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 back to Portland, USA, this November!

Portland Joana Saahirah 2017

Joana Saahirah & The Secrets of Egyptian Dance, upgraded & more SOULful than ever, back to Portland (Oregon), this November. Organization by Heather Henna Louise.
Portland is one of Joana Saahirah´s USA & Canada SOULful TOUR.
Follow the link for more information: http://hennadances.com/joanapdx/

Joana Saahirah & The Secrets of Egyptian Dance – Level II – in Malaga, Spain

Los Segredos de La Danza Egipzia - Nivel II“The Secrets of Egyptian Dance”, a dance training format I´ve created alongside my first published book – “The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” – is something I´m really proud to share with the world. Not that I´m not proud of everything I do – I am – but this particular training, divided in 3 basic levels, is my favourite thing to teach.

What nobody´s teaching you about Egyptian Dance & Personal Empowerment.

 The best of Western and Eastern wisdom gathered in a training that awakens you in mysterious ways that go beyond the dance realm. Unique. Precious.

“The Secrets of Egyptian Dance – Level II” happens in Malaga, Spain, on the 9 & 10th December.

More information with Esalim (https://www.facebook.com/esalim.danzadelvientre

Life changing tool – sharing it with you!

I´ve included meditation in my daily routine for the last 10 days and it has already changed my life. I mean: 10 days?!

Aside from increased focus and mental clarity, inner calm and a much needed extra dose of patience (FYI: I´m the least patient person in the world), I´ve been digging into the deepest parts of my being – memories, grudges, past lives – which tend to surface, effortlessly, whenever my (gemini/busy) mind gets out of the way.

How, I ask mysef, something so simple can have such an impact on my life?
Thanks, once more, to Jonni Pollard for creating this fabulous tool.

Follow the link to access the app: http://www.1giantmind.org/

IMG_20171011_105216.jpgPhoto: me, after meditation, looking – and feeling – high as a kite.

Joana Saahirah SOULful USA & Canada 2017 TOUR is arriving!

Joana Saahirah of Cairo & The Secrets of Egyptian Dance SOULful USA & CANADA TOUR happens this November!

From Egypt to the World, bringing back the Soul of Egyptian Dance. Essence with Contemporary, creative twist.
Cities on the tour: Delaware (organization by Zahra Noor); Portland, Oregon (organization by Heather Henna Louise) ; Atlanta (organization by Faaridah Raqs); Quebec, Canada (organization by Sarah Jawida Vezina).

Thanks to my dearest, The Legend, Morocco Carolina Varga Dinicu for trusting my work, my vision and my madness; thanks for watching me in Cairo, and supporting my dreams, when I´d just started performing with my orchestra and nobody believed I´d succeed; thanks for introducing me to USA. I´m deeply honored to have you as a friend, a sister, and my first sponsor in USA.
Without you, this 4th tour wouldn´t happen.

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The Gipsy (in Slovenia)

lower 2.jpgThey called her princess but she knew better, smiling at them, nodding to make them feel appreciated.

They thought they knew her but nobody knew her, not even her.
How can you know the Unknown?

She was the wind – a Gipsy, her mum said since the day she was born, ripping her tiny bits of hair off and screaming to the top of her lungs -, an unpredictable wave that hits you when, and where, you least expect it.

-You always leave. – Said her lovers, unaware she left because she had to; she left because there was no reason to stay.

She was not defined by labels, appearances, expectations.
Only her heart, and its dangerous whispers, directed her actions. Only her heart knew her. (Perhaps not even her heart for the heart is an open door and open doors lead nowhere and everywhere).

The Gipsy dances beyond the veil.

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Text by Joana Saahirah
Photos of Joana Saahirah taken by Breda Jurečko taken backstage before show in Maribor, Slovenia.

Let The Fall begin!

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Hello, October!
Hello, Fall!
Hello, Death & Rebirth (the meaning of Fall)!
Each Season is an opportunity to leave something behind and start something new. With Fall comes death and with death comes rebirth.We, too, can surrender and allow ourselves to fall so we can rise higher after that. Remember the ground – earth – is always there to sustain, embrace and heal you.
Wonder what you don´t need to keep anymore – old, outdated cloths, furniture, beliefs, grudges, prejudices – and throw it away while focusing on what you wish for this new season.
The colors of Nature, the Fire Places lighting up, the cosiness of a rainy, dark, blanket & television Sunday afternoon; holding hands with a loved one during a walk in the park, comfort food, hot chocolate with a close friend, the light, the promise of retreat and inner peace – these are my favorite things related to Fall. What are yours?

My Life is a Television Series

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Image via Jadranka Tričković-Mohr

My feeling ALL-THE-TIME.
If anyone wants to feel amused, shocked, in awe, hopeful, in absolute despair and mind blown, ask me to tell you a bit, a tiny bit, of my life. Then you´ll know what a great story is.

People only see the tip of the iceberg, not imagining what´s beneath – how many blessings, inner search trips, struggles, obstacles, hard work and doubts run through me.

They ask me: what are you complaining about when you have the life most people can only dream of?

I never had a single thing handed down to me. Never. Everything I am, and achieved, was conquered with hard work, sacrifices and sweat. And I´m not here begging for a free ride but...well…wait…I kind of…am. I´ve earned it, man!

If Louise Hay, and all other Positive Thinking visionaries, are correct, I´ve been attracting the struggle and the need for hard work in order to achieve what I´ve conquered. Maybe they´re right; maybe not (who knows?).

I´d like to believe that, once my beliefs change, my reality changes accordingly. The fact is I´m a positive person who expects the best from people and life, in general; I focus on myself, and my life, and I refuse to harm a flie. Or myself, for that matter.

I know, and believe (those are different things: knowing and believing), I´m worthy and deserving of the best, smoothest ride, and yet my life experience often disagrees.

Fair enough: I enjoy a good amount of extraordinary people, and experiences, on a daily basis but, then again, I earn that reality. If I put positivity, creativity and love out there, why shouldn´t I receive the same back? Isn´t life a boomerang – you receive what you put out there?

And why are there jerks – and I mean devilish JERKS – who harm others, lie, offend, destroy and have a fabulous life?

I´ve materialized most of my dreams and, if I died today, I´d die a happy person. That´s true – it´s not all bad and, I repeat, you won´t see me complaining any time soon. But the weight I (also) carry on my back won´t shut up. Creeps keep creeping in – don´t you love the sound of that triple C-K-C? –  and no fruits fall from a tree I didn´t plant, water and worked on with my own, bleeding, exhausted hands. Which leaves me with the questions: where´s the reality that matches my positive thinking? If I´m doing my homework, sort of speak, correctly, where´s the reward?

Furthermore: can positive thinking avoid life´s darkest side?

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Although I don´t play the victim and focus on the POSITIVE, dismissing the negative at all costs, the truth is life is constantly offering me a varied pallette of experiences, most of them quite challenging, many of them harsh enough to break the bones of any mentally healthy, strong human being. Independently of how much heart, and quality, I put into things, nothing comes easy. And I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G. There are envy and hate patrols around me, enemies coming out of nowhere, unpleasant surprises and obstacles on every corner. I wonder why. And why not.

Is life supposed to be hard or simple?

Are we supposed to work hard for what we wish for or believe it will be handed to us without struggle?

Is the change of our beliefs enough to change our reality?

I wish I had the answers to those, and many others, questions. I don´t. Not yet. So I keep riding the waves, the best I can, and keep hoping for the best.

P.S: I´d just like to ask the screen writers to take it easy on the obstacles, the envy & haters patrols, and the disappointments. I´ve had my share, and then some, of those. Thank you.

*Food for Thought. Follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMZZT73kgc

Aim for RESPECT, not fame

16473008_10210651908606724_1592664473864052724_nAchieving fame is easy and it can be done in all sorts of clean, or dirty, ways. Achieving respect is an whole other level of success.

Anyone can be famous, for interesting and for the poorest reasons; not everybody´s able to earn RESPECT. That´s built from a continuous proof of value, character, honesty, intelligence, talent, accountability, self-respect and respect for others. What you do, in the background, when nobody´s watching, defines you and will transpire towards the exterior world, sooner or later.

Aim to earn RESPECT instead of fame at any price. That bullshit won´t define you or give you the fullfilment you´re dreaming about.

Just sayin´…