How do we stay calm and centred as a freelancer? Rushing from one place to another, trying to keep on top of many differing projects all at once, sustaining a high level of fitness and creativity and functioning as a small business. It is not always easy and our sheer love and passion for dance drives us forward, despite it being difficult at times.
Have there been times when you have found it hard to sustain motivation? How do we find a sense of calm amidst demands on our time and on our body? Keeping centred and keeping it all together can be tricky, especially when trying to juggle many different elements at the same time.
A dance career is exciting and we can become used to a crazy rhythm of extreme highs, followed by lows, which can often be painful. These ups and downs can become the norm and being centred may feel boring or unadventurous. Dancers can become accustomed to the uneven rhythm of the dance industry and combined with the intensity of modern living, finding calm can feel strange. Being calm does not mean that you are idle, boring or missing out on the excitement. Calm is trying to stay grounded, clear minded, safe and connected to the self amidst the whirling climate of our culture.
Finding peace is a personal mission and it can come and go. Trying to remain peaceful, requires a conscious effort.
1. The first step is that we don’t always have to keep up with the speed of everyone else. Its ok to step back, retreat and switch off if we so choose. Having quiet times and resting from the noise is beneficial and allows us to restore and find centre again, before we reconnect with the craziness.
2. Secondly its ok to not always be in competition with yourself and everyone around you all of the time. We can choose to stand back from time to time, to rediscover clarity in out thoughts, needs, decisions and creative pursuits. You may discover that a little voice pops into your head, to check that to-do list or start a new project, when you have only just finished one. It’s ok to work at your own pace and to evolve when you are good and ready.
3. Thirdly, avoid comparing yourself to others, which is not always easy. Comparing yourself to others, only causes anxiety and discontent. Nowadays, there are endless people to compare ourselves to by scrolling through social media and this can feel unsettling, stir up thoughts that we are not achieving enough and question our own self worth. A social media page is often just a curation of ‘good times’ and a snap shot into someone’s life. It rarely shows the horrible bits or the low moments.
4. Be as prepared and organised for each day and for the forthcoming months as you can. This helps to avoid panic and anxiety. As a freelancer, if you know you have a quiet work time coming up, you can be prepared as possible with money by budgeting for that dry spell or know you need to find work to fill the gap. It will help you to feel a little calmer and more prepared.
5. BREATHE! If you feel your calm is slipping away, take a minute to do some deep breathing. When we panic, we tend to breathe in the chest only and our breath becomes short. Taking the time to consciously breathe, will allow the body to be still, even if just for a minute and allows you to re-centre. Also, having a moment to go out in the fresh air and have a walk, clears the head and reenergises you.
Remaining calm and peaceful is so crucial for our health, wellbeing, happiness, relationships, creativity and career. As a dancer and a freelancer, it is not always an easy way of life and handling so many different elements, remaining creative and fit is a task and it is important to take care of ourselves amidst this. Remind yourself often of why you do it, why dance is so beneficial to so many other people and how it makes you feel. There are very few other careers that are as exciting and creative as dance and staying calm, looking after yourself and trusting that life will look after you will help you to stay centred, happy and healthy.
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