A note to end the decade

As a decade comes to a close tonight, I, like most of you have taken a look back at the last ten years- to take stock of my choices, successes, failures and everything in between. Honestly, at the risk of sounding like an asshole, I’m ridiculously satisfied and even a little impressed with what I’ve managed to do with the time. It’s not that every moment has been a resounding success, sometimes things went so poorly it was almost comical.

However, I’m satisfied with my decision to LIVE- to take risks- to grab life by the balls and hold on for dear life. I smashed through ceilings and shattered expectations- mostly my own. When the decade began I struggled with anxiety disorder and I was a prisoner to my own mind. Any of you who are currently battling a mental illness and are in a hell of that sort will understand my willingness to celebrate my victories and risk the “she’s conceited” crap talk to say: I’m proud of myself.

In the last decade I have: traveled to 50 countries, six continents, won the amazing race, been engaged, been un-engaged, taught sold out domestic and international workshops to thousands and thousands of students, been put on staff at Millennium Dance Complex, worked for companies like: Vogue, Disney, Lexus, MTV, Netflix. I’ve performed around the world, in commercials, music videos and movies, went skydiving(twice), went on safari, swung off the end of the earth, jumped off a building, a bridge and then bungeed off a bridge to nowhere. I have hiked a million hours, danced about a billion hours, laughed with friends, adopted a dog, done hours upon hours of charity, stood at stonehenge, macchu picchu, the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids of Giza. I’ve ridden camels, loved on elephants, traveled to 48 of our great states, marveled at the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, cooked meals for Friends, laughed until my insides hurt, choreographed and directed an international tour. I took my parents to Italy for the first time in their lives, I took my cousins to Mexico. I surprised my family with a night on the town in NYC and threw myself a 30th birthday I’ll never forget. I was a bridesmaid, gave the keynote speech at my HS graduation. I’ve made new friends around the world and held on to friends from my childhood. I’ve fucked things up, lost my patience, lost my temper, done things wrong- made things right. I celebrated love, I grieved loss. I moved across the country, hung out of a helicopter, flew an airplane. I moved across the world to be a judge on Indian TV, I snorkeled between two continents, descended into a volcano. I became a healer, camped in the Serengeti, rode in a hot air balloon over Morocco. I lived abroad in Europe and in Asia. I read a bazillion books, started a blog- a merch line- a brand. I hit rock bottom and I climbed back up. I created tons of online content, for someone else.. and then for myself. I lost loved ones and watched new ones be born. I bought my own car, paid my own rent and all my own bills. I took care of myself, loved myself and learned how to love others better.

To be honest, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I have learned so many lessons and feel like I have lived a hundred lives in a hundred different forms. I have learned to let my life flow and to consistently evolve with it. Once I freed myself from my cage, I promised to never put myself into another one, and I think I’ve honored that promise to myself. As the year and the decade comes to an end I encourage you to take a look at the last ten years of your own life. Celebrate them, rejoice, pat yourself on the back for making it this far.

Then ask yourself, in the years to come: What do you want to do more of? Who do you want to be? What are you capable of? Lift the limits and the restrictions and go after your life full speed ahead. Time is not promised, tomorrow is not promised. So decide right now to live your life without fear- not to be reckless- but to really fucking live. Decide to see yourself as the magical, powerful being you truly are and to pursue all that inspires you. I promise you, you can be anyone you aspire to be. You can make your life a shining pillar of success and love. You can make a positive impact and live in abundance. You can be stronger than your setbacks, stronger even because of your setbacks. You can overcome. You can if you so choose. So, Take a deep darling. Take a deep breath, and decide.

10 important things I’ve learned in the last 10 years in no particular order ❤️

1. I never regretted taking a risk, seizing a moment or falling in love. (Even if it turned out poorly or broke my heart)

2. My most vivid memories are the ones I spent laughing with my friends and family

3. In hindsight, it all makes more sense

4. The suffering makes you stronger, if you pay attention. If you learn the lesson. Get comfortable in the darkness and in your solitude. When you can be still in the chaos, you become limitless. Meditate.

5. In making an effort to understand my failures and short comings, I was able to avoid making the same mistakes twice (in most cases)

6. Treat every conversation with those you love like it could be your last… in some cases it will be

7. Save the photos, cards, voicemails.. when they’re gone those things become priceless

8. If you spend your money on anything, make that thing be travel. It never stops giving and offers a perspective and a calm that can’t be learned elsewhere.

9. Give back. Show up for people as much as you can. Being kind and supporting others doesn’t mean they’ll do the same for you; show up anyway.

10. Don’t hesitate. Don’t doubt your intuition or your God given gifts. Your life will become a reflection of the standards that YOU set for yourself. Speak highly of yourself. Decide who you want to be- today. Let go of any past beliefs that don’t support who you want to become.

11. One more for good luck: YOU GOT THIS BABY ❤️

All love for another phenomenal decade ahead.

-Dana