As I Dance: Out of the Mind, Into the Body

For most of my life, dancing was my greatest fear. I had extreme self-judgment and expected the judgment of others, fueling perfectionism and avoidance. So when family members recently recommended I do the 5 Rhythms dance practice, the idea scared me. But I knew I had trauma and emotions stored in my body that I was disconnected from. I too often remained in my active and anxious mind. 

So, I took the leap way out of my comfort zone.

I’ve attended two 5 Rhythms classes so far and the experiences are powerfully healing and freeing. Each morning before the dance I am super anxious, my mind on hyper drive as I prepare. When I get there and begin to dance, the initial challenge is getting out of my mind and into my body. My mind can go in a million directions. It take self-discipline just letting the thoughts exist without reacting to them. They want to tell me how I’m not doing it right and compare me to others. As I dance, insights emerge. I realize what my “normal” life is like; how tense, controlled, and perfectionistic I am. I realize how intimidated I am by beautiful women. I fear my presence will spoil the environment.

As I dance, my self-judgment diminishes and I become joyful, creative, playful, and flowing. My body moves how it wants to move. The shame that tells me I don’t belong dissipates and I connect with those in my midst. I move and pulse with the energy in the room. I feel finally free. 

By the end, I am one with those around me. I belong. My anxiety in gone. I feel relaxed and euphoric. I’ve experienced the joy of letting go and being myself, free from the chains of self-judgment. These effects last for days. Trauma is cleared. I am healing.

Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is …happiness.”
-Achaan Chah

Categories Shame, trauma, writingTags , , ,

2 thoughts on “As I Dance: Out of the Mind, Into the Body

  1. Forest, This is wonderful for you and for your family. Where is the 5 Rhythms class? Could you share contact information for it with me? How big are the boys now? Would you like to talk to my human sexuality class again next spring? It will meet on Thursdays, probably in the afternoons. Delores Friesen



    1. Delores, let’s talk! What’s your email address?


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