“Dance, and make joyous love around you. Dance, and your veils which hide the Light shall swirl in a heap at your feet.” ~ Rumi
At one of the impromptu high vibing gatherings in Ubud, I met two lady healers and performers from the United States.
They were facilitating a spiritual dance training, and they invited me to help them with their retreat up north on Menjangan Island. The experience was both uncomfortable and healing.
Even though my professional life was exciting, and I was really enjoying discovering my soul group, in my private life, I was two steps short of stagnating.
After my partner and I decided to create a new life together in Bali, we put in the best intentions and positive expectations. But it was a challenge to adjust to the new environment and make a secure means of income. Sometimes, having each other was not enough.
Somewhere along the way, I started getting annoyed because he wasn’t living up to what he had promised regarding the income. He quit his well-paying job for an offer that fell through, leaving him without a job for more than a year.
We started fighting more and more.
He resented me for flying back home to visit my family every year.
My frustration with him was building up more and more. I saw our differences, and my fear of not being able to make it on my own was standing strong.
I tried to control him to make up for the energy I wanted to receive from him, but he wasn’t able to offer it to me.
I was determined to make it work by investing more—by being the ultimate control freak, the executive who can keep it all glued together. I let him do many daily chores as I was sinking deeper into the fear that I could not take care of myself without him.
With only tied-in connections to mutual friends and a few genuine friends of my own, I felt helpless, weak, and unable to see the outside limitations of my own mind.
I was lulled into the safety of the daily rituals of a couple. I settled. I thought I did not deserve love—that I would never find true love, and that this would be good enough. But I wasn’t happy.
I was numbed by tasty meals, regular walks on the beach, and binge-watching episodes of “House of Cards.” They kept my mind and my soul entertained to repress my true desires. Sex had lost its zest, and, slowly, the daily bickering had turned us into a couple of strangers in close daily interactions devoid of intimacy, love, or passion.
In full control of my faculties, I reduced my life to the basics: eat, sleep, work, and feel afraid. I traded cold comfort for change. But at one point, this soulless living had to stop. I had enough. And then, one day, dance had walked into my life, and I started dancing with life again.
Once we make the decision to pursue something, the universe conspires to help us.
At first, I was reluctant to take the invitation of the two ladies who held dance facilitation training up north on Menjangan Island as the retreat group had its own pace and I was an outsider who was joining only for a week. But I was invited to dance. One doesn’t simply refuse that.
At first, I joined the dance, shyly, feeling afraid to let go. I was conscious of what others might think of the way I look, if I was doing it right, and so many other restrictive thoughts that didn’t belong to me. But the way the facilitators led the program and the participants danced, despite their age, sex, weight, or mood helped me do the same.
We danced a few times per day. We sang with the outstanding facilitators and performers who flew in from California just for this training program.
And I finally let go.
I danced with my head. I danced with my hands and my legs, feeling taken by the emotions of the songs played. I danced slowly. I danced wildly, clumsily, and graciously—like a ballerina making giant leaps across the dance floor.
I let myself go to the trance rhythms of the drums.
I was learning to breathe again, to move my feet while I danced, and to experience life in motion. I cried wholeheartedly when I danced with my hips. I felt the pain inside my womb—the stuck energy resolving from my second chakra. My entire body was shaking. I wrestled while continuing to dance and hide my vulnerability from the people around me. I was embarrassed that others would see my tears and my pain, but I couldn’t hold it in any longer. So I just let go.
I let the music absorb me, without thinking and while completely being induced by its sweetness. Oh, the heavenly feeling the music created in my body. The feeling of being free of worry and self-consciousness.
My energy was flowing unrestrictedly. I reached a state of suspended entropy. I was in the now, dancing with eternity.
The group continued dancing and singing for the Bali Spirit Festival, which lasted for the next four days. Part of the retreat program was to join the festival so that participants could enjoy the extraordinary performers, healers, and yoga teachers as well as meet the like-minded crowd from around the world.
All the extra weight on my body had dissolved within seven days of continuous dancing, singing, and laughing with wonderful, happy people who were emerging from their own worlds of restrictions.
We shared our joy, meditations, yoga, healthy food, and personal stories. I felt my body being released from a cocoon of stress. I went from carrying heavy, negative feelings to feeling lighter. Instead, I gained the body of a little girl: untainted, free, and light as a feather.
I also adopted dietary habits that made my new body feel satisfied. I was eating whole foods, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and little to no processed carbohydrates.
The beautiful energy wave had prompted me to move to Ubud, right in the midst of it all, away from my ex-boyfriend. I ended up sharing a wonderful villa in the rice fields with two other kind ladies. I realized, then, that we are amazing beings of light. My second chakra felt so full of energy. It felt like a bright sun shining from my insides, and everybody else could feel and see it.
I was so full of energy; I was reborn into myself.
Soon enough, I discovered that I am perfectly capable of finding new, amazing friends of my own to have fun with, discuss sex and deep transformations, or even work with. I discovered I can take care of myself—that I can shop for myself, cook for myself, and find motorbike transportation whenever I needed it.
I fell in love with my true self: my playful, social, sexy, free nature. I was so happy to love myself, the part that was missing or lost in the relationship that I entered out of feelings of need and fear.
I keep dancing and feeding this beautiful connection with dance. It is still one of my favorite rituals that is performed at least once a week. I realized that we choose our rituals, whether consciously or not.
We decide how we live our lives and what becomes our priority. Because if we don’t make that conscious decision, somebody else or circumstances will decide for us.
I find dance to be my place of worship. I find myself through moving, interacting with others, loving, sharing, and connecting.
And you? How do you arrange your priorities? Are you living your values or giving your time to other people’s priorities instead?
I live for dance because it channels messages from within the spirit. I see it as a connection between the spirit and our life on Earth. Just as our ancestors practiced dance in their time, we now have new age dance therapy classes. My favorites are ecstatic, contact, salsa, five rhythms, Biodanza, private group classes led by a choreographer, and experimental dance.
Perhaps it’s not about dance for you, but it could very well be.
It’s about understanding what makes us happy, what sets us on fire, and then making an effort to include it in our daily lives because it is a source of never-ending enrichment.
Self-care rituals are a source of internal life and renewal. When we find our own rituals and tap into their magic, we can give to others too. That’s why our self-renewal has to be a priority so that we can become vessels shining a light on the path of those who need it.
When I let go of control, I tap into the infinite possibilities.
Six years later, I now facilitate dance because I want to share this amazing discovery with other people so that they may learn to love their bodies and their pain and experience a continuous rebirth through dance.