A bag of fireflies

The other night, when I was feeling lost and panicky and completely out of touch with myself, Matthew sat me down and gave me a challenge: Before I spent any more time envisioning the future, making plans (and despairing about how to carry them out), I was to look in my bag of fireflies.

How he came up with that image doesn’t matter (it made sense at the time, I promise). His point was that I needed to sift through my creations and experiences before anything else. And I agreed with him. I have a very short memory—I forget I’ve done things almost immediately after the glow fades.

So I’m sifting through my bag of fireflies, seeing what’s there. I’m reading old word processing documents: blog post drafts, class notes, write-ups. I’m being reminded of who I am, who I’ve been, and who I want to become.

And as firefly after firefly shines out from my bag, I see how they form a path that leads me forward…and how I may have wandered here and there, but I’ve (almost) always been heading in the right direction.

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.

What I Really, Really Want

I’ve been dealing with computer issues and feeling melancholy about postponing my first-ever telecircle (until next Saturday)…and then I remembered that I had this awesome list to share with you, and it made me feel better. Big thanks to Angel at My Mosaic Life for being the glowing inspiration she is. 

Beautiful Angel at My Mosaic Life posted a few days ago about wanting what she wants, and what her true, heartfelt desires are.

And it got me thinking…what do I want? What are MY true desires?

Desire can be a tough feeling. I know that for me, it’s accompanied with a “but I don’t really need that, it’s not important” or “but I totally can’t afford it and it’s silly to still be harping on it.” There’s pain along with the wanting, because there’s a belief that what I want is unrealistic and selfish, and sometimes impossible (short of a winning lottery ticket). That’s how it is for me, anyway, and I get the feeling I’m not alone here.

But Angel has inspired me, and I’m going to write and share a list of the things I truly want. I’ll leave it here for you to see, and I won’t add any “but I totally can’t afford that”s or “maybe when the kid is older”s, for once.

Here are my true and heartfelt desires:

-I want to actually go out and do the things I’ve been half-heartedly planning and then putting off. These include, but are not limited to, going to the monthly Barefoot Ecstatic Dance gathering downtown, seeing local dance performances, trying Nia, and taking a yoga class.

-I want to go to the Nia White Belt training in New Glasgow next month. If not that one, a different one sometime this year. I don’t know if I want to *teach* Nia, but I’ve read the book, and I want to experience their philosophy of movement firsthand.

-While we’re on the topic, I want to go to a 5Rhythms workshop, an authentic movement workshop, an advanced DansKinetics training, and a drumming/dancing circle.

-Basically, I want to have a whole spectrum of healing dance techniques that I can teach and/or combine and draw from. I want to play and explore and keep learning. There’s so much out there that I haven’t experienced.

-I want to play Minecraft and hang out with my friends regularly, without feeling guilty for “wasting my time” not-working.

-I want to cuddle and connect with Matthew every night. We got away from that since Xander was born, and we’re only just noticing the different it makes when we do it.

-I want time to sit quietly and just be still, even for 5 minutes, every day

-I want to choreograph again, and to perform my own choreography. I used to be really really good. I miss it SO MUCH.

-I want some new, brightly-coloured shirts to wear when I dance and teach classes. My black shirts are really nice, but I’d rather be in colour.

-I want a house with a yard. I want one that’s actually ours, and not rented. I want a vegetable garden and a swingset in the backyard, and I want a big room to dance in, a nice kitchen, and some office space. And a woodstove…just because. I want it to feel 100% Us and 100% Home.

-I want a daily yoga and dance practice. I want to feel strong and trust my body again. I’m feeling a difference after only 2 weeks of teaching DansKinetics, but it makes me want MORE MORE MORE!

-I want to earn money from home. I want to build TWO businesses: my dance business, and an editing business. Did you know I officially edited two versions of a real live book? I did! I totally rocked it! I love helping people polish their writing so that it clearly communicates their message…LOVE it. I also love working with people to help clarify just what they’re trying to say. (So if you need an editor, or know of someone who does…you know who to contact 😉 )

-Someday, I want to be a coach/counsellor and combine that with movement. I don’t know exactly what to do or how, but I do know that when I help my friends untangle a problem and get some perspective, I feel immensely satisfied.

And finally,

-I want to totally rock my telecircle next weekend and be able to build something really cool and unique with them.

There. That’s what I want.

How about you? I’d love to know! You can share it in comments, on your own blog, or on Angel’s original post. <3

Picture post: my technicolour dreambook

I’ve been playing around with a blank book lately, and I wanted to share. I’m a sucker for blank books, but this one went unused for years because I tend to like my pages lined, and I didn’t really know what to do with an unlined book.

Apparently, it was just waiting for the right time. Like the day I bought Xander some new paints at Staples (side note: Crayola watercolours…BEST PAINTS EVER. I may have to buy my own set, because I’m getting quite protective of these ones when Xander tries to mix colours. Other side note: TARDIS MUG!!! YAY!).

I’ve been doing a page every day or so. Sometimes it’s a message about what I need that day…

Sometimes it’s a reminder of the qualities I want to invite into my life…

Sometimes it’s a message about how I’m feeling…

Sometimes it’s an affirmation…

 

I absolutely love this new project. I love the beautiful colours (I am such a sucker for rainbow colours!). I love the feeling of the paint. I love the thick paper. I love the meditative aspects of putting brush to paper and letting the message come out. A page only takes a few minutes, but every time I make a new one, I come back to my day feeling clearer and lighter. I can’t recommend it enough!

 

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?