What do you see when people dance? Is it how their hands and feet move so gracefully in such unison with one another, yet each of them sparkles individuality? Are the dancers smiling? What does that mean? They may be joyous when they move their bodies to the rhythms of the music, but that is not all. They smile because they are dancing with their hearts.

What do I mean when I say they dance with their hearts? When you are dancing with your heart, you are dancing together with your heart and dancing using your heart, and as a result, you are becoming a dancing heart.

What do you feel when you see them dance? Do you feel like dancing as well? When you dance, you will project how you feel and what you feel onto any onlookers, causing them to have a desire, a need, to mirror your feelings, then finally your actions. You set good examples of life when you dance; you are teaching true things of life, so you must lead others by dancing yourself.

To dance with your heart, you must be pure. Release all the negative feelings hammering inside you and block out the ugly voices the outside world whispers stealthily in your ears. Become friends with yourself. What qualities do you look for in a friend?

Are you ready to become your own friend and dance with your heart? Take the following dance steps on your own before you can hold hands with your heart.
Acceptance. Accept who you are as a whole. Accept how you feel. Accept how you think. Accept how you look from your head to your toes. You may not like to accept yourself as you are now because you feel you are not perfect. But what is perfection anyway? Is nature perfect? If so, then you must be perfect, too. Take a look—I bet that tall tree in your backyard has at least one torn branch, but is it still majestic? Does it still deserve to be called beautiful? Perfect?
Openness. Be open, truthful, and honest with yourself. Do not lie to yourself. Do not live with pretense. When something is making you unhappy, face it, do not run away from it. Change the situation with a clear and honest look. By closely examining the situation you are in, you will be able to find the root of the problem and plug it out. By remaining in the dark, you will never find that root, so turn on the lights!
Understanding. Understand your feelings, thoughts, and why you behave the way you do. Find the purpose to your actions. Learn from your past and those situations that did not go as smoothly as hoped, and utilize what you learn to make your future bright.
Love and appreciation. Love yourself. Honestly tell yourself, “I know I am not a bad person. I know I do my best in everything I do, and I know I am being my best, so I love myself because I am a good person with good intentions.” Appreciate what you have and whom you have. Appreciate what you are able to do.
Positivity. Count your blessings. Focus on the good things you do have at the present and the positive side of things. Do not dwell on bad situations, but instead, move forward and have a bright attitude and outlook for the future. You have the ability to make a positive difference to your future just by being positive. Choosing the road to positivity and happiness will give you the strength, the desire, and the motivation to take giant steps forward. Don’t pick the road to misery—it will just glue you to one spot, and you wouldn’t want to get the glue onto others, now would you?
Passion. Be passionate about who you are and what you do. Value life; cherish every minute that is given to you. Hold on tightly to the happy moments and their memories because when they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Live with conviction; live with vitality.
Happiness. Smile often. Smile to yourself, even if there’s no good reason. Smiling will warm you up, even when the days seem dreary. Frequently treat yourself to a big smile while working or frolicking; it is the sweetest treat you can give yourself, and the best part is that there are no calories!

Once you achieve calm in your soul, you will be able to spiritually connect with your own self from deep within you, and that is where your heart lies.

What is your heart? No, it is not the muscular organ that pumps blood through your body; it is your essence, your higher self or energy. No one has the power to harm your heart, especially if you don’t allow outside negativity to pollute your spirit like a thick fog.

When you twirl and swirl with your heart, you will be sharply aware of all beauties of the world, things that you had not noticed or given heed to when you were not dancing with your heart. With the dance within you, you will have a broader sense of acceptance of who you are, and therefore your acceptance of others and the world around you will grow and grow to the point that you are spiritually connected with the entire universe—every creation breathes into you and you into it, fusing everything into one.

You will feel awake and alert when you waltz with your heart. Once you start dancing, you will not want to stop because the feeling will be too good and too powerful to let go, and you will crave it when you stop dancing. You will feel at peace with yourself and with the world. You will feel friendly toward those who follow in your dance steps or even toward those who abandon your dance to be lured into darkness.

When you dance, you will feel alive and free and painless, even if your body shouts of old age. Your body will grow older, but your essence will stay as young as a newly blossomed flower, but only with much more wisdom and understanding. Your dance will never grow old with age; instead, it will grow younger and wiser as each day passes for you will connect with all surrounding power to recharge your own energy.

Do I dance with my heart? You bet I do! Many joints in my body have been disfigured by severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy, yet my heart dances freely and openly with no restraint. As I dance, my heart tells me all things it sees, so my blindness miserably fails to make me trip on my own feet.

Thus crank up the music, take my hand in yours, and let us dance with our hearts!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways2.html.

Author's Bio: 

Shirley Cheng (b. 1983), a blind and physically disabled poet and the author of three books (including Dance with Your Heart and The Revelation of a Star’s Endless Shine) by age 20, has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no schooling until age 11. Having achieved grade level in all areas after about 180 days in a special education class in elementary school, she was transferred to a regular sixth grade class in middle school. After a successful eye surgery she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University. Visit her Web site at http://www.shirleycheng.com, or contact her at shirley@shirleycheng.com.