That’s My Style | Food for the Soul

Lauren of The Ballerina Project

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!

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  1. Lara Wood says:

    Inspiring post! It’s is actually very necessary to do the things that nurture our souls. I believe we have these desires to be creative/dance/cook (whatever makes our heart sing) not just to fulfill a need for self TLC but to bring pleasure to those around us in some way also. It’s a win win when we make time for the beautiful and not just the ordinary. Even if it seems just self indulgent, we will be happier to be around:) Thanks for the reminder!

    • That’s a really lovely way to think of it, Lara – what may start as something self indulgent often ends up benefitting people close to us, too. Just another way for us to connect with people around us. Thanks for the insight!

  2. I really, really miss dancing too and playing the piano as well.
    I hope someday I can comeback to both of them.

  3. This is awesome! And a topic near and dear to my heart. Feeding the soul is essential, to myself for health and for those around me and in the bigger world. It’s a trickle effect.
    Writing is my food of choice and makes me feel fully alive. I am in the process of making it my daily practice after many starts and stops (fear, procrastination, lack of discipline). Making time for it is everything…without it I am not whole.
    I’m going to go feed myself now;) You do the same….and thanks for a wonderful post:))

    • I’m so glad this resonated with you! You nailed it when it comes to ‘feeling whole’ … It’s easy to list the reasons it’s tough to make time for the things that nourish us, but at the end of the day, making the time is critical. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

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