This is a phrase we hear a lot and it is often what many people want to achieve when they go out dancing. It has often been my motivation – to forget about life’s problems for a few hours, no stress or anxiety, just moving with the rhythm and the bassline. It seems like a wonderful moment of bliss… and it is… but at what cost?
When I started going out to clubs, around the age of 18, I found that dance music being pumped out at enormous volumes from speakers only a few feet away from you absolutely penetrates every cell of your body. If you think of the ripples you can make in a glass of water by banging on the table next to it, you can get a sense of how the vibrations from music being played at that volume right next to you will affect your body.
I found quickly that if I let myself go, I would become totally absorbed in the music; it was like I was at one with the sounds that were moving through me and reverberating throughout my cells. I found this exhilarating and actively tried to give my body over to the beat, often wildly thrashing my limbs around and not stopping for hours at a time until I was totally exhausted, or the party had finished and I had to stop. I got off on the feeling of keeping up with the music and how I could let it move me.
It was as though I didn’t need to acknowledge my own feelings because the music was telling me what to feel. There were many occasions on the dance floor in which it didn’t even feel like I was on the planet anymore – this is the ‘losing one’s self’ that I refer to: no thoughts, no cares, no concept of who I was or what was going on around me, a respite from any responsibility. Bliss, right? After having achieved the state of being ‘lost’ in the music, I would be satisfied for a short time, feeling like I was really ‘living’; I thought I was making the most of life by partying as hard as I could and dancing like a maniac. It also gave me an excuse to become disengaged from my everyday life which seemed dull and grey in comparison. I used to look at other people who weren’t into the party scene and actually pity them, thinking that they didn’t know how to enjoy their lives.
When your everyday leaves you feeling depressed or dissatisfied, a massive amount of stimulation makes you feel alive. But in reality, it was an escape, an opportunity to switch off from everything that I didn’t want to deal with. There were a number of lingering traumas from earlier years that I hadn’t dealt with which haunted my day to day life; on the dancefloor was the only place where I actually felt free of them. However, I realise now that giving myself these moments of relief was actually a bit of a set up because it allowed me to latch onto the feeling that everything was fine, and as long as I was having fun on the weekends, life was all good and I could convince myself (or try to) that I was living a great life.
When we build up many of these same experiences, they hold a certain amount of weight which temporarily counteracts the weight of the stresses, issues and undealt-with emotions that many of us are carrying around with us, kind of like a way of managing the internal unrest but not actually addressing it. Be that as it may, this is not a long-term solution because those emotions have to go somewhere and if they are left unattended to, they will make themselves known in other areas of life, whether it be in our relationships, in our work or in our bodies.
A couple of years ago I attended a Sacred Movement group with Natalie Benhayon in which I was guided through some very gentle and simple movements. It was very powerful because I was invited to stay very present within my body, whilst I moved with a delicacy that was very natural to me but was definitely not how I was used to dancing.
I was used to throwing my body around, hardened, and forcefully, making sure I was in time with the beat. As she put the music on to accompany us, she expressed that the music was there to support but not necessarily to move in time with. This was a new concept to me because I’d always tried to totally meld myself with the music and move to its rhythm but in this scenario I had nowhere to hide. Tears came to my eyes in a combination of feeling the grace of my movements, the sadness of how I had been conducting my body, and the loss at missing the stimulation and escape that I was used to getting from music.
From then on, I practised these movements almost daily and joined many other sessions led by Natalie and other practitioners. Sacred Movement has supported me so beautifully to gradually allow a more gentle and loving way of being within my own body, to feel and deeply appreciate the delicateness and natural openness of myself and to understand the power within that. I began to slowly integrate this way of being into my movements and into my dancing. It has taken time and much experimentation to navigate the way to dance and stay connected; to not hold back my expression in dance and absolutely go for it whilst completely honouring the sacredness of my body, to move with the music but not give myself over to it. What I have allowed to unfold in my body is a richness in movement that I never thought possible.
Now, I am realising that the movements of dance are no more exciting than the movements of walking, cooking, sewing, painting, typing or driving because it is not the action itself that is important, but the quality and connection it is done in. When I allow the same grace that moves through my body when I’m dancing in connection into all these other movements, then every moment is as grand as the last, and every time I appreciate the beauty and simplicity of moving in honour of my body, I drop deeper into it and the grace gets confirmed.
Thereafter, all of life becomes a dance.
By Sophie Noel-Johnson, Student/Waitress, Bath, UK
Losing ourselves in the effects of music
Music – What are we Really Listening to?
Emotions in music – Are they so innocent?
16 thoughts on “Losing Myself in Music”
“… to not hold back my expression in dance and absolutely go for it whilst completely honouring the sacredness of my body, to move with the music but not give myself over to it.” Thanks Sophie for your blog, we give ourselves over to all sorts of things, to thoughts, to other peoples judgement, to feeling inferior or superior, etc, and we move to these things. Most people would know the experience of feeling low worth in themselves or seeing it in another, and how that changes our posture and the way we move – a slumped body communicates a lot! It’s a great blog to ponder on – what are we moving to?
There is a way to move our bodies and sacred movement supports our bodies to come back to the stillness that resides within us all.
there has been throughout our history a movement to crush the sacredness of women because in our sacredness we hold the key to life. To come back to the stillness would put a brake on the motion that we all live in and with. While we are in and move in constant motion, we cannot feel the richness that is the stillness of our soul.
So beautiful to read and feel.
Thank you Sophie, many times Natalie and Serge Benhayon have deepened my understanding of the Love that is available to us through the way we move and thus bought tears of joy as my level of awareness grew from the feeling of being more connected to God.
I wasn’t into raves, or even pop very much, could not bear loud music in my ears or the beat through my body, —
however I was into classical music, it has been around me in my home all my life and I naturally sought it outside, and a loud orchestral sound thrilled me. It is equally distracting, taking me into a place of bliss and forgetfulness, emotions, totally wrapping me around with a comfort and satisfaction I felt was from the Soul!
The Soul has no more to do with classical music than trance, rock, etc the body is racked with the intensity of outside emotional or mental forces and completely taken over. Where is the inner Stillness, Harmony, Joy and Love in that? And how about Truth? Feel the spaciousness in the inner stillness and the true movement of the One Soul comes.
I remember wanting music to take me to another dimension. I remember being mesmerized by watching a guys t-shirt blowing in and out to the beat as he stood in front of the speakers they were so loud. When I went raving it was like I had a confidence I didn’t have elsewhere. It was actually a huge arrogance. I depended on the music, totally gave myself away to it if it was good meaning if it could transport me (some song lyrics even spoke of another dimension and I thought it was so cool.)
I look back on all the footage of raves and see just how poor I was in terms of relationship to myself and others that this was where I felt connected and honest with people. I craved connection and the music took me further away from myself.
So beautiful to read you coming back to the body and grace of your movements. I look back and have no idea how, without drugs, I’d dance non stop all night. I was so so hard in my body like you say keeping to the beat. I was quite aggressive. So lovely to return to grace.
I have found sacred movement to be a way to reconnect me back to me. I have lived most of my life from my mind in total disregard to my body, The movements bring us all back to a stillness within our body that is worth exploring as in the stillness there is no anxiousness or nervous tension, so no reason to want to escape from those feelings into a bliss like state which club dancing brings but cannot be maintained because the movements are a falsity which is as you say Sophie is detrimental to the body.
Thank you Sophie. The grace in your movements is clear, real and deeply felt through your writing. And what a grand reflection in life to have this; to be moving through daily life with this grace and space, unrestricted by the confines of trends and popular culture.
I love the building awareness of how your re-connecting to the body allowed for a totally different experience – one that was powerful in it’s healing response. How often do we all try to escape the body through distraction to avoid a ‘truth’ that is sitting there waiting to be unfolded? Thank you for sharing
Christine I have come to the understanding that we are born into a life of distraction to avoid the truth of who we are, it’s a complete set up from day one. Once we can see through the game then there is no going back to the ‘old’ way of living. In the reconnection to ourselves we get to feel the many ways we have been set up so that we do not fall for the game of life again. The tide is turning as more people are becoming aware that the current way of living is not working, has not ever worked. Hence the distraction in the first place.
Reflecting on your post Sophie I am reminded that there are so many ways in which we have learnt to escape feeling the emptiness and sadness within. One is not different from the other.
Thank you. This feels very real and pertinent. All the flavours of ice cream that we use to avoid feeling, committing to life and loving the responsibility that is in our hands.
bernadetteglass I agree with you reading the blog reminded me of how people cut themselves to relieve the tension they are feeling which gives them a temporary relief but doesn’t address the reason they are living with so much tension in the first place. I have found that Universal Medicine actually supports you to find the root cause of the issue and heal that and then there is no need to distract ourselves in the myriad of ways that we do because we ‘think’ we cannot cope with life.
What an amazing way of expressing the Sacredness of life Sophie, and much can be shared from The Ageless Wisdom Teaching about how to move in a rhythm, in life, so we can evolve as you have shared.
Great insight into the life of a must junkie, selling out to what’s there to move, ensnare and stimulate us – another narcotic, really.
‘Thereafter, all of life becomes a dance’. I love this end sentence Sophie as it encapsulates all the grace and power of your learning.