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When Your Soul Decides to Dance

"We cannot change the wind, but we can adjust our sails."

~ author Unknown

Warm days spent at the beach serve as a reminder of carefree days when we frolicked as a way of life. The hypnotic melody of the rolling waves combines with the lilting tune of the carousel perched atop the pier, encouraging us to let our cares drift away on the tide and reflect upon our dreams, too often abandoned in the rush of our daily lives. Why, we wonder, don't we do this more often?

It's a good question. Perhaps the answer is that we don't believe in ourselves. In Stand up for your Life, Cheryl Richardson speaks of the phenomenon of self-distrust foisted upon us at an early age and urges us to shed this false way of life. "Learning to trust yourself is an internal part of building a strong foundation that will allow you to love your life. When I looked up the definition of trust in the dictionary, I found a perfect description: 'Trust is a reliance on the integrity, veracity or reliability of a person. Trust is something committed to one's care for use or safekeeping.' In other words, you learn to trust yourself when you behave in ways that honor and care for who you are."

Honoring and caring for ourselves should always be our goal. We are brave and mysterious creatures, marvelous in our ingenuity and glorious in our intent. So how did we learn to distrust ourselves so completely? Socialization, according to Martha Beck, author of Finding you own North Star: Claiming the life you were meant to live. "You probably don't remember it but 'no' was one of the most fabulous discoveries of your childhood. Two-year-olds go absolutely crazy over this word. They use if constantly, loudly, fervently. We call this behavioral stage the 'terrible twos' because our job is to socialize children and socialization does not work well when individuals run around screaming 'no' all the time. In fact, socialization basically insists of learning to say 'yes' to all cultural demands, whether you want to or not. The more conformist the culture, the more taboo 'no' becomes...Teaching your social self to pay attention when your essential self says 'no' is the most basic way to reconnect the two sides of your personality. By doing this, you begin to rewire the navigational devices that lead you toward your right life."

Isn't it time for us to go crazy over "no" again? Shouldn't we be shouting it constantly, loudly, fervently every time an ugly, nonsensical taboo pops up and demands abandonment of ourselves and our dreams? Wouldn't it be fun to holler "yes" when our soul presents a dream -- new or old -- that cries for action? Wouldn't we be happier if we just paused every now and then to ask what we'd rather be doing and then doing it without remorse?

In Surrendering to Yourself: You are your own soulmate, Iris Krasnow urges us to keep pursuing our dreams and goals right in the midst of our daily chores. "Don't stop doing the splits or shooting baskets or playing jacks if that' what you once loved to do. We should never be afraid to be exactly who we are at all ages and stages, fully flexed, 100 percent human beings who operate out of honesty, people who dare to be outrageous, no matter the consequence.

"'Conforming to social expectations and to a persona that doesn't reflect our deep inner self is like going through life wearing shoes that are too tight,' writes Kathleen A. Bredheny in 'Awaking at Midlife.' 'In too tight shoes you can walk but you can't dance, and at midlife the souls is demanding to dance.'

"When the soul demands to dance, we are propelled into a glorious wildness such as taking aerobatic flying lessons at forty or ballet lessons at forty-five, becoming a fashion model at seventy or a weight lifter in your eighties. I'm talking about never again acting in a manner the French call contre-coeur, 'against the wishes of the heart.'"

Against the wishes of our heart. What a powerful phrase. How often do we ask our heart what its wishes are, let alone act upon its desires? How many activities have we stopped doing without a justification other than "just because"? How many could we reclaim without harming anyone and with great benefits to ourselves?

The shoreline of wonder awaits us, luring us into sailing toward our dreams, toward learning a new way to navigate through life, a way that creates fulfillment and satisfaction. Our dreams control our future, our aspirations and our ability to prosper. Learning to adjust our sails and letting the wind of tomorrow change our direction is a worthy goal.

By Loretta Kemsley
Women Artists and Writers International
Writer, Editor and Editorial Coach

Loretta Kemsley's Personal Portfolio: Women's Writings

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