October has already been a pretty great month so far. I’ve been doing my best to listen to my inner wisdom, my body, my emotions, and my needs. By keeping the ego in check, I’ve been able to take advantage of some opportunities I never thought I would have otherwise. It came to me one day in Spanish class. As we were learning about adjectives, how to discuss our likes and dislikes, it really made me think. What don’t I like? Why don’t I like it? Do I really not like it or is it my ego that thinks I don’t like it, keeping me afraid from liking it, as a conditioned feeling that I’ve had stick to me from the past? In particular, I’m talking about dancing. Since I’ve only had a variety of verbs and adjectives to chose from in the limit context of two chapters, I took what was most easily there for me to conjugate – “Yo no gusto bailar.” I started to wonder what was wrong with me. How could I not like to do something that has the potential to be very liberating, freeing, and most of all, fun? Is it my ego identifying with my usual tendency to being shy and introverted as being too scared to dance? What would happen if I detached from that? Why do I have to identify anything about myself? Of course if I didn’t say anything, there wouldn’t be anything to talk about. Letting go of self is emptiness. I am not this or that. I just am.
Anyway, to make a long story short, a few hours later when I got home from school, I DANCED. Not just any dance, mind you. A zombie dance. Also famously known as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” zombie dance. Yes. There is an organization/fundraiser, Thrill The World, an annual worldwide simultaneous dance to “Thriller” that is attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records. The dance is happening all over the world on October 24th and I am participating. My stepmom is heavily immersed into the dance community, and thankfully she found out about this and is doing it also! I went on YouTube, watched MJ do his thing, and was immediately inspired and determined to learn the dance. So there you have it. Within 36 hours, I taught myself the ENTIRE DANCE.
I don’t know why, but I tend to like being the one who proves that anyone can do something. “If I can do it, you can too” sort of philosophy. I truly believe that anyone can do anything they put their mind to (and yes, I know there can be some constraints, but I’m talking mind over matter here) and by doing that, you are limitless. The ability to control your mind and not let your mind take control over you is a beautiful thing. Cultivating that is truly liberating and life changing and is a lesson I try to remind myself of if I ever go through periods of feeling limited or in the grasp of ego.
As I began to dance, I was able to be focused, present, carefree, and most importantly, able to feel like my goofy, imperfect, honest, self that I’m not always in touch with, something that is typically lost after childhood. It was meditative. Nirvana. Enlightenment. Whatever you want to call it. I got my ya-ya’s out and, unsurprisingly, had a calmer peace of mind that enabled me to have one of the best nights of sleep in quite some time!
Whatever it may be for you that is keeping you constrained or limited into your idea about yourself, who you are, who you should be, what you like, what you don’t like, give it up. Question your ideas about yourself and who you are. Lighten up. Open up. Try new things. Give up being so self-conscious. That’s what keeps life thrilling and exciting. You never know how enriching it may be. Self-identification can be a double-edged sword. Learn to use it wisely.