Carrie, my Nia teacher, when she was pregnant last year, Canon Elph SD1000
I finally got back to my awesome Nia dance class this week. It has been a year and a half since I’ve been and I must have grinned for the entire hour… Not only was I out by myself but I had forgotten how much my body craves movement, how I get in touch with the 12-year-old version of myself whose favorite thing is to choreograph dances to the Flashdance soundtrack and teach them to her friends. I was completely transformed after this one precious hour.
Sometimes I get stuck trying to think my out of a funk or think my way into a new place of joy or inspiration or energy. I forget that often the very best transformational tool I have is my body.
At one point in the routine the music shifted to a slightly dark, techno-y, industrial beat (not the good kind of techno) and my teacher, sensing this said, “Find your joy amidst the really bad music, find the joy in dancing to music you don’t like…”
She added later, “It is up to each of you to find your joy. No one is going to do it for you… A harsh fact of life sometimes, but it’s up to us.”
This does not mean we have to be happy all the time or not feel our true feelings. It means that it always comes back to us to choose how we want to be. When we’re done being sad or angry or afraid, we can choose something else. Doesn’t have to be joy… but it’s a nice option.
Even when we don’t like the music, it’s good to know there’s a dance tucked away in there, ready to be found.