Dance! That’s What We’re Here For

Peter Middleton
Oct 30 · 5 min read

The most sacred relationship

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Photo by pavan gupta on Unsplash

Are we humans? Or we dancers?

That was a popular song in my late childhood, by The Killers, called Human.

Think about it though, if spirituality is to know thyself, and then integrate that; embody it in your unique expression, then isn’t the highest form of that dancing?

Dancing is the unique expression of the soul through our bodily form.

Instantaneous, spontaneous, emerging from the depths of our being.

We are expressing our virtues, graces, and values. Every culture has its version of traditional dance, that says the most profound rooted mirrors to their behaviour. Want to know a cultural mindset? Go and watch their dance rituals.

Cambodian dancers use their hands delicately for expression, so do Indian, and Chinese dancers. African dancers can be energetic; vibrant, reflecting the vibrancy of life on the African continent.

There are interpretations, too; protest dancing, modern, jazz.

A great example of natural and connective dancing is African traditions, like the Benga, recently seen on the Enslaved TV Programme.

I’ve recently been learning Somatic Intelligence; there are specific postures that embody individual states of being. For example, elegance portrayed and embodied is through a straight back, head up tall, stretch the spine, pull the shoulders back slightly. That’s elegance.

This shaming culture around ‘faking it until you make it’ is yet another misplaced cultural term. We all have the ability to embody these states, it’s only the fact that we weren’t encouraged as children, or our parents straight up didn’t know how to embody them themselves.

Children absorb their reality way before language.

We’re all trying so hard to be rationally well; more effective, working harder, knowing more. A good aim, but it won’t get us all the way.

Have you ever been in the space where you got emotionally charged, reactive, and lost your shit?

Said something you didn’t mean, threw something you didn’t mean to throw, stormed out of the room?

That’s the somatic imprint in your body. When we get emotionally triggered, the brain shuts down the thinking centres to respond quickly to the threat. Essentially we’re without the idolised rationale that we so worship.

The world is going to shit at the moment, isn’t it? Let’s face it. It’s a nightmare out there; it’s chaos. A pandemic, a necessity to fight for equity against a white supremacist system, more deaths, social media plays into our subconscious habits and makes us addicted — because we are the product for advertising companies. Did I mention that our climate is changing, destroying biodiversity?

Wow! YES! That is A LOT.

Do you think these things will activate our rational mind or our emotional mind?

Correct, emotional. We see this so often in the media; the leaders are leading from emotion and defence.

We’re trying to have rational conversations with emotional people. Their neocortexes are shut down, and they’re in trigger mode. They posturing their war dance; they don’t feel safe. The first step is not to ration with them. The first step is to bring them, bridge them, to safety.

The hero’s journey, often depicted as going down into the cave, or the ocean, for a reason. Go down into your subconscious, and you’ll find the monsters in there.

The key to navigating this is to cultivate space in understanding; if you can observe the monsters, you’ll realise that they are a part of you; part of your psyche, and habits. Then they’ll tend to dissolve.

These are the trials.

The fact is that the neocortex is an interpreter.

We have a whole other aspect to the brain, the Default Mode Network; this is where we exist in rest and digest; this is where our habits form. This is where our somatic practices are stored. If you want real harmony, then you’ll need to understand your body, and the patterns it has embedded in it.

What if we could go through this process, interpret it, sing it, dance it?

The Body Holds The Score describes how much the body holds when trauma is present; that’s the extreme, and it also represents the hero’s journey to an extent.

The trials are embodied in us. I have been experiencing the lessening of inflammation in my face, hands, legs — especially my knees. To get through this, I’ve had to stretch these places out, and meditate, daily. I’ve had to put music on and dance in the way that my body wants to dance.

Dan Siegel talks about the fact that we have a first brain, the gut, a second brain, the heart, and a third brain, which we call the brain.

So where is our mind located?

An interesting philosophical discussion that seldom gets taken into account. We assume that ‘mind’ is in our skull.

The neurobiology connects throughout the body. The next interesting fact is that the third brain receives more messages than it sends. The heart communicates in four different ways: neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses), biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters), biophysically (through pressure waves) and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions):

We have learned, however, that communication between the heart and brain actually is a dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialogue, with each organ continuously influencing the other’s function. ~ Heart Math ~

It receives all the information, interprets it, then responds.

So are we humans, or are we dancers?

I think we’re both, and I think that that is one and the same. I believe that as we each go through our day to day lives; we are dancing of sorts.

We dance our way through life.

White supremacist, or any form of domination logic, insist that we control, condemn, and crush our way through life. This translates to how I view and treat my body and how I interact with it when I’m trying to achieve daily tasks.

Think about it. How do you make coffee in the morning? Do you have the same expression of your hand when you pick up the cup? How about when you sip the hot liquid? Or if it’s too hot, what do you do?

These are all the somatic imprints that you, and I have.

We learn these between the ages of one and three, and then we dance the same dances throughout our lives.

Since this publication that I love so dearly is called Change Your Mind, Change Your Life, let’s observe then that it could be possible to change these dance moves.

Change the collective bodily movements that form ‘me’.

Just like anything else in life, this must start with a choice.

Consider this, what if the choice was this:

How much grace are you willing to bring into your dance routine?

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