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The Dance: How We Navigate Relationships

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Every relationship we have is a partner dance.

And whether we know it or not, we consent to the dance.

We dance with our partners and we dance with our family members. We do a dance with our boss and our co-workers. We do a dance with each friend and we do a dance with those we don’t like too. Every relationship is a partner dance between you and them.

Some dance partners are great to dance with! You and your dance partner both like to move the same way, you understand the dance, and dancing with them is easy and fun.

Other dance partners don’t quite understand how you like to move, and you may not like how they like to move. The dance takes a little more caution than you may like because some of the moves you each do don’t really work together… but it works enough.

Some dance partners can be fun at certain times, but only when you feel like dancing that specific type of dance.

And there are even some dances that are completely out of sync. The timing is off. The steps do not match up. The rhythm is a mess and you are stepping on each other’s toes. It’s like you are trying to waltz and they are trying to swing. It’s just off.

I am a holistic healthcare provider. I support clients in becoming healthier and happier. I’m not sure when you visited my website last, but you will notice that on the landing page, in big letters, are the words that crystallize and summarize everything I hope to offer and achieve with each client. These words are…

“Feel great. Live with ease. Be happy.”

As a holistic healthcare provider, I simply must recognize both mind and body. We are both. And as a result, to support clients in “feeling great, living with ease, and being happy”, we must lean into all the factors in our lives that support us and nourish us, and all those factors that are a taxation and chip away at our health and happiness.

It is imperative to really consider our relationships and the types of dancing we do with every relationship we have. Some dances we engage in support and nourish us, while others are a taxation and rob us of health and happiness. And often, those that we dance with most are the partners that least understand the dances we really need.

Something important to remember is every dance you do is one that you consent to. Consciously or unconsciously, you agree to the moves, rhythm, and steps of the dance.

And… you can change the dance if you desire.

Some dances simply need to change. The dance you are doing with that specific partner ceased working for you a long time ago. You have desired to change the routine for a while. As much as the dance is out of sync, the dance partner is familiar and sometimes it seems a bad dance partner is better than no dance partner. Or maybe it seems it is simply easier to change yourself and adapt to your dance partners’ moves (though at times they are very off the beat) than to ask them to try a different dance move. And maybe you have been asking (even pleading) for your partner to modify their dance routine, and they just don’t seem capable of changing how they move. Maybe they truly are incapable of change. Perhaps they just don’t want to change. Perhaps they don’t know how to change or even know that they are even allowed to change. Perhaps they don't really understand how desperately you desire them to do a different dance. Either way, that current dance just doesn’t work for you anymore.

Many clients are deeply desiring a new dance. The dances they are doing with their dance partners have become more taxing than nourishing. From my perspective, it is challenging to heal and thrive when one is constantly taxed and depleted.

The more I learn, the less I know. And I realize I don’t know much. But I have learned a few things I believe to be true. One of those is- if I desire something to be different, then I must make it different. The change I desire is not looking for me, I am looking for it. I believe if you want something to be different, then it is you that must make it different. Life is always there waiting for us to mold it and make something out of it, yet so often we sit back and wait for the changes we desire to magically happen on their own. So if you are in a dance that is no longer working for you, then it is your responsibility to make it look different. A different dance will only become a reality when you start dancing differently.

Learning a new dance step can be scary. Or not.

Sometimes learning a new dance step feels very odd and unfamiliar. This is natural because it is new.

It is not uncommon that any request for a change in the dance moves with your partner is met with resistance. Many people dislike change. It’s really easy to keep doing the same steps you have done over and over. Familiarity is easy. Familiarity is safe. If you suggest any deviation from your current dance, your dancer may feel threatened. It is very common that your dance partner may not like the fact that you want (or need) to dance differently.

…and they don’t have to like it. No one is required to like it. That’s fine.

Your dance partner may not just dislike your desire to dance differently, they may absolutely hate it and emphatically reject your request to dance differently. That’s fine. Again, they don't have to like it.

If your dances through this life are significantly modified to accommodate the wishes of your dance partner(s), then you are not doing your dance, you are doing their dance. Your job is to do your own dance. Your job is to advocate for the dance moves you know your being needs to do. Your job is to listen to and advocate for the dance changes you know need to happen for you to feel great, live with ease, and be happy.

If, at this time, you are even contemplating changing your dance steps, then you are ready for a change.

Embrace your desire to dance the way you need to dance.

Summon the courage to change the dances that need changing.

If you wish a dance was different, make it different.

You are the only one who can.

Article by Quinn Akira Takei, Doctor of Oriental Medicine(NM), Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Holistic Health & Wellness Coach.
The Center: Natural Health Specialists, 8404 Six Forks Road, Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27615. (919) 848-0200.

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