Exactly six months to the date have past since my last blog entry and I'm truly in awe of all that has unfolded since that time. Triumph, loss, victory, and grief have all been in my company as I made my way through the summer months. It’s been a remarkable journey that has left me with so much to integrate and grow from. There were times when everything felt as if magic had blessed me and times of severe loss that almost broke me down completely. It's taken up till now to for me to begin sharing all that has unfolded.
To start, this summer brought amazing milestones for my performance career. I was called to perform at two festivals, both within a week of one another. The first asked me up to perform three fire spinning slots, one of which ended up being the most powerful performance I had ever felt up to that date. It was the first time I was able to channel the presence of an audience through my movement and deliver something bigger than myself. It left both me and the crowd in awe and lit the fire (pun intended) for even grater work to come. Right after that festival I traveled to a town called Nelson for a week of rehearsals in preparation for my next performance. The stars aligned for me to create and execute my first ever dance-only solo piece for the opening ceremony of BC’s second biggest music festival. It was a huge benchmark in my dreams and goals to work alongside such talented performers and musicians. I still bow my head in honour for it was more than a dance piece, it was prayer and performance merged as one.
Two days after returning from that great high I had to say goodbye to my best friend Balto, a husky mixed dog who walked along my side for almost a decade. Just thinking of him brings me to tears but I hold to the lessons that he so graciously shared with me over his life. Presence and passion, along with the utter resilience to shake anything off with a smile were some of the gems that my canine sidekick left me with. My family and I were blessed to have the vet come to our home to assist the transition. I stayed beside my buddy in prayer for the entire morning, preparing the place on the earth where he would take his final breath. Life will never be the same without him but the impermanence of life pushes me to live my fullest every single day.
Through the spring and summer months I truly saw how one of the biggest teachers in our lives are relationships. Some can push us to new heights and others can break us down beyond recognition. Over the past year I went through an incredibly challenging interpersonal relationship that tested the very fabric of my being. From a place of pure love came so much pain and disillusion. Things got physically violent in the spring and the unfolding left me in a place of deep hurt but also motivated me to express the hardship of life through my art. After doing my best to accept my faults and move forward from the event, the individual came back into my life. Despite my better judgement I allowed myself to fall in love again only to result in more pain and heartache. A mutual mistake was turned into ammunition, aimed at me, and fired back, leaving me speechless and empty. I found out a couple weeks later that a relative of mine was poisoned by a substance that has been taking the lives of many in Vancouver. I was in a state of emotional paralyses from everything, and when I asked for space from the person who had given me the most painful runaround of my life, it was ignored and instead I was shamed publicly for returning an item that was not mine to receive. All these events felt like a layer cake of emotions that I was unable to digest at once. I had my sights set on moving forward but was clouded by a trauma in a deep way.
With the immense pain of the spring and summer’s events came a withdrawal into mental patterns that had me heading down a self-distructive path. I could feel something was wrong inside of me but just had to watch myself trip and fall. I knew that I had to maintain a space of unconditional love for myself to not add any more difficulty to an already challenging situation. This method proved to be successful and after a few weeks, a couple good cry sessions, and the love and support form my friends and family, I started to feel like myself again. As you can see life offered me a very intense ride that pulled me away from writing and sharing my experience. I learned however that the only way to get over trauma or pain is to share it honestly. That sharing can happen on the outside but the most important person to share with is yourself. It was only after I was able to take a calm breath, look at the whole situation of my pain, and the pain of the world, that I was able to move past the trembling hands and into a place where I could do something about it. We must all be patient with ourselves and catch when we are moving at a rapid pace, only distracting our minds from the hurt child that lies beneath the surface.
There’s more to share but I think I might be loosing you at this point. Sending love to you all and I pray that each of you take some time throughout your days to sit or lay down in stillness. Check into how you are feeling and if there is a tendency to keep the gears in your mind turning, hold a space of compassion and patience for the child inside that wants to be seen.