I recently injured my neck and shoulder and was advised to take some time off my bike, surfboard and yoga mat to heal. I was resistant at first as these activities are my physical and social outlets, my go-to-sanity-keepers. But after the initial sting of loss I suddenly realized I would now have some free time to explore new interests.
Like salsa dancing.
This is how I ended up in my first salsa class at a lively SF studio in the Mission a few months ago. Now I go into the city once or twice a week to take lessons and enjoy different dance clubs in an attempt to master my salsa skills - or at least not step on too many feet. I often dance with 20 or more new partners each night and I’ve never had so much fun - even in my beginner awkwardness!
For years I had watched in envy from the sidelines as two people connected through this sensual, energetic dance with spins and turns and hips swaying to the Latin pulse of horns and drums. Salsa dancing is a true expression of masculine and feminine energy. There is always a leader and a follower and for the dance to flow each needs to embrace their role. As the male is typically the leader in salsa dancing I’ve had to rewire my own strong, competent, alpha female mind to one of a more submissive, responsive follower on the dance floor.
What a lesson for me in surrender. And I'm loving it.
I never knew how wonderful it can be to have my partner tell me let me do the work- you just follow my lead, and then allow my body to just move to the music. The more I’m in my head thinking about what to do next, the worse I dance, so I’m learning to feel the rhythm and advance when my partner signals the next move. It’s an incredible experience of being taken care of by another in this dance and probably the closest I’ve come to truly embracing my feminine in a long time.
Perhaps as many women have become stronger, assertive and more masculine in our roles at work and in personal relationships we’ve also forgotten what it feels like to truly surrender ourselves to the guidance of another. We are the doers and the leaders and then we wonder why we don't receive the nurturing care we desire from those around us.
If you feel like you could use more support in your own life (without giving up your own personal power), I encourage you to find at least one area of surrender that allows you to break old patterns and create new ones in your routine and in your relationships. Salsa dancing may not be your thing, but I'm sure there are other dreams and goals you haven’t attempted because they are outside of your current comfort zone. Give in to the discomfort and try something new. Become a receptive student and you will be reminded of where you still have room to grow personally, professionally or spiritually.
I encourage you to write down one or two things you have always wished you could learn, expand on, or master.
Research local or online lessons and find those that work with your schedule. Make the time to get started on at least one of them.
Sign up for the class, pay for it in advance, and put it on your weekly calendar. Then show up. No excuses.
Supporting your surrender,