Yearly Events and Change: Gifts from this year’s Jug Band Jubilee 2018

 

I sat down at my computer today to write a bit about my week/weekend. It’s curious to me how yearly events help me measure and consider the passage of time in my life. My nostalgia this week has focused on Jug Band Jubilee.

Years and Years ago (I think it must have been 2006?) I can remember the first Jubilee Patrick and I attended together and the exhilaration of realizing that we had this amazing local treasure trove of interesting, relevant, danceable music, not to mention a free live outdoor concert to celebrate it every year…

Between then and the time we married Pat found so much inspiration in the music he started learning banjo and has filled our home with music and eventually started a jug band of his own- The Bourbonville Buskers

IMG_7758Because of the strain of dancing on concrete and grass I learned the importance of setting limits for myself and listening to pain when it occurs in my body. Now: no matter what, I prioritize how my dancing feels- just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean it should happen. When I pay attention I can I let my body tell me when to stop. Of course this is a lesson I continue/d to learn with my back injury- something I’ll have to write about in the future.

Not all the events seemed good when they were happening. For example a friend who had been extremely emotionally abusive and needy for years sent me an absurd and insulting email right after the Jubilee. I sent a frustrated, emotional return email, I let everything I had been tolerating or ignorning come out, un-edited, all at once-I’m sure it was a sight to behold and something the wiser, more compassionate me of today wouldn’t need to do – Ultimately I broke things off with this person. That email empowered me to do something that was a long time coming. I’ve come to appreciate that moment for the lessons it has offered me:  lessons on how to forgive, lessons on how to set boundaries, and lessons on love and compassion. I am still learning things from this – and I still revel in the power I realized I had when I was willing to say ‘no more’. It’s a power so few of us realize is available. Sometimes tolerating a thing does more harm to us than being willing to let it go or to talk about the problems before they are so big the come rolling out, unstoppable.

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During the 2017 Jug Band Jubilee Pat hosted a Friday dance with Tuba Skinny at Highland Community Center and I was introduced to the venue I had been looking for. I finally had a reason to start LindyHop Louisville!

The past few Jubilees have brought with them new friends of all types, greater involvement for myself and Patrick and the continued joy of sharing music in a public space with so many of the Louisville Community members showing up to enjoy with us! This year was a particularly ‘woke’ JBJ- focusing on more inclusivity and awareness of the history of what we participate in when we experience Jug music.

This Jug Band Jubilee also seemed like a great time to wind down and look at where I started. I am growing in awareness of everything I am holding together, from dance to art to community service. This week I served as Fundraising Co-Ordinator for an amazing organization called Woman to Woman Kentuckiana- during our big campaign with Give for Good.

Patrick and I also volunteered to appear on TV in promotion of Jug band Jubilee. We worked together with the Jubilee to organize a dance at Highland Community Center with Frog and Henry (that’s a band). As Lindyhop Louisville we also volunteered to teach a free dance workshop at the Jubilee itself!

Throughout the week I taught all my classes and didn’t cancel a single demo or project to make space- I woke up early, went for runs, lifted weights and taught all of my private lessons.

It’s not every week that so much big stuff happens and it seemed to happen with joy.

I am honored to be of use to both non-profits.

Some days I feel so lucky to be in a position where I have the time, energy, and experience to dedicate to creative & healing community endeavors.

I honor the efforts I have made to make my life the type of life I enjoy living and I recognize the joy of taking a second to look back and see where I’ve come from.

What events show you the passage of time in your life?

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Vulnerability

Feeling Vulnerable

 

A few weeks ago a new friend of mine said she was interested in coming to take one of my yoga classes. Normally this would elate me-but what you don’t know is that my friend is a seasoned Yogi who I deeply admire and who formerly owned her own studio and trained other yoga practitioners and teachers.

 

I was immediately filled with self-doubt. I hoped I wouldn’t make any mistakes- I wanted the lesson to be perfect-I over analyzed the poses we would use. I became self aware to the point where I was hindering my own ability to be good.

 

And why?    because    I want to be GOOD

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I want to be good for myself

I want to be good for others

I want to be good- and If I’m being honest, someday I’d like to be really great.

 

Simply working to put yourself out there in whatever you create in this world- from a dance to a class to a work of art can mean that you are making yourself VULNERABLE.

 

Sometimes the worry that someone with more awareness and experience will see SEE me- and SEE my problems/flaws (will judge me as not good) becomes overwhelming.

 

I am not trying to rid myself of this worry- this feeling of vulnerability. I am not trying to containit, or distract it, or quash it with reason.

 

Often I forget that the way to great is already embedded in me. In every class I teach. In every way that I experience my Yoga practice and my art: from my daily practice to the classes I design and teach.  And often it is the ways that I am bad that I grow most from- but only by doing them and then re-doing.  I am no a perfect person yet sometimes I feel the need to make myself appear that way.

 

I am not a guru

I do not look like a yogi

I am not +that+ flexible

I do not know everything

My experiences are limited

 

Yet I am expansive

I hold wisdom

I gain flexibility and strength

I add knowledge alongside experience with every breath

 

I place my hand on my belly- and another on my heart and I deepen my awareness of this feeling- I understand its roots in my desire to be loved and valued (something I truly can only bring to myself) and I realize that I am the container.  Vulnerability is a feeling that ebs and flows. I go searching in my body. I identify where I am tight and worried. Where I feel scared and small. I smile at these emotions and I continue to breathe and relax.

 

I am vulnerable. I am allowed to be vulnerable. I persit in being and trying to be good.  I recognize this effort and honor it in myself and in others.

 

What makes you feel Vulnerable? Scared? Small? Novice? How do you love the feeling and the container with equanimity?