This morning on my drive to work, out of the blue, I got swept up in a wave of nostalgia. That’s a thing that happens around here, so I wasn’t too concerned – but it still took me by surprise.
Do you know that feeling – the one where a song comes on that strikes a chord with you for one of a thousand reasons, and it stirs something inside you? It blows my mind how powerful music can be, as a reminder of the past, a mood changer, a time machine, a kindred spirit… the power of art is a very real thing, friends, and the proof is in the hundreds of striking ways we react to it. Me? I’m a big reactor. In those moments when feelings hit me like a Mack truck — feelings brought on by music, memories, the world around me — it’s rarely enough for me to just ‘be.’ Movement has always been the answer.
I’ve danced my whole life. I was the four-year-old who went to ballet class with all her friends, and never outgrew it. Fast forward a few years, and suddenly dance was less of a hobby, and more of a vehicle for processing my experiences as they were happening. I didn’t just love it, I needed it. The demands of my ballet training presented a really beautiful dichotomy: there’s the intense inward-focus that forced me to intimately know every muscle in my body and which ones to call upon to execute those stunning classical lines, combined with the artistic elements that allowed me to connect with things larger than myself. By the time I was old enough to recognize my need for both of these things, I was hooked.
After college when I transitioned into semi adulthood, my daily routine and priorities started to change in a way that made dance more difficult to fit into my life. I’ve come up with a long list of excuses that justify moving dance to the back burner: it’s expensive. It’s hard to find time for classes with a full time job. Finding a studio that caters to adults beyond the ‘beginner’ level is really tough.
These are all true, and valid in their own right. But there’s a truth that trumps them all: dance feeds my soul. We all have those things that nourish us, things we choose to do that add to our lives in meaningful ways – for me, it’s movement. This morning, as I sat at a right light with goosebumps and an overwhelming need to channel that nostalgic churning in my stomach into movement, I remembered why I was so in love with dance for so long.
I’m a big believer in the need to play in active role in our own well-being. Self TLC, if you will. This morning, I was forced to remember that I’m a happier, more balanced person when I make time to dance, and that kind of nourishment is something I need to make time for once again… I owe it to myself.
What are the things that nourish you? Have you found ways to make time for them, even when life gets busy? Please, share!