There is a great song by Lee Ann Womack entitled, “I Hope You Dance”. It’s a beautiful song about not letting the tough times in life keep you from living joyfully. My body gave me this important reminder in a very disturbing manner. I began to have heart palpitations. When I decided to officially “Get back on the grind”, “Take control of my life”, “Get back in the game” or whatever frequently used terminology you would like to reference that has to do with refocusing on my dream I did that. In my mind, I convinced myself that I could be successful and that all I needed was discipline, focus and to persevere. I was on this regimen of waking up, praying, meditating, doing affirmations, working out and focusing on my tasks. I even took on some extra tasks to “get me to my goals faster.” I felt like, “Hey, I have been pretty disciplined with my morning routine so I can handle it.” I overbooked myself and eventually began to overlook myself. I forgot a key ingredient to the journey and that was actually ENJOYING the journey! I soon found that I was not only grinding my teeth at night but that my jaws were tight throughout the day as well. I had a headache every evening and I became resentful. The only thing that relaxed me was a glass of wine (and I’m not really a drinker). I needed that wine not to celebrate a joyous occasion but as a tonic to relax my nerves. That began to scare me. It began to scare me that I felt out of control because I did not know how to relax without alcohol. I didn’t know how to let go and trust that the work that I was doing is enough. I felt like the more I took on the closer I would get to the fulfillment of my desires. I didn’t have faith. I thought I did because I held onto, “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) But what about, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) What I began to see is that there are different levels of faith. Let’s just say there are three: Hope, Belief and Knowing
The Merriam- Webster dictionary defines them as the following:
Hope- to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.
Belief- a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true.
Knowing- to be aware of the truth or factuality of, being convinced or certain of.
For me, I spent a long time hoping that the dreams I saw when I was a kid would come true. Now, I am at a place where I am finally beginning to believe that they will but I have not quite crossed over into the knowing. The knowing is where the peace and the manifestation come into play. The knowing is where you feel free to have fun, run, jump and play without fearing failure. That is childlike trust. That is the highest level of faith (in my opinion.)
“Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is to dance to it.”- Rubem A. Alves
I believe the most challenging part for me is allowing myself to let go of the doubts, likely because they have kept me safe for so long. Doubts have been my security blanket. They kept me from having to face my fears and “putting myself on the line.” They allowed me to hide my gifts and talents from the world so that I did not have to face possible ridicule for them. I found that it’s easier to be in the stands than it is to be on the field. My doubts then became my excuse to “put my feet up on the back of the chair in front of me” and scream at the players “on the field” about the moves they should have made, completely absolving myself of responsibility because after all…those “doubts” felt like reality!
In choosing to let go of my doubts and really get on the field “naked” before the world (by naked I mean “vulnerable”, not actual nudity. Though you never know what the future may hold. –just kidding Mom!) I find that I must allow myself to be much freer. Free to make mistakes, free to trust, free to play, free to dance!
Studies have shown that drunk drivers are more likely to survive crashes than sober drivers because alcohol acts as a buffer that inhibits certain stress-related chemicals. Of course, I am NOT advocating drunk driving or consuming alcohol to cure any ailment I am merely pointing out the fact that living life with rigidity (with excessive stress and pressure) is detrimental. There must be a way to generate that sense of freedom without the use of external influences…something from the inside out. I began to think, if we know that success is inevitable then we should live that way. I have adopted a tool to help maintain the balance and release the stress. I DANCE!
Two songs that have really kept me going are:
“Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing” by Stevie Wonder
“Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness
I turn these on when I am feeling overwhelmed. These are my faith songs. These are my “remember what it’s like to be a kid” songs. Mind you, these are not sophisticated dances that one would do to seduce someone from across the room at a club. I’m talking about silly ridiculousness! Embarrassing “I know I look crazy but I don’t care” moves! Tom Cruise Risky Business type of boogie! Pure unadulterated fun!
‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass its learning to dance in the rain.”
Role Call: I would love to see you dancing! Feel free to tag me on Instagram a video of you dancing to your own motivational song (or feel free to use the ones I have listed). Have fun! Be silly! Enjoy the journey!
Dance in the rain…till the sun comes out again! (sounds like lyrics to me!) *a.k.a. Just have some fun!