Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Really Dance With Life

I was driving home yesterday on I-25 in the late afternoon, watching the snowflakes fall down from the sky. At first I was worried about how big they were, how fast they were falling, and how I might skid off the road in my less than "Colorado winter-proof" Honda Civic. I love my new car, but it's a little lacking in the traction department. The gas mileage, however, is awesome. But anyhow, I began to think about how it was pretty crappy that we were in the midst of yet another winter storm warning at the end of March. It should be spring for god's sake and now I was going to get home later and have to start work earlier tomorrow than I had originally planned.

I started thinking about how it's so different now, when it snows. Snow makes me sigh in a sort of defeated disgust. I don't like it anymore and it's not just because I got spoiled during my Floridian years. It's because I have obligations, places to go, things to get done, a life to keep afloat. Inclement weather interrupts those things, prevents them from happening and keeps me from accomplishing them as fast as I feel I should. I don't have time to slow down and experience the snow's magic. The last time I did that I was a child.

A child. A child who used to sneak out at 3 am when it did snow because she loved its beauty so much. A child who used to play and watch the flakes fall from the sky until the cold air turned her cheeks red and she had to go inside to warm them back up. My eyes used to transfix themselves on the reflection of flakes swirling beneath the street lights at night. The delicate blanket that it would form excited me, deep down in that place that some refer to as their heart. A picture postcard of Christmas or Winter or one of nature's more breathtaking scenes of calm beauty.

Suddenly yesterday, as I was driving, still on the Interstate, I got it. For a moment my eyes reverted back to the way they used to be. I was eleven years old again. It's 1987 or '88. Time doesn't exist. I'm watching the big flakes fall down from the sky, one by one, through the holes in the ceiling of the gazebo in our backyard. The house on 39th avenue, the haunted one. The beautiful backyard full of trees where I would sometimes escape to contemplate life, my soul, and how I was going to become something larger than what I knew. Innocence, I suppose. As full of innocence as I could be. The point is that back then I allowed myself to enjoy the small experiences in life because there was nothing else standing in my way. Back then I allowed myself to feel the moment and nothing else.

I believe that's what you have to do if you truly want to, as they say, "dance with life." Dancing is an art because it requires that you surrender yourself to emotion. You can't absorb yourself in thoughts, only what you feel. Control can't exist here, if you want to truly become something bigger than your own essence. If you want to feel, to live, you have to take more than just steps. You have to see what exists within them.

There are many ways to really dance. Many ways to feel alive. Many ways to live. This time around, in this lifetime, I think that's one of my lessons. To learn to trust my heart so that I can stop working and start living. To stop thinking so that I can feel and let my spirit become part of something larger and more mystical than just the steps themselves.


  1. It was only twelve years ago that I went out into the quiet night to be in the snow that was lit by a full moon. I'm in So Cal now, but I do miss snow...sometimes.

    Lately I've been all about the work, so thank you for reminding me to dance with life.

  2. The "work trap" or should I say the "life trap" is something we all get caught up in. We become focused on what we have to do, how we're going to fit it all in and how fast we can do it that we forget to enjoy our existence and the simple things around us.

    I could leave the snow behind (except maybe for Christmas), but I do miss the excitement and wonder of a childlike perspective sometimes. =)

  3. Thank you for your blog! I recently started a new full time job and have realized how apparent my highly sensitive traits really are at work. It is good to remember that there are others out there and that I can find ways to cope.

  4. Yes, HSP traits can deeply affect your every day work life. Especially if you are in a very non-HSP field or organizational culture, as I've somewhat painfully learned over the last four years. Sometimes though, it can wake you up to you need to discover about yourself. Learning how to cope, what works and what doesn't is largely a game of trial and error. It's important to learn not to beat yourself up for not being what others think you should be.