I have always loved rules and plans. Not because I’m tied-in to rules and plans, (just ask anyone who has played a board-game with me) but because it’s nice to know what to do next.
To graduate from high school, complete 30 credit hours, in these areas. Bam. You can do it because you know what to do. Follow the recipe, check the boxes, get the prescribed result. Put your destination in Google Maps and follow along. It’s easy because you know what to do.
The problem is not doing what you are supposed to do, the problem is not knowing what you want to do.
How many times in your adult life have you scratched your head and though, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” followed by, “Holy Crap! I am grown up! How on earth did I get here?”
You are not alone.
When my youngest was born, I left my in-house corporate attorney job to create a life as a wife, mom, and part time fitness trainer. I knew the kind of life I wanted to create, so I created it. And it worked great for a while.
But things changed.
As my kids got older, they didn’t need me as much as they once had. I was burned out on fitness training, and I did not want to play housewife and mom forever.
I knew I didn’t want to go back to law, but I had no idea what I did want to do.
That’s when I ended up in a burlesque class.
If you can create a piece of art, you can create your life.
Over four weeks I came up with a storyline for my routine, picked a song, mapped out the high points, crafted the message I wanted to convey, created the costume, the choreography, and performed it in front of actual people.
It was equal parts thrilling and terrifying!
In case you aren’t familiar with burlesque, it is a style of art. It is not stripping. Although it can involve the removal of costumes, there is never nudity. Burlesque is a parody, an exaggeration of stereotypical ideals, and a mocking of taboo. It comes through the Vaudeville tradition and shows like Saturday Night Live are burlesques. Dolly Parton and Elton John are both burlesque style artists in the way they over-exaggerate their form.
In my case, I created a routine that mocked the belief that women can’t be both smart and sexy. I chose the Madonna song, Girl Gone Wild, I dug out my old briefcase and conservative business suits and created a hyperbolized version of what a female attorney was supposed to look like.
Every aspect of the routine was intentional. I stripped to a blinged-out hot pink and black circus-striped bra and panty set, chosen because pink is the most stereotypically female color, and circus stripes represented the way I sometimes felt like an unintentional circus clown when I was arguing a case in a room full of old, white men. My choreography included me taking my hair down out of a bun, throwing back a pretend martini from a bejeweled martini glass, and tossing my briefcase aside, intentionally scattering my papers.
I danced. My own way, and for my own freedom and pleasure.
And I brought the house down.
Not because I was so great (I wasn’t) or because I was so gorgeous (I was a 44 year old mom of two, I wasn’t) but because I put it all out there.
I danced my frustration. I danced my confusion. I stripped out of the confines of my business suit, of my conservative bun, my uncomfortable pumps, and the burdens of limiting myself to someone else’s idea of what I should be, do, and look like.
And you know what happened?
It broke me free. Completely free. In ways I had never imagined or anticipated.
Burlesque-creation-mode spilled into the rest of my life and without even trying, I knew exactly what I wanted to create in my real life. I knew that I wanted to be a Life Choreographer® and help women figure out who they were and what they wanted so they could stand in their power, own their worth, and live with joy and enthusiasm. So they could quit doing and start being. So they could finally be seen for who they were, not for who they thought they should be.
Even though there was no such thing as a Life Choreographer.
Just like I did when creating my burlesque routine, I knew the storyline, the song, the high points, the message I wanted to convey, the costume, and the choreography I wanted to use. And how to combine hypnotherapy, energy work, intuition, fitness, and my legal skills – all of my talents and passions – to perform the rest of my life, doing what I loved.
And I did.
The hard part is not in the doing. The hard part is in not knowing what you want to do.
What about you? Are you doing what you love? Do you know what you want?
Keep your eyes on your inbox. Next week I’m going to send you the details for a Yogalesque Performance Art Intensive so you can set your own soul free. So you can take the first steps in figuring out exactly what you want. Not what you think you should want.
Curious? You’ve gotta wait until next week!