Recently I was at a Bollywood dance class with a friend, just trying it out to see what it was like. The moves were variations on similar styles of movement that were familiar to me, so I caught on pretty quickly. I noticed others around me who were struggling and not on beat, and I found myself thinking, "Yeah, I got this!" and feeling pretty proud of myself. Then something felt wrong. I suddenly wasn't really having fun any more.
This was around the time of the Olympics, and I think I might have gotten a bit caught up in the competitive spirit and brought that into Bollywood class. I remembered in that moment that it's really no fun to compare oneself to others and feel superior. It simply does not lead to a lasting feeling of joy. So, I started thinking about how in a group of dancers, what makes the movement beautiful is oneness and synchronicity. I started watching expectantly to see if the class would start to move together in rhythm, and gradually we did just that. And the class became a lot more fun as I enjoyed the feeling of everyone moving in sync.
But it was somewhat startling to notice how often we do get tempted to compare bodies to other bodies. Be honest. You've noticed people working out at the gym or wearing certain clothes or in the grocery line and had at least a fleeting thought of comparing your bodies to theirs or comparing those bodies to other bodies. Ooh look at how much weight he's lifting over there! I could never do that. Look at how large that skirt makes her behind look. Does my butt look like that? Wow, how are they going to lose weight if they buy all that fattening food in that cart? I'm glad I don't have that problem. Ding! That sentence should clue you in that something is off. Any time you hear yourself say, "I'm glad I don't have that problem", stop and check yourself. That is not a healing thought. [This blog is for honest folks who are seeking deeper awareness and progress, so we have to be real with ourselves.]
This statement from Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy came to mind: "Soul and Spirit being one, God and Soul are one, and this one never included in a limited mind or a limited body" (p. 335). My mom had shared this statement with me back when I was in middle school and dreading gym class because I felt athletically inept. While I never became a star gym student, I did find ways of exercising that were comfortable and enjoyable for me, and I was at least able to keep up with classmates and eventually laugh at myself when I made silly mistakes in sports.
As I thought about each of us being free of limitation, I also recalled statements in the Bible that refer to us having "one body", that body being the "body of Christ" (Romans 12:5 and Ephesians 4:4). This body is never limited, always free. As there is not a limited body, there is also never a sick body, never a tired body, never a sore body, never a body that is not beautifully shaped. I've really been appreciating this concept, while at the gym, on the street, in the store, or anywhere where it might be tempting to see a bunch of bodies around me. "ve also been applying it with clients in my healing practice. It is so refreshing and energizing to be conscious of one unlimited body, the body to which each of us belongs. That is the kind of thought that makes me want to dance.
If YOU feel like dancing, you might want to listen to this song: Happy by Pharrell. Check out the video here. Warning: it might be hard to sit still:)