Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Unexpected Bliss of Jamie Ridler

Returning from a week at Kripalu places a specific demand upon me: Rest and Integration. For this to happen, I need to go deep inside. So this week I am honored to present a series of posts by some wonderful writers about their experiences of Unexpected Bliss.

Jamie Ridler is a creative self-development coach based in Toronto, who has created vibrant online communities, including Wishcasting Wednesday and Full Moon Dreamboards to name just two examples. Coming Soon: The launch of Soul Reflections, a creative home-workshop that connects you to your spirit and reveals what’s stirring in your heart. Don’t miss the launch and a special offer; sign up for News from Jamie Ridler Studios here.

My Unexpected Bliss as a Club Girl
by Jamie Ridler

One of the best times of my life blossomed out of one of the worst times of my life. It was as though a sad, lonely seed found some dirt in the crag of a broken sidewalk, took hold, and surprisingly burst into the blossom it was meant to be.

As a grad student, I lived with my boyfriend. We’d been together since high school and known each other since we were 12. We were so intertwined that it was impossible to imagine being apart. We were so committed to one another that I don’t think we noticed how unhappy we were.

And I’m certain that I didn’t realize just how removed from myself I had become.

That all changed when my sister invited me out dancing. Before I knew it, we were going out every Sunday. And on the dance floor, I found myself again. Dancing with my whole heart, my whole body, my whole soul, I remembered who I was. Amidst the crowds, the sweat, the music and the lights, I could feel my own heart beating. I felt so fully alive. I was laughing again, playing, moving to my own rhythm.

I knew that I couldn’t go back to greying out my heart, to stifling my spirit ever again.

So with many tears and much struggle, I left. When I did, I had no money, no job and no idea what I was going to do.

I never felt so free.

I moved in with my sister and one of our girlfriends. It was a basement apartment, cold, dark and mouldy, but it was an oasis of freedom amidst loving friends. It was on a beautiful tree-lined street in a hip neighbourhood of Toronto, and it soon became filled with many of my favourite memories.

Most importantly, it served as home base while we lived our lives as club girls. Long black dresses. Short gold ones. Big boots. Industrial Sundays. Retro Mondays. Dancing all night. Collecting club passes so we could get in for free. Arriving before 10:30 so we could get one beer for $2.50. I felt alive. I felt beautiful. I felt like me.

In finding the courage to leave, to step into the unknown, to honour the truth of who I was, I found my bliss. I’ll never let go again.


Suzie Ridler said...

I love that picture of you Jamie! It really demonstrates your fabulous fun energy. I am so glad that clubbing kept you sane and comforted you during that hard and painful time. And yes, no grey for you! You are a star.

Expressive Hart said...

I love that photo, too. I so understand the powerful healing transformational powers of DANCE! Dancing has been my steadfast companion for always and has seen me through some contrasting times to be sure. Like you, I always remember who I am when I dance with my whole being. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, Jamie!

Girlie-Queue said...

I am loving this post for so many reasons... most admittedly because clubbing was where I too found dance - during a pretty dark time in my life as well. I still like to go clubbin' best because I can get lost on the dark dance floor and not care :)))) And I am WAY with Suzie on the loving that pic... Totally righteous and so worthy of the admiration I have for you~ Shamsi said...

Powerful story, Jamie, and great pic!

alisha said...

i have been thinking about dancing so much lately. how wonderful to have read this today. thank you for sharing!

artyowza said...

I'd love to hear what DJ Jaimie would play and dance to today.

It might be fun to have a Friday Fun Song on your blog.... so we can dance to it on the weekends at home.

Karen D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen D said...

That photo of you should be on the cover of "Jamie's Joy Diet!"
so full of life and energy.
Thank you for sharing a part of your story. I am so glad you found your bliss because we have benifitted from it as well.

Steffi said...

This is so beautiful!

I dance at home but this post makes me want to go clubbing again, diving into the dark mass of moving bodies, the community of dancers, the sweat, the stroboscopic lights. Love! During a shitty adolescence dancing made me happy and feel more like me, more "right".

Thank you so much for sharing! ♥

Oh, and yes, I, too, would like to know your favourite dance songs if you feel like sharing!