Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Belly Dancing and the Goddess

Author: Leyla Najma

When we dance at any given time, do we feel the divine? Is it a feeling of complete submission or is it a feeling of out of control dominance?

There were a few moments in my lifetime when I danced that I felt something incredible happened.

In that enlightened state, did I become a goddess? The word goddess has been apart of my life since I was a child. But like most women I didnt take the word seriously. I mean, I didnt know any goddesses and to say I was one quite frankly seemed arrogant.

So as time has passed one thing became apparent to me. There was never a time I was not a goddess. The word seemed arrogant because the definition was never made clear to me. As we grow older we actually create the definition of what a goddess is.

This divine feeling is the purposes of why l dance. In many ways it has nothing to with me and everything to do with the world around me. Through this amazing dance for a very brief moment in time I can actually change the world around me and make it a better place. This is the miracle of belly dance and this is why we are all goddesses".

But a question pops up that always tugs at the back of my heart and mind regarding being a goddess.

Is God ok with me being a goddess? Is it blasphemous to even say that I am a goddess because here is where my religious background nails me every time. Than a thought came to me that belly dancing is about being in the divine moment which means God is there with me as I am dancing. So if God can take time out of his busy schedule to be with me in those brief moments than how can I not be a goddess? God is everything outside of me but he is in me when I dance. This is how I started to understand the definition of what kind of goddess I am.

If we look at the mortal woman and her need to get into a rather revealing costume to go out and dance in public than a question arises. Whats up with the costume? Yes, the thought has crossed my mind too but than I have six costumes and pine for more. Its a very simple answer really and one that every woman understands. The costume represents how we really feel about ourselves. And the odd thing is that the costume also represents freedom. It doesnt matter freedom from what, all that matters is women can feel good about themselves for a few amazing moments. In these moments, you will see hundreds of heavenly definitions of what a goddess is and all of them will be dancing in the divine state of being. And this is how we know that life is more than just the physical. When we are touched by the divine at that very moment we are transformed in Goddesses.

So does the costume really help with the dramatic change from mortal to goddess? We distinguish between the two because the definition of a goddess seems to be defined by image. So I realized that if I am a goddess than that means I wake up a goddess and go to sleep a goddess. I realized that the transformation once it takes place is eternal. The gift and challenge is how you choose to define your transformation. It is almost as if the costume is the essential link for the transformation from mortal to goddess to take place. But what happens when the costume comes off?

The definition of a goddess must come from inside us or the feeling and image will be fleeting. The costume which seems to represent so much for all of us is the symbol of our definition. This is why I feel it is so liberating to perform. All that is required is to dance in the divine and to show the world what a miracle our dance is. And by doing this our definition of what a goddess is continually grows and changes with us and the result is the freedom to define who we are.

Belly dancing and the goddess than become one and the same. So smile and realize that it is ok to be a goddess. Because every time you see a belly dancer you are looking at a goddess.

Leyla Najma is a professional belly dancer with 25 years experience teaching and performing as well as writing with articles recently published in \"The Chronicles\".

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