Ask Judy #3 What if I don’t dance?


A recent call went like this:

Q:  I love the image you have for Move Into Change (Zeno Frudakis), do you use movement in your work with people? Me: Yes, sometimes. Q: Really? Cool…but what if I don’t dance?

Oh my. Much confusion, misunderstanding and totally unnecessary worry is in this question. Luckily this is an easy one, and answering the concerns hidden in the question gives me a chance to clarify something incredibly important to making change.

First, dance and movement are related. Maybe dance is movement’s high spirited child, but they definitely are not identical twins. When most people say “dance” they usually mean some version of having to figure out how to fit their bodies into a predetermined (by a teacher or the cool kids) series of shapes, in a rhythm. Usually this notion is attached to a sense of failure at having tried this and been told something humiliating, hence “I don’t (can’t) dance.” So, no, I don’t do that, unless it is a specific request- then, maybe.

Do I use movement as one way to help clients access what they know, explore what they want to know or to learn specific (non-dance) skill ? Yes, but only sometimes. And definitely not with a client who isn’t interested. There are many ways to get to where you’re going.

I know this to be True, you can’t get where you’re going without a body. And your body may be an a afterthought for you, which may be part of the reason life feels like it doesn’t quite fit.   A better question might be, “Why, the body?” Why so much emphasis on accessing it, through movement or otherwise, in my work/life?  Here’s how I answer this for myself, daily.

My body is my home, the home of my entire experience of being alive.

Living my purpose requires my presence, which starts in my body and with my relationship with and within my body.

My body is a container that is the hub of everything. It contains me now, me then, aspects of me forming, and the “beyond” me that I may not even know is there. It contains spaces, places, rooms with closets, airy towers, floor to ceiling windows and peepholes. There are vast ballrooms for waltzing and cozy corners for huddling.

Being at home in my body means supporting it, listening to it, getting to know the exiled, forgotten, frightened, and shy places and the joyous, desirous, ecstatic parts too.

Being at home in my body also means taking complete responsibility for my inner ecology, the landscape inside, including who gets to come in.

I am queen, king and subject: guru and disciple of this home of me.

I am in charge of my own process. Sometimes this means reminding others (and myself) that they are not.

Maybe today I will learn something about all this.

That Indispensable In Between Step

Arabesque saute, glissade, grand jete *(arabesk sowtay, gleesahd, grahnd zhetay)

That’s french for, “jump off one leg with the other one extended high and behind you, transfer your weight from one foot to the other in a gliding motion, and then make a large  leap,” in the language of Ballet.

Glissade, that little gliding step in the middle, is the connector. Officially called a “transition” step in dance, it the indispensable mini-step without which the dancer cannot get from the first jump to the second. Well he could, but it would be awkward, uncomfortable, jarring, and overly demanding physically. Sound familiar?

As we go through our daily life there are very few moments that feel final; it’s more like we lurch or spin from one thing to the next, called on to keep going and usually thinking ahead to the next requirement,  rarely aware of our ground.  Not only do we need to create mini steps that get us from one event to the other (our transition routine) but those steps can both slide us into, and prepare us for, what’s coming next.

Yesterday, I wrote about the seemingly simple transitions that aren’t always easy.  Today, I questioned writing about it again, but I have more than a suspicionn that paying attention to the smaller transitions might just build the necessary “muscle” for  encountering the biggies like, job change, moving, divorce, grown children moving out, grown children moving back in…

Some examples:

My husband’s friend Rick, an artist, had a studio in the downstairs of his apartment. Every morning he got dressed for work, walked out the front door, around the block and back to the other entrance to his apartment (the studio) to start his day. He did the reverse at the end of the day. He says that this is how he managed to leave work alone when it was time to be with his family. Brilliant.

A client created a collage of the ways she’d like to transition into the house from work. She made two, and posted them where she will see them when she walks in the door.

Going to BAT with Good Night Move Into Change is in its third night. I’ve been putting away the evidence of work, metaphorically kissing the files, notebooks, iPad, and computer on the forehead and tucking them into bed.  Last night I felt the pull to look at email one more time – but I didn’t. I’m sleeping even better than I usually do. Now about those mornings…

*Yes, I know that there are accents aigu needed, but I couldn’t figure out how to get them on WordPress.