Taking Root

We’re done.

We packed the boxes. We threw out the junk.

We signed the papers. We picked up the keys.

 

 

The movers and cleaners and phone guys and appliance guys and furniture guys have come and gone.

And suddenly we’ve gone from this…

 

To this…

 

It’s been over a week. The boxes aren’t all unpacked yet. But from the very first day, I’ve felt at home here, and the feeling keeps getting stronger.

There’s a spaciousness here (even though I’m pretty sure it’s smaller than our last apartment). There’s a sense of community and connectedness. There’s groundedness and presence and gratitude. There’s a feeling of permanence, of putting down roots and building a legacy.

And as the days pass and we settle in, I’m starting to feel dreams and possibilities blooming and growing in ways I’ve never experienced before. Oh, the things I will do in this house. The dreams I will dream, the ideas I’ll make real, the dances I’ll dance.

I know I’ve been quiet on the blog since we moved, but I just wanted to tell you that I’m still here. Growing and blossoming and grounding down into this beautiful earth. Astounded by the magic that surrounds me.

Soon I’ll be back on the blog, making new videos, building my website, growing my business. And it will be beautiful.

Moving House and Cleaning House

We’re moving on the 31st. Into a house. Into our first house.

(holycrapholycrapholycrapholycrap)

The process of packing has been extra-meaningful for me this time around. There’s the weeding out of garbage and stuff that I don’t want to take with me. What’s useful, meaningful, and beautiful? That stuff goes in the boxes. What’s worn out, unused, or ugly? Buh-bye. It gets thrown out, donated, or sold on kijiji.

 

And then (and this is new) there’s the careful selection of things to add to the mix. We needed appliances, and we took a lot of time figuring out which ones we wanted. And now I’m completely tickled when I think about seeing them and using them every day (hello, red washer and dryer, I’m looking at YOU!).

Some things needed replacing, and that was fun. We got the chance to change things completely. It was time to replace my well-loved (and completely filthy) bright red living room set. Instead of getting another red set, we ordered one in blue. It’s going to change the living room completely, and I LOVE it!

As I’m going through this process of weeding and pruning and thoughtful replacing, I’m finding myself doing similar things in other parts of my life. I’m in the process of switching computers, and I’m being very selective about which files are making the switch and which are being stored on a hard drive.

And it’s not just about possessions, either. This process is happening in EVERY area of our lives. Bad habits and unhealthy routines are coming to light and practically BEGGING to be weeded out. We’re making plans about the things we want to change as soon as we move.

…And I’m working on a grand and glorious housecleaning here on the website.

I’m re-categorizing my blog posts to make navigation easier. I’m changing up the sidebar. And I’m going to be updating my Offerings page with some works-in-progress very soon.

In short, I’m figuring out what to hold on to, what to add, and what to let go of on this site as well. And it’s going to be AWESOME.

This isn’t going to happen overnight. My main focus in the next 2 weeks needs to be packing and moving into the house. But if you see things changing a bit around here, that’s what’s going on. And there may be pages under construction and stuff like that while I get things organized. Just so you know.

Here’s to new adventures!

 

…What if?

I’m starting to think that I actually had my dream calling figured out when I was 26.

In the span of a year, I had discovered ecstatic dance and taken a Reiki Healing Dance™ course and a Kripalu DansKinetics® teacher training course. I was 100% grounded in this new, free, intuitive, healing dance modality. I felt powerful and free. And then my old teacher asked me to teach modern dance to her senior students.

…in hindsight, it’s probably a good thing that she never officially paid me for my time, because I certainly didn’t teach what she was expecting.

Of the three students I taught, two were girls I’d known when I was one of the senior girls and they were just six and eight years old. I knew what they were experiencing in their ballet classes—the endless grind of repetitive exercises, the screaming and snapping, the feelings of helplessness, the barely-contained rage.

I knew because I had lived it.

…I needed someone like me SO badly…

 

And I set out to give them what I would have wanted when I was in their shoes: I made it my mission to remind them why they loved to dance. And that there was more to dancing than what they were used to.

I did teach some modern technique, I suppose. And I used elements of the trainings I’d just taken, a bit. But mostly, I just set the stage and let them do the rest. I allowed the classes to be whatever the girls needed. Together, we lay on the floor and envisioned glowing bubbles of safety and love. We followed the breath into beautiful dances. We grounded and oozed. We pushed and pulled. We played games. We followed music into beautiful unknown spaces.

Occasionally I would catch my old teacher’s disapproving glares through the windows as we danced. But it didn’t matter. The girls were lost in the dance. They were glowing and grinning. They were safe. It. Was. Glorious.

Later, the girls were split up, and I taught one of them one-on-one. I’d known her since she was little, and our classes (if you can call them that) quickly morphed into something else entirely. We would sit and chat about whatever happened to be going on with her at the time, sometimes for half the class time. I would give her any insight I could. And then we would open up to the dance. We danced shapes, textures, elements and emotions. We went outside and found beautiful things to portray through movement. We played with oracle cards and energy work. We made our dance into a healing thing, a tool for transformation, a safe means of expression.

I still look back on that time as a major highlight of my 20s. I was in my element. I was connected. I was making a difference. I believed so passionately in my power to help that it brought tears to my eyes. And I saw the effects of my work every time the girls walked into my class.

Ever since then, I’ve been longing to get back to that place of service, of magic, of belief. But I told myself it was impossible. That I only managed it then because of my history with the girls and our shared rebellion. That I had to find a new, “more realistic” dream, fit inside a box, get the Certifications®  and the Trainings™ and follow the Rules©.

But now I’m starting to wonder…What if?

What if I could build upon those foundations and create something unique, personal, and deeply healing? What if it could really help people? And not just downtrodden ballet-dancers-in-training, but anyone—trained or not—who felt called to dance?

What if I had it figured out way back then, and all I needed was the confidence to translate it beyond the walls of that studio?

What if? What if?

Even entertaining the possibility and asking the question is progress.

Making Big Dreams Real: dancing with unfinished projects

For the past 4 days, I’ve spent 15 minutes a day reading Isadora Duncan’s autobiography. I’ve set my pink piggy timer, grabbed my book, my pen, and my post-it notes, and read until the timer buzzed.

This is very important.

It’s not important because I’ve been reading a non-blog for the first time in ages (I have). It’s not important because Isadora was such an incredible, fascinating person (she was).

It’s so important because this is my first step toward completing a project that has been in the back of my mind (and my laptop) for YEARS.

You know the projects I’m talking about: you get a brilliant idea and you maybe work on it a bit, but then life gets in the way (or someone criticizes your tender beginnings) and you just…stop. And that project sits at the back of your mind (or your closet or your hard drive) collecting dust and making you feel sad (or guilty or angry or whatever) every time you think of it. But you can’t seem to get started on the project, and you decide that it’s too late, you’re too old, or too busy, etc etc.

…but that project stays on your mind anyway And you feel like crap about it.

That’s been my life for a very long time now. And yes, I do suffer from tiny plate syndrome (a tendency to load up on projects and courses and things), but I’m willing to commit 15 minutes a day to making that nagging feeling go away. Hence, Isadora (more on that in a second).

pomodoro timers by psd on Flickr.com
Timers come in all kinds of adorable shapes! (Image by psd on Flickr.com)

A couple of days ago (well, four, actually) I finally got around to listening to a teleclass called “You and Your AMAZING Unfinished Projects” by Samantha Bennett. She made some points that really resonated for me:

1. Our unfinished projects are amazing because they contain energy. And you can tell that they contain energy because you still think about them, and they have an energetic effect on you when you do. (This is SO TRUE. That’s why we feel crappy when we think about the project(s) we’re not working on).

2. Spend 15 minutes a day of working on whatever your unfinished project is, and that energy will be freed up in your life. Things will start moving. And you will eventually get that unfinished project done. (Note: You could do less than this. You could do 10 minutes or 5 minutes or 3 minutes—whatever. All that matters is that you do something every day.)

3. Your work on your projects releases their energy out into the world…and makes room for more in your life.

4. My favourite: It’s not too late, you’re not too old, and yes, you do TOO deserve it. Your talent cannot be destroyed, even if your skills are rusty. (LOVE this one!)

It was a pretty incredible call. I recommend it.

I have two Big Unfinished Projects that have been gathering dust for years (three projects if you count Anthem, but I already wrote about that one). Today, for the first time ever, I am going to share them with the world. Because even though it’s scary, it feels like it’s time. And because I’m a big believer in the power of putting things out into the Universe.

1.  Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan.

My hard drive currently contains drafts of 13 poems based on Isadora Duncan’s life and writings. For the past 5 years, I’ve dreamed of writing more of them and creating an anthology of poetry, but life got in the way and I stopped working on them. Until now. 15 minutes a day with Isadora’s writing, marking promising passages as I go. One step closer to finishing my unfinished project.

2. Emily Carr’s Forest Dances

Seven years ago, I wrote and presented a paper on Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keefe at a Canadian Studies conference at Trent University. And as I selected images to write about, I got the idea of creating a series of dances, each of whose movements would be based on one of Emily Carr’s paintings. Then I discovered the work of Canadian composer R. Murray Schaefer, and his music fit perfectly with my vision. I was beyond excited. I had the music and paintings selected and matched up…

Then I shared my idea with a mentor, and she told me that it would be too difficult to create something like that. And I believed her instead of sticking with my gut. And I stopped working on it. Out of all of the choreography I’ve thought of but haven’t created, this one bugs me the most.

I haven’t spent any 15-minute increments on this one yet, but I am officially declaring my intention to do so. And my first 15 minutes will involve finding my notes about the piece and the paintings and music I intended to use. Even if this one has to stay on the back burner for a while until my tiny plate has cleared a bit, I say to the Universe, “Yes. This. I want to make this dream real!”

15 minutes a day is not very much at all. What kind of magic could you make with that time?