A few weeks ago I attended my first ever Tango dance class with my partner.
It was an entirely different experience to what I had anticipated, like nothing I'd tried before. As someone who considers themselves fit, flexible, and coordinated with a reasonable sense of rhythm... in hindsight, I had made the mistake of thinking it would be pretty straightforward to nail the very basic steps.
I was wrong.
What I hadn't anticipated was the need for leaning in, for letting go of control, for trust.
As a female, I was playing the 'follower' to my partners lead
First, there was the disorientation of not being out to see the direction in which you walk, my unconscious mind kept kicking in and trying to turn a corner anticipating a wall behind me that wasn't even there.
I kept trying to pull away out of the leaning embrace to regain my balance and my autonomy. I kept gripping with my hands rather than letting my core do the work. I kept stumbling over his feet and hesitating with my stride as I anticipated the next move rather than being intuitively guided by his lead. We kept loosing connection and flow.
Fall into the flow.
I found myself feeling confused and frustrated at times. Thoughts spinning round my mind... Why was I not able to hold a simple posture and take a few simple steps backwards?
It was only as the class finished and we were winding down for the evening, joking about our attempts and making our way out of the building, that I realised...
I just had to let go and lean in, I had to drop down out of my head and the overthinking, perfectionist-y space and feel into my body for the connection between us, the subtle shifts in balance from foot-to-foot that were there to guide me, the momentary pauses that would centre us and create the subtle rhythm.
I just had to let go and lean in, I had to close the gap and truly lean right into that space between us rather than pulling back and anticipating where the next step should be.
I just had to let go and lean in.
I just had to trust the process.
It still made me smile as I laid down in bed that night. The beauty of the lessons learned.
But, what has this got to do with daily life?
I’ll let you decide…
Jo is the health and mindset coach who works with the ‘square pegs’ trying to force themselves into ‘round holes’. Her passion was born from a personal journey of plant-based nutrition being the gateway to stepping away from convention and conformity into a deeper connection with her true sense of self. When she’s not whipping up incredible dishes in the kitchen, you can find her sharing her recipes and words of wisdom over at www.includingcake.com and on Instagram @johodson