Thursday, March 5, 2009

live every day on purpose

So you know I recently discovered yoga.  Our family doctor recently re-
commended it to my parents, and I considered that the final confirmation I needed that it's definitely enriching my life.  I love to see new faces in the class I take.  I feel so happy for them that they're about to discover the magic.  

And then, the other day I wrote about hot tea, which I don't do every day - but I was so not kidding about how sold I've become on its healing powers.  And I can't wait to try all the flavors you recommended! (Are they flavors or brands? I think I'll figure it out . . .)

I noticed at some point around the start of this blog that writing at least one little piece of something before I go to sleep at night can make that whole day seem fully lived.  A director from one of my favorite DVD commentaries (I love those things) said that his parents taught him to "do something creative every day."  I love that guy's parents.  And I totally agree with them.

I hope you have things like that - things that you find when you do them you're not just getting through life but actually living it.  There aren't very many of these things I manage to do every single day without fail, but if I hit on one or two of them, it brings the whole day out of its forgettable state.  And this post is about another good every-day activity: Dancing.

I learned about it from Kris Carr.  She stars in the documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer, about her determination to find natural ways to prolong her life despite a terminal diagnosis of untreatable cancer.  One thing I remember her saying in the documentary is that she dances every day.  She turns on music in her kitchen, living room - wherever she is - and she just moves to it.  You can imagine, in light of this post, how much immediate sense that made to me.

Of course, I don't do it every day.  But when I do - I feel way better.  It's easy to find music in this house worth moving to.  If it's not on my iTunes, then it's playing behind the credits of the last movie we watched.  Or if I'm really lucky, it's playing IN the movie - and we can "Brazzle Dazzle Day" our way to health with Nora and Pete on Pete's Dragon.  (Jake's love for this movie is easily one of my favorite things about him.  That movie is like a little cup of sunshine.)  And, I gotta say, although I can learn a dance without too much stress, I can't remember them later.  So it's not like I have a repertoire of awesome moves in my internal soul library.  So when I say "dance", I mean move happily to the beat.  Or not even to the beat.  Just move.  It is so liberating.  I like to do it in the kitchen while I'm cooking or unloading the dishwasher, in front of a movie (as mentioned) with Jake, or all alone in front of the bathroom mirror with the chaos of motherhood locked on the other side.  I like swaying to a slow one, kicking it with a happy one - it all works.  And convinces me every time how right that woman was.   

Every day: Do something creative and just move it.  What's on your list?  Which part of the day makes you feel most alive?

13 comments:

Lori said...

I've been trying to make it to yoga but my fibro has been stopping me. Hopefully when it gets warmer I'll be able to make it. When I told my mom I was going to go she told me I shouldn't because of it's spiritual roots. Then in the next breath she recommneded I go to an acupunturist. I burst out laughing as they each have that "eastern philosophy" thing going. As soon as mom realized what she said she laughed too & said "do whatever will make you feel better!"

I loved that documentary! I've watched it several times. I'm trying to convince Harold to go to ballroom dancing w. me but he's pretty reluctant cuz he feels like a dork when he dances.

The thing I absolutly have to have each day is a hot cup of tea & some quiet time to read something, anything, undisturbed. My current book is "Slouching towards Bethlehem" which is essays by Joan Didion, written in the late '60's. It's her commentary on the disinigration of the culture at that time.

serenity said...

Lori, Michael is basically immovable on the ballroom dancing idea as well. Maybe if I go hunting with him, which I don't want to do.

Molly said...

The guys only feel like dorks when dancing because they don't know how to do it properly. I bet if they'd get a few lessons under their belts they'd feel like James Bond being able to twirl a beautiful woman around the dance floor one moment and shoot stuff the next. :-)

And Yoga? I've been doing it with my Wii Fit and I totally get how you can feel that way about it, Ren. I'm sure I'll get there, you know, once I stop falling over.

I'm with Lori, reading is a must.

Supper at the table with my family, whether it's over a delicious homemade meal or frozen pizza, that time of connection with all the souls I care most about makes me feel like I'm really living -- and touching eternity at the same time if that makes sense.

Hmmm, I've probably got a million. I will have to think on this more.

serenity said...

Supper at the table is a great one. It always feels very deliberate in this day of tv trays.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You know, all during my growing up years I never wanted to dance in public. I never felt like I knew what I was doing. I always felt awkward, embarrassed. One of my greatest joys is watching my children dance, seeing how coordinated they are, how joyous. A few years ago I got tired of just watching-it didn't seem fair--so I joined in. And since they're my kids I didn't care if I looked funny or whatever. And it was so fun!

I'm still not ready to dance in public, but I'm no longer willing to let others have all the fun. Dancing has become a new joy for me! (Even if it is in the safety of my home!) :)

Andrea said...

What an awesome post! I agree, I feel so much better when I've done something creative that I can stand back and look at, I know that is one of the things Rog enjoys about building; you see results. You feel fulfilled a bit. Dancing, done it all my life, have never let anyone's opinion of what I might look like while doing it stop me. David danced before the Lord, and was critized. Not a good idea to critize. The best? Doing something creative WHILE dancing, i.e. painting boards for Rog, while booging to the 60's song on the radio. It doesn't get much better than that!
Rog danced with me at Audrey's wedding, first time in public in our entire marriage. It was special, but not something he would make a practice of.

Kelly H-Y said...

I love to exercise ... I don't know if that's creative necessarily, but it definitely qualifies under the 'move it' category! And, it always makes me feel better, more energized, and ready to tackle anything!

Eleanor said...

I like to play tag with Natalie -- or as she calls it, "Tag, you're it." Sometimes it's hard for me to get in the mood when she suggests it, because it wears us both out, but it's great for three reasons. It gets us moving when we've been in a stuffy house too long (winters are probably at least 2 months longer here), and it always gets us smiling and laughing. Plus, it's a time when she has my undivided attention. I think that probably any time you can act like a kid with your kid is a win-win situation.

Cheri' said...

I grew up dancing -- tap, ballet, soft-shoe and Irish jigs were a part of my every day life. I used to sit at my school desk, and tap dance with just my feet while doing my school work. Music was always playing in my head, and my feet just had to respond.

I remember being very young and watching my parents dance together at a wedding dance. I was struck by the "magic" of it. They moved across the dance floor in perfect step and total harmony. No wonder I grew up loving to dance!

Lately I've been doing a work out video with dance moves and I love it! The movements energize me, and I even find myself looking forward to my next workout!

As for my husband and ballroom dancing . . . he says "If you wanted to do it I probably would."

Anonymous said...

Hey Seren,

I know of people who ballroom dance 4 to 5 days per week as their exercise, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour each time. They say is is much more fun than a treadmill, etc., and that you exercise not only your body, but your mind too because you simply must focus on what your doing - no way to ballroom dance and let your mind wander. :)

Tracy

Tracy said...

I would love to try yoga. And ballroom dancing for that matter. It may sound ridiculous but the thing that makes me feel great each day is when Leo & I take the boys for a walk. We walk through the different neighborhoods, look at all the different homes and the choices people made with how to paint, landscape, etc. We get to greet people and have a little small-talk with total strangers, and we get plenty of time to talk with each other. It's when we do most of our dreaming and planning.

serenity said...

I love all these comments! It's fun to know what makes people feel alive.

Kathy said...

Wendell told me I signed a fine-print clause on our wedding license that said, "We never have to dance again." Then, at your wedding, he swept me off my feet and took me for a little turn under the stars. What a moment! And I think I'm on my own with yoga, despite the doctor's suggestion:)
As for my daily invigoration: Prayer time to start the day, a little exercise,hearing from our children, and kissing your dad good night.