Although my story starts as a little girl mesmerized by the beauty of music and my own expression of that beauty through movement. I’ll skip the distant past and begin my story with a life changing moment.
After all, I feel my story is really just beginning. I’ve been gifted with more time, a clearer vision, a chance to dig deeper, love more and live passionately with wholehearted purpose.
I am now physically healthy and nearly able to dance and train with 100% of my previous intensity but not so long ago, after over a decade of working in the dance, performance and fitness industry, I was told that dancing would no longer be in my future. I was informed that my heart would keep me from continuing to pursue my passion and do what made me feel alive. This began a journey that led me to live life heart centered. Now I live with the daily reminder to live life literally and physically focused on the heart.
I teach my students that we should be present in every moment, not just the future moments we are striving for, because we are not promised those future moments or even the next minute in life. Life is the present. It’s about the journey of discovery.
“Your own WOW moment comes when you discover what makes you passionate and then master the skill required to get what is passionately going on in your heart, out for others to experience.”
Here are sections of a birthday reflection written not too long ago. Since this moment every step in my life has been lived with intention, with purpose but most importantly from the perspective of a passionate heart set on fire!
As I celebrate another year of life I am engulfed with gratitude, thankfulness and wandering thoughts of what the future holds. I have a new perspective on the gift of each moment, each beat of the heart and every minute we are gifted with. No, I’m not a big fan of aging. None the less, I am CELEBRATING! It’s been three years since I was drastically shown that we are not promised tomorrow and can never be certain of what the future has in store for us. I am blessed and eternally grateful for the gift of life and every second that I have to live.
Three years ago, near the end of May on a hotter then normal spring day, I was sitting in a doctor’s office with my husband, Blaine, and our three boys. My youngest son was less then a month old and I had already been through a battery of tests since his birth. The doctor and his nurse entered the room and proceeded to tell all of us that I have an electrical short in my heart. My future as a dancer, a choreographer and fitness professional was over. In fact, I faced the real possibility of not seeing my boys grow up to be adults. I could without warning be gone. My husband and I looked at each other over our boys heads and I’d like to say that I said, “Oh, thank you, this is a lot of information to take in. We’ll take a look at all of this, process it, discuss our options and then tell you how we’d like to proceed.” I didn’t. I looked at him and then looked at my boys and started sobbing. They fitted me with a heart monitor that was connected to an emergency response team just in case something would happen. We walked out into the blazing heat in a mental fog. Then, within a couple of days we received a phone call that on top of my prognosis, my father-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. So within one week, my husband was given the news that his wife could die and in all probability his Dad was dying. You know things are bad when you wake up in the middle of the night and your husband is holding your wrist and feeling your pulse just to make sure your heart is still beating. The next year of our lives was spent watching me slowly get better and Blaine’s dad quickly change from a robust, athletic, full of joy man in his 50′s, who was the pillar of strength and a source of laughter to all those around him, to a man who was dependent upon others for even the most basic necessities of life. Ironically, we stood in the room with him as his heart beats slowed and eventually came to a stop as my mother-in law laid her head on his chest listening for each faint and distant beat.
There is a lot to share from this period of my family and I’s life, but what I’ve learned most is this:
To be present in every moment and to celebrate the little successes. Life is too short to not pursue what you are passionate about. Find what sets your heart on fire and go do it. Be intentional and work hard and diligently. Persevere, endure, be patient and dance through all the movements of life…