There’s nothing like it.
The feeling of floating across the dance floor, my feet intricately stepping in the moment of one undulating beat after another, my body moving freely with the music as my feet bring my body to the precise location where the next move flows through me like magic, feeling the gentle nudge of my partner’s fingers guiding my entire body to the next fulfilling expression, moving in perfect synchronization with another person through a knowing that only the connection of the body can express… planting one foot firmly in perfect timing with the music as I’m guided into a vortex of spins, my body perfectly aligned with the balance of gravity that takes me into a blissful state of movement. Everything inside of me gets stirred up like magic stirring rapidly in a pot to create divine explosion.
My love of dance has given me a recognition for life. Music, the fullness of expression in the body, human connection, and the playfulness that’s available through it all, have brought me to new heights of love and gratitude for the human experience.
But, as I’ve discovered, it’s so much more than this.
In the beginning, it wasn’t so easy.
In the beginning, I had to face fears of not-enoughness in my expression.
In the beginning, I had to confront the parts of me that wanted to push and make things harder than they needed to be.
In the beginning, I had to learn to be with myself through the parts that were seeking perfection, and surrender to the imperfection required to get there.
In the beginning, I had to go through the struggle with the many parts of my mind and body that refused to let go of control, encountering layer upon layer until that need for control was killed off and I entered a space where I could follow the guidance of another in perfect flow of my own expression.
This last piece was perhaps the hardest.
As humans, we long to be in our own unique expression… but we also long to remember the oneness that connects us to each other, the masculine and feminine expression each finding its own perfect balance on the line between offering up and receiving, individuating and surrendering into the unity of connection.
As a woman who jumped face first into the pool of unique individual expression from a very young age, spending years upon years peeling away the barriers to being in the fullness of her own power and expression, learning to follow the lead of another was one of the hardest things I’ve done.
My inclination for back-leading (exerting back guidance to your partner, and unconsciously ignoring the guidance he is trying to give you in that same moment) was subconscious. With anything we work to shift within ourselves, there can be an opposite end of the spectrum we risk going into. Through our fight to become more of this, we may also unknowingly become too much of that.
And through dance, I discovered that my fight for individuation and taking back my power had also led me into a place where I was unable, on a very visceral level, to surrender to the lead of another.
Discovering this was frustrating. Because once I was ready to see what was holding me back, the cognitive awareness still didn’t change the imprinting in my mind and body that was subconsciously causing me to want to control.
The conscious effort I made to let go of control did eventually bring me to a new space in my dancing; to a new level where the fluidity and flow in the dance reverberated through my being as I finally, truly, allowed another to guide me across the dance floor.
The most amazing part, though, wasn’t the added joy it brought to the time I spent dancing — it was the added joy it brought to every other aspect of my life.
They say yoga is a practice that begins on the mat but represents every aspect of your life and being off the mat. I wholeheartedly believe this, and have found dance to be the same.
And as I took the surrender, the letting go, and the ability I was finding to let life lead me off of the dance floor and into my daily experience, I found an expanded version of life. The magic that was able to unfold in my life grew, similar to the way a dance became more fun and joyful when I learned to just let go and follow the lead.
As I learned to do so, I found a greatness in my own unique and individual expression that I couldn’t have found by trying to exert my expression through a space of control. It was as if the space I created around me through letting go gave me more room for freedom, more room to be all of me — more room to even know who “me” was in that expression.
Though I stopped dancing seriously years ago, the path of letting go it set me on makes me a better dancer. Though I may not be as skilled as I was when I was rehearsing and performing, when it was a focal point of my life, dance set me on a path of freedom.
This freedom and trust — in my own expression, and the expression of another — integrates itself every time I come back to the dance floor, bringing me to new heights of ecstasy in my own being, ecstasy in the flow of movement, music, and connection.
Life is an expression of ourselves as the divine. And, if we allow it to be, everything we get to do in this human experience can bring us closer to the divine within ourselves.
What do you love to do that reflects and brings you closer knowing yourself as an expression of the divine? We’d love to hear in the comments below or in our private Facebook group Soulful Brilliance!
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from three+ years of full-time travel is that I can’t know anything until I’m actually there. Planning too far ahead is futile and only leads to a lot of unused plane tickets and cancelled reservations.
I arrived in Morocco on guidance from that greater something. “Go to Morocco,” repeated enough times that I finally listened.
I wasn’t clear why I was supposed to spend time in this country, but I was looking forward to the adventure I had planned — a road trip with a new friend, two weeks taking a kite-surfing course, and a month or two at a co-working space by the beach, focusing on my business and reveling in the beauty of the Moroccan coast.
The moment I landed, I felt a sense of uncertainty I hadn’t felt so strongly ever before. It’s nearly impossible to live your life and run your business from a place that’s aligned with Source and not feel safe in the uncertainty of life — but this was different. It was as if nothing would be allowed to be known; as if any detail of life I may have felt the need to have in place (for very good reasons sometimes) would be pulled out from under me.
As I embarked on the road trip with my friend and two other women we’d just met, the subtle feeling of uncertainty creeping in became the primary energy I was living in.
For a weekend, I embraced the uncertainty. But when Monday approached, it grew.
Was it simply because I needed to get back to wifi for my business and was getting mixed signals as to when we’d make it back? As I continued to surrender into the uncertainty and release the clinging of wanting to know, it became clear that this would be a theme for my time in Morocco.
I found this curious, as I had already learned to find trust in the unknown, to feel safe in not knowing, to enjoy the ride rather than expect anything past the present moment. But, as uncertainty goes, we can’t always know that there’s more to learn or grow until the moment for learning and growing arises.
As the feeling was sinking in, I received a message from someone asking me to come up to Casablanca for a business opportunity. There was nothing firm about this offer — everything about it projected uncertainty and a nebulous state of floaty-ness that I would normally say no to. My ability to serve is protected by my boundaries… and yet, the pull to go was strong.
When I dropped in and asked Source, the guidance was overwhelming — a tremendous sense of power that rose up from within me and screamed “go.”
The uncertainty increased as I found myself cancelling all of my upcoming plans and simply saying yes to going to Casablanca that evening, not knowing what was ahead of me.
The months that progressed became my bootcamp in uncertainty.
With each bit of work I did in Casablanca, I was clear I needed to be there, clear that I had been sent there because the community there was ready and waiting for my work. And yet, nothing else remained certain.
Opportunities would arise and remain in a nebulous state, often not landing in anything tangible until the very last minute. The rest of my life and the busy nature of my business was thrown up in the dust of the uncertainty — the mama bear in me that always needed to know that the people I serve were well taken care of, received a lesson in surrender, having to trust so deeply in Source’s guidance and allowing everything else to fall into place without any control over how.
And here are a few unexpected lessons I learned in the 3.5 months of pure uncertainty in my experience there:
- No one else’s control issues can ever thwart your plans.
When we’re relating to others in this world of interwoven relationships and individual needs, it can be hard to strike a balance between surrendering to the needs of others and making sure your own needs are met. Sometimes, as much as we communicate our needs and as clear as we are, there can appear to be a gap between what we are clear on needing and what someone else needs in the moment. When this creates uncertainty in our world, there is always a greater plan. We must speak our needs and Source our own power as creators — and when uncertainty takes over, in the surrender that goes beyond our own power, there is a sweetness of our needs being able to fall into alignment without efforting, but with a peace in our circumstances magically unfolding.
- The business world is not as masculine as we often think it is.
Much of the uncertainty I found in doing business in Morocco was based in a feminine energy that, at first, confused the heck out of me. There was a shortness in communication that felt masculine, and yet, the inability to pin things down, and the floaty nature of how many of the highest level business people do business that has yet to cease. There is a fine line as an entrepreneur between ceasing opportunities and making the most of them, and setting boundaries that are clean and clear and allow us to be our best in business. The feminine nature of the business world in Morocco rocked me to the core, but it forced me to set boundaries while also retaining a flexibility that would best serve. Finding balance between flexibility and clean boundaries is a journey for all of us individually, but it’s one that, when danced both intuitively and in conjunction with our own truest expression, opens us up to more of what’s available in this world.
- Boundaries are not, and will never be, an end-all-be-all static thing.
Many years ago, I learned that setting clear boundaries with people didn’t need to feel like a wall of strength. Instead, a soft cushiony place held for what is true to us also holds a soft cushiony place for others to land in a way that supports them in honoring our needs and requests, while allowing them to feel met, welcomed, and understood in the process.
The nebulous nature of business in Morocco threw my boundary setting for a loop. I found myself feeling no choice but to say yes to things that would normally fall outside of my boundaries. Sometimes this worked magically, other times I wound up feeling pushed, used, and under-acknowledged because I was skipping over my truth.
Eventually I learned that there was a way to honor the truth behind my boundaries while also honoring the truth of the situation that sometimes warrants a different perspective, action, or agreement.
I learned how to honor myself more deeply, while honoring the other person’s needs with full acceptance of both angles. I learned how to find my place in the infinite loop that’s available when we surrender into the flow of the uncertainty of life, while still remaining true to our ability to powerfully create our realities, and coming back around to full surrender.
Now it’s your turn. When you consider the uncertainty of life, what comes up for you? We would love to hear in the comments below!
And if you’re interested in support with getting beyond the fear of uncertainty and into powerful creation in the unknown, I would love to support you! Because this topic is so dear to my heart, I’m waiving the usual application fee to get on the phone with me, and offering a coupon for a FREE consultation (usually a non-refundable fee of $75). To apply for free, click here and enter the coupon code IAMSPECIAL.
A few weeks ago, I was in the midst of saying goodbye to my business, as I had known it. It wasn’t the first time my business went through an evolution, but it felt different this time. I had to burn it to the ground to allow the soul of my business to rest and be reborn as something completely different.
As I was preparing for a sacred ceremony to do just that, there was a clear and consistent message that kept coming through for days:
What if you have already completed your life’s purpose? What if you have already left behind your legacy? What if now, your only responsibility is to simply enjoy life?
This confused me at first. Surely, my life’s purpose wasn’t complete because I was still alive… Right?
I sat with this message and allowed myself to truly feel it and truly believe it rather than try to make sense of it.
You know that feeling when you’re working diligently towards a deadline and find yourself finishing a day or two earlier than you expected?
Suddenly, you have all this delicious time to relax and nap and watch TV and go to the beach and bask in the glory of a job well done.
When I allowed myself to receive this message as Truth, my life instantly felt like that… times 10.
All around me, I could see opportunities for more joy, more fulfillment, and so much more fun. I could also see things that I was simply tolerating or settling for because I thought it was what I needed to do to work towards my purpose. I realized then how much I was still buying into the need to make sacrifices to fulfill my purpose and do my life’s work.
As I shared this new awareness with people, some were confused. “So what is your legacy? What was your life’s purpose?”
Their questions were ones I had asked and received answers to:
I don’t know what my legacy is. My life’s purpose might have been my business, or maybe it was a conversation I had with a client about learning from pleasure. It could be a question I asked in a podcast episode that quantum leaped a complete stranger into a new reality, one where her work will now improve millions of lives.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter what our purpose is.
It only matters that we live our lives fully, with delight and pleasure and a fierce commitment to our truest soul expression.
And yeah, maybe I haven’t actually completed my purpose yet, but if that’s the case, it’s only because I need to really integrate this new reality – I need to make “enjoy life” my only to do list item every single day.
It’s liberating and energizing, and I’ve never been happier to be alive.
So I invite you to consider this for yourself.
What changes for you if you’ve already left behind your legacy? If nothing matters from now on except for enjoying your life and really living it, what does that mean for you?
Does it mean setting aside your work, or diving into it with greater abandon? Does it mean letting go of your morning ritual, or starting every day with a Kundalini meditation?
I’d love to hear what comes up for you in the comments!
I think we, as a species, tend to complicate our lives because we don’t know what we want. Overthinking and overanalyzing become the norm, causing so much stress and anxiety in our daily lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Universe truly does speak to us in extraordinary and unexpected ways. We just have to listen… Listen with the heart instead of the mind. How? By paying attention to how something makes us feel rather than jumping to examine it cognitively.
It’s hard for me to believe that just a short time ago, I was still flustered and confused about what to focus on and which direction to go in.
I had heard my calling over a year ago but insisted on getting my brain too involved and that led me down the rabbit hole.
My ideas became stagnant, and nothing was in flow anymore. I was totally ready to give up, thinking that maybe I was delusional in thinking I was destined for great things or even worthy of it.
But as soon as I let go, ready to give up, things started to clear up again.
That’s because I had stopped ‘thinking’ about it. Once my mind was silenced, my heart was able to hear again, my eyes able to see.
I may not know my exact path, but that’s ok… I am clear on my next step and that’s all I need right now. I will know more when I’m ready to know more.
If you’ve been feeling lost or uncertain in your journey, I invite you to quiet the mind and let your heart lead the way. Ask your heart what truly feels best, and see if your body offers up any clues as well – do you get chills, for instance?
By setting aside the mind for just a bit, you open up space to create more magic – precisely the type of magic that your mind will work with you to build upon when the time is right. That’s a promise!
A few weeks ago I was on a train in Morocco. My close friend and colleague turned to me and said, “Hey I think we should be careful about what we show to the corporate community here, even on social media…”
I believe in listening fully to the person I’m talking to — in surrendering my thoughts, philosophies, and even what may seem like wisdom, to the other person’s thoughts, philosophies, and potential wisdom. We all have wisdom inside of us.
As much as I wanted to scream and immediately tell him he was wrong, I allowed myself to listen.
He told me a story of a friend who was immediately ostracized from a recent event he attended. My friend was speaking and facilitating, and this other man, who I had heard very good things about, came with him in support — and had helped to plan the entire event behind the scenes. But, because he had a more “rugged” look, the big names at the event began to talk behind his back. There were concerns of losing sponsorships and supporters, just because this man — a man who is apparently full of wisdom and insight that could have supported attendees — was present.
The saddest part of this moment on the train for me was noticing who was telling me this story. This very friend who was holding onto such fear that he would be ostracized in the corporate world, is someone who also preaches vulnerability in leadership. In order to have vulnerability, we must begin with authenticity. Even though this work comes from a place of deep knowing, if we don’t know how to do the deep work, it can take us decades to find our way out of the trap that is our fear.
I get the fear. Because I used to be that person — all the time, in fact.
In my early twenties, I remember being pulled aside by my boss. I had already proven myself in the non-profit world and was baffled to discover that administration had decided I couldn’t wear a certain type of clothing — a type of pants that, though in style at the time, I had only pulled reluctantly out of my closet, because they felt too conservative for me to feel authentic in. Ten minutes after I walked out of my boss’ office, I spotted a colleague wearing the exact same pants… which she continued to wear frequently.
But since that incident at 23, I’ve had 15 years to study the phenomena of not being able to be oneself in the workplace more closely. And what I’ve discovered has turned the common perception upside down.
About two years after the pants incident, I was teaching high school (yes, I had a talent for changing careers quickly before I became an entrepreneur — even when the new career involved getting yet another degree). I had a rowdy classroom in my 3rd period class. Though I’d never taken to the typical “classroom management” protocol most teachers religiously followed (I didn’t have to because I treated my students like human beings), I thought I would try it with this group — starting with how I presented myself. I walked into the classroom wearing a conservative outfit from the back of my closet, one I never wore because it was too stuffy for my taste. I turned around to write something on the board and heard a shout, “Miss! Who do you think you are?!” Baffled, I turned around, and all 40 kids proceeded to explain how what I was wearing was not “me” and they couldn’t pay attention if they knew I wasn’t being myself.
Out of the mouths of babes… or, 15-year-olds, at least.
From that moment on, I made a vow to be myself, and only myself, in the workplace. And here’s what I discovered.
- We only ever get fired if we’re supposed to.
We’re already clear that fear is the thing that holds us back from being ourselves, yes? Well, what are we fearing? Though, ultimately, we fear not being loved more than we do not having a roof over our head, the fear of getting fired (or losing business) and, therefore, not having said roof over our heads, usually sits in the forefront of our minds when we think about being ourselves in the workplace.
What I’ve found, however, through working with hundreds of clients who have stood in their path to authenticity, is that when we’re doing work we truly love — work we’re intended to do — we will always grow in our career when we grow within ourselves. If ever being ourselves causes us to lose our jobs or that client we had our eyes set on, it’s because that job or client wasn’t right for us. And when this happens on our journey to true authenticity, the doors are instantly opened to something that is far more aligned for us. Being authentic can only ever cause you to lose the job that you thought was keeping you safe but was actually keeping you small and hidden from the opportunity that will truly have you feeling far safer (because now you can be yourself and make money).
- Authenticity closes far more business deals than it loses.
Ever since I started honoring and trusting myself and my preferred way of being in the business world, there has been a shift. In my eleven years as an entrepreneur, countless clients, even mentors, have approached me stating that they chose me because of my ability to be myself.
I have a client who is a badass at closing large amounts of money for non-profits. For years, she thought it was in spite of her purple hair and deeply authentic way of being that she could close millions upon millions upon millions. Now, she truly gets that it’s an asset, and the more she owns this, the more powerful she’s becoming. (OMG I love my work!)
- We humans are really good at making our fears come true.
All of the stuff we fear happening in the workplace will only happen when we cling to our own fear and believe it. Our psyches are constantly looking for ways to prove to us that the world is a certain way. Our fears only come true because of this phenomena.
But it’s a phenomena that we have absolute power to shift.
By doing the deep work, we find our way through our fears and out to the other side where they don’t control us. In that world, the things we’ve feared stop coming true. And that’s where the world we always dreamt of as little kids starts becoming real.
- The only reason the corporate world persists this way is because we all allow it.
For most of us, the little kid inside of us that knew fervently that it didn’t have to be this way gave up long ago. Most adults now don’t see that this world they have given in to “just being this way” was also created by them.
Because when we don’t stand up for what we know is right, we continue to create what we know isn’t.
Standing up for what’s right doesn’t have to mean making a scene or protesting. It means allowing the veil of perception to lift and broaden. The only reason that things are a certain way is because we have given into perceiving them to be that way. When we allow ourselves to re-open our perception to things being a different way, they become that way instead.
- Loneliness and isolation are self-created.
When no one gets on the dance floor, we can’t see that almost everyone loves to dance (and even those who don’t, still enjoy watching). For each person who feels alone in the corporate world because they can’t be themselves, there are others in their workplace who are just like them — each individual just waiting for someone else to step up and be authentic enough to free them, too. And for each of us that steps up as a leader in our authenticity, we portray something that shows others they are just like us, or, at bare minimum, shows them they are not alone in wanting to be themselves, too.
Are you ready to get on the dance floor with us? Comment below. And if you’re ready to do the deep work to get there, click here to schedule a free consult (yes, they’re usually not free, but if you do it now, we’ll get you set up with a slot in Jordanna’s calendar for free!).
When people hear I travel full-time, they often ask questions about how various cultures have grown me. I’m a people person and have always identified with other cultures — able to see myself in each person who appeared different from me on the outside.
But it’s not the cultures that have grown me the most through my travels — it’s the lands.
Each country I spend time in leaves me with a new imprinting. It teaches me something and leaves remnants of its innate truth in my heart for me to take with me. As I continue in my journey, I find myself forever changed by what each place gave me — not in tangible ways we perceive of culture or the beauty of a physical landscape, but in what it adds to my heart; how it teaches me to love in a new way that only that land knows.
The people of a country are shaped by the land; the land is shaped by the people.
I spent the last three weeks in Senegal. Immediately upon landing, during the few hours I spent at the airport cafe waiting for a friend, I experienced a peace that could be seen in the hearts of those I encountered.
Even through the numerous marriage proposals I received from men at the coffee shop (followed by one from my cab driver who admitted to my male friend that he already had three wives and wanted me to be his fourth), I could feel a peace. Sure, there was fear causing them to think that they were in love with a woman they’d just met (and all of the other women they inevitably thought the same thing about prior to me) — but there was also a sense of peace in them that I wasn’t yet able to put my finger on, but cherished from the moment I arrived.
Two days later, I went out for a run on the beach. Having spent time in a Muslim country that was more conservative than this one, I felt completely comfortable wearing just a tank top and shorts (desperate for some vitamin D after spending months in a cold climate). On my return home, I was confronted by two men in a car “You can’t do that!!!!” I thought they were talking about running on the road instead of the sidewalk, but soon realized they were talking about what I was wearing. And they were angry. I continued anyway and was greeted by two other men who insisted that I not to listen to them, that this country was about love and I could do anything I wanted. Those two men were followed by countless bystanders wanting to reassure me of the same thing. I felt so loved. Their desire to have me feeling held in the love I was starting to notice as part of this land was heartwarming.
Every interaction I had seemed to be filled with a sweetness. People on the street would stop to talk with me and walk me to where I was going without wanting anything in return — not to try to sell me something or hit on me.
I found my way into the salsa dancing community through a friend I’d met, and it gave me further insight into the land.
Though I hail from liberal parts of the United States, there is still a separation that is witnessed among race. Though it may have initially been caused by white people fearing those who weren’t “like them” and using their false sense of power to exclude those of other skin colors (and in some places still is), today there seems to be just as much exclusion of race by those who used to be the ones being excluded.
Fear begets fear, and it becomes instilled in a culture. But like I said, the culture shapes the land, and the land shapes the people.
What I noticed in the dance community in Senegal, was that though the predominant skin color was black, the diversity in Dakar felt different. It was an indescribable feeling of unity, of oneness, of “I trust you because you are me.”
And despite two primary languages being spoken there, songs from many other languages were just as popular on the dance floor.
Because the land hadn’t been shaped by the fear of invaders trying to overtake it (or at least not as much as many other countries in the world), the primary race wasn’t fearful of the other races. They held a confidence in themselves that is a true embodiment of “I am enough,” and through that, an openness to anyone that was different than them was felt — not as open to differences, but as, “ultimately, we’re all the same.”
The feeling was most palpable the days I would run by the busy street next to the ocean. The joy on the faces of the boys out playing happily, their open hearts leaping through their gleeful smiles as we met eyes each time. The happy comments from the street vendors selling to the cars who had nice things to say even before they got used to me running by. The homeless men who exuded as much happiness doing their thing as anyone else I ran by.
It wasn’t about race, it was about the heart that we all share. And yet, there was something in this land that found differences to be the same — something that in a way seemed to have nothing to do with race, and yet I couldn’t help but notice race being a part of. But this time, it was in a way where what I’d seen elsewhere in the world flipped itself inside out. This time, race created unity instead of separation.
As I left the land of Senegal and made my way to South Africa, it became even more obvious to me just how much the love I felt in Senegal did have something to do with our differences showing us we’re the same. Though I’m also in love with this land, there is an air of separation here felt from the days of apartheid that’s hard to put into words. (More on this in a future blog post!) At a mostly black bar in South Africa, I felt slightly judged. At a mostly black bar in Senegal, I felt like just me.
And then there’s fact that at the end of the day it has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with where we, as a planet, have created ways to fuel our fears of “not enough,” fighting fear with fear.
As much as I would have told you before entering Senegal that I saw only love in each new person I met, and as much as it was true, there is a new way of seeing love that infused itself into my heart during my short time there.
It happened not through what I was shown — no matter where we live, we’re shown new things all the time. It happened through the time I spent in the land, and how the love it was soaked in, and the love it soaks people in, has a way of sinking into your heart and changing its very imprinting.
And though I’m clear it was Senegal itself (as were the many other people from other lands I met who live there because of the same, mostly indescribable feeling), it has me wondering — what if that deeper imprinting of love in the heart that is possible in this land, were possible through every experience and interaction we have that’s different?
What if in every experience of different we have, we can both embrace the newness, and feel safe in the ultimate sameness?
It starts within ourselves — by knowing we are enough, by knowing just how very loved we are.
But I’d love to hear from YOU and your own deep knowing. What else do you see possible in re-imprinting our individual and collective hearts as a planet to find our ultimate truth of absolute uniqueness and absolute oneness?