The Art of turning obstacles into OPPORTUNITIES (a NEW YEAR´s peculiar Message)

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The Art of turning obstacles into OPPORTUNITIES is not new to me; every student, fan, follower and reader who´s been in contact with my work knows how familiar this ground is.

Would I wish to live in a world that always runs smoothly, an obstacle-free universe where everything goes exactly how I want them to go, a life covered in unblemished sugar and candy? Probably. Maybe not. Who knows?

I know enough, by now, to recognize Life has a way of making us grow – both professionally and personally – through adversity. And, in the sake of truth, let me say it like it is: obstacles aren´t nice; difficulties, loss, injustice, pain, setbacks, failure, adversity in all its shapes and colors aren´t cool. I can´t stand the voices who glamourize these dark patches trying to make them what they´re not: something we should (almost) wish for. I´d like to have all the roads opened wide for me – effortlessly, lovingly, populated with kind, honest, generous folks who wished me the best.

But, I have to admit, it´s through the dark tunnels we evolve. We must face them, cross them, light them up with our ability to turn the night into a new day.

I´ve lost count of the obstacles I met along the way – they were so many, and some of them so great, I started calling them “opportunities”, first as a strategy to cope with them and survive, then as a realization.

This year, I received loads of blessings and I went through some of the hardest moments, including a big earthquake with a tsunami threat in a distant island, disease, instabilities of different sorts, a face to face meeting with my deepest fears and a fire. If I didn´t have a heart attack these past months, I will never have it.

There are huge TRANSFORMATIONS happening inside me and in my work, including at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School.

I´d been thinking about creating a better platform for the school – I´d been wishing for it and dreaming of it forever but life had to slap me on the face, once more, to push me into forward action. The platform – Powhow – where the school operated announced its closure in the space of one month. No warning, no pre-announcement, no preparation: the courses I´d been building in the platform would be gone, forever, after all the love and investment I´d put in them.

At first, it felt like a betrayal, a punch in the stomach. God knows how much work went into the school, how much time, money, skills, patience, care. Yet, my feelings weren´t taken in consideration. As it happens, most of the time, the world doesn´t care if we´re feeling down or outraged. As the jazz song says, “we gotta dust ourselves off and start all over again”. And so I did.

A lot of work is ahead – mistakes, trials, discoveries, surprises, evolution. There´s no shortcut to success or to love or to LIFE. We gotta dig in, dive deep, take chances, wrap our sleeves up and show up for our own survival and thriving.

tumblr_ntvrutKOqi1r9qv2bo1_500.jpgThe medicine may be bitter but it may heal us so let´s open the bottle and swallow the magic liquid, shall we?

1. In the NEW year that´s approaching, I hope you take a deep breath, close your eyes, and give thanks. Say THANK YOU for all you are and have right now (even the unpleasant stuff).

2. Take stake of the “negative” experiences you´ve lived in the past three months and check how you´ve lived them and if you managed to make the best of them. Bring the lessons from past experiences to the present and to the future. 

3. Feel the pain/loss, whenever you suffer/lose; take a step backwards, have a good night sleep, breathe deeply and “start all over again”. Going through the tunnel doesn´t mean we must remain in the tunnel – we cross it to, eventually, get out of it.

4. Wonder how you can turn a “bad situation” into an opportunity for growth. You may not be able to erase sadness or bring a lost treasure back but you can create something beautiful out of it – it won´t eliminate the dark tunnel but it´ll give it meaning.

5. Understand there´s no EVOLUTION without pain. We have to struggle to get out of our comfort zone; we must die a little in order to be reborn.

What I wish for this NEW YEAR is this: the lucidity and courage to cross the dark tunnels life throws at us with our eyes on the prize – what can I learn from this, how can I turn this shitty hard situation into something worthwhile?

You know the deal: nobody said it´d be easy, only that it would be worth it.

Meanwhile, it wouldn´t hurt if we asked Santa for world peace and, yeah!, a few open-wide roads. No rocks or frogs, no traps, no dragons with evil intentions, no losses.

We deserve a break and rewards for the seeds planted ❤

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A NEW, upgraded, Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School is about to be born.

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School REBIRTH is coming!

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Happening as we speak

Transformation, as death – a symbol of transformation -, has a terrible reputation. We love safety, comfort, knowing what´s ahead of us, the (false) sense of security that stagnation brings.

And, yet, Life is constantly reminding us there´s nothing more certain than CHANGE; we can escape a lot but change is in our genes, in the air that turns from cold to hot, in the day that follows the night, in satisfaction that switches to hunger, in the movement of the tides, our blood, our skin, our soul.

The platform – Powhow – where Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School has opened its doors will close down by the end of November – many other changes, personal and professional, are coming along for the ride. What many would see as obstacles, I choose to see as OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH. I know we´re not supposed to stay the same, doing the same things in the exact same way we´ve always made them.

A NEW, better, platform for our school will soon be provided; a NEW, better, future is in construction. Step by step, shift by shift, we arrive where we´re supposed to be. If only we see The Flow as our friend; if only we ACT upon our dreams; if only we trust Life enough and open our arms to RECEIVE ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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In a moment like this, when the darkness of Winter is slowly invading & illuminating us, I bow to the blessings of CHANGE. May we act upon it and allow it to bring exactly what it´s meant to fall on our laps.44932137_1871113233010008_3420781523861766144_n

Image via Hayat Hakim