Friday, August 26, 2011

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
— Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles)

This quote runs through my mind almost daily. It is in the bathroom at Moon Belly and in the bathroom at Kandi's house and I just love love love it. I want to share it with my friends, children, and students.

Have a blessed day!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Re-Introducing Myself For The New Semester of Dance

I wear many hats as do most women I encounter. I am a wife, mother of 3, RN,and belly dance instructor/performer/ choreographer.
I debated whether or not to have 2 seperate blogs, one for dance and one for famliy life but I decided this blog will be primarily dance but in order to honestly represent who I am I will occasionally refer to my family as I feel family experience influences my dance as dance experience influences my family and my mothering.
I started taking belly dance classes after the birth of my daughter in 2006 after attending a belly dance show at the Missouri Theater. There I witnessed many different styles of belly dance and fell in love. Such powerful beautiful women expressing grace and beauty. I was particularly moved by a fusion performance by Kandice Grossman soon after I became a loyal student. (www.moonbelly.ort) I obtained Level 1 in July 2008 with Suhaila Salimpour a second generation belly dancer located in Albany California I joined the Dragon Flies Moon Belly Dance Company in 2009. I began teaching beginning classes and choreo while continuing my training, performing lead roles in annual Moon Belly productions along with other entertainment opportunities. I obtained my Level 2 certification April 2010 and am currently working on Level 3. See posts for new projects/performances/class opportunities!!!
I'm excited to re-visit my blog. I will try to update it more often as I am back full force with my dance training and teaching! Moon Belly classes start next week. I am teaching Ensemble classes on Tuesday evenings. I am also begininning my work on my Level 3 this will take a couple years at least I'm sure. My cup runnneth over!

The kids and family are busy as well. Allie is starting her competitive dance season, beginning kindergarten, and is taking swim lessons. Connor is starting 3rd grade and is in baseball taking a break from competitive baseball this fall season. Jorden is in the 8th grade (honors) and is playing football for West.

I know this is quick and not thought out but we are headed to the park! Have a great Saturday!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Trimmin' the Fat!!

As I grow closer to getting out of debt, I wonder how in the heck did I let things get so out of control? I proceed to look down at the hang over on my belt and wonder again. How did I let things get out of control? It's time to get it back.

We have considered selling the house for a while now. I have thought of selling for good reasons such as paying off debt or "stupid tax" as Dave Ramsey calls it. Or the bad reasons like, "I'll just sell the house, be financially free, and run from problems instead of dealing with them and fixing them as an adult would (or should).

Some people may think I have been focused, dedicated, and "forced to grow up at such a young age," (said with a high pitched mocking voice). The truth is, I have been playing the role of a "grown up" sense I was 15 (as best a 15 year old can). I have been faking it. I have lived my life based on what I imagined would bring me happiness and make me "grown up." I got married, bought a house at 18, went to school etc. I don't regret my decisions but I think somewhere along the way I went a little overboard. I bought the big TVs, nice cars, and big Christmas's. I quickly learned that the future is uncertain and debt sucks. I am starting to forgive myself for falling into that pattern and learn from the consequences.

As most young people, I was on the fast track to arrive where I thought I wanted to be. I have wined about the crumble of my mini empire in previous blogs and don't want to do that anymore. I am proud for what we have achieved. In fact, ironically, we have an offer on the house, and we are current with our bills and actually starting to pay "stupid tax" down. We are doing pretty well. What are we to do? We are excited about the future and feeling ready for a change but also can't help but feeling like I'm giving my dream away.

I will say that by hitting my rock bottom, I have been forced to be real with the fact that I have not been honest with my emotions. I even hesitate to examine them because when I dig deep, the emotions I become aware of feel humiliating. SO humiliating that I cover them up with big TVs, fancy cars, and cake and ice cream.

On the brighter side, I am ready though to trim the fat. Figuratively and literally. I am ready to get rid of debt, and fat literally. I am weighed down. Ready to enjoy life again. I'm ready to snap out of it and get focused. I'm ready to get excited about the future and open my mind to possibilities. But to do this I have to make sense of why I am where I am right now.

Therefore ladies and gentleman. "TIME TO TRIM THE FAT" as a wise teacher once told me (not at all referring to me and my love handles. But words I won't forget.) and apply this to my life. As of today, I start eating lean meats, vegetables, doing my debt diet workbook, and confronting my humiliating emotions for what they are and stop covering them up with lard. ;)

So the journey begins.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reflecting (sick baby at home)

I don't have much time to think about choices I have made in regards to dance. Until of course it smacks me in the face. I have frequent reminders of why I love it so much. There is something so special at Moonbelly. It is an atmosphere that I was free to let my creativity flow. A place where I could be vulnerable and accepted. For example, I could try hard to make a move look beautiful and not hold back bc of the fear of being laughed at or judged. In fact, when I would "hold back" I was encouraged to do it again, but this time "make me believe you." I was graced by the presence of a great group of gals, I was given so many opportunities, and I felt like I could be the performer I have always wanted to be (not to be famous but enjoying the process.)

I have a great group of friends there who are women that are supportive and strong and take no BS. I will miss spending time with them and the closeness we shared. My heart and mind thinks of them daily. I know when there are probably rehersals and I often think of what they are up to and have a weird mix of sorrow and happieness.

I was given so many wonderful opportunities there and was given so many chances and opportunities to shine that I am so grateful words can't even express. People believed in me, they looked up to me, and I felt the same toward them.

I will miss the process of putting on a show. The countless hours in preparation that didn't feel like work but more like play. Then the nerves I experienced just before going on stage. Then the proud high that I got after the shows.

I would be able to maintain this and care for my family if I wasn't hurting the person I love the most. Right now things at home are in turmoil and whether or not this is a knee jerk reaction or not I need to try on my end to make things better. Even if they don't get better in the following months I can know that I did what I need to do to make it right. I need to make sure I am there for the kids right now in case anything happiness. The last thing I would want is for them to be taken away bc the courts think I'm not devoted enough to them.

Let me make it clear though, I hope this decision wasn't made out of fear. I would pride myself in saying that I don't make decisions based on fear, but if I'm really honest that is probably part of it.

Things are a little easier, but I recognize that it may not last, but I am enjoying re-connecting with my husband. Thank you for the kind words and keep on dancing and I will be watching and cheering you on!!

As my mom would say "we'll see..."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quitting dance (at least for now.)

I was pretty much in a coma yesterday. I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed for the last year or so but loving life at the same time. It wasn't until yesterday that a mix of emotions from feeling so proud of our show the night before, to angry, sad, and guilty for what I had to face when I came home. I digress.

I am so proud of myself for my accomplishments and proud of my decisions to take charge of my life and fight for what matters. I've had to pull up my boot straps and work extra due to the slow economy and to help out my family until things stabilize perhaps.

I have a job that fulfills me moderately, I work with a great group of women, although I'm kinda the "odd" one in the bunch and that is OK with me, it kinda makes me smile on the inside. I have great managers that gave me a schedule that rocks and are willing to work with me if I need a day off here and there (within reason.) As with any nursing job, I do feel pretty drained on most days after work. It is nothing like charging in the MICU, but physically, mentally, and emotionally still very challenging. Some days I'm on my feet all day rushing around while the OR stampedes us with patients (which lately is a good thing due to low census) that each step feels like I'm walking on bruises. It is challenging having to come up with cleaver ideas all day how to make the day run smooth without a crisis occurring, and no matter what, others feel frustrated. I want to be the nurse that can make their patients feel all better, coming up with just the right "cocktail" to make their pain tolerable without making them too sleepy or sick they can't go home or to a floor. I want to do it also in a timely manner, so that I can take more patients and pull my weight. I do this pretty well, not perfect but well.

At home, I want to be there for my kids for as much as I can. They care, but they understand when I can't make it because they are secure children. Connor told me the other day during his Field trip that I was able to go to last minute, "Mom did you tell your work thank you for letting you come? You must work pretty hard." That was so sweet to me.

We are currently packing up our house to sell and pay some debt off, rent for a couple years and then possibly build a house on some land maybe, something Elvis has always planned on doing. Packing is so emotional, exhausting, but also exciting. It's weird. Elvis is working 6-7 days a week to get things caught up. I haven't done much extra because the time just isn't there.

This brings me to my decision to stop dancing. I feel it necessary to explain what kind of chaos is occurring in my life right now and why I need time to get stuff in order before (if I do) return to dance. My husband has had issues with my dance (which is his deal and would never be the sole reason why I would quit but it does factor in strongly) I/we are just tired of fighting. He also misses me. He told misses having someone to sit with at baseball games. I admit I can't go to all of them but I do go to a lot, but that was an honest example of the things he misses, which I can understand, and an example of the guilt that I feel. I just don't feel strong enough right now to fight anymore.

I also have had some comments that have got under my skin and had it just been the comments alone without all the other shit going on right now it wouldn't have affected me in the same way. I feel like I was trying my best and just wasn't enough for others in my life or myself for that matter. I have to end this phase of my life or perhaps put it on hold and let the dust settle. I'm sorry if I am letting people down. Really really sorry.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My California dance trip rambling!

At work today, my good friend Ashley asked me when my California trip was. She asked if it was next weekend. I kind of laughed and said "oh no...It's not until April 17th!" As I replied to her question it occurred to me that I was really leaving in a couple of weeks. I really haven't processed the reality of my leaving my family for one entire week! As I stood work next to a child whom I was recovering, My eyes welled up with tears. I began to think of Allie and how she won't really understand why her mommy wouldn't be there to tuck her in every night.

I was SHOCKED at my reaction. Prior to now, my emotions have been limited to excitement, anxiety, and guilt about leaving. I knew I would miss my children but the intense emotion at 9 am was overwhelming. What am I to do with these feelings? I'm going to completely ignore them and wipe my eyes off and pretend that everything is OK and that I'm sad but everything will be OK. period. OK at least for the rest of my 8 hour shift....for the benefit of my patients.

After a pretty good day of work, I run home and don't really have time to re-visit my emotions and reflect and think and process them. Instead I run inside with Allie. Change my clothes, make some dinner. Meet Connor's new friend's mom and dad. Drill rules in to my boys and remind them of all the safety procedures and what is allowed and what isn't allowed if they stay home alone ( as Elvis took a surprise trip to St. Louis ) I run around the house gathering items that will Hopefully Appease Allie for at least 1 hour so I can attend intermediate dance.

Upon arriving to dance Allie is excited to come in and see some of my "dance friends" as she calls them. I tuck her in and were set. At least for the time being. She lasts all of 15 minutes and comes into the studio and shows off a little but otherwise nothing not manageable. I was able to finish class at least with the assistance of Kandi, whom Allie is finally warming up to.

On the way home we stop and grab some necessities at Hyvee, go home, hang out, I do dishes, and laundry, tuck kids in bed and here I am. I really feel the need to process what is about to transpire in a couple of weeks. OK, well process in between loads of laundry.

So, on Saturday April 17th I have a show that I am looking forward to. Moonbelly Ensamble, Dragonflies are teaming up with Final Veil and performing at Mojo's from 7pm-9pm.

After the show I will go home and prepare to rest and leave at 3am or so to drive to KC to catch my flight for Oakland, CA. Woah, let me just say that flying alone, for some stupid reason gives my horrible butterflies and my mind thinks horrible things. I push those irrational thoughts aside... I am worried about missing my flight out of Denver. And can I just say again...horrible butterflies.

When arriving to CA, my wonderful cousins Dan and/or Wendy will meet me and I will be staying at their house. They are doing everything the can to put my mind at ease. Pretty much, if I need help, they will explain and or show me exactally how to do it. They probably think I'm a little silly for being so nervous but I haven't backed out so I'm really pretty brave right :)

My purpose of going to California is to train with one of my dance mentors Suhaila Salimpour. She is a second generation American Bellydancer and daughter of Jamila Salimpour.

I am currently Level 1 certified in the format. Someone once compared the differences in the "levels" to Tae Quan Do and belts. I guess for me is was sufficiant to explain to people who really had no idea what and why I am working on advancing. It is a personal goal. It is good for no one but myself. I personally need goals to help with my motivation. I need the language, the challenge, rhythms, patterns, and the academics that the format provides. It is really humbling when "ya think ya got it" and then you realize there is SO much more to learn and that you really are not even close and that is OK! But that it is there if you want to continue.

I won't get into why I like to dance tonight. Well OK, maybe just a little so that it can be understood. I like to dance for the confidence, strength, emotional outlet, artistic expression, and relationships that I love. I also like working real hard to make something look good and it coming together at the end, like a gift for the audience and I like to hear the positive response. It's like one big awesome package. In a nutshell...

By going on this trip I am going to continue my dedication, practice, knowledge, and love for the dance. I will grow personally by doing things I would never do otherwise. Set an example for my daughter (and sons) that I take care of myself and my emotional state of being so that I can better take care of them. I want my children to go after what they want not let fear rule their life. I plan on taking the time to reflect on my life and what is important.

I end with a great feeling of appreciation with my life. Although very busy and crazy, I am blessed to have wonderful children. I am blessed to have 2 boys that are pretty stoked that mom is going to travel to follow a dream and come back and maybe take them out there the next time around. And a wonderful daughter that is passionate about life and loves her mommy. A husband who is supportive and able to juggle work and mommy and "daddyhood" for a week. Even if it means frozen pizzas and fish sticks for 5 days.

My family will be very missed but this is a once in a lifetime experience and I will try to get the MOST out of it I possibly can and share it!!!