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?

Dear Ladies…

Dance has always been a constant in my life. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. And I have never stopped.

Belly Dance is where I found my happy place. I have been Belly Dancing since 2003. In the past 16 years, I have lost weight, gained weight and lost it again. I am older. I am not in my 20’s anymore. In fact, I am in my late 30’s.

I still love dance. My body may not look like it did in my 20’s, though I am still in pretty good shape. My hair color has changed. My age has increased—but guess what—I still love dance. Belly Dancing has taught me a lot of things. First and foremost, it taught me to love and appreciate my body. My body during belly dance, expresses my emotions, fears, and joys.

I have no desire to stop. Just because I do not fit into society’s image of an “ideal body” doesn’t mean I am going to stop doing what I love. As a professional belly dancer I know what society thinks I should be– but fuck that.  Its taken me years to love my body, regardless of where the hell I am on the scale. And I will be the first person to admit, that sometimes, I have moments of insecurities-then I remember– I am a badass. I dance with snakes and sharp pointy things!

You should never stop dreaming or doing what you love because you are fat, skinny, short or tall. You are you. Love you and love your body. Its where your soul lives. Express yourself through movement and art. You do not have to fit into a fucking societal box of judgment.

Its time we stop comparing ourselves to others and learn to love who we are. Why is it so easy to forget? We are all different for a reason. Anyone who judges you and your talent based on your body can fly into the no-fucks-given bucket.

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You Are Never Broken

Lately I have been hearing a lot about people saying how they are “broken.” Typically its when they have reached a low point in their life. 

Sure, we all feel at times like we have been “shattered”—little pieces of slivers of broken glass all over the floor. At some point we maybe reminded that were “broken” into tiny bits when a wound gets reopened. 

But, we are never broken. There is nothing about a person that cant be fixed. All of us all over the world have issues going on. Whether personal or public. Sometimes our problems are so grand that they leave us feeling like a wet mop in a dark dirty closet. And we see no way out. Sometimes are problems consume us. Its all we can think about.

Open-Door

We have all felt broken at some point in our lives. Some of us keep it in and weep privately, others are open. There is always that phrase “one door closes another opens.” Its that one bit of advice I hate hearing. Sometimes we are stuck between doors. One that has closed but can still be revisited and another door in front of us that is ready to be opened, but we are not ready to open it. So we remain in a hall way. Stuck between a door of new beginnings and a door of endings. 

My advice is to remember that you are not broken—you experiencing something that will only make you stronger. And depending on which door you choose–the closed one where you can remain–or the open one—depends on how and when you are ready to move on from a situation. But you are never “broken,”

So coming from a person who used to think I was “broken” ~ here is somethings I do to remind myself that I can be put together.

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1. Remember–its all perspective: Easier said than done, I know. But depending on how you look at a situation makes a difference on how you related to it. Losing a job isn’t always a bad thing–it maybe just what you needed–it was The Universes way of telling you that where you were at was not where you were supposed to be. Sure its scary as hell, but seeing it as a new opportunity to find a job or start your own is better than seeing it as a shut door.

2. Remember all the bad times: Yep. That door that was “closed”—well, you can still look back. But just don’t linger there. Think of situations where you felt shattered–torn–broken—a lost soul. Then remember who you have become. Remember that you have a resiliency inside you. If you made it through that–you can make it through another bad time. And truth is, there will always be bumps in the road.

3. Think of it as a challenge: Whenever I feel “broken” I always imagine that I am fighting some invisible force. I need to unleash those superpowers I have and prove to my invisible enemy–that I can win.

4. Don’t dwell to long on the closed door: Or you will miss the one that is wide open. 

5. My mantra: NEVER BROKEN

We are never broken. Just facing a challenge. Make it your own. Learn from is the lesson you are facing–even if you feel like you cant put yourself together again–you are not Humpty Dumpty!

Enlightenment Junkies: The Quest for the Perfect “Healer”

I was just finished reading a fantastic book by Jamie Sams called “Dancing the Dream.” The book is an excellent source of illumination if you need some extra guidance on your journey–whatever journey it maybe. One term really stood out to me: enlightenment junkies.

We all know of or have met those people who believe they are the right road–that they need to be relentless about how much of a “healer” they are. People go on healer quests all the time and often end up in groups lead by an  enlightenment junkies.They preach about how they have healing abilities, or some divine secret wisdom and understanding of the world that no one else could ever possibly understand. They know everything thing there is to know about the world and how to gain access to it. They have meetings, run talks, have groups–and followers–and sermonize enlightenment. Then, when they are done preaching, when they aren’t in their group, when they are just being them….they are completely different people. Control freaks. Know it all’s. They don’t practice what they preach and are flawed and broken–searching. They are not the same person they are when they are hooked on that enlightenment drug.

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True healers don’t need to tell everyone what they do, or try to gain “groupies”. Nor do they feel the inclination to tell someone they can heal them or fix them. True healers heal in different ways. Some of us have the ability of energy healing. Others the ability to guide and teach people strategies for living. And healers like me, who use art and dance to create self-confidence and wisdom through movement. There is no need to lead everyone down enlightenment road. We do our work because it’s what we are meant to do–we do it without even thinking. We heal and inspire people when we don’t know we are doing it–even when we are struggling on the path as well.

Originally I started teaching dance because I wanted to share my love of it. For 6 years I taught women the art of Belly Dance. When I walked into class it was to have fun and teach something exciting to those who wanted to learn. Unbeknownst to me I was actually teaching women to love themselves regardless of body type. I will never forget after a private session for a birthday party, a woman came over to me when I was getting ready to leave and said, “this is the first time I have ever felt beautiful in my own body.”  I have moved on to teaching my Primal Fusion classes, which teach both men and women that deep inside them, they have this strong assertive confident spirit that can control their own destiny. “Dance with intention,” is what I always say at the beginning of class. I plant the seed in all my students and those I meet, that they are powerful. strong, and despite what they think-have more confidence and magick residing inside them than they ever could imagine. A student told me that this is the first time in their life that they have ever felt as confident as they do now.

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We are all flawed. No on is perfect. The truth is, the perfect healer is——-yourself. You heal by learning. By what you can handle and what you can’t. What makes you stronger and what makes you weak. What brings you up and what brings you down. Yes, you can go outside of yourself and meet other healers–who are just like you–flawed–but capable of invigorating and inspiring you a bit more. But you are your own healer.

Self empower.

Live to inspire.

Know Thyself, Love Thyself

We are always cutting ourselves short. Its human nature to feel insecure about something. Even if we are the most self confident person in the world-there is always something that makes us feel insecure. Body image, finances, friendships, relationships. There is always one or two things in our lives that we are not confident about. Sometimes we can be amazing at something but don’t perceive it the way others do. Sometimes people will tell you how beautiful you are, but its not what you see in the mirror. Our insecurity is based on our inability to realize our strengths. We think we need to be with someone because we are afraid of being alone. We think we need to cover our faces with make up to hide our flaws. We become chameleons in situations because a part of us is afraid of being ourselves-being judged.

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The truth is, if you don’t know yourself and you don’t love yourself, you will always feel like you are not adequate enough. I am not talking about being conceited-even those we think are snobby are hiding an insecurity. I am talking about realizing your strengths even when you think you have none.

We spend to much time focusing on what we think our weaknesses are that we don’t focus on our strengths. Close relationships leave us vulnerable. We open our hearts and our souls to someone who we feel will accept us no matter what. Unconditional love. We believe that they will always be with us. However, when we thought what we had was solid seems to crumble, it opens the door to insecurity. When you look in the mirror you look at your flaws instead of your beauty, the door swings wide open. You think you are not good enough.

This is where, in the darkness, you need to discover your self

Know thyself. Love thyself.

Have relationships, go out, enjoy life. Learn to live and let go. Spoil yourself. Pamper yourself. Love yourself. You will discover that you are limitless, there is nothing you can’t do. There is nothing that is unattainable.

When all else fails-you will always have yourself-and your strength.