By Mark Susnow
When was the last time you really challenged yourself and allowed yourself to experience the feeling that maybe you won't be able to get it and that perhaps you might fail? I hadn't felt that way for quite some time until my wife, Annie, suggested that we sign up for some Salsa classes. I did have some reservations. Years ago we had taken swing classes but didn't continue. This was a 10 week commitment every Monday night and I already had a prior commitment once a month. And Annie had been dancing seriously her entire life. Ready to try something new, I said "ok...let's do it... sounds like fun."
As the day of the first class approached, I was amazed at all of the emotions that I experienced. Although I was excited I also felt reluctant and apprehensive. Perhaps by my sharing my experience of becoming a beginner again, there will be insights and parallels germane to other aspects of your life.
In some areas of my life I consider myself a slow learner and dance was one of them. But it was back to being a beginner that I resisted; the fear that I might embarrass myself and not look good. Yet I knew that if I wasn't willing to become a beginner again I wouldn't be able to expand what was possible in my life. So we went and the first class wasn't fun. I was very self conscious and felt like I had two left feet. I didn't like the feeling of not getting it.
We came back the second week and it was a little easier although not much. I still couldn't relax or feel the rhythm of the music. The next few classes weren't much different. I felt tense most of the time and glad when class was over. Sometimes I would find myself looking over at the clock every five minutes or so wondering if the class would ever end.
I kept going because I had made a commitment for ten weeks. Without it, it would have been too easy for me to give up. Because I have an understanding of the learning process I knew if I had patience and stuck with it a breakthrough could occur; I just didn't know when. Unfortunately I missed the next week and the doubts resurfaced; maybe I'll forget all that I've learned so far.
And that was the way I felt when I went to class the next time. But this class had a different beginning. Our teacher, John, was giving a lesson to a woman who looked like a ball room diva. And she was exquisite...beautiful and graceful with her style and the way she moved. Watching her dance was inspirational and it gave me a glimpse of what was possible. My imagination has always been a great friend to me. I could see myself dancing gracefully at a dance club or even dancing in a contest.
As the class progressed I became more and more comfortable. By the time the class was over I felt the rhythm for the first time and I started to relax. That's when I had the breakthrough!
And it became fun!!! Yes pure fun. It was exciting and I moved in a way that I had never before experienced. It put a big smile on my face and I was reminded of how important it is to make time to have fun in your life. My patience and faith in the learning process made it possible for me to have this experience.
Although there were many new faces each week we were able to create a supportive community. After class Annie and I and some of the other students would meet at the cafe downstairs. During this time some of the more advanced students shared their journey with us. It was on one of those evenings that we met Larry.
Larry shared with us that he was also a slow learner and suggested to me that I also go to a Wednesday class. He also told us about the once a month Salsa Dances. With my new found enthusiasm I left the cocoon to experience a different teacher and different method of teaching.
It's been three months since we made the commitment. We just reupped for 10 more classes. At this moment as I am writing it's my intention to continue the dance. I don't have a crystal ball so I don't know where this will lead to. And that's the way our lives are. It's one big dance and there are no guarantees. But if you don't try nothing will happen.
What usually stops us are our limiting beliefs and our desire to know the likelihood of success before engaging in new endeavors or relationships. If we just use our mind to try to figure it out we can't know what is possible. It's only when we allow ourselves to trust our intuition that we can be fully engaged in the dance of life and feel its rhythm.
From my experience as a musician working with dancers I know that there is a moment when that magic happens. You don't know when it will occur or if will but it's the possibility of it happening that makes the dance of life exciting. But it might look different than what you were expecting. Whatever stage you are in your life stay open and be willing to be surprised. Be open to the magic. What's possible in your life is much greater than you can imagine.
Perhaps there was a time in your life when you were more in tune with the flow of life. Life might have been more fun and you were willing to take more risks. I know that you can find that place again. Finding your unique dance and rhythm connects you with that deeper place in yourself. And that is when you will be connected to your authentic self and embraced by the magic of life. ?
Keep dancing and share the journey by forwarding this letter to those in your circle. Letters on Life is now read world wide and is translated into 3 languages.
About the Author
Mark Susnow has a unique background. Formerly a successful trial attorney for 30 years, as well as musician, he integrates what it takes to be truly prosperous in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation practice. As a personal coach, leadership consultant and inspirational speaker, Mark provides inspiration and motivation to many business leaders and professionals. He knows what it means to have a big vision and has demonstrated the courage and energy it takes to accomplish it. Consider contacting Mark and be sure to visit his website http://www.inspirepossibility.com
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