Crossovers in life

I learned a few somethings over the past couple of weeks in Dublin. Two heads are better than one. Cycling is difficult when you are in the same lane as all the buses… and no matter how fit you are you will sweat doing it. Talking about what we do is important. Doing what we do with integrity and rigor is essential.

Crossing over is sometimes necessary to transmit knowledge and experience.

I had four hours to explore a piece I have been working on, in the company of like-minded individuals and a stellar mentor. I felt like I had four hours to cure cancer to be honest. I didn’t realize that I felt this way until the final hour. But I am so grateful to this pattern of cosmic timing because by the time I realized, I still had one hour to crossover.

What bothers me sometimes, is how it can feel like every one needs to be placed inside their ‘box’ so that we, as humans, can comprehend the world. It is something that I really feel strongly about because I think it needs to stop. That being said, I remember reading somewhere that we should always question ourselves when something is bothering is because oftentimes the thing that bothers us is something that we ourselves do.

So this is the case here… I put myself in a box. Choreographer. Which meant, at the time, I had to be on one side of the work – the outside of it looking in – and I had to work my magic from this place. Why did I do that to myself?

I wanted so badly to test myself in order to see how I could translate the work, but what I didn’t allow was flexibility in my method. Until I realized, with the help of a fruitful conversation, that up until this point I had only known the role of dancer/choreographer. That all the time I am simply Bianca – no need to put me in a box- Paige Smith. So why would I put myself in this box of whatever I thought a choreographer was and force myself to fit into a method that wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be? I had to crossover and I had to do from within, not out.

My final hour was thrilling. It was so fulfilling and I felt I was able to inject myself into that hour. I was able to mold the time around my method and to physically engage in whatever role or roles I felt necessary to translate my work. What I got in return was a direct energetic exchange with 5 different and equally awe-inspiring people. They affected me physically, emotionally and intellectually. This is what the work does and I was able to receive this exchange without the pressure of creating it. I am grateful for the crossovers in life. I am grateful for the opportunities to take these boxes and build a fort.

Talk soon

B-

Visiting. Coming. Going. Staying. Leaving.

I flossed my teeth this morning. It was very painful and my gums were bleeding quite a bit. A while back, I made a really good habit of flossing daily. It was something I did for myself and it really made a difference to my daily life believe it or not.

Somewhere along the line I stopped. I stopped doing that for myself. But today on the 5th of July I started again. This day is significant in my life believe it or not – I didn’t realize it until I looked at my Facebook memories. A year ago today I moved out of my house and into the house I live in now. Five years ago today a very special person in my life booked flights to visit me and what followed changed my life significantly. And in the present moment today is my last full day home before I head back to Ireland.

It’s a funny feeling, feeling like a visitor in my homeplace. I was thinking about it in my half sleep this morning – that phrase – home is where your heart is. And just reflecting on my journey over the past 4/5 years since Ireland has become a part of my life.

My heart was always in Jersey. Until I discovered Ireland and my spirit soul felt free and light. Being in Ireland allowed me to connect more deeply with the deepest parts of who I am. And since then I have felt my heart was there. So that’s the funny thing – home is where the heart is – my heart and home were in Jersey and then my heart and subsequently my home were in Ireland and this morning it hit me – my heart is in me. So my home should be where my heart is – and I should be able to feel at home in myself.

I don’t. And so because of that I am in a predicament where I feel like a visitor everywhere. And a native nowhere. I spoke out loud this morning a desire for everyone who I love to just know exactly how much I love them. Because it overwhelms me on a daily basis and this is why I find it so hard to come and go. So this is to all of my special friends and family who I know and love:

I wish that you could know, how your being gives me purpose. I wish you could feel the love that I have in my heart and gratitude for your existence that I feel every single day. I wish that I had a million hours in the day to spend with you, talking with you and laughing with you, reminiscing with you and pondering life with you.

Know that I want the absolute best for you and that I want to be able to be a part of your life, in any way that is meaningful to both you and I. Know that I am absolutely terrified of ever losing you, disappointing you or hurting your feelings. And please know that I think the world of you and I appreciate and acknowledge both the life you have lived and are creating for yourself.

I wish peace and joy for you, always.

Why am I writing this? Well because I feel like I have to so that I can let go. Let go of the responsibility, guilt and torture. I am torturing myself and wrecked with guilt every day, hurting deeply every day over things. Coming back home to these feelings is very hard. Leaving before I’ve dealt with them properly is even harder. And staying this whole time while feeling this way has been slightly torturous.

I love being home. I love seeing my family and friends. So so so very much. But I am facing a terrible storm inside every time I am home. And it’s so hard to acknowledge it because it makes me feel like I don’t belong. It makes me feel unloved and uncared for.

It reveals to me how I feel about myself. I don’t feel this way when I am in Ireland. I am never embarrassed of who I am over there or afraid to act how I want to act in case it might make someone else feel uncomfortable. So to come home and feel these things reveals deep revelations to me about my humanity.

The truth is that I am hurting so much to leave this place that I have called home for so long, with these people who I love so much. But I am also hurting to realize that I am not looking forward to the time alone that is upcoming for me. The time apart from the people who have been so invested in me has been such a blessing for me. But now as I return to that I am realizing that I still have yet to fully learn how to use that to become more invested in myself. That is my missing link. That is what leaves me feeling unloved, uncared for and scared to be on my own. It also leaves me scared to return because I don’t want to fall back into the patterns of using my beautiful network to fill the void.

I also have to say some things to some people that I am afraid to say. I am so afraid to speak my mind. Where did this come from? I just don’t know. But holding it in is hurting me. And avoiding these conversations is hurting my relationships. Having this hanging around right before my departure to the Emerald Isle is distressing to me. So perhaps I can find a way to say them here. To some family members I need to say – I wish that you could see how much I am hurting over the new realities and the old wounds uncovered. Because of this I pray on my own for peace in my heart and life but also can’t help but have a desire for things to change for the better. But in truth I am suffering greatly and I hope that you do not take any offense to this because I need a bit of space now. I hope that when I return that we can discuss the things that are important to me without pressure and most importantly with enough time for me to stick around to continue the conversation and for us to work through the consequences together. 

These days I just find my mind to be filled with so many thoughts and plans and schemes in order to fit everything in. I feel so much pressure and then I feel good about myself when I have managed to fit it all in. But the truth is I am longing for the life with balance. Balance with time for me and time for you (all the special yous in my life) and time for making spontaneous decisions and running with the day. It is neither here (Jersey) nor there anymore (Ireland).

This realization hits me deeply. And hard. But letting it go here lightens my load slightly. I follow a spiritual mentor who pulls Angel Cards daily and shares them on Instagram. This morning the card was Meditation. Yesterday the card was Author. There is a message for me that has to do with writing, and with making quiet time to listen to messages that are being sent.

So this morning/afternoon I tried to listen. And all of this was ready to come out. Thank goodness to be honest because it feels so hard to hold all the hurt inside. Lighter. A bit lighter now.

B-

#Onmyown – cheeseburgers

Well this is something I just want to start sharing. Doing things on your own. It’s such an interesting thing in this world the way it is today.

There is a stigma around doing things alone – from my experience anyway. That people will feel sorry for you because you are alone and so that must mean you “have no friends”. “Oh the poor thing, look at her over there on her own.”

Blahblahblah ya know?

Anyway, I was in Dublin on my own last week, volunteering at the Dublin Dance Festival. I had a few days of volunteering and evenings to see shows etc. I had to eat obviously. But I was on my own… oh no.

Bunsen. Absolutely unreal cheeseburgers. How could I not? So walked in there and answered the dreaded question… “no it’s just me”. Got a seat at the bar because I’m a loner and don’t deserve a table. (LOL enjoying writing in the added drama I have to say).

I sat down and ordered my cheeseburger. Immediately went on the phone to call my dad. So at least if I was on the phone then I wouldn’t seem like a poor, sad, lonely gal eating a cheeseburger alone because I have no friends. Had a nice chat with my dad till my dinner arrived but I needed two hands to eat this thing so had to weather the storm alone then.

I sat there, with my own self, and I think I enjoyed it lol. Sometimes when we feel like we are doing something weird its hard to enjoy it but being on your own and enjoying your own company shouldn’t be weird.

The cheeseburger was unreal. Till about halfway through when nature called – I had to pee! Now here is the fascination I have with this idea of being #onmyown – I panicked for a second and I was like oh god – I’m on my own and so what happens if they take my dinner away while I’m gone to the bathroom because they think I’m done! HAHA it might be a bit silly but it was so genuine at the time. Never would have had that thought if I wasn’t having dinner on my own.

I had to take the risk! It would have ruined my meal otherwise because I would have been uncomfortable. So I left and I made it SO QUICK in case I had been burgerled (LOL).

Came back. Dinner intact. Delighted. It’s tough being on my own, but I think I’m starting to enjoy my own company more and more. Being in the studio alone has allowed me to confront/acknowledge/appreciate a lot about myself which I think made the burger experience that much more bearable. More on that later… Thoughts for a rainy Monday anyway.

 

PS. Photo credit goes to the talented Caleb Purcell who has asked me to allow him into my studio sessions – where yes, I am alone, enjoying my own company (sometimes) to capture a bit of the soul of my dance maybe? Not sure what he would call it!

Dancing in the rain

I danced in the rain today. Literally. But there’s something about that phrase – isn’t there a quote that goes something like … learn to dance in the rain? Something like that.

Anyway – it’s such a funny process to go through – surrendering. I experienced it today in such a physical way that it gave me so much hope for surrendering to all other aspects of this life. I’d like to share the story with you. (I’m currently sitting in my cousin’s bed procrastinating on a funding application… so that’s me right now and it’s obviously the best time to tell this story)

I was asked by my aunt to dance in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Galway – with her daughters’ GAA club. So I said yes. I had to do a dance with a Gaelic football. Piece of cake… lol. It was a lot of fun actually. Once I gave up on every thought or desire I had about how the day would go. To be honest I didn’t really have very many but I can name a million experiences like this where I did. Anyway!

We got out of the car and I managed to fit this GAA jersey over my winter coat (thanks be to the forces that be). We made our way over to our spot in the parade looking like a bunch of hunchbacked Michelin men (you know the puffy white man who sells tires?!). We were a great looking bunch anyway.

It starts raining nearly immediately as we start walking towards our spot. It’s not too bad yet but I had a feeling it was going to be that kind of day. The forecast was predicting 100 percent chance of rain and not the kind of raindrops that don’t make a fuss.

Get there and we are standing for about 45 minutes before it even starts. It’s lashing down. It’s freezing. Every single layer of my clothes (about 5/6 of em on top at least!) is slowly soaking. It’s like I realized that this was all completely out of my control and whether I liked it or not I was going to be dancing in the parade soaking wet. So looking back… I obviously decided to just like it!

Enjoyed myself thoroughly and got completely soaked. It didn’t have to be a bad day just because I may have had desires for the day to be a certain way and it wasn’t. You know that process that we go through sometimes? Where we set ourselves up for how we want things to go and then we torture ourselves miserably as we slowly and painfully let go of each desire one by one until either the day is over or we allow ourselves to enjoy it.

Something about the impending doom of lashing rain just allows that process to be instantaneous for me. I welcome these lashings of rain in every aspect of my life now because I am so ready to just surrender and accept every moment.

Today was a great one. And now I’m in bed lucky enough to reminisce about it. No complaints here.

Talk soon,

B-

One Hundred and Eighty.

One hundred and eighty. 180. That’s the number of degrees it takes to shut my bathroom door. My new bathroom door that is – in my new home. 2016 man… what crazy year. My parents sold the house this year so my family home now belongs to someone else. I hope they are enjoying it.

I drove past it last night to go to a friend’s Christmas party. It was weird. But that’s not the point of this post because I haven’t gotten there yet (ie mental breakdown over moving out of my family home… don’t know if I will even have one anyway). The point of this is that I love my new home. I don’t know what I had expected – I suppose I hadn’t any expectation really but I do love it. Mostly because I am home with the people who fill my heart and soul up.

I have some pretty amazing friends back in my Irish home (you know who you are) and one or two (just one really) who is extremely special. SO I am lucky. But nevertheless – there is something so magical about coming home. And especially for the holidays. I am so happy to be reunited with my family. I am also getting tired of leaving so that gives me loads to think about.

But for now I will praise this new home because

  1. It houses my family – they are the best.
  2. My bedroom is on the same floor as the bathroom (THANK YOU JESUS – no more 4 am cardio workouts to prevent myself from peeing my pants)
  3. My bed is still the same bed that I’ve always had. Love that bed.
  4. WARNING- this is materialistic – BUT – you can talk to my remote – So … “Chopped” – ::listening…:: “Chopped” – finds my favorite show. Thank you TV.
  5. It feels like a home. Even though it’s not my childhood home. It is still home.

Now has anyone ever dealt with a door that has to swing 180 degrees to close! I swear every time I go into the bathroom I only push it enough to close it half way and then it’s a struggle. The struggle is so real. But I will learn. Just like I will learn to adjust to my new home. This new time will be different. But it has already been lovely.

Talk soon,

B-

The Universe Sends You Signs…

Can you read them?

Yesterday morning I woke up and decided I was going to go on a holiday alone. To Portugal. To the beach and the water- where I belong. This morning I woke up to this article about traveling in my inbox. What are the chances eh? Completely confirms my choice to book those flights last night.

So that’s it, I’ll be going away for 4 nights to Albufiera on my own! I don’t know I mean sometimes you have to just do things for your soul ya know? It felt SO important to me to do this yesterday, so it must be important.

That’s what had me thinking – here comes the thought – TRUST the feeling. If it feels that important, it’s calling you… the universe is supporting it, even egging it on, so FREAKING DO IT.

As we all know, writing is for my soul. I think traveling is too. I can’t wait to be in a new place and see how it affects my perspective on life. I need it. I need to be connected with my essences (the water and sand) and myself.

You know that feeling when you just need something like you need to breathe? I’ve had that a few times in my life, but today I’m proud to say that I am going with it because it’s good for my SOULLLLLL. Not my career, not my academic pursuits, not my family or friends… me and my soul. And I have every faith that in turn it will be good for all of those other things.

Take time to feed your soul, B. That’s what the Universe has taught me in the past few days.

I am forever grateful for that.

Talk soon-

B-

 

With good intentions

Well they say you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You might look at it longingly, fully intending to not eat too much of it, but eat too much of it anyway and maybeeeee get a belly ache.

This happened to me recently. And the belly ache was SO big it nearly cost me something really important to me that I had worked really hard for.

It took me a good few days to even come down from how upset I was about it and then on top of that I had to somehow learn to move forward and forgive myself for my mistake. I think forgiving myself is one of the hardest things I have had to learn to do in this life. Never mind doing it with compassion. So you know how I did it? It happened naturally – I was reminded of something my Aunt told me once when I was younger – about life in general really. She said to me:

If you ever have doubts, remember why you started…

So I started analyzing it, as I do, but instead I shifted my perspective a bit – and I thought – okay why did I do that originally? Where was I coming from?

Sometimes we need to take a minute to see our own perspective ya know? And be sympathetic to it for goodness sakes! I know it doesn’t change what happened, but for me, the ability to understand and be reminded of where I was coming from healed the wound. I was able to stop punishing myself and start forgiving myself. Not everything has to be so SERIOUS and so GRAVE. Sometimes things can be seen through a more playful lens … taking things and holding them lightly.

I was coming from a good place, with a pure heart and good intentions. That realization felt like a big hug. I needed it, for real.

It’s not easy to forgive ourselves. Never mind doing it with compassion. Just remember why you started and it might help you to see a perspective that reminds you of the goodness in your heart. If you always do things with good intentions, you will forgive and be forgiven.

Thoughts for a Monday anyway.

Talk soon

B-

Spotlight on Dublin Dance Festival

 

Watch that ^. Just watch that and let yourself feast on the beauty of it. This week I have been volunteering at the Dublin Dance Festival  (DDF) and I was lucky enough to be able to sit in on the screening of Alonzo King’s Constellation. Mr. King himself gave a post-show talk as well and what he gave me was perspective.

I am always looking for ways to broaden my perspective and expand my mind. I got absolutely sucked into this work for an hour and a half. I allowed it to soothe my soul, to trigger my senses and to allow my thoughts to wander freely for the first time in a good while.

The dance brought my mind to a meditative place. A place where thoughts could pass while my body and soul were engaged in the passion, beauty and purity of what my eyes were seeing.

The relationship between the music and the movement is what allowed those thoughts to pass – there was a complexity in what I was seeing that connected deeply with me. Mr. King touched upon this in his post-show talk, mentioning that the world we live in is all music and our bodies get lost in music and sound from the minute we are born. What we do as we go through life is learn to shut it out and what he has done here is brought it back to life and to see how life is music. His company looks like the way the world looks, which is something he is very proud of and it shows through his work and his speech.

The most striking thing to me was their absolutely undeniable accuracy and clarity in expressing their movements. It is truly inspiring in a world where we are constantly trying to figure out how to express ourselves, who we are and what is the best way to share that. To see artists who have reached the near pinnacle of accuracy in expressing themselves and their dance, is a privilege.

What my life has revealed to me lately is compounded tenfold in reflecting on this performance: perspective and intention can reveal a lot about ourselves, to both ourselves and to others.

More on this in time. And if you are interested in more about DDF  feel free to check out the program and buy tickets!

Talk soon,

B-

Photo credit: Dublin Dance Festival Website

Stories from my grandfather

What can we gain from those who have lived a length of their life before us? I’m just sitting on the train now on the way back from Galway after visiting my Grandfather for the weekend and I am wrecked. I have been bombarded with information over this weekend without even realizing it! How lucky am I though?

We spoke about every topic under the sun and he shared many thoughts with me, some of which surprised me. He informed me about his youth and the lives of his family who came before him. He gave me a history lesson. A personal history lesson just for me, to add to my sense of personal identity. In my life, times like these are rare. It’s not very often I get to spend a full day with my grandfather, talking with him and listening to him and allowing him the platform to share what has been experienced, lived and thought for nearly 70 years.

So as I sit here I’m thinking about a promise I made him – to record the thoughts, stories and experiences of those who lived before me while I’m lucky enough to still have them around. I need to get a tape recorder. I promised.

But for now the best I can do is share some thoughts. Because I feel enlightened after hearing them and reflecting on them and also because the man wants to leave one clean grain of sand in this world. So let’s see if I can help him.

  • When you hit a slump. Go back to your basics.
  • What matters is not that you fell down, but how you get back up.
  • Hustle when you have to, but realize when you don’t have to.
  • There is something to be gained from every experience you have. Pay attention.
  • If you need to or say you’re going to do something, do it right then and there.
  • My personal favorite for when we are all retired like him: As soon as you see the sun, leave the house!
  • Know who you’re dealing with and deal in their language. (ie. sometimes you have to get crazy when you deal with crazy… ya know? You’d love to hear the stories about that. HAH.)
  • There are certain relationships in this world that are special by nature, if you are lucky enough to have one, recognize it and cherish it.

He doesn’t realize it because he thinks he’s boring me. But I appreciate his company and hearing him share pieces of himself just as much as he does. It’s also lovely to have a bit of home with me over the next few weeks. Even if I don’t see him I know he’s there. It’s a great reminder to us if we ever feel lonely in this world.

Just like the stars. You don’t have to see them to know they are there. Thanks for a great weekend gramps ❤

Talk soon

B-

A steady drip is a good flow.

I woke up this morning at 615 am so that I could drive to Shannon Airport with my roommate (who is an absolute angel by the way) to pick up my Grandfather. He is visiting Ireland for the first time and he will be here for the next 6 weeks exploring the country of his heritage. I am excited for him. I also enjoyed seeing him this morning and having breakfast. It was a moment of pride for us both I think because I was able to show him my house and a little piece of the life that I have worked so hard to create over here on my own. And for him, he was able to see the fruits of my labor and was proud to see how hard I’ve worked.

He said to me that I’ve gotten my drive from my mother… that I’m not a quitter. He knows I’ve been knocked down a bit and so he mentioned to me that he was happy to see how I’ve continued to keep doing what I think is right for me. All that over a few scrambled eggs! Anyway he asked me about all of the things I was doing. Was I still doing Irish Dancing? Was I still working online? Was I still teaching classes? Was I still going on tour?

I told him that basically everything had been put on the back burner since starting this MA because I really wanted to focus on it and get the most out of it. And he said to me “Bianca, a steady drip is still a good flow, a plumber once told me that.”

WELL. How perfect and timely was that for me? I’ll tell you… I was only feeling since yesterday morning… like a bit of a nagging feeling was creeping back in about me not having done 1 million and one things lately because I took some time to relax. I have been giving everything into my course and coursework and doing some projects on the side, all to become a better dancer and performer. So after an evening off, I was already starting to be hard on myself about resting for that small amount of time. And then he reminded me, so casually, that slow and steady wins the race.

It goes along with everything that matters to me in my life right now. Being present, finding my truth, celebrating who I am. We need to just keep going doing what we can right now and doing it well. So whatever you are doing now, so long as you are sure that it is enough for you, then it is enough. And you owe it to yourself to do it to the best of your ability because it will lead you to the next thing.

There is no need to hurry up and try to rush to get to where we want to be. I read once, from a very intelligent person, that “becoming is better than being”. So what’s the rush to be? We are becoming, every second of everyday. So keep on with that steady drip, it’s still a good flow. Eventually you might find that it becomes a full blown stream.

Happy Sunday =)

Talk soon

B-