This morning, I boarded a plane for Florida to pursue one of my passions, salsa dancing. Each year, a group of students from Soho Dance LA travel across country to test their dance skills…me included. It is an opportunity to spend time with those who share a love of dance, are on a quest for mastery and who know how to have fun.
When facing difficult times, it can be hard to choose to invest money and resources in fun. Setting aside time to be creative, spontaneous can seem frivolous. But just as you need food and oxygen to sustain your physical self, you also need to feed your soul.
When we feel overwhelmed, stuck or lacking the energy to really engage in life, we often look to the physical causes. Eating healthy meals, getting appropriate rest and exercise are some of the ways we can address low energy on the physical level. However, this is only one of four facets I have identified that are part of living.
Dance is a passion that integrates all four facets (but you’ll have to check in later this week for more on the other three). On the physical level, it is a great form of exercise. It creates actual movement in your body. When I feel stuck or low energy, I get myself to the dance studio. The physical action shifts me out of stuck and allows me to move in other areas of my life again. The brain chemistry shifts when the body is engaged in exercise. My stress level drops and, most importantly, it makes me smile.
What favorite passion do you turn to when you need to feed your body’s need for movement? What uplifts you and gets you back on track? If you have to get creative about finding an outlet that matches your resources of time and money, then do it. Many community centers offer affordable (or free) programs. Do a trade with someone. Borrow a bike, join a meetup group or ask a friend to be a walking buddy.
For cancer survivors and caregivers, look to your local non-profit organizations serving your community. Check out programs with the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Support Community, your oncologist, family physician or cancer treatment center.