Peru Legit Life Lesson 5: Move, even if it’s ugly

I’ve always loved to dance.

As a child, I would spin around in the fresh cut grass in our backyard nestled in a cul-de-sac south of Tacoma, WA. I would spread my arms out as wide as they could go, hugging the clouds, drop my head back and just spin. While the song joyfully left my mouth:

“Look at the stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m a girl, a girl who has, everything….”

In those moments, singing the soundtrack from the Little Mermaid, I sure felt I had everything.

Dance followed me through junior high and high school where I was on the dance and step teams, then to college where my friends and I formed a group called Eclectic (we were all different nationalities).

Movement has always been one of my favorite ways to connect with the divine. To feel her on my fingertips as every expression of my body flows throughout and releases powerfully through every cell of my being.

It’s no surprise to me, that while I was in Peru, several of my most magical experiences were while I was dancing.

dance with joyful abandonment - JessTomlinson.com

Looking back on my history of dance, I remember dreading the improvisation moments.

The routine, collectively all moving together, was safety. I knew what movement was coming. I had no trouble flowing with my body’s muscle memory of what was practiced.

Then, the dreaded 8 count would come when I could move however, whatever, wherever I wanted. Gulp.

While most people watching me would have had no clue that I was sweating drops of fear as I smiled at them moving my body in whatever way decided to come out, I didn’t enjoy this experience.

What I’ve realized now, is the one dirty little word that I share in my keynote talk, as well as I discuss with my clients as being SO important to Legit Loveexpectation – crept up on me.

Expectation told me that the audience wanted me to move a particular way. To bust the latest dance move. To prove to them that I was a dancer. That I was worthy. Show them what I’ve got!

In Peru, I released all expectation of how I should move. And guess what? I danced for ME!

I danced for the birds and the bees, the butterflies, the majestic Andes Mountains that held us so gracefully in the Sacred Valley of Peru where our retreat center was.

I tip toed gracefully to the music of nature through the bright green clover-filled grass.

I spun like I did as a little girl, with so much abandonment I thought my heart was going to explode.

I did grande jete leaps, floating right along with the butterflies as they tickled my skin.

Flow with the butterflies dance to the music of nature - JessTomlinson.com

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more free than while I was dancing in Peru.

The best part?

I let whatever movement wanted to escape, come right out. I didn’t hold it in. I didn’t tell her she shouldn’t come out and play because she might not live up to the expectations society or I had of her. No, I didn’t do that at all.

My dance flowed, with a feminine sweetness. And it wasn’t always pretty. Sometimes, in fact, it was downright ugly.

But that’s the best part. The prettiness that unfolds when you let that “ugly” movement free.

How does dance make you feel?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below…let’s start a conversation!

Legit Loving you,
Jess

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