I danced until the sun came up, three nights in a row, just like back in the days when I was a professional dancer. Three mornings in a row, I went to bed as the rest of the working world was starting to stir in their beds, and slept until mid-afternoon.
I live the maxim I share with my life coaching clients, which is following your passions to live your dreams, and dancing has always been one of them. However, now that I’m pursuing other big dreams as well, it isn’t as often that I enjoy these twelve-hour dancing marathons.
In my heyday as a dance teacher and performer, that was the norm. My dance partner and I would have to eat massive amounts of food on dance weekends – piles of pancakes, eggs, fruit, yogurt, sausage – after burning off calories all night long, dancing so hard that we were glowing, sweaty, deliriously happy, and completely exhausted.
More of This, Please!
This past weekend was 72 hours of pure joy, from Friday through Sunday. Live bands, reconnecting with old friends, and of course hours and hours and hours of incredible dancing!
It’s hard to describe the level of sheer joy I feel after three days of dancing to live music. Moving my body to music, being the instrument, and connecting with a partner while dancing are some my favorite things to do in the whole wide world.
Following my passion for dancing led me in a direction I had never expected. I became a professional dancer for five years, teaching and performing lindy hop (the original swing dance that was born in the ballrooms of Harlem in the 1920s).
I’d dreamt of becoming a professional dancer when I was a little girl, although my vision was a little different from what I manifested. Back then, I thought I would someday be the back-up singer/dancer for Prince.
Teaching lindy hop may have been more lowkey than back-up dancing for Prince, although then again I got flipped in the air while doing lindy hop so maybe not!
What Following My Passions Has Done For Me
Being a professional dancer was a dream come true, and it also led me to other dreams in my life.
Dancing was the first form of meditation in my life. Before I began studying with spiritual teachers, learning how to meditate, and practicing yoga, I experienced the joy of fully being present in my body, and escaping from the machinations of my overactive mind, through dancing.
Dancing was pure joy to me. When I would dance until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. and enter into a state when my mind was shut off, yet my body still moving, it could feel like flying.
Dance led me to my ex-husband, which led me to teaching, which led me to performing. Dancing helped me to be in the moment, leave my worries behind, and to for the first time truly find peace within.
It was my spiritual medicine.
Making My Passions Come Alive in New Ways
Now as a public speaker, and in making video blogs, I tap into the skills I gained as a dance performer. I channel that same level of energy and joy in other ways.
For me, it’s all about letting creativity flow out of and through me, whether through writing, dancing, speaking or teaching. This is what I live for. This is my joy!
Public speaking is fun for me. Blogging is fun for me. Anything that allows me to fully express myself creatively is fun for me.
My next big dream, of finally publishing my book that has been in draft form since 2010, is finally coming to fruition as well. I am certain that 2013 is going to be the year when it is finished!
I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to live my dreams. Following my passions has kept life fun, interesting, adventurous and with never a dull moment.
Returning to What Brings Me Joy
During the past few years, while working on my book and traveling, I wasn’t generally dancing as much. My soul is happy that I had the chance to return to that passion, which I’ve had since childhood, last weekend.
The event was the Albany Lindy and Blues Exchange. Some of my favorite live bands were playing, and some of my favorite dancers from around the country were there.
I swungout, shimmied, slid, and wiggled. I body-rolled and strutted. I fell in love with each dance partner for three minutes before moving on to the next one.
It was sheer joy.
I really believe that dancing makes me a better writer, because when I dance I am happier, more at peace and more fulfilled. I’m in the flow.
Finding that flow space with my writing is something I do partly by sitting down and simply starting, putting words on the page. Yet the way I take care of my body and soul in general influences all that I write.
I find that when I indulge in my passions for dance, yoga, healthy eating, and sharing inspiration with others, I am able to infuse my writing with a higher level of joy, and to show others by example how to create a happy life.
That’s why I dance and why I write: to be happy. To share what I have learned, and what I love, with the world.
Now, Your Turn!
Are there any passions that you have set aside due to your busy life? Finding ways to reincorporate our passions into our days, even in small ways, sometimes can spark a new dream, expand an existing one, or re-launch a dream that was on hold.
I really believe that being happy is the key to living our dreams, and that following our passions makes us truly happy. Sometimes we think that it is the outcome of achieving our dreams that will make us happy, yet I believe it’s the opposite.
We become happy in the journey of pursuing our dreams. We become happier because we enjoy the moments of our lives, and discover what we are capable of doing and achieving.
I encourage you this week to return to an old passion or hobby and see what it ignites in you. Feel the shift that doing what brings you joy creates within!
Love to all and live your dreams this week! Every little step in the direction of your dreams is a victory.
Enjoy the dance of creation!
Lisa P. Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, TED motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning in their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on her website or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
Note: Articles by Lisa may contain affiliate links and may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.