THE POWER OF THE KITE

Last weekend Adventures of Sara & Jelly took us on a little weekend trip to my happy place, the coast.

Give me a beach view over a city view any day. To hear the waves crash against the shore is my inner peace, to smell the fresh sea salt air is my bliss and to walk barefoot with the sand falling in between my toes is my heaven!

If I could escape the hustle and bustle of Suburbia every weekend, I would be packed and out the door on Friday afternoon before you could say boo! However work schedules and social calendars don’t always permit.

Unfortunately this weekend was no exception. With a wedding in town and Jelly’s birthday to celebrate, I had to settled for the nearest coastline 20 minutes from home in St.Kilda, its no Victorian Great Ocean Road buy hey, I am not complaining.

We stayed in a cute little hotel on Fitzroy Street, The Urban Boutique Hotel St. Kilda. Bubbles upon arrival, a big double king bed that we could have lost each other in, a spa bath over looking a private garden view, a beautiful hot pink espresso machine and the most important part, complimentary passes to use The St. Kilda Sea Baths.

You see our hotel must be chosen with on important factor in mind, “what’s the gym like?” It doesn’t matter where we go, how many stars, or how great of a discount I manage to snap up, if the gym ain’t good, or dear I say there isn’t one I have to hear about it all weekend!

So I was clearly winning when he discovered that my chosen surprise destination meant he could spend Saturday morning working in an A class fitness centre, over looking the ocean!

Next stop on our birthday agenda…. Kite Surfing!

Looking back now I completely misjudged the expectations of a two hour lesson. Silly me assumed we were going to be riding the waves like a pros in no time. I am fit, strong and my dance and yoga trainer makes me an excellent candidate for sustainability, control and balance, why wouldn’t I be?

What the tittle of our lesson should have read; a two hour introduction to kite flying!

I am not sure about you, but my childhood certainly did not involve much kite flying, the only memories I have of it is Mary Poppins, Mr Banks and “Let’s go fly I kite, up where the air is bright, ” but how hard could it be right?

WRONG!

“ The trainer Kite,” 1a quarter of the size of the actually kite, was powerful enough to plunge me to my knees, face down, dragging me through the sand …twice!

To say I was embarrassed was an understatement. I mean who couldn’t fly a kite?

ME!

Fighting with the kite was no option; trust me you end up being the loser. You certainly couldn’t use your strength to beat the kite. Show the kite any sense of irritation or impatience and it would almost laugh in your face and send you plummeting to the floor.

I felt like I was witnessing a perfect interaction of yin and yang…gone completely wrong!

Clearly my foundation was far from sold or accurate.

The harder I worked to succeed, the more unnecessary force I created.

Our communication was cut.

Our dance broken.

No Yin and Yang., just a struggle for power.

It got me thinking about power.

What good is Power if you don’t have all the fundamental support elements behind it?

Is it really power at all?

Or is it just a preponderance of energy that can destroy?

The kite encompasses properties that are bright, active and fiery. Working effectively, it is a very powerful instrument, able to soar through the air, move life, move me.

However take a step back.

What is the objective of the kite?

To fly.

As the kite drags me to the ground and pulls me through the sand, what proceeds almost seconds after?

The kite plummets to the ground too.

The oxford dictionary defines power “as the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events.”

True the kite most definitely influenced me but how was this effective?

In order for the kite’s true potential to be realised, the base line, the controller, me, has to be present, has to be giving, has to be connected.

An infinity loop: a constant exchange of energy.

I need you and you need me. We are all a combined entity that is powerful. One cannot to powerful without the other.

We often forget how important each player is. We forget that even though we may not be the head of our department, the director of a company, the principle performer or the team captain, does not mean we do not have the ability to create change or influence behaviours in others or ourselves.

We are all put on this earth as powerful creatures; it is what we do with it, how we interact with others, share our strengths, nurture each others weaknesses, that truly determines greatness.

The Yang cannot grow without the Yin.

One man cannot rule alone.

The kite is powerful because of you.

So I don’t look like a Ballerina but I can deadlift my body weight!

I am falling in love with my body. I feel like a rejuvenated woman, in the early stages of a blossoming romance. It’s new, it’s extremely different and I feel fantastic.

I bet your thinking I must have lost 10 kilograms!

No. Recently I haven’t lost any weight, and that annoying 5 kilograms that is keeping me from my dream goal of 55 kilograms, still refuses to go away. To tell you the truth I think I am stuck with that for life and I don’t care.

Dearest stubborn five kilos welcome to my body, feel free to continue making your self-comfortable!

It no longer pains me to share that I am a 5ft1 female who weighs 60 kilograms.   You can turn your noes up at that; I won’t be offended because do you know what this means?

I am short, strong and sexy.

My weight struggles are no big secrete, I enjoy sharing them because I think people can learn from them. No, I have never been anorexic because, like most Italians I love food way too much. Food has always been my comfort. Some people don’t eat when they are stressed. Me? I eat when stressed. Being constantly stressed about not being thin meant I was constantly eating because eating made me feel better. However Once I was done eating, the guilt set it, I would vow to never eat again only to find that the stress would overwhelm me and I would just end up eating yet again.

Wow that hurt my brain just trying to explain it. A catch 22 and a complete mind jumble!

Doctors would have diagnosed me as a binge eater. This eventually rolled into; number one advocator for taking laxatives, because honestly who actually enjoys sticking their fingers down their throats not to mention the taste of acid shooting up their oesophagus.

Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Sure Slim, Atkins, South Beach, low carb, no carb, lemon detox drink, juices, special soup diet, you name it I have probably tried…and in between when they weren’t working, my drug of choice…laxatives.

Truth is, none of them worked. Sure I lost weight, but the beautiful Ballerina never once looked back at me in the mirror and my mind was still left angry!

I was never badly over weight and if people had of just left me to be a child and develop naturally things may have been okay. Instead I was constantly told what image was right, the prima Bellarine, and what was wrong, me. What I could eat, whole heap of carrots and celery sticks, and what I couldn’t: bread, pasta, chocolate, ice – cream, anything not in the heath and food isle!

To love food was my curse. You try telling an Italian to defy their natural instincts…well your just doomed from the start!

Naturally I am not a very big eater but when you starve your body or like when you tell a child you can’t have something they really want, when no one was looking I overindulged. My relationship with food developed a very negative connotation.

When I finally gave up trying to be what I was told to be and what I had believed to be perfect and began exploring different avenues, I started to formulate my own ideas, beliefs and goals.

Firstly, my body structure is not one of a ballerina. I have broad shoulders that I spent years defending; no I am not a swimmer. Mind you I used to hate it but now I just wear it as a compliment. My childbearing hips have a little extra something special from my Italian heritage; they are solid and round. These physical feature I cannot change this no matter how hard I try.

So what do I do now?

I take what I have, work with it and just make it better!

Knowing I love food means I have to work hard to enjoy it but working hard gives me that power to get what I want. Those little no no’s like chocolate, ice-cream, bread or pizza become my rewards and when I stop making them negatives sometimes I realise I don’t even need them, but you have to pleasure your sense every now and then!

Exploring ways to be fit and push myself has led me to sports and activities I would have never tried. I now enjoy going for runs, weight lifting, boxing, kettle bell workouts, cycling, last week my partner brought me roller blades! These activities are not chores but things I enjoy and choose to do, on my own or with friends.

Yes some may say I am big and yes sometimes I can’t wear certain tops because my shoulders are to broad, or certain pants because my thighs are thick but maybe that designer didn’t design those items with my body structure in mind and that’s okay.

When I first met my partner, his pick up line was “how much do you squat?” I was mortified, I immediately thought he was making fun of my thunder thighs. Unknown to me he was actually paying me a compliment! Today if I was asked, I would just turn around and say proudly 50kg (I am very happy to announce that this was my new record just made today!)

I am stronger than I have ever been both physically and mentally and that’s because I am interested in being fit and healthy and the only way to do that is with the right frame of mind.

So I know I will never look like a Ballerina, its not physically possible and I am just not made that way!

There is no point it trying to obtain unrealistic goals.

However I can and do deadlift my own bodyweight, an achievement that makes me proud of my body and what I can do!

Next goal is to be able to do a chin up.

Don’t let your surrounds determine what is right for you. Starting making choices that make you happy.

 

The only difference between a Winner & a Loser is that the Winner tries just one more time…

They say I could dance before I could walk, that it was in my blood.

My body would find the beat before I even heard the music

I am not to sure where it derived from. My mother was certainly not one of those crazy, pushy dance mothers, living vicariously through her daughter’s talent.  My sisters tried only to realise that they had been gifted with two left feet!  My father’s a clown, and whilst he is very entertaining, dancing is certainly not his strongest suit! 

I was a much loved black sheep.

Being different didn’t bother.  Dance was my language, my freedom, my passion.

I was not the most technically gifted dancer, but I had character.  I commanded the stage, captivated my audience and invited them into my journey.

A star was born within me and I was so excited to let it shine.

My passion for dance evolved like all things into a creative combination of many things; dancing, singing, acting, clowning, stage, film, theater, cultural arts, Balinese dance, Mask work,  physical theater, comedy, Shakespeare, you name it, I tried to master it and I loved it.

I was successful in so many ways.  Worked and trained in Singapore, Bali, New York, London and Melbourne.  But as my skill set expanded, my pathway grew hazy and my soul seemed to fade.

Maybe it was because I was forced to be on every fab diet since I was ten.  Or achieving 10 kg weight loss only then be told I looked too skinny.   Or perhaps losing friends because they didn’t appreciate my success.  Being told I was ugly and that with a face like mine I would always be over looked, might have also played a part!

I became fantastic at building a facade.

“The fighter, throw it at me and I will conquer it.”

Which led to the label:

” Bitch; cold, hard and stuck up”

Why I kept going?

Not matter how bad reality got,  when my creativity was unleashed in anyway, everything went away.

However, after 25 years of being “Sara the Creative.”  I was tired, hurt, confused, secluded, angry, resentful, defensive, a self-conscious wreck, me against the world.  My mind had given up. My body was confused. The facade was broken and the little girl inside spoke dreams of a life without the “Creative”

Almost two years on and I am proud to say “What an Idiot I was!” The chapter of “Sara the Creative, trying to be Sara not the Creative ” was just bullshit.

Don’t get me wrong the two years gave me time to explore so many other wonderful avenues, create so many true life long bonds and has played such an important part in bringing me to where I am today.

However denying such a big part of who I am killed a fire within me too.

Finding Fab-You-Lous marked the beginning of a new transition.  One of acceptance, appreciation and fulfillment.  In today’s society,  which I believe is far too image obsessed, it can be very hard for our generation to feel satisfied with themselves. However, I believe if you accept what it is and be proud of how you fit into it you can succeed no matter what.

Yesterday was the first day in two years since I stepped into a rehearsal room, new script in hand and ready to play once again.

Today I have no regrets, just excitement for what is to come when I try just one more time.

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I would like to thank David Bullmore, the director I am currently working with, who inspired me with the tittle of this post.

For the love of spring.

Nothing beats the smell of spring, there is a certain freshness to it that you got to love. The air seems clean and the sun is just that perfect combination of hot but not so hot that I can fry a slice of bacon on myself.

As September ticks over to October a refreshed, happier and warmer Melbournian emerges onto the streets. Travelers, no longer robots racing against time, stop every now and then to take in the glorious surroundings. With the knowledge that summer is blossoming, this place we call home feels cosy once again.

It’s also that wonderful time of the year where we realise we spent way too much time in winter, indoors sipping red wine with the ladies! Those extra servings of warm apple pie have now become extra inches on our hips and even though we didn’t spend the whole of winter curled up under the covers, drinking hot chocolate and skipping boot camp, we know there is still work to be done to get back to that summer lovin’ beach body we had.

With this in mind and the lovely spring air it’s time to brush the dust of my helmet and join my boy for a cycling adventure around the west: Adventures with Sara & Jelly.

Our adventure itineraries are almost always centered around food; a local favourite, a new talk of the town, a hidden gem or anything within a 1 km radius!

Our motto: work hard, train hard and eat hard, its makes us the perfect pair.

Today’s destination: Yarraville Farmers Market.

The journey there is a breeze. We are at one with the cars, pushing up & speeding down the hills, conquering each obstacle I get thrown. Keeping up with my cycling machine, I can feel the efforts of the last two weeks of my “shake away the winter blues” training program starting to work.

A well rewarded rest and replenish and with a few extra calories to burn now we set off once again.

Adventures of Sara & JellyHis & Hers

Our route ahead: the banks of the Maribyrnong River

It only takes minutes for the regret to sink in.

My legs are trembling beneath me.

Perhaps I should have taken a slightly less cocky approach to the ride there.

On the other hand…

Jelly is in full steam; he reaches the river and his home, zipping around the banks like Cadel Evans on his last leg of his Tour De France Triumph. Before i can shout out to him to go on ahead, our paths have already been lost.

Determined to catch a glimpse of him, I power on ahead, but my tired, angry legs are too slow.

Images of the monstrous climb up ahead haunt me and just as I am about to admit defeat, I see Jelly shoot out of the corner…He’s come back to rescue me, hopefully with a portable stretcher strapped to his back.

Unfortunately all he has to offer is some dear words of encouragement, which I humbly accept and precede onwards to my inevitable fate.

Determination and inner strength push me through the next twenty minutes. Mind over matter, one pedal stroke at a time and as home draws near, my breath gets calm.

With the sight of success my body surrenders…

On this beautiful spring afternoon, I am the winner.

A Demon in My Closet

I sat at my computer this evening and ponder for quite some time about how I was going to write this post. Wanting to give it a sense of creative excellence, I thought about ways in which I could make it profound, charismatic. I changed words and sentences to make things appear more intellectual and thought provoking. I felt inspired and tonight I was going to create the best post ever!

Of course I was trying way to hard and things shattered to pieces all to quickly

The truth is there is no other way to write it than spelling it out clear and simple.

I AM HAUNTED BY THE SCARY IDEA THAT I AM “THE QUITTER.”

“The Quitter” has been playing in mind since I read a post on Kristen Lamb’s blog last night,

“Want to reach new heights as a writer? Learn to Quit.”

The idea that “winners quit all the time,” seemed strange and absurd to me.

But as I finished reading, a sense of awakening had opened within me, I felt lighter and all of a sudden ‘The Quitter” did not seem so negative after all.

If this was the case, then why had I built “The Quitter” up to be some big dark scary demon that lingers over me like a bad smell?

I spent a good portion of my evening with thoughts running through my mind, trying to seem interested in the conversations around me, but really trying to solve the missing pieces of the puzzle. I was in total distress as to why at times in my life when I had decided to quit, because things where just not right, had it made me fall deeper into the dark whole.

The conclusion I have come to is this…

I need to learn to quit the right way. “Detect the difference between quitting a tactic and quitting a dream.” I have to make a choice, know it’s the right choice believe in it and stand by it.

First step, letting go of any predetermined judgements or ideas I have created around “The Quitter” like: I have a fear of failure, therefore I make the decision to quit all to soon, which is absolute madness.

Stop making judgements and live the fabulous life you want to.

“The Quitter” is my friend and together we will succeed.