As much as we might sometimes want to be, we are not self-sufficient universes – we need others to survive, develop and thrive. Through all five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we rely on other humans to navigate life and growth. Our connection to ourselves, our community, and the world at large is intrinsic to our humanity. When I dance alone in my living room, I am still connected to the music – composer, rythm, lyrics, performers, and everyone else who had a hand in making it possible for a piece to go all the way from someone’s brain out through my speakers… When I dance with a partner, and we truly connect, we are bound by our bodies and our souls – through eye contact. The mind chatter stops, a new unit is born, bound for a few minutes and blissfully held by the music. As humans, we can choose to connect through sharing stories. When those stories come from the heart, we are vulnerable, and it becomes very scary to be open to those around us. A smile reassures, a sneer petrifies. We get bruised, slashed, stomped on. But then we open again, and we get held, soothed, and loved. Whether intimacy is shared through a lover’s tender touch, a dance partner’s solid frame, or a dog’s soulful eyes, connection is one of our most precious foods. We walk by someone on our way to the store, and there is the eye contact again. In a flash, our souls say hello – the instant is as precious as it is fleeting. At the seashore or through the forest, enveloped in the air, the ground, the trees, the water, the wind, our deeply rooted connection to nature blooms: we share the same atoms. We are so very lucky to be able to share not only our humanity, but our very atomic makeup. And for that, I am forever grateful.
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