There are days when our bodies are aching, our emotions are spent, our mental states are questionable and we aren’t even halfway through the day!
From my 8 AM classes which have me dancing until 3 PM, and then teaching from 4 – 9:30 PM, my schedule is extremely physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.
I think an automatic human response is to start accenting the negative or whining or picking things apart or asking “Why me?!” (I mean, honestly, why must ballet be at 9 AM? I’m so tired! My feet hurt! Stupid traffic. I should have found a place closer to work, blah, blah, blah).
When I find myself throwing a fit over pointless things, I immediately make it stop. I tell myself, “Don’t you dare take this for granted! You worked so hard for it, and now you are living the life you dreamed up!”
I have been learning so many valuable lessons from amazing people, that I needed to write them here! Maybe they’ll help you too! But really, I couldn’t risk forgetting them.
~ RECOVERY: Just today, a fellow student with me in my ballet class (who is recovering from surgery) came in crying. Her eyes were red and puffy, and all she could say was, “I regret having the surgery! I completely regret it. My doctor never told me it would take this long to recover.” *FLASHBACK* I said these exact words – also with red and puffy eyes full of tears – just a month ago. My mind was consumed with thoughts that my knee would never be the same. Which really only stressed me out more. So I learned: Recovery takes time, for which there is no set time table. I learned to give my body time, space and the proper attention it needed to heal. I learned that this was something I could not control, and I simply had to wait.
~ BEING GRATEFUL: I have recently been more accepting of people, places, events, disappointments, and challenges in my life. Whereas before, I would get irritated and allow that to consume time in my mind, heart, and steal from my energy bank. I’ve made conscious efforts to stop that negativity. I’ve also made efforts to place creative, intelligent, strong people in my life who keep pushing me in the right direction. (I think those people know who they are, and I owe you so many thanks!)
~ IDENTIFYING THE “SMALL STUFF” SO THAT YOU DON’T SWEAT IT: Finally, at the age of 26, I am becoming more aware of what is “small.” I am freeing myself of stressing over the things that really… don’t matter one way or another. It’s about keeping going, and letting life do its work. I finally accept that I am the one with the power to make something “small” or “large” in my life, and I am the one with the power to choose my reaction to it. Will I address it? Maybe. Maybe not. Will I give that time to grow into something more solid before I react? Absolutely.
~ LOVING EVERY THING: I was recently talking with someone who said to me, “You have wins every day.” He doesn’t know how much I appreciated him saying that, because I forgot to tell him, but I so held on to that, tightly. I loved it. He was right. I do have wins every day, because I have come to a place where I count everything as a win! Did I make it to class on time, even though traffic is awful and I’m tired and I had to pack 3,000 snacks to keep me alive throughout the day? YES I did! That’s a win! Did I land that triple pirouette? YES, win! Did I smile/laugh/feel joy? YES, win! Did I remember how blessed I am? Win! Is my mom (and entire family) still the best ever? YES, win! Before, events (good and bad) were just things. They were blips on radar, but I couldn’t experience them because I was already preparing for the next potential blip (good or bad). While I still plan ahead, I have removed the tension from the process and I’ve allowed my life to breathe. To exist. To be cherished.
Let this be the time you start:
… embracing what you love.
… reminding your friends & family how much you appreciate them in your life.
… letting go of what makes you feel irritated or weak.
… placing new things and people in your life.
… trusting life to do its work.
… accept that you are still growing and it takes time and effort.
… love life as it unfolds.
In the upcoming months, I have some new ideas and new goals that I will be working really hard on, and you know what?
Do work. Be awesome. Go.