I was feeling compelled to share more of my dance story in hopes that it would help and inspire others out there who were holding themselves back from dancing - whether it was because of body image or other reasons.
I poured days of time and energy into preparing and sharing my “dance-inar” that went live Wednesday night.
And after all of that…. the curtains closed (meaning, the video session ended) and there I was - alone at my desk.
I didn’t hear from many people during or after the class. I didn’t get any immediate sign ups for the dance program I shared at the end of it.
I felt exposed and even embarrassed and worried that I didn’t really make a difference at all. Maybe I offended someone or just bored them.
After processing some of these feelings, I picked up one of my latest favorite books - What We Ache For by Oriah Mountain Dreamer - and read this excerpt from the chapter on “Being Received.”
“When we put our creative work into the world we sometimes feel as if a piece of ourselves is exposed to potential rejection or acceptance, praise or ridicule. But we are wrong. As important as our work is, we are not the work we create. If we can keep and cultivate this perspective, we will be less likely to become attached to achieving material success, to having our work acknowledged or received in a particular way.
“I take it as a necessary part of the process that I feel a deep sense of attachment to the work I am currently doing. [...] The work I have created often feels like a beloved child. But when the time comes to let the work be received, I need to let it go and let it make its own way in the world.”
I’m learning this lesson with every dance video, dance-inar, or blog post I put out in the world.
And it’s a good reminder before starting a new creative process next week in the You Can Dance Again program. (And by the way, there now are people signing up for it - and today is the last day for registration if you’ve been thinking about it!)
And that’s the message I wanted to pass onto you this week:
Love your work deeply, put your heart and soul into it, and then release it.
Allow it to be received.
You can’t control how it’s received, and you might not immediately - or ever - know how it’s landing for people, but that’s ok.
Don’t let it stop you from creating again.
Your job is to follow that creative impulse inside of you and trust that if something is wanting to be expressed, there’s a reason for it.
Tell me -
Have you ever put something out into the world and felt like hiding afterwards?
Share in the comments below so that we can all help each other feel a little less alone in the vulnerability of it.
And then, keep creating.
with you on the front line and behind the scenes,
p.s. If you missed the whole “dance-inar” experience on Wednesday, I encourage you to watch it here, and pass it on to another dancer in your life who might be letting her negative body image interfere with her true passion for dancing.