I am so very fortunate. For the past 12 days, I’ve been able to do the things that I love to do, and I’ve learned a very valuable lesson that I want to share with you.
For these 12 days I was living my dreams and I almost didn’t recognize it. In the past, I tried buying into the self-help world of life coaching and would inevitably roll-my eyes every time this or that author would gush about how they are living beyond their wildest dreams and then hear the inevitable “so can you, if you only did…” I may not believe in sending out my intentions to the all-knowing universe or vibrate myself on a higher level as so many of these authors were asking, but what I was doing, was to limit my thinking that living a life I love is something that I may never achieve. I have been so stuck in this mindset that I had to stop in my tracks, pinch myself, and take in the last 12 days of my life. I was blessed with the opportunity to get out of the grind so to speak and saying “YES” to opportunities that arose.
It began on Wednesday, November 4th, when through my job at dressbarn, I attended my second 3-day Offsite session with the Strozzi Institute with expert facilitator Susie Nichols. The institute, founded by Richard Strozzi-Heckler, is a leadership development program grounded in somatic learning practices. As part of the program, you learn to make commitments and an action plan to fulfill on it. I chose a professional commitment that makes me both excited and nervous, and you practice saying this commitment out loud. I left feeling confident and eager.
I then spent the weekend in a 2-day workshop with Tetsuro Fukshara, a master teacher of Butoh, a form of Japanese dance developed in the 1950s, that I have been studying for many years. Mr. Fukahara’s takes his Tokyo Space Dance performances and workshops around the world. Later that night I had the rare opportunity to see Mr. Fukahara perform with Vangeline, Artistic Director of the Vangeline Theatre.
On Monday morning I was on an airplane to Cancun for a 5 day working vacation as part of dressbarn’s annual incentive trip for store leaders across the Nation. While I was there, I taught yoga on the beach each morning, facilitated a workshop on stress relief, and even taught impromptu water aerobics. Best of all, I had the chance to get to know the amazing dressbarn associates (meaning schmoozing and socializing for hours, something that I love to do as well).
After returning Friday, the next morning on I ran over to Lifetime Athletic in Montvale, NJ, for a meeting with my indoor cycling mentor Brian Mahoney (and one of the top cycling instructors in the Tri-State area, period). I then spent the rest of the weekend in the Pranayama and Meditation segment for my Yoga Teacher Training through the Azaya Yoga.
It’s a dream of mine to to travel for work, be a presenter, teach cycle, teach yoga, and nurture my artistic side, and I was doing them all in a span of two weeks.
I believe it or not, I caught myself talking negatively to myself along the way. Since I wasn’t doing a Ted Talk, my presentation didn’t count. Since I wasn’t teaching yoga like Sheva Rae, that didn’t count either. I even discounted my Butoh training since I’m not performing at the moment. Talk about ingrained habits of perfectionism and doubt.
I almost ran ugly over these accomplishments that I was working so hard to achieve. I implore you to take stock of your accomplishments – they are probably greater than what you are giving yourself credit for.
Remember, the dreams that come true may not look exactly like you imagined, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you didn’t achieve them or downplay or dismiss them altogether, as I nearly did.
Quell the negative critic inside, be brave and declare your dreams out loud. With practice, hard work, and perseverance, chances are your dreams are already coming true.