There is something about dancing in the street that invokes freedom, inspires bravery, and feels like authenticity.
Yep. I should know. On the first day of the New Year, I decided to celebrate my personal independence. No, I wasn’t quitting my job, or leaving my spouse, or leaving my life behind to see the world.
I was simply compelled to celebrate my innate sense of freedom that lives at the very core of my human being-ness.
“I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.”
Simone de Beauvoir
On this auspicious day, I impulsively stopped my car at the busy intersection near my home, when I saw her. And I decided I didn’t care what anyone would think.
I joined this beautiful creature, and her crazy kinky curls, who was dancing her bliss, with her funkalicious boom box–her only backdrop, a spray-painted sign that simply read, “Dancing for Peace in Every Heart.” And I brought my groovin’ dance moves on– with authenticity. And I danced.
I danced on the street corner. I danced on the street corner with a perfect stranger. I danced on the street corner with a perfect stranger, for peace in every heart–while the cars whizzed by.
“You did what?!” my teenager said a few moments later when I arrived home, breathless and flying high from the experience.
As we laughed about it, my teenager picturing how crazy I must have looked, I secretly hoped that my demonstration of independence would sit and percolate somewhere in his being, and perhaps nudge his own innate sense of freedom one day.
Are You Really Free?
I am fortunate to live in a part of the world where I have been taught, since I was young, that I have “inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
As an adult, I know that these ideals are far more than the stuff of history lessons and more than the story of the part of the world I live in.
I know that the impulse of freedom and the thrill of independence run deeply through all human beings, no matter where we are from or what our histories have been.
Freedom feels like the basis of all life and exists as a universal component of our collective makeup.
For those of us lucky to live in places where we may practice our freedom, without a second thought, the question becomes,” Do we really practice and live our freedoms?”
Or….have we become distracted?
Have we become distracted by media and commercials, telling us what we need to be happy? Are we bombarded by experts and information, telling us what is best for us? Have we been bought by the institutions and corporations that say we need them to survive? Have we been taught by others that we ‘should’ do this, or be that? Have we unknowingly imprisoned ourselves within old paradigms of limiting thoughts and beliefs?
It may serve us well to investigate whether we are truly living in independence and freedom.
Practice Your Personal Independence
Today, let’s resolve to really live our personal independence. We can start simply.
Let us think for ourselves
Let us think our own thoughts, and not merely adopt what we have been taught. Forget regurgitating the thoughts of those before us; let’s come up with our own! The world needs innovators, inventors, out of the box thinkers. And we need them everywhere–in our homes, schools, workplaces, business, political institutions—everywhere.
Let us express authentically
Do we say what we really mean? Do we express how we really feel? Let us have the courage to express our selves in our full, unbridled authenticity. When we express ourselves in our many ways–through language, movement, creativity, and emotions– we free ourselves. And in doing so, we may inspire others to their own wild expression.
Let us do what makes us happy
In every single moment, can we claim our happiness? We will know we are on the right path when, in every moment, we follow what rings true to us. Let freedom ring!
Our only limitations are the ones we set for ourselves.
I’ll see you dancing in the street.