What’s More Important Than Dance, Right Now?

May 3, 2020

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I haven’t been dancing.

Not practicing, not learning, barely watching any dance videos.

I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would.

That makes me feel a bit ‘dirty’ to admit it – or that I’m ‘in the wrong’ for it.

Instead, my focus has been decluttering, tidying, trying to create order by what I call ‘Clearing the Decks.’

Going through the massive ‘piles’ of stuff in my life that has been weighing me down.

Getting rid of stuff, finally following through, taking a next step – whatever it may be.

Physical, digital, obligational.

As I am editing this post one last time, I am finding myself removing a lot of the trash-talk I was giving myself. Leaving out the parts where I claimed my efforts ‘felt imperfect’ or that I wasn’t doing as good of a job as I wanted. How I had huge gaps of time between my efforts to declutter, despite calling this “my focus for quarantine.”

What’s left is a focus on the parts that are most important for me:

Acknowledging this “shift” that is happening in my mental ecosystem – and giving myself grace for taking steps at all, no matter how small or inconsistent.

Instead of putting an emphasis on dance during this quarantine, I am clearing out all the mental and physical weight that has been floating around in my mind or directly hindering my progress in other important areas.

Email inboxes, stacks of little paper notes, promises to people, projects I wanted to start (or need to finish), critical tasks left untouched, creations that expand my heart.

Open loops, as they’re called – and boy do I have a ‘few’ of them. It’s gotten overwhelming and I hit a breaking point.

Rather – I made the decision to allow myself to take a few days to a couple weeks to make that my only main priority.

Instead of dancing, practicing, learning new stuff…

My entire orientation is getting myself back in order – clearing out all the dust and clutter taking up my mental space.

For a long time I’ve had this strong pull to devote massive time to this process.

It has continued to show up and yet I keep neglecting it for another day.

Quarantine has given me a perfect opportunity to really dig deep into that.

I believe there is some deep-seated reason in my heart and intuition that says,

“This is more important than practicing dance right now.”

Which seems crazy to say as someone who is trying to

a) get better as a dancer,
b) grow as a dance teacher, and
c) cultivate a growing dance community.

Feels “bad” or “wrong,” yeah?

Well, no – 

– whether other people agree or not is outside of the scope of this post and my internal processing:

In this moment I feel what is more important than sticking to a “routine” for a hobby, passion, or even line of work … 

Is that when an intuition shows up, CONTINUES to show up,
and it feels as STRONG AS YOUR PASSION FOR DANCE,
then it needs to be looked at.

It needs space given to it.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Seeing it, giving it space, and DOING SOMETHING with it.

Not letting it live dormant.

I KNOW that this is one of the most important things for me to do right now;

The amount of mental weight has been crushing

The amount of ‘tasks’ and ‘follow ups’ in my emails, my google notes, my little paper notes – there are important things in there that are being neglected.

Important to business, to friends, to my community, and to my heart.

Little dragons of chaos as Jordan Peterson would say. When left unchecked, they can wreak havoc in life. Even the little dragons that are associated to something lovable, like dance or people.

One thing I heard him say that resonated SO deeply was something along the lines of:

“When you’re anxious, you’re flooded with things that might be relevant. And when everything is important – you’re done, man.”

As soon as I clear out this weight, to clear the decks, to declutter everything … and establish a routine of “clearing out” and “following through” into my daily/weekly life …

It will create so much mental relief and so much space to focus on what matters for me.

Like dance.
Practicing, learning, watching, getting inspired.

Cultivating communities.
Growing the fwWesties, helping at the Anchor Room.

Teaching dance.
Helping the students I have, improving my teaching methods, connecting with new future students.

Building websites and digital systems.
Learning new ways to better serve my clients, building solutions for new clients, and developing better expertise around what I love doing.

Sharing and storytelling.
Documenting progression through online writings or videos. Sharing the growth and the “messy”, not just the end result. Inspiration and encouragement as a byproduct of shared experiences.

Minimizing and beautifying.
Decluttering, keeping things as simple as possible, bringing my version of beauty into my life.

Simply, in this moment, I am having a sit-down with myself to say,
“I like you dance, but dance you’ve gotta hold on a bit while I get myself in order.”

If I am anxious, the likelihood of me being able to GIVE MY ALL is much lower.

I am becoming aware that I am starting to get resentful of my interactions with other people, because I know other parts of my life are in complete chaos.

That’s not fair to those people.

Connection is important – but once in a while, I need to take a step back and take care of a few things.

Once I free up that weight … suddenly there’s so much room to give – less mental shackles holding me back from giving all that I have.

#ShareMore #SeeYourself #ShamelesslyYou

Dragon Artwork by Caine (Aimee Penn)

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