Living the Dance

“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master--something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. He may lay down rules and devise principles, and to rules and principles it will perhaps for years lie in subjection; and then, haply without any warning of revolt, there comes a time when it will no longer consent.” ~ Charlotte Brontë

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” ~ Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) in “Dirty Dancing” 

My mother loved to dance. She talked about it, talked about her younger days when she went to every dance she could find. And by all accounts, she was good at it. As she grew older, her opportunities grew fewer and fewer... 

I grew up shy and stayed on the sideline for a long time, knowing I couldn’t possibly have that gift. I wasn’t given that gift.

Here’s the thing. 

Such a belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If I don’t believe I have rhythm. Guess what? Then I don’t. If I always stay on the outside, I’ll never give myself a chance.

But if I take that chance, if I say to hell with it, and throw caution to the wind and just believe it’s possible, then it is. Granted, I’ll never be confused for another Tennessee boy, Justin Timberlake but, that’s not important. I’m not trying to make a living at it. I’m just trying to find my life.

So, I’ve taken the chance and I’ve discovered that I have rhythm. I discovered I feel rhythm, and not just in dancing.

The older I get, the more I believe in the rhythms of life and the more I believe most everything is a dance. There is give and take in our physical, emotional, and creative movements. There are points at which we feel our own rhythm and others when we discover the rhythm which we feel is bigger than us. All of us.

If you are a creative, then you are a dancer.

And in the dance, there are times we lead and there are times we follow. Part of the magic of life is developing a feel for each.

My advice is to always begin by leading.

Sometimes we wait until the Muse walks over to us from the center of the dance floor, calls to us as a wallflower, and pulls us to the floor. But that is so unpredictable.

I haven’t got time to wait.

Plus the music is just too good.

Take the floor and lead. But be ready for when the Muse joins in. Then be ready to let go. Be ready to be open and vulnerable, be ready to be led by a Muse who does not wait for your consent.

Be ready to consent anyway. If you don’t, you might retain control, but you’ll miss the time of your life.

Believe in your rhythm. Believe is a larger rhythm. Believe in the dance but, more importantly, be willing to let go and follow.

You have the creative gift of which you are not always the master. 

And that’s not only okay…it’s incredibly fine.