Ballet – Navigating the Domains of Fear and Finding How Best to Express My Authentic Self

Ballet – Navigating the Domains of Fear and Finding How Best to Express My Authentic Self.

Many personal characteristics have helped me cope with the many complicated and diverse situations that I have encountered in my life.
Early on in my childhood, it became clear that just because someone was (age wise) an adult, it did not mean that emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or psychologically they were mature at all.
In fact, over and over again, life situations showed me that most people (though they think they mean well) are not actually moving from an altruistic state.
I learned as a small child with a mother who constantly wrestled with depression, anxiety, and seemed incapable of coping with any types of change, that fear ruled her actions and expressions.
The Nuns in Parochial school made me realize that just because they had taken a vow towards a spiritual path, did not mean that they were spiritually connected.
By the age of six years old, it was clear to me that most adults were disconnected from many things that really mattered from the higher states of being.
That made me recognize the truth.
And that truth was that I was going to be on my own. I could not count on others to give me correct feedback, help, or the type of support that I really needed. I would have to learn to listen to the powerful voices inside my soul and my past life experiences, which held many untapped answers if I could just figure out how to ask the correct questions.

My childhood taught me to believe in myself regardless of what others said about me, projected onto me, or how their pictures of me were intended to make themselves look great and me … wrong.
Many psychologists (clients, friends, gurus, and helpers) all told me that this choice, so early on in my life, probably saved me endless hours of suffering.
And I believe them.

Ballet is a bootcamp of pleasure and pain. It is so difficult that it filters out any who have a weak psychological center. Ballet is always reflecting back to us our faults and where we do not make the grade.
But fortunately, I had learned to not give everyone’s opinion any credence. I learned to notice those that really had my best interest at heart and to ignore those who fed off of the insecurity of others … to make themselves feel good.
I learned that most ballet critics were dancers who never made it in the first place, so why would their opinion matter as to how well I did in a performance or not.
I learned to keep my own counsel and listen to my guides and angels first and foremost. I learned that I can and will … always do my best.
While some days, my best was not up to my own expectations, then it was my fault alone and I could not blame anyone else.
I watched dancers blame others and how that hatred would fester and feed off of deep, unresolved insecurities.
I learned that I needed to be brutally honest with myself and my own abilities. I never pretended that I was better than I was.
I knew there were many more dancers that had greater talent than myself in pretty much all areas. Knowing that about myself and knowing and acknowledging that about others, allowed me to gain control over the big monster of jealousy early on.
I recognized that one can never really compare one person’s talent to another. Because everyone has an ability to captivate and shine that beautiful light that is inside of them out into the world.
And all of those dancers will shine that light … very differently. It is those differences that make them special and unique. It is those differences that generate that special shine.
I learned from my childhood that wasting energy and time with games of the mind that always end in me being not good enough will never give me the confidence to take risks and to try.
To me, fear was always the greatest enemy. I am grateful to my mother for that harsh lesson.
In ballet, one learns that there will be constant fears surfacing. I learned to not give them much concern or energy but to just keep trying.
Fear will eat you alive if you let it. There is fear of failure, fear of falling, fear of getting injured, fear of not performing well enough on stage, fear of being insignificant, fear of not getting a chance or a role, fear of pissing off a teacher, fear of not being able to do what a choreographer wants in a moment, fear of being too fat, fear of being too tall, fear of not being pretty enough, fear of missing an entrance, fear of slipping and falling in a performance, fear of letting those down that are giving you a chance, etc.
As you can see fear is an endless game that the ego plays with the mind and if one becomes trapped in the games of fear, then the success one seeks is bound to fail.
I learned that we only shine bright when we are being our best and most authentic self. Only when we come from that place can we stand from a space of clarity, center, and acceptance do we have a chance to feel past the self and instead into the magic of a moment.
Only when we come from that place can we let go of needing to fit into someone else’s boxes and instead of being a ballet dancer caught in a music box, we become beautiful, and special just by being all that we can be in the moment.
As a dancer I lived for those moments when I managed to allow something powerful to enter in through my body and take over the dance.
In those moments, everything became effortless, the flow controlled the expressions of the muscles and the connections of the nerves to the body were in such symmetry that the soul floated along the winds that the music generated and that the body was able to capture.
Every dancer lives for such moments. In those moments, I felt like I was home. They always felt peaceful, tranquil, and at one with a much larger force of life itself.
In those moments I knew that I belonged, I was loved by a force so much greater than the human mind could comprehend in an earthly sense.
I knew I was enough. I knew that I had given a great gift that helped to bring more love and light into this density, and I knew that the toil and effort required to get to that point also helped to extract some of the pain and suffering that was so tightly held in this world and help that energy transcend into something much more positive.
I often felt that this was probably what would be required for me to die in this life. That a life filled with much effort and challenge would need to be surrendered up to that higher force as an offering and request so that I could evolve to that next level. And that if I learned to do that with grace and willingness, it would feel like those special moments of dancing.
I want my life to go out in a blaze of music and artistic expansion as I express the last air from this life and exhale the rapture and bliss of this body’s experiences out into this world that needs so much help to remember how beautiful each person is.
May the dance of air through your life keep you breathing and seeking all the beauty you carry inside.
May the dance of energy in your life inspire you to risk, leap, and bring those to you who can truly see and appreciate who you are.
May the music that surrounds you be the guide towards greater joys and passionate expressions of what keeps trying to get be seen and felt.
May we all meet on the other side of this illusion and may we all dance in the lights and shadows of each other’s fullness.

~Suzanne Wagner~



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