This week I posted this photograph on Facebook. I posted it because it struck a cord on many levels. And no, I am not a ballerina, although I do love to dance, and my Latin blood makes me pretty good, if I may say so myself. ;) (Did I tell you that I am 1/2 Cuban? More on this to come later, for sure.)
For me, this image speaks so much of my truth. Call them metaphors for my life, if you will. I will share a couple of them with you here. First, it encapsulated how I felt for years. Talented but less glamorous, a girl, but not girly enough, able but not worthy. I never felt like I matched up to the expectations of the people around me. And yet, I LOVED to dance, And I COULD really dance. I could actually dance circles around most, in fact. However, I would hide myself under boyish clothes because of my low self esteem & felt like even though I could dance, it didn't really count without having taken a single lesson. Natural talent couldn't possibly matter.
I remember the first musical I auditioned for, Oklahoma, at my Junior High School. I must have been 11 or 12 years old. I was in 7th grade. Nervous, knees shaking, and all, I nailed the song. I sang "Maybe" from Annie. Then when it came to the dance audition, I saw some of the cool kids goofing off backstage. So, I purposely was sloppy with the dance steps that the choreographer taught us, so that I would not stand out as a goodie two shoes who knew how to dance without ever having had a lesson. Needless to say, I did not make the cut.
It was the first time that I dimmed my light to not outshine others. And sadly, it wouldn't be the last.
The good news is, I learned my lesson FAST, at least with regard to theater (the other areas in my life took a little longer). I promised myself to FOCUS ON MY DESIRED OUTCOME AND WHAT I WANTED TO GO AFTER AND TO DO WHAT I HAD TO DO TO LEARN AND MASTER AND OWN THE STEPS TO GETTING THERE.
Every musical I did from that moment on, when I was cast as a chorus member, I was also cast as a principle dancer and often placed at the front of the stage - in the spotlight, no place to hide. No choice but to do it full out.
Another sensitive issue that this image triggered for me was with regard to my feet and probably a bit more current.
For most of my life I have had what the podiatrist termed, a juvenile stage of bunions on my feet. Yoga, potassium, hydration & my orthotics help me keep them in check. However, I cannot wear many of the beautiful, sexy shoes I would LOVE TO and that so many other women I know & admire can wear. Well, the truth is, I could, but not without wanting to literally die from the excruciating pain I feel within 5 minutes of putting them on, not to mention the severe charlie-horses, leg cramping & numbness I would experience for days later. Sorry, but TOTALLY not worth the agony.
The first tenet of yoga is to do no harm - that includes to myself & in this case, my feet. This photograph made me smile and helped me see that I can stand up with the best of them and have my own style and still be my own flavor of beautiful & sexy. Who defines that anyway? I never believed that beauty needs to be painful, and I certainly won't start now.
So that's what I saw in this image. And I guess that's what they mean when they say " a picture can tell a thousand stories." These were just a couple of mine.
What do you see in this image? What do you hear in my story that resonates for you? Do you dim your light? What gifts & talents do you have that you are afraid to let shine?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Post them in the comments box below and let's get the conversation started.