I remember a time when I didn’t have the time to catch my breath much less dance.
I was an elementary school teacher living in Echo Park and teaching third grade at Rosemont Elementary. Although I was young, I was stressed out, over weight and over worked. On top of my work load, I had a really needy live in boyfriend, a hyper critical family, a narcissistic best friend and very poor personal and professional boundaries. All this at age 23. I though to myself, “But I’m just starting out in life, how am I ever going to make it!” Truth is I wasn’t going to make it if I kept denying myself the time I deserved to take care of my own needs, desires and dreams. I did not know the meaning of the word no. Instead I strived to please everyone so that I would be liked, and if I was lucky I thought, maybe even loved. I had no time, or more accurately, I did not think I was deserving of the time to do what in my heart I knew I loved, which was very simply to dance Flamenco.
Self-Love is a tricky thing to figure out when you’re brought up to think that it’s something you find outside of yourself through other people’s approval and validation. Dreams are not important, they don’t pay the bills or put food on the table so don’t even bother cause brown Mexicans don’t dream, they work hard jobs that no one else wants to do to make ends meat – is what I was brainwashed to believe. Women, especially women like you, as brown as you are, are born to serve and care take – was the message I received. In retrospect, I had a lot to work through and at 23 I did not have the awareness to know it but I did have Flamenco. And Flamenco is a very strong energetic force with an irresistible pull as strong as the oceans, that has the ability to heal you if you let it. When I danced and when I listened to the guitar and the whaling sounds of anguish come out of a singers stomach, I knew if only on a subconscious level that this was my only hope and my way out of this mess. It was how I was going to step into my power, my Goddess Self and how I was going to, in a very real way, keep alive.
I take this deeper knowing of Flamenco very matter of factly as truth. It goes way beyond learning steps in a studio. It has a profound effect and can change your life. It can be heavy and intense or off the wall ecstatic, but ironically it’s what keeps me Zen – centered and balanced, and what keeps my heart and outlook on life care-free and light as a feather. I will always remember and be thankful for the time when I didn’t have the time if only to remind me that I am worth doing what I love, that I am deserving of my dreams, that my needs are important and that I matter. So do you. So do you.
Yours in Flamenco,