If someone had told me that one day I would be competing in a pole dancing competition, I never would've believed it! But...it happened and just like everything else with pole, I absolutely loved it! It was a truly amazing and exciting experience! Even more amazing is what I realized in reflection. After the competition, the main thing going through my mind was that it truly is the journey and not the destination that matters. For me though, this was not just the journey of preparation over the months leading up to the competition but a much larger journey. A journey years in the making, a journey of self-discovery, self-love and finding my authentic self.
I've always had a performer and competitive spirit in my heart and a great love for dance, music and the arts. I lost sight of it for awhile and didn't even realize it was missing, or rather I knew something was missing, but didn't know what that something was until I discovered Pole Dancing 2 years ago and felt such a sense of fulfillment, ease and just overall peacefulness and happiness. With Pole dance, I had re-connected with what makes me feel passionate and gave a large part of my true authentic self a voice which had been stifled for years. I am a performer. I am a dancer. The truth is, I always have been. Sometimes in life we get distracted or too scared to accept or believe the magnitude of our true potential and our hearts desires. Sometimes it's easier, safer and less risky to play it small, just do what others say you should do or divert yourself with other things instead of sit with yourself, do the digging and acknowledge what is screaming to come out.
My competition piece was a Sleeping Beauty theme. We all know that in the Disney movie, Aurora is awoken from her death's sleep through true loves kiss. For me though, this piece signified my own awakening. Being awoken by true love yes but in a more symbolic sense. My version is the awakening of my authentic self by the true love within. I had to learn to love myself first and in doing so I awoke to my dreams and there I was on stage dancing and performing - my passion! All found because I FINALLY listened to myself, finally stopped and stood still, finally believed that what is in my heart IS meant for me - imagine that! I actually get chills when I think about it! This was not fixed or planned by me at all but yet the music, the theme, everything about it was just so perfectly aligned and the symbolism to me is outstanding.
The great lesson in all of this: If you feel an urging in your heart and your spirit, it is not there to be ignored or to be avoided through other vices and distractions no matter how scary or unrealistic it may seem. It's there for a reason to push you to your best self, your true authentic self where you can feel happy and at peace and then share that with those around you. Listen to it, sit with it in silence alone, even if you feel very uncomfortable - embrace that discomfort and welcome it as a sign for changes ahead. Find comfort in the discomfort and know that amazing things are on the way! It's funny - now when I feel even a little discomfort I actually get excited because I know this means I'm being presented with an opportunity to grow and discover even more of what is meant for me in this beautiful life. And this is also very important - listen to what your heart and spirit are telling you is right for you and not what other's tell you to be. Other people will project their own insecurities and beliefs (usually not even realizing it or meaning any harm). Leave them out of this - this is about YOU. They can't possibly know what is right for you. Your job is to get out of your own way (no room for negative self talk), really listen to yourself, believe then take the first step - even if it's a 1/4 of a step...take action and watch how the universe responds. And trust me when I say - it WILL respond. The next thing you know, you're pole dancing your heart out on a stage portraying your favorite Disney princess! Well that's my version anyway - yours will be something magical and suited perfectly just for you.
This blog actually took quite a different direction. I was going to write about my competition experience but as I sat typing, all of this is what came out so I feel this is what I am meant to share. I want to share it because, for so long I was anxious and unsettled, I had unhealthy behaviors and patterns and despite doing everything I was "supposed" to do, I just felt stuck. There is no worse feeling. I know I am not the only human who has had these feelings and I want people to know there is hope and an incredible life waiting on the other side of the mess and confusion and the answers all lie within YOU. I am forever grateful for everything that has happened along the way - the good, the mediocre, the bad, the ugly, it has brought me to where I am now - a fulfilled, confident and truly happy person who is at peace.
As for what is next - I am already signed up for another competition that will happen in June. I will be performing at a theater in New York City. How does this make me feel? Terrified - yes, over the moon excited - yes, alive - very much so and it is for these reasons I know this is exactly where I am meant to be!
One of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Author: Christie Loesch
Christie Loesch is a certified Project Management professional working in the IT industry for the last 19 years. When not managing projects during her day job, she spends most of her free time involved in all things Pole Dancing most recently performing in a competition. She looks forward to continuing to grow in her Pole Dancing journey all while having so much fun along the way and hopefully influencing others to find their passion and live their best life!