In the ancient health science of Ayurveda, one of the principle teachings about our bodies is to trust the body’s wisdom and honor the urges that we have. Our bodies know what they need to do to make their way back into balance and all day, every day, they are working to find a state of homeostasis where they can perform their best.
An impulse is an ego-driven thought process in the conscious mind. It’s a quick decision that we make; a choice. But, an urge is a natural signal from the body that something needs to change in order to bring us back into balance. The body may need to expel something in the form of sneezing, peeing, pooping, passing gas, or even bursting into laughter. Or the body may need to increase something in which case we feel thirsty, we begin to yawn, or we feel very sleepy.
Allowing ourselves to feel our emotions is also a way that we can honor our body and help to keep ourselves in balance. When we refrain from allowing the body to do what it needs or to feel what it feels, we are setting ourselves up for difficulty and discomfort. We are pulling ourselves out of balance and we are denying expression of who we truly are in that moment.
Let’s take honoring ourselves one step further.
Some of the best times of our lives involve laughter, song or dance. Or all three. When we are young, we allow ourselves to dance or to sing along without any worry about what we look or sound like. But, as we grow older, we begin to worry about how we will be seen, judged, and labeled.
When we censor ourselves in an attempt to control what other people think of us, we are betraying our own authenticity, stunting creativity, and hindering joy. And we go right back to trying to fit in rather than finding where we truly belong. Laughter, song and dance are all about allowing ourselves to express what we naturally feel and to relax into a state of expansion. Restricting, controlling, and changing ourselves puts us into a state of contraction mentally and physically, and we cannot flow or grow from a state of contraction.
The health benefits of laughing are many. When we laugh, we release hormones that help us to feel good and to reduce the stress response in the brain and body. If we can find the humor in a situation, we can diffuse the tension and more frequently experience joy in our lives. Laughter is a way to connect with others and to share in healing. Research shows that even anticipating that something will be funny is chemically rewarding in the brain.
We have all experienced the power of song and how deeply we can be reached on an emotional level with the right song at the right moment. People make a living choosing songs for movies, commercials, and TV shows to create the exact emotional response they want to elicit. Music and song can lift us up or draw us down. It can inspire and motivate us or it can chill us out. The energetic and emotional power of song is undeniable.
Oh and dancing. Dancing is a dangerous subject because of the vulnerability that it can bring up. Dancing is way to really put ourselves out there unlike anything else, baring our souls and showing how our body feels called to move. Refraining from dance and censoring how we naturally want to move comes from a place of fear and trying to control how we are seen by others.
The freedom that we feel through laughter, song and dance is the true expression of expansion in our lives. When we allow ourselves to laugh, sing and dance, others often feel uncomfortable because they do not allow themselves that freedom. And from their discomfort, they criticize, judge and compare. This is where we have to choose joy over fear and bravery over comfort. This is where we have to choose ourselves.
It may sound ridiculous or scary to think of allowing yourself to burst out in laughter, to sing along with the radio, or to dance when your body feels the urge. But, the reward is vast. Choosing to be authentic in the moment will pay off and you can begin to lean into living this life as your true self. Be brave. Give it a try.
I will be trying right along with you.
Chat again soon,