After 5 years of doing a startup, I’ve been through a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. I know the feeling of being constantly broke to genuinely shocked when offered a 7 figure acquisition deal. I know the sense of utter panic one feels when their software crashes within the first week for their biggest customer, to the ecstasy one feels when customers say they now love their company’s corporate surveys.
Startups are incredibly hard to succeed but I realized the real battle I was facing, was the one I was waging within myself.
I felt that no matter how much I tried or how hard I worked, I wasn’t getting any closer to feeling successful. I was putting in long hours and making all the sacrifices yet here I was, barely treading water. I was restless, worried, panicking at times, and just feeling emotionally exhausted some days. This metaphor of drowning exceeded its figurative boundaries, at times into a very real sensation. It was an open wound that was bleeding me dry, and so I desperately started seeking a coping mechanism.
The answer soon came to me in my moments of stillness.
I realized that I was driven, in a large part, in response to my fears, my ego and my guilt. I was reacting to these powerful subconscious murmurs of my heart and mind, and not giving it its day in court. So, I started everyday articulating what I was feeling afraid of, the prideful things I was holding on to, any unforgiveness I was holding towards others, my moments of selfishness and the guilt I was carrying around.
Fear, ego and guilt are evolutionary instincts that help us survive but left unchecked, leaves us living harried and unhappy lives. However when we are able to reflect on these things, they don't hold as much power over us.
It worked. My newfound ritual in silence has given me much needed clarity and peace.
And it is these principles and this practice of mindfulness that I want to share with everyone using the fantastical world of dance and storytelling.
As counter-intuitive as it might seem, the exaggeration and playfulness of dancing and stories is exactly the tapestry through which we can explore these serious topics together whilst having fun and burning some calories! Each segment of the workshop starts with a meditative reflection to identify what's bothering you, and like kerosene to a fire, we use it to light up the dance.
Although these workshops help me pay rent, the mission is bigger than that. My goal is for this to be a playground of like hearted individuals to connect, laugh, dance and grow into a more conscientious people, while not taking ourselves too seriously.
Imagine a world built on repeated acts of courage, playfulness and forgiveness. Let’s dance towards that future.