In My Own Backyard (Greetings from Not-Portland, Part 2)

Well, it’s official: I made it to all of the workshops I mentioned in my not-Portland post! Hooray!

Last weekend I went to yoga and to Barefoot Ecstatic Dance, and they were incredible. And on Saturday I went to a Contact Improv workshop taught by Mocean Dance Interim Artistic Director, Sara Coffin. It was scary and challenging and intriguing, and it brought up a lot of my “stuff.” It could be life-changing.

I’m going to have a lot to say about the workshop soon, I promise. But before I even start, I want to take some time to celebrate the fact that I did these things. It’s a Big Deal! I spent so long (YEARS) staying at home and not exploring the community around me. And then I finally stepped out my front door (instead of driving to Maine) and I discovered new communities, met amazing people, challenged myself, and learned SO MUCH.

I was right. I didn’t need to cross the border or even leave the city to find new experiences and learn new things. In fact, I think I challenged myself more by staying here. I didn’t realize how much I was resisting going out and meeting people in Halifax. People at workshops in other cities or countries? You never (or rarely) see them again. But people in Halifax? Way scarier to me. What if they didn’t like me? Or laughed at me? What if they thought I was too big or weak or awkward or scared?

(Yes, I have these fears too. I didn’t realize how strong they still were until this past weekend). 

But (and here’s the key) I went out and took the classes anyway. And nothing bad happened. Everyone was amazing. I had fun…and even when I didn’t have fun, I learned a LOT.

And, best of all, now that I’ve opened up to the possibility of exploring Halifax’s community, new opportunities keep showing up.

There’s another Barefoot Ecstatic Dance on Saturday, and at least 2 of my friends are going with me. There’s going to be another one at the end of July with live music. Sara Coffin is planning at least one more Contact Improv jam before the end of the summer, and there was even talk of making it a weekly thing. And there is a series of contemporary dance performances scheduled in Halifax in the fall that I am DYING to go to. There’s more out there, too…a lot more.

I’m so glad I stayed in Halifax. It’s like spreading the joy and growth of a $1000 trip to Maine through the whole year…for 1/5th of the price, and with the added bonus of finding my own place in the community and learning about myself through that process. I feel like a kid in a candy store…I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Is there a class or event that you’ve been meaning to get to? Go. Trust me. Go. You never know what will come of it. 

5 thoughts on “In My Own Backyard (Greetings from Not-Portland, Part 2)”

  1. Yay – I’m so glad you made it to all those workshops! I’m not as involved locally as I know I should be. But in May I went to a local Shamanic workshop, and I’ve registered to go to another one here in June… and I think there will be even more people attending the one in June. I’m already a little anxious but I really want to go.

  2. There are tons of things I want to do, but money and my husband’s crappy schedule are always, always obstacles. Oh, well.

    Glad you’re getting out and having fun!!

  3. I’m going to Kripalu in a few weeks for a theater/dance/yoga workshop. At first I wanted to do nothing other than a full-blown dance/movement workshop, but then I decided to expand my horizons a little and try something just slightly out of my comfort zone. The fact that I’ll be at Kripalu, my little haven of safety and security, is a big help. 🙂

    Your experiment in exploring your own backyard sounds very much like me at this point; I live only 20-30 minutes from Philadelphia but have held back on going to many workshops and events…just now am I finally branching out a little here and there!

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