Today, while I was at the dentist for my coronation – a grand way of saying that I was getting a permanent crown cemented – a wonderful conversation took place between me, the dental hygienist and the dentist. The hygienist, who I will refer to as “Shakira” for reasons that will follow, was feeling a little down this morning as we began to chat.
Shakira was suffering from some mid-winter blues and a bit of homesickness for the warmer climate of her native Columbia. One of the things she misses the most, Shakira told me was dancing – specifically Salsa dancing with a little merengue and belly-dancing thrown in for good measure. She was, she said, thinking of teaching it. In spite of not having professional training, she considered herself quite good at it and loved the fun of the lively dance and the warm colorful memories it provided for her.
I noticed how excited she got sharing her desire to teach Salsa dancing pointing out that she had support from her boyfriend. Capitalizing on her excitement, I made a few suggestions about how she could accomplish this in her spare time. She could have fun, I said, teaching Gringos how to Salsa and free up their trapped energies, stiff hips, and aching bodies that often held puritanical notions about suggestive movement – even when just in fun. Dancing is a great way to change your mood and elevate your spirits. However great dancing is, most of us have forgotten anything approaching good dance moves. Long gone are the childhood ballet lessons that blossomed into tap then jazz only to be left behind by the 6th grade when shame and self-consciousness delivered the death knell.
Dancing forces coordination between the mind and the body in a way that allows for expression while strengthening seldom used neural pathways. Dancing inevitably leads to happiness when one frees oneself to tap into a natural rhythm long repressed. It is the joy of a child running while trailing a ribbon, the translation of a steady beat into matching movements, it is the feel of music flowing into the body and back out again. It is alignment with something that tugs at our spiritual nature. It is the gestalt of a thousand disconnected notes creating a blissful harmony while igniting the cells in our body in a matching harmony. I supported Shakira’s vision and we played with suggestions of how to accomplish her goal.
In between fitting iterations of my crown, I pushed the conversation along enrolling Dr. K into the conversation. Dr. K is my South Korean born dentist and I decided to find out what his secret dream was. Dr. K who told us of his early desire to be in sports – he wanted to be a runner. However, his parents quashed the notion as absurd. Running, they told him, would not put food on the table. Instead like many parents who had faced wars and direct threats to survival, they saw a profession, or as he put it a “license”, to be the holy grail for future success. Thus sometime after that conversation he came the US and pursued dentistry, became a husband and a father or 3 young sons. Dr. K confessed that his secret dream – if he didn’t have to work – was to travel the world.
After the fitting of my crown was complete and we headed to the front desk, Shakira asked for my business card – she was very excited and happy that she could talk about her dream today. I assured her that her dream could become reality with a little work. As I drove home, I imagined ways Dr. K could achieve his dream while holding down his dental business. I wondered if I should send him a note with the many ideas that popped up on the drive home. Helping others imagine possibilities and supporting them through the process, is a big part of what I do.
So how about you? What dreams would you like to bring to life?