I’ve done a lot of things in my life. So many different things, that at times I have feared that I might never find ‘my thing.’ I’ve been a shoe salesperson (my first job at fourteen years old!), a pharmacy assistant, a waitress, an ESL teacher, a flight attendant, a blogger, essential oil advocate, a yoga teacher and a professional beach bum.
I’ve started lots of things. From books to business ideas (I’m still working on my tan though).
I’ve traveled. Europe, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, China, the US, SE Asia, central America, India.
I’ve met a lot of people. So, so many people. When I think about the number of people I know, either from school or work or travel or through this blog, not to mention the thousands of people from different cultures who I’ve crossed paths with in foreign lands, I’ve decided that humans are pretty awesome. At least the ones I’ve met.
I’ve learned so many lessons the hard way – either by making mistakes or making an ass out of myself – but I am truly floored by people and places who have graced my path and led me, often unbeknownst to them, back to me myself at times when I’ve ventured away.
Through it all, though, the one constant has been my love of dance. Whether on a stage or in a nightclub or on a beach or in a studio or on the street or in my kitchen, it has taken many forms but always remained present.
I guess that’s why I started the practice of Divine Dance, because it’s the one thing that’s always been a part of me, no matter what other changes I’ve experienced.
These ever-evolving dance sessions have been the spaces in which I’ve been able to explore the concept of unconditional self-acceptance in a way which feels most natural to me, and I simply couldn’t do it without the community of courageous, adventurous and fun-loving souls who have shown up to the dance floors of Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Holbox or Bali with me.
It’s been such a surprising and humbling experience to be part of each person’s journey – they have all taught me so much about the bravery it takes not only to accept ourselves as we are but to express ourselves unapologetically in the world.
My friend Stephenie Harrison has been one of my biggest inspirations in this area. Her love of the dance and her commitment to it each week has not only kept me going at times when I felt like giving up but has also led to her becoming an incredible space holder for the practice.
She has led many of our sessions in Playa del Carmen and I have LOVED dancing with her. It’s been such a privilege to see her step into her power and flourish both emotionally and physically.
We were blessed to have Ashlie Woods grace us with her infectious enthusiasm and energy this past winter which brought such a boost to our dance sessions and our community at large (she is sorely missed since she moved on to her next adventure in Guatemala).
Jeannie Mark has not only been a kindred soul to me in many ways since she moved to Playa del Carmen but is also a much loved member of our dance community; fun, sassy, supportive and always open-hearted.
Blaire Lindsay has been such a breath of fresh air in our town and of course, on the dance floor. Her feminine wisdom and compassionate heart has taught me so much. On a full moon evening in March, she led a Cacao ceremony before our roof-top dance session which was such a treat.
Colleen Larkin is a dear friend, a birth coach and mother of one very beautiful baby (who was delivered at home by our beloved friend, Alison Baine). Between breast feeding and supporting other expecting and new mums, she somehow still manages to show up to the dance floor with her little one in tow and occasionally steals a night off to take me salsa dancing.
My sweet soul sister Karla is a devoted yoga teacher who always dazzles me with her ability to tap into her wild side on the dance floor.
I’ve had the pleasure of dancing with Danielle Pare and Sharonlee Latham in Playa del Carmen, (including a zumba class with local women which gave us all a run for our money – it’s hard work!!). I’m so blessed by their support and friendship.
Sara Jones is a long-time Playa del Carmen local, entrepreneur and a firecracker on the dance floor. She has been such an integral supporter of our dance community and was responsible for this write up in the local English newspaper espousing the benefits of the practice.
Lauren Heineck is a chocolatier, conscious entrepreneur, humanitarian and all-round incredible woman who has attended two of my retreats in Bali and Holbox. She continues her graceful dance through life in whichever country she happens to be sourcing fair-trade Cacao.
My sister Holly Chamberlain is a young people’s advocate, speaker, hope-giver and joy spreader. She hit the dance floor with us in Holbox last year and again recently, concocting incredible playlists for our sessions and lifting me up with her unconditional love and never-ending support. To say that she is a gift to me is an absolute understatement.
Bisa Myles attended my first Bali retreat and has since overcome breast cancer whilst working hard to put her two girls through school. She is a quiet warrior who takes everything in her stride while still pursuing her dreams of travel and adventure. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Bisa in Australia and the US and am looking forward to dancing with her again.
Samantha Less is a courageous, kind soul who joined our dance community while on vacation and also attended my Bali retreat. She continues to dance it out wherever her journey leads her and always has great music suggestions for our playlists. Sam’s bravery to show up for life, allowing it to evolve her beyond her comfort zone, is a huge inspiration to me.
ALL the ladies who have attended my retreats in Bali and Holbox have inspired me endlessly with their adventurous spirits, overriding joy and support of each other. They’re connected in our Facebook community where we share playlists in order to continue the dance party at home.
It hasn’t all been about the ladies though – these past months I’ve been blessed by some incredible men who I’ve danced, laughed and learned with. I’m so grateful to have supportive, strong male friends who teach me, encourage me and inspire me (and introduce me to new music!).
The fact that I’ve lived long and wide enough to have so many experiences and make so many mistakes and learn so many lessons is still a miracle which does not escape me. That I get to be surrounded by friends like these, along with so, SO many others who keep me afloat with their kindness, love and support is sometimes the only sign I have that I must be on the right path.
I guess that’s how this dance called life works. Putting one foot in front of the other (with an occasional pirouette). Showing up but trying not push. Letting go of the things that block life from flowing freely through us. Being thankful for we have and for what we are learning.
Personally, I’m grateful for my friends, near and far by whom I’m truly, truly blessed (who are certainly not limited to the list above – I’ve mentioned these ones so you can check out the incredible work they do in the world),
Their love keeps me going and keeps me dancing.
Sooooo… My next retreat is November 26 on Holbox island, one of my favourite places in the world. I’m really excited about it. Yes, there will be yoga and dance, but the experience is so much more than that. There’ll be music and culture and sunsets and stargazing and new friends and more. Check it out. I’d love to share it with you.