Dancing with life.

Life can happen at a tempo and at times the thought might have come up whether I really have control over my life. In my practice I have daily experience of persons being the “victims” of criminal acts such as high jacking, substance abuse, stress, burnout, emotional abuse and assault. But time and again I have witnessed human beings becoming aware of their potential and inner strength. They become survivors of their circumstances, have control over the situations they thought they had little control over and started dancing with life. Most of the time I am astonished and in awe when I witness the self-determination locked up in us as human beings. How we strive to preserve and enhance the self towards self-actualisation, but most of all the ability to change, grow and start dancing to the music of our own lives.


On the theme of dancing with life... Years ago, when I was an intern in training in the clinical and psychiatric environment, I made contact with the most amazing lady that had a significant impact on my own thinking and life. The lady used to ask me the intriguing question: Jacques... Are you dancing with life...? Are you? Are you dancing?


To be dancing implicates the physical movement to music, the body reacting to sensory stimulus processed by the body and mind. Usually it arouses emotion and enjoyment and social interaction. Dance tells a story and is also a form of communication. People choose to dance to a certain song, piece of music or rhythm. To dance with life would implicate that you have choice to pick the piece of music you choose to dance to. Music you choose to be in harmony with and a beat you would be able to move to and keep up with. To be able to dance to the music of your own life starts with a journey of discovery of your rhythm and harmony that is true and authentically your own. An awareness of the story you want to tell.


At times, we all have trouble identifying the music we would want to dance to. That is okay, that music is within each one’s reach and can be discovered. The aim would be to be aware that one should be willing to discover your own harmonies, rhythms and tunes. What is of importance is that it is one’s own.


Carl Rogers the father of the Person-Centred Approach (PCA) and one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement also stated that the “good life” is not a destiny, but rather involves a process of change and growth towards the discovery of the authentic self. To construct the ‘good life’ is a dance with life itself. My dance is the start of an exciting discovery of self; the willingness to search for my own music and dance with life. Dance is a process. A friend reminded me of a quotation by Wayne W. Dyer: When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor... it is to enjoy each step along the way.


The more I am open to the realities in me and in the other person, the less do I find myself wishing to rush in to “fixing things”. – Carl Rogers

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