Thursday, October 18, 2012

Do you ignore what's calling you?

From September 23, 2012 ezine.

This month marks 18 years since my first private tango lesson, the experience that caused me to stay awake all night with my hands still trembling and my heart still pounding intermittently throughout the 12-hour flight from Chicago back home to Italy!

Two months earlier I had seen my first tango show, a great one - "Perfumes de Tango" - by the young company "Tango X 2", on an outdoor stage in Foligno, Italy.  The thought of dancing tango myself seemed to me an unattainable fantasy, but during the brief but powerful, opening performance of Miguel Angel Zotto and Milena Plebs' "La Cumparsita", I kept thinking as I watched Milena's feet, "Yes. This is what I want. I've got to have it."  

I had no idea of how I could possibly "have it".  Tango was not yet popular at all outside of Buenos Aires and environs in 1994, as it is today.  I was not a dancer, though I'd always wanted to dance. How could I have known that these two events - seeing the show, and soon afterward running into a professional tango dancer at a corporate trade show (Jorge Nieras, the man who brought tango to Chicago) - would radically change the direction of my life?

Rarely do I feel as happy and fully-expressed as when I'm dancing good tango, . . . or better still, GREAT tango . . . to great tango music.  A close second to that is when I'm empowering tango lovers to experience similar fulfillment.

I’m preparing for my upcoming sojourn in Buenos Aires, setting up the infrastructure to support my four months of study, dancing and teaching in the world's tango capital.  To follow my dream, I'll be giving up my cherished, barefoot walks in the sand every day along the Gulf of Mexico and the intoxicatingly fresh air that still amazes me here in Naples, to live in a bustling city with lots of traffic, where I can't speak my own language, and where I don't know if delivers reliably or whether I can get organic produce. Once again, I'll be living thousands of miles from my mother, in a city almost as far away as Rome. I'll be a foreigner again, not my favorite status. (For my newest readers, I lived in Central Italy for 20 years.)

Sometimes we get an unexpected taste of something that calls us, silently luring us with its promise for our deep satisfaction.  It is usually something that's way outside of our normal way of life, and alien to our comfort zone and perhaps to our spending habits. How often do we brush aside the temptation to follow what tugs at our hearts because, while it exhilarates us to think about it, it doesn't feel at all safe to pursue?  

I've finally learned that safety is an illusion, and it's often the main element to which we cling that actually anesthetizes our spirit and deadens our "mojo"!  That's what was happening to me, until I woke up. The illusion of safety is why it's taken me so long to go back to Buenos Aires, to retire from the tango-organizing and community-building to which I was so devoted in Italy, and to put my own dancing first. Nothing in my life prepared me to train as a professional dancer, or I would have done it decades ago. But it was my secret dream since childhood, and nothing's going to stop me now. I've decided to finally go "get me my TANGO MOJO"!  

Is there something calling you that you've been brushing aside?  Have you been clinging to "safety" for years or for decades at the expense of your true spirit? Maybe it's time to check your mojo; is yours on fire or is it sleeping? (Does your mojo remind you of this animal?) Whether or not it's about tango, maybe it's time to look afresh at a message or  opportunity you've been avoiding!

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