Thursday, July 23, 2009

Indulging in Pleasure and Ease

I just returned from a total and complete vacation to the Pacific Northwest. I stayed up late, slept in, ate amazing food, drank wine, hiked, laughed and loved my friends and family. There's something about a vacation away that brings you back to yourself. Letting go and allowing myself to fully enjoy and embrace this precious little window of time reminded me that it's okay to indulge once in a while. It's okay to take pause and notice what feels good, tastes good, smells good. It's okay not to know what you're going to do tomorrow and to search out little adventures, to be curious and to try new things. It's okay to let go and let someone else drive the bus (which, due to a snafu in the mini-van rental became quite literally true, as we trekked around the greater Seattle area in a 15 passenger cargo van.)

Anyway, all this relaxing left little time to dance. So this week, as I transition back into the dance of everyday life, I'm bringing my vacation with me and playing with the focus of moving with pleasure and ease. This is a little bit of a change for me. I tend to constantly push forward. In my dance, this means that I'm usually trying to go stronger, deeper, faster, longer. Even though moving with that kind of dynamic intention can be exhilarating, there's also an inherent strain. My body usually tells me so the next day.

This week, I'm taking the lessons of my vacation into my body and letting go and enjoying ease. My goals are floating, stepping lightly, seeking pleasure in the warm honey of my joints, seeking gentle expansion in my muscles as they warm and stretch. It will be more yin and less yang. After last night's class with this focus, my body felt so good, my movement, so easy. This week, I remind myself that I can extend my vacation. Indulging in a dance of pleasure and ease is a way to treat your body to a relaxing get away. Having experienced the rewards this week, I encourage you not to forget to give that gift to yourself once in a while too.