Recently in preparing some materials for a class on coaching mastery I read the question, “Are you willing to dance like no one is watching?” It struck me that I had not long ago asked a client if she was willing to do just that. Now the tables were turned, and I had to ask myself, am I willing?
Every Tuesday evening, I head over to the Berkeley Y to my Transdance class where I mostly dance like no one is watching. The teacher, Heather Munro Pierce, describes it as a moving meditation, and when I pay attention and tune into my body and the music it mostly is (I admit to sometimes being hijacked by my thoughts). Sometimes I wave my body around like a frond of kelp in the ocean; other times I jump, hop, and skip around like I did when I was a little girl. It feels so good, liberating, with a sense that I am following what my body wants without my mind censoring me.
So, if I wanted to, I could answer the question “are you willing to dance like no one is watching?” with a resounding “Yes! I do that every week.”
Actually, the question was asked in terms of my coaching, and how I bring my coaching and my services out into the world. In those terms, well, I am squirming a bit, wanting and wishing I could say yes, and knowing the answer is more of a “maybe.”
SQUIRMING present participle of squirm (Verb)
In coaching we have a term which is called “hold the squirm,” which calls for a coach to wait while the client is in an uncomfortable space, to sit with them there and let them feel their way into that discomfort and find the message therein. We all have places that feel squirmy.
One of my squirms is that while I am comfortable dancing like no one is watching in my class, where we are expressly asked to do that (i.e., a safe and comfortable space for me), when I am in other spaces… not so much. Dancing in front of others can be a vulnerable experience: people are looking! Will they see my missteps, will they see my imperfections? Yes, they will, and it’s important to allow that to happen.
While Perfectionist Me cringes at the thought of it, Essential Me (who is the essence of who I am and knows the truth) is confident that my showing my vulnerability and imperfections connects me to every other person out there, and makes me HUMAN.
I am still trying to figure out exactly what dancing like no one is watching looks like outside of my dance class.
Maybe it looks like this:
What I do know is that every time Perfectionist Me comes out and says “oh no you don’t,” this is probably a sign to say “Thanks for your concern” and then do it anyway. It happens every time I sit down to write an entry here: the essence of this blog is authenticity, and speaking from the heart – I guess it’s an exercise in dancing like no one is watching.
I’ll leave you with one of my heroes, Brene Brown – watch her dance!
How do you dance like no one is watching? Click here to contact Monica for a FREE 30 minute consultation for how to bring the spirit of this dance into your life.