world. Learn more at NikkiStarcatShields.com.

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