Happy Birthday to Me.

It’s my birthday!

I just spent a little while going back over my vision for the past year. You can see my notes on how it went here.

When I think about this year, it boggles the mind how different things are now. I’m sitting in the living room of my house (MY HOUSE!), typing on my new (to me) computer, and thinking about going to bed early so I can be rested for work (yes, you read that right) tomorrow (I’ll tell you about that soon).

This year I made more than a dozen dance videos, taught DansKinetics, led 3 Dancing Telecircles (I promise I haven’t forgotten about them), tried my hand at movement coaching and LOVED it, and recorded a moving meditation. I edited a book (!!), I had a paying gig as a proofreader, I moved into a house, sent our son to preschool, and got a full-time (albeit temporary) job that I love. I went to barefoot ecstatic dance and a yoga class, made a kickass pecan pie, chopped my own hair off, and finally switched to an iPhone (it was my birthday present this year).

It’s been a hell of a year in the best way possible. Lots and lots of change, but in a really good way.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year. My job’s due to last for another couple of months, and I’d like to rock the shit out of it. I’d like to do some dancing before 2013 rolls around. I’d like to do more telecircles, make more videos, try some more movement coaching, and blog more than once a month. I’d like to crochet myself a couple of scarves, paint our bathroom, and unpack the last of our boxes. I’d like to learn something totally new.

I’d like to take better care of my body, earn more money doing things I love, make beautiful things, read interesting books, and play with my son more. I want to kiss my husband more, collect my dad’s stories, make it through this winter without wanting to hibernate until spring, get a clothesline, and plant a garden.

And I want to look back on 32 as an amazing year that was full of change in the best possible way, and that brought me closer to myself, my family, and my dreams.

Happy birthday to me.

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!

 

Greetings from not-Portland-Maine (and why it’s a good thing)

Today I was supposed to be in Portland, Maine.

I was. Last winter, I promised myself that I would go to the Authentic Movement workshop that’s happening there this weekend. Matthew and Xander were going to come too (to Portland, not the workshop). Friends of ours were going to come along for the trip. It was going to be an awesome vacation and, for me, a big, splashy return to the world of dancing with new people and learning new things “out there.”

And then life happened.

My husband left his office job (and his regular paycheque). We cut expenses drastically. I started actually doing all the business-y stuff I talked about doing before he left the office.

And then it was the end of April, and there was just no way in hell it was happening.

So, there it is. The Authentic Movement workshop will happen (technically, it’s happening right now, since there was a Friday night session), without me.

But you know what? That’s OK.

It would have been a really cool experience. But it would have cost well over $1000 (probably $1500 or higher) between transportation and accommodation and everything else. And, frankly, I would rather take that money and use it to cover bills and buy myself some time in which I can focus completely on building my business. I’ve already started, and it’s been fabulous.

Plus, there are a lot of opportunities right here.

Next weekend there’s a Barefoot Ecstatic Dance (which I’ve meant to go to since Xander turned 2, and STILL haven’t made it to). There’s also an open house at a local yoga studio, and that means free yoga classes (which I’ve meant to go to since Xander turned 2 and STILL haven’t made it to). And the weekend after next, there’s a contact improv workshop at the studio space where I teach DansKinetics (the idea of going terrifies me, but in that good “walking my edge” kind of way).

I can go to all three for $25, plus bus/cab fare if necessary. I’ll be walking my edge, challenging myself in the best possible way. And I’ll be making connections and learning and growing in the community where I live. There’s something to be said for that.

Growing...breaking through walls...

I feel like I had to not-go to the workshop in Maine in order to truly appreciate all the possibilities there are right here. I’ll be keeping my eyes open from now on, making an effort to get out to events and experience new things here in Halifax…and I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m looking forward to having new movement experiences to blog about 🙂

…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.