No photo available
Have You Been Dancing As Fast As You Can?

If you are an animal, what would you be and why? Have you ever been asked this question in your lifetime? This is a question that is asked during job interviews, pageants, team building exercises and self-awareness sessions. In my younger years, I would probably be the panther or an eagle. I would probably have chosen an animal that projects power, agility and winning. But as the years had gone by, people changed and so have I.

I wear a turtle pendant almost every day. As a practicing psychologist, I get to meet and treat people with anxiety, depression, anger management issues and other behavioral disturbances. This century, most especially the last year and this one is a combination of enlightenment, reason, progress and anxiety. This 2021 has been indeed a period of heightened uncertainty. Circumstances such as the continued period of the pandemic has brought about havoc to the lives of many. Now, I wear my turtle pendant more than ever as it a constant reminder of respecting one’s own pace in life. The turtle is constant reminder that it is okay to go slow while we savor every moment. That in time, we can reach our destination. In life, when things seem too much, it is okay to stop, breathe and take a rest. We can learn lessons from a turtle. Own pace, own time. May we be inspired by the understated confidence of the turtle, seemingly unmindful of the pace of others.

There are thought patterns ingrained in the brain. These are life scripts deeply embedded into the psyche. “No retreat, no surrender. Winners never quit. It is all about winning.” These thought patterns may dictate our actions and life strategies. Being told as a child these life scripts are likely to affect you as an adult. These are likely to develop the neurotic need for validation from others, unhealthy and unrealistic expectations set upon self. Our past is very important to who we are. But we can no longer change the past. We can however, starting today, make deliberate changes to our thoughts and actions.

 What if you are scared and tired? Rest. There is nothing wrong with being true to what you are feeling. When you have rested, you can strategize what to do next. Some people view life as a continued race with other people, all the way to the finish line of success. But what for you is the picture of success? Different measures for different people. Do you need to win all the time? Do you really see a world where in which every game, everybody wins? What’s so wrong about losing? The reality of life is that there is winning and there is losing. The only thing that we are in control of is our effort. Focus on the effort, not just the outcome. Do the best that you can, that is all that you can do in your quest to win a prize.

What do you want? When you get what you want, what do you really get? What have you been doing to get what you want? Are you so stressed with all these life aspirations and ambitions? Some things in life are worth having. But are they worth being? Will it truly give you joy? When aiming for what you want, have you been so focused with all your goals to win that you have lost track of things that matter more than worldly possessions and admiration from the public? Have you been dancing as fast as you can?

Life is like a dance. Movements in tune with the rhythm, filled with grace and purpose. Taking delight in the movement itself. May I ask you to take a pause and answer this question, “Is there a spark of delight in the movements in life that you have been making?” Pause. Reflect. Dance again. This time, listening to the rhythm of life, as graceful as you can be, dance through life with a purpose.