Doctor Neha: Hi and welcome. My guest today is Deanna. Welcome back, Deanna. You had been asking about how to get from being in your head so much to being in your heart [The Power of Tapping Into Your Emotions, Part 1]. You had asked, how does one do that? So we had discussed that you do that through being playful. You do that through taking some risks and even though you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. So tell me, did you take me up on that challenge?
Deanna: I did.
Doctor Neha: All right. I want to hear what you did, what you’re experiencing and how it’s going.
Deanna: So to begin with, I went out and I bought an Xbox game called Just Dance. Because I love to dance, I thought that game would be really fun to try. But what I bought and what I needed was very involved technologically. My kids told me I’d need this other apparatus. So I was bummed, but I just had to figure something else out. In that same vein, I happened to be at a mind-body conference, and we broke up into these groups. And during one of our breaks, one of the women in the group mentioned how she and her friend have this pact that when things get really serious they say, “Okay, time out for a 30-second dance break” right in the moment.
Doctor Neha: They don’t need any technology, and they don’t need any equipment. They just have their bodies.
Deanna: Exactly. I said, “That’s perfect. That’s exactly what I need.” So when I came home from the conference, one night after dinner, I said to my boys and my husband, “Okay, 30-second dance break!” So I put on some music, and we all started dancing. So it’s something that we’ve been doing periodically—and it’s been really fun. Actually, my younger son is sort of a ham and he knows all the latest and greatest dances, so he’s been teaching me how to “floss” and do all kinds of crazy moves.
Doctor Neha: And how old are your sons?
Deanna: Almost 21 and 18.
Doctor Neha: So you’re actually realizing that it’s not just fun, but you’re also connecting to them on a different level. When you’re in your head, conversation is about “What school do you want to go to?” and “How was your homework?” and “What time are you coming home tonight?” The truth is we can connect with people on different levels. And when you connect from a different level, not just from your head but also from your heart, it becomes a lot more fun.
Did you feel silly at first? Was it hard to get out of your head and not worry about what other people are thinking about how you’re dancing and all that?
Deanna: Well, you know, the funny thing is that I found some music from the 60s and 70s that my parents used to play when we were kids, and it brought me back to that time in my life when I was a kid. So as soon as the music came on, I was back there and felt like that playful, fun, loving, carefree kid who didn’t care what other people thought. It’s actually funny because one night when my parents were over for dinner, I said, “Listen to this,” and I put on that music and we started dancing. My mother said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I haven’t heard that song in forever.” So it’s been really fun.
Doctor Neha: Wow, that’s interesting.
Deanna: Music obviously can bring you back in time and that really allowed me to get out of my head and be back to that place of fun and playfulness.
Doctor Neha: Deanna, It’s freedom.
Doctor Neha: What you’re describing is freedom. When in your life do you remember forgetting that young girl, the young carefree girl, and taking all your energy and moving it up to your head? When did you start thinking that your head is where you should perform from?
Deanna: I think it had to be during school and then being successful there.
Doctor Neha: And accolades, getting accolades from the outside world for doing well in school…
Deanna: Right. And my dad always had this saying, “Be a professional. Be professional, so you don’t ever have to rely on anybody to support you.” So you know, I got a lot of messages that brought me here [to my head].
Doctor Neha: It is important to be independent and support yourself. Those are strengths. And when a strength is overused, it becomes a weakness. You can be responsible and independent and take care of yourself. And then you can do that so much that it’s at the expense of your own joy and play. That’s when we have to re-evaluate what’s happening.
It is such a pleasure to follow up and hear how it’s going. So do you want to show us your favorite dance move or show us how to floss?
Deanna: I haven’t quite got it. Yet. It’s a little bit complicated for me to put the music on. I said to myself, “I should plan to put the music on,” then I got so wrapped up in making sure I was getting all the technology right that I forgot about my music…
Doctor Neha: Because you were in your head!
Thank you so much, Deanna. For all of you out there who know that sometimes you spend a little too much time in your head and it’s time to move into your heart, Deanna’s unlocked a secret that did not require an Xbox and a million pieces of technology. I’m pretty sure that fun and play are inside you and they’re probably in your heart. So the challenge this week would be to see what you can do to bring a little more play and fun and risk-taking in your life—as long as it’s joyful.