I’m not a greatly religious person. I haven’t been for a long time, but if my memories serve me well, I never really was. Sure, I’m baptized (and confirmed), I went to church, and I even acolyted for a time… but I’ve always been more of a science and emotion kind of girl; I base my beliefs on what I can see and what I can feel.
I don’t disbelieve anything because it’s actually a pretty egocentric and illogical stance: how can you have the audacity to say you are the person who KNOWS–without a doubt–that something doesn’t exist when the universe is so vast and incomprehensibly large? But I also know I can’t see anything or feel anything beyond the realm of the Earth and of animals. I have my connections with nature, with people, with dogs, with memories and moments. I have my spirituality, which is just a coven between me, science, and my intuition.
There have been a few times in my life I’ve realized there’s something out there at play, even if the forces that be are simply miraculous physics:
Discovering the lands of the American West when I was a child.
Standing in the National Cathedral when I was 17.
Finding signs from the people who have left me.
Moving to my little college mountain town.
Lying head to head with my best friend L, watching the meteor shower on the BRP.
Emerging from Grand Central Station in the middle of Manhattan, alone and completely unalone.
Falling in love with J.
Finding my places, my people, my happiness.
… but even with all of that, I’ve still never found something I felt was really a calling, or at least that I was participating in someone else’s calling.
That is, until now.
Recently, some of the other teachers and I started taking a dance class together. I’ll admit, as an avid weightlifter and yoga/pilates fiend, I was hesitant. Was this just another one of those awkward, overcrowded, and fruitless workout classes I had rolled my eyes at while squatting on the lat machine? Was this just another girly excuse to NOT be serious about fitness?
But as I’ve learned on my journey to happiness, sometimes you have to get over yourself and just say “yes.” So I did. I said yes to hanging out with new people and to trying a new fitness routine: Saka Dance Fitness.
I walked in to my first class a nervous wreck, going on and on about my unshaven legs and my lack of coordination. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was scared of failing at something I was sure I was above. I was positive I was going to leave without budging a single muscle, yet still horrified I’d look a hot mess
not doing so.
The first time I saw Patrice, however, I vibed off her energy immediately. She was radiant with her smile and her natural beauty, and her body was noticeably strong.
Maybe I’ll be surprised, I thought.
OH, BRAIN! YOU SURE WERE ON TO SOMETHING!
That was two months ago. Since then, I have attended our weekly Saka workout and dedicated myself 100% every time I walk in the room. I sweat my ass off and any negative moods in the process. I am developing muscles I never knew I had. I am not losing inches, simply gaining muscle — EXACTLY what I told Patrice I wanted. I am becoming a coordinated dancer who can memorize and perform advanced steps. I am becoming more confident, more calm, and more positive.
But that’s not all. The last three times I’ve ended my workout with Patrice, my entire body has been tingling from head to toe. The first time it happened, I thought I was in the beginning stages of a stroke. When it happened again, only this time with accompanying goosebumps that didn’t go away for 10 minutes, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence. Today was the third time it happened, and in addition to my tingles and my chills, I had this incredible feeling of zen.
Patrice makes us give our gratitude to God for something in our life before we start and end every workout. I felt uncomfortable doing it the first time, but now I look forward to it most of all. Why? Well, because even if it’s just a physical reaction, even if it’s just an emotional surge, I’ve finally felt something. I’ve seen something. I’ve been a part of Patrice’s calling to Saka, and it’s really beautiful.
Perhaps it’s even the start of a calling of my own.
If you want to join me for a class or order the DVD, check out Patrice’s site. This sounds like a canned post, but it’s anything but. If this WERE a sponsored post, I’d tell P to take her money back. What she and Saka have brought me would be payment enough.