By: VALERIE PRASETYO
This moment; when the heartbeat merges with the rhythm of music. When each movement is a small glimpse of a life moment. When the steps, choreography, and techniques that you’ve trained so hard to become secondary, because the only thing that matters is to allow your soul to radiate its true colors…
I have been on stage since I was three years old. As a matter of fact, I was the shyest person in my family. I hated being the center of attention. I always preferred being invisible. But so long as my feet were stepping onto a stage, the dose of adrenaline I felt was like switching on an internal light. And when you come to know this feeling, you start to crave it. As soon as you realize how the movement orchestrated by the music can impact people’s feelings; bring them into a completely different world, the art of dancing becomes not just an art, not just a sport, but it becomes your source of breathing. It becomes your passion. It becomes part of your existence.
To be honest, I was not loyal to my passion. The journey was not easy, as life was full of “bitter gifts” and “sweet pains” – meaning that I had to face reality and make mature decisions. I had to give way to so-called “common sense”, education, a greater job, and sustainable income. But there was always an invisible thread connecting what I was doing to my true passion. As a result, my first small business was a local dance school offering different dance styles as well as yoga classes later on. Little did I know that it was another set of skills in the making; of entrepreneurship, but what is more so important is that it offered a door to self-healing. A door that literally saved my life.
Surprisingly, I was quite successful beginning my sport dancing career. Why surprisingly? Well it was not the perfect match for a fast-growing teen with limbs that were too-long; a graceful ballroom sport involving super rhythmic Latin programs and smooth European dances. How lucky I was to find a partner who was a little bit taller than me, wearing the lowest heels possible. We were winning lots of national and international competitions, jumping from one class to another.
The reality is that we face a series of choices that we make today, and every single day. Sometimes fatigue, constant pain, and life events inhibit our goals; causing you to lose connection with yourself, say “no” to the obvious source of your true existence, and say “yes” to quite rational and obvious opportunities. Like making a living, creating the lifestyle you wish, and you wind up going in the opposite direction away from your real happiness and joy. Result: you become disconnected with yourself; experience broken relationships, because you search for the happiness in a completely wrong place. Like self-judgment. You live the life that is not meant to be yours. But who can we blame, why complain, when at the end of the day, it was our personal choice? And you can continue living like that, likely alongside millions of other people on this earth, in a “sleeping” and “disconnected” mode, until something bigger than you and your ego triggers you to wake up. A cold shower of truth covers your body, mind, and soul with its cold realization: what would I do if I have nothing to lose anymore?
I was on the top of the world; having a prospective job, my first business – a dancing school, lots of interesting side projects, and relationships that to me were leading close to the next important step: marriage.
Sometimes, in order to be awakened and learn gratitude, as well as compassion, you need to feel the edge of a knife in your own heart. Feel how it smashes into thousands of small pieces every single second. In order to see light, you have to fall into a deep darkness. All of this to figure out, “Here it is, here is the light” – and you are connected once again to the Creator. In order to continue your path and realize your real mission, you have to lose the most precious people and things in life. Because we forget that nothing and nobody belongs to us. We lose connection with reality and feel like it will be ours forever, that he or she or it belongs to me. But it doesn’t. One day everything disappears with the blink of an eye, with one last breath. I worked with a couple and created a dance for them to take part in an annual college competition. I was invited to this event that was taking part in one of the dancing clubs. My mother called me and said that they would be home in 10 minutes, but wanted to go to the supermarket beforehand and asked if I needed anything. Later I had a casual call with my dad, who was joking like always and asked me to take care. That was it, my very last call with him.
In a moment I felt a strong pain in my heart, like a tiny cold needle had pierced it. That was probably the moment, the moment when two of the most precious people in my life left this earth forever. When a drunk driver crashed into my parents’ car with such force that when the ambulance finally arrived, it was too late…
I hope that you will never experience this feeling; when you open the door of the house that was your source of unconditional love and endless warmth, and see that it’s dark… see that it’s empty…that nobody will laugh there authentically anymore…or maybe they will, but only after millions of years…
It’s the moment when you ask yourself, what can save you? You lost your family, your marriage did not work, the closest people to you betrayed you, but the biggest issue remains – a complete lack of desire to live. The inability to escape the pain, no matter how far you want to run away from it. To take away my own life seemed to be the only choice, especially while screaming and asking for help and there’s nobody there. Maybe I was afraid to articulate it – that I truly was in big trouble. It is not common in Asian families to be vocal about being miserable, to feel alone, to get divorced, to be a nobody…
I remember sitting in a hotel room after I had made a major decision in my life – I wanted to live. I deserved to live, I deserved to love, and I deserved to be loved. I had never attended a psychotherapist or life coach’s office before…but my medicine became my spiritual way. It was very hard and very painful, but I am grateful for the yoga teacher who worked in my dance school, and I am grateful for my first spiritual mentor who showed me the way to a new life. That’s when I started to feel like I was enough. I was meant to go through everything: a hard relationship with my mother, lose the people whom I loved the most, all the betrayals, unfair systems that never punished the one who took the lives of my parents…and so much more. The only question I had in my life was, what can save you now? What can save you from dropping off another edge into shadow again? The answer came by itself, while I was watching dance competitions on YouTube – and all of a sudden, I saw something that I was not aware even existed… I saw couples performing as a team and making up a beautiful formation. At that moment I thought, “Wow that is so amazing, what they do. I prefer freedom. I prefer self-expression. I prefer to dance as a couple”. From that moment the thoughts of going back to the big sport of dance never left me. I left my country, left my friends, said goodbye to my comfort zone; I was trying to start anew in Asia but after not finding what my soul was searching for, I ended up in Central Europe. That was a transitional period when I had to build a strategy of how to make my own version of “Napoleon’s Plan” come true.
My formula of success that I share in my speeches and seminars; the law of attraction plus the law of action – all of that together multiplied into the law of reflection.
I set a goal to be back on the dance floor. I built up strategies on how I could make it happen in accordance with all of my resources and skills at that moment. And it started …a new life.
I started to train alone, taking private lessons with a great trainer I had found. If you think the comeback journey was bliss, that’s not the full truth. But if you are a life champion, for every excuse you need to find a solution. I came back after a 5 year break…too long a period of time, lots of changes. According to others, I was too naive, too old, too weak, too crazy, and was supposed to return to my motherland instead. But as long as you reconnect with yourself, and give into your true passion to live, amazing things will happen. The most unexpected doors will open. I met an amazing human being, who became my dance, life, and business partner later. I was offered to dance in the National German Team of Formation…can you believe that? The same one I had seen on YouTube less than a year before that. Synchronicity? I moved to Germany without a clear understanding of how I was going to make it there, without speaking any German. But you can do everything: you can learn a language, you can adapt to a culture, and you can find new friends – if only you focus on the things that you can control. If you stay persistent in achieving your goals. Who knew that a “lost girl” would become a World Champion? Who knew that this human being who was once “disloyal to her true passion” would learn from the best world trainers, and ultimately get the title of German Champion? Who knew that a woman who had lost trust in people would get married and give birth to two beautiful girls? Who knew that a baby girl who was constantly unwanted and rejected by her own mother would lead a whole movement, create global events, and help other women find their voices; to step into their real power, and transform their lives?
The key to it all is not in how strong you can be. The key to it all is allowing yourself to be who you are; to go through the transformational process of forgiveness and self-healing. I am grateful for all of my gifts. I am grateful to be the daughter of my parents. I am grateful to the Source for creating a perfect path for me to learn and grow. I know that it’s just a tiny piece of an endless journey. And yes, I do miss the dance floor and hope to find my way back to the dancing world after two maternity leaves. Because the stage is the place where my soul shines the brightest and shows its true colors. It’s the moment when I can tell my true story, and who knows, maybe it will inspire others to tell their own stories as well.
International Speaker, Author
Founder of Independent Women
World Champion Athlete