Welcome to the moment.
Memoirs of yesterday bring me to the yearning to share this wisdom I’ve stumbled through over the past six months…
February, my back went out, two weeks before my flight to Abidjan was scheduled to leave. I had to go. This had been my dream for over ten years; to dance in west Africa. I took a round of prednisone, only to crash hard when they ended a few days after I arrived. The emotional down was hard on me, I spent two days in my room, crying. And my hosts were doing everything to alleviate my worry and pain, as Africans want you to be happy, to enjoy the richness of life, without worry, especially as their guest.
I found the courage to step out of my room and start dancing, despite the pain extending down my leg, numbing my right butt cheek. We danced from 4-6 hours a day, (on concrete) learning many traditional west African dances, rhythms, and songs, to perform all of them at the end of the three weeks. I was proud of myself to perform, to break thru the depression of the adrenaline ride that steroids provide, and overcoming the mental challenge of physical pain and suffering. The sweet moment of reward was several days before our big performance though.
Somehow we convinced our teachers and drummers to take us to the beach to practice one day. It was epic. As we cruised thru the streets of Abidjan, on our way to Grand Bassam, the drummers and singers in our tightly seated mini bus attracted the attention of those passing by. I felt beyond cool. I felt full of life, African joyous life, delivering ancient culture through song and rhythm, powerful rhythms of motivation and strong connection to humanity. The day was perfect. Wading in the strong wake of the ocean, dancing in the deep sand, refreshing coconuts and delicious lunch of fish, sauce, and plantains, soaking up sun and ocean and wind before heading back to the concrete compound in Abobo.
Africa renews me. It heals me. It feeds me. Not only does it inspire me in countless ways, but it feeds my dreams and values of community and culture, it reminds me that life is simple and beautiful. Life is not about having things, but about sharing, about connecting and enjoying every moment, uniting in our common goals as humans. I have been to the continent four times now, visiting Ghana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, and Ivory Coast. Every country is unique in its own cultures, languages, life styles and values, sharing a diversity of ideas and a common concern for the human spirit, that of freedom and relation, memory and remembering the ancient wisdom that their ancestors held.
I seek to share this wisdom and energy, to provide a depth of freedom in the story of my work, the opening to mystical interpretation, the vessel for curiosity into the distant past as well as our power in creating the future. I share immense gratitude for this continent, it’s people and land for inspiring me, feeding me, and healing me.
After returning from Ivory Coast, the sciatica worsened and I found myself in the ER twice in one week, getting an MRI and learning of a massive disc herniation and three discs bulging in my lower back. The doctors wanted to do emergency surgery while I was at a show in Nashville. I declined the offer and chose to take action in alternative ways upon returning home. I started getting chiropractic treatments, changed my diet, started supplementing, juicing, smoothies, stretching, and using medicines from the earth. The months following these lifestyle changes brought me to a great evolution of my body, mind, and spirit, opening me to profound levels of emotional and ethereal healing, healing in my relationship and alignment with purpose, understanding and faith in the larger path of my life.
This opportunity brought me new motivation to release and transform old stories of loss and suffering, into a strong will of healing and flow, acceptance of deep emotions and alignment of choice in manifesting my life. I have taken this opportunity to seek a change in being, discerning the root of the spine degeneration in my back, rather than letting the western doctors decide the fate of my wellbeing. Finding a common stagnation and holding of energy in my hips and lower back, in my womb and abdomen, as an opportunity for slow clearing, gradual renewal and rebirth of hope, power, belief and healthy, nourished spinal discs.
I’ve found more flow and depth with the love of my life, Jason, as we got engaged in December, sharing a new and personalized contract for sharing our lives together. He graciously helps me with the heavy lifting at shows, offering physical and moral support that has saved my business from failing and my hope in moments when my body wouldn’t let me participate. His presence in my life has allowed me the courage to move beyond pain, to trust that I am fully supported and loved, to believe in myself and my gift. I am honored to have a loving partner who wishes to travel with me, to share and create memories with me, protect me and keep me safe, lift me up and let me do the same for him. We share an interest in traveling and exploring the world, learning about ourselves and how we can contribute to peace and joy in the world.
This time has delivered vast creativity and passion to express my journey of healing and renewal, and I find myself wanting to spend late hours in my studio creating. I feel endless gratitude for the synchronicity of life, revealing doors and blessings where I once believed was only a wall. I seek to share this powerful revelation, to inspire and continue the movement of motivation through cultural exchanges and expression. May my sharing bring new perspectives, different considerations, openings to your own life forces within to transform and heal, to meet self love and grace, purpose and power.