(Disclaimer: for this topic I feel the need to officially state that these are my opinions and my opinions alone. They do not in any way represent others, other dancers, troupe members, etc.)
Now you’re curious, right?
Some time ago I had this incredible Reiki teacher. Someone that I am just convinced is an ascended master that has come to Earth to teach us. I barely have words for him… just incredible. On one particularly luminescent moment, we were talking about why we just suddenly have feelings of sadness or negativity following a day or days of joy. He explained that aspects of our inner being that are sad or hurt sees that day of joy and wanting to feel like that, comes to the surface. That part of us, in other words, is asking for our help.
And I’m there. I’ve had a few days of just wonderfulness (as you might have gleaned from Day 16 & 17!) and today I’m feeling particularly erksome. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not so good at using my “angst” to create art. If you don’t know me well, then you might not know that I am incredibly sensitive. The minute I’m hurt and/or worried about something (and I’m a serious worry-wart), I crawl into my shell and you can forget about anything that requires any sort of self-motivation. My energy drains out of me…
So what’s coming to the surface?
Drama… I’m sick of it. Are you? I realize that I live in this bubble called belly dance, but there just feels like there is sooooo much “belly drama”. And I know I didn’t come up with that term. I’m sure that drama exists in other dance styles, and maybe it’s as pervasive there as it is here… but still.
I was just talking with a friend of mine the other evening and she was commenting that at her age (roughly 40), that (paraphrasing!) she has moved past the point of wanting to engage in drama in any-way-shape-or-form. She has moved beyond caring what so-and-so was saying or thought about her and from this centered place has come into a full acknowledgement of herself as divinity, the drama simply being no longer worth it. I’m so close to being there…. I wish I could say I’m there, but I’m not. I care. I do. I feel like I’m still on the fence, just about to leap over to the other side of not caring what others say or think about me… so close.
The simple fact is… ok, I’m gonna say it… there has been a lot of crap said about me in the last year and a half. About myself and others I’m close to. Now this is not to say that I haven’t made mistakes that I needed to apologize for, and I have tried to do so when I felt this was necessary. We’re all human and we make mistakes. That said, I stand in utter amazement at some of the accusations that have come my way over the last eighteen months… horrible hurtful things. Things that have broken my heart more times than I thought was possible… I can’t even tell you. I wish it didn’t hurt… but it did and does. On a somewhat tangential yet related topic, I was listening to a podcast today and the speaker said that for every moment of sadness our heart experiences, our immune system is compromised for six hours. I don’t know if that’s true… but if it is, wow! And for someone like me who is an unbelievable worry-wart/overly sensitive type you can just multiply that by a hundred.
While I sit with this, two important topics come up: why are people drawn to drama and priorities. I’ll start with the former…
I can’t pretend that I have the answer to this one. I wish I did. But I have a theory…. dance (and all the arts) make us extraordinarily vulnerable. We are placing our soul, our passion, for view. Simultaneously we claim our creativity as our own. Meaning that what we create represents “us”, who we are, and that any judgement or negativity can be seen as immediately reflecting on our being. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, has a fabulous talk on the TedTalk series that discusses this very point. (You can find this on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA&feature=share&fb_source=message) Among many incredible points, Gilbert explores the impact that the modern notion of the arts as emanating from our being, from our ego, rather than being attributed to the Muses and other celestial beings as was done long ago, has had on artists. In the past if your piece was not celebrated it was the fault of the Muses. Now if your piece does not go over well, it is because you are a horrible artist. Wow… no pressure.
For me drama is our attempt to diffuse this energy. If we point the finger to someone else, then we can hide from our perceived inadequacies. We are not the horrible artist, they are! The irony though is that we are not inadequate. No one is. For me, it is one of the great sadnesses of this age that any creative venture has become a point of competition. One artist pitted against another for supremacy. As if one form of creation could really be compared to another. Each is unique and beautiful. There is room enough for everyone…
Unfortunately try as I might, there are those who wish to perpetuate drama. My rights begin where someone else’s ends… it is their choice and they need to live as is right for them. In the end, I cannot control what they think about me. (As much as I might want to sometimes! HA!) All I can do is to make choices and live as I feel is right for me. So what choice am I going to make? Continue to worry, loss sleep, and allow my creativity to wither because I’m hurt? That doesn’t sound like a good choice to me…
When I think back to the boiling points of a few particularly dramatic interludes that took place in the past… they were never worth it. During those moments, I was so devastated… didn’t sleep… worried… certainly didn’t dance(!!) and in the end, allowed myself to be hurt and drained to the point of destruction and illness. My schoolwork suffered, my dance disappeared, and I was so depleted I found it difficult to take care of my daughter. (Have I mentioned I’m very sensitive???) Not-worth-it. Maybe I’m coming closer to my friend who was explaining where she was at… I know who I am and who I am not. Drama is so often more about the person perpetuating it than about you. And those who matter will recognize you for the beauty that you are. Point being, my school, my dance, and most certainly my daughter, are worth more than drama. For me, dance is about our connection and actualization of the divine. Anything less than that and I will simply send my love and step away.
I think I just crossed that fence…
To end this post on a happy note(!), I’d like to share the beautiful and utterly inspiring video that my sister in dance, Shri Rajuli, found entitled, “Why I dance…”. This, I think, says it all….
Food: Day 20
- Breakfast: Steak & Eggs! (I can’t believe it… TOTALLY indulgence. I never eat like this!)
- Lunch: Left over steak from the steak & eggs. 🙂 Salad
- Snack: Veggie Chips
- Dinner: Potato Gratin & Broccoli, Wine
Practice: Day 20
- Short run for warm up
- Physical therapy strength training (45 min)
- Personal practice (1.5 hrs)
- Yoga (30 min)