Music. Healing. Matisyahu.

In June of 2016, I had the pleasure of taking care of one of the sweetest families ever born when they were in the hospital having their second child, a boy. I remember both of the children’s names to this day. I’m telling you, this couple and their kids were some of the most beautiful spirits. Their smiles and positive energy are forever etched in my mind and made my life better in the day that I got to care for them. The other nurses who were lucky to get them in the days following me talked about how amazing they were too. Everyone wanted to be their nurse. The Dad commented that maybe they’d run into me at the Farmer’s Market, but so far, that hasn’t happened. I look for them though, and think of them often, with a smile on my face.

They were playing music in their room. At one point, when I had gone in to check on them, I really liked the song that was playing and asked the woman who it was. She told me and confirmed it by looking at the playlist on her phone. I played it cool, but barely knew what she had said, and I didn’t move my pride aside long enough to get the clarification. So I went home that night and googled it: modest yahoo. Hahaha!! Luckily, google figured it out for me and gave me my answer: Matisyahu.

Little did I know how much I needed Matisyahu, his message, and his music in my life. For the next almost 3 years, he’s helped me through a lot in my life, namely my total life transformation, the discovery and awakening of my true, higher self, my leap of faith out of my RN job in the hospital, my journey with my own business which is essentially my career of surrender and faith, and the immense amount of healing work I have been doing for myself, my family, and my ancestors.

On May 5th, I saw Matisyahu live for the fourth time. I manifested it. One morning, I said out loud that I needed to get to that show, and by that same afternoon a friend had texted me about volunteering in exchange for a free ticket to THAT show! I was thrilled to be front row and nearly center during his performance. When I listen to music, I hear and feel the lyrics. To me, Matis lyrics speak of the changes that we as the human race need to make, so that we can all live in a world of peace and acceptance. A lot of his lyrics are spiritual in nature. I can relate to the things he sings about in such an intimate way, because the human experience is ultimately a shared experience of awakening to our limitless potential. To get to that state of realization, usually we experience a lot of hardships. The plot is not unique to any of us, though the specifics of the stories vary.

Our words are our bond. They are powerful and should not be said or thought lightly. They greatly impact our lives and the world around us. It is no different to express words that we have created ourselves or to walk around singing someone else’s song lyrics. Be mindful of what you are consuming and repeating. The shows we watch and the music we listen to are vitally important, because when we’re doing those activities, our minds become open to suggestion. It’s why companies pay so much for commercials on TV and radio. The thoughts we think become our reality. Pay attention to the music lyrics you’re consuming and walking around repeating out loud or in your head. Once you look at music this way, listening to the radio takes on a whole new meaning. I was in a Lyft recently and every song that came on in a succession of 4 or 5 songs was about the person giving up their power, being a victim, and submitting to something outside of themselves. Music is heavily influenced as an industry. Consider choosing music that lifts you up without selling you material things, a certain lifestyle, or a victim mentality that leaves you seeking help from outside of yourself. The music played to the masses over the radio is most noticeably influenced, because it reaches the most people, but all music has the ability to sell a message that keeps us living small.

How is the music that you’re listening to make you feel? What messages is it sending you about life or about yourself? Would you be OK with the lyrics you’ve been walking around singing manifesting in your life? If not, it’s time to find some new music.

I actually walked away from music at the House Music Festival in Chicago several times yesterday, because they started playing things with words that just did not feel good to me. Our subconscious minds pick up everything we take in, and more so when it’s put to a catchy beat. Start paying attention to how TV and music make you feel and the kinds of messages planted in them. It’ll open up your mind in such a big way when you start paying attention.

Music has the ability to lift us up and get us through tough times. It has the ability to align us to our spirit. It has the ability to connect us all in dance. The next time you’re out at a show, consider putting your phone away and joining in the dancing. Life is short to spend it taking video the entire time of the fun going on around you. Join in. Dance. Risk being seen. Risk looking like a fool. Those of us dancing aren’t thinking about you. We’re enjoying life! Enjoy it with us!

Thank you for reading along! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. You can also catch me over on IG and FB for more content. Much love to you!

Watch Michael Franti and Spearhead‘s “Love Will Find a Way” HERE

Fleeting Moments

Grief. It’s a tricky thing. I didn’t realize how much grief I had stored in my body until recently when I went and saw the movie “Five Feet Apart”, followed by crying at Rob Bell’s ‘An Introduction of Joy’, an amazing purging of emotions during a craniosacral therapy session, and followed today by nearly bursting into tears as I watched a little three-year-old boy in front of me in line at the grocery store. Isn’t that the way with grief? It comes up at the most seemingly unlikely of times. It hadn’t even been on my radar and then BOOM, there it was, over and over and over again.

I’ve asked for this. I’ve asked Source and my higher self to help clear out anything no longer serving me. I ask for it every time I shower. I ask the water to heal me and cleanse me of any energy or way of being that is no longer serving my highest good. Enter in emotions that have been stored deep within me being brought to the surface and into my conscious awareness to be healed once and for all. The things that have been coming up have caught me a bit off guard. It’s been from patients in the hospital who died on comfort care during my time of taking care of them. It’s come up for the loss of my father-in-law as his birthday just passed. It’s come up today for the grief I feel as a mother of a child who is growing and changing right in front of my eyes.

I have felt like my grief is sitting in my chest in a conglomerate of sorts, all jumbled up together in a ball of burnt, shredded and dismantled rubber from a tire that has blown out on a highway. It’s all there, melted together. Actual deaths and suicides of friends and family. Figurative deaths of my marriage, of my old self who processed everything as best she could at the time, the loss I feel from each year that my son grows and morphs into his next round of humanness. Relationships come and gone. Jobs come and gone. Places come and gone. Some things hit harder than others, even in my new understanding and beliefs of how this all works and the fact that I don’t believe any soul ever ‘dies’.

My experience and grief is relative. I do not mean to downplay or gloss over other kinds of grief by expressing my own experiences. I left the grocery store today in tears about my son’s growth, recorded a video about it, and then learned that a friend suffered a miscarriage. It only further reiterated the fragile nature of life and the importance of our appreciation and presence in all of the moments.

My grief was pushed down and avoided when I went to work or school and was trying to function in the world as I felt like crying, but put a smile on instead. When my sadness overcame me in the form of depression and wishing for death, I still had to find a way to live in the world. That dichotomy consumed me at times. The mask I wore nearly suffocated me. Can you relate?

I almost did that today. In fact, I suppose I did do that at the register as I watched the two young boys in front of me and awaited my turn to check out and pay. I dared not completely lose it and breakdown right then and there as I waited to pay. I saved that for a few moments later for when I expressed my gratitude to the Mom that I had remained in line behind her and her children after she had told me I could go ahead of her. I cried. I cried as I spoke of my son and his crocs and the fact that he was now nearly my size, and the fact that the time had moved so fast. I cried on my way to my car, got to my car and cried some more. I know from experience that this wasn’t only about my son. This was just a path of least resistance to have me open up and release years of grief stored within me. Tears have the power to cleanse us. Tears have the power to heal us, yet often, we hold them back.

I found myself basking in the ever present fleeting nature of this life, all the moments, and all the people who have crossed my path. I recorded this video in that moment. THIS is why I live the way I do. I have taken care of a patient in their 20’s on comfort care with AIDS, surrounded by their twin and rest of their family during their final moments of life. I witnessed and stored the pain felt by their family within my body. I nearly lost my own life with a baby at home depending on me for nourishment and love. While I am aware of my infinite, spiritual nature, I also know that in this body, in this time and space, I only have one shot to make the most of it. My pain has fueled my passion. My heartache has fueled my love. I would not be who I am without every single experience of my life, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I don’t know how else to say it. Please allow other people’s stories to impact yours. Please snap out of the sleep you’re in and start living life to the fullest. Please enjoy the small moments, because they are in fact, the most important moments of our lives.

It’s a choice to follow your passion or go along with the status quo. It’s a choice to remain asleep in victim consciousness or to wake up to your full power as a co-creator in this life. It is a choice whether or not to remain present during all of your moments or to check out.

In my life so far, I have lived both ways. I have seen how feeling like a victim affected my life and I am a witness daily to the way that realizing my power to shape my reality has positively transformed my life. I know what I will continue to choose.

I will choose growth, expansion, and healing. I will choose placing my priority on my energetic vibration and my alignment with my higher self. I will choose to listen to a nudge from my intuition over the loud voices of the people and institutions surrounding me. I was asleep and desperately trying to numb my feelings and the energy of those around me for most of my life, and I will not go back to that way of being.

I will do my best to continue to do the real ‘adulting’ in this life which I believe is to say that I will do my best to feel my feelings in the moment. I have learned that when I feel feelings as they arise, they are much easier to handle and process. I have learned that feeling my feelings now means that I won’t store them in my body to process later or to have them surface as dis-ease or pain at a later date. I know that our feelings can overwhelm us. I understand why we’d oftentimes prefer to shut them off entirely. But what I have found is that those old feelings will hold us back in life until we feel and heal them once and for all. After all, energy is never destroyed, it is merely transformed. Unfelt feelings and trauma not dealt with only lead to pain, dis-ease, and suffering later in life.

I have learned that when I show up fully in my life, that my challenges stop creating stigma and start being a path for deeper connection and understanding with other humans. When I choose to open up in full authenticity and vulnerability, I find others who have had similar experiences to mine. I also find that giving myself the permission and space to open up gives others that same space and freedom. Everything starts with us and creates ripple effects outward. I think what we all really need is just the reminder that we are never alone in our struggles. That there are common threads that connect us all. Remember that we never know what someone is going through, so it’s critical that we treat people kindly, always. Remember to treat yourself kindly as well. This life isn’t a rehearsal. Are you present in your moments? Are you doing what you came here to do?

Thank you for being here on this journey with me. When I started this blog in 2017, I could have never known the freedom that it would give me to show up fully in my life. Writing here has helped me remove the compartments that I used to sort the various areas of my life into.

If you liked this post, please like and share it. In that way, we can create further ripple effects. Feel free to follow me on IG and/or FB for more content. I will be posting the video I recorded there as it won’t upload here. Sending you much love!

Let’s Erase the Stigma of Mental Health

Seriously. No one should feel bad or ashamed, because they go to a therapist. We need to erase the stigma surrounding mental health in this country.

When I was battling severe depression, it was doubly exhausting to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders as I felt the need to hide my issues from others. Anyone with depression knows, it zaps your energy enough to then put so much into keeping it all a secret. But at the time, it felt necessary for me. I felt ashamed and less than because I was struggling with a sadness so severe that I could barely function. It made me have an anxiety attack once just to go and talk casually with a potential new employer about work I really wanted to do for them, because the thought of having to be ‘on’ and ‘sell myself’ was THAT overwhelming. It was also no fun to be on the verge of tears literally all the time, yet still have to go to work and hold them back. I avoided talking to people. I avoided phone calls. I avoided as much life as I possibly could. I always worried that my secret would be found out, which at the time terrified me. I felt like I was broken.

Just taking the steps to find my first therapist was daunting. But that step ended up being crucial to turning things around. I went to someone who had me try loads of natural supplements and even a SAD light as I was living in a rainy, gray Oregon winter at the time. When none of those worked, we moved onto medications. First Prozac which helped me immensely at the time. Then there became a need for less side effects, so I saw a psychiatrist to have my meds adjusted. Moved onto Wellbutrin. Then eventually landed on Lexapro. The names of medications don’t really matter, because they’re what I needed at the time. I write this for anyone else who has struggled with depression and has taken multiple medications before finding the ‘right’ one. There was a time when I thought I’d be taking Lexapro indefinitely, because of how my doctors believed my Lyme Disease was affecting me.

You are not alone. Many of us deal with mental illness and most don’t talk about it. I’ve been able to move past my years of depression, with appreciation that I’ve experienced such lows in my life. Those things we’re most ashamed of tend to connect us the most deeply with our fellow humans. This human life can be really difficult. We aren’t taught positive ways to cope, so we end up getting completely overwhelmed when challenges inevitably arise. If you’re like me, then you may relate to the fact that I used to internalize everything happening around me as something that was my fault. As a child growing up in a tense household, I took all of the negative energy on as my own and it was the start of my depression. I felt confused, alone, and unlovable.

It is my hope that in sharing, I can help remove the stigma for just one person currently being challenged by mental illness. You are not alone. Do not be ashamed of needing to see a therapist. It’s brave of you to take that step and you should be proud of yourself for recognizing when you need help and asking for it. I know none of it is easy for you.

Know that many therapists will offer a sliding scale if you lack insurance that covers it. Don’t let money stop you. There are ways. If you’re a student, check in with your school. One of the best counselors I ever went to was at the community college I attended for nursing school. She was in training, but she was the best for offering practical and positive ways to cope with my stressors at the time, which was my health crisis.

Know too that you might not find the ‘right’ therapist for you on the first try. I have been to several and they are not all the same. I’ve had some that were a good fit and some that were a terrible fit. I was once so overwhelmed with life that I asked my therapist directly for positive coping mechanisms to get me through the stress I was feeling. She didn’t offer me any that day, and I never went back to her again. You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re not having a good experience with your therapist, trust yourself and find a new one. Of course be mindful that you’re not just sabotaging it, because you never wanted to go in the first place. But your therapist should help you feel better overall, and you should feel safe and heard.

Pay attention to your intuition or repeating messages. Is a particular office calling to you? Do people around you keep mentioning the name of the SAME therapist to you? Do you keep seeing an advertisement for a particular therapist over and over? Follow those leads, because your higher self is guiding you. Trust it.

Thank you for reading! If you like this post, please like and share it. Follow me on IG and Facebook for more positive content and perspective on life. Much love!

I Hope You Live Louder!

This is what I want for all of us: that we live louder and shine brighter! If you don’t know it yet, living a life 100% true to yourself, and in touch with your higher self, your soul, is part of what is going to shift the energy humans are bringing to the planet. Being our authentic selves is a big key to healing ourselves and in turn, humankind and the planet. Learning to love ourselves and others unconditionally because we look at everyone with compassion for their human experience.

It sounds counterintuitive when we’ve grown up feeling the need to blend in, the need to be like everyone else so that we don’t get made fun of and rejected by our peers. We’ve been programmed to buy certain things so we can be a certain way. I get it. I’ve grown up with the same programs. I’ve been systematically working to break them down. Changing our thoughts is paramount to changing our lives and in turn, the world around us. How many of us live without peace of mind, yet wish we had peace on the planet? How many want to see others happy, but we are not doing the things that create joy in our lives? It all starts with us on the individual level.

Our lives shape us in a way that is completely unique to us, and it’s by design. Everything is by design to get us to wake up, to realize our limitless potential as powerful creators in this life. I would not be who I am today without EVERY SINGLE THING I’ve experienced.

For instance, I am a good writer, because I used to write letters to my friends and family all the time! I wrote when I went away to college and when I was working in remote camps studying wildlife.

I have such a grateful view of the world because I got so sick that I almost died.

I love my body so much, because even with everything that it has been through, it allows me to do the things I love like hike, swim, and dance. There was a time when I didn’t think I’d be able to do any of those things again.

I was able to create playlists for ecstatic dance with such a huge variety of musicians, because music is what I turned to in my darkest moments. It’s also because I got recommendations along my path as I moved around as a wildlife/fisheries field biologist for the better part of 10 years. Music has been my fuel.

I was such a compassionate nurse in the hospital, because I’ve been the patient for so many years. I know the things I needed to hear when I was scared and in the hospital, so I was able to speak those things to others.

I laugh loudly without a care for who might hear me, because I have spent many days alone sobbing hard and wishing my life would end.

I appreciate wild places extra, because I grew up watching in horror as local mountains were excavated to make way for mines and highways, and smokestacks from steel mills appeared to create the clouds.

These days, I am quick to speak the feelings I have for people, because I have lost many dear friends at young ages. I know that more time is never guaranteed to any of us.

The list goes on and on. Our lives shape us. There are things that make us uniquely who we are, and those are the things that we’re meant to strengthen and share with the world! None of us were created to live small, quiet lives! The world needs you to feel as comfortable as you can being your true authentic, and vulnerable self, so that you can do the work and help shift our reality in a way that only YOU can! Show up and get to shining! It’s time to spread your wings and fly! And it’s time for all of us to make room for each other by holding space of unconditional love and acceptance in our hearts. Nothing good comes from not accepting other people for being different than us, just as nothing good comes from us hiding our true selves from the world!

I can tell you from experience that the more you cultivate the love you have for yourself, the more you won’t care what other people think about you. The less you care about what other people think of you, the more fulfilling your life will become. The more fulfilling your life becomes, the brighter your light will shine. When your light is shining bright, you provide light in all of this darkness to light your way to living your soul’s purpose, and to be a light for other people to find theirs.

The magic in my life happens when I’m acting as a lighthouse for others. I inspire you by following my joy and living a louder life. You in turn start following your joy and living a louder life. You inspire someone else. We create a ripple effect this way.

What kind of ripple are you currently creating with your life? Is it negative or positive? Are you complaining and gossiping all of the time, or are you living with gratitude and lifting others up with sincere compliments and unconditional love and acceptance?

The change we want to see in the world really does have to start with us. I want to live in a world where we care for each other like family, where we love and accept people for who they are, where everyone lives with equality and experiences the same opportunities, where we lift each other up and encourage each other to shine brighter every day! You’ve got this one life to live. Are you making it count?!

Thank you @tduckster for posting this today!

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it.

Find me on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration! Reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com if my words resonate with you, and you could use some intuitive guidance and healing energy to further align you with your soul’s path. It’s my passion to help others live their best lives! Much love to you!

Listen to Matisyahu’s “Thunder” HERE

Spiral of Healing

When this gorgeous orange cat showed up meowing at my front door at the end of October last year, I knew he had been sent to me on purpose. I had literally cleared my heart and spoke my intention into the Universe that our next dog would arrive at our door a day or so before. My son was dying for a dog here. I decided I was ready if the Universe thought it was good for us.

Fast forward to a pet communicator telling me that this cat was an answer to my prayer and a powerful healer here to help me not worry because things were all working out. Here to remind me to keep me collecting as much joy as possible.

I didn’t understand then. I didn’t feel like I needed a powerful healer. And then the last month or so of my life happened. This cat came to be with me NOW.

Nothing major has happened. I’m like many others on this planet right now who have been cycling through some tough stuff welling up from my past. You know…the bit of a roller coaster clearing cycles we’ve been feeling in recent months. All just being brought to the surface so we can finally heal and move forward completely with the new energy we’re able to tap into now.

Abandonment wound. I have one. From my research, most of us might. Can happen in childhood when we feel abandoned by our parents emotionally. Can happen when a parent leaves and doesn’t have anything to do with us. Can happen when a significant person to us dies. Can happen when a lover leaves or a divorce happens.

What I’m realizing is that it’s my big thing, meaning the big thing that’s healing in me every time one of these waves comes over all of us. It’s what I was healing in my last relationship.

I thought I was done with it. It got triggered recently, but almost as soon as I did, I realized that I wasn’t feeling the emotions of that moment, but instead of moments past. You’re probably feeling some things from moments past too, because I’m hearing that a lot from other people. It’s not just our moments past that we’re healing now, it’s our parent’s moments and their parents etc etc. It’s important work. Tiring work. So naps might be needed or earlier bedtimes. Crying might happen. Extra self care and love is needed.

What I’m being shown is that it’s really all about learning to feel what we feel when we feel it and allowing those feelings to flow how they need to. I know I put off a lot of feeling from when I was a kid experiencing things I didn’t really understand. I made up stories in my mind about what was going on and why. And I’m realizing that that’s OK that I did that, but now, I’m stronger and able to deal with those issues. They’re coming up to feel now. Sometimes it’s obvious as to where my feelings are coming from. Luckily, our triggers make things known, so we can feel and heal those old wounds. Amazing to be grateful for triggers. Never thought I’d write that sentence. If we feel these things, we’ll release them and they won’t have a stronghold on us anymore. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that to release what is coming up to be healed right now.

If you’re like me, your mind might get satisfaction in looking up traits associated with abandonment. Did you know that serial monogamist relationships in succession without break can be a form of self-medication? Guilty. We’re all human. Me, you, that person who drives you crazy. We’re all doing the best we can with where we are and we’re healing as we go. We all have lessons to learn and we all have things that need healed, or we wouldn’t be here. You are not alone. I know that for me, reading some of the things that go with abandonment wounds added clarity to my life and also reminded me of how far I’ve come.

Stop right now. Take a deep breath in. Think of the last year and all you’ve come through. Take a moment to feel good about how far you’ve come. Sending you so much love as we continue forward on this spiral of growth and expansion. We have not begun to move backwards. We’re simply digging deeper, so that more suppressed pain can be released to make way for even more light. Hang on. This all holds purpose for all of us.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. Sending you so much love!

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The Pain Before the Transformation

I am living proof that great pain can lead to massive transformation.

I spent much of my life as a peacekeeper and people-pleaser. I put the peace of a space and others’ well-being above my own. I became a sort of chameleon, changing in small ways to try and reduce tension in my house growing up, and later as a way to keep other people comfortable. I had an innate sense that if everyone around me was OK, that I would then be OK too. But I wasn’t OK. With each concession I made to create less waves, I moved farther and farther away from my true self. I didn’t notice it at first and couldn’t have predicted the level of depression and dis-ease that changing myself for others would cause someday.

When I found myself in a loveless marriage where I was lonelier than I have ever felt in times where I have actually been alone, I ignored what my heart was telling me. I had been so adamant about creating a family for my son, to be a happy, intact family that I hadn’t experienced, that to follow my heart meant to leave that dream behind for all of us. So, I ignored that knowing sense that I felt. I buried myself in raising my son. But it could not last forever. Eventually, my heart grew weak and nearly stopped working and I found myself at rock bottom. In one fell swoop, my health was taken from me, and I nearly died of heart failure. An emergent heart surgery later and I slowly began to find my way back to myself.

The recovery felt fast at first, until it became apparent that my heart condition was going to be a recurring theme in my life. Doctors had trouble figuring it out, and so they did what they could to ward it off with a steroid bandaid in the form of prednisone pills.

There are lots of parts to this story, but the take away is much more important at this point, for me and for you.

1. Stop putting yourself second to the wishes of others. Humans are fickle beings, and won’t stay happy for long before you’re feeling the need to do more to feed their happiness. You don’t have the ability to make anyone else happy if they themselves haven’t found a way to cultivate happiness in their own life. We can add to another’s happiness, but we are not responsible for creating it.

2. Stop changing yourself to fit in with the people around you. In the end, you’ll feel like a shell of yourself, plus you’ll soon realize that they’re not your people anyway. Who wants to hang out with people who don’t love you for being 100% yourself? The chameleon game is an exhausting one. You’ll find yourself eventually losing yourself and wondering how it happened. It happens in small, incremental changes you make in yourself to make others comfortable. You likely won’t realize it’s happening until you’ve forgotten even the basics of what you like to do for fun, and who you are at your core.

3. Stop doing things that stress you out, like really stress you out. If you’re in a relationship that adds more stress to your life than happiness, don’t feel bad about putting yourself first and leaving. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone by staying. Life is much too short to spend it with people who don’t light you up. Same goes with anything else in life.

4. Stop doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It’s not only the definition of insanity, but it won’t get you into a different life that you’ve been imagining for yourself. If you want something different than what you currently have, you’ve got to be willing to move out of your comfort zone and do new things.

5. Start putting yourself first. Do things that make you happy, that bring you joy. What have you been putting off that you really want to do? What steps can you take towards doing it now? Start saying no to things you don’t want to do.

We can use our experiences to guide us in life or we can use them to feel like victims. The choice is ours. If you’re stressed, or sick, or not living your best life, it’s time to look at the areas of your life that are no longer working for you. The days of being a people-pleaser, peacekeeper, and martyr are over. The time has come for us all to realize our limitless potential to create a life of our dreams. Life is much too short to continue to wait for someone else’s permission to fully live! Give yourself the permission you need to go after your dreams like this is the only shot you’ve got!

I am passionate about using a mix of intuitive Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching to encourage others to follow their joy and passion towards living a life in alignment with their soul’s purpose (ie. living their best lives). Guiding others in this way and offering the confirmation that they need to follow their dreams lights me up like nothing else! Please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram for more written content and impromptu FB Live videos. If my words resonate with you, please feel free to reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com to tell me about it! I love connecting with people!! Maybe you have a topic you’d love me to write about?

Photo excerpt from “Life Visioning” by Michael Bernard Beckwith

Thank you for reading along! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it with others. Much love!

Dance Like No One is Watching!

Edward Hernandez

I have always LOVED to dance! It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do ever! I started off dancing more in my life in the Fall of 2017 when I decided to stop waiting for people who would be open to going and seeing live music with me. So, I just decided to start going solo. That began with short trips to Santa Cruz when I saw that a funk band would be playing. One of my best days over there was in early 2018 when I combined my first time surfing with a night out dancing (you can read about it HERE). When I was in my 20’s, I was never afraid to be the first one on the dance floor if I liked the music. Then along the way, because of the people I began to hang out with, I was made aware of the fact that there are people who will sit on the sidelines and make fun of the people dancing. It surprised me. So I became more shy about dancing. I could literally hear what was being said about the people dancing, and if I did dance, I worried that people were talking badly about me. In college, I went to an amazing school where I didn’t feel like I had to be any certain way. All bands that came to campus, all music being played were opportunities for ecstatic dance for me, because I danced however I felt the urge and truly danced like no one was watching. In that case, people weren’t watching, because they were also dancing however they wanted and were too busy having fun to focus on me. It was FANTASTIC! I think that’s where I learned to dance and be free in my skin. I am so grateful for that experience even more now that I realize that not everyone has experienced a truly safe space to freely express themselves.

I have been so blessed in the last few months to get to go dancing a lot, solo, with friends, and on a few dates even! It has given me so much joy! I’ve decided that I am going to make even more dancing a priority in 2019! I had started ecstatic dance in my town last Fall, and it was so much fun! People enjoyed having a place to go to dance however they felt moved to, away from people constantly invading their space, and free from spectators with cameras and snide remarks. When that project dissolved for reasons not in my control, I sought other ways to add more dancing to my life. I visited a yoga studio holding ecstatic dance and I began to seek out more live music again. I’m not too proud to say that I also dance a lot around my house, alone. But there is definitely a unique energy that comes from a crowd of people dancing to a band, or even a DJ that doesn’t compare to doing it alone at home. I get so energized by crowds of people coming together for the sole purpose of having fun and dancing. I have been a part of full dance floors of people, and I have been to shows where no one was dancing. In 2018 to present, in the times when the dance floor has been empty, I have thought back to the person I used to be who didn’t care what people thought of her when she was the first one on the dance floor, and in those moments, I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and DANCED! You know what always happens when I do that? Other people eventually join me and start dancing too! It has been an especially fun challenge to force myself to be the first one dancing since I decided to stop drinking alcohol entirely last summer. Having a few drinks to build up ‘liquid courage’ and getting on the dance floor first is one thing, but doing it after only chugging water is quite another. Try it! I find that I sweat so much while dancing that even if I drink water all night, I still wake up feeling dehydrated!

One thing I’ve realized is that until recently, I hadn’t dated someone who liked to dance as much as me. Granted, my relationships have generally looked like this: start dating, stay together for years, and then break up or get divorced. I haven’t really done the “dating lots of people to figure out what I like” thing. I find someone I like, and I go with it. But wow, what a game changer it was to go out with someone who also loves to dance like no one is watching!! We ended up dancing for most of 5 or 6 hours of our first date, and I can guarantee you that no one around us would have ever guessed that we had only just met! I had a ridiculous amount of fun that I want to have more of in my life! Similar to the energy of dancing as part of a crowd, there’s an amazing energy created when two people dance their faces off and act goofy and carefree together for that many hours! I am so grateful for that connection and that time!

Last night, I went out solo to see my friend, Edward Hernandez, play ukulele with a friend of his. You can check him out HERE. The dance floor was completely clear without so much as a person standing on it for the entire show. I stood on the sidelines bobbing my head and tapping my hands and feet for most of it. A lot of the songs were on the slower side. Then, he got to his last song, and said that it was a dance song and invited people to come dance. No one moved a muscle. I thought about it, then I figured why the hell not?! So I pushed past my comfort zone (yes, even now after all of these times, I STILL have that nervousness that I have to ignore), and made my way to the dance floor. You know what happened? I had a lot of fun, and eventually some other people joined me. A DJ played after my friend, and I stayed to dance. I find that every time I get on the dance floor and do my thing in all of my joyful glory, other people want to join in. So even if you intend to dance alone, know that it won’t be long before someone or a whole group of people tries to join you.

If you find yourself staying inside your comfort zone, but not experiencing as much joy as you want to be, then I encourage you to ditch the comfort zone that is holding you prisoner in the camp of ‘I am worried about what other people will think of me’! When are you going to start living life on your terms?! When are you going to understand that this life is a fleeting gift meant to be LIVED?! How can I get you to believe that your purpose is the thing that brings you the most joy in life? Your purpose is not elusive, it’s your ability to prioritize your joy that prevents you from finding your purpose. Do the things that light you up more often, because they will connect you with your soul, and then you will be guided to new people, situations, and opportunities that will enrich your life in ways you’ve never dreamed. What will you be leaving your comfort zone for in 2019? What experiences are you hoping to attract into your life this year that are worth taking some leaps?

If you’d like some extra encouragement and support as you work to find or add more joy to your life, reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmailcom for more information about a combination of Intuitive Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching! I am very passionate about helping others find more joy, peace, and happiness in their lives! It’s a big part of my soul’s purpose.

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Listen to my friend, Edward Hernandez, covering “Dream On” by Aerosmith HERE