Awake in the World

“Dance when your heart is broken open. Dance when your spirit dives. Dance to the rhythms of life and let your heart soar.” – Debra Moffitt

Dance can elevate a soul to the divine. When the Sufi mystic, Rumi walked through the market, he heard the jewelry makers hammering gold. Through the pounding, he heard the voice of God and the rhythmic sounds and energy moved him into a state of divine ecstasy. Rumi, always in love with God and seeing God in all things, began to dance. He whirled and spun in circles, moved by the rhythms of life.

Some cultures and religions discourage dance as an expression of Divine energy. But Rumi experienced his body as a true temple. A friend of mine also uses dance as a sort of divine therapy. Whenever she feels tense, down or simply needs to loosen up, she puts on her favorite music and moves around freely in her basement where no one will see or judge her. It’s a joyous release. Dance can also be an expression of grief. A belly dancer who lost her son did a tribute through dance to the grief and sadness she felt at his departing. Her chorography moved the audience deeply, particularly since many of them knew of her personal tragedy.

Dance was also used by the Shakers, a hard-working, devout religious sect that sprang up in the 18th century. They were known for their passionate and ecstatic dances that were celebrations of the divine spirit. Because of their physical movements, they became known as the “shakers.”

If you’re inspired, find a quiet, private place, turn on your music and dance. Let your body sway and bounce freely. Imagine that you’re dancing with God. What a fun partner!

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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