And then finally.....
In 2010, I moved back to Vancouver. Now I had the safety net of my family, (thank you Mon & Dad for welcoming me back home and not charging me rent). I could finally focus properly on my health.
The game changer is still one of the biggest gifts I have ever received.
The Dancer’s Transition Resource Center in Vancouver supported me with a therapist who specialized in working with dancers.
FINALLY! Someone who understood my training and my conditioning! Who understood how I had developed my fears. What a relief!
And she could guide me back towards healing. Back to myself.
My A-HA moment came when I understood that the source of my challenges was: ME.
I thought my injury was a small physical thing that I needed to fix and then I would be okay and dancing fine! However, the problem was created in my mind.
That’s really when my healing began – in my mind!
Taking Back My Power
Remember that little voice engrained in my dance training: you’re not good enough. Yeah, she was loud and fierce. I let her get the best of me.
I had been sabotaging myself with my negative thinking and refusal to believe in myself.
I had allowed myself to believe that I wasn’t good enough, and that was reflected in the way I constantly hid as a dancer.
I was giving up my power by waiting for validation from everyone else- teachers, choreographers, the audience, critics and even the mirrors in the studio. I needed to take back my own power, to decide FOR MYSELF who and what I wanted to be.
I had to stop comparing myself constantly to everyone else (what a waste of energy!). I needed to take responsibility and focus on myself.
I had to learn to set my own goals and develop a healthier way of working towards them.
I needed to own my self-worth. I learned that deep-down, we all feel that we are deeply flawed. It’s human nature. But I could let go of this. I am as worthy as I choose to be.
I had to stop allowing my fears control me. I thought that I was a worse artist because I had more fear than the people I compared myself to. But this only meant that I had more fear. It was a simple as that.
So I decided, enough was enough! Enough with perfectionism! Enough of tearing myself apart! Enough of holding myself back so that I wouldn’t stand out.
It was time for a new way.
My Own Light
Looking back, it was no wonder I kept getting injured over and over again. With my obsession with perfection and no-pain-no-gain attitude, I was literally destroying myself from the inside.
I had invested so much time and effort in believing in my unworthiness and in my fears. Imagine what I could have achieved if instead, I had used all that energy to believe in myself and to focus on doing good work?
It was time to let myself make mistakes. I had to learn to take the risk of failing.
Most importantly, I learned not to be afraid of my “darkness.” Those places I was most afraid to go deep within myself? It turned out that they were full of light. Hidden there was all my artistry, all the wonderful things about me as a dancer and an artist.
I accept that this was my journey, and I resolved to make the next chapter better.
The result: slowly but surely, I was able to gracefully put one foot in front of the other.
I started dancing again. I was making great work.
I thought I was on my way! Halleluljah, this period was behind me and I could live freely from now on!