Did you know that I'm a control freak? Yep. That's how I learned to be compassionate.
Before self-love, I had to look harshly on all the uptight, wound-up habits I have in the world. (There's a lot, and they're hilarious.) The only way I could live with them was to learn how to love them.
Great counselling has taught me to regard uptight clenching as my "growth zone," and that I can love myself anyways. By loving my stiffness, closed-mindedness, and other unsavoury digressions, I can move past the agony of being, and get into just Being.
And I take myself less seriously - which is about the only thing I actually control. To me that means moving around, prancing. It's fun, and that is a gamechanger.
Some days I choose to hide behind fear and rigidity. I just want to know everything now. I can't accept the mystery, so I choose misery instead.
And other days, I can see that I'm blinded by rigidity and I know that it's time to move my body. With that bigger perspective I see that I don't need to know; that the mystery is a much bigger gift; that humility is joyful.
So here I am, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes more freely than others. Sometimes with calculating and other times with courage. Always onwards, into more willingness to be open and love.
So the next time you hear me talking about "loving yourself" in a workshop or class, know that I am up to my elbows in doing it with you.
If you want to try this "being lighter" thing with me, check out my upcoming events.
You've heard that there are 8 limbs of yoga. They are serious and useful: poses, breath work, self study, focus, meditation, external observances, internal observances, and bliss.
The 9th limb, I propose, is prancing.
Here's why: 'yoga' means 'union.' Simply, yoga unites you with your highest self, which feels like bliss and peace. Therefore any activity which leads to self-peace is a kind of yoga.
The holy grail of yoga is knowing all is well, and feeling deep peace. I want to tell you that you can get all that goodness from prancing, too.
Prancing, I've found, slows down my mind just like in a yoga class. It gives me the same self-awareness and simple joy as all the other 8 limbs. This time, it's fun!
(Prancing Photo by Matt Walker atop Skywalk Trail in Whistler.)
So, what is Prancing?
Like yoga, prancing is a tool for simple self-peace – but this time it's all about unregulated movement.
Prancing is Free Movement. It's a committment to move in unlimited freedom! You might start slow and loosy-goosey, then move fast and erratic. Sometimes prancing might be flowy like skipping, and other times robotic or stiff. Sometimes it’s all of those things; sometimes it’s not moving at all.
Simply put, Prancing or Free Movement asks you to do exactly what your body wants to do, even though your mind kinda thinks you shouldn’t.
You move beyond unconscious rules and habitual ambulating to express physically the fact that you are free to do whatever you want. (Because you are!)
However you do it, prancing ex-presses pent-up everything, resulting in surprising stillness and total freedom. Bliss. Samadhi. Yoga.