I was recently asked how minimalism has changed my life. Creating a minimalist lifestyle has allowed me to refocus on my true heart’s desire. As I have relieved myself of clutter, I’ve also had more mental and emotional space to concentrate on my deepest desires versus my previous distractions that once consumed me.
I used to look through home decor catalogs and fashion magazines creating lists of all of the things I wanted to buy for my home and my wardrobe. I spent hours just thinking about all of the stuff I wanted, how I could get it, and sometimes impatiently charged these things on my credit card. I was only temporarily satisfied with what I had, and always looking for the next best thing. When my budget became tighter, my lists became longer. It was a never ending cycle of consumerism and unhappiness. I wasn’t thinking much about my artistry or dance at all.
When I first began my path of becoming a professional dancer, I lived in New York City and owned two large bags of possessions. I didn’t have permanent residency more than 3-6 months at a time for many of those years, but it didn’t even matter. The only thing I was deeply passionate about was dance. I was working eight hour days at the Gap on Fifth Ave, taking class in the evenings, and auditioning whenever I could. I took an hour and a half commute into Manhattan via bus and train every day even on my days off. The extreme determination paid off, and I now continue on a new dance path.
After years of living in Los Angeles, my greatest desire is to get back into the concert world of dance. Many of the best dance companies are in New York, and much of the work in Los Angeles is for cinema, television, pop artists, industrials, and commercials. There is an artistry in concert dance that the commercial dance world hardly touches on the surface.
Now that I’m no longer contemplating about what beauty products or clothing I need to buy, or if I should go to the mall if I have free time, I can focus on what I can do everyday to get me one more step closer to being in a phenomenal dance company and one day having my own. Outside of teaching dance to children, I am in class four days a week, training with a Pilate’s instructor, and doing my own work at home to become stronger than I’ve ever been.
The commercial dance scene of performing in stilettos or dancing behind a music artist requires a completely different set of skills than a concert dance company. Now that I’m no longer thinking about stuff, I have so much more time to focus on my dreams. Minimalism has freed me to stay focused on what will ultimately bring me the most joy and satisfaction in life. Stuff could never compete with that.
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)