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.

***

Click on the link below to be a part of Joana Saahirah´s World Newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/d6df2e4ea97e/joinjoanasaahirahworldnewsletter?fbclid=IwAR2sm-8oCcXAHaXZeaK9JcmRlDUYu7cQLSJtBUCkWYvgm_0_oOXulenXb8c

Once you join us, you´ll become a member of a positive & empowering dance community; you´ll also receive the EXCLUSIVE content I only share with my INSIDE DANCERS; you´ll be the first one to know about our NEWS, CONTESTS, GIFTS, and INSPIRATIONS.
Yep, we´re totally Unique. And so are YOU. Welcome to the Club!

On the Gifts of Imperfection

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On the Gifts of Imperfection
As an Egyptian Dance teacher, who knows teaching dance is also teaching selfawareness and love, I’ve witnessed signs of evolution, setbacks, moments of despair, hopelessness, boredom, strength and weakness, fear and courage, one step ahead and three steps back; trying, giving up, trying again; winning and losing and everything in between.
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In Dance, as in Life, growth doesn’t happen in a straight line – it’s made of ups and downs, falling and rising, making mistakes and miracles; meetings, face to face, with our own darkness and with our own light.
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Although we’re taught to celebrate the (false) idea of perfection – which really, and I mean really*, doesn’t exist -, the truth is we’re works in progress – always undone, thriving for a better version of ourselves, always building new houses upon an ancient house (our soul) which has long forgotten universal truths.
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When we think we understood the rules of this Dance, Life takes the carpet off our feet and BAM 💣💥💢, we’re thrown into the beginner’s classroom, once more.
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I say “Celebrate imperfection! Celebrate not knowing, the failure, the darkest meetings with ourselves and with others – there’s always a possibility of a flight after a fall.” Being human is, after all, the adventure of walking in unknown roads where we will, make no mistake, fall and bleed, hit rocks, rise and shine.
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As long as we keep living, and learning from our mishaps, we’re perfect. We may move slowly as long as we keep moving forward.
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Turning Rocks into Diamonds

There´s nothing more inspiring, or challenging, as LIFE. This is our biggest work of art, our biggest lesson, our graduation.

I watch, as the movie rolls – from me, around me -, with the awe of a newborn child. No school, university, teacher can reach the ankles of this Master, the only real Master, called life.

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Today, I tried to start a class at my school – Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School – and the system failed. Again. I couldn´t start the class. It was exasperating.

I´m known for my professionalism, work ethic, and self-discipline. Naturally, I freak out when things go down the drain, despite my best efforts. It wasn´t the first time the system had failed. Chasing the “perfect internet” has been a thing since I´ve arrived to Bali. This class, already a rescheduled session, couldn´t happen.

Instead of feeling stressed, and frustrated, I took the high road: I took a deep breath and searched for constructive solutions.

We cannot control reality, independently of our desire to do so;

We cannot control life, its blessings, shocks, synchronicities, jokes, pleasantness and unpleasantness. Its beauty and its ugliness.

As far as I can see, we´re not The Creators of our Lives – we´re the CO-CREATORS. That means we have a partner, the most powerful of them all (LIFE), to deal with.

Although Life´s plan doesn´t always agree with our plan, I´ve learned – through trials and tribulations which I ended up calling “diamonds shaped out of rocks” – we can make the best out of practically everything that comes our way.

I´m not dismissing the unsolvable tragedies, the things we cannot fix – the death of a loved one, a disease that takes away our life quality, a loss so great we cannot manage to lick the wound and go on with a relatively healthy mental state.

Living provides daily opportunities to develop the skill of ADAPTATION and even GRATITUDE for things we didn´t plan, didn´t desire, wished didn´t happen. Instead of working so hard to plan, control, and judge reality, the idea is to EMBRACE what is right now, without judgment, and work with it to the best of our abilities. 

You know how it goes: when life gives you lemons…

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In Dance, as in Life, what matters the most is “how well you walk through fire” (Bukowski). How well you deal with the things you cannot change – are you able of turning rocks into diamonds?

Embrace the Fire. Make it Your Own. Let it lighten your path. Kiss it on the mouth.

Make the best of it.

Right now.

Always.

Unconditionally.

 

 

The Essentials + Egyptian Dance (funky) Levels

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There are many dimensions, or levels, in Egyptian Dance:
1. The exotic striptease level – the lowest.
2. The Gym “wanna lose some weight & shame your hips for fun?” level.
3. The pretensious “bellydance” class which is not more than level 2 advertised as dance.
4. The Dance School level – technically basic but with good intentions.
5. The Dance Festival level – choreography & competition oriented; technically more developed.
6. The professional wanna be level.
7. The professional level divided in two cathegories:
7.1. The Diva-Competition-Commercial Addict who moves to be #1, whatever that means, earn applause and general acceptance.
The Artist who moves (from her/his soul) because she/he loves it.
8. Egyptian Dance as an Art Form combined with Self-Knowledge & Empowerment – the highest level.
If you wish to learn this dance as an Art form, and a way to empower yourself in dance, and in life, there are ESSENTIALS you cannot escape, independently of how long you´ve been involved in this dance field.
I´m sharing the main courses, available at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School, I know  for a fact will help you get to that rare, & precious, level 6.
Here they are:​
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Egyptian Dance ABC & Creative Awakening
Arms & Hands in Egyptian Dance happens this month
Arms & Hands in Egyptian Dance
REMINDER: there´s a 15% discount on all our courses valid only until tomorrow. Take advantage of it.
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Follow the link to visit our School ❤ : http://www.powhow.com/classes/joana-saahirahs-dance-studio

What makes YOU happy? (I want to hear about it)

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One of my favourite things about the technological world we live in is how CONNECTED we can be with friends, random cool strangers, students and audiences from all over the world.

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School is a great example of how technology can bring us closer to each other and allow for an easier transmission of knowledge.

And, now, I – the technologically challenged girl who happens to love technology –  am reaching out to YOU to know

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WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?

You can answer, with a text, a photography (high resolution images, please) or both, to my email (dancemagica@gmail.com). I´ll select a few answers to include in the book I´m currently working on: The Happiness Freak, my little book of Happiness.

If you wish to be a part of my research, and book, get your happiness juices flowing and send me your answer ASAP.

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Joana Saahirah, the Happiness Freak, has a Message for YOU

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Joana Saahirah, The Happiness Freak, performing in Russia

-How have you been doing, kiddo? – João, the nicest clerk, asked me, as he was counting money, on my last visit to the bank.

-I´m better now. But I was quite sick, ya´know? I almost cancelled my USA & Canada Tour to return to Europe and get myself admitted into a hospital. That´s how sick I was…

(note: João, as my bank account manager, follow my career and world trips; they´re also two of the coolest human beings I´ve ever met)

Hmmm…I see your photos and videos on Facebook and you always look, and sound, so happy. I had no idea you´d been sick.

Here´s the thing: I cultivate happiness and I don´t think it´s cool to drop my pain, and occasional bitterness, into other people´s heads. Although I don´t hide my dark days, and I have them too, I don´t presume the whole world is interested in knowing about them; I also don´t think it´s people´s jobs to pat me on the back when things don´t go as I wish them to do. 

11239652_10153462491247731_6617123341280763579_nThen there´s FOCUS.

I´m not always happy but, let me repeat it, I cultivate happiness. You may call it stubbornness, positive attitude, naivety – I´ve been called “crazy” on more than one occasion because, and I quote, “you´re always happy”.

Nope. I´m not always happy but I collect happiness seeds and I bury them under the earth the same way I wash my face – daily, automatically, as part of my routine. I do it out of habit but, let´s be real, for survival reasons. I have the lowest level of tolerance for long term unhappiness.

Sometimes, the seed grows, turning itself into flowers, fruits, hope, a smile on my face, a renewed sense of faith. Other times, the seed dies where it was buried: under the earth. I keep burying it under the earth, a habit probably inherited form my peasant family.

Misery loves company and, as I´ve observed, people will get annoyed at you – I´d say antagonistic or aggressive – if all they hear from you is good news. Apparently, appearances matter. A lot. And people compare themselves, and their lives, to others as a way to measure their worth and happiness quotient. If you seem to be happy all the time, you´ll earn a few of haters. For no reason. YOU, the HAPPY FREAK, reminds them of their unhappiness. That sucks – you suck! Why can´t you just be miserable like the rest of us?

Mirrors are a pain in the neck.

Apparently, I´m not a normal person in many senses but, especially, in the sense that I don´t compare myself, or my life, to others and the life they seem to live. Why would I?

My dreams are mine – they´re not everybody´s dreams. My heaven can be hell for another person and vice-versa. What makes me happy is not necessarily what makes you happy. And what makes me happy keeps evolving, changing, growing as I grow up.

Now let me tell you the truest part of my truth: although I´m known as a dancer, a teacher, a choreographer and an author, I´m above everything else a Happiness Freak. Or, to put it more pleasantly, a Happiness Researcher. Everything I´ve done, so far, aims at one thing and one thing only: being happy and understanding it as an Art form, a way of living.

The subject has always fascinated me, guided my steps, worked as a compass that tells me where I should go, whom I should be with, what I should create, when to say yes and when to say no. I recognize no other authority except the authority of my soul which speaks, I believe, through happiness.

And there´s no better moment to reflect on Happiness than when we go through unhappy times. Contrast is magic. We see the light because we come in contact with darkness; we feel the cold after tasting the warmth; we value health the moment we lose it, even if  through a light headache; we can learn love from hate and right from wrong. Dipping into hell, in order to have a taste of heaven, is not the problem. The problem is the remain in hell, for longer than necessary, and eventually becoming it.

Unhappiness can teach us about happiness. So, (follow my lead), if we want to understand, and experience, consistent happiness – one which doesn´t depend on volative, ever changing exterior circumstances -, we shouldn´t run away from unhappiness, the  partner who´ll teach us about its (apparent) opposite. We should accept it as an integral part of our Happiness experience.

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Unhappiness, as an inevitable part of existence, is a major key to Happiness. That is if we listen and observe ourselves, going through the sadness, from the outside (I call it “putting myself on Freud´s divan).

Let´s take my 2017 as an example.

It was marvellous. And horrible.

It was expansive. And destructive.

It was hopeful. And desperate.

It was the end. And the beginning.

Colorful, I´d add. As life always is. We try to paint it black and white but nothing is that simple. We wait for the moment when every piece will fall into place – the place we believe is the correct – and that “ideal” moment never arrives. We keep waiting. And postponing happiness. Ad eternum.

Here´s what a short, but effective, dip into hell taught me:

The murderer is the healer. The healer is the murderer.

The thief is the giver. The giver is the thief.

The king is the beggar. The beggar is the king.

Friends turn out to be enemies. Enemies turn out to be friends.

Making sense – logical/rational – sense will drive you nuts. I mean clinically nuts; singing La La Land, running around naked with a sailor´s cap stuck in your shaved head, in a hospice in the south of France, nuts.

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But we can trick our rational minds, which love black and white movies, into taking a nap. And we can watch the whole picture from a balcony above our need to control and label.

1915810_1396955962039_2312205_nHere´s a glimpse of what I saw from that balcony, this year, while going through fires – literal and metaphoric -, the death of loved ones, disease, betrayals and obstacles that would make your inner hero throw the towel on the floor:

  1. There´s no univeral definition of Happiness. Every person builds his/her own. And that´s OK.
  2. As volatile, complex, sensitive, permeable beings, we cannot remain indifferent to our suffering and the suffering of others ; we are empathetic with the chaos inside and around us. We´re also contradictory beings. We can be at the top of the mountain, the one we dreamt of, surrounded by every reason to feel happy, and conclude: I´ve never been more miserable than I am now! Therefore, the claim that we can be happy, in perfect harmony with the Cosmos, and with unblemished inner joy all the time is an utopia. To say the least.
  3. Although we cannot be happy all the time, as a consequence of our human  condition, we can cultivate HAPPINESS as a default mode, an unshakeable home, invisible to the outside world – an internal place we can cultivate, decorate, cherish. The goal is to create a happiness ground/base/floor we can bounce back to after each shock, setback, loss, disappointment, fall, heartbreak. This, I believe, is possible.
  4. It´s essential to create your Awakened Dreaming Space to check in, realize where you stand on your particular journey, and redefine your path, if needed. Having a clear PURPOSE is one of the keys to happiness. I´ve noticed I lose Fire* – stamina, passion, “animus”, physical and mental health, reason for living – when I lose track of my purpose. And having periodic Awakened Dreaming meetings is essential to keep my purpose on track. Have a notebook and a pen; book a meeting with yourself on a warm, quiet, cosy coffeeshop where you´ll be able to sit, for at least one hour, and have a cappuccino with yourself. Breathe. Don´t run away from yourself or what hurts (Yey! Guilty as charged. Professional runner in da house!). You booked the meeting – SHOW UP for yourself. Write down your thoughts, dreams for the present moment and steps to materialize those dreams. Recognize what´s not working and write down steps – practical, doable – to change the situation. Reclaim YOUr power back. Distinguish between the dreams you have for yourself and the dreams others – mum and dad, friends, facebook peeps, society – have for you. Make a thorough check-up to your soul. Don´t be afraid to recognize the rotten fruit – expired dreams, stuff that doesn´t make sense to you anymore – and throw it away. Look within. Taste your cappuccino. Exhale.

4. Cultivating happiness – and accepting it won´t always flourish – is a habit you can create. Examples of my personal habits: I brush my teeth three times a day; I comb my hair one time a day; the first thing I do when I wake up is drinking water; I drink coffee in the morning and after lunch; I do yoga and meditation; I run outdoors; I listen to inspiring podcasts and read good books. And. And. And (it seems I´m a habit creature; we all are).

11009119_939690442747804_4093254329184594596_n.jpgI also cultivate happiness as a habit. How do I do it? Here are a few examples that work for me (I suggest you find your own formula):

  1. I reeducate my mind, as much as possible, on a daily basis. If I catch myself feeding negative thoughts – I´m not good enough, I´m exhausted, I can´t do it, I´m not loved and a scary array of quite imaginative self-destructive ideas -, I thank those thoughts for existing while replacing them with their opposites. 
  2. I make a point on saying NO whenever someone is mean, rude or dishonest. No, sir; no, lady – NOT in my space, NOT with me; thank you, have a good life, bye-bye!
  3. I work on what I love (this is a BIG ONE) and, therefore, spend most of my time creating the things I was born to create. The idea of “retiring” is not appealing to me as it seems to be for most people I know – I wish I will never have to retire. May life, and self-care, grant me the health to keep working till my last breath.
  4. Don´t be a jerk cruel person. Peace of mind is essential for The Cult of Happiness and we cannot have it if we hurt others knowingly. Peace of mind doesn´t mix with evilness – they´re like water and oil. And there´s no happiness without peace of mind so, there you go, do to others what you wish them to do to you and vice-versa (my mum´s golden rule). 
  5. Focus on what, and whom, you love. Ignore what, and whom, you dislike. Your energy moves towards the point you´re most focused on. Focus on what makes you happy, inspired, expansive. Do NOT gossip, backstab or hurt other people – it´s tacky and a loss of time/energy. Get your juices flowing towards creation instead of destruction. I know how appealing destruction can be. Knocking the castle down is easier, and more instantly satisfying, than building it. But it doesn´t bring long lasting satisfaction. Be the Doer, not the Critic. Be a badass Light Creator -there´s more than enough darkness in the world. 
  6. Take responsibility for your life. If some areas of my life suck, I search the source of the problem within instead of pointing fingers at others (“he made this to me; she made me feel like that”). That gives you power – the power to change. And the power to change gives you hope. And hope gives you happiness. 
  7. Take the small, simple, greatest, pleasures seriously. Bubble baths in the Winter – candles, incense, tea and a good book included -; brunch shared with a friend on a Sunday morning; observing Paintings in Art Galleries and painting, with my own hands, whenever I can; watching movies; cooking; flipping through cook books just for the pleasure of seeing the pictures (my mouth waters when I look at them); feeling the rain on my face as I´m caught running in the middle of a storm; eating healthy and delicious food; having passionate, soulful, sex with a man of my heart´s choice; staring at the sky; observing birds; walking bare feet; dipping into the ocean; playing with children and pets; reading and writing; falling asleep after a productive, happy, day, tuck between warms sheets and blankets; stretching my muscles as I wake up. And the list continues (I´m really good at the Pleasure Section).
  8. Keep in mind nothing is for granted. I can die today. You can, too. I´m not trying to get you depressed – just aware of the GIFT of being alive.
  9. Learn how to live with your wounds instead of hoping to heal them. I´ve observed people, and myself, a lot. Here´s of what I´ve concluded after observing people and myself from the point of view of the teacher I (also) am: some wounds don´t heal, at least not in a lifetime, independently of how hard you work on them. The question resides in discerning which wounds we can heal and which wounds we´ll have to accept as a part of our internal tissue – like a broken limb we learn to live with or a crooked tooth that adds charm to our smile.
  10. Realize nobody can make you happy except you. If you keep depositing that task on other people´s backs, you´ll end up disappointed, again and again. You, and nobody else, is responsible for making YOU happy. Others can help and add to your happiness. Having a loving family, friends, a lover, or whoever surrounds you and brings you further joy is a PLUS. But, repeat after me, they cannot make you happy. The  Cult of Happiness is born and fed from the inside out.
  11. Work on the BELIEF that YOU´re DESERVING of HAPPINESS. Oh, boy! Here´s something I see as obvious, on an intellectual level, but contradictory on a subconscious level, the one which shapes the way we operate in life. Here´s a question that deserves serious consideration: why is it so hard to truly believe we deserve to be happy in every area of our life? For now, I´m focused on erasing the belief pattern that operates under the blanket, whispering in my ears: YOU DON´T DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. YOU DON´T DESERVE ALL THIS SUCCESS. YOU DON´T DESERVE ABUNDANCE. YOU DON´T DESERVE RELATIONSHIPS THAT HONOUR YOUR CHARACTER, DIGNITY AND HEART. YOU DON´T DESERVE TO EXIST AND SHINE FULLY.

Truth hurts, I can tell you that! It can also heal as good disinfectants do. 

Ireland of my soul 2

Me, in the Irish countryside, before leading a Retreat with Egyptian Dance, Self-Discovery & Empowerment as the main subjects.

 

I´ve just returned from the Irish countryside where I was leading a wonderful retreat. One night, two artists who live at this place (Boghill, by the way) offered to perform for our group.

-There´ll be Celtic harp and poetry about the Irish countryside. – I was told.

SOLD. What could go wrong with Celtic harp and poetry about the Irish countryside?

10407721_10153443082912731_8107384798149684765_n.jpgA lot, we soon found out.

There was harp, all right. And there was poetry. But the poetry was about depression, loss, darkness, death and, what seemed to me, the CULT of UNHAPPINESS.

It can be so alluring…

Many artists have fallen into it and I can understand why. Darkness is fertile, in creative terms, and self-indulgent, on a personal level; it  gives our ego a sense of (false) importance.

It can seduce us, gather sympathy, exterior support, twisted vanity trips, the impression that we´re at the center of a special hypersensitive world nobody, except us, can understand. It makes us believe nobody can understand our pain – unique, never witnessed, almost mystical.

We can easily fall into the swamp and stay there, willingly or not, presuming life is trying to punish us for known, and unknown, mistakes.

It´s easy to get stuck into the unhappiness trap – it takes loads of work and self-awareness to cultivate happiness. Or dumbness. If you´re really – really – dumb, you´re happy all the time. Or you believe you are which is almost the same. Yeahhhh!

Although I did enjoy the poetry reading, the cult of unhappiness disturbed me. And awakened me.

anigif_enhanced-24742-1398721818-19.gifAll of us, including the Happiness Freaks, fall into the hole every once in a while.

 

Here´s the thing:

Nobody can avoid suffering but we can avoid cultivating suffering as a way of life.

Nobody can avoid falling but we can avoid getting too comfortable on the floor (beware: the floor is comfortable and oh so safe; the world outside of our shell is extremely uncomfortable and risky and, yet, that´s where we grow).

Nobody can avoid having their heart broken – I believe you´re not a full human being if you´ve never had your heart broken – but we can avoid becoming chronically broken by building walls so strong, and high, we won´t be able to love, or be loved, again.

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Fall in the swamp, for God´s sake, but make sure you don´t remain there, (un)happily swimming with alligators, for longer than a season. Cry, bump your head into walls; watch reruns of “Dexter”, or whatever works for you, while stuffing yourself with junk food (do people still have time to do that?!), but, please, mark a date on your calendar: THIS IS THE DAY I SAY GOODBYE TO MY COMFY SWAMP. Swamps have a function to fulfil – once it´s fulfilled, it´s time to wrap your sleeves up and move out.

Imagine a snorkeling ride. The swimmers carry an oxygen tank for a 2 hours´ride. They go under water and get comfy down there. Once the 2 hours´mark shows up on their waterproof watches, they know they have to go back to the surface. Otherwise, they´ll drown. This is exactly how I see unhappiness – we´re not only allowed, but forced, to go down there, but we must come back to the surface. Otherwise, we´ll drown in our own pain and we´ll become it.

I recently read an article that spoke of genetic predisposition for happiness. It made sense.

If hormones – those bitches! partners – affect the way we feel, think and act, imagine what our genetic code can do.

Let´s say that some of us are born with a Happiness quota of 50% and others with 80% or 20%. The ones who have a privileged starting point – let´s say a 80% of happiness quota to start with – have an easier job at cultivating happiness as a default mode because they´re already half way there, genetically speaking. Once something nasty happens, they bounce back to their basic 80% happiness quota without much effort.

Meanwhile, others – let´s say the 20% lot – will barely make it to 50%, even if they land their dream job, win the lottery, fall in love with the most amazing person in the universe or (fill in your blank).

Here´s my thoughts on this genetic predisposition possibility:

Science discovers new evidence every day. Let´s consider this study as a possibility and not as an undeniable fact.

Plus: if we can´t change something, we can, at least, make the best of it. If, let´s suppose, you´re part of the unlucky folks who were born with a low happiness quota, changing that genetic predisposition may not be in your hands but DOING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR QUOTA IS.

As an Egyptian Dance Teacher, I often mention the value of RESOURCEFULNESS to my students. Resourcefulness is about USING WHAT YOU HAVE, MAKING THE BEST OF IT AND TRANSFORMING IT INTO GREATNESS. You pick a rock and you turn it into a diamond. In other words: alchemy. I´ve watched dancers with 10% of knowledge shining more than dancers with 80% of knowledge. It´s not what you have/know/are that defines you but WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE/KNOW/ARE.

The same applies to Happiness ❤

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Here´s the challenge for the upcoming year:

HOW DO YOU CULTIVATE HAPPINESS AS A DEFAULT MODE, a WAY OF LIVING?

Send your answers/suggestions to my email (dancemagica@gmail.com)

Moments of pure joy (photographs from my recent work trips to Brazil, Bali and Canada.

Have you seen Summer?

Summer goneI didn´t. 

No complaints. Just facts. I´ve gone 1 time to the beach and no time to relax land. I´m always on – may that be wondering about my books, the ones I write on the rare moments of pause between dance work, may that be my new online school, my private online classes or the material I´m preparing for my upcoming world trips.

That Summer lunch – on my frontyard (I have land, flowers, trees and river surrounding my home), with neighbors and close friends – I´ve been planning since January hasn´t happened. My only dip in the river, right outside my door, took place while I was working, guiding my first MAGIC WOMB RETREAT in the heart of Portugal, Dornes, recently burnt to the ground.

No lavish dinners at sunset, no reading on the grass or by the pool; no salty, tanned skin; no naps by the shore; no partying throughout the night without a worry in the world. You see where this is going.

(I wonder if this is what they call “being an adult” or I´m just an extraordinarily busy person)tumblr_nkd6pn61ZI1sr1e3mo1_1280.jpg

I´ve been working every day – with a rare, scheduled, rest day here and there – and none of it will slow down. It´ll get even busier with the restart of my work world trips. I take refuge, and gratitude, in the fact that I do what I love and people often throw that on my face when I comment I´m exhausted:

Well...at least you do what you love…you travel the world through your work…you´re expanding constantly…you live off the stuff that give you pleasure.

I get it. For most people, I don´t have the right to say I´m tired because I´m a lucky gal who turns her dreams into reality. First: I´m not a gal; I´m a woman. Second: although there´s a fate factor in the equation (God has to agree with my Plans and intentional action), presuming I do what I do and I got where I am because I´m lucky is at least idiotic.

I don´t rely on my past achievements – you´re only as good as your last work.

I push myself every single day; I aim high, outside of the box, and keep my integrity untouched. I work my ass off and never, ever, settle for less than excellence. Plus: life hasn´t been particularly tender to me. It has given me the tools to fight but, hell!, it has thrown me into constant battle fields.

I could tell you a bunch of tragedies which I´ve turned into victories. Luck has very little to do with it.

Doing what you love doesn´t mean you don´t get exhausted, bored, disoriented, occasionally hopeless.  Although people don´t publicly acknowledge it, there are sacrifices, hard work, low valleys and unpleasant tasks involved in the “dream making business”. You just gotta keep moving ahead, believing in yourself and in your contribution, making sure you remain human till the end.

My books, writing in process, have suffered enormously though other projects, like Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School, have been growing on a daily basis. I´ve learnt how to compromise, accept time and energy limitations. Waiting. Understanding life´s timing and all that jazz.

I´ve been carrying around a yoga mat, 2 pcs, music & books (my essentials) for the last months; jumping from home to home (huge, tragic, fires around my official house); twisting myself into a pretzel, not allowing the exterior world to disorient me, taking me away from my True Path. A few disappointments with close (ex)friends & (ex)lovers – nothing new there – and a thirst for CHANGE I haven´t felt in a long while.

They tell us living our Purpose is what we should do. They don´t tell us how hard it is.

The work, the inner search, the discipline, the invisible tasks that turn ideas into accomplishments and dreams into reality. Who´s got the stamina, and the drive, for it?

I do and I believe you do too. Here´s a little (unglamorous yet realistic) inspiration for the road:

 

ADULT´S CONTENT: Sexuality in Egyptian Dance by Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School

Sexuality in Egyptian Dance Online Workshop
WARNING: ONLY for ADULTS!
Sexuality in Egyptian Dance by Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School.
Sexuality in Egyptian Dance – Unleashing your inner Lilith
Online Workshop (live & recorded classes)
Awaken your fierce, sensual, free self through Egyptian Dance!
​Sexuality, and sensual pleasure in your dance (and life), is a tabu nobody dares touching. Until now.
Have you ever felt you wanted, but couldn´t, enjoy the physical pleasure dance, and your interaction with other people, can provide?
Have you ever felt confused about what´s appropriate & what´s not in the way you move, & feel, while you dance?
Have you ever felt the conflict between what your body wants and what you think others expect from you?
Have you ever felt like you weren´t living your Dance, and Life, to its full potential?
Are you done with playing the Good Girl Role, the one who provides pleasure to others but denies it to herself?
If so, and I invite you to take an active role in this rEVOLUTION!
If so, this Online Workshop, created by Joana Saahirah exclusively for our school, is for YOU.
Joana Saahirah Online Dance School Essence.jpg
Welcome to Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School, a place where your Uniquess is celebrated. Authentic Egyptian Dance, Self-Discovery & Empowerment.
Follow the link for a fabulous trip inside our Wonder*land:
Isis Eye Joana Saahirah School

Lemonade, baby!

tumblr_o8nh14VXFN1u9ooogo1_500.gifI´m a lover by nature. That means I love everything I do and everything I do comes from love. If (when) I don´t love it, I don´t do it. It´s great & terrible. As most things in life, it´s probably both.

Here´s a theme I´m particularly in love with – Resourcefulness, the Art of turning rocks into diamonds or making lemonade when all you´ve got is a bunch of (sour) lemons. I explored the theme in my first book “The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” (http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/joana-saahirah/the-secrets-of-egypt-dance-life-beyond-2nd-edition/paperback/product-23143198.html)

I often hear dancers, and friends, complaining about the lack of “ideal circumstances” or “conditions” that would, theoretically, allow them to move forward with things, relationships, dreams. In most cases, that´s plain, old, oh so damned frustrating procrastination strategy. There´s no such thing as “ideal circunstances” or, even, “conditions for (fill in the blank). Life´s messy, often hard, pre-destined and random, filled with nonsense, miracles, destruction and beauty. There are obstacles, unexpected turns, sudden change of plans and falls. You gotta roll with the punches and ride the waves as they come.

If you keep waiting for the “perfect circumstances” to move forward with what you know you need to do, you´ll die waiting. As I mention in this video, if all you´ve got is a bunch of lemons, make a mean lemonade. Use your resources – energy, time, focus, creativity, even fear which can be turned into pro-active adrenaline – right NOW. Let me repeat: NOW. Stop waiting for the conditions that will never arrive. Use what you have and who you are right now.

Easier said than done. But, believe me, it´s true: if, instead of focusing on what you don´t have, you start focusing on what you have and use it, you´ll move forward and get things done. YOUR things, the ones that make you feel alive.

Just sayin´…