Care to Dance?

Ballroom dance latin dancersI started taking salsa classes a few weeks ago.  It’s the type of salsa that requires working with a partner.  I am not usually the lead partner which has been a struggle for me.  They teach us the basic steps and then when we are partnered up, I am to “mirror” my partner. Last week we had a practice session. I learned one of the most valuable lessons, not only to dancing, but in life.

As one of the gentleman asked me to dance, I informed him that is was my first lesson. He smiled and we started to dance.  I focused on counting my steps and made lots of missteps and mistakes.  My partner smiled and told me to close my eyes. He said feel the rhythm and trust me.  I closed my eyes and I tried not to anticipate the steps I just listened to the beat and let my partner lead. It was so much fun! That’s when I understood:

“Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” -Eckhart Tolle

Maybe it is us who causes our own stumbles and missteps. Perhaps we need to learn to let go of our need for control, close our eyes and listen to the rhythm. Life is always asking you, “Care to Dance?”

Quote Source:  Eckhart Tolle Quote

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Creeping Through My List

Each year brings a new adventure. This year, I decided to recommit myself to my network marketing business.  Like many others, I associated negatively with network marketing. I never bothered to see if I was perhaps a contributing factor to past failures.

One of my goals has been to re-connect with people. I have been reaching out to people who are on my contact list to see if they are interested in coffee. This story is about a failed attempt.  Here’s what happened:

Me: Coffee, next week?
Woman: No
Me: Thank you
Woman: For what?
Me: I appreciate you responding back.
Woman: Who is this?
Me: Tonia Tyler
Woman: Who
Me (I thought I knew her): I used to manage you social media account when I worked with …
Now, I am trying to remember if this is a person I met back in my PR days, so I look at her FB page.
Me: Pure Romance?
Woman: How old are you?
By now, I realize I definitely got her confused with someone else.
Me: Never mind. I realize you don’t know me so please forget it.
Woman: Okay
Woman: You are a creeper (something along those lines)


I almost decided to respond, but then I just deleted our text conversation and her contact information. I was one of those people who use to collect business card and fail to follow up.  I know now that just because we don’t do business today, does not mean we might not do business later, if at all.  It’s not about how many names you have on a list, it’s about the friends you make from your opportunities.

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Have you ever come a cross a person and once you leave you notice the feelings or thoughts that remain after your encounter with them.  Like for instance you have people who bring up feeling of peace. you may have people who bring out the excitement of possibilities. We even have those people who are like hurricanes that stir up feeling of anxiety and chaos.  I call this, residue.

Like this we encounter, we also leave behind feeling and thoughts on others.  It wasn’t until I became more aware of my own conscious thoughts that I realize that we all are leaving a bit of ourselves everywhere we go.  We have the power to decide what kind of residue we want to leave others.  Granted, they may not always receive it as such.

I learned through meditation that we can set our intentions daily and choose to be either the lighthouse or the storm. What kind of residue due you want to leave? The kind that people enjoy or the kind that people want to wash off.

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All Present

I honestly think we can learn something new each day. The biggest challenge is usually staying present in the moment to notice.  I started getting out and reconnecting with friends.  What I often finding myself doing before we met up was worrying about what were going to say.  It’s at those moments when you have to tell that little voice inside to “be quiet.”  If you are present in the company of others, you can always find something to talk about.

What does it mean to be present?  That’s always a great question when people ask me.  It’s giving the other person you undivided attention. I always like to define what it is by stating what it is not.  Let me give you some examples.  Being present is not worrying about what you could be doing with someone else. Being present is not scrolling through your phone when someone is sitting with you.  being present is not thinking about what you are going to do once you leave.  Being present is saying to the person you are with, that they are important enough to listen and let them be heard.

Once I learned what it meant to be present, my marriage and all of my other relations greatly improved.  The power is in your hands. The one thing that is always in your control is yourself.

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Share Your Music

One of the best messages I read on the message board out side of the gym was “the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do”.  That message is not only great for workouts but anything you choose not to do in life.  The only bad book is the one you choose not to write, or the only bad song is the one you choose not to record.

I think about the messages I come across and can listen to now that’s available through YouTube.  Whatever you have an interest in, you can find.  I listen to speakers that no longer are with us but had great messages to share. Think about what you have been through in your life. Only you can share that story because only you have lived that life.

We all have a message and a story to share.  I think you do the world a dis-service by not sharing you story.  You might be the one with the cure for cancer. Don’t leave this thing we call life with your song still in you. Share your music with the world.

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Plan Your Life

I find that the more disciplined I am in certain areas of my life, the more freedom I find in other areas. I schedule my daily calendar with habits I want to maintain.  For instance, I try and practice daily meditation, reading and journaling.  Just maintaining the calendar is a discipline.  For the most part, I know in my head what I have on my calendar out in my head but I have found that having it to refer back to at times helps me to maintain those habits.

When I first started keeping a daily calendar, the purpose was to coordinate my daily activities around schedule appointment times with “clients.”  The funny thing is, I didn’t have any clients.  I slowly began to realize that the calendar wasn’t for scheduling time for others, it was for scheduling time for myself.

I learned three valuable lessons:

  1. My calendar is a constant reminder to coordinate the kinds of habits I find important to living a happy and fulfilled life.
  2. Schedule the kind of activities that will ensure that you DO what is important to you and for you.
  3. If we don’t schedule time for what we want, we will never accomplish what we want because we think we don’t have time.

In the great words of the late Jim Rohn, “learn to work harder on yourself, than you do on the job.” With a calendar, it’s possible.

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The Grumbles

Some of my hardest “NO” have been said to others in order to say “YES” to myself.  I used to get mad and frustrated when people would always ask for favors. I would wonder why was the only one they seemed to call, and get pissed off about it.  Those were little grumblings trying to get my attention.  The one person I did not seem to get mad with was myself. It was ME who made these people feel comfortable in asking because I was the one always saying yes.  I started noticing the feeling that were generated when I would say yes and realized I was the one who had all of the control.

I love the quote by Les Brown who says “if you like what you are getting, keep doing what you are doing”  I did not like what I was getting. When I said yes to others, I was saying not to my happiness.  I am definitely not saying that we should not help others but sometimes you have to step back and really examine what you are saying yes to.  Are you helping or are you enabling?  There is a difference.

Take time out before committing to anyone whether you are helping or enabling that person. For me, once I learned the difference, I decide more carefully what I will say “YES” to.  The grumbling deep down inside yourself is trying to tell you something. Take a moment to listen.



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