Perseverance loves to party

ecstatic dance.jpg

After 2.5 hours of an intense 5Rhythms dance training I was about to literally collapse. The music started to slow, and I thought, “Finally, we’re winding down.”

But no.

Our wonderful teacher Heeraa paused the music and told us that in our exhaustion we would dance our best dances. Our judgmental heads were too tired to interfere with how our bodies really wanted to move.

She might have even said something about being too tired to give a shit how we danced. But I may have been hallucinating.

I do clearly remember that she assured us that our best insights come from listening to what our bodies tell us.

Then she cranked up the trance music.

My bossy pants head said, “Stop now, you don’t have to keep up with people 30 or 40 years younger.”

My body said, “C’mon girlfriend, stop playing that age excuse card. Let’s fly around the dance floor. Perseverance loves to party.”

A weird way to up my tenacity

I think I kept going until the end.

That night I felt exhausted and content, kind of peaceful, and maybe numb because not a bone in my 63-year-old body was complaining.

There’s a lot of wisdom from conscious dance practices.

But this weekend I reflected on perseverance, especially as it’s one of my weakest character traits, like a lot of Rebels at Work.

When we persevere, too exhausted for our brains to get all emotionally wound up in situations at work, we often see things and people in new ways.  It’s like those aha moments while we’re dozing off to sleep. We’re not thinking anymore and all of a sudden, a brilliant idea pops.

Or as we’re persevering new people join us. If we care that much to keep going, the least that they can do is help get us/our projects to the finish line.  As my body moved on the dance floor it picked up energy from everyone else. One guy even took me in his arms, and we did a quick little waltz to the drumbeat of trance music.  He gave me new energy.

Most of all, I was reminded that if we practice, we can get better, even at things that we’re not innately good at, which for me is perseverance.

And the payoff of tenacity?

I’m sure there are many. Playing the long game to finish difficult challenges can be especially fulfilling and meaningful.

But for me it was something quite simple and luxurious: my body rewarded me with the soundest sleep I’ve had in years.