Leaps and Bounds!

by Lila on February 18, 2015

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This photo is what success looks like to me; creativity, community, sweet connection with others and with nature.  It has nothing to do with money, competition, advancement or fame.  It has everything to do with love.

Beginning in my teenage years and continuing until my early thirties, I had a much different definition of success.  As a track and basketball athlete in high school, winning races and games was very important to me. As a corporate salesperson for various companies in my young adult years, sales, status and performance bonuses made me giddy. And then a few things happened along the way to middle age that made me begin to view success differently.

  • When I was 25, I was wrongly terminated because I didn’t share the same personal beliefs my boss did.
  • When I was 27, my beloved Uncle Steve died at age 49.
  • When I was 31, a friend introduced me to ecstatic dance.
  • When I was 33, I left my job and boyfriend in the city and followed my dream and heart to the beach. That year I also began what would be a ten year adventure – working as a counselor at a high school leadership camp.
  • When I was 36, I left the beach and returned to the working life I thought I’d let go of three years prior.
  • When I was 39, I created Beach Dance.

These are just a few things that come to mind and each is a story in and of itself, but they all share something in common – they helped me see what was truly important in my life. Perhaps that’s my new definition for success – seeing (and taking action towards) what is truly important in one’s life.

Being fired helped me see the importance of standing up for what I believe in no matter the consequences. Being in that room when my Uncle Steve passed on helped me see death as a new beginning. Dancing the way I wanted to helped me see that creative movement is a means to cathartic emotional release.  Letting go of a job and a relationship that made me feel safe helped me see that security is just an illusion. Working as a camp counselor helped me see what it really means to give back and be of service to others. Being attached to a specific place (or anything else for that matter) helped me see that holding on to what is is a ridiculous concept because life and everything in it is constantly changing. Creating something I cared about and inviting people to be a part of it helped me see that the best ideas are not the ones inside my head. They’re the ones that are out in the world living in the hearts of others.

What’s truly important in my life?

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What’s grown by leaps and bounds in the past few months for Beach Dance?

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If that’s not success, I don’t know what is.

 

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