Find your signature hue. The world is a blank canvas, and YOU can add all the color your precious heart desires. Hold the paintbrush in your hands and find the color that defines you right now because 5-10 minutes from now, it may morph into another, equally beautiful hue. I can hear the young dancers state their fairy wing color preferences of the day…
“Pink with Sparkles!” “Every color in the world!” “Blue with yellow polka dots!” “Purple with black swirls!” “Rainbow!” “Green, orange, and blue with pink flowers!” “No! Wait! How about…!”
Now Paint! Without overthinking, without second-guesses. Just paint, add pigment, throw in water, and mix it up. This is YOUR painting. The finished product will always hold a special place in your life’s gallery.
Touch the stars. They are tiny windows to the universe. They bring us out of darkness, and seemingly shine when we need them the most. They glimmer with hope, love and promise. Even when we think we can’t reach one anymore….we can. Go ahead. Touch them. And remember they are not always in the sky. They also shine through those around us.
Dancers up on their toes, arms lifting as high as they can reach. Reaching to the ends of their fingertips. They close their eyes and feel the heat of the light. A spin may follow as their arms extend even higher. Smiles seems to grow with their stretching. They are shining in the moment, just as the stars encompass the world in its moment.
Sing your admirations. Loud. From your heart. Like you are singing for thousands.
Uninhibited Joy unfolds as we play a favorite song in the class. Grabbing our scarves, we sing as if each was the only person in the room. Turn on your internal microphone. Crank up the volume, because this is YOUR song. It that touches your soul and moves your spirit. Sing!
Imagine. Envision. Get lost in the story. Pretend.
That’s all the pre-ballerinas require to get-away…a mind with imagination not quieted by negative internal ego. With their wheels turning, they visit oh so many places, they create, and innovate. Inspiring.
Pretend you are whoever you want to be… right now. There’s no one saying “you can’t do this” because it’s YOUR place to visit…in your head.
DANCE without inhibition, with abandoned enthusiasm. Shake it out! Feel the music, dance from your inner core, and within your soul. Feel the energy you are creating.
My hearts overflows while we dance together. I am entertained to the core. The young ones move without apprehension, they jump and turn with JOY, they don’t carry any burdens in that moment. The music is on and they must DANCE. They MUST dance. The music is ON!! 🙂
These are Five unassuming, important skills I learn every class…
in a dance studio bursting with the future of this world
and giftwrapped in a tutu.
“Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad” – Proverb
Yes, as in crazy or “Cray. Cray,” as the kids call it.
We are all dancers on this earth. We reach ups and downs, we bend over backwards, we turn from one place to the next, lift our arms up, put our heads down, then twist and we turn. We jump. We run, run, run and stop with our arms flailing about… If that’s not a “dance” I don’t know what is.
Of all the “dance shoes” I’ve worn in this life, the mom pair has to be the most exhilarating, most challenging, most “drive you to a place you never knew existed, drive you mad, tug your heart, 24-hour lifetime channel movie, soap opera, overwhelming, and simply JOYful experience” I have ever had.
Whew. Let me breathe for a sec.
Children (and husbands) do have a way of putting the “OY!” in JOY (sigh). You know what. I wouldn’t change ANYTHING. Motherhood may drive you to your wits-end or bring you to your most vulnerable place but it’s an ADVENTURE and I personally happen to love adventures. Motherhood is where you can tap into your inner strength, your inner beauty and things you never knew you existed within you.
I have danced on many stages in my life with audiences of all sizes, but the audience members that mean the most to me, are those tiny little toddler hands that clap and say “yaaaay” or the double-digit, emotion-filled boy (wanting to be on stage next to you), or the handsome teen-sized eyes that look at you, smile and say “sup mom.” That’s MY audience. They may not always applaud feverously, toss roses my way, give 5 star reviews and yell BRAVO… but they are there with hearts full of love and possibility. They need me. They love me, all of me, flaws and all. There’s a popular proverb quote out there that says this…
“If you stumble, make it part of the dance.”
That is my “mantra.” I’m certainly not a psychologist, but I guarantee that even with the most well thought out plan… you will stumble at times. (For me, I stumble more often than not, but again… if you make it part of the dance… DANCE it out sister!) So let’s crank up the music…
Boom. Ba da doom. Ba da doom boom the room. Do you hear it? 🙂
ME: “Baby’s sleeping, try to keep the noise down.” Boys get louder. I calmly repeat “Baby’s sleeping, keep it down please.” Boys get louder. Me (at the top of my lungs) “I SAID. BE QUIET. BABY’S SLEEPING!!!!” (Look who’s shouting now!) Followed by baby cries (because I, yes me, I woke up the little one).
Ahhh, Chicka, Doom, Boom… Music’s still playing.
Toddler in the bath, older child in the shower. All is good. Husband runs to store for milk. Toddler says, “Wook, mama, wook!” (as he holds up an object). Hmmmm how did a “tootsie roll” get in there? WAIT! That’s not a tootsie roll! “Yucky!” I say, as I grab “object” and immediately remove toddler from “toxic area.” Older child is now done with shower and curious. Looks into tub, sees foreign object and proceeds to “toss his cookies.” Really? Really?!! Mom proceeds to put both kids in shower for a soap rinse, dry PJs on, and then cleans mess. Husband comes home, looks at me with my disheveled frizzy, hair and wet clothes and says…
“What the heck happened to YOU?!!!” 🙂
Whata, whata…whaaaaaa…Can you still hear it?
Fast forward to a morning commute to school. Baby is still sleeping. So is Daddy (It’s my turn to drive). Boys are knee deep in the morning routine. “Grab your backpacks! Turn off the lights. Pick up your clothes.” Normal stuff. We head out on our driveway (which snakes down a large hill through some woods by the way). Moments after accelerating, remembering there may have been “freezing rain” in the forecast. Duh. Is school even open? Car catches the frozen rain, veers right, then left, sideways, and completes a 360 at the bottom of driveway, barely missing a tree. My heart is beating. Fast. There’s a short moment of silence followed by loud, cheers from the passengers. “YEAAAAH. Wooohooo! Mom’s got SKILLZ.” Why yes. Yes I do.
And the beat goes on…
So get out there…MOM’s and dddddDANCE! Work the floor, show YOUR audience what you’ve got, hear your own music… and take a BOW baby… YOU deserve it.
This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!
I’m not a psychotherapist — I don’t even play one on TV — but I can comfortably predict that, in your life, whether business, family or personal, there will be not so good days and moments. You can’t avoid them, no matter how hard you try. The successful person, however, trains him or herself to take those dark times learn from them and “Bounce Back!”
We watch children fall down and encourage them to get up, brush themselves off and try again. Why is it so hard for adults to do the same? Have we been knocked down too many times? Are we so weighed down with worries that we can’t get off the ground? How do we change this negative “mindset” and soar to new heights?
This thought occurred to me while watching my kids on the neighborhood trampoline. “Watch, Mom! Watch this!” Their faces beamed as they jumped a little higher each time — the little one kept looking up, probably afraid she was going to hit the sun — and then they flipped over and landed on their feet. Then they directed their attention toward ME: You want a turn, Mom?” After several “not right now” responses, one day…I surprised myself by saying,
Sure. I’ll “Bounce” with you for a little bit.
I tentatively started to bounce in the air with small little jumps, and then soon, I was bending my knees a little more to get just a little higher, when all of a sudden I LAUGHED…OUT… LOUD…This is FUN!! My children were startled but my inner child had taken over. She grabbed onto my consciousness. Briefly I let go of worry and bounced. JUST Bounced!!! Hey! Maybe I can reach the sun. I was no longer hiding behind the curtain of life.
We will all hit hard places or surfaces in life and business, but how we “BOUNCE” back from them will make all the difference. So use the word “BOUNCE” as your reference to remember these key tenants of your thriving life:
Believe in yourself.
Own it. (Own your ideas, good and bad).
Understand (your background, your audience, why things went wrong or right).
Never give up. (Keep Trying).
Courage (Stand up with all the courage you can muster).
Enthusiasm (Use your heart and your childlike wonder to get enthused).
So BOUNCE a ball around, step in the bounce house, bounce on a trampoline and BOUNCE on!!
Are you ready to jump back in the game of life with me?
YOU are capable of rising above, you can DO THIS. Keep BOUNCING!!!
Every one has an inner super “Hero” within , but I never realized that going to a sweet Disney movie with my kids would teach me to tap into my own inner “power.”
It was a lesson of forgiveness and self-worth to me.
A lesson in strength.
Super “Hero” strength.
“Let it go” is a beautiful song (from the Movie “Frozen”) about being “true to you.” Disclaimer: Once you hear it, you won’t be able to stop singing it, especially your kids. 🙂 For me, it is a reminder to LOVE myself again and exemplify that LOVE to my children. A reminder to keep the volume of those negative voices turned down (because they always seem to find a way through the cracks of my soul); a reminder to stop holding things inside.
I equate much of that “stuff” to the reference of a “closet.” We can keep shoving stuff inside, until you can hardly shut the door. Pushing it down; pushing it in to keep it shut. Then finally it won’t shut, the door comes FLYING open! And BAM! There’s an explosion of emotion! A Beam of LIGHT!
LET IT GO!!!
As my 3 year old daughter dances around singing the song with her precious little voice, she engages her imagination and smiles as she waves her hand like “Elsa” in the movie. I join in… turning to the right and reaching my hand into the sky, turning to the left as I toss my “magic ice crystals” higher.
LET IT GO!!!
As we grasp our hands together, turning to the sounds of the beautiful music. I can FEEL it. Stirring up from within… what is it? JOY! Pure unadulterated JOY!
LET IT GO!!!
Warm yourself in the light…
Soothe your spirit…
DANCE… in the beaming light of hope and…
Release your inner power. Be a hero and LET IT GO!
The sweet, clinking sounds of music notes to your ear…
“Ting, ting, ting” or maybe it’s more like a “CLAAANG, CLAAANG, CLAAANG!”
No matter how the “bell” sounds to you… It’s time to RING in the New Year. Okay. So it’s January 10th. The “new year” has already been “rung” in. True. But ever since my daughter pulled out Great Gram’s bell on New Year’s Eve, I’ve been thinking about the significance of BELLS throughout my lifetime. So yes, we did. We literally RANG in 2014!! (Insert applause, bell ringing, cheers and an enthusiastic Woooooooo”)
Now the work for “2014 Pam” starts. Every year there is a theme for “New Year Pam.” This year it is about moving forward, one step at a time. Yes, we may step back at times, but as long as we keep moving. We are dancing!
Dancing with “bells on our toes” to this thing called “Life.”
Back to “BELLS.” Have you ever noticed that the actual sound of a “bell” ignites a physical reaction? Sometimes bells ring to start something, while others ring to end something. That moment when the sound waves hit your eardrums, your brain tells you to MOVE. Do something.
DING. DING. DING. Round One. You can feel the adrenaline as you “fight” to get it right so you aren’t knocked out.
BRRRRING. The School Bell. (A timer of sorts) Class has ended. Pack up your books and move to the next one. You have 5 minutes between class. Move it! Pretty soon it will ring again for the next class. (Note: I realize some schools have more of an electronic beep sound these days, but let’s keep it to the “old school…school bell”)
Ding, Ding. Ting. Ting. DOOOOOONG. Doooooong. The Grandfather Clock. I’ll never forget the sound of my parents old clock. It would ring on the hour the amount of hours it was. As a child, we always looked forward to the 12 o’clock hour. Why? 12 Bell Dings!
LIBERTY BELL – “the iconic symbol of America’s Independence” I am most certain that sound was incredible to hear. Isn’t that why we always say…. “Let Freedom RING!”
CHURCH BELLS/WEDDING BELLS. Musical notes and chimes permeate the air with celebratory sounds.
Other bells to ponder:
1. The much anticipated BELL to ring at the end of a cancer patients final Chemotherapy.
2. Bar bells (the clanging of a much appreciated tip) or the completion of a drink special.
3. The goal oriented BELL at the top of a rock wall.
4. The ting, ting text message ring from your teenager… saying “I LOVE YOU, MOM”
5. The sailor-like celebratory clicks of your heels (referred as bells in the dance world)
6. The sweet little bell that rings on your Christmas Tree that reminds you of the line from It’s a Wonderful Life. “Every time a bell rings… an ANGEL gets its wings.”
BELLS are all around us.
To start something. To end something. To send a message. To celebrate. To call us to action.
They are ringing right now. Can you HEAR them?
This is my new favorite song to sing and dance to. I happen to love the inspirational lyrics as well. So please, stand up and get on the “DANCE FLOOR” of LIFE with me…
-Wake Me Up (Lyric Video) by Avicii