Not infrequently, people will say after a seemingly sudden illness, “I did not see that coming.” Yet, their body was probably screaming at them to listen. Denial, fear, ignorance, and laziness make us ignore the warning signs of any type of breakdown in our life. It is very common for people to live outside of their body and to be unaware of the conversation it is constantly having with them. We can become focused on career, family, and mortgage and the years pass by with often only a token look at the state of the body.
Sometimes, it is just all too much effort and even knowing where to begin can seem overwhelming. Stress, neglect, lack of awareness, and concentrating on more mental pursuits can pull us away from our relationship with our own body. Like a neglected partner, we forget about it. We know it is there and we rely on its loyalty to us but we barely give it the time of day. Naturally, it will start complaining and eventually may file for divorce, leaving us in a state of ruin.
Our body is important. It’s the first gift God gives us. We are meant to take care of it for the entire time we have it. We are meant to be grateful for it, use it, enjoy it, and learn from it. At the same time, we are not meant to obsess over it, be vain, be a hypochondriac, or be a pleasure seeker at other people’s expense.
Thinking and the Body
As a dancer, it is important to stop thinking. If we let the mind have its way, it will never shut up. One has to have enough mental awareness to know what one is doing and little enough to move with the flow. We cannot help but respond to dancers who are very present. The dancers will have drawn us into ourselves and beyond ourselves. The process is inclusive.
Dancers dance because they learn things about themselves through dancing. They develop parts of themselves that are not yet finished. It’s not necessarily about enjoyment, although, that is always pleasant and fun. It may be confronting, infuriating, depressing or even debilitating. We are generally not learning the thing we think we are and, even less, the thing we want. Dancing helps us to become balanced as a whole entity. It helps us to grow and we should let it do so. We should be grateful for that which makes us grow, even though it may be a love/hate relationship with the very things that are responsible for that growth.
This article is from Love’s Longing