How Dancing Taught Me a Lesson in Happiness

     One of the keys to finding true happiness is learning to let go. Not only of things, what people say, but also moments. In life we tend to want to do the “safe” thing. It’s not scary and it wont cause us physical harm and/ or mental embarrassment. We have all been there. Now this means different things for different people. Maybe it’s asking that girl out or maybe it’s doing something like skydiving. It doesn’t matter what that thing is. An example for me was dancing. Something that I wanted to do but felt too embarrassed to do in public. Even in the past always thinking about what people were thinking of me when dancing and not enjoying the moment. Most of my life I’ve had low self-esteem. Never thought I was good enough at anything. Overtime that changed. With every new opportunity I stepped out of my comfort zone, a new sense of self-confidence would come in to replace the fear. This leads me to a big event of my life realizing this. This also happens to be in Japan.

How does the quietest kid in high school find himself years latter attracting a group of strangers to dance next to the street? In Japan of all places! Well it’s a good story of learning to let go and trusting your friends. I had went to Japan to visit a good friend of mine Stevo. He is a free spirit from Guam who I had met years ago in Huntington Beach California. We had went out the previous night in Tokyo (that in itself is another story for a different time).  We had stayed up all night and all day. I wanted to go to the Skytree really bad on my last full day. However, Stevo and another friend named Abe thought it would be good to head back to Yoyogi Park. There was a large Hanami festival going on. I didn’t want to go since we had already been and I wanted to see the Skytree. However, that didn’t happen and off we go to the park! We get there and see a lot of people dancing in front of a DJ. So we join in and I’m dancing a bit but not feeling too comfortable about it. Abe then comes from nowhere and says he found a DJ on the sidewalk. I followed him and saw a guy with a laptop and speaker. Now before coming to Japan, I had saw the Swedish House Mafia perform in Los Angeles. I asked the DJ if he could play that. Once he started playing I don’t know what took over me. I was dancing and not caring. It was just Abe and I dancing on a sidewalk. Maybe it was because I had no sleep the previous night. Clearly I wanted to listen to some Swedish House Mafia! Slowly people were walking by and started to dance with us. More and more people joined in. Even Stevo from out of nowhere was dancing in the circle. It got so big that a security officer came by to break it up! It was now that I had experienced what it truly meant to let go and not care about what others thought of me.  I’ve danced at some point in all my travels since then. Not caring what others think. Only thinking about dancing to the music and being present in that moment.

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Letting go and being in the moment

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Good times with some good friends

Categories: Travel

theartofhappytravels

I've traveled over the last four years off and on. Been to 26 countries since I graduated from Cal State Fullerton. Mostly do solo backpacking and trekking. I'm also a parkour athlete who works medical with a Pro Freerunning team named Tempest. I also used to compete on American Ninja Warrior.

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