Monday, July 6, 2009

I can dance!

Over at Healmyptsd, LLC Michele Rosenthal shares her story about how dancing helped to free her from her PTSD symtpoms....and creating that "new me" through movement and joy...

While I havent gone out to a dance studio, I have found the same freedom in movement in my own living room, it isnt anything fancy - I dont get dressed up and in fact kind of just start moving with the music on the radio. Pretty soon I find that I'm dancing at the dishwasher (while my pup Brindle stares in me in doggy wide eyed wonder like "mom???)

As I free myself to follow the beat of the music, I become a famous singer as I sing along to Beyonce and "halo"....or Rod Stewart....R kelly and his song "I can fly"....and in my mind I am standing at that place where the mountains wrap their expansive arms around me in safety and the sound of the ocean waves licking the edges of the beach I stand on....before I know it as I slowly begin to sway, or feel the beat and my body spins around my living room - I begin to feel free of all that that has imprisoned me for years.....

The body and mind are amazing and dont seem capable of holding the pain of the past AND the joy of movement at the same time (lucky me!) If I'm noticing that the horror movie is playing again in my head and the "fog" is starting to roll in - I can change my mood - my "state of mind" by turning on some tunes and just letting go....before long, my attitude is better, my outlook is better .... and....I might be acting silly and having fun! Listen up to this guy and his dilema........;) Susan

"Running is to dogs what dancing is to people. It is their way to get into the rhythm of the universe." ~Stanley Coren~


Michele Rosenthal said...

"The body and mind are amazing and dont seem capable of holding the pain of the past AND the joy of movement at the same time."

That's what I discovered, too! Aren't we lucky the body and mind so badly WANT to feel joy that the minute it's truly offered both body and mind dump the bad stuff and get into the joy groove?

Love the idea of you dancing and doing the dishes. It's when we bring joy into the most insignificant moments that we really begin to make it a habit. From there, all healing is possible.

Alexa said...

Dancing and doing the dishes! --> Remember the movie "The Big Chill"? :-)

Yesterday I listened to Michael Jackson's "So You Wanna Be Starting Something" a zillion times ... I've gotten into a happy habit of shake-shake-shaking my whole body just because it feels so good and loosens everything up ... Shaking is also a natural bodily action that occurs after a stressful event ... I think that Peter Levine writes about it in his book "Taming the Tiger." Non-human animals naturally release tension through shaking and trembling ... We tend to curtail or suppress this process of release ... So I've started shaking for the joy of it whenever I can ... My husband calls it my "jitterbug dance" :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by Michele; I've been doing some research on the "freezing" response...which is part of that "learned helplessness" many survivors of childhood abuse experience. The good news is that we don't have to stay there and can begin to climb out of that place of self doubt by reconnecting with our bodies - and one way to do this is to practice movement in dance!

BTW; congratulations again on the big move and launching your website!

Unknown said...

Jalyia - isn't it something how animals instinctively know to do those things to recover from a stressful event? My pup Brindle will do just that - stand up and "shake it off". I love your idea of a "jitterbug" dance to stay in the joy of the moment, Jalyia!!

I've read Peter Lavine as well - "Trauma Recovery" Restoring your body - what a terrific read!

Thanks for stopping by Jalyia!