The name for What Fuels a Dancer came out of the idea of finding a lifestyle that complements our entire self so that our whole body, mind, and spirit can thrive. Your lifestyle should help you find what fuels your dancing. It is so easy to reach for a temporary solution like an extra cup of coffee when working long days or skipping self-care for scrolling on Instagram. While doing this every once in a while might not provide anything but a headache and a tired body the next day, over time, this pattern can totally throw off every sense of balance. Trust me, I am totally guilty of this too. It’s sometimes easy to just look at what will get us from one hour to the next, one ballet to the other, the next promotion, the next part. We so often forget to take a step back and look at the big picture to see if what we are actually doing is going to serve us in the long run. So, let’s take a look at what it means to find your life fuel!
First, it means that nutrition plays an important role, but it is not the main character.
In fact, there isn’t one aspect of life that is the magical key to finding health and happiness. In order to find what fuels your dancing, you will need to look past nutrition. Our bodies need more than just food to thrive. Meaningful relationships and connections, self care, restful sleep, a fulfilling career, physical exercise, and even fun are all aspects of life that fuel our bodies from the inside out and create the true meaning of health. Think about it, no amount of kale or broccoli alone will turn anyone into a happy and healthy individual. Have you ever seen someone who looked angry and stressed while drinking a green juice, or to the opposite extreme, blissfully happy eating ice cream? While this is not an excuse to eat all junk food all the time, it goes to show that eating a perfect diet doesn’t bring happiness. We will definitely go in depth on the topics of nutrition, emotional health, mental rest, and so much more but they shouldn’t be treated as life hacks that will suddenly change everything forever and ever. It’s the combination, the balance, of all of them that lead to a fueled life.
Second, finding your life fuel involves self discovery, experimentation, and some amount of grace.
An idea that we will explore later is the concept of bio-individuality. This is what allows a vegan and a meat eater to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner around the same table, with different foods of course, and both feel like they have nourished their bodies and souls. It’s what makes a crossfit athlete and a yoga instructor total devotees to their workout of choice. To put it simply, bio-individuality means that we are all different, unique in our wants, needs, and what is right for our own bodies. What works for me might not necessarily work for you. You probably won’t turn into a plant-based, ballet dancing, mountain hiking, smoothie bowl addicted, Bon Iver listening, natural skincare using, want to be yogi from reading this blog. Actually that’s probably a good thing because I’m pretty sure the world only needs one of me. This example might be silly, but too often we see someone who is #goals to us and then think that we have to follow EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL. of their workout, diet, and morning routine in order to have happiness and balance. When this fails us, we get frustrated, throw in the towel, and try to find another extreme in hopes that it turns out to be the perfect fit. But, what if we take the aspects from all of our experiences and personal research that we like, that resonate, that actually work for us and create our own hybrid of a lifestyle that not only makes us feel our best, but is also maintainable? Just something to think about.
Lastly, it’s about the journey not the destination.
I know that might sound as cliche as a girl in an oversized sweater sipping a pumpkin spice latte, but let’s look beyond the basic for a second. Our lives were made for growth. As soon as we reach that thing, that promotion, that health goal, that number in the bank account, that stage in life, we realize that we aren’t actually done. There is something more that we are searching for. I know for me personally, I always thought I would be satisfied if I made it into that ballet summer intensive, that professional program, that ballet company, and achieved that role and that accolade. If we are constantly living for the end result though, we lose the things that are around us, the things that actually sustain us and keep us going. The spontaneous coffee date, the ten minutes sitting in sunshine, or the failed dinner that turned into the most memorable night of laughter can actually give us space to exemplify health and provide fuel for the future. Sometimes it takes a whole lot of humility and self-love to be just right where you are. Forging your own path and going against what is conventional isn’t always easy, but it is so rewarding to listen to your own body.
This week, see if there is something that is keeping you from living a fueled life. Is there a small change you can make that will give you more energy and focus? Do you need to reframe a day around self-care? If you need encouragement, leave a comment with a change you want to make, contact me here, or head over to my YouTube channel for more inspiration!