We’re all living through the largest cultural shift most of us have ever experienced, not just due to a virus, but I believe due to years of systemic breakdown. Personal and global challenges can easily drag us down, so I offer you this to make it through with less pain and suffering. My main solutions are gratitude and movement. A friend once called me a relentless optimist. I laughed, and then I realized I seek silver linings so small you could call them glitter specs, even if it’s learning through adversity. It’s a bit nature, 10 years into performing Burlesque requires you to have the sorta insane belief that you will bring something awesome to your audience at every gig. But much is a practice I cultivated after sinking into deep despair and deciding I don’t want to live there. Because bipolar disorder runs in my family, I’ve created a lifestyle to balance that. I’ve mostly succeeded without medication, and there were few times, especially post partum, where I was living on a thin edge. My husband and I are still filling in a large self-created financial hole. Our two teens have their own emotional and physical shifts and upheavals, and holding a firm, loving line so they remain good humans in the world is a persistent challenge. And yet, I find joy and hope for the future because I’ve developed a practice to keep on the bright side of life so I can continue leveling up, and supporting others to do the same. SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
1. Like Oprah said: list your gratitudes. In really rough times my list has been as basic as: I’m breathing, I have a roof, there’s some food in the fridge. Repeat your list several times a day to build neural pathways about what is good in your life, rather than patterns of worry. Focus on what’s even a little good -- no “Buts”, “If Onlys”, “Could Be better” judgements - just gratitude. 2. Celebrate everything, especially the small things. Super easy time grocery shopping? Finally get all the TP you need this month? Before you move onto the next of many things, pause and celebrate what has arrived! Life is made of small moments, by recognizing them you string together a life or more happy, celebratory moments than bad ones. 3. No surprise, I dance! Dance is my movement medicine, whatever movement you enjoy is yours! We’re facing huge challenges right now -- sometimes we must physically move negative energy and frustration out of our bodies to have space for anything else. Exploding in anger or despair, or stuffing those feelings does no good. They are real, deserving of acknowledgement, and we don’t want them to linger and take over. Moving in ways that make me feel good too music I love is integral to my life. Joyful dance is wonderful, and I’ve also danced in anger and frustration when needed.
Small children at home you can’t please? Dance it out! Bored staying home all the time? Dance that out! Housemates driving you crazy, turn up the music and get down! May this reminder support you in moving out of despair and challenge, into a space of greater ease and joy -- especially now. And if you’d like a personal cheerleader, ShowGirl Temple would love to dance with you in live classes or videos. Click here for deets on Thick Thighs Twerkshop and Bendy for All Bodies Wednesdays with Charlie Sharp, Forever Foxy Body on Fridays with Eva D’Luscious for dance and conditioning at a slower pace, and the ShowGirl Stretch live-stream on Mondays. And please comment below with your gratitudes and celebrations!!!!