As I’m sitting in the car on my way to Stockholm, trying to gather my thoughts after all the rambling questions from my mom this morning and all the sketches for new costumes in my head and the radio playing and my father talking about everything in the car and my O button on the computer that’s crooked, I think why do I even try to focus. I need to be alone, to rest, recharge.
Then I remember I haven’t slept properly, visiting the parents is always stressful, so I guess the question is why in the name of all that is holy I go to them after going to such a powerful retreat as a Tantra festival.
Or, well I can’t remember exactly but almost every time, at least this summer, after a powerful transformation I somehow ended up at their home, repacking my stuff because since I travel so much most of my artist warderobe is there, my trapeze, and also the shame of “you haven’t seen your parents in a while” creeps up on you, because you’re raised Russian and guilt is really a special thing in our culture.
Now I sort of had to go, because my dentist is where my address is.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about!
I wanted to highlight all the crazy and beautiful moments, and share a bit, as I did with my dentist this morning.
If you want to see photos from the festival, I shared them on my FB page: Ronyah - Performing arts.
Link in several places on my website!
So, I will try keep it short, since I already wasted two paragraphs on describing my current situation.
It all started Friday, after I came back from training in the circus hall, creating the last of the contortion dance I was gonna perform at the Tantra Festival, finishing the choreography in one (1) hour!! BOOM!
So, met my new friend from a massage workshop and my vegan friend Lia, as well as the man I found in a group on facebook that was gonna give us a ride to Malmö, from where we planned to take the train or bus to Copenhagen.
Lots of deep diving and conversations on the way, our driver turned out to be a beautiful and very wise soul! We shared all sorts of deep issues and secrets, it was lovely.
When arriving in Malmö and eating some falafel, the driver offered us to stay at his place so the friend from massage workshop (let’s call him Ted) didn’t have to sleep in a tent somewhere random in Copenhagen. We happily agreed, slept at the drivers’ ENORMOUS apartment, and all had breakfast together at 6 in the morning. I thrive on moments like this!
He gave us a ride to the train, and off we went.
Arriving to the festival everyone got bands and settled down in the room provided for us, thank you so much Sahajananda for that! And for inviting me!
I performed a slow tribal bellydance at the opening ceremony, and then went off to the next workshop.
Beware now, weird stuff coming.
It’s hard to say what Tantra is really about, I have many
Thing is, I barley remember anything from the festival besides the highlights, which were very powerful!
I remember the conscious touch workshop, where me and Ted locked eyes and I started trembling all the way to the core, through his eyes, through mine, through my body all the way down to my feet I was shaking…
How it felt as if I had known him forever, and this was just how it’s supposed to be.
I remember two lectures with Advaita Stoian from Romania, a very experienced and wise man in both science and spirituality, I’ll make another blogpost about the notes I got at his lectures!
There’s clear memory and a looong video and photos of my Acrobatic Kama Sutra workshop, oh how much fun we all had!! I got such nice feedback and compliments from the participants, feels like I’m vibrating with joy and gratitude! So many people attended. Wow, just, wow… And I’m really proud of how well everyone did on the actual techniques, haha.
I remember the “Unlocking Extacy” workshop, and how at the end the facilitating woman wanted us to share, and most of us shook our heads, embarrassed, blushing, afraid to share… and so am I, so if you’re curious go do it yourselves! (Fully clothed, might I add)
The performance that was supposed to happen in the lunch break turned into a circle with a bunch of women I invited to dance some Baladi with me, and the one the next day was me being filmed with a steadycam and a small audience to cheer.
The closing ceremony was the highlight performance though, I had worked hard and gathered so much emotion into the show, can’t wait to show you the videos.
I am so incredibly honored and grateful to be invited to such a beautiful event, to teach and share my performances, the power of Shakti with everyone, thank you so much!!
I grow and bloom more and more every day, and all the things happening to me… it’s so hard to explain at this point, it has to settle in layers first before I can do it more clearly.
But I am in deep gratitude, and I feel at home!
Love and dance,
Don’t you think it’s so suitable that this post comes after the one about detox? Hahahah!
A lot of people I know as soon as I start talking about my love for cooking or ask them if they cook, it’s 99% the answer “I love to cook, but not for myself!” Continuing the conversation with elaborations like “it’s just not fun when nobody can enjoy it” or “I never take the time when it’s just me” or “I don’t have time”
I have… so much to say about this...!
Not sure if you notice what’s wrong with these answers, but we only have to look a layer or two deeper through the cake to see the issue.
The fact is, that whether we realize it or not, the basis/root cause for these answers is; I don’t prioritize myself enough to make the time, or I don’t love myself enough.
In the end, it’s all about self-love.
If you love yourself, you take the time to do the things you need for yourself consciously, and also the things you perhaps don’t think you need but trust me, you do.
Some of the best acts of self-love we can do is not taking ourselves on a shopping spree even though we already are searching back pockets for pennies, or any of that sort, but to make our daily life and the things we already have to do as an act of self-love.
You have to shower (hopefully), right? So do it consciously. Love every inch of your body, rub it smoothly with soap or scrub, experience the sensations, the water flowing down, feel your body relax, be in the moment… just enjoy it fully, I promise you the shower will probably not be longer for it, but definitely more enjoyable and makes a bigger difference in your overall being than just making you clean.
Same with food
You have to eat! So make it a celebration, perhaps not every time but make an effort! You, your body, mind, and spirit, DESERVE that you take the time to purchase, prepare and calmly eat good food that will nourish your body. (Or, if not calmly eat, then perhaps at least make it nutritious.)
The food is your medicine, your fuel, you literally become your thoughts and what you eat so make sure that what you put in your body is not only healthy but also makes you happy.
It’s fun to cook when there’s no pressure, and when is there less pressure then when you only cook for yourself, right? Perhaps you’re a perfectionist in other aspects of life, but in the kitchen when it’s just for you, it’s not that hard.
And also – how do you expect to cook well for others, to bring happiness and delicious food for them when you never practice by yourself?
Or, how do you bring happiness to others or do your passions well if what you eat does not make you happy or more alive?
It is not only for you, but for others. I’m saying this because somehow it’s easier for us to accept doing something for others rather then for yourselves. Isn’t it a bit sad? We have to spend all our time with ourselves, so should we not take care of ourselves as much as we can, to become the vibrant, joyful individuals we truly are?
Take care, be present, be mindful, and eat your greens. Take time to eat, plan well, eat dessert without a shameful cell in your body because you deserve all the love and good fuel there is!
You are worthy of love
Love and dance <3
So, many of you probably know the feelings of detoxing. Or, the feelings when you’re missing someone. Or when you’re hungry, everyone has been hungry right??
When you experience any of these feelings or those similar to it, it is essentially the feeling of loss. Something good or bad it does not matter, but it feels like something is missing, something is not enough, the feeling of need to have it to be happy or move on with our lives! It can both be a beautiful and terrifying feeling, both rejuvenating and depleting, and when that feeling goes deeper it’s even more intense…
I was gonna write a post about me visiting 4 countries in 2,5 weeks – Netherlands performing at Psy-Fi festival and challenging myself with the 3rd festival in a row, Belgium for a couple of days relaxing, hitchhiking to Paris for one crazy day, and then hitchhiking further on to London for even deeper spiritual development, in the presence of this intense city and people who have a deep impact on me. All of these experiences were beautiful, crazy, and so good for my personal development!
But this being the journey directly after Tantra Festival at Ängsbacka (one of the most intense experiences of my life!), and getting a horrible cold before working at Forest Star festival (right before heading directly to the airport to fly to Holland), just made it even more intense.
Believe this or not, my consciousness has been expanding more and more every day on this journey, these past 5 weeks, understanding life more and understanding the fact that we have absolutely no idea what we are doing! We just got to find our way and roll with it, do what does most good and most fun to us and those around.
My empathetic abilities and intuition increased, I have gained more knowledge of things, and just… wow it’s just too much to process. You’ve got to be here to experience it.
And now, I’m having spiritual detox symptoms.
I can’t just be talking about all the positive glittery stuff in life, right? Have to mention and be open about the rough patches too, and this is merely a small part of it.
I’m always good with detoxes (except rawfood diet, gave up on that after 3,5 days, it was awful… lol), especially the shorter more intense ones. I do get symptoms but I know that out of pain and suffering arises all the good stuff, and I always pull through. Yet this time, I have such a hard time!
As soon as I landed in Gothenburg from London, I felt irritation. I was angry at everything and everyone, so annoyed for the slightest misstep, it was so intense! I was shaking with fury, over seemingly nothing!
On and off I have been having sudden spurts of emotions, mood swings, crazy ideas, my memory is worse, stomach is weird and I’m still coughing. Still, the process of me getting rid of my fears, my old prejudices and views, my traumas, is still going…!
Of course I'm still doing my performances and job very well, but inside there's a chaos.
According to the more experienced spiritual practitioners, this is the body trying to get rid of everything that is wrong for it, everything that is ego and no longer serves me. But my oh my it is hard!
And the weirdest thing is, I have been craving meat.
I’ve been vegetarian with occasional seafood fish for about a year, and yet now suddenly without any shame in my body I had cravings for:
When one is detoxing or just really hungry, you just grab the first thing there is! Because you crave, because your body doesn’t like this feeling, you need to fix it, cover it up, numb it!
And that’s exactly what’s happening now, I have such a hard time stopping it.
My body is fighting a poison!
It’s like the old me is hating this change, like she is pushing against, fighting anything new or mind-expanding or better for me with stupid never-ending stream of stupid thoughts and occasionally shutting down my brain so I can get an extra piece of butterscotch without even noticing. The new me has to fight the old one, it wasn’t enough to go through all these changes, now I have to be back in my home base and keep fighting her?! Was all this time and digging with both hands in my wounds not enough??
If you who are reading this can relate to or understand what I’m going through and wish to support or help out, please leave a comment or mail or anything. It would be greatly appreciated!
Meanwhile I will eat some watermelon instead of reaching for that chocolate.
And I will rally, of course I will! It's already getting better after two weeks of this roller-coaster (and no I know you're thinking it but it's not hormones), and I just have to push through it as always.
I will stay true to myself, and do what I know in my heart is best for me and my self development.
Love and dance <3
This is a post I made on my FB page, and it got such good response I figured I’d copy it here, elaborate it a bit and then actually tell you how it actually ended. These honest stories from the heart are important, I really do feel like sharing and expressing, in hope to rekindle more people to challenge themselves in their daily lives.
So here it goes.
For the past few years I have been challenging myself, to develop as a person and to be as limitless as possible. I collected all my courage, and every time I was faced with an uncomfortable situation, thing, event or animal, I would go for it. Because fears and discomfort are what limits and pushes us down, to face those no matter how big or small really forces one to grow and learn!
And as soon we start doing that, we realise how many tiny stupid fears and "moments of overthinking" we have.
I have faced my fear of deep water, of jumping into deep water from high up, my fear of driving anything with an engine (in India, I might add, some of the craziest roads in the world!), fear of speaking to strangers about weird stuff, fear of speaking into a microphone in front of hundreds of people without any preparation, etc...
And on the other side, you see it's not so bad, because the fear is only coming up to the task itself, and people and you don't really judge you as much as you build it up to be in your head, haha!
Then it becomes easy. Beautiful, even.
It has made me learn and grow tremendously, everyone should do it!!
To add to this I have started to be much more open about private things that might be perceived as awkward, instead of walking around worrying I would say stuff like why I’m insecure at times, how uncomfortable a situation is, that I ate too much garlic, or “can we PLEASE talk about something with substance? I really don’t like small talk!”
It may seem harsh to some, but saying things as honestly and as “unfiltered” as possible is perhaps easy to misunderstand, but is great to make one realize that everyone are okay with whatever it is you find so uncomfortable. And if they aren’t, well, then they’re just not your kind of people.
(but please, don’t go saying all sorts of mean things to people, try and see the bright side of things!)
You do you!!!
Yet I have a few discomforts left (and perhaps discover new ones as I go deeper), and one of these is….
the fear of speaking French.
Sounds stupid, I know, thank you.
I took French in 4rd grade, private lessons, and learned quite quickly. Then I went to France with my dad a couple years later, and had forgotten nearly everything. He, and I'm not kidding, pushed me and pressured me FOR YEARS after of how disappointed he was that I, a 12-13 year old girl, could not be his guide in France in their native language. What!? Who does that??
Both my parents throughout 8-9th grade were asking me how French class was going, and in the end I felt so pressured I was petrified every time I attempted to talk.
So I understand most of French (they speak French and I speak English to them and it works), I can basically read in French, but I cannot respond because my grammar is awful and my fear of myself and everyone judging me is so great that I cannot connect the different words together...
My throat closes up, voice gets quiet, shy, and mind runs wild and crazy.
Every time I try I blame myself for failing, and that blame is overwhelming…
So here I am, for only ONE day in Paris, and It's time to face my ridiculous fear xD
Wish me luck.
So, how did this story continue?
After visiting the Louvre (photos at the bottom) I went off to explore more of the city. Challenged my French buying some vegetables and fruits, making it through the street stand without a single word of English. Trust me it was not easy…
Then I went to Moulin Rouge, just out of curiosity, and through answering in half English half broken French the guard explained to me about the shows, how to get the email address to apply for a job as a dancer, etc. He did it in French, I proudly understood it all and he complimented my pronunciation despite the grammatical errors. Hurray!
Further on I attempt to buy bread and more stuff in French, going up to Montmartre and exploring the neighborhood, the touristy areas and in search for more things to see.
The rest of my day is not really relevant to the story, so fast forward to next morning;
I’m standing at a crossroad, bag at my side, holding a sign to hitchhike further on my journey.
I had hitchhiked from Antwerpen in Belgium to Paris, so of course I was gonna continue the same adventurous way!
After a drunk man gave me a penny thinking my sign meant… I don’t even know, and standing dancing for a few more minutes trying not to pee myself, a car stopped with a handsome French man.
He could give me a ride to the Airport because he lived nearby, great! I could hitchhike on further to the big road further north-west from there!
Getting in the car, putting down my stuff, and I realize this man, despite claiming he spoke a little English, didn’t know anything. At all. Except perhaps yes and no.
Anxiety grabbing me by the ribs, I sat there trying to calm down, explaining that I did understand French but didn’t speak because of my bad grammar. He said something about the road, asked if I want a shower, and I sat there almost petrified just mumbling some weird answers and shaking my head.
He continued conversing after a (what seemed a looooong) awkward silence, saying he sometimes picked up hitchhikers, and that he just came from work. I had just settled in the increasingly warm seat, and asked him with the best pronunciation, where he worked. He did say a few words I could not comprehend, so I just made a weird question mark face and he had to try explain with simpler words. I felt better now, that he also perhaps felt handicapped communicating to me, even though he said he lives in France, works here and doesn’t really need English!
And so, the conversation sparked!
The more difficult words I could just tap into google translate and try tell him, puzzling together a cohesive sentence, without a doubt with quite bad grammar but I didn’t care anymore! I felt so alive, so full of enthusiasm, as the conversation got more personal, deeper and “in my realm” I could feel even more comfortable.
He was telling me about how he is 37, doesn’t really like his job but is divorced with 2 kids he only sees one day a week because he works so much. And yet, he has to provide for them despite having so little time. He has been working since he was 18, at construction sites and such, and in a few years he hopes to be in management. I was asking him why he wouldn’t change his life, that it’s not too late, that he really should try and at least find time for his kids or something else he loves doing! Otherwise he will just be mad at himself for wasting so many years.
He kept saying I could say so because I’m young and alone, and he is stuck, and I insisted nothing is yet hopeless. Perhaps he could change his life when the kids were 18?? No, he answered, by then I will be manager and with very good pay, why leave now?
So, when will you rest?
When I die, he responds.
The conversation got very deep, and I found myself understanding words I never even learned, intrigued by his view of life and feeling deeply sorry for him. He was unhappy, but comfortable in his unhappiness. The discomfort of leaving the job even part time seemed greater than the suffering it caused him now.
He asked me if I wanted to come for a coffee, that he had to sleep in an hour after working night but he would put me on the road afterwards, but I was in a hurry to get to London and asked him to drop me off.
I have him my card and a hug, waving goodbye. Went to the bathroom in the Charles Gaulle airport, and walked onwards towards the big road to find a place to stand and hitchhike.
After that I felt free to speak my French, free of the pressure me and my parents had put on me, free of the fear and discomfort, and I got to London later that night.
We so often get stuck in our old ways and patterns, we get comfortable doing the same route, we don’t even notice the potential that lies behind all the bullshit and trauma we carry around!!
Out of fear, out of discomfort, out of pain, one is born anew. Different.
And a more joyful you!
And speaking of fears and discomforts - how scary isn't hitchiking or picking up a hitchiker, for many nowadays?! Haha, even there it might be a challenge.
I have faced so many challenges on my travels this summer, but more on that later when I can gather my thoughts.
Right now I’m back in Stockholm teaching circus to kids and doing some gigs and modeling, trying to enjoy a bit of “calm life” before the next big thing.
Have a beautiful day,
Love and dance <3
P.S. If you’re reading this, man who gave me a ride (since I did give you my card), make sure you make the most of your life while you can.
.... and, you know,
all the other things that would interest you if you're a fan, if you like my writing, or if you are a pontential employer/client for whom it is important to know if I am a republican or if I eat bacon every day.Fortunately for you, I am/do neither. Bacon is not healthy.