What inspires you? What drives you to achieve a goal or live your life in a certain way? What fires you up?
If I’m blatantly honest, over the past few years I’ve really struggled to answer these questions. It’s been a monstrous time of constant change, challenges and personal growth. I’ve really struggled to catch a hold of what it is that inspires me to no end and keeps me up at night with continuous possibilities running through my head!
I remember a time when I’d spend HOURS on the internet (when dial up connections still existed and wifi was unheard of) just searching images of professional ballet and contemporary dancers and their relative companies. HOURS! So much so that I’d ring up a massive internet bill and my parents had to put a limit to my internet usage! I remember being so inspired by those images and would carry that inspiration with me into the dance studio every day and work my butt off to recreate those lines and feelings portrayed by the dancers in the pictures. I was obsessed. Totally obsessed with dance.
I wonder why and when I lost interest in feeding the fire. But that’s a another discussion which possibly deals with a whole bunch of negative experiences and influences. That’s not what this post is about.
This post is about finding and/or re-igniting the fire!
As much as I’ve tried to suppress my creative spirit over the last three years and “divorce dance”, if you like… it has continued to follow me. My involvement with the Baxter Theatre in “I Hit The Ground Running” last year and the recent opportunity to perform with Darkroom Contemporary in “Blueprint” adds testament to this. If you want even MORE proof that it’s following me around, I’ve already received two messages this morning requesting me to teach dance classes! Needless to say, flames that were very nearly smoking embers have been re-ignited.
This might come out as a bit of word vomit but here’s me reminding myself of what fires me up…
I’ve realised that I need to keep the company of creative people. I also need to stimulate my mind with beautiful images of movement and flow. I need colour and lots of it. Fresh, colourful, crunchy and alive food makes my mouth water and sometimes I need to leave the meat off my plate. Beautiful fabric – soft chiffon, warm velvets, intricate lace all capture my imagination. A daily fix of a movement video on Youtube can lift my mood. Inspirational text and videos by people who encourage us to follow our dreams and think outside of the box play an important part in my sanity. Music in the background can heighten my spirits. A coffee date with a close friend is an important part of my week. I’m semi-obsessed with animals and need to feel the softness of their fur or experience the beauty of their being. Being in a loving, evolving and sincere relationship is something to treasure dearly. Staying connected to my crazy family keeps me grounded. The sea cleanses my soul. Reading and writing feeds my creative spirit. Kindness and positivity rules. Helping others feeds me and gives me purpose. Performing is part of who I am and it should not be ignored. Dance was my first love and always will be. I need to move my body EVERY day for at least an hour otherwise I slip into a gray, cloudy fog-like slow motion movie.
I could continue with a few more paragraphs of word vomit but I will spare you another episode of the “Leilah Diaries” and encourage you instead to sit down with a pen and paper or digital notepad and start writing down what inspires you, feeds you, serves your soul, gives you purpose, gives you goosebumps… write down what fires you up. Keep it close to you and read it whenever you are feeling demotivated or uninspired. Remind yourself of who you are and what you are passionate about.
Now, please excuse me as I get ready for my daily movement session, kiss my cat goodbye and move into the day with kindness and positivity in my heart.