Dance Lessons

January always feels like a fresh start; a time of new possibilities; a time to aim toward the person I know I could be if I just applied myself. I feel ambitious and optimistic about the new and improved version of myself that I’m certain is just around the corner. I will exercise more, eat healthier, become more organized, declutter by closets and drawers, balance my checkbook, make sound financial decisions,  learn a new language, meditate, read, write, volunteer, be punctual revamp my wardrobe, eat more vegetables, drink more water, cut back on alcohol, cheese, sugar, processed flour, carbs, red meat. I’ll be a better friend, call my parents more often, I’ll be kinder to strangers. I’ll throw out my old holey underwear and replace it with new sexy lingerie. I’ll update my playlist with newer cooler music. I’ll strengthen my core, thighs and triceps, not to mention my mind heart and spirit.  It will be so easy, I can do it all by spending just 20-minutes a day in the 10-day, 21-day or 90-day challenge, depending on my level of ambition.

You know how this ends. In a few short months I will be a different person. I will no longer be driven by a mad list of self-improvements. In January, I will eat healthier, exercise more and improve my level of intellectual stimulation; a goal easy enough to accomplish considering I spent the last few weeks, eating Christmas cookies for breakfast, sitting on the couch and binge watching The Walking Dead.

By March, I will have eased up on the gas petal. That’s not to say I will have given up on my goals completely. But I have learned from experience that the best intentions often get messed up when life happens.  My hope for the new year is that rather than feeling defeated by the inevitable realities of life, I will continue to at least aim for my goals while allowing life with all it’s wonderful, unpredictable, uncontrollable, messy, glorious, tragic, miraculous events to happen.

I heard it said once in a yoga class that “Yoga, like life, is a dance between your will (what you aim for) and your prana or life force (what you allow for).” In other words, you live in that space between what you want and what really happens.

In yoga, I bend and stretch and hold, doing whatever I can to force my less than perfect body into aimed for poses. Sometimes, with practice, I get it right. Sometimes I’m too weak, too short, too thick or too inexperienced to get it. All I can do is aim for what my mind wants to do and accept what my body is able to do. I like the idea that it’s a dance rather than what it feels like – a wrestling match.  I wonder, is the dance where I find grace?

I think this year, I will focus  on enjoying the dance a little more. Sometimes it may be one step up and two steps back, but other times it might be two steps to the right and two to the left. Who knows, maybe I’ll waltz my way across the dance floor and onto a new challenge. There’s nothing wrong with a little ambition; an aim for a better version of myself, as long as it’s not at the expense of beating myself up for the person I am today.

This year, I will stop fighting with my dance partner. I will relax, feel the rhythm and embrace the experience. I will cha-cha or merengue or watusi my way in the general direction of my goals and I will enjoy the trip. Maybe I’ll even sign up for dance lessons.

4 Comments

  1. amhuser
    Apr 21, 2015

    I like the quote–“Yoga, like life, is a dance between your will (what you aim for) and your prana or life force (what you allow for).” And I especially like the definitions for the “will” vs “prana”. Will remember that. Thanks for your thoughtful words.

  2. Kelly McNulty
    Jan 21, 2016

    I actually like you just the way you are! You’re a great writer. Looking forward to more.

  3. The blog is absolutely fantastic. Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need. Thanks for such a continuous great postings.

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