Facets and Rabbit Holes

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Workshops and Dance Schedule

Dance Resource Posts, Tips, & Tricks


As a seasoned and passionate dancer in SL, I freely share and support others in their own dance journeys.  My beliefs:  question everything, learn from everything, take from it what you will and do it your own way.  Have many teachers, no one is a master, no one knows “THE WAY”.  I teach based on what I know – my own foundation, what I have learned – but they are not the only ways.  Enjoy the ride, speak from the soul and create art with your dance.  We are all always learning, always growing.  Release the music from within…with your own voice.  ~ Eva

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Be True to Yourself…From now on

This is my safe space, where I sometimes open up and share a piece of myself.  I am not perfect.  I could be afraid to show my cracks, scratches, and dents, but here I feel more free as words flow from my fingers.  People can take me or leave me for who I am.  I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.  I know some could consider me ‘weak’ or ‘imperfect’ for being honest and open, but I’m ok with that.  If expressing my thoughts and feelings eases my soul, and perhaps inspires or connects with someone else – that’s what matters.

As I sipped my quickly cooling coffee this morning, doubts crawled in.  All the “why’s” kept spinning around in my head, demanding, condescending, antagonizing.  Questioning my involvement in the dance world.  Has my style become obsolete?  Not good enough?  I did all things I recommend others not do, I began comparing myself to others.  Perhaps what I do isn’t big enough, sparkly enough, fancy enough, dramatic enough.  For a few brief moments I even wondered whether my time has passed….if I should step aside for a new generation of dance.

Before you comment, know that anxiety is an issue for me.  My mind tricks me into believing something that isn’t true.  It looks for that one vulnerable spot and latches on like a dog with a tire – whipping it around until I’m beaten into submission or use my coping mechanisms to stop it and see the light again.

This is purely my own self-questioning and doubt.  There are so many talented builders, creators, choreographers and performers in the dance world – each with their own style.  They are artists, we are artists, and how we express ourselves is our freedom this world provides.

After some deep breaths, fresh coffee, and a change of scenery to shake up the thoughts swirling in my head, I’m reminded why I create, why I dance, why I share it with others.  The pure joy I feel, involving others, sharing and learning, bringing the big stuff sometimes, a simple solo others, and being offbeat – wherever my whims take me.  Would we judge Picasso against Monet?  No.  Rather than judging myself, or even judging others, I choose to appreciate the joy of the dances I create.  I choose to appreciate the creations of others without comparison, to mine or to anyone else’s.  Every performance is a sculpture, unique and its own.

“The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see”


I drank champagne with kings and queens

       The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
      The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
     I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
     And see you here
I remember who all this was for

And from now on
These eyes will not be blinded by the lights
From now on
What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight
It starts tonight
And let this promise in me start
     Like an anthem in my heart
From now on
  From now on

Come Back Home.  To You.

 

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Morning cup of goodness & new horizons

reasons i need coffee

My brain feels like a bit of mushiness this morning (wow, mushiness is a real word!) – all these thoughts swirling around over this one thought…this one idea.  Actually, I think it’s a bunch of ideas that want to be put together, quotes from various sources and thoughts in my own head.

First, one  of my biggest vices – that morning cup of fresh brew.  A shout out to all Canadian’s – it’s Tim Horton’s today.  On to deep thoughts <cues the SNL deep thoughts music>

Misc quotes and thoughts:

Challenge yourself, take your dance creations to the next level.  Identify weak areas and make them stronger.  Tighten choreo and transitions, learn a new tool (like the formation system for me), imagine deeper, try new things, new approaches, new ideas.  Give yourself time to create the best you can and to enjoy the process.  Rushing usually never leads to anything good.  Step out of your comfort zone. 

Lighting is a weak area for me, something I haven’t really learned or focused on – which could make a huge impact on my dances, hmmm….

Take fear out of the mix.  I love listening to motivational videos while I work and so many just hit the target as if the speakers are in my head.  So often fear holds me back.  Fear that I don’t measure up, that I will upset someone, that I can’t do it.  Fear of change.  I give up before I even start.

My new favorite quote:  Excuses only sound good to the person making them. 

Next time I start making an excuse for why I couldn’t do something, I’m going to think about this.  Sometimes things are out of our control.  Real life needs to come first, emergencies happen.  Sometimes it’s because I didn’t plan well, I procrastinated, I wasn’t “feeling it”…and sometimes I’ve let people down because of it.  One instance I can never make right, which cuts me to the bone…and leads to

forgive-yourself-first-release-the-need-to-replay-a-negative-17787832

Forgive yourself.  In my case above, there’s no way I can make it right, there’s no excuse that justifies not accomplishing what I said I could.  I realize now what contributed to my failure in that task.  I can dwell on the failure, or I can overcome my weaknesses and strive to make sure it never happens again.  I can take what I learned from this and share with others, so that perhaps they don’t struggle as I did.  That they don’t put blocks in their own way to prevent success.  In this way, I can honor her, and honor myself.

One of my biggest personal challenges….it’s ok to say no.  It’s ok to walk away.  It’s ok to set boundaries, to take care of yourself first.  To remove yourself from toxic people and situations.  Be realistic with what you can accomplish.  It is much better to say no in the beginning, than to say yes and do less than you could, or stress yourself trying to do it all.

Finally, plan measurable steps and commit to them.  Focus I know there is more I can learn, a part of my imagination that I haven’t tapped into yet.  Without committing to taking a step, in six months I will be saying these very same things.

In creating a new habit  – make it tiny.  Commit to one step, one minute, just one.  We can all take that one minute – to unpack a tool, to stretch, to meditate for just one minute.  That minute becomes easy…and becomes two minutes.  I tend to be a person of extremes, toe in the water or jump in from the high dive.  This can hold me back, but I can do one minute – I know I can.

The tighter you try and hold on to something you are afraid of losing, the more you are pushing it away.  The people in your life, a group that’s transitioning, your “place” in the hierarchy.  The fear of being less important, unnecessary, invisible, forgotten, failure.  I know it hurts like hell, I know I struggle with this, but I know too that new opportunities arise when I let go.  This is a challenge for me…every single day, in both worlds.

Final thought:

“As you take the next step, and the next, your greatest defense against stress, frustration and defeat is your inherent ability to choose one thought over another.  Remember this.  If you look for reasons to be disheartened – if you look for reasons to give up and give in – you’ll find plenty of them.  Look instead for reasons to be positive, and see them everywhere.  Then carry on.”

New posts and information coming.  Working on those blocks in my life.  

Me.  Not better than others, not less.  Different, in my own way.  I accept myself for who I am.

Breathe.  Live.  Be.

Always,
   ~ Eva

 

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New year, new beginnings, and hope

This is that time of year when most everyone reflects on the current year and makes resolutions for the new one.  Taking stock of where we’re at and where we want to be.  Me?  I think we’re always evolving and should always be in a continual state of being aware of how we feel, what our dreams are, and if things are working for us or not.  Taking hold of the steering wheel and adjusting our direction, or making a quick U-turn when things really go off the rails.  We’ve all heard the stories – “I followed my GPS and ended up 3 states away…in the middle of a lake”.  Better to notice the “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign along the way.

Sometimes I forget things.  I forget that the actions and responses of others are based on their own experiences, beliefs, personalities, and challenges.  I take their responses personally when I shouldn’t.  The words they choose, the tone of their voice.  I was recently reminded of this quote:

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are” 

If I feel insecure, if I feel I haven’t done my best job, I know I’m more vulnerable to self-doubt, not feeling good enough.  I know I can care too much, give with all my heart, be as open and honest as I can be.  So much so that I see that quality in others when it’s not reality.  That I can “see” more than there really is.  The mind plays a part too, wanting to protect us.  Ever been through a traumatic experience but unable to remember it for a long time?  That is our mind protecting us from what we can’t handle, can’t face right now.  We sometimes see what we want to see, not what is.

I forget that confrontation isn’t always bad and it’s sometimes necessary, whether a simple no because the opportunity isn’t right for me, or standing up for myself because someone is being disrespectful.  I forget that it’s ok to step back from toxic situations and people.

I sometimes forget that talking things out can be a wonderful thing, and that in other situations sometimes it’s best to let things go.  To ignore them, to stick the facts and positive aspects without being dragged verbally or emotionally into the drama and then smearing that on others as it spreads.

As I keep evolving, I slowly continue to transition to doing what I enjoy doing…for me.  There was a time when nearly all my effort in both worlds was to please others.  I was constantly scrabbling to feel needed, to feel wanted, to feel special.  I looked outside of myself for validation.

On the last day of 2018, I do take a moment to reflect.  To take stock of where I am.  Overall, even while there is instability in my life, I will keep moving forward.  I will stay positive, remain grateful, and strive for balance.  I hope in this new year that I continue on this path of growth, adjusting my steps along the way.  That I can see others more clearly and be more open.  That I will do the best I can, do what I love, and touch the lives of others.  That I will embrace new opportunities with strength, courage, and determination.

Blessed be, and a wonderful new year to you all.

Always –
~ Eva

listen to the voice within

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Video: How to Choreograph a Lyrical Dance

Our world of dance in SL is a bit different, but the concepts, the underlying expression is so very similar to RL.  We may not create our own animations, and we are generally limited to what’s available, but we select the animations, where to transition, how to transition.  In turn, we do not have physical limitations.  We can defy gravity, physicality, and reality.

I really enjoyed this video and found so many inspirational ideas.  Sometimes we do things naturally without thought.  It was wonderful how she explains these concepts, flow, expression, feelings, and inspiration.

I hope you enjoy too!

Always –
~ Eva

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New post for Firestorm users – use zdrop to move animations fast!

Do you just hate having to move animations in teeny tiny batches at a time?  Get greedy (selecting more than about 25) and you’ll get the lovely “failure to create in-world) error.

Do you too get nervous emptying your inventory trash and wish there was an easy way to store those items…just in case?

Da da da daaaaa!  zdrop to the rescue!  This handy feature is available to firestorm users and lets you copy/move items from your inventory fast, easily, and reliably!  But wait!  There’s more!  You can copy animations, scripts, and more to items even while you’re wearing them!  Like Dance HUDs – woot woot!

Read more about it here:     zdrop – know it, use it, love it

Don’t forget to check out the tips & tricks page!  Lots of resources here

Always –
   ~ Eva

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State of your surroundings, does it reflect your mental state? A story of green things.

As I tend to the woefully neglected yet still green plants in my office, I suddenly wondered…

Does the state of my surroundings reflect my mental state?

In my office where so many hours are spent, I focus on calming zen items.  A fish tank (with no fish right now), a zen sand ornament – brush and rakes included, soothing scent beads, and plants.

Sometimes my desk is a sheer chaos of piles.  (For me, out of sight is out of mind.)  Today, I noticed the plants that needed the dead leaves removed, roots sticking out of the pot, dirt as dry as the Mojave desert.  My fish tank was also half low because I bring the water from home and kept forgetting.  As I tended to these items, I could feel the change in my space here, suddenly felt the feeling of hope – though I’m not sure why.  I even planted some tomato seeds.

I’ve been pondering this and realize that the space I’m in, if its in a neglected state it so often coordinates with my feelings about where I am.  Work – why am I here?  Am I motivated?  Am I challenged?  Is this the right place to be?  Neglected, often reflects I’m doing just enough to get by, though often barely.  That I’m not looking for opportunities, studying new things, that I’m caught up in Groundhog Day and my brain is turning to goo.

I have plants at home too.  Home should so often be a place to feel safe, to rebuild, to feel comfortable and content.  These feelings don’t come from the outside, they come from the inside.  Here I tread in difficult waters.  So many people have suffered deeply.  Sometimes there is no way to shut out the horror around you, not completely.  Hopefully for those they have found a way out, a positive environment.  It may not be easy, but hopefully it’s safe.  Me?  I’m in the middle.  It took me years to learn that I shouldn’t have to change for other people, walk on eggshells, stop doing what I enjoy.  Sometimes I can find my home a haven, sometimes I can’t.  That is my journey I’m still working through.

I used to have a large garden, raised beds, meticulous planning.  I’d been studying homesteading.  Honestly I could eat out of that garden and wouldn’t need much more than that.  I also had chickens too with fresh eggs.  The chickens grew old and died, the garden now overgrown and neglected.  Many repairs are needed but I’ve made none – at times because I wonder where I will be in the future, other times I thought the repairs were beyond me but now realize I have to be the one to do them if they are to be done.

But, what I notice is that my plants in my home once vibrant and green barely receive my attention.  That I shelter within myself, am functioning within the real world enough to get by but no more than that.  My plants reflect that.

I have plants in SL too, ones that grow.  Even in a virtual world, I can feel their essence and their energy – as I can with my plants in real life.  They too at times suffer neglect.

Whether at work, home, or in SL at times of stress, confusion, withdrawal, I ignore them, I shut out those feelings, that connection.  Sometimes I shut down, almost completely.  Sometimes its only work, sometimes its only home, sometimes its SL.  My surroundings, the state of my plants, reflect the chaos and the feelings inside of me.  Kind of like the defense departments own security status.  Defcon 1 – everything is going good.  Defcon 5 – everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.

I realize too, that when I’m not nurturing my plants, I’m probably not nurturing myself either.  Long baths, painted nails, face masks, updating my wardrobe, updated color before my dark roots are no longer roots.

Plants have an energy, mint is uplifting, chamomile is soothing/tending.  We live in a symbiotic relationship with plants and trees, so for me it makes sense that my own mental and emotional state reflects on those I’m charged with nurturing.  (My pets don’t fall into this, they are always nurtured and cared for – this seems specific to my surroundings, plants included)

So…perhaps consider this.  For each space where you spend time, what is your environment like?  Does it foster comfort, creativity, stimulation, safety?  Is this a reflection on your own emotions and mindset?

Perhaps you can surround yourself in an environment that stimulates creativity, inspiration.  Include the people around you in this.  Perhaps, you too will find this an enlightening moment.

Always,
~ Eva

respect yourself

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On the cusp, everything occurs in cycles

“When you allow what others think to cloud your mind, you block your own light from shining through.” 

Monday.  I really don’t like Mondays.  Perhaps it’s that transition, the change in routine as I start my work week.  Perhaps it was ingrained in my head as a child as I didn’t like school very much.  “Re-focus your energies, your mindset” I can hear myself say, and that’s true.  I am grateful for the roof over my head, the people in my life, the opportunities I have.

As we enter into the last month of the year, I realize this has been an unusual one.  I know it is the same for others too.  Hopefully the end of this year brings about positive changes and fresh starts for the new one.  Growth, strength, understanding, opportunities.

I feel on the cusp of something once again, related to dance.  New ideas keep shifting around in my head.  My goal, set aside the time to bring it to life, slowly, trusting in the process.  Rushing is the biggest detriment for me.  My dances tend to be phases and keep evolving as I perform them, tweaking them each time until they finally feel complete.  They reveal themselves as I create.

You know, it’s scary sometimes, losing myself in that creation – that point where nothing else exists but that.  I fight it sometimes, procrastinate, keep thinking there are other things that should be done first.  It is generally an approaching deadline that forces me to jump in instead of just sticking my feet in from the dock.  I am a sucker for instant gratification sometimes, crossing something easy off the checklist, that sense of accomplishment.  Creation is a journey, the sense of accomplishment coming from within.  Sometimes it’s taken me weeks to get there, even months.

Everything comes in cycles, the seasons of the year, life, death, rebirth.  The seed that is planted within the soil that rests over the winter months to rise in the spring.  In the Northern Hemisphere we are entering a time of rest, of rebuilding.  Focus.  Self-evaluation.

Create from your heart and from your soul.  If something doesn’t feel right, question it.  If something doesn’t work, approach it from a new direction.  Turn your thoughts on their head.  Dream.  Feel inspired.  Find the places, the things, the people that inspire you and focus on those.  Breathe deeply and stand in the sunlight.

The world is yours.  Make of it what you will.

Always,
~ Eva

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