You Are Worthy

As 2019 exits its way to a new year, I always reflect on what I learned over the past 365 days. The biggest less I learned was to value my self worth– and to not be afraid to walk away from situations (and people) who don’t.

Oddly enough, when it comes to my dance career, I always knew my worth. And it’s why over the past 15 years I have been able to essentially have my own successful business as a Belly Dancer. For the most part, I have the entrepreneurial stuff down pretty well. When a gig request comes in, I know what my value is. Its years of dance classes, rehearsals, performances. Its years of directing and producing and choreographing. When I give a quote, 90% of it is my value. I do not negotiate my rates. I do not do performances for “exposure.” I am a  professional performer. I am an artist. And while people do not always understand artists — we do expect to get paid for our worth and work.

When it came to my everyday life, I had such a hard time excepting my worth. I found myself falling into the habit of being putting myself down. I have always been hard on myself. I was raised to be a perfectionist. But I never learned to value my worth. 2019 changed that. Almost 20 years working in the same field, I knew my education and experience were worth a lot more than what was being offered. It took the entire year for me to finally find the right place and the right people who saw my value.

I also learned that there are people who will not recognize your worth.  I am not talking about monetary worth. I am talking about people who do not recognize you and your creative abilities, your intellect, your personality, your humor and so much more. I learned that those people are not worth wasting your time on. They do not value you. I’ve taught myself that it’s better to not allow those people to take space in your head. Knowing who you are and what you deserve — what your worth is–its important. And I am grateful that this was the lesson I learned in 2019.

Now…..what does 2020 have to teach me?

The Unattainable

We all have something: a person place or thing that lies just out of our reach. So close that you can touch it with your fingertips and yet it’s so far away. And it not that you couldn’t have it- but just that you can’t. You can’t because after all the wishing, work and desire- it is just not meant to be yours. You relish in your mind, the moment that you have it. Even for a little while. You relish the way it makes you feel. The way you imagine yourself in that place where you always wanted to go. Mending a relationship that was shattered. Holding something/someone in your arms that you can almost feel and smell. Hearing words you wanted to hear. All the magic in the world couldn’t change the fact that what you want you may never get. The proverbial “follow your dreams,” just doesn’t happen. It may to some, but not everyone. We all have an unattainable. And there needs to a moment where you take a breath and accept that the journey has gone as far as it can, and its time to let go.

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Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

What IS Happiness?

I have struggled with this question for most of my adult life. What does it really mean to be happy? Is anyone truly happy? Or are we just content? Is happiness a permanent state of mind or is it something that happens in little spurts?

I am not unhappy but I am also not happy. I know that makes zero sense. I am happy right now with my life; however, I am always looking for that “something more.” Maybe it’s just my personality– but I find that things and places get old for me fast.

 I am always looking for the next big adventure, meeting new people, stardownloadting a new hobby and of course, being a life long learner. And all while I am chasing this idea of happiness- I am also craving stability and normalcy. I am seeking happiness in just being content with myself and my life. 

I often find myself jealous of people who seem content in their lives. Married, with a family in a little home and jobs they love. What is that like? But then I have to question– are they really happy?

What defines happiness?

Money? Love? A home? A job? Marriage? or is happiness something much more? Do we trick ourselves into believing that happiness are all the things we are supposed to have and want in life? Or is happiness just something we occasionally experience? Is true happiness deeper or spiritual? 

And is anyone really happy?

Courage and Spirituality

“Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.” ~Carl von Clausewitz

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”― Coco Chanel

I am a very strong person. I have a tough skin. I have a strong personality. But my strongest quality–is that I am real. What you see is what you get. I don’t sugar coat my feelings or thoughts. I don’t believe in being phony. I don’t believe in accommodating who I am just to appease another. I speak up when I see something wrong. When I feel like something is wrong….even if I know that what I am saying will make enemies and I will ultimately lose friends.

I believe in the power of struggle. I feel that we grow through experience–and live through our choices–good or bad. Yes, sometimes we fall so hard that it seems like we are drowning and will never breathe again. But this is what gives us the scars of the spiritual warrior. It’s what makes us stronger.

There are moments where I feel like this world is becoming one where people are relying on each other for the wrong reasons. Giving to people in need is one thing: a persons loses their house to fire, a person is seriously ill and insurance has stopped covering them, a person with a disability who can’t work needs a little extra help, a homeless shelter, a woman’s shelter, a trustworthy charity. I think those are the people/places who really need us to combine efforts and help.

I do not believe that we should live in a “give me give me” society.  I feel personally that this world is becoming a place where people just feel that they are obligated to get things from others because of their choices–OR, because they feel they are privileged/popular enough that others should pay for their personal endeavors.

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I don’t believe one person should work harder so another person can work less. Especially in the case of doing or getting something you need/want on your own. I believe in working hard to do what you need to do to survive. Even IF this means living on very little.  We all struggle. But I feel at the end of the day–if you work hard to do what you to-send that energy out in the Universe-you will survive. Everything you want will come into fruition–even if it take a really long time or you need to struggle. If you have a dream of doing something big and amazing–and work hard to obtain that–it will happen.

My grandmother is 87 years old. She is the MOST influential person in my life. She is my inspiration. One of the two most important people in my life (the other being my amazing partner). She was forced into a German work camp in WWII at the age of 14. At 18, still living in the newly liberated camp, she met and married my grandfather and had my aunt. A year later–with NOTHING but the clothes on their backs–they boarded a ship to America. They left a world where they struggled to survive and then came to a foreign country with no family and few friends. They had nothing. They did not speak English. They had no money. And yet…..they thrived. They never asked for anything from anyone. They worked hard.  The moved to Boston, got steady jobs, learned English, saved enough money to buy a house and a car (though my grandmother took public transportation — and still does!) and eventually raised four children–without asking for anything. I get that tenacity from my grandmother. No matter how low I have gotten–even if they meant living off of $10 a week….I made it. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I got a job bringing home a measly $100/week-and yet still managed to pay my tuition, rent, bills, and buy basic necessities. I graduated as a Medical Assistant, Now I have an amazing job and an amazing life and I did it with a lot of sweat and tears and ramen noodles.  I currently applying to go back to college in the fall, where at the age of 32, I can finally obtain my dream of becoming a veterinarian.

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Does this mean I am not spiritual or lack spiritual insight and compassion? No. It just means that my values maybe a bit different from another persons. We live a world of shadows. People are afraid now to say how they feel. Being spiritual does not mean sacrificing your values or personal beliefs in fear of judgment from others.  We are allowed to still speak about what we feel and think. It doesn’t mean you are “less” spiritual–less of a healer–less of a human–because you feel the need to address something that is constantly pushing your personal values over the edge.

I fear nothing. And I will never apologize for stating my beliefs or values, even if it’s at the cost of losing friends and making enemies.

I know in the end…whatever it is I need to face-I can and I will.

Part of being a spiritual person is having courage.

And as my favorite wizard Dumbledore said, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” 

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