If You Believe in Someone, Tell Them.
This post is dedicated to the women who have helped me to step towards my potential. These women
believed in me when I was unable to do it for myself. I try to pay it forward to my students and friends.
Compared to many dancers I was a late bloomer, attending my first dance class at the age of twenty-five. A year or so later my teacher asked me to teach a class of beginner dancers. I was gobsmacked. Why on earth would she pick me to teach? I'd never taught anyone anything.
Although I didn't believe in myself, I did believe in my teacher. It wasn't the first time she had invited me to step out of my comfort zone. Twice each year she would run fabulously staged dance concerts. As well as dancing, I had been invited to read tarot at these concerts. It had been my first professional reading job and I wouldn't have thought myself ready. But I had believed in my dance teacher, as well as my tarot teacher, and given it a go.
So when I was asked to teach dance, I took a leap of faith, and a class of beginner dancers at Bennettswood Neighbourhood House in Burwood. I stumbled through my nerves, acting cool on the outside, while trembling so hard on the inside that teaching a shimmy was a breeze.
Then, life got in the way of my dancing for a couple of years. But in 2001 I returned to teaching, this time with more training. My dance teacher had compiled a teacher training course, which helped me to build my confidence again and dance out into my next adventure.
Next, my dance teacher invited me to teach a tarot workshop at her Glen Waverley studio. I was still struggling to believe in myself, but also excited that such an opportunity could come my way. Of course I said yes, and it went really well. I couldn't believe how much a social-phobe like me could enjoy standing up in front of people teaching.
One day my meditation teacher called in sick, unable to return to class. I was faced with the decision to a) cancel the class, or b)) find someone else. As I was asking around trying to find someone else, another meditation teacher suggested that I had another option: c) teach the class myself. Teaching the class myself hadn't occurred to me. But she believed in me.
'You're a writer,' she said, 'so write a meditation.'
So I wrote a couple of pages of meditation material and presented it to the class. They asked me to come back the following week. I wrote one more week's worth of meditation material. Then, the meditation teacher who had empowered me to take on the class, suggested that I didn't need to write the meditations at all. Just show up to class and channel them. I haven't looked back. When I trusted my intuitive voice to take over the meditation story, I was automatically tuning into the needs of individual members of the group. I began to trust that even without written preparation, I could sit down and receive the right words at the right time. It's just like writing, without the editing.
Then, the same thing happened with witchcraft. Even though I had studied witchcraft for several years, I hired someone else to teach it for me at my studio. Someone who I thought was more educated and a bit more clever than I was. We built a class of around ten women, all eager to get 'crafting.' Then, after the first couple of weeks the teacher pulled out. I was left hanging in the lurch—again! So I stepped in and took over the class. The students enjoyed the class so much they asked me to stay, so I did.
Like many people, I'm not blessed with natural confidence. But I've trained myself to function in lots of creative areas. I've learned that many artists struggle with confidence and self-esteem. We're a sensitive bunch, easily discouraged. But the gift of a little praise and encouragement can be amplified to create an entire career. I hope my story shows you that you don't need confidence to begin to do a thing. You only need someone to believe in you, and the courage to do a thing can be grasped.
Also, if you believe in someone, tell them. You never know what potential life-path you may be opening for them. A life path they may not have the self-belief to open for themselves.writing career. My third book is in the developmental stages. I finally feel like I'm on schedule with my writing work. Therefore, in 2021 I'm ready to focus more energy on teaching.
So I have developed a menu of courses in five areas of study for you to choose from. You can already find Majickal Bellydance at Chirnside Park Community Hub, and Majickal Tarot at Seville Community House. But I would like to spread my wings to some other venues across the Yarra Valley and Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. I'm feeling pretty psyched to get back out there and teach.
When I'm teaching I can reach into the fullness of myself. I'm a woman unbound, with wings unclipped. I'm still me—which means that before each class, I'm riddled with self-doubt. But by using the tools I've developed over the years, I'm able to work through the fear. Then, after each class I feel the reward of helping others to generate the spirit of creativity, joy and personal growth.
Seriously, this world is serious enough. Which is why all of my classes contain practical exercises that are presented in the spirit of fun. We learn so much better through play. You won't be learning regional styles and culture in my dance classes, but you will be learning how to feel good in your skin. And you'll be learning how to connect to the joy in your dance. Because that's the Majick: the power to change your own consciousness to vibrate to ease, peace and joy. This is how the Majick of my meditation workshops extend into my dance classes too.
I will probably always struggle with self doubt. It's just part of the dance between stepping out and resting up. A little doubt can be creative. It can help an artist push their work to new levels. But many of us need a regular push from those who believe in us too. We may appear confident on the outside, but that's just our positive-thinking-marketing-personas. Inside we're asking ourselves if we're really good enough. We learn how to 'fake it 'till we make it.'
Fortunately, these days it's less about 'faking it 'till I make it.' I've presented enough classes now to feel comfortable enough to step up and teach anything from my own spheres of learning. Much of the role of teacher involves a process of initiation. Which means the teacher provides the keys to learning. Keys that open doors of personal discovery. But each journey is unique to the student, and experienced in a personal way. A properly initiated student's mind is open and curious toward the next stage of their journey, both within my classes, and beyond them.
I look forward to the rest of 2021 with clarity, energy and purpose. Although the world is still in the grips of COVID, I'm affirming that my 'new normal' is braced with the strength of hope, adaptability and creativity.
Stay well everyone. X