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Where Stuff’s At …

Wow, I love the memory of being such an active blogger.

Unfortunately my health has continued to decline and writing has become very difficult for me. I’m learning the speak to text strategy but it’s not the same. I seem to think while I’m typing, so trying to think while speaking feels much more like being put on the spot.

Anyway, I’ve also been extremely unwell over the warmer months, with my health just seeming to get worse and worse. So I just haven’t had the energy to write OR speak a post during this difficult time.

I hate to sound soppy and self-pitying, but I’m not sure this post can come across as anything but?

I really got a bit sad that I wasn’t getting any of my thoughts out there or discussing things with the interesting people I know follow this blog. And I wanted to firstly, start my blogging back up again, and secondly, fill you all in with where I’m at.

So … let the soppy begin …

As I said above, my health has deteriorated. But to be clear, it has deteriorated intensely.

I now have paramedics out every few days, sometimes every second day. I do this when I am extremely syncopal (passing out) and need IV fluids to fill my blood volume again, to prevent the syncopes.

I’ve also had a lot of hospital trips when the paramedics couldn’t stabilise me at home.

And there’s been the occasional admission to hospital for migraines and severe pressure headaches that are un manageable with my medications and also go on for several days.

At the same time, we’ve had a billion other things we’ve been trying to tend to.

One of the things we’ve done that has proven pretty fruitful, is to keep researching the conditions I have. We realised that one of the conditions I have, that has to do with mast cells, is linked, or mirrors (if that makes more sense) someone who is allergic to a huge amount of stuff and whose allergic threshold lowers to the point that they begin having allergic reactions to things they have never reacted to before. So this particular allergic threshold spirals further and further down, creating more and more restrictions in foods, household items like soaps etc., medicines or medical equipment (like the tape they use on cannulas etc.) and environmental factors such as pollens, chemicals, grasses, trees, weeds — all of which I am surrounded by.

From the outside, it basically looks like my body is shutting down on itself.

No. Not a very nice thing for the witnesses to watch or me to be experiencing.

But at least we figured out, through a variety of methods, that a better climate, where the environmental allergens are much less impactful on my body, is what I need — quite urgently.

Every doctor that we speak to urges us to move to a high, dry and cold environment — every. single. doctor.

I have to admit, that was a bit of a shock at first, but the more we researched and talked with doctors and the more we looked back on my life and remembered the times I have been very sick while living in an environment full of things I was allergic or sensitive to, and then we moved to a better environment for me and my health improved dramatically — the more everything began to make more sense.

When you’re trying to explain it to people for the first time it’s really difficult, so hopefully I haven’t just confused the crap out of y’all. 😉😂

But now that that’s done, I feel like it might be easier to just get on with blogging or vlogging without quite so much confusion around why my body is as unwell as it is.

I have had so many posts I’ve wanted to write or videos I’ve wanted to record, about things like the silver linings to being so disablingly unwell, our amazing paramedics, watching how families can bond tighter in these situations as well as all my ballet stuff … which, to be honest, isn’t very much but it’s still my favourite passion and I still want to talk about it.

I’m proud of myself for continuing my exercise regime and my ballet-physio every day (most days.) Even though I only do a tiny amount now, I am holding hope in my heart and determination in my mind, that one day I will be able to do so much more.

Boy, do I have plans, for when I get my health back.

Anyway, we have started a fundraiser for us to hopefully be able to afford to buy a caravan and then we’ll just move into the caravan, in the better environment that we know my body responds well to.

So the fundraiser is at the link: Zoe’s Fundraiser

If you feel you’re in a position to donate to our fundraiser then that’s fantastic. If you can’t donate, you can help just by sharing the fundraising page.

Alternatively you can also like our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/helpzoegetherlifeback and share the page or posts you like.

Ok. That’s it for now, guys. If you read to the bottom, thank you. You’re a gem. If you didn’t, I just hope you read enough to understand where I’m at, because I won’t be explaining it over and over again.

Much love to you all. I hope you have a wonderful day/night/moment today.

Love,

Zoe xxx

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Dear Dream Seekers

Dear Dream Seekers,

You are wonderful. You are inspiration. You are life being lived.

I love seeing so many adult ballerinas emerging currently. Particularly on Instagram, it’s like watching these beautiful buds of hidden desires start opening their dare-to-dream petals and blossom into the most beautiful, soulful dancers.

Something I have noticed is that there seems to be an ever persistent pressure flowing from within many of the adult ballet students I see.

Inner pressure to be good at something we love is not a new thing. It is natural to want to progress.

And I am no stranger to that inner pressure. I felt it. I breathed it in and out, day and night. And it happily went and killed my love of ballet (for a while.)

And so I feel a little sad when I see people putting huge amounts of pressure on themselves to be better at something they love.

I mean, if you love it, then you should be doing it for love.

Let’s repeat that: If you love it, you should be doing it for love.

I know that you want progress. And I know that the ballet studio is a pretty intense place regarding your progress — indeed, it can sometimes feel like a comparison festival is happening in each class.

Everything you want is a valid desire. Improvement, enjoyment, strength, musicality, memories, flexibilities. It’s up to you what you want to aim for. It’s your life. Your choice. No-one else can, or has the right to, choose them for you.

But please be sure to think about it first. Think about you and what you really want because of how those things make YOU feel.

Don’t look at what someone else is doing and just follow along. God knows, you might wake up ten years from now able to do the splits but not able to dance in the centre. You might then shake your fists in the air and scream at yourself for following the splits trend only because it was what others were doing — and you missed getting your teacher to help you learn some amazing mini-solo piece that feels like heaven to dance.

Don’t set yourself up to one day wreak of regret.

So, with that in mind, what I do hope you do is sit with yourself a while. Ask yourself what you feel in this moment you want to do — like actually do right now — because you never know what amazing idea might have been waiting to flow through you but just hasn’t had the window opened to it before.

Then, ask yourself what you think you might regret NOT doing in twenty years time. I usually get my deepest inspirations flowing from this one.

Then lovingly think about all the things you, your body and mind, are good at doing. Really appreciate those things. If ballet is your thing, maybe you’re really musical and your body just naturally flows with the music, maybe you have lovely hand expressions, maybe you have a sparkly passion, maybe you have strong muscles, maybe you can smile during class (harder for some than others!), maybe you understand combinations, maybe you are flexible, or have lovely feet, or maybe you feel your soul fill up during ballet class.

These are all wonderful elements of what you do and of how you feel. I feel it’s important to fully embrace them. Soak yourself in the things about you and your passion, that you love.

When thinking about what goals to set yourself, or what path to set off on, I think it’s really important to take stock first, of all the wonderful parts of yourself that already exist within your passion.

I would look at what you love doing now, look at what you would regret not doing, and set your path accordingly.

If achieving the splits for ballet is part of that path then set your goals and go for it. If it’s smiling more during class, or learning a combination, or performing — then set your goals and go for them.

But be sure to start your intentional path with the full acceptance of how incredible you already are.

Be sure that you don’t discount all of your gloriousness and just focus on what you cannot yet do. If you do that you will be starting your journey with a destructive cycle of focusing on your downfalls. You should be real about yourself. But leave the negativity at the door. If negative self-worth is already an issue for you then I would suggest adding that to your goals — “Learn to love myself for all that I am.” That, and if neccesary, see a therapist, because honestly, that bullshit will become a serious obstacle to you fully realising your dreams.

So, in summary…

1) Align your goals with what YOU enjoy doing and what you feel you will regret not doing.

2) Make sure to begin your path to your goals/dreams/passions swimming in self-appreciation for all the wonder you already are.

Always remember why you’re doing it.

Always respect yourself for doing it.

Always hold your head high.

Remember,

You deserve to be in the room.

Zoe xxx

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Above and Beyond…

Paramedics were called out again this afternoon. Not great.

HOWEVER…

While here, they told me about the headway they’ve been making in getting our little rural hospital to give me regular, preemptive special IV therapy.

The idea being that this IV therapy would hopefully reduce the amount of times I need emergency calls to ambulance services, helping me to not get as severely sick as regularly as I am at the moment and not clog up their services when someone else could be doing it. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than anything we’ve got going now.

We’ve been trying to get doctors and community nurses to make this happen for a long time now, without any luck.

So one of our amazing paramedics decided to march up to the community nurses and the hospital and see what they could do to get it happening for me.

And today, one of these amazing paramedics said he’d convinced the hospital and nurses to give it a try and see if it helps — probably just over summer, as that’s when I tend to need this treatment the most.

It just blows my mind when I see someone go above and beyond, to help others.

Thank you Mr. Paramedic. You rock.

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Ballet-Physio Update

A few supine leg stretches. Feels great to be moving again.

Hope everyone is treating themselves fairly, cause you know, unfair treatment of yourself will likely lead you to a place you don’t want to visit.

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How-To — Stretching For Adult Ballerinas

OMG! My first how-to post! I’m so excited!

Firstly, remind yourself while you attempt these stretches that you’re only human.

Some people say there is a right and wrong way of doing stretches.

I tend to think it’s all a bit open to interpretation.

Okay, so here are the stretches I want to show you today. Enjoy! 🙂

1) The Floor Has Never Felt So Fucking Far Away

This stretch is to release the hamstrings. You want to gently reach down to the floor.

It helps if you stretch your fingers out really wide and express all your pain with your face.

Visualization has been proven to be a powerful tool. Being able to see yourself reaching further may help your progress. So hallucinogenic fungi might be helpful for this one.

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2) The Crotch Cramp 

In this stretch you want to place your foot on the barre and gently reach for it. If you feel your crotch starting to cramp up, you’re probably on the right track.

It’s important to aim for straight legs and back in this stretch. But most important is that you fully express how badly you want to reach your foot.

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3) The Crotch Cramp — With Port De Bras and Happy Face. 

When you are feeling confident with your execution of The Crotch Cramp stretch, it is probably time to add some delicate ballet arms and ballet face to the pose.

When doing this, you simply want to do the same as the previous stretch, but add some lovely fifth position arms and turn toward the camera/audience/teacher and express your best, delicate, in control, poised ballet smile.

Again, it’s important to hold straight legs and back. But more importantly, your smile should hide the pain you and your crotch are in.

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4) The Barre Hang

This stretch is important for developing your front splits. It’s mainly just important that you look really proud of yourself and that you hold on really tight so that you don’t fall onto the floor and break your vagina.

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5) The Barre Hang — With Port De Bras

This stretch is fairly self explanatory. You are simply adding some lovely port-de-bras to the previous stretch. We do this because adding another level of complexity to our exercises always helps us progress so much more (as you can see in the photo demonstration.)

It’s really important to relax into this stretch.

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I hope you have found this how-to tutorial helpful. If you would like to see any other how-to tutorials from me, let me know in the comments or on one of the social media gatherings.

Zoe xxx

****DISCLAIMER****

This is a joke.

This is not real instruction.

Don’t do these stretches like this.

Don’t stretch without being really warm first, and I don’t mean warm in front of a fire, I mean having warm muscles.

Don’t stretch without instruction from someone.

Don’t pull those faces.

Don’t be stupid.

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gwenyth Modern Classic Top + Tunic

Dearest Readers,

I’m excited to tell you about the Modern Classic Top + Tunic by gwenyth, a product I was asked to review, and fell in love with in the process.

This product is very versatile and acts as a supportive dance/workout top which converts to a tunic if you should so desire. It’s kind of like a singlet that’s had a NASA make-over, with thoughtful strap adjustments for better comfort, an extra back strap for more adjustments and two different styles of bra pads.

Firstly, this top came in packaging that knocked my socks off! I know, I know, I don’t even care about packaging, so why am I suddenly getting all distracted with it? I almost want to hold a competition for the best packaged product now. Just so I can see the pretty packages! I think I’ve turned. Packaging has seduced me. I’ve been pulled. I’m becoming a packaging addict! I need a support group and a program with steps. Somebody get me some steps!!

Immediate Impression:

Really nice. Beautifully soft, but not flimsy, fabric. Love the ‘ballet pink’ colour I got, it’s a light, almost neutral pink, which means you will be able to wear the top out to other places.

Within the box is the top/tunic, an extra back strap for added adjustments should you need it, bra pads for either shape and support or just for extra coverage and instructions about all these gorgeous gwenyth components.

As an added bonus, and in MacGyver-esque style, the extra back strap can also double as a headband. I have no photos of me wearing the headband as I haven’t enough hair yet, but I was reviewing it so I did put it on, and it is soft and doesn’t pull on my scalp like so many other headbands do. So if my hair is ever allowed to grow longer again, I will definitely use this headband.

How it fits and feels:

The gwenyth top feels VERY comfortable on. The soft fabric is gentle but supportive. Nothing twists around or rides up the waist.

It fits perfectly as it should for a ballet/dance top. Nice and snug to hold everything in place. It feels supportive in the bust without cutting into the shoulders and also feels comfortable around the torso.

I have quite wide shoulders compared to the rest of me and I often find cross over straps are uncomfortable on my shoulder blades as the proportions just aren’t right for my shape, but I found being able to adjust the straps on the gwenyth top eliminated that problem. So big tick from me on that one!

How it looks on (is it stylin’?):

I really like the look of the gwenyth top. I would wear it during a ballet class or going out. I would have no trouble going to lunch, movies or the gym in this top.

I might not wear this top during a Studio Tibor group class as I prefer to wear a leo in that class for the sake of formality, but in other classes I would be very comfortable in it.

Again, I love the colour. It’s unassuming, which I love as you can dress it up or down as you please.

The ties on the side for adjusting the length are neither here nor there for me, visually, but during a class I would tuck them under.

How it performs:

I honestly thought that this part might be the undoing of this gwenyth top. My two big concerns were about the sides of the top riding up during class and about the colour being so light during a sweaty workout — I was looking for that “Oh crap! You can see my everything!” moment. But I was pleasantly surprised when neither of those became an issue.

You all know from my previous reviews that my favourite items of dance gear are ones that I don’t notice I’m wearing. Well, this product hit a home run there.

I thought this top was going to ride up on the sides when doing port de bras but it didn’t. I didn’t once have to stop and adjust this top during class.

And what about that sweat? The gwenyth top wins again with this one. Firstly, I don’t know what they’re doing with their fabric, but it actually took a lot for the sweat to begin showing through this top, and my followers and dance buddies know how drenched I am during class. Also, the coverage bra pads would stop that worry about the lighter colour becoming see-through when drenched. (But I wanted to try it without just to see.)

This top also has a built-in “Sling Bra” which adds to its comfort and support during class.

My favourite things about this product… 

– The obvious quality that has gone into it.

– The support and comfort it gives.

– The ability to adjust the top to the length you want. (I really liked having this top down over my hips during class. Felt really comfortable and looked nice.)

The Tunic…

Okay so the other element of this product is that the top can be pulled down at the sides and become a tunic. This isn’t my usual style (so my tunic pics were a bit awkward) but I think this is a neat idea and it would look great on lots of people.

It would definitely be comfy to wear with tights on the way to the studio or gym.

Do I recommend it?…

Yes. I definitely recommend this product. The product itself is great quality and very comfortable, but I also love the company’s philosophy of trying to get one product perfect before moving on to new products. The gwenyth company is not putting quantity before quality and they really genuinely want to do right by their customers.

Hope you enjoyed this review. If you’re interested in checking gwenyth out, click on this link: gwenyth website. For anyone interested in making a purchase, gwenyth have kindly give Bush Ballerina readers a fabulous 20% discount. All you gotta do is use the code xoBushBallerina20 when making your purchase.

[I was given this product in return for an honest review. As per my agreement with companies requesting a product review, I will only actually write reviews about products that I like — because I just don’t want to spend time on stuff that doesn’t float my boat. Therefor this is an honest review. I genuinely love the product. I also have no affiliation with products bought or links clicked on.]

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Low Self-Confidence — What's the Point?

Low self-confidence. What’s the point?

I’ve struggled with low self-confidence a lot in my life. Crushingly low at times. It seems to have been one of the big lessons I have had to explore on my journey. And it’s a tricky one at that.

An important thing I have learned about low self-confidence is that there’s really no point to it. It doesn’t take you anywhere. It doesn’t help you grow or feel good about yourself.

It usually immobilizes you, stopping you from moving forward in the direction you want to go by creating the “I can’t” internal dialog.

And the irony is that you NEED to be saying “I can” in order to move forward.

You don’t need to know what you’re doing all the time. But you DO need to be able to move forward. You need to be unlocked and free to have a go.

Be confident that you can learn. You can step forward.

You can.

Low self-confidence gets in the way of that forward movement. It has no productive purpose. There is no point to it.

None. Nada. Zip.

So let it go.

Let. It. Go

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Ballet Books, DVD's and YouTube Videos?

One of our lovely adult ballet students is unable to get to classes at the moment, or even get the energy up to do much ballet and they would love to know of any good YouTube videos, books or DVD’s that show decent ballet instruction so they can keep up with ballet at home.

I’m putting the call out to all you wonderful students. Do you know any good DVD’s, books or YouTube videos that you like that you think would be of use?

If you have anything to contribute please pop it in the comments. It will be much appreciated.

Thanks.

xxx

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Please Don't Believe in Me

… because seriously, it would be so much easier that way.

The drums of negative self-belief could keep beating.

My heart could stay caged.

The comfort zone of all I have ever seen could remain securely in my surrounds.

I wouldn’t have to step even a toe through that grating, uncomfortable barrier that has been gripping me so tightly.

I could continue to avoid confronting what has kept me here…

…in this place of “I can’t” and “I don’t deserve”.

I can dodge the pain that comes with asking “Why?”

I could continue to feel as though all is right.

I could avoid the fight.

But ya know, I can’t do any of that, when you take my hand and walk me to the land of believing.

When you gently and magically clear the dust and show me what could be.

When you matter-of-factly show me what I could do. How I could feel. What Ideserve.

When you tell me you think I can.

These notions fill my mind with crazy ideas of…

Hope.

Belief.

Pride.

OMG. Wait, what? “Pride?”

That is the strangest damn sensation I’ve ever experienced.

How about..

Confidence?

Strength?

Capability?

I have only started feeling these things since starting ballet. And more intensely since going to Studio Tibor and getting such amazing ballet /therapy from Tibor and Vadym.

My first class at QLD Ballet moved things around in me also — and I’m not talking about pie!

(Because despite being an activity that requires much correction, it is somehow a nurturing expansive experience in which you cannot help but progress in some way.)

And now, as I stare down the barrel of more and more ballet, with more and more confronting of internal beliefs, this crap just gets louder and louder.

I know I have to move through them all. And I will. And it will be a sublime day when I reach the other side.

I want to thank my teachers for being such a huge inspiration.

And I want all you wonderful amazing adult dancers out there to know that I am so intensely inspired by each of you. Whether you relate to my self-belief journey or not, doesn’t matter to me.

I read your stories and hear your journeys and they fill me up with such admiration. You give me a sense of tangible possibility.

“If they can, I can!”

I can live my belief vicariously through you all. And I do. 😉

But for now, I was thinking, maybe we could substitute “I believe in you” with something else, you know, like so as to avoid direct contact with the big “B”? Maybe something like…

“Those apples are lovely.” Or…

“The weather’s looking good.” Or…

“Your arse looks great in those jeans.”

I was thinking, you know, if I throw a nice developpe or pirouette, I could handle a little “Those apples are lovely” waaaaaaaay easier than a direct compliment on my dancing.

Yeah! Let’s do that!

If someone says any of the above to me I’m just going to go ‘Oh, cool!’

No freak out. No need to run to the nearest corner and take to the fetal position.

I wanted to share this with others now because of the vague possibility that it might help someone else. I don’t want others to feel they are alone in feeling self-doubt or that you will never get to where want to be.

You are not alone. We can move forward together.

You will be awesome!

But for now — please don’t tell me you believe in me.

Just tell me the weather’s looking good. 😉

P.S — Your arse looks great in those jeans.

2*Disclaimer: This post was an emotional overflow. Probably no harm will come to those who use the “B” word. 😉

Bush xxx

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The 2014 Wrap — A Pretty Amazing Year, Really!

2014, what a hurricane of a year! Feels like I have swirled from pillar to post in one of the most tumultuous years of my life.

I remember feeling, on several occasions, that I wouldn’t be able to continue ballet. Either for health reasons or just because of my isolation.

But I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere. And I have gained some clarity around my ballet journey and health issues that I know will help me continue to follow my heart.

After all, following my heart is what this whole journey has been about. Following my heart is the thing that interests me the most. It’s such a mind-blowingly powerful thing when you feel it.

I remember on one of my trips to Studio Tibor in Sydney this year, I had a moment where I looked around and felt my heart radiating with joy. And I thought about how I had followed my heart here, to this moment, and how perfectly alive, in-sync, and at home I felt.

It staggered me to think that my heart knew exactly what I wanted, before my mind or body did — and they were just catching up.

In preparation for this 2014 wrap post I have collected photos from my year, and I have to say, it has been a most uplifting experience.

This year was really scary sometimes. Like REALLY scary. And those scary times kind of linger in the background and can make it difficult to move on.

But move on we must.

And moving on I am.

So, let’s have a little looksee back at 2014 (or at least some of it) …

The first thing I did in 2014, like within the first week of 2014, was to meet Tibor Horvath in person for the first time — AND have my first lesson from him.

It was a private lesson in his big beautiful studio, chandeliers and all. It was incredible!

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It was a great start to the year.

There’s a line in the movie Annie about it being a bitter sweet thing to get a taste of something you can’t get any more of. And I felt exactly that bitter sweetness after that first lesson.

As we hit the road for home, I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest more and more as every kilometer passed. I had now had a taste of Studio Tibor life — and I didn’t want to leave it.

As we drove, I cried silently, and nursed my aching heart with the promise that I would return to that glorious studio again.

And I did. 🙂

The following month I jumped on a plane…

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… and flew to Sydney for a class and a private with Tibor. It was glorious again.

A few months of health issues made my ballet journey a bit up and down.

Then in August I flew back down again. This time I had a private with Tibor and took my first class with Vadym. I loved, loved, loved that day! Amazing!

10613034_289293094591349_8669965332334805771_nAnd I was determined enough to get my derriere back down again in September. I did the same private with Tibor and class with Vadym. This combination was proving to be absolutely amazing for me and my ballet. It’s the most heavenly combo ever! 🙂

The beautiful Tibor. Ballet, in every manifest, flows through this guy’s veins. He walks into the room and you go, “Oh, ballet just arrived.”

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The beautiful Tricia. This lady is one of my adult ballet inspirations. She’s so beautiful to watch that sometimes when we’re in a class together I want to stop what I’m doing and just watch her dance. She has the attitude that Tibor wants me to have. And I can see why.

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Snapshot 1 (28-12-2014 11-25 AM)

Snapshot 2 (28-12-2014 11-29 AM)

I was weaker during this trip. I wasn’t fully aware at the time, but in hindsight we know that my body was going down a little, and it affected my physical ability during this session and Vadym’s class afterwards. I was shakier, and my leg muscles were just collapsing.

BUT it was still a beautiful day. One of the best actually. Funny how that happens.

I got meself my first pair of point shoes!

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And then I got my second pair…

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I kicked up my toes with some celebratory ballet at the river…

10685592_299268130260512_3872335899897530088_nFell in love with these…

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Built a mini studio in the bedroom.

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Made up some new moves…

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Started getting my strength back…

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And became Giselle…

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Wowsers! Turns out I did a whole bunch of awesome stuff this year! I really made stuff happen.

I achieved things I never would have thought possible before.

I challenged my self-beliefs.

I followed my heart, in spite of the fear.

And I felt the magic moment of arrival. The moment you arrive at your heart’s destination. Bathing in it. Soaking it up.

Following my heart was my favourite part of this year. I really just went for it.

This coming 2015 I hope to continue going for it, but I will be aiming for more consistency.

I will be following my heart, but remaining aware of what my body and mind need in order to keep following my heart.

2015 will be full of heart-following, loving, dancing, Studio Tibor, QLD Ballet, my beautiful little family, travelling, writing, dreaming, studio building, laughing with friends and body maintenance.

I wish everyone a wonderful end to 2014 and happy, glowing dreams of contentment and good moments for 2015.

Thanks for being part of my 2014 ride!

Bush xxx