Saahira Ruhi

Saahira Ruhi
by Lee Corkett

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Seven Days of Gratitude

This is something that just 'came to me' in one of those 'inspired moments' and I've learned to just let it happen. These are my posts from the past seven days on FB. I was so joyous when other friends seemed to take to the idea and ran with it. I feel even more deeply connected to my own gratitude and the to the deep levels of gratitiude experienced and shared by the loving beings I call my friends. Enjoy...

Seven days of Gratitude, Day 1. Today I am grateful for be a spiritual being having a human experience. I am so grateful for all of the learning and the loving. I am grateful for being embodied so that I can dance, sing, bear children, hug friends, help others and serve Spirit. What a blessing this life is!! What are you grateful for?

Seven Days of Gratitude, Day 2. Today I am grateful for the awareness that my emotions are just fleeting and that if I don't attach thoughts or meaning to them, I can just allow them to wash over me, accept that they are part of me, allow myself to fully feel them without judgment and then release them. What a blessing!! Bye, bye blue mood, thanks for stopping by:)!

Seven Days of Gratitude, Day 3. Today I am grateful that I can use my gifts (dancing, connection, community building, loving) to be of service in the world. Tonight I have the opportunity to dance at an event to raise $$ for a wonderful woman that I so love and admire. See gives so much to our community and now we get to give back to her. It's a complete circle of giving that we get to experience! My intention is to not only raise $$, but to connect with Spirit in co-creating the energy of healing and loving. Blessings to All.
Seven days of gratitude, day 4. I am so grateful for my eyes, ears and heart that allow me to bear witness to this wonderful life. Last night I got to bear witness to a room filled with Light and Loving. I am still glowing from the experience! And it's not just residual glitter! The more Light you radiate, the more Light you see! Blessings
Seven days of gratitude, day 5. Today I am grateful for autumn. With this season comes the promise of change. Also the knowing that winter is fast approaching and darkness will embrace making us even more aware of our own inner Light! Today I enjoy the smells, sights and sounds of Autumn...knowing the crisp and crackling leaves will soon give way to the silence of winter solstice. Traveling inward I delve into introspection and recognize the bright Light glowing within! Peace.
Seven days of gratitude, day 6. So grateful for choosing Loving and for allowing every experience to open my heart more fully. It is a choice. When I think of every experience (whether I perceived it as positive or negative at the time) and the choices I made related to it, I am grateful that I am now aware that I can choose the effect it will have on me. I've learned to rewrite and release my old... stories. I am so grateful for this awareness. When I think of my family and friends, old, new, passed on, and future, and recognize them for the Divine beings that they are...I am both humbled and grateful. What a spectacular gift from Spirit. And when I think of you Beloved, my heart opens even more...
Seven Days of Gratitude, Day 7. Today I am grateful for Be-ing. I am a Divine Being that is so grateful for having this human experience. I am grateful for my thoughts, emotions, experiences, joys, passions, beauty, peace, loving, pain, my embodiment, suffering, inner knowing, family, friends, dance, music, voice, poetry, art, Light, silence, softness, vulnerability, strength, wisdom, curiosity, harmony, compassion, and for my ability to reflect yours back to you. I am grateful to be able to share my gifts of Spirit with myself and the world and for my open heartedness to receiving. May this symbiotic relationship with ALL continue to flow in the coming year. Blessings ♥ ♥ ♥
Stay tuned for the Twelve Days of Giving...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Healing Hips

Photograph taken at Dia de los Muertos LA 10/11.

I can still remember her words as they cut like a knife though my young soul.  "You're my best dancer but you'll never be a professional ballerina. You won't have the right body for it." I was crushed. How could Miss Shirley, the mother of my dance, say such a thing? I think I was around twelve and had been dancing since I was six, two years on point. I had loved going to class at Phil Gracia's Dance studio in New Jersey. It was the one place that I felt beautiful, lovable and complete. Miss Shirley was a goddess, hour glass figure, always in black tights and leotard, long black nails...the Morticia Addams of dance. Se had always encouraged me, pushed me, made me strive to be the best that I could be. So why now was she taking my dreams and pulling them out from under me?  I had her up on a pedestal and I knew that she must be right and that there was something deeply and innately wrong with me. And the battle was begun.

Maybe my body was trying to betray me, but I couldn't let it win. 'Don't think you can try to rob me of my dreams and I won't put up a fight.' With the same strength and tenacity that I put into my classes and practicing, I was now using those same traits to wage a war on my body that I was determined to win.

At first I just started eating less. 'Take that you hips and breasts. I'll make you wish you never showed up.' Then I started to obsess over any morsel that I put into my mouth. Since my mother started to notice that I wasn't eating much, I tried to eat 'normal' amounts of food and then throw it up after.  Sometimes when it seemed like I was losing the battle I would gorge myself on copious amount of junk food and then immediately throw it up. This went on for several years causing some serious health issues. At the end, before I was hospitalized, I was eating a baby carrot and three saltines and was down to 106 pounds. My period had stopped the year before and I was quite frail and certainly unable to dance. I was diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses including some damage to my heart. My physical world reality was certainly mirroring my inner world reality at this point. My heart was damaged. It took years of building healthy habits along with counseling to overcome this period in my life. Once in a while I can still hear those old tapes starting to play in my head. Now I am able to silence them.

Flash forward fourteen years. My love of dance never died and I tried different dance forms through my college days but never found something that resonated with my soul until I was nearly 30 years old. I had been going to this event called the Long Beach Woman Spirit Solstice Fair twice yearly for a few years when I was drawn to a performance of belly dance. The main dancer was more mature and certainly much rounder than I was, but when she danced she was the most lovely, sensual, radiant being I had ever seen. I couldn't take my eyes off her. Each movement was like poetry to my aching soul. I fell immediately in love with the dance. I started driving out to Orange County one night a week for classes. Sometimes the drive could be up to 2 hours each way with traffic. I didn't care. I used the time to listen to soul stirring Arabic music and to practice the choreography in my head. I made new friends. and learned to love my body in a whole new way. I was amazed at what my body could do. I had respect for my hips as they moved through space. Through them I felt connected to all women throughout time and space. I was experienced myself as connecting to Spirit and the Divine Feminine through the movements of my wonderful body. I was awakened. The music was like a balm. It got into my being and moved me, not only physically, but emotionally. I allowed it to transform me. Through the marriage of music and movement, I was channeling the Divine. What a gift this was. And I wanted to share it with the world.

I began performing and teaching after the first few years.  In performance I experienced myself as not only an entertainer but as a healer and guide to realms of deeper acceptance and self compassion. As a teacher my biggest joy is recognizing that moment in my student when I see her consciousness shift from doing the steps into becoming a dancer. The awareness can be subtle but miraculous. I've watched my students use dance as a way to recover from divorce as they feel empowered to experience joy. I've witnessed them recover from sexual abuse as they take dominion over their own sexuality. And I've mirrored their own radiance back to them when they've been unable to recognize it in themselves. What a blessing. Dance is my souls journey to self acceptance, self love and self realization.

I am so grateful for these hips that have cradled and brought forth life, entertained and brought joy to many and have helped me to birth my own Self into authentic being. These hips, that I once damned for betraying me and my dreams, have been the source of my rebirth.

Blessings of self compassion,
Saahira Ruhi

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspired by the MECDA Professional Dance Conference and Retreat

MECDA PDC&R Monthly Progress Report

Well, the first day of the conference I had challenges even going…”Who was I to be going to this? Am I good enough? Do I deserve this? What am I thinking? Would someone find I out that I just an imposter?” “Will I be the fattest, oldest, (fill in the blankest) one there? Well the answers all showed up during that weekend.

I even injured myself at work that day as I was reading my office to leave. Geez, I’m good at manifesting roadblocks to my dreams. Had to go to urgent care on my way out of town and couldn’t move my left arm for the first day of the event. “Would I let this deter me?” Hell no!
When I arrived, I was given an amazing welcome gift basket that was fit for a queen. “Did they confuse me with someone else?...had to check the name badge, no it was me!!
Went to my room, lovely, spacious, no roommate…I fell onto the bed exhausted. It can be grueling fighting with your ego!!

Went to the mixer, it was fun meeting some of the other participants/instructors. I began to relax. Maybe I was one of them. Spent the night..till 2 am, hanging with Princess Farhana, Devilla, Zahra and Angelika in the bar. OMG, I had such a fun time just talking about dance, life, hopes, dreams, etc..
The next morning I got up for 7am yoga. It was the only day I made it to that class but I felt so accomplished by 8am! I loved Lori’s style and I was able to get some movement out of my left shoulder. So worth getting up for. I found that this set the tone for my experience for the rest of the conference. Pushing my self to get out of my ‘comfort zone’ and the rewards keep on coming.
The other classes were amazing. And the times outside of classes were truly life changing and inspirational!
Flash forward to ‘graduation’. The end of the conference was really emotional, saying goodbye was lovely and bittersweet. I experienced such a shift my consciousness. I really experienced the union of my authentic self and my dancer self…a true powerhouse team that just keeps on going even a month later.
So here’s what’s happened this past month…
First week back agreed to dance at Bedouin Bazaar then next week with my first instructor. 3 rehearsals=1 interesting performanceJ…but I did it…saying YES!! to opportunities!

Next week…Had an awesome rehearsal with my girls, got to hear about their first performance without me (they danced while I was at the conference!), I was in total gratitude! Told then they have to attend next year. Went to a conference for work but ‘changed my hat’ half way through and used my perspective as a dancer to make 3 contacts that would promote one of the purposes I discovered for myself at the retreat. That night I married my dancer self with my activist self and some of my troupe and I danced the revolution at Occupy Riverside as ‘corporate’ dancers who cast a spell over the 99%! Then we changed and went to our favorite coffee house and danced for Love your Body Day and ‘occupied our bodies’. What fun we had! That weekend, my partner and I went to an amazing Dia de los Muertos celebration in Hollywood and then went to catch Her Royal Highness’ show. We had a blast and talked for a really long time about a common goal that we have and decided to get together in November to start putting our ideas into action. We also discovered that we must be sisters separated at birth! The next day I danced with my troupe at a cultural festival doing a 30 minute spot with Khaleegi (with live drumming), cane, veil, etc. It was so much fun!!

The next week was prepping for a weekend with 2 Halloween inspired shows! My favorite time of the year!! They were both so much fun and my older daughter danced in one of them, it was a blast! We did two short sets in each show and got great feedback.

The forth week, I said yes to a talk/demo/mini-lesson for that Tuesday evening and delivered it! I spoke about the importance of self nurturing to caregivers at the Inland Regional Center for a moms supporting moms group. Those women came in so down and by the time we were up and moving, they were smiling, laughing, breathing…They even taped it and put it on Youtube. My marketing guru, Julie, told me to get testimonials and I’ve requested themJ! That week we also danced at Occupy Riverside again this time taking the ‘bankers’ into the fire-y depths of Hell!! We posted this on Youtube also. Then on Sunday we danced at another Haflaween show and had such fun, again.
So, to sum it up, more performances, more creative ways to use dancing in other areas of my life, more FUN!!

I also got on twitter, hoot suite, booked 3 other shows, sold a copy of my first poetry book, and planning a workshop and concert for January, set the date for my women’s conference (March 24, 2012), made some incredible friends, am a happier mommy and partner, have helped others increase their businesses with what I learned, started to work on my website, and many other things I cannot even put into words…and that’s just the first month!

”Who was I to be going to this?... I am an amazing dancer and woman with a unique voice and vision. I am a healer and activist, a woman of passion. Am I good enough?.. Of course I am! Do I deserve this?.. Yes, and so much more. What am I thinking..? I am thinking that everyone has a dream, the difference is that I am taking action. Would someone find I out that I just an imposter?..” They couldn’t because I am authentically me! “Will I be the fattest, oldest, (fill in the blankest) one there?... Does it even matter? I am releasing those excuses as I am discovering the fountain of youth and health thru dancing my dreams!

I am in such gratitude to everyone there, teacher, attendee, volunteer…b/c each person brought their own gifts and shared them generously with all who were there. Perfection!

BTW, I've never blogged before so be gentle with me!

Nancy aka Saahira Ruhi