We do a lot of interpretive dance in my household. Typically a really good 80s love song on Spotify influences some family member to whip out a move or two. We laugh, and I swear it’s the best way to turn frowns upside down or just shake off some silly second-grade homework “stress.” Yet, it’s also really important to me to remember being in my body is not only about play but also about experiencing a full range of emotions in my body and not just in my head. (Go ahead and turn up “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship - If that doesn’t move you, we need to talk!)
As someone who was a creative dancer as a child and a journalism major as a young adult, my thin skin is my greatest intuitive sensory tool, yet my love for words and stories can play games with my mind. I bet if you’re reading you somewhat resonate with that experience too. That’s why I love pulling together somatic and cognitive therapies to help connect the dots and find meaning, awareness and likely some freedom in the mix of life. Brené Brown says:
So here’s an exercise for you. Take 5-10 minutes and clear some space around you. If you choose to do this movement with music, try matching the music to the mood based on the instructions for #1 and #2:
Imagine a problem, issue or challenge you’re currently facing. Maybe it’s an icky feeling that’s hard to articulate. Maybe it’s a relationship situation. Maybe it’s a conversation you had two hours ago. Feel it in your blood, in your breath, in your bones. Does it make you feel like curling inward, opening your chest, beating on something, reaching, stretching wide, creeping low to the ground, swaying around the room? Explore how the problem shows up in your body and move with it.
Now, imagine how you want that problem, issue or challenge resolved. Maybe it’s closure. Maybe it’s an opportunity you’re not sure you deserve or are ready to live. Maybe it’s moving in a different direction. Imagine this resolution to the problem giving you new life, new playfulness, new breath, new hope. Suspend any disbelief or old, confining stories you live with, and imagine the positive possibilities. Now move with that hope, expansion, light, rhythm. How do you want to move? Is it possible to play with it in your private space? How does your heart feel? Your breath? Do you notice your knees, your hips, your feet? Do you reach up/down, side-to-side? Is it interesting to take a new perspective and get low to the ground, maybe roll?
Take a few minutes to reflect on what you just did. Be with the sensations for a few minutes, then journal if you wish. See if you can do this almost anywhere. Notice how your stories influence your breath, then your sensations, then your movement, etc. What if you opened to trusting the process and experience what happens to your breath? Or your gestures, or little movement habits. I bet you’ll gain a new sense of body awareness as well as an appreciation and curiosity for the stories (and possibilities!) that bubble up in your mind.
Interested in doing this work one-on-one? Contact me for a 15-minute phone chat about the possibilities.
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