When I heard the teacher saying that, I realized what it really meant.
This is a moment which I experienced a long time ago, when I was dancing professionally. I was at one of these retreats where a group of people gathered together and spent some time meditating, reflecting and really learning about our own minds.
Towards the end of the program, we had a small party. Some people sang, others played musical instruments and it was a time just enjoying being together.
All of sudden, I was called and asked to dance because I was a ‘dancer’. I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t prepare anything. It was not a proper stage, no music or stage lights as such. So, I pulled out some moves as best as I could, trying to show some steps and techniques as a ‘dancer’, hoping to impress the people.
However, I didn’t really feel like I danced well and I felt so bad and embarrassed afterwards. People still cheered and the party went on but I couldn’t really enjoy anything after the dance. I was just so trapped in my own thoughts, feeling that I didn’t dance well.
After some time, one of the teachers at the retreat asked me to come out and dance once again. I was like, this is not happening, l wanted to run away, I’ve already done my dance and made a fool of myself, I can’t do that again… within a split second, so many thoughts went through my mind and with people calling out my name, I was again standing in front of people. I really had no idea what to do. I couldn’t think of any cool moves or awesome techniques any more.
My mind went blank. I thought to myself…oh, F*%# it. Just do it. Just move. Just dance.
So I just started dancing without any thoughts or minds. I could hear people enjoying my dance and they were clapping to the rhythm of my moves. I felt, wow, this isn’t too bad! I was even enjoying dancing myself. What? How? Just minutes ago, I wanted to run away and I regretted that I didn’t dance well and now I am actually enjoying dancing? What happened?
And it was then, I heard the teacher saying, “Now, she IS dancing”
Just let your being dance, not your thoughts; not your mind of wanting acknowledgements from others, seeking external validation, not to prove ‘I am a dancer’. Just dance. Just be.
It was a beautiful moment of realisation. Not only about just dancing, but about all aspects of life; Becoming free and liberated from delusional thoughts that stop us from being who we really are.
Recognizing those thoughts and letting go of them, also became easier and easier as I continued with meditation. Until now, this episode remains as one of my fondest, enlightening moments.