Time can easily race by and with a schedule that is constantly on overdrive, it’s necessary to take a moment to breath and enjoy the ride. I’ve found that traveling to a far off distance is the best way to be transported both physically and mentally, all while absorbing an array of inspiration. Allowing the body to slow and the mind to be at ease, the moment when the two reunite with the soul; this can be as invigorating as exploring new land and the culture and those inhabiting it.
Although reality can hit as the mind tries to wrap around the facts, that neither the time or the budget for a spectacular excursion is feasible; especially when having to make a cognitive decision to tear away from a sturdy flow of work. So where do I find my state (or District in this case) of solitude? I find it within my community of which has the same bright spots as found abroad, especially living in such a culturally saturated city such as Washington, DC.
Volunteering, taking or teaching classes, attending culturally absorbed presentations and shows, these and any community/culturally driven activities offer the same soul-ment (fulfillment of the soul) as experienced while traveling. There’s a world that’s full of the young to the old, the quietly shy to the solidly bold. Learning about others, where they are from, their background and stories; this small window into another world while moving one’s body to music in a dance class, or (gasp) using the hands to have a moment of tactile interaction instead of typing, this is not only enjoyable but gives the mind a break and exercises it in a totally different way.
Perspective is another souvenir that is taken away from such “voyages.” For me, teaching the art of dance or the jewelry fabrication is a reminder as to why I do what I do. I allow myself to be guided just as much as I guide my students, showing them the fundamentals found within my line of work, using nutty analogies, laughing, enjoying the company of others and simply having fun. It’s incredibly refreshing when I observe others not only appreciating these forms of art, but releasing their minds from their daily routines; this is truly a suture to our souls.
Images (from the top):
Ballet student & instructor (me) at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW.org)
Youth ballet class at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW), image by Leslie Mansour.