Bellydancing. “The Only Way to Eat Fire, Is to Eat Fire”

This is another thing I never would have done before.  I asked Jon to take a picture of me doing the Egyptian (Not quite right, but pretty good or me) so I’d have a picture for this post.  I also bought myself that great purple Bellydancing skirt but have been afraid to wear it to class.  Maybe I will tonight….)

I’m driving home listening to my Belly Dancing Playlist.  My  right hip moves up, down, up…to the music, then my left hip does the same, then back to my right, up, down, up and on and on.

I’m dancing in my car as I drive.  They said it would happen.

They told me at some point I’d be able to Zill (right, left, right, right…) that it would just happen one day and suddenly I’d be able to do it.  They told me that eventually, I’d be able to find the beat in the music, whatever music I was listening, and to be able to count to it (one, two, three, four, one, two, three four…)

I didn’t believe it.

But for some reason I kept going to Bellydancing classes.  Now, a year later, I can see that They were right.

They, is not just Julz and Kathleen my teachers, it’s everyone else in the class, giving advice and encouragement.  Being supportive.  And apparently, tell the truth.

Because, now, I can do so many of  those things that for my whole life, I didn’t think I could ever do.  I didn’t just believe I couldn’t clap to a beat or move my feet or body in certain ways, I knew it.

But I was wrong.

And I still can’t wrap my head around it.  I’m still in awe at what I’ve learned and keep learning in my Bellydancing class.

I’d say it’s a miracle, but it’s not.  Because I made it happen.  I did it.  I’m doing it.

I just finished reading The Electric Woman, A Memoir in Death Defying Acts,  By Tessa Fontaine.  Tessa joins the only traveling Side-Show left in the United States.  But she doesn’t know how to do any of the acts, so she takes a class in Fire-Eating.

In the first class she learns ….”There are no tricks.  The only way to eat fire, is to eat fire.” 

These words have become my mantra.  I smile and get a little excited every time I chant them.  I have to do the work.  The only way to get what I want is to do the work.  At one time in my life this idea would have been daunting. But now, it seems simple, not easy, but simple.

The first time I saw the Sahidi Sister and Sisters  of The Shawl dance, I was in awe.  The last time I wrote about Bellydancing I said I was trying to just imagine myself dancing with The Sisters of the Shawl and wasn’t even able to do that.

But something changed.

And I know what it is. I haven’t given up.  I keep working at it.  And I have no doubt that it will take me years, to get to the point where I can dance with the Sister’s of the Shawl, but now, I can imagine it someday happening.

As long as I keep working at it.

Because I’ve seen myself do things in the past year that I thought was impossible for me to do.

I’ve become a believer.

Not in wishful thinking, miracles or magic.  But in not giving up, in doing the work, in being open to learning, so as I do the same thing again and again, its not actually the same and  there’s hope that next time it will be different, better.

And as long as I keep at it, that will keep happening.



7 thoughts on “Bellydancing. “The Only Way to Eat Fire, Is to Eat Fire”

  1. Maria, you look like the Bedlam Farm Goddess – swirling, colorful, confident. Your persistence is inspiring! I can just imagine that moment in the car when your body started moving to the rhythm without your even trying.

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