coming home to tdm – part 4

This is my final reflection on the four-part series I did for Vancouver’s Dailey Method studios. If you’ve stumbled upon this one first, you may want to pick things up at the prelude before reading parts 1, 2, and 3 for context. Enjoy!

What does it mean to come home? When I wasn’t breaking a sweat (meaning when I wasn’t a hot mess at Dailey Cycle or cursing under my breath during thigh dancing) I spent much of my precious time pondering this very question.

I had no preconceived notions about this homecoming experience. I wasn’t expecting meaningful revelations per se. But a lot can happen when you come face to face with yourself (and your jiggling thighs) in the mirror. A lot can happen when you choose to pay attention.

How does one identify ‘home’? It’s hard to pin precisely. Identifying what is not home is much easier. If we don’t feel at home, we can’t let our guard down. Our senses deceive us and restlessness settles in. Eventually we might even experience pain.

Broadly speaking, being ‘home’ has something to do with things being aligned and in their rightful place. This is what I’ll run with. When something is out of alignment, things can fall apart quickly. We need home.

This has been my struggle since returning to Canada after living abroad. Vancouver was home for years but something has shifted. We’re home and yet we’re not.

Ever battled feelings of separation or isolation? Perhaps you’ve lived here for years and it still isn’t home. Maybe pregnancy rocked you and you don’t feel at home in your body or role as a mother. Maybe it’s a new job or a new relationship – something isn’t quite right. You’re not at home yet. You’re not alone.

One might be able to suppress misalignment in daily life but it’s physically impossible to ignore at the barre. I couldn’t say it in the moment but now I’m grateful to the rigorous instructors at TDM who’ve challenged my form during class. There is a big difference between proper alignment and poor technique.

Anyone who’s been practicing the Dailey Method long enough knows you can’t survive long with poor technique. Your body will not reap the benefits. The pain will slay you. Proper alignment is vital. It does not come easily – it means digging deep, letting go, and working through the challenge. It is humble and consistent work. But it is so worth it.

This week I had an epiphany at the studio. Feeling at home is like experiencing alignment at the barre. When the body is properly aligned, one can stand tall and move freely. And so it is with inner alignment.  – alignment with one’s values, one’s passion, one’s calling. So long as those matters are sorted, one can stand rooted and call anywhere home.

We need alignment; we need home. We must cling to our core and stand tall when life, like my frenzied quadriceps at the barre, are shaky at best. Finding alignment in the turmoil and harnessing it to serve those around us – this is the work we face each day. This is homemaking.

Is The Dailey Method part of your home away from home? It is for me. Being in the studio has been a highlight of my time in Vancouver. It’s gifted me with alignment in the midst of our chaotic situation. A special thanks to all who’ve welcomed me back.

If you haven’t gone, grab a friend. GO. I plan on squeezing in as many classes as possible until we board that plane to Tennessee. And lucky for me, I’ve taken advantage of the 30-day free trial of streaming TDM classes so I can take ‘home’ with me.

Thanks for joining me on the journey. xx

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