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Tagged ‘accomplishments‘
From mediocrity to satisfaction

From mediocrity to satisfaction

I’ve been performing since I was a little tacker. I started jazz ballet when I was 6 because I was promised sweet biscuits after class if I stayed. That seemed well worth it for me. So I joined in happily waiting for my sweet biscuits – which were delivered.  Isn’t it funny that sugar got me into dance! At some point, after I’d begun classic ballet at 13, I got lazy in dance. Deliberately. I didn’t want to stand out. I couldn’t be with the attention I was getting. I learned that I could show up on stage, and get pretty good results, some positive feedback and that seemed enough. Nothing bad happened.

Years later, as a musician, I could get up on stage and sing, play my guitar and also get an enthusiastic response. The problem was, I was dissatisfied. Why? I knew that I wasn’t putting in 100%. I wasn’t rehearsing or preparing fully, I was flying by the seat of my pants. Cos I could. And yet, I always left knowing that I didn’t give my all.

In entering my first Pole competition, I made a commitment to interrupt the drift of my life, to not do things the way I’d always done them. I made a 7 week rehearsal plan, I booked the studio and I even got brave enough to invite my friend and dance colleague into a rehearsal for feedback. In our conversation, she invited me to move and perform as if I were expressing a love letter to someone. This fitted so beautifully with the journey of exploring my femininity at the time. Interestingly, it was her piece of feedback and the one piece of feedback from my pole teacher to include the spectacular trick you’ll see in the video that made the difference in the competition. Not only did I win a pink sash that says “Miss Fusion Pole 2011” (yes, I still have it thank you very much – alongside my trophy for my first Drag King competition – that’s another story…) but I earned something else that night. Satisfaction. Knowing that I’d planned, prepared, rehearsed and developed this piece and given myself to it…

Enjoy:

 

**photo credit & video by: Tina Modesto
Tracking Time

Tracking Time

I’ve had a breakthrough in my productivity. Again. Specifically in the area of being focused and distracting myself less often when a new shiny thing crosses my path. Look! There’s a pony!

We’re tracking our time to the minute at work at the moment, to get an answer (or an inkling) to the question – how long do things actually take? Interesting how the observed alters behaviour. I stay on point. When an interruption comes blazing across my path, as they are wont to do, I either ignore it until I have finished the task I’m on, or take it – and then return to the task I was doing. Unheard of. I no longer have ten things open on my computer at once. I empty my inbox regularly.

It’s not like I’m racing the clock to see if I can do things faster. I’m actually curious to know how long things take. I’ve discovered that certain emails that seem to take forever, actually only take a couple of minutes. Even an email that was difficult to compose and required sensitivity and diplomacy took no more than seven minutes in total.

So how did the humble excel spreadsheet become such a source of power, as in the velocity with which something is accomplished, and accountability, the fulfilment of one’s word? Is it that it keeps me present and on track? Does it provide a safety net against distractions and interruptions? Is it deepening my relatedness to reality? I wonder where else I could apply this practice in my life?

Where could you?

Before crowd funding…

Before crowd funding…

10 years ago, I was crowd funding my music before I even knew what crowd funding was. I got the idea from one of the Indi women’s groups I followed on the folk festival circuit. They asked for people to pre-purchase a copy of their upcoming CD as a way to fund it.

I had friends in Melbourne who used to write letters to me and ask, ‘Danica, could you record some of your music and send it to me? It would help me to be able to listen to some of your songs.’ During The Artist’s Way I realised that I could let my fear stop me for the rest of my life, or I could do it now, fear or no fear. I looked for ‘synchronicity leads’, as Julia Cameron calls them, and I found one – a business card given to me by Jac Carlin.

We’d met at the National Folk Festival in Canberra – I got myself up on the chalk board with my guitar and some songs and she was the techie. Something went wrong with the sound during my set and she gave me her card saying, ‘I loved your songs, let me do sound for you again and do it properly.

The Angel Train was a home based recording studio in Canberra run by Jac and Greg Carlin. I’d drive 2.5 hours along dirt roads from Moruya, NSW, bearing organic home grown vegetables and stay over. Jac and I would do Dru Yoga before entering the recording studio and in there, I recorded my first ep, ‘micromovements’. It was a gift back to my community. (msg me here if you’d like a copy – $10 +p&h)

This track, ‘u deserve’ was selected to be on a female compliation CD in LA called females on fire orchestrated by musician and entrepreneur, gilli moon.

https://soundcloud.com/danica-lani/u-deserve

photo credit: Gitta photography