I have been searching for a new hobby for a while now. Figure skating: Fail. Pottery: Fail. Running: Big fail. I'm happy to report, I have found it: Dance classes!
The complete and utter natural high I have been feeling each week after the dance class (and during the increasingly frequent practice sessions in my apartment and the gym)—the absolutely liberating feeling it has brought me—has led me to dig into the WHY.
Why have Afro, Whine your Waist and Sexy Street dance classes been helping me feel balanced and happy and seriously stoked about life? It's CERTAINLY NOT because I'm excelling at the movements, and my sex-appeal is most definitely lacking (or as Steph says I look constipated when I dance) yet it has quickly become the necessary hobby in my life that has been missing.
At first I thought it was because it took me out of my comfort zone, which I alluded to in this Episode of Living a Great Life with Eunice published on our Facebook Page. That episode was shot on my second day. It has become more clear since then that it goes well beyond the scary and challenging experience of diving outside of your comfort zone.
What I have since determined is that dance has helped me tap into my feminine energy. Most of the other aspects of my life—lifting weights, my passion for entrepreneurial pursuits and being productive—are centered around my more masculine energy side. I didn't know until I found it, but I was off balance and dance classes have helped me find equilibrium, and ultimately more unexpected happiness I didn't know was missing.
OK so before you, like I would have, roll your eyes at the thought of outdatedly-labeled energies that implicate all sorts of bad gender stereotypes, bear with me for a moment and take your head out of the sex and gender gutter.
When I talk about these two types of energy—masculine and feminine—I’m not really talking about man or woman, or husband and wife, or boy and girl. It’s more about your personal expression of creative energy. I know the term “personal expression of creative energy” sounds a little hokey—just listen to the definition of the two types of energy:
Type 1 energy I'm going to call it (aka traditionally masculine energy) is made of straight lines and angles. It’s goal-oriented, to the point, competitive and direct, while Type 2 energy I'm calling it (aka feminine energy) is more curvy and swirly. Its rooted in intuition and feelings. Type 2 energy is fast and energetic. Type 1 is slow and kind of dull. Type 2 can do 50,000 things all at ones, where as Type 1 moves in a straight line from point A to point B.
Having 100 percent Type 1 would make for a pretty lame and cold person to hang out with. And having 100 percent Type 2 energy would probably be pretty overwhelming and overbearing. So having both types of energy—a balance of the two—is pretty valuable in life.
The point is we all have some of each type of energy (we probably don’t have any friends if we’re 100 percent masculine or feminine), but most likely one of the two types of energies is more prevalent in your personality, while the other one is weaker. And it’s the weaker one that you have to consciously work on, just like weakness training in the gym.
You probably know which energy is your dominant one, and which one is lacking, and it shows up in various facets of life. Have you ever been accused of being too abrupt in your emails, for example? Maybe your Type 2 energy needs tapping into. Ever feel like you’re wandering aimlessly without a goal? Your Type 1 energy probably could use a little more nurturing.
The point is, when you understand how to balance out your energies, you’ll find yourself better able to relate and connect with various types of people, you’ll be more present in the moment, people will probably like you more, and you’ll just be a more balanced human being. Some people describe the experience of balancing their energies as liberating.
This has been the case for me with dance!
Here are some suggestions about how to work on your weaker energy:
Short on Type 2 energy?
Obviously I'm going to suggest dance. I have been going to Harbour Dance Centre on Granville Street. You could also sign up for a figure skating, gymnastics, pottery, painting or photography class. Join a team or activity where you have to work in collaboration with other people. Be authentic and vulnerable and stop trying to be so perfect all the time.
Short on Type 1 energy?
Keep coming to the gym! Lift weights (Maybe even grunt a little?). Pick up a martial art. Take on a new competitive challenge, and set a goal for yourself in the process. Start that small business you’ve always been thinking about. And take the time to unplug and spend some time alone.
As the saying goes, life is all about balance…