2020 was the year. That year.
A year that sounded as preposterous as it turned out to be.
We were afraid to leave our houses, afraid to go to the supermarket, to see dear friends. And we were right to be, things were getting worse, and fast. We needed to protect ourselves, be safe. Stay home.
Home? I never liked being home. Not physically, as I always loved going out. Nor metaphorically. I’d never gone inside. My personal place, myself. I was too scared of what I could find. Or even worse, of not finding anything.
But with the pandemic, that was the only vacation I was allowed to take. Travel inwards was the only available destiny.
But it wasn't free. It had a cost. I had to finally let go and connect with my inner-self. The magnetism of that possibility kept pulling me in, and the fear of it going wrong kept pushing me out.
I had to try something, anything. I purchased books about Zen Buddhism. I breathed slowly, counting every breath in and every breath out. Nothing. I sat for a few hours with my eyes closed, and then open, and then semi-closed. It didn’t work. My back hurt, and my legs tingled.
I paid monthly fees that seemed too high for meditation apps. The background choices between fireplace, waterfall, or waves, amongst others, made me confused. They didn’t soothe me. Played in a low volume, they welcomed the calm voices of guides that would walk me through the meditative state. I couldn’t concentrate. I ended up sleeping every time.
A friend of mine invited me to join a 21-day meditation program called ELEVE-SE.
Why not? Inner hope was my last resource. In a year that my hope for the outside world went flying through the windows. And then, I finally found the tickets in.
Together with daily prompts, the program offered a weekly Spotify playlist that had songs to meditate and to medidance. Wait, what? Medidance? Meditate while you dance. I had never heard of it before. But I loved dancing prior to the pandemic, so I thought I might as well try it.
First, I would have to deal with the embarrassment of:
- Dancing in a one-bedroom with my husband around.
- Big windows facing curtainless neighbors that were too close.
- And my own shame of moving my body carelessly at home without a context.
Enough with the excuses, I thought. I needed to follow my instincts of going inwards.
I closed our bedroom door and told my husband that under no circumstances was he to open it. I put my earphones on and sat down on my bedroom’s carpet to “meditate” to the music of the day. The melody caressed my ears and started to make me finally focus on something that wasn’t outside. I started to concentrate, feel the music.
The energy was different around me and inside me. I was getting calmer, but not in a sleepy way. I was still conscious, but it felt good. Ten minutes passed, but I didn’t notice. The song finished and abruptly changed from calm to an intense tune. Energetic music started playing next.
I had to get up to medidance.
Then it happened. I traveled and danced and cried and felt light. All. At. The. Same. Time.
Tears of joy poured through my closed eyes as I imagined myself dancing somewhere far away. With friends, loved ones, people I missed, and mostly, with myself. A joyous self. A free self. The medidance made me momentarily overcome reality. I traveled to places I hadn't been in a while. The song finished. I had been dancing for eight minutes with my eyes closed, not noticing anything outside. I was out of breath, energized. I allowed myself to lay on my bed and feel the energy moving through my body for the next five minutes or so. I felt light, exhausted, happy.
This was it. My way of going in, I had found it and was ready to share it with the world! I continued with the meditation and medidance ever since, and every time it takes me somewhere different, somewhere new. I don’t know if a lot of people have heard about medidance, but I felt this was a good time to share it with you. I hope it can be your ticket inwards too!
Some tips on how to do it:
- The main rule: There are no rules, except to enjoy it, be free!
- Time: Do it daily, every morning when you wake up. I swear it will give you an energetic boost! Or when you feel like disconnecting from the outside world and connecting with your inner-self. Shake things up!
- The playlist: It comes in a sequence of songs that must be listened two by two. The first is always meditation, and the one following it is a medidance. Listen to the first song to meditate in silence, whatever way you feel most comfortable with. As soon as the first song finishes, get up and dance to the following song with your eyes open or closed, whatever you prefer.
Below I will share with you the playlist of the third week of the program, which was my favorite. I will also comment on some songs that stood out to me. I hope it helps you the same way it helped me!
Do it with an open heart for an instant mood uplift!
Disclaimer: Eleve-se means Elevate Yourself in Portuguese - and these songs definitely elevated me! I literally felt floating when I heard them:
Now, the songs:
- To meditate - Breathing Space
I love meditating on this one when I feel insecure about my future. The first 25s are very emotional. I imagine myself in an Oasis, walking to the sound of this music while birds sing and beautiful things come my way. Life is good, and we can enjoy it after all. Its symphony warms my heart and cuddles my soul. Around minute 6, the rhythm changes slightly, and I feel like a door is opening to something even better, a big revelation. All is well, and we made it. I can’t even completely describe the emotions this song makes me feel. It really teleports me to another world.
- Right after, medidance: Gozar Hasta Que Me Ausente
How beautiful are the lyrics and the energy of this song:
I enjoy this life that has been my luck
Yo disfruto de esta vida que me ha tocado en suerte
To teach myself to fly I'm going to ask the winds
Para enseñarme a volar voy a pedirle a los vientos
This life is our luck. The only one we have, at least the one we know of. And we need to make the most of it. That's what this song is about for me, enjoying life freely. The guitar and the song beat, combined with the singer's voice, always make me think of an independent woman dancing and singing carefree in her little village, greeting people and bringing color and joy to them, painting life with her joy.
I like to listen to this song with my eyes closed as I jump and twirl around the room. At minute 3, it gets very energetic, and you can feel it intensely. The lyrics and the rhythm are beautiful, and it always makes me smile. I would love to befriend the woman I imagine to be singing this song. She’s a free soul and I feel like one as well when I listen to it.
- To meditate: Om Mani Padme Hum
Auṃ maṇi Padme hūṃ is a six-syllable Sanskrit mantra. There are a few explanations about its meaning, but I like the one that says that the Om symbolizes the impure speech, body, and mind of the practitioner and the pure body, spirit, and mind of a Buddha.
Mani means jewel and is the altruistic intention to become enlightened, while Padme symbolizes the wisdom of realizing impermanence, and Hum is indivisibility, where the union of method and wisdom achieves purity. And I like to believe that all of them together represent the transformation of an impure being into a pure one, through wisdom and altruism.
In this song, the mantra is repeatedly chanted by soothing female voices and a deep male voice through all its seven minutes. It is so beautiful and energizing that when it starts, I cry almost every time. The strength of the mantra and the way it is sung is very deep, and I recommend hearing it with your eyes closed while singing the mantra out loud to feel your body vibrate with the sound of it.
Near the end of the music, stop singing and hear it in silence so you can feel your body move while being still, it's magical, creating an intense connection between body and mind.
- Right after, medidance: Laranjeira
This is a song in Portuguese and I just want to dance to it non-stop. I’m Brazilian and I truly can say it brings me back to my country every time I listen to it. To my people. To my culture. Happy faces singing and dancing together to the beat of a contagious song. Carnival, Samba, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia. This song takes me to so many places at the same time, far, far away from where I am and close to home. If you feel like going on vacation, listen to this song, I promise it will take you to unimaginable places!
Cheers to traveling inwards!