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If You're Happy and You Know It

Originally published on, July 3, 2019

Moving with my eyes closed… trying not to think too much about where the walls are… Somewhere in this large room was a person with warm eyes, watching me, just letting me express myself. This was my experience with “authentic movement” - a kind of self exploration where you let your body express, and a facilitator holds the space for you as a silent, supportive observer.

People used to say that “you should dance as if no-one is watching you”… but I say that if you can bear to be seen, the dance is so much more worth it. Compassionate. And real.

Moving around, with my eyes closed… When I was a kid, I used to think that calmness was a sign of mastery… It turned me into such a stoic… Now, moving with my eyes closed, I thought suddenly of the little kids I know, who show their feelings with every bit of their bodies. There is virtually no such thing as not knowing how a toddler feels. They jump, they scream, they shriek in joy or in distress, they kick their legs, they go red in the face, they make their feelings known to the entire world. I thought of all the times when I was having sex and I felt like I couldn’t contain myself for the sheer magnitude of pleasure. Almost as if it was a bad sensation. But is it really bad? I wondered suddenly… moving with my eyes closed… if the reason joy and pleasure are so difficult to feel… is because I try to hide how much I feel them? How powerful they are? How much they move me? Wouldn’t it be great to just scream about how wonderful the world is, sometimes? Honestly… why should we ever want to keep a straight face?


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