Dance Like No One’s Watching: Lessons from A Year of Transformation

butterfly transformationI had coffee with a local magazine publisher and friend today.  She commented on how much I've changed in the last year. How my talks have become more authentic and real.

“It must be because you've finally realized you're an expert,” she said.

“No,” I said. “It has to do with me becoming me.”

Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the last year has been one of incredible transformation for me.

Fall 2013 was my hibernation period. Newly divorced, I was on crutches for 4 months followed by 6 weeks in a walking boot. Given my limited mobility, I dove into developing my on-line presence, blogging, launching two websites, and writing articles for magazines. I spent a great deal of time journaling, reflecting. But it wasn’t enough.

My Goddess Wisdom blog has always been a cleansing for me, a purging of whatever I am working through at the time of writing. And what I learned last Fall was that I am great at introspection and giving advice. I am not, however, so good at taking it – even my own. So while I wrote blogs about the lessons I was learning, the transformations I was experiencing, it was more from a third-party perspective. As though it didn’t apply to me.

And so, I did not heal. The Universe wanted me to start listening to and taking my own advice. It took me until January of 2014 to figure that out.

January 2014 was a turning point in my transformation. I was no longer dormant, but I wasn’t ready to emerge from my cocoon yet either. For 23 years I had been in denial about my eating disorder. It took a good friend getting in my face and confronting me about it for me to admit that I had a problem. Having learned in Fall 2013 that fighting against the Universe and ‘talking the talk’ doesn’t work nearly as well allowing and ‘walking the walk,’ I dove headfirst into recovery. I hired a therapist, psychiatrist, and nutritionist. And over the course of Spring 2014, they helped me put myself back together. Helped me realize that although I fell apart, shattered, in Fall of 2013, I had the choice of which pieces of my life – of me – I wanted to pick back up. And, most importantly, that I needed to take exquisite care of myself if I wanted to have the opportunity to choose.

About a month ago, I emerged from my cocoon. I’m not quite sure when it happened, what ultimately changed for me. But somewhere along the way I decided to give myself permission to be me. To stop trying to please everyone else and just be. To dance to the beat of a different drummer. And that everything would be okay. If people didn’t like the new me, then I’d wish them well and send them off with blessings. If what I said didn’t resonate with them, they could choose not to listen. That what other people thought about me really wasn’t my concern.

And when that happened, my world shifted on its axis. I started dancing again – my boyfriend introduced me to ecstatic dancing (it’s like clubbing without the alcohol and cheesy pick-up lines). I started belly dancing again. I learned how to revel in my amazing body, learned how sexy it could be. I stopped coloring my hair – grey stripe be damned. I started dressing to flaunt my assets instead of hiding them. I stopped trying to please everyone because ultimately the only person you can please is yourself.

And you know what happened? I started getting compliments on how real and natural I was. How I was so moving and passionate about what I do. About how watching my transformation had helped give other women the courage to do the same. I attracted a wonderful man in my life – someone so different from anyone I’ve ever known before – so refreshing. Someone who loves me for me and appreciates me for who I am rather than what I do. And I started loving my life again. All of it – every bump, hill, and valley.

Do I still have bad days? Of course! We all do. But now when the Universe nudges me, I laugh. I sing. I cry. I dance like no one’s watching. And I learn. Oh, how powerfully do I learn.

What have you learned this past year? Are you ready to emerge from your cocoon yet? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

 

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