Friday, September 24, 2010

A Nugget of Gold

Last night, as an early birthday present for my husband, we went and saw Garrison Keillor. My husband loves Garrison Keillor. He has the same dry humor, the same wit. They are both very inspiring and funny men. What a joy to spend it with them both.

I have so many thoughts and perspectives on the evening, but one thing struck deep and it's what I carried away with me on our long drive back from the city.

The way that Mr. Keillor weaves his stories together is pure magic. You know there is a thread holding it all together but it often becomes thin, or all together invisible at times. Then suddenly, there it is, the thread reappears and the sweet ironies of life are displayed with such love and tenderness and humor. He is amazing.

One of his stories was about going to New York City for the first time. And oh how I want to capture the essence of this story, but there is no way I can do it here. It is so complex, so deeply entwined with other stories that came before and that would come after.

But even though I can't replicate the entire experience, I want to share this part. A women he met there shared this nugget of wisdom with him. It was a gift to him that sent him in the direction he most needed to go, that would embark him on the path he was most destined to travel.

She told him, I am of course summarizing here, that he is not afraid of New York City, it is not where he belongs. No, he is afraid of something entirely different. He is afraid of his people, his family, the place where he grew up, Minnesota, of being one of them, afraid of being just like them. And he must write about what he is afraid of. He must go back there. To his home. And write about his Fear. This is what he must do.

Write about his Fear.

This is powerful juicy stuff folks. THIS is what we all must do. Whether we write, paint, sculpt, dance, or sing, we must take a look at our Fear. We must answer to it. We must face it. We must go towards it. This is where our power resides. This is where our magic lies.

If you wonder, what do I possibly have to say, what does my soul really need to express? And you are searching for an answer, clues to who you are. This is what you must do, this is what we all must do, move toward our Fear. Write it. Paint it. Sing it.

You will find yourself there.

And please please remember. You are not alone in facing this fear. You have a tribe of folks here in this place. Share your journey. Share your travels with your Fear. We all need to hear your story. We all need to TELL our stories. We all need to do this together. Together we can face our Fear. We can find our power. We can make magic happen.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebration

Today, was a day for celebration.

For it had the most important things.

Family.
(photo by Ian!)


Fun.

Gifts of Abundance.


Love.


And Chocolate Cake.


Loving my life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Seneca. Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD



How do you know when it’s time for an ending? Do you make a list of pros and cons for letting it go? Or should it be the opposite focus, a list of pros and cons for keeping it going? Can you solicit the opinions of others to help you? Do you journal about it? How about tarot cards? How do you KNOW?

What I have found is that I have to still my mind, quiet the thoughts, and listen. Others’ feedback is useful, but can block out the inner voice that is trying to help me understand how I really feel. Because it is about feeling. Not thinking. It’s about paying attention to how our body actually feels when we face a choice of letting something go.

When considering ending something, does your body feel lighter? Or when, conversely, continuing it do you feel a tightness in your stomach or chest? These are signs. We are wiser than we know. Our body can guide us. If we just listen.

I have reached a crossroads in my life. I have been spending a lot of time listening to that inner voice. A voice that is deep down inside, one that I can trust, if I just open myself to its wisdom. Paying attention to my body, hearing what it is telling me.

And the answer I got is a bit scary. It’s probably not what my mind would have chosen. Because my mind would listen to the opinions of others, perhaps giving them more weight than my own. Because my mind would worry about taking care of others first, myself later, if at all. Because my mind would be very practical. Because my mind might not consider my heart.

But it’s my heart that I must heed.

And so, after a lot of listening, and trust, and making a choice despite the fear that comes up, I have decided to stop teaching belly dance classes. It is time.

And not a choice I made quickly or easily.

But I feel in my body, that the end has come.

Saying good-bye is bittersweet. It is saying good-bye to a routine, to friends, to a creative space, to part of myself. But it is also making room for something new that needs expression in my life. It is saying hello to another part of me, one who has been waiting patiently in the background all these years. One who will not let me forget, or ignore, or neglect her any longer.

Teaching belly dance classes and owning my own business has empowered me. It has given me a voice. It has gifted me with confidence. Joy. A community of women. Connection. It has given my creativity a name and expression. It has helped me soar!

Now though, it’s time for ART. This is where my heart is. This is what has been waiting since I can remember. It has been waiting for me to discover this part of myself that is confident, empowered, joyful, and creative. Belly dance has gotten me here. To this place. And it is still a part of me. But it will be joined by a new part of me. Like peeling an onion, finding the new layers, I am revealing the core of who I am meant to be.

Thank you to each and every woman who I have danced with the past 3 years ~ thank you for your grace, your patience, your laughter, your friendship, your frustration with learning for through it I learned as well, your joy from pushing beyond the boundaries, your sisterhood, your boldness, and your spirit.

Blessings on the journey, and don’t forget to shimmy along the way!
tracy


PS ~ If you're here, you've found my new home, my new expression. Welcome! I'd love to see you here, in this new place, drop me a line at this address: expressyoursoul (at) gmail (dot) com. Or leave a comment below. Look forward to connecting with you in a new way!
Also, Kundalini Belly Dance Tribe will continue dancing! You can check out our latest performance schedule at http://www.kundalindance.com/. Our next event is October 17th at Sierra Ridge Winery at the Arts Extravaganza, a fundraiser to keep the arts in schools, come on out and support a great cause!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Pause

I am interupting this regularly scheduled life filled to the brim with doing and moving forward for a much needed break.

I am going to play this weekend. I am so excited!
We are going to one of my favorite places.

There is so much I love about this city. But these days, it brings me so much joy to share it with my son. Our life in the mountains has so much to offer, but the occasional sojourn into the city gives him so much delight. Ever since he was a wee little one he's loved skyscrapers. And trains. And highways. None of which we have where we live. From my perspective that is a-okay. Because we can visit them all the same. For him, it is an Adventure with a capital letter A.

And for me too!

And very important, I am gifting myself a break from all my yearnings and dreams and wanting to grow. Those longings will still be here when I return. But I am ready to Be instead of Do. And really, what if I could do that more often? Because in each moment, if I am being who I truly am meant to be, those longings and desires will find expression in those moments.

If I trust. If I let go. If I breathe.

What can you do this weekend to pause, to breathe, to Be. Can your trust and let go? What if you take a break from moving towards your goals, from making your dreams come true, from yearning towards the future you? Try it, see what happens! Let me know how it goes, can't wait to hear from you.

Here's to Being.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Choices


It's been a whirldwind kind of life around our home this past month. I can't believe it's Septemeber already.

So what's been going on? My husband started a new job that he absolutely loves (much gratitude to the universe for such abundance). My son started kindergarten. Kindergarten! Where did the time go? I participated in an intensive
dance retreat in Oregon to kick off the month then started a new round of my own classes here. Oh, and have I mentioned BIG?

Getting used to the new schedules, ealier bedtimes, and added places to be on top of already established daily routines has left me pretty exhausted. And here is where I start to wonder, does it have to be this way? Can life be slower? Or, can I be in the moment with whatever is going on even if it's not slow? Do I have the choice to make it less crazy? What are my options?

I do have a choice. But I also have this thing called Fear. That if I don't keep moving forward toward my dreams they will never come true. If I don't work hard, push myself, and do more, things won't get done. And then I will be stuck where I'm at forever. Which I don't want. That darn old Fear makes me lose faith. Faith in my dreams and faith in myself.

What to do?

So, I'm learning to embrace that Fear. Make friends with it. Understand that I have something to learn from it. And as a result I am slowly learning that all my dreams will come true. I can relax. I can take my time. I can believe. And I most certainly don't have to do it all RIGHT NOW.

And even bigger? That some things in my life, things that don't fit anymore, will have to go. It seems to be the theme these days, quite a few other wonderful women who I admire are shedding, purging, clearing. Making room for what no longer fits. And it's time I do the same. On so many levels. Naturally, more Fear shows up. But I know deep down, I need to do this anyway. Despite the Fear.

So, I am taking a deep breath.
I am taking a deep look at my life.
I am believing in myself and my dreams.
I am letting go.

Here I go!

Thanks for joining me on the journey!