You build consistency. You learn to be kind to yourself daily. You build your life from the ground up. You never have to work a day in your life in an arduous way and you build a life of no dread because you care for your mind, body and spirit daily. These are some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my life to date.
The lesson really started with ballet when I was 6 years old. Dance taught me that practicing something every day for three decades got me to a point where I was at the top of my craft. I never had to work a day in my life at it because I worked everyday of my life at it. It was my profession and my hobby and my passion for a very long time. Until it didn’t serve me anymore. When it was done, I walked away from it, and started to build new routines and a new life around new things. The lesson of building consistency went with me and served me well in the next chapter of my life when I was a total beginner and didn’t have dance to fall back on anymore.
When I left the dance world, I only had one thing in my life. It was hard to find new loves and passions because I only had nourished that one thing. I felt a huge void in my life when I chose to leave dance because I had nothing to replace it. That was another invaluable lesson that I learned: nurture many things in your life, not just one. It’s the adage of not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
You’ve seen glimmers and glimpses of my journey to replace dancing and teaching on this blog if you look at older posts. Most of the activities I did then, I kept doing over the last decade, and I still do many of them to this very day.
The differential in the equation is time. I’m not a novice at any of them anymore.
Here’s what replaced dance for me:
- Fine Art
- Food as fuel
- Fitness like weight lifting and endurance sports
- Going to more live cultural events such as ballets, operas, symphonies, musicals and plays
- Seeing my life as an experiment and constantly testing and trying new things
- Minimalism, Essentialism and Intentionalism: Minessententionalism
My new hobbies are all somewhere in this blog.
I saw my start of art class when I wrote about my Wine and Canvas adventures. That launched a decade of a love of doing art. Drawing, Zentangle, pastels, stained glass. I enjoy art journaling, water colors, origami, photography, videography.
Food as fuel
You saw my love of food as fuel as I wandered into veganism and out of veganism and into got into growing my own food. I’ve also tried different manners of food as fuel in trying out organic foods and different diets like keto, low carb, intermittent fasting. I also struggled for a long time with emotional eating and got out of balance with food so that I could come back into balance with food.
I’ve written about triathlons on this blog. I’ve explored marathons, cycling, swimming, hiking, duathlon, yoga, sitting on my butt, and injury and have come back from injury. I’ve learned to enjoy weight lifting. I love to move, and that has always been at the center of this blog.
Attending live cultural events
I got into this more heavily in 2016. I’ve gone to cultural events since I was a child. It started with going to the symphony and ballet every year with my mother, and the love expanded beyond her whether she was in my life or not. My husband even started going with me to some of these events and developing his own love of live cultural events on his own.
I’ve always had an interest in writing. I’ve always been good at it. It was one of my best subjects in high school and college. Writing and public speaking were my two best subjects in college, and dance too. Even though I didn’t go to school for any of those things. If I didn’t love to write, I wouldn’t have started a blog. Sure, life got in the way of regular posting in 2015, and I had to take a break. But writing for me has been a constant, whether it’s blogging, journaling, doing morning pages, writing scripts for YouTube videos.
Seeing my life as an experiment and trying and testing new things
You can see many experiments that I started and failed at and repeated on this blog. This is present in the blog itself- an experiment recording my life as I go; my life on the move.
When I first started this blog, I saw it as something I could build and scale. I thought about writing, yoga, video, the sky was the limit. Life got in the way for a long time, and I wasn’t present on this platform. But I never stopped being an entrepreneur. I launched an art business that failed. I launched a life coaching business that failed, but I’m still trying to do at saradaltoncoaching.com. I’ve kept sarathlete.com going even when I wasn’t posting. I launched a plant business at therareplanthaus.com and sold tropical plants. I came back to sarathlete, and I still have the plant business and the life coaching business going. I want to start a photography and video business. I was an ballroom dance coach for years for private business and as an independent coach. Working a W-2 job as I tried to build business endeavors crushed my soul to the point where I couldn’t do W-2 work anymore. Doing W-2 work for so long taught me that I don’t fit in there and that I can never go back to for my own inner peace and sanity.
I have always believed at my core that I am a minimalist, essentialist and intentionalism. Living my life in a way that aligns with my beliefs of the cross between living a meaningful life with what is essential and with great intention and having minimal things in my life. I created a word around it as a result of how much I love living my life this way. It’s simple. It serves me well.
Plants brought me back to the land of the living. When I wanted to die because I thought life was no longer worth living based on the realization of what had happened to me and finally figuring out why I felt so awful, plants were the first thing that made me want to restart my life. They were living things that required nurturing, but not a ton of nurturing. When my in-laws, husband and parents abandoned me and rejected me and the COVID-19 pandemic was going on and so much of what I loved to do was put on hold, this was a brand new activity I found on my own and nurtured and developed. I kept an orchid alive! I built a business around selling plants. I got on video and talked about plants. I built terrariums as home decor pieces in my house. Living things made me want to live again. I’m so grateful for that.
Dance taught me to do one thing and do it really well over and over and over and over. Dance taught me mastery and consistency. Dance also showed me that I when I stopped wanting to try to fit into the world of dance and rejection came that I couldn’t do it anymore, and that I had no other activities to fill the void. I learned to be a beginner in my life at so many things. I had to rebuild my life. The activities that I started nurturing and was a beginner at, I am no longer a beginner at anymore. I learned to explore new things, not put my eggs in one basket and nurture many things daily with the consistency I’d built from dance so that my passions and purpose aligned and I do these passions every day so I never have to work a day in my life because I work every day of my life a little at a time!