Why Ballroom Dancing is Like Life

When I took my first ballroom dancing class (country two-step) 10 years ago, I felt awkward, uncoordinated, and most of all, phobic of my partner.

“Ewww – I’m suppose to touch this guy I don’t know – I mean be that close to him?” That was my own insecurities of course – nothing to do with him. 

Once I began to be o.k. with being touched by a stranger (really it’s just holding hands…), I fought for every ounce of control I could muster. “What do you mean the guy leads? What about what I want?” my feminist beliefs would shout inside.

So I resisted – he wanted to turn left, I struggled to go right. He steered me to the side, I would attempt a turn instead. 

Truth be told, we danced like crap – not because of him, but because I kept wanting “control” of us. How funny is that. 

Something in me finally said, “Let go, Angela, and trust that he’ll guide you just right.” I let that marinate for the next several classes, until I reached total frustration and gave in.

Giving in didn’t mean giving up. It meant opening to him leading, opening to where he wanted to take me, not what I wanted. And guess what? We actually started dancing together – not just dancing, but moving together as one, without struggle – what a concept!

So how does this relate to your life? Every time you insist that life should be a certain way, or believe you are in control, life becomes a struggle – have you noticed that? 

“Damnit – why is the sink clogged again – I don’t have time for this!” 

“I’m sick again? This sucks, I can’t be sick right now.”

“What do you mean my job has been cut? How am I going to pay my bills?”

What if you were to open to every one of these life events as if you chose them? Life keeps happening, whether you like it or not. Your spiritual journey and path is to open to life AS IT IS right now. 

This is not a giving up, or throwing in the towel. It’s surrendering to life as it is and saying, “O.k. – the sink is clogged. Take a breath. How can I fix this?” or “I’m sick. Thank you body for fighting the virus so well. I’ll rest now.” 

When you do this, you are dancing with life – moving together in grace (and peace inside you). The struggle stops, the conflict inside you stops, and the desire for control stops (because ultimately you are not in control). 

My spiritual teacher use to say, “If you think you are in control, predict what your next thought is going to be.” I quickly realized that’s not possible. 

So dance with life. Let go, surrender, and open to WHAT IS. There is freedom, peace, and joy in just this one act.

Categories: Self-Organization

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

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