In my previous post I promised to reveal “my calling” to you. I’m super excited to do that, but before that I want to say a big thanks to those who sent private messages after reading my last post, for honestly sharing their feelings about what finding a purpose means to them.
While some of you are living, or about to embark on, your exciting and purposeful journeys, the rest opened up about how stuck they are in their tracks. Mired in routine and limited by their mindset, they either have no idea or too much fear to move forward. If you are facing these dilemmas I’ll share some of the books that have helped me at the end of this blog post.
So, going back to my calling. Truth be told, at this moment it’s pretty much a limitless white canvas of possibilities. In the past when I have started something new, I have tried to develop a detailed plan in advance, but this time I’m feeling at total peace and ease with having no particular plan, only a belief and huge desire to serve. I’m excited to see what unfolds, what places and people this ‘huge hunger’ is going to take me to.
The 13th Century Persian poet Rumi wisely said “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.” I read that sentence years ago and it became my guiding mantra in the search for my own purpose. The funny thing is that ‘what I really love’ has been with me all the time, but I needed to remove the blindfolds by taking myself on a wild wild journey to recognise it as my calling.
So what is it?
I’m finally able to give deserved credit to - dance! (Yes, this sentence is totally worth the exclamation mark). I mean dance in its purest and freest form - dancing on my own when no-one’s watching. More recently when people are watching, but more on that later.
There are no steps to master, as I am a master of the steps that flow from me naturally. No routines to memorise, as the magic happens when my body moves freely and connects with my mood, emotions and physical ability. It’s unique every time.
Primal, raw, sensual, and completely free spirited; I embody a goddess, a queen, a jolly girl, a sensual seductress, a wild woman, a vulnerable woman. I am every one of them when I dance.
This simple yet incredibly powerful and sacred daily activity has played a huge role in my life, especially at difficult times. For many of these personal traumas we really only understand true power, significance or influence of certain activities on our emotional wellbeing in hindsight. The damage can be significant and happen over time, making its impact less obvious to us but it is very real.
I eventually came to understand that dancing has been my ‘prayer’, my meditation, my celebration, my passion, my fun, my ecstasy. Perhaps even my medicine, my therapy, my self love for as long as I remember.
I first decided to dance in my bedroom when I was badly bullied in my teens for being a chubby girl who didn’t fit the slim Lithuanian ‘standard’. I danced through my sadness, despair and low self confidence. It was giving me wings and eventually helped me to not only lose weight, look and feel healthy, but also gain confidence in myself and built strong willpower. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that dance pretty much transformed me from an ugly duckling to a beautiful happy swan that I feel today.
At the young age of 25 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and the early medical treatment placed me into a coma. Understandably, I became mistrustful towards standard treatment protocols and made the decision to take responsibility for my own treatment and recovery. It was a cornerstone moment in my attitude to health and how to maintain it.
I intuitively knew that I could be healthy again, but I needed to change my approach to myself. I knew I had to love myself more and look after myself better, manage my stresses and anxieties differently. I resolved to make quite a few lifestyle changes.
Many would say I was naive to do that and refuse to be treated in the same way again. You see, I had no one to influence me, or to worry about how my illness was affecting them. No-one knew about my sickness and the decisions I was making and it allowed me to focus on me and my options. I also had little knowledge about the progress of cancer as it was not a widely spoken subject amongst the people I knew back in 2007. My limited knowledge about cancer, in a way, left my mind uncluttered by terrible stories of others experiences and the various cancer awareness campaigns. Looking back, I channeled the power we all have within, and didn’t waste it on the media, people or doctors.
I deeply trusted myself at that point in my life and so it felt natural to practice my daily bedroom-based dancing again. This time it was my single room in Wembley, North East London. I recognised quickly that dancing made me feel better every day. Like never before, I felt extremely connected with my mind, body and soul. I was often very vulnerable, weak, but always ’fighting’ for life, like a truely empowered goddess.
In short, dance helped me to focus on me and life, and not cancer. And it was that love for life that defeated the beast and put me firmly in control.
What’s so magic about dancing?
My ‘happy ending’ with cancer made me very curious about the power of dance. The more I researched the more I found information that is mind blowing! One thing that explains how dance helped me heal my illness is called endocannabinoids. It’s a natural high our bodies produce when we do activities that make us happy. Think ’Runner’s High’, which is very well described in the recent BBC’s programme “The Truth About Getting Fit”, you can watch it on iPlayer. It makes sense.
Dancing is actually one of the therapies that cancer, Parkinson’s disease patients and some folks with autism are sometimes prescribed to improve the quality of their lives. It works perhaps because free dance decouples the conscious mind form control of the body, brings forward those endocannabinoids and serotonins and both liberates and resets our mindset.
There are plenty of success stories that surround dance therapy, but sadly we’re rarely exposed to them - traditional medicine and modern treatment methods tend to get more coverage, and it’s only a few doctor’s who are aware of dance as a supplement or replacement therapy.
So as a part of my calling, I would love to uncover more success stories as well as support people who are willing to induce a healthy lifestyle to support their healing process.
Where does it all lead me to?
Since my full recovery in 2013, it took me more than four years to fully understand what this life threatening experience meant to me and why cancer manifested in my sex organs.
During my search for answers I felt very naturally drawn to open and deep conversations with women of all ages about both the physical and emotional health of the vagina, the importance of smear tests, dangers of chlamydia and suppressed emotions.
I was and even more now am very curious about:
Why women ‘loose’ their sensuality?
What stops them from searching for it?
How does #metoo affect women’s freedom and choices?
Do female corporate leaders embrace or avoid being feminine in the workplace?
How does that affect them personally and professionally?
Why women feel frigid?
Why do they avoid or are uninterested in love making with their long term partners?
I am fascinated by the vulnerability, defence or shock some women (also friends) show when I am opening a conversation about if they are sexually satisfied in their long term relationships and why ‘I never seam to have orgasms’. I am also super interested in why some women have reoccurring bladder inflammations and if there is any correlation.
These women told me that they don’t typically discuss these subjects even with their best friends, but find it in some way liberating and healing to do so with me. I love to watch them eventually opening up and talk about where does lack of self love and care lead to; do we feel sensual; sexually awakened, eager to have sex; do we enjoy it and if not then why not? Why too often we blame our partners for these things? Why so many of us give the responsibility for our men to give us pleasure but we don’t seam to be interested in bringing ourselves to cloud nine with no-one’s help? If we don’t understand how get pleasure ourselves how can we expect others to know? Shocking, but still many women I meet don’t even know where their clitoris is located.
These conversations surprised me with what they uncovered at the beginning of my journey of curiosity, but now I see so many similar stories that I can draw some interesting conclusions. (However thats for another post)
Closing, or perhaps the opening…
So my white beautiful canvas every day becomes more and more colourful. I am filling in the background and thinking about the detail. I am now confident in knowing that.
My strength lies in my own story of self-healing cervical cancer and maintaining my both mental and physical health through the power of dance, mindset and seeking joy in every day life. Dancing and self care are my vehicles for change. Not allowing myself to be in a victim state is my attitude.
My calling, my genuine interest is to guide and help women find their core elements of a wholesome life and to encourage women in their journeys of awakening and nurturing their feminine and sensual selves. I want to share my knowledge and love of dance, dance for life, joy and healing.
I care about women enormously, because a sisterhood of healthy awakened and supportive women is much more powerful and strong. The world needs it now more than ever.
And as promised, here are a few books for you to read if you want to explore the subject of Calling & Purpose:
- Soon to be launched (you can prebook) and what promises to be an amazing book by Jessica Huie - “Purpose: Find your truth and embrace your calling”.
- “The Warrior, The Strategist and You: How to Find Your Purpose and Realise Your Potential” by Floyd Woodrow. Check it out here.
- “Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul” by Shawn Askinosie. Read about it on his chocolate business website.