Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Taking The Lead May Leave You Out Of Step

This past weekend I went out for salsa lessons and learned a thing or two about taking the lead and learning how to follow. As I clasped hands with my instructor, I was prepared to move. What I wasn’t prepared for was having him stop me, grab me by my hands and say: “I need for you to wait for me and then follow. I’m going to take you some place, but it requires that you let me make the first move.”

A lesson in dancing for sure; but what about life? Could it be that by always anticipating the next step and preparing myself to react, I had forgotten how to follow?

As I drove home that night, I recalled a similar conversation when the guy I was dancing with said to me “are you going to lead here too?” (Yikes!)  All this got me to thinking and questioning just who’s in the lead? In taking control of my relationships, do I project that I don’t want a man to guide me? Do the men I meet ever question what role they would play in a relationship with me? Am I capable of surrendering control sometimes to allow someone else to pick up the reins? Like in a dance, does he feel my resistance?

After the all-too-true assessment of my dancing, my instructor asked me to close my eyes and just relax. No seeing where he was taking me and with no music playing to follow a rhythm.  No awareness of any obstacles that might be in our path. Just blindly following his lead.   What I experienced was something totally new. I could feel the softness of his hands and the strength in his arms. It was smoother, less regimented.  I was aware of him in a way I had not been before; and, amazingly, I never missed a step and never resisted the lead. 

So what I’m taking away from the experience is this: It’s okay to surrender control or leadership sometimes. I may not always be able to close my eyes, but I can certainly look the other way, get in step and just enjoy the dance.

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