That was the challenge posed to us in dance class today.
Sure, it was directly in reference to performing the movement, which had such abundant possibility. Just begging us to stretch our limits, or our perceived limits anyway.
Cover more space! Reach farther! Suspend longer! Release more fully! Surprise yourself! The list went on and on in my mind as I accepted the challenge and trampled the constraints that I had unconsciously set for myself on the previous run-through. It was a much fuller, more exciting and yes, fun, experience.
I so appreciate when this gifted and wise teacher shakes us out of our dusty assumptions, stale, rigid patterns, our “falling asleep” at the switch of examining unhelpful self-perceptions about what is possible. So often, the possible is circumscribed by what’s been done before–by us or by others.
Yet, if we are truly alive to the moment, we can expand beyond the illusory safety, the illusory control, of the familiar and venture onto new frontiers. This goes for dance class and every other physical activity, of course, but as you can readily appreciate, is also apt for living our lives.
So, with this gem of a teacher exhorting us once again to “never settle” I head out into the world, drenched in sweat, exhausted, exhilarated, inspired to take the practice of opening up to more possibility outside the studio. Wondering now: How expansive can I be?
Photos: Top and middle courtesy of Nikki Carrara © 2016, 2017