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What does it really take?

At 12 years old, I apparently made a list entitled "The things I WILL do with the rest of my life." Wow, a bold statement to be sure. I was confident and secure that I was going to do 'stuff' and be 'somebody' and 'make a difference'.

Missing from this list were the steps needed to make that 11-point list happen! What was missing was the knowledge and the wisdom to understand the grit and hard work needed to be 'successful' (whatever that means). What was missing was how much crying, how much joy, and how much fight I would need!

I don't know if I can say my journey was smooth, but I do know that looking back I am blessed, it was a dream come true & not over.

  • My list included dancing for the Martha Graham Dance Company - (I thought I discovered Martha and her technique in college ... I swear it was on this list at 12 yrs old). I spent 2 yrs in this company, and it was the hardest dancing and the most fulfilling work I'd ever done and will ever do. This is where I found out something can be so hard and so physically taxing, that throwing up in the wings was just what happens.

  • My list included dancing for The Alvin Ailey Dance Company - (in college, when I found the Graham technique, I had no intentions of dancing for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre or anyone else). I spent 2.5 years in the Ailey company. I traveled the world, did AMAZING work, and met injury for the 1st time.

  • My list included starring in a Broadway Show - (in college I decided I was only a dancer and I would live and die a dancer, nothing else!). HAHAHA, my clarity at 12 yrs old was powerful.

On opening night of The Color Purple (original production 2005), my 3rd Broadway show at that point, a card appeared from an aunt with that piece of paper in it, my magic list. The card read -'You've finished your list, it's time to make another.'

My 1st principal role on Broadway meant that I had fulfilled all the things on my list at 35 years old. Time to make another list! This Purple journey was long and hard and came at the height of my clinical depression. It was the most profound experience and with the most profound people, I will ever meet. This show and depression were the catalysts to my awakening because it was difficult to survive telling that story every night while feeling like the world was coming to an end. DEPRESSION SUCKS!!!!!! But I survived.

HOWEVER, I wrote those things on a list at 12 years old, with an intention and clarity that I strive every day to replicate.

What I know to be true ...

I now know that when I become clear and intentional, WHAT I SAY I WILL DO, AND WHAT I WRITE DOWN WILL SHOW UP! Be very afraid of this power and choose wisely. LOL!

Now just because the opportunity shows itself, does not mean achieving your goals, dreams, vision whatever you want to call it, does not take work! For me, the universe says OFTEN, "well you asked for it so here it is ... are you ready or are you busy procrastinating, feeling sorry for yourself, not ready, not prepared?"If I am prepared and ready ... the real work begins. Nothing about being an artist, educator, and entrepreneur is easy, but it is what I want to be every day, so I do the work and ride the wave.

  • What does your list look like?

  • What choices are you prepared to make to get what you want?

  • What do you have to do to get ready for your blessings?

  • How much work, grit, tears, and joy are you prepared to handle to be the person you want to be?

I'm still on this journey and I have no idea how long I will be granted this extraordinary ride of life, but I'm willing to do the work to be 'successful' in my chosen careers but most importantly in my chosen life ... I'm here for it.


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