Friday, September 24, 2010

The Crazy White-Chick at the Indian Dance Class 101

Yep.  That would be me.  In case you haven't heard, I LOVE Bollywood movies and I watch a lot of them.  So when I found out that Arya International (the dance company that provides the dancers for many Bollywood movies) was teaching a dance class in my area, I totally went for it!  I have to say, I was pretty nervous before the first class because I thought everyone would look at me funny and wonder, "what's that white girl doing here?"  Last night, however, I went anyway just to see if I would like it.

Well, I did feel a bit uncomfortable at first. Not because of my race, mind you, but because I was the only adult in the class!  (They combined the teenage and adult classes.)  Not only that, the other girls were students at the school where I teach!  Their parents (including dads and brothers) stayed to watch us in our first ever Indian dance class.  How embarrassing!  I almost called it a day, but as soon as I started dancing, I forgot all about them.  As it turns out, I LOVE Indian dancing and I'm actually not too bad at it.  I was happy that I wasn't that person who stumbles and holds up the whole class.  I kept up with those 16-year-olds pretty well, if  I do say do myself! 

We did a half-hour of Classical Indian dance and a whole hour of Bollywood-style dancing.  Barefoot.  I was afraid my feet were going to kill me, but they didn't.  Hooray!  Our teacher is a real Bollywood dancer and had flown over from India.  He has been in several Bollywood movies as a back-up dancer!  I'm SO going to look carefully in the background of some of those movies to see if I see him.  :-)

Anyway, I hope to chronicle my experiences in this blog as I continue to take this dance class.  It's just too much fun not to!  Also, it might  be entertaining for some to read about the old-white chick in the teenage Indian dance class.  I'm starting to think I was Indian in a previous life.  Not that I really believe in reincarnation, mind you.  I just have always REALLY loved Indian culture, even when I was a child.  There's no real reason for me to like it this much. ... or to be SO happy while dancing Indian-style. 

I want to challenge all of you out there to take a class in something you're interesting in even if you feel ridiculous.  It might be worth it!
What do you really love that defies explanation?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Journaling for Mental Health

I have found a tool that has been helping me and I'd like to share it.  Journaling!  It's not a new idea at all but the process and the function were new to me.  I was reading a book about how to access your creativity and the author recommended the following how to:
1.  Write as soon as you get up in the morning, until you fill up 3 pages.
2.  Don't think about what you're writing.  Just write whatever pops up into your head.  The important thing is to not stop until you've filled 3 pages.
3.  Never go back and read what you've written.  The point is to get the negative thoughts OUT.  (Reading it will just put them back in.)
4.  When the notebook is full, throw it out!

What this has done for me:
When I journal in this way, I find that most of the negative "chatter" swirling around in my head goes away.  I also find that I don't need to unload on people.  You know when you just want to complain to someone?  I find I have less of a need to do this when I journal in the mornings.  It's like emptying out what's bothering me onto the pages.
Lately, I have been dealing with fertility issues.  I hadn't realized I was going on and on about it so much until a coworker said to me, "Yes, Lyn, we KNOW!"  after I had made a comment about how much it sucks to not be able to have a child.  I don't want to burden people and I don't want them to get sick of hearing me.  I'm sure it makes me tiresome to be around.  Anyway, the journal is helping me.  I usually feel like I have an elephant on my heart, and this journaling activity lightens the load.

I'd encourage you to try this.  What do you need to unburden yourself of?