Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting go of ‘being cool’ and ‘always in control’.
Eleven months ago I launched into this Wholeheart writing project having been deeply touched by watching the TED talks on vulnerability given by Brené Brown. Her talks spoke to my very real experience of doing life this past year that has been very human and messy, intimate and personal. So now I find myself already at month eleven of this messy and wonderful year and the last of the posts based on her book Daring Greatly – cultivating laughter, song and dance.
This year has evolved into one of turning toward the vulnerable and difficult and touching deeply the being not cool and listening to the longing of my heart. Letting go of being cool and always in control has been the journey of the year, but also brought some of the funniest moments. Some of my funnest memories this past year have been about letting go of control with my children, family, friends and loved one. Being absolutely mad and crazy and loopy and rolling around with silly laughter, or doing crazy dance routines at home. And during one evening earlier in the year the precious experience of letting go into an evening class of five rhythms dancing in New York City and a surrender into vulnerability of being without the judging of the external being.
Letting go into laughter and dance requires a certain letting go of how one looks, of ignoring the judging from the outside, and allowing the inside knowing to guide one’s actions. Because when one is dancing and laughing and singing just for the joy of it there is a certain element of being out of control, of surrendering into the feeling of it all. And at times that definitely does not look cool.
One of my favorite poems is one that many of us may relate to as we move toward the letting go of worry of how we look, how cool we are, and how impressive we may look. We concern ourselves more with relationships and connecting, and being there for the small moments of our lives with what we care about and who we care about.
May this end of year season of being grateful, thankful, and cultivating joy, be filled with the capacity to laugh, sing, and dance, and letting go of the worry of how that may look.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
[by Jenny Joseph]