Just Dance!

Gothic_Lolita_Dancing_by_Gluttonygh0st

DAY 103

My dance teacher sat behind the desk and looked up from the print out of my yearly results. I had asked him if I could dance. I had meant did I have the results that would allow me to take dance as a major. I was holding on tightly to the wooden chair I sat on. My fingers were crossed. My legs were crossed as well. I’m fairly sure that I held my breath as I waited for his answer.

Until I had enrolled in the college I hadn’t had much formal dance training. My sisters were ballet dancers and I had taken the odd jazz class here and there. But I loved dancing. It was the thing I was most passionate about. I had picked up a dance minor as part of my teaching degree, and had worked hard to ‘catch’ up. I was fascinated by contemporary dance history and spent hours in the campus library immersing myself in the lives of inspirational dancers like Martha Graham, the mother of contemporary dance.

I spent weekends studying dance theory and every chance I could I stole time in the studios practicing my technique and rehearsing for practicals. If I would have slept in the dance wing of the college if they had let me.

But in spite of my passion and desire to be a dancer, here I was sitting across from one of the heads of the dance school waiting for him to decide my fate.

I was waiting for this man to give me permission to dance. I was waiting for him to give me permission to follow my dream.

Sometimes the person we lie to the most is ourselves.

We become very clever at blaming the world and those around us for whatever has stopped us from chasing our own dreams. The world and the ‘others’ are the architects of our own failings. If only someone had believed in me. If only someone had believed in me enough.

Somehow we convince ourselves that we have no responsibility for our lives and ourselves. It’s easier to live with ourselves if we have no control over what happens to us. We abdicate responsibility and wait for someone, anyone, to take control and give us the green light.

Perhaps you are telling yourself that you can’t achieve your dream because the world is against you and you never seem to get a break. You always seem surrounded by drama. Your family is a daytime soap opera. Your friends are always having a hard time. The dog needs an operation…and you are tired. Way to tired to follow your own heart.

We talk of ‘someday’, of ‘tomorrow’. We think of our dreams being reliant on something unattainable. If I just had more money or if I just had a better job with a better salary, if I went to a better school, or if I was with someone else.  If I just won the lottery then I could follow my dream.

So the truth is that if you are waiting for ‘someday’ then it will never happen. If you are waiting for someone else to give you the resources , or hoping to win the lottery to make your dream a reality, then you roughly have a 2,521,090 to one chance in Australia. I’m guessing that it’s higher in Western countries with much larger populations.

If you are waiting for something grand to arrive on your doorstep tomorrow, then don’t hold your breath.

Because it’s already arrived.

You arrived a while a go.

You are in essence the ‘lottery’.

You have within you all of the resources to create an extraordinary life. Within you is the ability and the strength to make your dream a reality.

You are all you need at first. And further down the track, as your life unfolds, you are still the essential ingredient to your story.

Who you are, what you believe about yourself and the world, and how you choose to be every day is critical.

You don’t need someone else to give you permission to follow your dream or to make your dream a reality, because you already have permission.

That day my dance teacher looked up at me when I asked him if I could dance. He smiled slightly as if he was confused.

“Do you want to dance?”

I nodded.

“Then you don’t need my permission to dance.”

No I didn’t. I don’t need someone else’s permission to be who I want to be in this world. Neither do you. Stop waiting for the package to arrive. The one that you think will make everything you have been waiting for magically appear.

Open the one that you already have.

Start changing your world.

DANCE!

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” 
― George Bernard Shaw

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Share It Forward Sunday

DAY 101

This is an oldie but still an extraordinary speech from an extraordinary man. I hope he inspires you in your week ahead and to make the decisions you need to make to follow your heart.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Things I love Thursday

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Ahhh, it’s been another beautiful week. So many things to love, so little time! Things I have loved this week: Easter at my sister and brother in law’s farm; beautiful star filled skies, copious amounts of chocolate, talking with family around a massive bon fire; moments with precious friends over a good cup of tea; fresh rose buds from a friend’s garden; laughter in the office; sleep ins and snuggling with our grandson ~ he’s way too adorable! Finally finding a pair of Mary Janes – nothing like brand new shoes! Being wrapped up in the hum of conversation at a local cafe eating fruit toast and drinking the best creamy latte; extraordinary moments with my sons, Jaz and Paris, who just always seem to know what to say and when to hug me; painting butterflies; a string of yummy dinners at some really good little restaurants; Finally watching Saber in Fate Zero; planning and plotting our next film shoot for It’s Japan, Man! Jars of sweet smelly candles; the first cold foggy morning blanketing the city across the bay; feeling deep love.

“It’s a powerful thing to know yourself and your own uniqueness.” – Global Events

5 steps to have the cutest fun night in with your girlfriends!

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Whenever I feel a bit blah, I make time to hang out with my girls.

They always put a smile on my face and make me feel human again!

So if you are feeling a bit down or you just want to try something new with your ladies here are some really cute ideas for a fun night in. They are guaranteed to make you giggle, your tummy ache and have you feeling pretty awesome in no time!

The 5 steps to a cute night in:

  • Decorate! Set the scene. Whether it’s your bedroom, your friends house or your family lounge room~you need to decorate!  Yes, this may mean balloons, flowers, coloured napkins and glitter! One of my friends is amazing at finding decorations that just transforms the room. Things like paper lanterns, or floating butterflies make it special and create an expectation for the night ahead. Whatever your theme is, create a world for your girls to walk into. Strings of fake diamonds, bubbles, coloured scarves, faux fur rugs and pillows…Make sure you prepare a themed music list too, and line up some key movies!
  • Get dressed up! There are a few cute ways you can do this. You can invest in a onesie. I have Stitch and a very pink Hello Kitty onesie that I love. My husband has a Totoro and a panda. Our collection seems to grow every Winter! They are so much fun and really it’s hard not to feel both warm and cute in them. However, if you are not up to transforming into a fluffy being, you could theme with colours, characters or movies. Have a super heroine theme, or break out the bunny ears and tails. Everyone could wear purple and gold, or load up with (fake) diamonds and tiaras! Have a Frozen event, with plenty of iced drinks and icy themed clothing. Dress up in your best gothic lolita with cute skulls and deathly patterned skirts. (yes skulls can be cute too!)
  • Yummy food. Ask everyone to bring something to share. Then make something together. You could bake some cute themed cup cakes with plenty of sprinkles and edible glitter, or make some adorable snacks like the ones you would find in a Japanese Bento Box for kids! You can also ask everyone to prepare something for a take home party bag. Someone can organise the bags (themed of course!) and you can all add items like tiny bottles of nail polish, chocolate frogs, magic wands, cheap eye lashes, manicure sets, little bottles of champagne…well you get the picture!
  • Cute activities! Start with a pedicure or manicure. Paint your nails with crazy colours or head to your local chemist or KMart and pick up some nail art and extra bling with nail crystals and wild stick on designs. These are so much fun and not too expensive. Make sure you have a few bottles of champagne and some fresh strawberries to add to the excitement! Dance! Pop on some music that you can all dance to, or a great movie. You could make it a game. Every time someone burps, or swears or says someones name the music is pumped up and everyone has to do the bum dance or the mexican wave, or milk shake! Expand the night into a pyjama party with your favourite soft toy or pillow and animal slippers. Perhaps your girls are up for a trial make up session on each other? You can teach each other your favourite make up tricks, or buy some cheap wigs and have fun styling new looks!
  • Photo shoot! Get out the cameras and the iphones. Set up some funky music to pose to and take pics of each other. Add some frames, some sparkles and hearts then post away on Instagram! (There are some awesome apps available now on itunes). After the event print some photos off, pop them in a frame and send them to your girls as a reminder of the day or night.

Hope you all have an adorable evening with plenty of kawaii (cute) and fun!

We Sat

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We sat together. Side by side.

We had been sitting like this for nearly an hour now.

We cried. Softly. Almost silently. Into the emptiness that yawned out in front of us.

We looked at the garden beyond. Our eyes focussed on the wooden backyard fence in the distance.

Our minds numb. We knew that the world continued beyond the boundary.

We knew that time wouldn’t stop for us.

It ran ahead, busy with the rest of the world, abandoning us, immune to our cries.

We sat. Together.

We sat alone in our hearts. Alone in our worlds wondering what had happened. How did we get here?

What did we miss?

We sat and searched our memories.

How did this poison leach into our breath?

How did it seep into our dreams?

“I promise it will be different.” he said

I believed him. I wanted to believe him. So I did.

I smiled. “Okay.”

It was better that sitting here crying. It was better than feeling hopeless.

My heart was tired. Mascara blackened my face. But I stopped shaking.

“Okay.” I said again.

My son took my hand and smiled.

And we sat.

Together.

For a little longer.

We Sat, Original Poem, Carol Espinoza, 21 April 2014

Share It Forward Sunday

Today I thought I would share a clip from an interview series with Brene Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

It is a small section of an extraordinary interview with Brene on her work on vulnerability and her book Daring Greatly. If you haven’t read her book you might like to check Brene’s TED talk out on Youtube. She is both inspiring and challenging, but above all her work encourages me to think that I am enough, and know that I am good enough.

Hope this kick starts your week lovelies!

Gala Darling Challenge # 5

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“Throw yourself head-first into a creative project. Something that you’re excited about but which feels a little too big for you. You’ll be so consumed by it that it will fuel you for ages.” – Gala Darling

I love GD Challenge Days!

Sometimes I have to think about how I might achieve the challenge for the week. Today was pretty simple though. I have been looking forward to this one so much.

I decided to start my Radical Self Love Bible today.

The first task was to go shopping for a journal that I could draw, write and paste pictures in. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You ca pick up some great journals from the $2 shops or KMart. If you are a bit more flush with cash you could head to Smiggle or Kiki K.

I got a great journal and then had heaps of fun in the craft section of KMart picking out lots of crystals, stars, stickers, and tape from the scrap booking section. Who knew that craft stuff could be so addictive? I also found some good Derwent water colour pencils, some paintbrushes and some really great textas and pink highlighters. I think I also managed to snaffle some sparkles and glitter…but shhhh.

Then I settled down on the couch with my journal, art supplies, scissors, magazines, glue and a respectable supply of chocolate for an afternoon of creative bliss.

If you want to start your own journal you might like to subscribe to Gala’s Radical Self Love Bible school here. She will send you weekly instructions every Sunday and give you plenty of inspiration to create a journal that reflects your own unique style and has you falling in love with yourself!

Are we having fun yet?

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I sat was sitting on the floor building a tower out of coloured plastic blocks. My one year old grandson kept picking up my carefully constructed towers, breaking them apart and throwing them on the floor again. Every time the blocks bounced against the floor boards he erupted into a fit of giggles. Apparently it was hysterical. Our whole afternoon had been like this. We had built things, chased each other on the floor, cuddled, sung at the tops of our voices, read books and made plenty of mess. In between we stopped to investigate the contents of the fridge for something to eat or take a breather for a bottle of milk.

There was no reporting, no stress, no goal to achieve by 5 pm. Just Cruz and I hanging out together. Just the two of us rolling around on the floor giggling.

I have to say it felt a bit weird at first. Like I was trying on someone else’s jacket.

It wasn’t that my six ‘to do lists’ had vanished. I had just given myself permission to step off the roller coaster for a day. And once I stopped thinking about all of my life goals and tasks, and stopped feeling guilty that I wasn’t diligently ticking them all off, I surrendered to the bliss. I sank into the present and I started to have fun.

Hmmm fun. Remember that?

We often talk about a rage of key factors that support a healthy lifestyle and positive mental health. Things like having our basic needs met; a home, good fresh food, exercise, education, access to medical care and some form of work where we can contribute are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy human being.

We know we need to feel safe and connected. Having a sense of belonging to our families, friends and our community helps us to feel that we matter, that we have a purpose in life and a tribe that we not only care about but we belong to. When we give something back to our world, beyond our normal daily work, it boosts our own mental health and our connection and sense of belonging to the world we belong to expands.

I often talk about how acts of kindness have a way of benefiting you as the giver way more than the person or people on the receiving end. These things help us to stay positive, to seek the goodness in the world and to connect with like minded people in our community.

However one of the things that seems to be missing in the equation is having fun. It’s as if we have forgotten to enjoy ourselves. We are so busy ticking of the to do list or the bucket list or chasing our dreams that we have forgotten to stop and have fun. If we’re not having fun, what exactly are we living for?

Frankly it’s exhausting. I don’t know about you, but it seems like even though I am making my dreams happen, achieving a lot and ticking plenty of those boxes I’m often tired and grumpy…and oddly a little sad. There is something not quite right when you are looking forward to the weekend or a day off just so you can sleep. How un-sexy is that? Woohoo! A few extra hours in bed not being woken up by the alarm clock.

So, as I lay in the pirate tent with Cruz, snuggling with the pirate bunnies and teddies and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with our hands in the air, I realised that I could learn a few important things from my little grandson.

  • Laugh. Loudly. And Often. Laugh as much as you can. Every single day. If you get to the end of the day and you haven’t had a good giggle, then make time to watch your favourite comedy or Youtube your favourite comedian. A day without laughter is pretty much a day wasted.
  • Be curious and explore. You don’t need to have everything sorted. You don’t need to know everything or have an opinion on everything either. Ask questions. Read. Talk with other people. In fact it’s much more fun when you haven’t got all the ducks lined up and you’re slightly out of control.
  • Step off the roller coaster (and the guilt) and breathe. Hang out in your garden…for hours. Step away from the housework, or the office. Lay on the floor and read all day. Hang out with people that make you giggle as often as possible. Go out with your girlfriends and do a cafe crawl (similar to a pub crawl but with coffee and cake!) and talk.
  • Watch how kids find the fun. Ever noticed how children instinctively seem to find the fun in almost everything they do? When the milk gets spilt all over the floor, it’s hysterical. When they fall over, they laugh. When it starts pouring with rain, they jump in the puddles instead of getting grumpy. When something supposedly goes wrong, or isn’t quite right try breathing and laughing instead of imploding.
  • Celebrate. Rock on. Party. Find reasons to celebrate with cupcakes. PUMP the music up and dance…yep even in your office. Sing loudly and often in your car. Party with your friends at least once a week. Party in your own way. Go out to that burlesque show, hit that Latin night club, find a cool and quirky cocktail bar, have a BBQ in your back yard, or organise a onesie sleepover with movies and pop corn at your place. However you party or celebrate make it happen! Enjoy your achievements. Enjoy having friends. Enjoy being here, right now.
  • Surround yourself with the ‘fun’ people. If you are struggling to wake up your funny bone, hunt down the people that always seem to be having the best time and enjoying their lives. Make them your mentors, or your role models. Watch what they do throughout the day and how they turn challenges into bliss.
  • Finally, give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy your life. Remember that life is pretty awesome when you are having fun.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans…” Beautiful Boy, John Lennon

Things I love Thursday

easterOne of the things I love about Easter is hanging out with the people that are most precious to me; my family and closest friends. Easter marks the start of colder weather at this end of the world. Day light savings ends, the last of the humidity vanishes, and the we spend the long weekend eating and talking and watching movies together after spontaneous chocolate induced afternoon naps.

So many things to love this Thursday: my grandson hanging out in his bear suit~incredibly cute; interviewing some creative Japanese artists and musicians – such kawaii; freshly baked hot crossed buns with real butter and endless hot cups of tea; red sparkle cup cake surprises on my desk from the most precious cup cake faeries in my life! Loud and crazy family dinners; plotting and planning holidays and weddings…much romance, such excite! Yummy fish cooked by my mother in law who can transform anything into a schnitzel! Sweet smelling candles; late night cuddles and kisses with my love; exploring volunteer opportunities in my neighbourhood; cosplaying…because I can; hot coffee and long chats into the night with my precious friend; buying beautiful exotic tea cups and matching saucers – old school and so much fun; traditional lamb roasts; brightly wrapped chocolate Easter eggs and Greek biscuits; laying in bed reading…*sigh*

Share It Forward Sunday

Wow! There have been so many stories and articles that have inspired me to be a better person and create a better world around me this week! I have wanted to share all of them! Here are a few to inspire you lovlies!

First up is an extraordinary story about a homeless man who is a beautiful writer. I always stop and try to do something, for people that are homeless, particularly young people. Whether it’s buying a drink, or donating a few coins, something is better than nothing, because you never know what their story is.

I also wanted to let you know about A Mighty Girl’s facebook page. Their aim is to inspire the next generation of history makers and they are seriously awesome for anyone who works with girls or has girls in their lives…all of us right? They are full of resources, books for girls, inspirational stories about extraordinary women throughout our history or currently making a difference today. Well worth the trip to face book land 🙂

Happy watching and viewing!