>What I recently learned…

>What have you learned lately?  I don’t mean metaphorically but an actual skill that you recently learned such as knitting, painting, photography, or something else that may be of interest to you.

Consider this post to be your “what have you done for yourself lately” first of the year check up.  I am adamant about us moms and career women scheduling time for ourselves.  In between cooking dinner, shuttling the kids from one activity to another, homework duty, laundry, and or other routine commissions, we must be diligent in carving out some me time. 

Creating time for yourself will free you up physically and mentally to explore your own personal interests, have a little fun, and learn a new skill.  I recently set out to learn raq’s sharki, more popularly known as belly dancing.  That’s right!  OMG!  It’s so much fun but much more challenging than it looks.  I took the class at a time that I knew would work for me. I also made certain to avoid scheduling any activities for the entire family around “my” time. 

The first day of class with dance shoes in hand, I was awfully nervous.  As a little girl, I always wanted to take dance, but never got the opportunity and here I was some 30+ years later, taking my first dance class.

Although the class was listed as intermediate, out of six students, I was the only first-time student.  My instructor was knowledgeable and provided a detailed history of the form.  As we moved into the basic forms, I have never felt so awkward and uncoordinated in my life. And to be completely honest with you, as the only woman of color and definitely the youngest in the class, I felt self-imposed pressured to instantaneously swing my hips to the beat of the music.   Nope!  It didn’t happen!  Ha! Not even close!

I work out- I’m in shape- I like to swing my hips and to get my dance on-   But the art of belly dancing requires a different type of movement and it wasn’t going to happen as quickly as I thought and hoped that it would. The movement focuses on technique not rhythm. My hamstrings and gluts ached and burned liked I was lifting weights.  Oh yeah, it was a workout for sure.

Throughout most classes, I found myself laughing aloud and harder than anyone else.  I guess you could say that I was crackin myself up at my attempts to shimmy to the beat of the mysterious Egyptian music.  The other ladies smiled and encouraged me but probably thought I was nuts.  I didn’t care because I was having a blast. I had fun and will definitely take the class again.  Check out this video.  Someday I envision myself moving like this. 

At the end of each class, I realized that I felt a sense of accomplishment and gratification.  I relaxed, I laughed, I had fun, and managed to focus 100% without my mind wondering outside of the room. What an amazing way to conclude my day. Go ahead, I dare you, try something new and be sure to have a blast!

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