I love the dance metaphor applied to things that seem serious and scary (think dating after divorce, single mommin’ it through the toddler years). I first thought about it right before I launched this blog and made my writing visible. How much was appropriate to share? Would anybody read it? Oh lord, would family find it?
Me and dancing have a spotty past. I grew up in a private Christian school that frowned upon dancing (except for the school hoedown). So when I landed in a public school my junior year of high school and a real live boy asked me to the first school dance of the year, it wasn’t pretty.
I hung on through The Twist and The Macarena. Then the slow dancing began. I took one look at the other couples hanging all over each other and made a calculated decision to spend the rest of the evening hiding from my date.
For many years after that, me and dancing didn’t mix. At best I’d bob around in a very large group of people to a song I happened to like or a dance whose steps I happened to know.
Then I met this girl. We worked together at the fitness center in college, and pretty soon we started going dancing together. One night she came up behind me on the dance floor and used her hands to literally force my hips in a wiggly wobbly flow.
“You gotta find your hips, girl!” she said.
It took a little while longer to get it, but today I know how to just let the hell go and have fun.
When I started WomanSpeak.org, I knew I’d have to let go of my fear of other people’s judgements and prepare to let the words flow like a wild, free, contagious dance. All my writing heroines do this already, I told myself. I was simply committing to joining them on the dance floor of life.
I’d have to let go of my desire to come out with an attractive dance and be willing to let what comes, come. I knew it might be awkward at first. It might come in starts and stops. I may lose the rhythm here and there. But if history is any teacher, I know it will be most beautiful when I tune into and feel the music deeply, and start moving with no regard to spectators. That’s when the infectiously happy starts. And there’s no stopping me then.
As I continue my writing, my strategy is to tune into the music that makes me feel, and connect with others who can introduce me to the music that makes them feel. Whenever I get self conscious I’ll remember to let go and move through it until I feel the music again.
P.S. to my loyal readers who keep coming back: thank you for hanging with me as I discover my flow. I’m tossing around some ideas to pull more of you onto the dance floor with me because I know many of you have some amazing experiences and wisdom to share. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas and feedback with me via the comments or my contact page.