By Brian Henninger
In the dance industry there is an idea, a simple practice that can completely change the way you think about your dancing, your career, and your entire life for the better. This idea can take someone from a state of pure helplessness and fear and change their state into one of piece, tranquility, and focus. This will positively effect you, but also everyone else who is around you on a daily basis. The idea and practice I am speaking of is “gratitude”.
Gratitude is more then just “being grateful”. It is more then just “giving thanks”, gratitude is a frame of mind through which we can live our daily lives and pursue our dance careers from a more wholesome, healthy, and successful place! The mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical state you are in directly determines the type of life experiences you have on a daily basis. And cultivating a positive, healthy state is of the utmost importance to the success and longevity of your career in whatever path you choose.
I want to you sit for 5 minutes and focus on everything in your life, both big and small, that you can be grateful for. Start from yourself and work your way outward. Say in your head or out loud: “Im grateful for the fact I woke up again today”. “ I am grateful for my own health, the choices I have, the freedoms I have”. “ I am grateful for my family members and their love, my friends, the conversations and laughter that I get to experience”. “I am grateful for the face that I have the talent to dance, that I am able to express my feelings and emotions through movement and art”. Go from yourself and everything you are grateful for and spiral outward to every other area of your life. Even if initially it seems like you have nothing to be grateful for, the reasons will find you if you begin searching. Remember: “ What is wrong with your life is ALWAYS available to you… But so is what is RIGHT.” What is right with your life? Take 5 minutes and then come back and continue reading.
Now that you have cultivated a sense of gratitude you need to consciously continue to keep this feeling alive inside you. Feel gratitude for things that haven’t even happened yet! Take a goal you have, maybe it is getting an agent, maybe it is booking a tour, and feel feelings of gratitude towards that goal like you have already attained it. Live from that mental and emotional place. You will be ASTOUNDED at what happens in your life when you do so.
Often it is easy to lose our sense of gratitude in the daily activities of our existence. Things get in the way, we get stressed, people get sick and die, war and violence rage, but the one true freedom that you have as a human being, regardless of your circumstances, is the ability to CHOOSE how you react to your reality. Make the conscious choice to be grateful. When you are grateful you are rich, wealthy, healthy, happy, optimistic. When your not grateful you are poor, scarce, frightened, anxious, and pessimistic. In an industry full of rejection, negativity, and judgement, having a grateful mindset will propel you straight through all of that BS right to the success and happiness that you know your capable of attaining.
You have reasons to be grateful. Keep those reasons alive inside you and let them fuel you to conquer and attain all of the goals and dreams that you already feel grateful for!