Bob Edelstein L.M.F.T., M.F.T

Authentic Engagement

How Are You Dancing With Life?

Movement is inherent in being.

Posted Mar 03, 2015

My daughter is a dancer, and the proud dad that I am, I think she is very good. Recently, I watched one of her performances and as she moved on the stage, I was struck by the choreography and how it paralleled what I wanted this blog to explore.

Life is a dance—whether it is hip-hop, ballet, or jazz. Each of us can choose the dance we want. We move in and we move out. We breathe in and we breathe out. We are discovering new positions through the dance and although we practice again and again, each performance on stage is never exactly the same.

As Carl Rogers, Ph.D., stated in his book, On Becoming a Person, we are not a finished product. We are a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity—a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material.

In our culture, the illusion is that we think life is static, but in reality it is always in movement. Life is always dancing with us. The challenge is to recognize we are life’s partner, and as such, it’s important that we get comfortable with the reality that we are always in the process of becoming. We need to be aware that our relationship to life is always changing. We are always dancing with life.

In the present moment, the past and future are embodied, and yet it is only in the aliveness of the present moment that the past and the future have meaning.

We can learn to trust what goes on inside of ourselves right here, right now. We can trust the fluidity of who we are and who we are becoming. Sheldon Kopp, Ph.D., succinctly noted this fluidity in the title of one his books, Here I am, Wasn’t I?

How do you best stay with who you are and who you are becoming in the present moment?

1.      Be aware of your thoughts and feelings as they emerge.

2.      Respect your inner thoughts and feelings as having value.

3.      Do not dismiss your inner thoughts and feelings, even if they are in contradiction to what you are “supposed” to be or what society expects of you.

4.      Explore your thoughts and feelings with engaged curiosity.

This exploration will lead to further deepening of our dance with life.

By truly being with the flow of what is going on in the here and now, your next movement occurs organically. Resisting the flow of your thoughts and feelings keeps you static and stuck. It can help to remember that whatever you are feeling will eventually pass, that feelings are emotions. Knowing that our thoughts and feelings are transitory can allow you to be more hopeful in the face of adversity.

May you enjoy the dance.

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