Moving with Joy

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I love to watch birds fly and flit through the air. Sometimes, I get the very strong impression that they are flying purely for the joy of it! It’s something they just love to do, so they do it as fast and skillfully as they can, purely for fun!

Barn swallow flying

The other day, I found a video I had downloaded of Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing. As I watched them, I again got the feeling that they did it for pure joy! They are having the time of their lives, dancing with each other, spinning around the stage, tapping away in time to the band playing. When the music stops and they do their final step, Eleanor’s dress takes another full second to come to a stop! Cool!

This made me think: what do I do with my body, purely for the joy of it? I used to do some swing dancing, but not really any more… I enjoy exercising, but it isn’t the same. It isn’t joyful. What do I do just for the joy of it?

I have to admit, the answer is nothing. And this is something I think I need to change! I need to take up a hobby that moves my body, purely for joy. The only time I can think of doing this recently is when I was dance-working out in Wrigley. I had no equipment whatsoever, but still wanted to train for the York boat trip, so each day after work, I would put on my exercise clothes and some hoppin’ music and just bop around the living room, doing whatever movements came to mind. It was fun — I did the twist, I made up dance moves, I did some kick-boxing stuff, I did some swing moves (like the Charleston and the Lindy Hop) and generally got my heart rate up and broke a sweat. Then, I would do some weights — lifting my various back packs in various ways, and it worked quite well! 🙂 I would sometimes finish off with some Pilates. And although I enjoyed it and felt physically good during and after the exercise, the most joy was in the dancing.

It is so important that we do something joyful every day! And not just in our heads — something physical, moving our bodies without limitation, in free-form fun. I am going to try incorporate this into my everyday life and tell you how it goes! Anybody want to join me?

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