With January at an end and February beginning, I have had so many opportunities in the past month to experience just how extraordinary my career path is and how grateful I am that I do what I do. I have great gratitude for what it is I do to earn my living, to have the opportunity to do work that I absolutely love. At times I wonder if my reasons aren’t selfish because of the benefits that I receive in offering holistic health sessions to clients and dance classes to students.
It is so rewarding to see clients come out of their sessions in less pain and often feeling relaxed and more peaceful than they have for quite a while. Through having a hand on their muscle, joint, ligament, etc. I can actually feel the unwinding and healing process begin as their body and mind relax and unwind. The human body always amazes me at just how much it can heal on its own once given the chance and sometimes a little guidance or direction. Clients that allow themselves to embrace such a relaxed and trusting state that they actually feel safe enough, at times, to fall asleep. The trust they put in my abilities to facilitate their healing journey is truly humbling. I learn so much from each and every one of them.
In dance classes, the laughter shared amongst the participants…there is so much laughter every single class is filled with it! (and we all know that releases really positive endorphins into our body). The wisdom and stories and life experiences that women share with me during sessions or at classes crosses all age barriers and leaves me in wonder.
Within my classes I am witness to women providing a type of support to each other that erases any boundaries of class level or ability, and includes everyone whether beginner or performance level…the clapping and cheering for each other in sharing the dance, life transitions, trying something new despite feeling intimidated, the reassuring touch on the arm or encouraging words when frustration takes over in trying to “get” that move. The creativity and inspiration that is shared whether it is the tweaking of a dance move or a new costume idea or a different way to tie on a hipscarf. That look that crosses a dancers face when she is “getting” that move or feeling a physical or emotional shift within…it is usually gone in a flash but really, an honour to be witness to.
I am allowed to watch women blossom in their self confidence and self esteem. I’m included as they feel the muscles in their body begin to tone and develop in new ways and they know they are walking a little taller in their posture. I see the smile that passes between them and a loved one at haflas and events when they share that part of themselves outside of the safety of the class room. Through the past 12 years women have come and gone from the classes that I teach, for many reasons, each of them have left an imprint not only on the way that I teach dance but also upon my life.
I have a deep and heartfelt gratitude to those I’ve learned the stylings of belly dance from, especially Latefah as she set me on this path of joy and encouraged me from the start. I’ve learned from so many throughout North American, who have taken the time to share their joy and passion for dance!
I have the deepest gratitude to those who have shared their love of holistic health, some of the toughest teachers … but those have been the best in encouraging me to learn the body from inside out and all spaces in between and others who have taught the awakening of emotion and energy and then the gifted ones who taught me to work with the balance of all 3 … body, mind and spirit.
It is not lost on me how the two career paths I have chosen work synergistically with each other. How one supports the other and the knowledge I glean from one can be used to support those participating in the other. Students of dance can draw upon my knowledge of the human body and how it works while clients can draw upon my level of understanding in movement, stretching and strengthening. It wasn’t an intention, they have just ended up that way and for that I’m so grateful!
I am often asked if I’m tired after sharing a health session or a dance class. My responses is a definite no. The exhilaration that runs through me afterwards as perhaps, maybe, in some small way, I may have had an impact upon that person through helping them, dissipates any tiredness.