The 3 things that changed my Life (life hacks, anyone interested?)

Although I don´t believe in Universal Formulas, I´m happy to share my TOP 3 LIFE HACKS, the goodies that work for me, the things that changed my life for better.

If they apply to you, great; if they don´t, I invite you to FIND YOUR OWN LIFE HACKS. Trust me, they exist. What makes a difference in your life may be different from what makes a difference in my life but those goodies – your goodies – are out there. Go and get them. Nobody will improve your life – only YOU can do it, starting with those daily, seemingly ordinary, things.

  1. Daily meditation.

At first, it felt like an impossible task. How could I – the over-doer always on schedule and on the run – stop, every day, for 15 or 20 minutes to do”nothing”? How could I take time from my overloaded day to sit, focus on my breath, and be – just be?

I believe most of us, particularly Westerners, arrive to Meditation as a way to save ourselves from insanity, a last resource, searching for salvation. We reach a point of mild, or violent, burnout and realize we have to STOP in order to keep moving. I was no exception. My brain felt like it was going to explode; I´d lived more in 35 years of existence than most people I know live during their entire lives. I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, in urgent need of respite. My “cup was running over” but not in a good way.

Once I forced myself to sit still and go through my daily meditation, the agitation gave place to peace. I endured the storms, the “what a hell am I doing, or not doing, here?” tantrums, the shenanigans, the bursts of laughter and crying, the almost irresistible temptation to quit. I stayed put, returned day after day to my seated position; eyes closed, mind – slowly – opening. Now, I can honestly say: meditation takes me to my happy place, my internal home, my personal heaven, the one which resides within. It has shown me HOW to breathe and use my breath to shape my reality; how to distinguish my thoughts from WHO I AM, truth from fantasy, fear from courage. It has made me more rooted, aware, calm, trusting, loving, and – tchan, tchan, tchan! – patient.

It has changed the way I dance, live, treat myself and others.

***There are many MEDITATION APPS, some of them FREE, available on the internet. Search for the one you´d like to try and give it a go. Realize it takes time to form a new habit so DO NOT QUIT. If you miss a day, or more, restart. You´re allowed to fall and rise up.

Make meditation a daily practice for at least 60 days in a row, the time it takes, according to research, to install a new habit.


2. Gratitude

The daily practice of GRATITUDE has changed my mindset and, consequently, the way I dance and live.

Complaining, criticizing, pointing fingers is so easy! Plus, we find loads of company for those activities. But, let´s be honest, complaining doesn´t get things done; criticizing may, or not, raise awareness on something which is not right but it doesn´t change it for the better; pointing fingers is disempowering.

Once you become aware of GRATITUDE, how it applies to your existence and how it changes it, you never go back to the CRITICS CLUB. You´ll be too busy saying THANK YOU, LIFE; too busy with your own life, the things and people that matter the most to you.

It´s as simple as this: I have a GRATITUDE APP on my mobile phone. As soon as I wrap my daily meditation, a central part of my Morning Routine, I´ll open the app and write the things I´m most grateful for. They can be “food on the table”, or “this sunny day”, or “my love relationship”, or “the success and the joy in my work”, or “the challenges that are making me grow”, or (fill in the blank).

What a daily GRATITUDE PRACTICE does is tuning YOU with LIFE´s ABUNDANCE, a POSITIVE ENERGY of LOVE, CAN-DO, INSPIRATION, OPENNESS. The more you say THANK YOU, the more you´ll receive.


***Create your own GRATITUDE RITUALS.

You can go for a GRATITUDE JAR where you´ll insert hand-written notes with the things you´re most grateful for at the end of each week; you can download a GRATITUDE APP, as I did, and use it daily; you can have your GRATITUDE JOURNAL where you´ll write before sleeping. Use your imagination.The most important thing is to make it a HABIT, not something you do here and there.

3. Filing my LIFE with Beauty.

My feet standing on my beloved Moroccan rug, one I bought from an old man – kind, funny, wrinkled and beautiful – at the outskirts of the desert.

I know it sounds too easy. Or difficult. You may claim: I don´t have time, money, or energy to focus on Beauty; that´s a luxury for the rich and the lucky. Yes, you may claim it. And I will disagree.

When, after many years of life in Cairo, Egypt, and travels world-wide for work, I decided to move for a while to the deep Portuguese countryside; I found a humble abode hidden between the mountains and the river and I settled in it. I knew I NEEDED to BRING BEAUTY into my life. That, in itself, would do a lot of the cleaning, healing, and rebirthing I so desperately needed.

I didn´t buy new clothes, furniture, or objects for decoration. I went back to the basics: a clean home which I cleansed with daily doses of fresh air, incense, and essential oils; a well tended garden from which I could take flowers to decorate my place (and myself); a silent, peaceful, bulshit-free environment where ONLY LOVE AND BEAUTY could enter. I filtered my thoughts, feelings, interactions with my inner and exterior world; I made sure nothing negative would reign in my space. No, sir, not on my watch.

I´ve moved out, lived in Morocco and Indonesia ever since. I´ve spent time in hotel rooms around the globe. Yet, my CULT OF BEAUTY remains untouched.

Bringing BEAUTY in all its forms into my life has changed the whole game. I no longer participate in negative, trashing, destructive scenarios; I make sure my environments are clean, fresh, beautified with whatever is available. I´ve discovered BEAUTY is healing and realized we eventually become a mirror of the things and people we surround ourselves with. If I catch myself into downwards/destructive mode, I catch myself up and breathe – staring at the trees, the sky, anything beautiful.

Add BEAUTY into your home, work space, internal and external life. Go for simplicity; filter the thoughts, things, and people you wish to bring into your life. DECORATE your LIFE in an uplifting, inspiring, manner. Beauty attracts beauty, the same way joy attracts joy, and gratitude attracts abundance.

YOU are BEAUTIFUL – let your dance, and life, be a reflection of that fact.

Enjoy this bonus video I´ve produced for YOU:

*Share your own LIFE HACKS in the comments to this post – I´d love to hear from you and the things that make your life happier.

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The “In Between” space (that annoying mother f#$%r!)

As a teacher, I´ve seen it happening.

As a dancer, a choreographer, an author, and a creator who is constantly pushing boundaries and producing out of the box, I´ve been through it on endless occasions.

As a human being who thrives to continuous growth, I know how it feels.

That – mother f”#$%&r – state of “in between”, when you´re not where you want to be yet but you´re also not where you were; the “no man´s land” where you feel you´re adrift, having started the journey without knowing if you´ll arrive to your destination.

That space between your old self and your new self, your goal and the achievement of your goal, the middle point in your Evolution Journey – grey, moldy, blurred – is annoying. If you´re impatient, like me, the irritation gets exponentially multiplied. You´re working passionately but you don´t see the results. Not yet. You ask when? You keep on working, pushing, focusing. And still no results. Damn it!

You´ll eventually reach a crossroads: you either drive yourself crazy with impatience and tension (“Why, why, why aren´t the results showing?”), you quit (“This isn´t working, I´ll never get where I want to be; why am I doing all this work, anyway?”), or you keep on moving forward while surrendering, trusting life, knowing the fruits of the seeds you´re planting will show in their own natural time.

It can be hard, really hard, but there´s no escape. Like in many other things in life, you´ll have to make a choice: go nuts, quit, or keep going while trusting life and its timing. Although I´ve chosen each of the three options, on different occasions, I now know which is the wisest. And you know IT, too.


Do the work while allowing Life, and Time, to be your Co-Creation partners.
They won´t fail you.

***

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Yep, we´re totally Unique. And so are YOU. Welcome to the Club!

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.

Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love

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Welcome to a special, pioneering, online course that will change the way you see Egyptian Dance, Yourself, & your Life:

Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love

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This is the Course I wish someone had created when I was an Egyptian Dance student!

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School is celebrating its 1st anniversary and this is the course I created to celebrate it. More than a dance course, this is a Life Awakening Adventure we´ll take together.

Hop on & let´s GROW!

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Here´s what you´ll receive with this Online, recorded, Course:

1. You´ll be introduced to the holistic nature of Egyptian Dance as a Sacred Language, an Art form, & a tool for Self-Empowerment. How body, mind, heart, and soul come together to create a DANCE, and LIFE, you love.

2. A trip into the magical world of Om Kolthoum and Abd el Wahab, the major geniuses of Egyptian music.

3. Technique & choreography of the iconic song “Enta Omri” by Om Kolthoum. Step by step technical explanation, full choreography, interpretation & cultural context training.

4. How to awaken your Creativity & Improvisation skills. How to use the tools you learn from teachers in order to create your own dance & life.

5. You´ll have access to tools for loving Yourself & your Life.

6. You´ll get extra bonus material (videos, articles, music, images) + love sheets + homework + feedback from the teacher.

7. Above everything we´re offering in this course, you´ll also get an Enta Omri Booklet, also conceived by Joana Saahirah, to take you deeper into this Transformational Journey & help you to make the best out of this course.

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyIMPORTANT NOTE: There are 10 recorded classes, which you can acess as many times as you wish for as long as our school exists, included in this Course/Class Package PLUS 49 videos of inspiring performances and ORIGINAL BONUS MATERIAL created for every class ESPECIALLY CONCEIVED FOR THIS COURSE by Joana Saahirah.

Folder Enta Omri.jpgWe suggest you create an Enta Omri Folder with other smaller folders for each class – Class #1, Class #2, Class #3 and so forth – so you can store the amazing bonus material offered with each recorded class (every class comes with original bonus material created exclusively for this course).

 

 

 

 

Here are the 3 ESSENTIAL areas we work in this Course:

What are the results we promise to deliver (IF you do all the classes, exercises, and choreography proposed in the course):

  1. A higher level of Egyptian Dance – technique, choreography, and interpretation skills.
  2. Increased self-awareness & self-esteem to fulfill your dreams.
  3. A new life purpose.

 

Here ´s what you can do to subscribe:

1.Go to www.powhow.com and LOG IN with your email & password.

If you don´t have a Powhow account yet, you can create it by introducing your email and a password of your choice.

2. Go to the SEARCH BOX and write the name of the course you wish to purchase. The system will lead you through from there.

3. Once you´ve subscribe, you´ll have immediate access to the 10 recorded classes, as well as to the correspondent bonus material offered with the course – music, videos, articles, images, Love Sheets, provocations to awaken you & guide your towards your BEST SELF, your BEST DANCE, & your BEST LIFE.

You´ll have access to those class recordings for as long as our school exists (we plan on existing for a really long time!).

4. If you need assistance regarding the contents of the course, or courses, you´ve subscribed to, send an email to dancemagica@gmail.com

If you need technical assistance, contact Powhow´s team at support@powhow.com

It´s a pleasure to have you at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School.