I’ll take another serving of humble pie please…

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” — Calvin Coolige (1872 – 1933)

After five surgeries for various medical challenges over the years, I am still in awe of how the body possesses a rhythm to healing. I don’t come from hearty genetic stock.  I have learned to be attentive to lifestyle choices and self-care in order to minimize the impact of a congenitally compromised instrument.  As always, I witness the pathways of others who may have greater or fewer challenges to mobility and daily comfort than I do.   I espouse humility and focus on what I can do to grow and improve.

My last corrective procedure spanning 2013-2014 kicked my butt soundly. Healing could not be rushed, and deep rest became more important than jumping back into a vigorous, rehabilitative dance practice. Nine months passed before I could honestly say I recognized my image in the mirror, or could predictably produce movement without discomfort. I am still finding ways to negotiate what appears to be permanent damage in my body.

The gifts of these challenges are crystal clear:  rebuilding has been informative. Being reduced to a near-beginner in one’s craft was the perfect antidote to arrogance and complacency.  Learning to engineer movement through new pathways has given me a back-stage pass to more nuanced levels of somatic intelligence.  Disrupting my comfort zone has put me back in touch with the inspirations that led me to dance in the first place.  Harnessing resistance as a booster rocket for transformation catapulted me forward.  Locating my sense of humor while fumbling forward has awakened my grace.  I have affirmed, again, that progress is inevitable when you continue to show up and lean into a challenge.  Consistency shifts possibilities like water on stone.

I couldn’t have found my way back into this journey without help, so I’m here to say thank you to my family and kindred spirits in art-land.  A wise friend said “We are not meant to heal alone.”  She was correct.  I now understand the impact of a kind and honest (versus placating) word on a day when deflation and discouragement seem to have the upper hand.  I am so utterly fortunate to have had support during this process, and I’m G.R.A.T.E.F.U.L.

The most exciting realization of all?  I’m still enamored with the life I’ve cultivated.  When presented with a choice to ease my way into medical retirement, there was no question that I love what I do and will choose it over and over again.

I’m now different, but I’m still here.   Not only am I still here– I’m hungry.

Let’s do this.

Wanna dance?

In Spirit,

Donna Mejia, 2014

Posted on September 25, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Dear Donna,
    Words are also healing. Thank you for your openness. I needed to see this message this morning as I go through my journey. I am so excited to see you in November! Love, Jenny

  2. Beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  3. YES!!! You are such an inspiration and your words hit true! I am grateful to you my friend!

  4. Your dedication is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m wishing you love, light, and continued healing. ❤

  5. Thank you so much for your wise words and for sharing your journey with us, Donna. You are such an inspiring individual.

  6. Annalisa Raghunandan

    Thank you for your honesty Donna. The workshop in Tempe has left me reevaluating my relationship to my body. I am learning how to work with my current hormonal imbalance instead of punishing my body for not cooperating with me daily the way I expect it to. I’m healing with you. Lots of love.

  7. Thank you for sharing your raw and inspiring words. You have an amazing essence and it shows.

  8. you are a huge inspiration. thank you fo0r the wise words and the reminder. When my knee was injured and I couldn’t dance, it was very humbling and painful emotionally, but ended up being the challenge I needed to become truly inspired to find my own voice

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