Happy International Dance Day!

Yahoo! A day dedicated to the thing I love most!

This time of year is full of rehearsals and performances with my studio dancers, getting ready for dance competitions and year-end shows.

But I want to celebrate by embracing dancing for the fun of it. Because moving just feels so dang good.

So I’ve curated a little Dance Day playlist for you!

*Just a note: these songs aren’t new finds. I go through phases of finding new music, and I’m due for one very soon!

First up we have a song that makes me feel like dancin’, even though it’s all about not feelin’ like dancin’… and the music video is wonderfully weird

This song performed live holds a special place in my heart (plus all the boys are just soooo good looking)

If this one doesn’t get you moving, I will be very surprised. Bonus points if you attempt to copy his dance moves. I try every time…

If you’re doing it right, everybody will be dancing

My friend recently compiled a playlist of music videos with the coolest/weirdest/most interesting music videos. This one definitely made the list, but the song just makes me want to shimmy all day looooong

This one feels more like groovin’ to me than dancin’, but the dancing in the video is really awesome. It also made it onto the above list

And this. No playlist dedicated to dancing can be complete without a little Whitney

Bust a move, friends. Happy International Dance Day!

Solo Studies: Translations

Quick update. This is what I’m up to right now. Hope to see you there!

BjtKEqKCQAI7wWh

Finally! My Core Desired Feelings

Image

Vibrant. Free. Aligned.

I’ve been meeting with my Desire Map Book Club for the last three Tuesdays (including today). Danielle Laporte’s book, The Desire Map, is basically a road map to living your life based on your desires. It’s all about how you want to feel in your life, all the time, as opposed to achieving things that you think will make you feel happy once you have them.

I’m really into this. I’ve been into this for the last two years when I was in my last semester of University and had no map to follow any more. I couldn’t have found Danielle Laporte and her work at a better time.

But, it has taken me a long time to actually determine what I want to feel. I get caught up in my head or on old habits, really on anything else other than discovering how I want to feel.

The thing for me is that it comes from a place of fear. There are things that I think I should be doing: I should want this because I have a degree in dance, I can’t do that because I’ve chosen to live in Edmonton and not close to most of my friends, I shouldn’t want this other thing because blah blah blah… the list goes on.

During the book club, as I was listening to all of the inspiring and vulnerable discoveries that the other members have made, I felt dejected. I hadn’t had any breakthroughs (I barely touched the book all week). I told myself that I didn’t have time to do the exercises.

And then it came: the reason I didn’t have time was because I told myself I didn’t have time. That’s all. I have prescribed a way of living and being that doesn’t allow room for any development or for magic to happen, and I feel stressed out about it. 

I discovered the most important thing: I crave freedom.

And then the cascade of things that I wanted to feel came tumbling out. Here’s the aftermath of all three of my core desired feelings:

Vibrant: Alive, colourful, vivacious, spirited, energetic, dynamic, bright, excited, shimmering, radiant

Free: Spontaneous, unprescribed, independent, open, spacious, infinite, voluminous, abundant, bounteous, unrestricted

Aligned: Equilibrium, connected, in harmony, in tune, peace, tranquility, rooted, honesty, good vibrations

The big thing is that they’re all connected with the life source, the universe, and to my core being.

The next step is the hard part of putting these words into practice. But, I now have them locked in and ready to play with. They likely aren’t perfect but I’m going to give these feelings room to expand within me. No timelines, no restrictions. Pure freedom.

It’s December!

December is one of my favourite times of the year.

Family time, holiday celebrations, cinnamon candles, warm cups of tea, fuzzy socks, curling up by the fire, sweaters, cookies, cuddles, and home-cooked food are all some of the finer things in life, in my opinion. Bring it all on!

I also think that December is an amazing time for reflecting and planning. I, like many people, have big plans for 2014 and I want to start it off with a bang. This means that I’ll be doing my love-infused new year’s goal-setting, event-planning, story-boarding in the next couple of weeks.

Instead of making a resolution or five that I’ll end up breaking again this year (go to the gym 3 times per week, do yoga once a week, set up skype dates with far away friends once per week, eat kale every day, etc), I’m planning big and from the soul. Those areas of life that I want to focus on (see my birthday post here) are going to get fleshed out in full.

I started by organizing my drawer in the file folder (read: actually started using the file folder). Excuse the messy writing. I LOVE writing things by hand but having an injured dominant hand makes it hard. I decided to write anyway. Infusing my finances with love is slowly becoming a thing for me.

1403345_10152062054664596_526650995_o

I definitely suggest reading Money: a Love Story by Kate Northrup.

I’m hoping that I can actually write with my right hand again after I get my finger pins out on Wednesday, so I can make a big, bodacious 2014 calendar with sharpies. But I’m doing my best to play it cool and not get my hopes up… we’ll see how that works out.

I’ll share the progress soon!

And in the spirit of the season, here is my absolute favourite holiday video. To be watched in the month of December only. Brace yourself for some Mariah fabulousness.

Birthday!

image

Yesterday was my birthday! I’m 24. It was an awesome day filled with love, amazing food, and adventures.

I like to pause and reflect on life at many points during the year (okay, sometimes daily) but it seems natural to do so on my birthday.

In light of 23 having been such a weird year for me – the ups and downs were amplified and there was little middle ground – I’m sharing three points of focus I’d like to have for 24 and the small steps I plan to take right now.

1. Personal Wellness

This comes from the two physical injuries I’ve had this year and the increasing sense of burnout I’ve been feeling for a while. I want to tune into my body and what it needs – I only have one!

I plan to focus on my eating habits first. While I’m a mindful eater and have always been conscientious about the foods I put into my body, I’ve never been able to consistently feed myself well (lack of time, lack of enthusiasm, lack of groceries… the excuses are endless).

Step one will be sticking to a meal plan. Meal plans work for me, but then I get lazy. I’m over it and I want to eat well.

2. Finances

This is difficult for me to share. I am not a person who talks about my finances with anyone, even myself. I am going to be more open about them: I can’t ignore money or my student debt any longer. Even writing this simple statement takes a load off.

Step one will be looking at my finances every day, and organizing my credit card bills and bank statements.

3. Relationships

I am the type of person who likes to hole up in my room with a book or the Internet and spend hours and hours with myself. While this is comforting, this has also become the norm for me.

It has come to my attention recently that having a community to fall back on when you need it and to help you thrive in the good times is SO important in life. I could definitely step up my game when it comes to other people. Finding good company is something that can bring tons of joy for a lifetime.

Step one is to resist the urge to decline every invitation out. Go out and see people once per week.

And that’s where I’m starting 24 from. It feels great to share it!

Days 28-31 and Nov 1

This week waiting for surgery hasn’t been the most fun week. I’ve been doing a lot of fun stuff to take my mind off of it though. I helped that Halloween was thrown in the mix. I used my injury to my advantage and went as an accident victim (my hand that’s resting on her shoulder in my only real injury), pictured with Kasia the snow queen here:

Image

Even though it becomes annoying at times, practicing using my left hand has been really rewarding. I watched this video of a woman with one hand do a ponytail, and figured that my situation wasn’t so bad… (I also finally did a ponytail!)

Yesterday, Nov 1, I had surgery. Recovering from the general anesthetic was hilarious – I was on the brink of falling asleep for about 4 hours before I finally gave in.

And today begins my healing process. I have a giant half cast as a dressing and it’s really sore. I will be chilling at Cha Island all afternoon for Entrelacement’s fundraiser, but likely propped up with pillows and a never-ending supply of tea.

So even though October didn’t really turn out as planned, here’s to an awesome November!

Days 24-27: figuring out how to use my left hand

On Thursday, through a series of unfortunate events, I ended up in emergency with a hand injury. On my right index finger I have a deep wound, one of the bones is broken, and I have a severed tendon… It makes me queasy thinking about it all.

I was supposed to have surgery Friday but I was basically told that it was a bigger job than they thought, but not emergency enough to get it done right away. Tomorrow I’ll find out the real time of surgery but it’s been a waiting game so far.

The last few days have been hard. I’ve been learning how to ask people to do things for me. My independence is something that I have come to rely on, and there are things that I just can’t do by myself right now (driving and zipping up my coat come to mind at the moment).

But while there’s been dark moments, a lot of light has shone in too. I’ve used this as a moment to be super grateful for everything and everyone in my life, the support that I have, not only in hard times but all the time, and the fact that this is just a temporary setback.

I realize that this month of blogging has changed dramatically since the beginning. What started as the intention of doing something physical to help me continue dancing regularly became a very personal exploration instead.

But I’m okay with that. Tomorrow: surgery status.