Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit? ~ Gabrielle Roth
In the movie Silver Linings Playbook, the main characters Pat and Tiffany are in training for a big dance competition that turns out to be much more than a fancy booty shaking contest. A unique romantic dramedy, it's a film that shows there is a fine line between sanity and insanity, acceptable versus unacceptable behavior, and the beauty of living life to the beat of your own drum.
In the movie The Sessions, Mark O'Brien is confined to an iron lung 20 hours a day, existing on a gurney unable to move from the neck down, and yet he writes poetry, is a professional journalist and decides to hire a sex surrogate so he can experience the most human of experiences. We go along on his journey (based on a true story!) and find him to be one of the most alive, loving and liberated individuals to have ever lived despite such extreme physical limitations.
And as seen in the movie Lincoln, our 16th president is clearly not your Average Joe. He was always thinking out of the box, used his quirky sense of humor to diffuse or illuminate situations, and took numerous risks throughout the most heart-wrenching circumstances our country has endured. He stretched the Constitution to its limit, working within an established framework while implementing his own interpretation and/or bending the rules based on his hard-earned wisdom, keen observations and superior judgment as unprecedented needs arose and critical decisions had to be made in order for progress to occur.
In the conscious movement class I take, we are told to 'dance it your way' and have breaks of 'free dance' where we boogie as we see fit; it's not chaotic because there is an organized structure and unity contained within the flow as we come back together intermittently as a group throughout the hour. It's a super-small class because for many people, when given the opportunity to move and think for themselves, even for just a few moments, is a daunting and uncomfortable feeling; it's an empowering exercise that requires more effort and less inhibition, and many simply don't know what to do if they are not following the instructor. And that, my friends, is indicative of a larger problem with implications reaching much farther than a gym studio.
Spielberg's Lincoln asks, "Do you think we choose to be born? Or are we fitted to the times we're born into?" As citizens of the 21st century, we are certainly living in extraordinary times that will require us to become the fullest and most unique beings we are meant to be. We each have something that needs to be expressed, something that no other person on this planet, no one who has come before or will come after can express. Right now we need new ways of looking at old problems and to change old ways in order deal with new problems, so it's more important than ever for you to do your own thang, because there is no other way to generate inspiration and birth innovation.
In any era it's easy to get stuck in past habits and sucked into the zeitgeist of the day. Resist the urge to follow the herd, fight to honor yourself, think and speak your own thoughts and begin to know and create yourself anew every moment of every day instead of getting swept up by social media, news, commercials, and even your peer groups, work and ethnic cultures or family and friends who are all, consciously or not, forces that can easily grab hold of your mind, body, spirit and/or bank account. Don't let your physical characteristics, family roots or societal dictates squash all the rhythms inside you that might be quite different from what those outside influences might have you believe, say or do.
Not sure exactly what your groove thing is? Give me a buzz and I'll get you started with some basic choreography and point you in the right direction, because ultimately You Should Be Dancing your own steps throughout life, hopefully with a fun disco floor beneath your feet along the way!