Recently I’ve met some people who are living their lives in a state of awesomeness. These are people are changing their lives in meaningful ways; they are mindful that growth and transformation are key ingredients in our journey through life. I find it curious, however, that most of these people, in fact all of the people I’m referring to are friends in my Argentine tango community.
What is it about tango dancers that they are so conscious, so intelligent? I ask myself this question frequently, especially when I meet a really interesting man or woman who dances tango they are highly unusual people who are living life on a truly conscious level. Tango is the most intense lead/follow dance on the planet. The concentration, skill and dedication to become a tango dancer is quite unimaginable to most people. I call dancing tango a zen meditation. It is total surrender, total acceptance and total letting go of all extraneous thoughts. The music is the force behind the dance. For me, dancing tango is stretching both physically and mentally, balancing emotionally and mastering the art of dance. It’s a practice similar to yoga, and it requires the same dedication, the same self-mastery, and some of the same skill sets. Tango and yoga are gifts in my life and I am truly grateful.
I’m stretching! I’m stretching! Look, Ma, I’m stretching! We can stretch in relationships, stretch in our work environments, and even stretch when going about our chores. Stretch and your life takes on importance because you are exploring your nature and environment with an awareness that is like a dance. Stretch and the idea of a life well lived is attainable. This can happen at any age. How cool is that?
One of the ways I stretch daily is by digging into my human survival kit. My kit is really a goody basket because inside is everything that reflects me: my experiences, thoughts, desires, needs, ideas, dreams, passions, knowledge, everything I’ve ever done and everything I’ve ever been in my life is inside my goodie basket. In my bag there are also 5 essential tools to help me live well and fulfill my passions and my dreams. I guess you could say that these are principles I live by and hope to experience at some point during my day: gratitude, vulnerability, the ability to change when necessary, pursuing my passions and practicing forgiveness.
I’m sure everyone has a tool kit of essential principles. Perhaps we are not conscious of our tools, but these tools are nonetheless an integral part of our nature. They are essential because they are our guides and inspiration for stability, resilience and balance. Our tools are also responsible for clear thinking, better communication and well-defined relationships.
I was listening to one of my friends the other day about the on-going saga of his rocky and seemingly intractable marriage. It occurred to me that what might be missing from the relationship was gratitude for all the gifts in their lives, including each other even thought they were adversaries most of the time. I uttered this idea under my breath, but he picked it up quickly only to debunk my observation. His retort to me was to kick it back to his wife and to say that she didn’t care about all that he had given her during their marriage. And he was grateful for nothing because she gave him nothing. Wow! What a vicious circle. Gratitude expands a life, makes it richer and more appreciated, more cherished. It even puts life into perspective.
Stretch your life away. It’s free and a measurable indicator of how joyful your path in life can be.