Something I have been challenging my dancers in ballet class with lately is to be thoughtful in what they are thinking about when they are dancing. I was queen of losing focus in ballet class when I was dancing. I so easily went from thinking things like, “Okay, Sarah, deep plie in fourth for this pirouette, abdominals tight, neck long, quick snap of the head, high passe, finish this pirouette strong…why did I wear this leotard today?…ugh…why did I think I could be a ballerina?” Thoughts…they can easily go from lovely to down hill in a matter of seconds, right? And when we dance, what we think about absolutely matters and absolutely makes an impact on our dancing. And in life, what we think about absolutely matters and absolutely makes an impact on our living.
Sometimes I want to reach inside the heart of a dancer and give her full on permission to dream a little with her thoughts so that when she’s dancing across the floor, instead of thinking about how she isn’t measuring up, she’s soaring in her heart and her mind because she is thinking good, lovely, pure, thoughts about her dancing and about the One who created her to dance. I often tell dancers to imagine that they are wearing that sparkling tutu, that they are Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, that they are so lovely…because thinking lovely thoughts leads to lovely dancing. There is this change in their eyes, this change in the way they carry themselves….and there is this tiny smile that begins to form on their precious face. And suddenly, they are remembering to enjoy dancing again.
We forget to enjoy it so easily because we get caught up in having perfect feet, the perfect body, the right leotard, getting the best role…it becomes a competition. In real life we forget to enjoy it because we get so caught up in busyness, in pressure, in everything. And when dancing or life becomes a competition or a frantic chase…the gal loses the joy of it.
Precious one, what you think about matters, and Scripture implores us to watch our thoughts. And it can feel so impossible to think about what we are thinking about…you know? How do we watch what we are thinking? How do we think lovely, sparkling, good, holy, precious thoughts when our human nature just doesn’t?
I don’t have all the answers, but Scripture guides us and this I know, we do have a choice as to what we choose to think about. We have a zillion little moments every day to dwell on the negative and to choose how to spend our time, but we also have a Helper who loves to help us and will help us if we let Him, the Holy Spirit.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Keep finding Scripture that points your mind and your heart to think on the lovely stuff. Because what we think about , what we dwell on, and what we treasure ends up affecting the shape of our heart.
So if you’re in the ballet studio today, I want to encourage you to dance with different thoughts today. Bring back the tutu, bring back the tiara, bring back the joy…and enjoy it.
If you’re in the studio of real life today, I want to encourage you to live with different thoughts today with the help of the Holy Spirit. Bring back lovely thoughts, bring back prayer, bring back casting your cares on the Lord…and enjoy your day.
Jesus wants us to guard what we think about because what we think about affects how we feel and how we live, and oh yes, how we dance. Today may you enjoy a basketful of lovely thoughts as you lean on the One who is constantly with you, who loves you dearly, and who wants the very best joy, His joy, in you.