Goodbye for now
I am saying goodbye for now to Chicago – the city I’ve fallen in love with over the past year and I am saying goodbye, just for now, to Rooted – the place, the community, and the trailblazing organization that I helped nurture into reality.
This has been a big year of growth, transition, and awareness for me and I want to share some things Rooted has helped me realize about myself and about life throughout the past year.
I have evolved from thinking through problems to feeling through them to find understanding, acceptance and truth.
Rooted has changed the way I deal with stressors. I am more aware of my automatic reactions to frustration, and much more accepting of myself as a full, feeling individual. Instead of putting my feelings aside and moving along to the next bullet on the to-do list, I pause to recognize my feelings, to embody them, and to remind myself that I am only human. I have learned to really listen to myself. So much so that I have been able to make some serious life decisions with trust and acceptance for myself.
I have learned to take care of my entire self, including nourishing my intellectual, physical, and emotional self.
I was introduced to the concepts of mind-body connection and overall health and wellness in my dance program in college and also in my yoga teacher training, but it wasn’t until I began facilitating sessions at Rooted that I really started seeing this connection in others and experiencing/feeling it for myself.
Rooted sessions taught me the importance of taking risks to express myself and expanded the mediums through which I could do so. Not once before did I think that I would be using acting/improvisation, vocal or visual art mediums to take care of myself. But now, they are real tools of nourishment for me… I have gained tools and experiences I will have for the rest of my life. Rooted will be with me wherever I go.
I’ve learned how to discern the value in others’ input
I’ve always been sensitive, perhaps overly sensitive, to criticism. Before Rooted, I was much less aware of my sensitivity. I’d get upset and frustrated at other people instead of allowing myself to hear their feedback and use it in a helpful, creative, positive way. Now I am learning to hear feedback as one person’s opinion and Rooted has helped me decipher between those opinions that are meaningful and can serve me and those opinions that can be brushed off.
As a dancer, being able to take constructive criticism, or even negative feedback, apply it, and use it, is critical to creating full and interesting work; the same is true for creating a full and interesting personal life.
I accept that ‘I am just beginning.’
At Rooted, we write affirmations (kind truths) for ourselves at the end of every session. My recent favorite has been ‘I am just beginning:’ I am accepting beginning my adult life, beginning to figure out what this new chapter will look like, and beginning my journey of self-awareness and self-discovery.
My experiences participating in and facilitating sessions at Rooted have opened me up to new ways of thinking and new ways of viewing the world. I am beginning to accept parts of myself and my past that I never thought I would. I am beginning to learn that my beliefs can grow and fade with time. And I am starting to understand just how important it is to FEEL…. to feel all of my emotions, not just the positive ones. I am starting to understand that I don’t have to smile all the time, or fix everything that is broken. I am beginning to become who I am, not who someone else wants me to be. I am only just beginning.
Thank you Rooted, for everything. Goodbye for now. See you soon!