I believe one of the first times I ever really embraced my shadow side was when dancing my last ballet and dance school performance before going away to college. I performed the lead role in Swan Lake as well as a Dirty Dancing routine (based on the movie) with a partner that I choreographed (complete with jumping off the stage, lol), a lyrical routine I also choreographed to “Wind Beneath My Wings” as a dedication to my mother’s best friend, who had passed away from cancer, and a fun group routine to “Flashdance”, (ever so fitting as I was about to go to Pittsburgh to study ballet in college and I got one of my first jobs dancing in the show bars much to everyone’s disbelief. And I loved it all).
Each dance that evening was completely different, and yet each one was completely me. I was one with the music and in that amazing flow state the entire time. Dance to me, is a prayer like state…I do not really “see” the audience…I mean I do because I do connect with them, but not in a way anyone else has ever described it. I become one with the music and the spotlights…I become the music, and similar to many of my breathwork, hypnosis, meditation, and yoga experiences, everything else fades away. I am pure light, pure energy, pure love, pure flow, and I can give or radiate that out to the audience. All of the different styles or numbers are like facets of my personality or ego…the delicate and graceful swan, the playful group number, the joy and sorrow in the lyrical, and yes, even the delicious fun of the raunchier, sexier “dirty dancing” are all aspects of me. I used to be very much a black and white thinker...very into dualism; into either it is all or none, right or wrong, etc. Of course my yoga journey really furthered my wisdom and understanding of the non-dualism of things, yet I’d have not found yoga if it weren’t for my dance background.
This day is one of my favorite days to recall because I have anchored into it so many times in order to bring back that power and multi-faceted beauty and because it is symbolic of so many things to me. Leaving home. Honoring loss. Honoring my shadow side. My spirituality. My love of the arts. Change and transformation. How multifaceted I am, really we all are. How I can achieve a sense of a core state of love and light…how it’s always within me. And how much I do enjoy laughing and having fun, and really looking at all sides of things and continuously learning.
So, this was an amazing start, yet back then I didn't really understand that I could and would need to embrace all of those parts in all of my life, not just while dancing. Years of yoga, meditation, and studying the hypnotic arts helped me to understand that I am everything I see in the world, and anything that triggers me means I am also capable of that too...whatever it is. Yet another opportunity to do more shadow work, and to learn and to grow. That's why we focused on shadow work and the inner child in our March group hypnosis and have recordings and journals available if you missed it!