I am often superstitious…

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…afraid to say things out loud before they’ve happened, let alone celebrate achievements in advance. As if the uttering of gratification scares away good fortune. Like the vocal recognition of fulfillment prior to the physical fulfillment somehow makes that inevitability impossible.

This tendency is a consequence of genetics (Hi, Mom!) and 24 years in a field of inherent uncertainty. Nothing is “a given”. Every day could be my last day dancing. But then again, every day could be my last.

So what about the recognition of the gifts right here and now? What about appreciating the struggle? What if the hardship is the gift?

Yesterday morning, before my walk in to the studio, I felt called to stop in my tracks, open my eyes wider, and take in a few deep breaths. As the cold air swirled up through my nostrils and into my chest, I became aware of my own heartbeat. The complicated system of highways in my body streamed actively, my spine extended and my chin lifted to accept another breath. I suddenly felt grateful not only for the present moment, but for the future things I looked forward to but had since felt too afraid to let manifest in my mind firmly.

“Don’t count your nuts before they are cracked,” I heard myself tell me. “You’ll jinx it!” another part of me whined. And then something strange happened.

They stopped. They accepted. I recognized. I received.

This very physical act of  receiving all of the good- the simple, the complex, the already, the not yet- curved up the corners of my mouth. I was somehow simultaneously filled up with gratitude and emptied out with even more room for achieving.

If you can today, go outside. Take a deep breath. Thank your body. Welcome your self.

 

photo by Samantha Wong.

4 thoughts on “I am often superstitious…

  1. So beautifully written!

    I’m with you on the fear of jinxing one’s self! As a kid, I internalized the phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up,” so well that I developed a kind of fear of hope—as if to give voice to my hopes and dreams, or even to think about them too hard, was to crush them.

    An old roomie of mine taught me the maxim, “To know; to will; to dare; to keep silent,” and it gave me a different way to think about things. I still mostly keep a lid on big things until I’m sure, but I feel like the clauses “to know” and “to will” give me permission to contemplate the hoped-for outcome with a positive spirit.

    Sometimes, I still worry about jinxing myself if I tell other people too much about my big goals, though!

  2. Love this !

    I’m breathing deeply now.

    From your friend in the audience at 2017 Vail Dance Fest.

    ~Cynthia LeBreton

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