Why I Dance

Dance has always been a big part of my life; my mother says that I was born dancing. My earliest recollection of dancing on stage was to the song “Me and My Shadow” and we used top hats and canes. As I got older, dance became more than just pretty costumes and big year end productions. Melodies and lyrics began to move me and I danced to express myself or bring life to the words songs through movement.

Decades later, I still dance. I dance in the kitchen with the girls when our favorite song comes on the radio and I dance on a stage with a troupe of amazing women for charities that inspire us. Tomorrow is a big show for me, my fellow dancers and the charity we are supporting. I am dancing in two group numbers, a solo and duet that is very special to me.

When I set out on my journey to start The Life You Want, I decided to allow myself to be vulnerable and share my personal struggles, triumphs and joys and sorrows as I write about the things I’ve learned and the insights I’ve gained along the way so that we might all lead the life we want. In that vein, I would like to share with you why I am dancing tomorrow night….

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When I danced in this show last year, it had been barely a month since losing two people I loved very much. This past year has been full of unfathomable pain and loss. I’ve had to navigate the ever changing terrain of grief without the woman I always turned to for love, acceptance and guidance.

This year I am dancing in a duet that means so much to me because it is a powerful representation of where I was and my struggle not to be crushed under the weight of the pain…

I’m sorry I’m really a mess right now

I’m trying my best to get it together somehow

I can’t stay this way

locked up in the pain that you left me

I’m unraveling looking for things that will never be

Tell me where love goes when it’s gone

Tell me where hearts go when they move on

Suddenly someone is no one

I’ve come undone….

-Haley Reinhart “Undone”

I’ve learned that grieving and self discovery are journeys that do not take linear paths; there’s a push and pull as we struggle to keep even a small piece of what we lost.

For me, dancing this year is about honoring the inner strength and fighting spirit that has carried me through so many trials and tribulations.

I honor my determination to face my pain rather than run from it, no matter how horrible it is.

I honor my innate goodness. My kind, loving heart, my gentle nature and my inner beauty.

In doing so, I want to remind all women that loving yourself is not egotistical; it’s necessary because that’s where our power comes from!

This week I challenge you to go out and do something that makes your heart sing and fills you with joy, energy and power. Honor all the good things about yourself and celebrate your own beauty.

If you’d like to know more about Ignite or the event, here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/598035330308754/permalink/607593046019649/

Sunshine, Carrots and Soft Horse Kisses

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, my beloved Gabriel is at the kitchen window and my children are giggling as they feed him a bag of carrots.

I grab my camera and start snapping madly, hoping to capture the magic of the moment unfolding before me.

Gabriel has shoved his big black and grey head through the small window and his soft, furry lips are tickling up and down my youngest daughter’s arm as he searches for more tasty treats. She is squealing in delight and my older daughter is looking at the empty bag of carrots and tugging at my arm, “We fed him all the carrots, can I give him an apple now?”

Obviously she doesn’t want the fun to end and I completely understand why. This is magic.

I run my hand through her soft hair absentmindedly as I let the thoughts roll freely through my mind and relish in the joy that is coursing through me.

For all the hardship I have endured on this farm as a single mom, we have also had some incredible moments. Few people will ever experience this. I am truly blessed, I think to myself

I shared a short version of this experience with a friend via text. This was his reply:

“Miracles are a part of everyone’s life every day. Most people are blinded by negativity, routine, dullness, hate, selfishness……You are one of the very blessed.”

What an interesting perspective. I had always thought that other people simply do not have the cool experiences that I do (I guess that kind of ego centric). The fresh perspective that my friend offered suggests that they do have those experiences, but they allow the negativity of their experiences to blind them to the miracles all around.

I love the idea that cool moments aren’t just moments, they are little miracles. Water doesn’t have to be turned to wine for it to be considered a miracle. Giggling children and soft horse kisses are miracles too.

It’s all about your perspective and how you choose to view the world.
Happiness is not something you have to work at. It’s not something that you find in the arms of another person. It’s not a new car or a new pair of shoes (although I have to admit that it’s a pretty close second).

I have recognized for many years that I find almost every crazy thing that happens to me funny in some way: Flat tire? Sure it kinda sucks but it’s also really funny when you aren’t strong enough to get the bolts off the tire so you have to stand on the tire iron and jump up and down while holding onto the hood for dear life. My life has been a series of events that would make most people break down and cry; I usually laugh instead. I see adventure more often than hardship.

When I said as much to my friend, he replied, “It’s your heart. I know some people that go to self improvement classes constantly but still struggle….The few that have “it” naturally are soo lucky. The world needs more.”

Do I have a gift for seeing miracles rather than hardship?

I don’t think so. I believe that I see the funny rather than the hardship because it feels better. We are so inundated with stress and negativity that they have become natural to us. I am not different than everyone else. I simply choose to see the world in a different light.

I choose not to be a victim of circumstance, past or present. I choose not to let the stress of life diminish the little miracles.

You can too.

This week I challenge you to open your eyes to the miracles all around you. When you feel stressed or find negative thoughts creeping into your head say:

I choose to see joy, miracles and laughter instead of this.

And then let it go. Really and truly let it go. Breathe out the negative and immediately look for a little miracle to shift your thoughts and feelings. Do you see a butterfly on a flower? Is there a child laughing somewhere? Maybe there’s a new baby smiling at his mother. Turn up your favorite song and sing or dance with all your heart.

Choose to let in the joy and release the negative because it does not serve you.
It is often useful to keep a journal of what helped you shift your perspective and embrace small miracles.

As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts and journey to The Life You Want. You never know when your experience may help someone else just when they need it most!

Love, hugs and warmest wishes for a magnificent week!