year of living copyI have no desire to prove anything by dancing… I just dance. — Fred Astaire


Your body is a magical vehicle that carries your experiences, your feelings, your essence. The farther away you are from knowing your body, the farther you move from your essence; the two are inextricably attached. Think about drugs or alcohol as a way that people separate themselves physically from their emotional being. By numbing your body, you numb those feelings clamoring for attention. It is a vicious cycle from which there is only one escape: knowing and embracing and loving yourself, facing yourself head-on without the screen of deception between you and your essence.

A good friend told me about a moment that changed him forever. He had been a dangerously out-of-control alcoholic for sixteen years when a two-minute conversation turned his life right-side up. A therapist pointed out to him that his drinking seemed to be an attempt to drown out one specific feeling, a gnawing loneliness. The therapist said he would eventually have to either let himself feel it—or die. He decided to live, and although he had to confront an ancient demon of a feeling, it passed after a few months (and he hasn’t had a drink since that fateful day).


Close your eyes and let your awareness turn inward. Notice any inner experiences as you take three relaxed, full breaths. Move in a way that expresses the joyfulness of knowing yourself, of being centered. Perhaps you will sway, or perhaps you will dance. Let the movement come to you; let the movement be of you, from you. Open your eyes gently and make three observations, without judgment, of the physical experience of moving in a way that both captured your essence and let it soar.

My body felt_____.
I was most aware of my_____.
That part of me felt_____.

Throughout the day today, be aware of your body: Let yourself feel sensation and movement and connect your emotional experience to your physical one. Perhaps you hold your strongest feelings in your shoulders, your neck, your belly. As you locate the place where your feelings take hold, and as you connect these feelings to your physical self, let this new knowledge serve as a reminder, as a cue that you hold some essential truth inside. Let it out and feel the miraculous change that takes place in your body.

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