The Year of Dance

The Year of Dance – Live Life to Your Own Beat

One of the MANY lessons I learned while in the military is that holidays are simply arbitrary dates. You can celebrate ANY DAY of the year for ANY REASON. Ultimately being “home” for the 25th of December as opposed to, say, the 6th of April makes absolutely no difference when you are there, elated, sharing, and loving (well, no difference beside how much money you’ll have to spend for the plane ticket in those December high travel days).

That being said, I went into this New Year’s Eve expecting…well…nothing more than another amazing day of living. I didn’t expect a party, or anything out of the ordinary to “celebrate” the changing years. Besides, it was not I who decided December 31st should mark the end and January first should mark the beginning. I never decided January first was THE DAY I got to begin with a “clean slate” or THE DAY to make a resolution for the next 12 months. I give myself that liberty just about every day of the year.

Let’s be honest, I felt a lot more connected with my birthday as a day to celebrate the end of a grand year of emotional on top of physical recovery, than I did with New Year’s Eve as it approached. In the days that lead up to December 31st, I was asked often what my party plans were.   I’d give a brief, puzzled pause and respond, “Uh….” while shrugging my shoulders before explaining that I already celebrated my new year and the feeling didn’t necessarily resonate with this one.

It’s true. There are obvious reasons.

This is why I was confused when John asked me if we had made plans. Apparently we had and I’d forgotten (welcome to my life coming off of Gabapentin)…Or maybe I realized they were about to be made and I diligently ignored them…or maybe they weren’t made at all). The bottom line is: that line of questioning, led us to the GREATEST ending of 2013 on the arbitrarily dictated date I could have possibly imagined! Not only did we end up spending time around a beautiful heart shaped fire pit, under an immaculate blanket of stars, planets, and a crescent moon, but we also had the pleasure to spend the evening among ladies and gentlemen who understand the fragility of life and truly appreciate that tomorrow’s not guaranteed.  Two of the women are heart rock collectors as well. That in itself was enough to connect us.  Open hearts see hearts everywhere.

heart cloud

The evening felt like a complete affirmation that John and I made the correct choice by following our instincts, listening to our hearts, and arriving in Moab instead of the Everglades for this stage of my recovery.  The energy was loving, including, and completely at ease. As the moment of transition from 2013 to 2014 grew near there were many casual inquiries about the time over tea and giggles. There was even a moment when we thought we missed the 12:00 moment by almost eight minutes because we were busy dancing bachata and daydreaming!

We laughed, shrugged, kissed anyway (because who needs a reason?), then found out we still had another minute or so.

The countdown began at 20 without knowing exactly how many seconds we’d have until the numbers switched from 11:59  to 12:00 on John’s phone (There was no TV in the house, just how we like it).

We cheerfully yelled, “19, 18, 17….5, 4, 3, 2, 1!” As soon as our tongues separated from the tops of our mouths at the end of the word OOOOONNNNNNEEEEEEE, the clock changed!

We laughed, hugged, kissed, and marveled at our unguided yet serendipitously accurate countdown!

I have to think that will be a pretty correct reflection of what 2014 could potentially entail. We have no guidance here in Moab aside of our intuition, our beliefs, hopes, dreams, and emotions. We have no television, nor do we yearn for one.

The sultry sounds of bachata played lightly in the background as we marveled at the possibilities. By midnight it became apparent that 2014 would be “The Year of Dance.”

There’s no better way (for me for sure) to celebrate the freedom of movement and feel the blood pulse through my veins, reminding me of the life force churning happily within, than by shedding all social stigmas around moving the body freely and fully embracing the beat of a soul catering song.

I’ve always said the best activity in the world is sharing passions.  Watching a passion you keep burning within yourself ignite in somebody else’s heart and take a light of its own is…well, magical. Teaching dance does that for me, and I plan to continue full force!

So here’s to a magical 2014: The Year of Dance.

To dance. To love. To light. To replacing frustrations with wonder….Anger with acceptance. To recognizing reality from that which the media would have you believe. To understanding perfection without consumerism. Beauty without makeup. Love without expectations.

Here’s to living life to your own beat.

Then dancing to it.

Live, laugh, love, DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aurita Maldonado John Binger dancing(2)



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