The Hoedown Lowdown


I went to a hoedown last week.

I’m talkin’ a room full of super sweaty but very lovely folks square dancing their hearts out to a live band at the Veterans Hall.


I’m from the Deep South, but I ain’t never been to a hoedown before. I grew up in the city. Needless to say, I felt like a fish out of water.

And it was amazing.

We’ve been post-COVID for a while, but I didn’t realize how far removed I’ve been from crowds until now.

I was surrounded by people, hooking arms with them, holding hands, laughing (and probably spewing spit in all directions) hysterically.

Most of us didn’t know the dance moves, so we all learned together (mostly through good ol’ fashioned immersion).

We locked eyes to quickly introduce ourselves as we changed partners before the band could start up the next song, over and over again.

I felt giddy, child-like, and humbled.

I share this with you because I’ve been on a “glimmers” kick recently.

Glimmers are micro moments of positive energy—whether it’s a spark of excitement, possibility, inspiration, hope, confidence, connection to self, connection to others, or motivation—that emerge when your nervous system moves in the direction of safety and regulation.

The more you can access those glimmers, little by little, the more you can reshape your nervous system to anchor into that energy of safety and aliveness in a way that becomes more frequent and normalized.

Glimmers are all around, but it can be hard to see them when we’re entrenched in coping responses like chronic depression, anxiety, negativity, etc. That means you have to build a practice of looking for, noticing, and tracking the glimmers.

The hoedown was like a thousand glimmers all at once.

Exchanging a smile with a stranger with whom I shared an LOL feeling of “What is happening?!”

Moving my body in a way that feels, well, kind of cheesy.

Finally nailing a move after stumbling through it a dozen times.

I encourage you to look for glimmers in your everyday life. Building a practice of noticing them in your normal routine can be even more significant that seeking out special occasions, like a hoedown.

A glimmer is catching a friendly face on your neighborhood walk.

It’s cuddling with your animal companion after a long, hard day.

It’s feeling the warm sun on your face during a mid-afternoon break from your work cubicle.

They’re everywhere.

And the more we mindfully and slowly take them in and allow a brief moment of connection, the more you’re resourcing yourself in a way that adds up.

There are lots of reasons to be upset, anxious, angry, and sad in the world right now. So much, that it could really consume you.

Remember to look for the glimmers too.

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