How Dance Helped me Heal Codependency by Iva Tarle

In Recovery Lifestyles by Carmell PellyLeave a Comment

Connect with Iva Tarle and her powerful resources click the links below

“Dance, and make joyous the love around you.

Dance, and your veils which hide the Light shall swirl in a heap at your feet.” Rumi

It was no chance that we met. I took a job in Jakarta because I really felt attracted SE Asia and this was my golden opportunity, my doorway to a new life. We met at the airport, he was tall, lean and super friendly.

He invoked a feeling of togetherness, comfort, belonging. I had no intentions to get involved, just really enjoyed his company. We were great together, worked harmoniously, had fun. Excellent team.

And we hooked up on a bad traffic day in Jakarta. Instead of going to the gym, because traffic was too hard to beat, I went to play squash in his apartment building. I needed to feel safe, I needed to feel I belong and he offered we created that feeling together. And the rest was a 4 year old relationship.

I got permanently offered a post in the Embassy in Jakarta, he quit his job and moved in. Those were exciting times, the world of glamour in Asian megalopolis. He showed me the world of Jakarta socialites. The wealth, the flamboyance, the spending, the alcohol, the expat loneliness in Asian culture so different from the West.

Only a year later we moved to Bali, as he got offered a job, and I decided to follow. It was a challenge to adjust to the new environment, to make secure means of income, but we had each other. Somewhere along the way, I started getting annoyed by him not really living up to what he promised. We started fighting more and more. He resented me for flying back home to visit my family every year.

My frustration with him was building up more and more, I saw our differences, and my fear of not being able to make it on my own was standing strong.

I tried to control him, to make up for the energy I wanted from him, but he wasn’t able to offer. I was determined to make it work by investing more, by being the ultimate mother controller, the executive that can keep it all glued together. I let him do many daily chores as I was sinking deep into fear that I cannot take care of myself without him. Tied in connections to mutual friends, very few genuine friends of my own, I felt helpless, weak, unable to see outside the limitations of my own mind.

I was lulled into safety of daily rituals of a couple.

I settled. Thinking I do not deserve love, that I will never find true love, so this should be good enough.

I wasn’t happy. I was numbed by tasty meals, regular walks on the beach and watching House of Cards. It kept my mind and my soul entertained to repress my true desires. Sex has lost its zest, and slowly the daily bickering has turned us into a couple of strangers in close daily interaction void of intimacy, love or passion.

In full control of my faculties I reduced my life to basics: eat, sleep, work and feel afraid.

I traded cold comfort for change. At one point this soulless living had to stop. I had enough.

And then dance walked into my life – once we make a decision to pursue something the universe conspires to help us. Since my company works with wellness tourism, I went to be a part of Spirit Dance Soul Song Retreat, on North West coast of Bali. It’s a program that teaches dancing and singing as healing modalities. And I danced again.

At first I was reluctant to join, as the group had its own pace and I was an outsider.

But I was invited to dance. Can’t refuse that. At first I danced shyly, being afraid to let go. Being conscious of what others may think of how I look, am I doing it right, and so many other restrictive thoughts. But the way Daphne and Ellen led the program and the way participants danced despite their age, sex, weight or mood helped me do the same.

We danced few times per day and sang with outstanding facilitators that flew in from California just for this training program.

And I let go, and danced with my hands, and my legs taken by the emotions of the songs played. I danced with my head. I danced slowly, and I danced wildly, clumsily and graciously like a ballerina making giant leaps across the dance floor. I let go to the trance rhythm of the drums. I was learning to breathe again, to move my feet while I danced. To experience life in motion.

And I cried wholeheartedly when we danced with the hips, I felt the pain inside my womb, the stuck energy resolving from second chakra. My entire body was shaking as I tried clumsily to continue to dance hiding my vulnerability from the others, my tears, my pain. But I couldn’t hold it anymore, I just let go…

I let the music absorb me, no thinking, completely induced by the sweet, heavenly feeling the music created in my body. Free of worry, free of self-consciousness. My energy was flowing, unrestricted. I reached a state of suspended entropy. Being in the now, dancing with eternity.

The group continued dancing and singing on Bali Spirit Festival that lasted four days in Ubud.

All the extra weight on my body dissolved in 7 days of continuous dancing and singing with wonderful laughing, happy people that emerged from their own worlds of restrictions. And shared joy, meditations, yoga and healthy food.

I felt my body was released from a cocoon of stress, and negative feelings to a lighter vibration. I gained a body of a little girl, untainted, free, light as a feather.

I adopted dietary habits that make my new body feel satisfied – eating whole foods, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and little or no processed carbohydrates.

The beautiful energy wave prompted me to move to Ubud, right in the midst of it all, away from my ex -boyfriend, sharing a wonderful villa in the rice fields with two nice ladies.

I realized I was an amazing being of light, my second chakra was so full of energy, it was like a bright sun shining from my insides and everybody could feel that energy and see it even. I was so full of energy, I was reborn into self.

I discovered slowly I can find new amazing friends of my own, to have fun with, discuss about sex or deep transformation issues or even work together. I discovered I can take care of myself – that I can shop for myself, that I can cook for myself or find transportation when I needed.

I fell in love with my true self, my playful, social, sexy, free nature. I was so happy to love myself, the part that was missing or lost in the relationship which I entered because of need.

And I keep dancing, and feeding this beautiful connection with dance. It’s one of my rituals.

We chose our rituals, consciously or not. We decide how we live our lives and what becomes our priority. Because if we don’t make that conscious decision, somebody else or circumstances will decide for us.

I find dance my place of worship. Movement, interaction with others, loving, sharing, connecting. How do you arrange your priorities are you living your values or giving your time to other people’s priorities?

I live for dance because it channels messages from the spirit and I see it as a connection between the spirit and the life on earth. Just as our ancestors practiced dance in their time, we have the new age dance therapy classes. My favorite are ecstatic, contact, salsa, 5 rhythms, Biodanza, private group led classes by a choreographer…

It’s perhaps not about dance for you, but it as well it might be.

It’s about understanding what makes us happy and on fire and then making an effort to include it on our daily lives because it is a source of never ending enrichment.

Self care rituals – a source of internal life and renewal.

When we find that and tap into the magic potion from which we can drink daily, we can give to others.

That’s why our self renewal has to be a priority. So that we can be a vessel shining a light on other’s paths where they need us.

When I let go of control, I tap into the infinite possibilities. What’s next?

4 years later I teach dance, because I want to share this amazing discovery to others to learn to love their bodies, their pain and keep experiencing rebirth through dance.


Journaling by Iva Tarle –


Leave a Comment