For over a decade of my life I worked full-time as an accounting manager for a law firm while trying to balance single-motherhood and a career as a professional dancer. I was the lady practicing footwork with her iPod on the BART train platform . I was the grown woman tap dancing in the grocery store aisles. While my family was well-taken care of, I was secretly frustrated with a performing arts career full of stops and starts. I’d spend three months working on a show, and then spend several more on the couch watching episodes of Mad Men and insisting that red wine and dark chocolate were a food group. Although I felt lucky to be able to still be dancing, I never felt like I could get the momentum to really take off in my career as an artist while working long hours at the office.
Then one fateful day I watched the movie Julie & Julia for the first time – about the woman who spends an entire year making all the recipe’s out of a Julia Child’s recipe book. That’s when I got the idea: If I loved making dances so much, then why not commit to taking myself seriously? Why not spend an entire year creating dance every single day? Better yet, why not create a blog about the experience posting videos of some of the “dance sketches” online to really put the pressure on?
I figured if nothing else I would learn something. Even if I didn’t become a master artist, I would at least be 365 tries to making anything “good.” And so friends, the 365Dances journey began. . .
The biggest difference in my life while I was making a a “dance sketch” every single day was that it changed my entire perspective: on my walk to work in the morning, instead of just seeing buildings, I began to really see the great pieces of architecture surrounding me, beautiful spaces to make dance in, and I began to see the wonderful patterns of movement all around me. In bodies, traffic, lines of people waiting for coffee – I was on the look out for interesting stuff. I noticed that the more I paid attention, the more ideas I had. And the more I listened to those ideas, the more they showed up.
Every single day I was faced with the task of creating. Many days I had to overcome my own inertia, laziness, fears, or insecurities. I began to play games with myself. I discovered new ways to focus. And as I focused I moved, and as I moved my perspective began to shift as well.
It felt great leaning into what I loved. Taking what interested me seriously. On the hunt for new inspiration constantly I had more fun everywhere I went. I played with my son more. I was even enjoying work more! And then my life began to change. . .
One year later, I worked my last day at the law firm where I had been working for the past eleven years of my life. . . and I began my career as a full-time artist and Creativity Coach.
We are always expanding, growing, and changing every day. Whether we want to or not. Spend 365 days leaning into what you love and it is like pushing your foot down onto the gas pedal – you speed up and something is bound to happen. And so it was with delicious pleasure that I realized not only am I going to be able train harder and to create art like I’ve always dreamed of, but I’ve discovered that I have valuable tools to help others do the same.
To find out more about how you can learn to discover your fullest potential as an artist, please check out my new website, MovingTowardsYourDesires.com. Don’t wait! Tap your creative genius NOW!
To find out more about my dance classes, performances, and workshops please visit my website: www.hollyshaw.net
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