Dance, breathe, dance some more…

So you probably know that I’ve become a liiiiiittle bit obsessed with dance again over the past year, but I’ve taken that love to a whole new level with an amazing place called The Academy of All Things Awesome that I “discovered” back in May. Rather than offering aerobics-type dance classes (which I still love btw), they offer weekly classed based on specific artists, songs AND dance types! It all started with a little dancehall class, carried on through a Janet Jackson series, Sean Paul series, a one-off of a killer Robyn tune and now we’re rocking some amazing Beyonce and Yo Bangers classes! It has become a place I go to for exercise, for positivity and to just seriously dance my booty off!

I feel so lucky to have found something I love to do SO much. Honestly, when I started this blog I just kind of thought I’d work through the weeks and see what happened…then, I rediscovered my love for DANCE! It’s not that I didn’t want to continue on with other new activities, it’s just that I love dancing so much I want to do it as much as possible!

When I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis I never thought I’d be able to move again like I can now…seriously, I thought it was a death sentence for my body. What I’ve discovered is that movement makes my pain BETTER. I’ve lost 70 lbs (holla at ya!), re-engaged muscles I haven’t used in over a decade AND my arthritis is better than it’s ever been – seriously, how awesome is THAT?! How amazing to find something you’re so passionate about that makes you feel physically and spiritually AMAZING?! Honestly feel super blessed every day 🙂

So here’s a fun video from one of my favourite classes…a little Janet Jackson throwback! We learn these routines in 1.5-2 hours, and then film them like the rock stars that we are! Each week we learn 1-2 new songs, and repeat the process…never. ending. fun. Tonight, I learned my most technically challenging routine yet (some Missy Elliott in the house!!) and while I haven’t seen the video yet, I know we all KILLED it! Such an awesome way to engage with new people in the community and share something we all love so much! Can’t wait to share more videos with you as these awesome classes continue! XO

Turn away from fear…

Okay, so it’s been awhile…too long, but I’ve been busy trying to figure out how I want to continue with this blog. I was spending a lot of time and energy writing about overcoming what other people had done to me…overcoming the hurt and the pain and the struggles that come with divorce and heartbreak (helllllllo, Ghost Guy) and now that I’m officially divorced (uh huh, you read that right!) and over the shit that that other guy put me through, I’m kind of like – what’s next?! I loved chronicling my search for new passions, and plan to continue with that, but I’m seeking a new purpose. I love writing too much to stop, but I also feel so much stronger today than I have in awhile and don’t want to keep ruminating about the heartache of my past.

So like I said, what’s next? I’m not 100% sure yet, I have an idea brewing (well actually, it’s not just an idea, it’s a plan!) but tonight I wanted to write about fear. I’m heading out on vacation on Wednesday, and got word today from my travel agency that not only had my flight plans changed in a majorly bad way, but I also have a stop over en route down South added to my travel agenda. As I’ve talked about many times in past posts, I HATE flying and these changes rocked me today…I started crying (like seriously crying), and was in the throws of a full blown panic attack for the better part of the day. I was SO upset, and angry and frustrated and then I had a moment of clarity – what a small, tiny, minuscule thing to be upset about in the face of terror and hatred so big that it has rocked the world. When countless people lose their lives every day because of hate so strong that people want to end the lives of others, there is really no room for self-pity about trivial matters. It’s time to turn away from fear and draw on our strength.

We (as a collective society) have so much fear bred into us from our births that we live our lives shrouded in self-doubt and with preconceived notions of what the world should look like. I battle these underlying thoughts, this detrimental head space, on a daily basis – we all do, even if we don’t know it. Whether it’s the idea that we’re supposed to look a certain way, love a certain gender, or practice a certain religion, it takes a concerted effort to shift our minds to a place of acceptance, love and unity – even the best of us, with the best of intentions. At the end of the day, I will just never understand why it matters to anyone else who someone loves or which God they worship, as long as they live peacefully and with love in their hearts. As John Lennon said, “it matters not who you love, where you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.”

I have so much hope for our world, but it’s going to take open minds and hearts to make big changes. We need to teach the new generations coming into the world that hate is never the answer. That one sick person’s actions do not define an entire religion and that there is nothing wrong with loving whoever you want, but most importantly, we need to create a dialogue about how important it is to love yourself first, most and always. I believe as individuals we can accomplish so much, but together? Together we can change the world. XO

john lennonrefuse to follow fearbiggest wall

other side of fearall you need is love