Take Up Space

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In her new release, Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life, Tywla Tharp shares anecdotes, advice, and reflections on living with purpose. At age 78, she is revered not only for the art she makes, but for her regimen of exercise and nonstop engagement. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

When your muscles stretch rather than constrict, you expand your share of the planet. You take up more space, not less. Dancers know this intuitively. They are taught to move so that every gesture is not only precise and elegant but bigger. We call it amplitude. It is not enough to state an arabesque; it must be opened in every direction to its full expanse. In order to be seen, the dancer must occupy maximum volume. You can think the same way in your everyday movements.

• When you walk, think of yourself striding, not just taking mingy steps.

• Greeting a friend, reach your arm out, whether to shake a hand or give a hug, with amplitude and full fellow feeling. Be robust.

• During a meeting, spread your belongings out across the table instead of gathering them tidily in your lap. Speak out. Take up mental space as well.

There is logic in our movement. Remember, when we walk, we go forward. We can move backward, but we are not designed for this. Forward is our natural way.

Think of this all as your personal Occupy More Space protest.

Source: Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life, Page 8.

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