The Dance of Life
Slow, quick, quick, slow. 1, 2, side-together. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, rock-step. T, A, N, GO.….the language of ballroom dancing students. The language that my husband and I have adopted as we have ventured into the dancing world. What started out as simply something to do on a cold winter night has turned into our new shared hobby that has presented its share of challenges and laughs; expanded our comfort zone; opened us up to possibilities; taught us about communication and trust; and resulted in us becoming fans of the reality TV show, Dancing with the Stars (true confession although David will deny it). It is probably one of the best investments we have made in our marriage.
Thankfully, we have had the two most patient, fun, and resilient instructors, who don’t tire of reminding us “just one more time” how to do the move they just taught us, or have taught us at least ten times. And who have a special way of pointing out which one of us has messed up, without innocently feeding the other’s ego, for on the dance floor there is no room for ego. There is only room for presence, full presence and attention to the moment as David leads me from one move to the next; from one turn to another, allowing the dance to unfold, without me knowing what the next move will be, simply trusting he does.
In life as well as on the dance floor, it is the ego that often gets in our way as we carry the past with us, can’t wait to get to the future and in doing so, miss the moments. While I continue to struggle with the dancing moves and relinquishing the lead, what has been entrained in my brain is the necessity of being in the moment, shedding the left over thoughts and distractions of the day, putting aside those that are percolating up about tomorrow and the day after, and simply being, fully absorbed in the moment. For in the being, the doing is easier. The result: there is more joy in the experience. We actually learn the move so then we can move on to others. We exchange laughs and smiles, and celebrate when we do moves successfully. There is no room for criticism, only humility, as we continue dancing.
We are officially into the holiday season, where the beat picks up and we wish for new dance moves to enable us to do more. We look forward to spending time with families and friends celebrating, communing and feasting. And we wonder just how we are going to do it all….finish the shopping as we strive to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list, oh yea, and the one who isn’t but some how we are on his; decorate our homes, adding just the right touch here and there; do the holiday baking that after all is tradition even if we are wanting to avoid those holiday pounds. The dance becomes frantic, and as we get closer to “the day” we find ourselves thinking, “I’ll be so glad when it is all over.” The moments have blended one into the other, so much so that the true spirit of the holiday season is lost.
I have a client whose vision is to create a life where she feels like she does when she is dancing, whether with a partner or simply alone around her home. When I asked what that would look like, she answered
my days will be filled with joy and love;
I will feel free and unburdened;
I will go with the flow, with the lead of my partner, trusting myself and him;
I will feel rejuvenated, awake, peaceful;
all my senses will be engaged and
I will be looking forward to the next day, the next dance.
Wow! It was as if the sugar plum fairies were dancing all around for her answers capture the essence of the holiday spirit. When I asked her how she would begin to realize her vision, she paused as she visualized herself dancing. As a seasoned dancer, she knows much better than I the importance of staying in the moment, and thus, that was her answer. I will begin by living in the moment…. fully present to all that it has to offer, and all that it is.
I invite you to join me in dancing my way through this holiday season. Sometimes waltzing, other times doing the cha cha, always dancing.
Live each day with all your senses open to the moments so that you see the glee in the children’s eyes; you cherish the holiday greeting cards; you marvel at the holiday decorations that light up the sky; and you treasure the time spent with family and friends.
About Extra Ordinary Living
Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.
As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.
Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.
With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email, email@example.com, or visit the website, www.4extraordinaryliving.com.
Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach
Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.
Sustainable Living Tip:
David attempted to put our Christmas lights up this past weekend, only to discover that the majority of them did not work, no surprise there. So what do we do? Throw them away or spend time, lots of time, figuring out why they don’t work? Do we go buy new ones after all they are only a few dollars? Or do we decide not to put any up this year? And the ultimate question, what is in line with sustainable living principles?
I’m not sure I have the full answer but I do have one. Buy LED (light-emitting diode) lights. Why?
LED bulbs use 90% less electricity than traditional holiday bulbs.
LED light-strings have a longer life expectancy - 20-years!
LED lights give off much less heat, diminishing the chance of fire.
Relief. I can still enjoy the time honored tradition of holiday lights while honoring my commitment to sustainable living principles. I may have to spend a little more in order to save a lot more down the road, and that is okay. Join me.
"Dance like there's nobody watching
Love like you'll never get hurt
Sing like there's nobody listening
Live like it's heaven on earth
And speak from the heart to be heard."
– William W Purkey
"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world."
– Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet)
EOL Upcoming Events:
Leaping to YES
Join us in a weekend of personal discovery to identify ways to have that YES feeling every day, several times a day. The YES feeling you ask? YES, the feeling that resonates from the tip of your toes to the top of your head, that causes you to pause and celebrate, and then propels you forward.
If you are a woman itching to say YES to life: all that it has to offer and all that you have to offer it, this retreat-to-advance is for you. Your facilitators Dr. Joanne Greenawald and Janet Crawford will guide you in a process of self discovery that will result in the development of a plan created just for you by you, designed to attract more YES into your life.
When: The evening of February 29, 2008 to noon on March 2, 2008.
Where: Mariner's Landing at Smith Mountain Lake. www.marinerslanding.com
Website leapingtoyes.com will soon have all the details.
Say YES to you, and YES to all life has to offer. Join us!
For more information, go to our website, leapingtoyes.com
Thank you for reading. We welcome your opinions, comments and suggestions. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org