I can still smell the aroma of the dark green leather sewing box that lay open as my mother sewed the elastic onto the brand new ballet slippers. We were preparing for my first dance class. I remember walking down the narrow stairs to Miss Adair’s studio with great anticipation. I had barely reached the ripe age of three and there I was, properly attired in my black leotard, tights, and ballet slippers. A bit of a contrast to the fluffy, pink tutu I was wearing in my imagination. The appropriate attire for a real dancer, or so I thought. One who would fly across the floor with the freedom and grace of a fanciful bird released from a long captivity.
As it turned out, there was not much flying involved in the process. I stood at the bar and followed the exercises, learned the routines and yes, I was eventually rewarded with a sequined hoola-goola costume. Reality has a rude way of clashing with our early dreams. Especially for those of us who stubbornly lived with one foot in a world where our souls were free to fly.
As an adult, I continue to have a tendency to be cranky when there is a discrepancy between my inner and outer vision. I guess that’s why it’s so urgent for me to engage in the creative process. If I resist this undying urge to attend to my imagination, life becomes lonely and flat. I start longing for that one, deep, connection that will heal my broken heart. Everything and everyone becomes disappointing. Time flies by and I feel like I’m just going through the motions. Then, after a few minutes, days, months and sometimes years, I hear a “Who”. A“Who”?. Yes, you know, that little stirring that Dr. Suess spoke of. The stirring that reminds me of the tiny dancer in my heart. The one with the golden tiara, pink tutu and glittery plastic wings. The patient, resilient one who is waiting for me to join her on a wildly creative adventure.
I have spent my adult life guiding folks to the source of their own creativity; the place where the child within resides. Each time I facilitate this connection I renew my own commitment to the process. I am grateful for every invitation to guide the journey and honored to witness the awakening of soul after soul.
Let’s not resist our creative urges. Instead, let’s stare vulnerability right in the eye, throw caution to the wind, and wear our wings (and pink tutu) with pride.
Note: I’m wearing this costume at summer camp, perhaps age 4 or 5, and you guessed it, that pixie cut was not my idea.