Taking the Leap

Has fear stopped you when it matters most with your work?

Have you been right there, and the next step you need to take in order to go Full Time scares you out of your mind?

It may be,
Starting your Youtube channel
Submitting your manuscript to a big publisher
Hiring your first producer
Promoting your workshop
Raising your prices on your art
Launching a newsletter or blog

It’s that next level of exposure and action you KNOW you need to take, and yet you find yourself paralyzed.  You may feel like your feet are stuck to the ground.

Have you ever felt this?

And the fear can be intense…
It can feel so overwhelming, and you may be thinking,
If I’m THIS scared, I’m not supposed to do it!
Maybe I’ll just wait…
I’ll wait until I’m no longer scared.
If I’m scared, it must not be right.

So, you wait, and wait, and the fear never goes away…and your dreams of going Full Time are no closer.

How does that feel?
I imagine it can be devastating and really discouraging.

You are an incredible Artist.
You have so much to give and your audience is waiting for you…..
So, what’s the DEAL??

Why won’t the fear GO AWAY?

I mean, things would be so much easier if it did, right?

Wednesday night was a big night for me.  Almost four months after a serious calf injury, I decided to try leaping across the floor for the first time.

I had been back to dance class now two times prior since the injury and each time had felt even more solid, and I was actually really excited. 

Tonight is the night!  I get to leap!

And yet, right before I was about to go, I felt it…Fear.
This was exactly how I got injured in January.  It was the leaps across the floor.

For a moment, I could feel that voice coming up saying,
What if you’re not ready?
What if you hurt yourself again?

Have you ever felt this?

I was scared.  The last four months have been really challenging and I have MISSED dance so much!  The last thing I wanted was to have another injury and be out again.

But, something deeper was with me.
So, I leapt WITH the fear.

And I made it across to the other side of the room. A smile broke across my face, a wash of relief came over me.  My calf was tight, but I was ok. 

I was ok.

I remember in the very midst of my divorce, sitting in front of a Zen teacher with tears streaming down my face, sharing my heartache and weeping as I choked out my deepest question,
How do you let go?

He passed me a box of tissues and then asked me,
Are you ok without him?

This question stopped me cold.  Literally, it was as if a huge shift occurred in my body.

Yes, I was ok.
Yes, I was breathing.
Yes, I had support of family and friends….I was still alive.

I honestly had thought because I was SO afraid of being single, of being without the man I had spent 19 years of my life with, that ultimately I would NOT be ok.

This was unknown territory, after all.

And yet, here I was breathing and alive.
The ironic thing was I was the one who actually said,
I want a divorce.

He had asked for a trial separation, but there was no way I was going to give that to him. He was in love with another woman, and had shared he didn’t want to have kids. AND in couple’s therapy, he didn’t want to look at the deeper reasons he was leaving me.

There was no future here. I knew it, and I knew what the next step had to be, and it rocked me to my core.

So, even though I was terrified of never finding my partner, of never having children…I leapt.  It was scary as hell.

And I was ok.
I am ok. And that ability to leap WITH my fear allowed me to not only find my life partner and begin family planning, but also create my own Art business and find true meaning in my life.

Last week I saw a quote from one of my favorite women in the world, Marie Forleo
Fear isn’t the problem. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is.

And this IS the heart of it.

Whoever told you not to step forward because you are scared, lied to you.

It actually may be the least helpful advice given, ever.
We don’t grow when are comfortable, we grow when we are challenged, face it, and step INTO it.

The reason why?

Because when you are able to take steps WITH fear, you are building your greatest ally,
Self trust.

It took me losing everything to wake up to how strong I actually was.

And trust me, it wasn’t easy, and I didn’t do it alone.

Fear is actually just an indicator that it’s important to you!
Much like family to me, partnership, and dancing!
Dancing is VITAL for me, so OF COURSE I was scared to leap.

And I did WITH my fear.

Perhaps, this isn’t about letting GO of fear.

What if fear can come ALONG on the journey?
What if fear is just here to point to what’s important to you?

Take the leap.
The only way is through.

Fear is not your enemy…it may actually just be waiting for you to make friends with it.  Maybe your fear WANTS to leap across the floor and feel freedom too.

Because when you land there….you will realize, it’s gone.

Just like that. It’s disappeared, and there you are….landed from the air, alive.

You are alive.

The wait is over.

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

It’s Only Us

“So what if it’s us?
What if it’s us
And only us
And what came before won’t count anymore or matter?
Can we try that?

What if it’s you
And what if it’s me
And what if that’s all that we need it to be
And the rest of the world falls away?
What do you say?”

Two weeks ago I celebrated my 6 month wedding anniversary and the anniversary of our engagement.  We celebrated with a weekend in the city seeing two Broadway shows, and then last weekend went away to a very special Bed and Breakfast just over an hour away from us.

It was magical, and I found myself overcome with gratitude for my marriage, and for my husband…this miracle that entered into my life.

Miracle tends to be the word I use, because this union didn’t occur overnight.  It emerged out of a very painful divorce, and an earnest journey of four and a half years where many times I felt like I was banging my head against the wall and getting nowhere.

Have you ever felt like that?

After a 15 year marriage, I was completely disoriented.  I had to first understand,
how the HECK the divorce occurred in the first place
my role in everything falling apart
how to process the enormous anger that was pervading my days
WHY I had stayed in the marriage for so long trying to make it work

And then I had to understand and learn the most important piece,
What a healthy relationship actually looks and FEELS like.

Apparently, there were some huge gaps.

For years, I felt haunted by my patterns.

For me, it all came back to wanting to control the man, so I dated man after man that was unavailable.  It was devastating, because my biggest fear was I would end up marrying someone just like my first husband.  I would honestly think I was making progress, working with coaches, going online, being in therapy….and then after a few dates, I would have the HUGE realization….

Oh my GOD….he’s unavailable too.

It wasn’t until I learned how to be AVAILABLE myself that things turned around.  If I wasn’t in a control state, I was actually relaxed, so when I was in front of my dates, I just checked in to see if I was relaxed.  And if I wasn’t, and could feel myself reaching out and wanting him to be WAY different than he was, then I knew I was in my pattern and it was time to go.

And then I had my first date with my husband.
I had never been this relaxed on a first date.

It was actually mind blowing.

Was this possible?
Could I BE different?
Could I actually be relaxed and open?

Apparently those gaps were closing.  The chasm now had a bridge.

On our third date, we went exclusive, and within a year we were engaged and I had moved down to NJ.

And what I kept coming back to was a moment of amazement at how I FELT in my body with him.  I was changing.

I was recently driving to the train station to head into Manhattan, and was listening to the Spotify playlist I created for our wedding, and on came this song from Dear Evan Hansen, “Only Us”.

I love to sing along to this song, and yet, was overcome with emotion when the words,
and what came before won’t count anymore or matter…can we try that?

I thought of the journey to this moment. I thought of the fear that welled in me for years I would just go and marry another who would break my heart and leave me.  I thought of the fear that I would stay stuck, feeling unfulfilled in my relationships and feeling underappreciated and undervalued.

And there was a powerful question here in the lyric,
can we try that?

For years, I held on to my past for fears of repeating it, and yet, here I am, celebrating six months and more in love than ever.

What if it’s JUST this moment?
Just this marriage?
Just this relationship?

What if I was here NOW?

Because the truth is, I have mined and faced ALL of my divorce.  I have taken down that wall brick by brick to understand. I’ve come to clarity about WHY it occurred and my part in it.

The evidence?
The marriage I have now.

It couldn’t be more radically different.  And the way I know that is how I feel. Waaaaaaay more relaxed.

So, what about you?

Have you felt haunted by patterns in your Art?
Have you felt stuck in relationships that let you down again and again?

What is the relationship you deeply want to cultivate this year?

Is it with,
your perfect producer
your perfect publisher
an amazing band
Your perfect booking agent
the most amazing agent
a team that supports you and promotes you
a raving audience

Take a moment today and LOOK at those patterns.  Do you understand WHY you have taken the same actions again and again?

Do you understand why these relationships have either not happened or have fallen apart?

What if turning TOWARDS them is the answer to you changing them?

Because it’s when we have full understanding, we can make a new choice.  I needed to understand I was unavailable to fully call in a very different relationship.

And I’m sharing this with you, because your career and your success in your work ALL comes down to relationships.

You don’t get there alone.

And the beauty of all of this is,
change is constant.

Once you have clarity around the WHY of your patterns, you can release them.

In fact, that is when you will attract those relationships that have eluded you, because YOU have clarity.  It was never about them.  It was always going to happen inside you.

What happened in my love life actually had an effect on EVERY relationship in my life and allowed me to build a team that nurtures me, and go full time with my work.

You are a whole person.  Everything is connected.

So,
what came before won’t count anymore or matter….

Can YOU try that?

“We can try that
You and me
That’s all that we need it to be
And the rest of the world falls away
And the rest of the world falls away”

What if the “world” you created where you always stay the same is just that?

Learn how to build healthy relationships and watch the old world fall away.
When you are available, your dreams rush in.

Photography: Dag Photo