“Nobody’s looking – let’s dance!”
The Thursday Thesis - 22/11/2016
We all do it, don’t we?
We dance when nobody is watching, we sing ourselves hoarse in the car, and we come more fully to life - when nobody’s watching!
It’s a perfectly natural thing, and we all do it without giving it a thought.
It's as though there’s an irrepressible “Rhythm-Monkey” inside us, dedicated to synchronising our movements with the ever-changing rhythms and beats of our tribe - putting us in-step with the people and events around us.
This shouldn’t be a great surprise, given that humans are pack animals, and that within a moving group of animals or people it’s easier to communicate with other members of the pack if everyone moves in step and maintains non-verbal communication to support any verbal interactions.
You can easily test this, by the way: next time you’re walking with someone, try breaking stride with them and notice how difficult it becomes to maintain the conversation.
So our Rhythm-Monkey instinctively moves us in time with any music we hear: that’s why the music in your life really matters.
And that's why supermarkets have been using slow music, for decades, to slow us down and increase sales.
And aren’t there some tunes you play in the car that make you drive just a little too fast?
We all were born to dance, and we do it without thinking - when nobody is watching.
But put another person in the room and we freeze, become suddenly self-conscious and aware of a completely natural behaviour that is not socially “The Done Thing”.
Unless (and if you’re a bloke, especially if!) we’re in a club or other socially sanctioned place, dancing is somehow... how shall I put it?...
Well, you know what I mean.
But since humans are born to dance, run and sing – is it wise to deny or suppress this part of our inheritance?
My friend, Simon Martin, is a man on fire for laughter, music and stories (WWW.StoryBodger.com) and he told me of a Scandinavian doctor who asks depressed patients “When did you stop dancing?”
Wow– what a great question.
To put it another way: at what point did you deny and repress a vital part of what makes you human?
But the question originated in the ancient Shamanic tradition, where a depressed seeker would approach the Shaman with their melancholy and ask for help.
The Shaman would ask the seeker one of four questions:
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?
So, how about you?
When did you stop, and when will you begin, again?
Now would be a good time, don’t you think?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2016
Please Like and Share The Thursday Thesis with your friends, family, your cat and anyone else. I’d love to hear your comments, along with any ideas you’d care to hurl at me.
Great stuff Neil - laughter, music and story! Three of my favourite things. Play is good too - we don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing. Never stop playing - and your guitar lessons are a blast!
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