Are you a 21st century woman like me – working, running the family and financially supporting the household with little time for yourself?
So many women today allow themselves to become overloaded – albeit for all the right reasons! It’s what has been termed ‘Strong Woman Syndrome’.
I was one of these 21st century women. I often had a hard time delegating and trusting that things would get done, so ended up like superwomen doing it myself. It made me feel grumpy and depleted! May be you’re familiar with this syndrome?
In 2013 after three weeks of feeling awful with the ‘flu – and cursing the doctor who wouldn’t prescribe me anything for it – I went to a homeopath. Apart from giving me a remedy for ‘flu, she recommended a local dance class. She said it was amazing for supporting the body to de-stress and relax. And it was called Biodanza. It took several months before I dared to go – and when I did it was with plenty of scepticism! How could learning new steps be stress free? But I went…… and began to dance to a different tune.
Welcome to the Biodanza circle, where everyone is equal
With bare feet touching the wooden floor, I found myself in a circle, looking at sea of unknown faces. I heard the teacher’s voice, ‘Welcome to the Biodanza circle, where everyone is equal. We start each class in a circle moving to the right, to the rhythm of the music.’ Although no one was talking, the voice in my head provided a commentary while my feet dutifully moved as instructed,“ I wonder why everyone keeps looking and smiling? How odd! Will I really like Biodanza? Is this for me?’
As the opening track drew to a close, we were invited to walk to the next. ‘Walk? I thought this was a dance class!’ ‘Walk opposite arm to opposite leg, which allows our body to come into its natural rhythm’, said the teacher while the mental commentary continued………..
‘This isn’t as easy as she made it look. Am I doing this right? Is my arm and leg going in opposite directions? Am I walking in rhythm?”……….“And now I invite you to walk together with someone. We travel through life walking with different people all the time. I will call out changes so you can experience what it’s like to walk with others.’ ‘Oh, no!’ ………Now she wants us be rhythmic with someone else! Here comes the first person… ’ ‘Change!’ Phew. I survived that one!”
You say Hello, I say Goodbye’ was still playing.
A stranger took my hand, smiled, and we found our rhythm easily. I began enjoying myself. It felt good to walk together, smiling and laughing. ‘Change!’ Someone else took my hand, then another, and another. The voice in my head got quieter. I found my mouth forming a smile, my body moving differently with each person. 21st century Strong Woman did something extraordinary: she started to relax.
As each track came on and a new dance started I found myself having fun – the first time in ages. And each dance, whether it was solo, with another, or part of the group, bought me something new. I felt parts of my body I’d forgotten existed. I felt joy and fully alive. The best thing was there were no steps to learn. What a relief! The teacher invited us into a circle one more time. I looked round the circle and saw a group of human hearts and souls. Without a word of conversation I felt connected to this group of people. No longer strangers but friends I had laughed with, shared joy with and had fun with. The voice in my head said, ‘Yes, Biodanza is for me.’ As the class came to an end and we all grabbed a cuppa, our voices returned and I found that friendship was easy because we had danced together.
I left my first class feeling amazing, renewed, refreshed and softer. My body had indeed let go, my shoulders had dropped the bags they were carrying, my heart felt lighter and more joyful. I noticed over the next few days I had more energy and was smiling more.
I was curious about the effects of this dance class. I couldn’t quite describe it although I knew I wanted more of it and so did my body. So I made a commitment to attend as many weekly classes as I could.
The cumulative benefits of attending have impacted my inner world and also the way I manage my outer life.
Each time I attend a class I feel even better. I experience tangible changes in my life. I am softer and gentler towards my little boy. I feel more loving. I micromanage less and feel more joy and harmony in my spirit. Needless to say, Biodanza is now part of my weekly self-care routine. It’s a time in my week when I can let go and enjoy. I don’t have to serve anyone else. I don’t have to do it all alone. Biodanza has helped me discover what it really is to be a 21st century ‘Strong Woman’ – strong enough to give yourself a time and place where you can relax and be all that you are, however you are. For me, Biodanza is that place – it’s safe and I’m totally accepted. I can ‘Dance like no one is watching.‘ And I do!
If you think you’re a 21st century ‘Strong Woman’ may be Biodanza is the place for you too?