• Emily Arden Design

Who I Have Become

It's not practice that makes perfect. It's practice that IS perfect.

The repetitive joy of returning, over and over again, to the very thing that brings you to life.

I got it into my head a week or so ago that I want to record and post short 'mid-week moving inspo' videos - me improvising to songs that make me want to dance. While the outcome itself is a worthy enough endeavor for a once-ago dancer wanting to reconnect with movement and an audience, I would have failed miserably had I given it a try this coming Wednesday as I intended.


I am an impatient perfectionist, and the image in my head of what I would like to be presenting - a polished little gem worthy of social media praise - would fall completely short. Not because I'm not capable of presenting such work. But because I'M NOT DANCING.


Each time I attempt to move these days, it's in a performative nature. Not in fact, because I need to move my body in the same way I need air in my lungs. Deeply. For life.

For the first time in 5? years (I've lost count) I moved my body today simply because I was moved to do so. (See what I did there?) I was wild and erratic. Dressed like some sort of wood gnome, in an attempt to keep the 28° weather from creeping any deeper into my bones. Feeling the weakness in my left shoulder, my belly rolls which have plagued me for the better part of two decades, and also the newly toned muscles I'm beginning to build back up, thanks to my work with the best Coach I could ask for.


It's my last day of a two week vacation. I had been psyching myself up to get up and do it. Finally, taking a break from Untamed, which my friend and creative confidant, Kelly King, gifted to me on New Year's because she could tell I needed it at that very moment on my journey towards myself, I pulled my hood over my messy bun, grabbed gloves, and made my way into the 10x10 all-weather, all-windows room that has become my studio during my time here in the Massachusetts countryside.


It has taken incredible inner work to get to this place. This moment where I crave movement again. It's not just about moving my body. Rather it's a full acceptance of who I am, who I want to be, and an understanding that being the full, brilliant, vibrant person I'm meant to be takes incredible dedication, work, and practice. It's been a vast, yet perhaps mostly undetectable, transformation that's gone on within me these past months.


About half way into my exploration - a return to myself - a car turned off the main road and began making its way past the house. It's an event in of itself every time a vehicle passes. I was momentarily surprised and excited to see life whirring by me! My first instinct was to stop. I must look crazy. Instead, something compelled me to continue. Sensing the car slowing, I turned, mid-step, leg lifted in a funny little arabesque. The car had passed enough that I couldn't see who was driving, and just enough so I locked eyes with the young girl in the back seat. Neck swiveled, staring intently.


And that fleeting moment of feeling crazy, insecure, of hiding myself (the way I / we often do, without even knowing it), turned to a moment of heartwarming joy. Affirmation I am exactly as I should be.


I hope that little girl went home and danced her heart out. And I hope she never loses who she is.



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