March 20th is International Happiness Day. It was celebrated yesterday by a group called Positivity Matters in Lincoln, NE. I was invited to offer a ten minute dance break to the group. I jumped at the chance, knowing that dance can be direct source to joy and happiness.
A small group gathered at the local community radio station, KZUM. We sat around four large tables and began to listen. The event opened with Dr. Scheel from UNL reporting on the field of Positive Psychology, the Happiness class that is offered at UNL, and how the program is being integrated into some of the schools. All very interesting. The gist of the program is to help people thrive by motivating them towards the good things in life rather than focusing on the pathology that might be present. Gratitude, recognition of strengths and positive alliances are all part of the program. I asked the professor if there were any somatic interventions included in their program. He responded they did not. Maybe there should be!
When I had my 10 minutes my intent was to offer a direct experience of happiness. Dance often provides a sense of joy, well being and connection in the act of doing it. Nia certainly provides them. We started by clearing the tables and putting the computers away. Among the participants were people of all ages, aptitudes and abilities. Before long we were all reaching and punching. We were mingling together with a sense of joy that was palpable. Besides nervous laughter, there were also clear signs of immense pleasure by many of those participating. The mood in the room had shifted from quiet listening and thinking to a celebration of each person there. At the end the room erupted in laughter and clapping. My intent had been achieved.
Nia is a source of happiness. It’s a direct line to the thread of Universal Joy that is abundant and available to all. Herein lies the healing power of our work. We can all benefit from joyful dance. We can all benefit from Nia!!