“She was on a journey that required her to be fierce… she was up to the task.”
I remember a few years ago, lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling, and saying to myself… “Life will never be better than it is right now in this moment.” Everything was exactly where it was supposed to be. An incredible career with a rock star job, a new house that I just had renovated and made perfect for me, money in the bank, someone’s arms around me at night. I was living the good life. It lasted a decent while… and then last Friday, the rug that had been slowly unraveling with the knowledge that the closing of La Nouba was getting closer, was completely ripped out from underneath me without so much as a warning.
It probably means something that my initial emotions were not sadness and hurt. I felt anger. I felt embarrassed that I hadn’t seen this coming. Sure, later that night and the next day, those other feelings hit me like a tractor trailer rig, and my biggest challenge was to make it through two shows that night at the circus. As hard as I focused and used all my skills (that I just happen to also teach others) the memories in the building combined with the powerful music of our show and got the best of me. With the help and support of some incredible women that I’m fortunate enough to share a dressing room with, I put one foot in front of the other and did my job. I am, above all other things, a professional.
Now… (and here's the whole point)... things work in mysterious ways. Because every day after that felt easier and I was getting stronger. I could already feel myself moving forward and onward. The healing was slow, but steady. I distracted myself with friends and projects around the house. Then, a memo popped up on my calendar reminding me of a workshop I had coming up. I was supposed to be teaching emotional control, character centers, and physical character building for 5 hours to about 20 members of the WWE NXT in a joint venture with the WWE and Cirque du Soleil. It was time to put on the big girl pants and lock it up!
It was a long and exhausting day. The folks from the WWE NXT were simply awesome and, without trepidation, jumped in and trusted me to take them on a journey through all the goodness that I teach… and they killed it! The feedback was great. Watching them all have those “lightbulb moments” and find ways to connect it back to what they do on a daily basis was so rewarding. I could feel myself reclaiming my “juju.” I got through two shows that evening with joy and laughter in my heart. A genuine feeling of happiness again.
Turn about is fair play right? OK. Cirque was invited to their gym the next day. As I drove myself to the WWE Performance Center, I had it set in my mind that I was going just to watch and support my fellow cirque artists as they jumped into the rings. Little did I know, my words were about to be used against me… “Come on, Cheryl! Breathe. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new!” Alright… fair point, No Way Jose. (Look him up!) Next thing I know… I’m in the ring doing forward rolls, running the ropes (which is really hard and actually is the one thing that hurts the worst), sparing with both the women and the men of this organization, and being body slammed in the center ring! Don’t you worry though… I managed to body slam a few of them too! WHAT?!? Who gets to do this?!? At one point, the entire facility was chanting my name (that has never happened to me before - and was super cool) and I was doing all the things that no-one ever expected I would or could do… including me!
Talk about reclaiming my power! WOW! Its kind of incredible what the universe sends us when we need it the most. I was so far out of my comfort zone, I felt like I was on a completely different planet! I walk away (ok.. maybe more like crawl away... I'm SO sore) from this experience a changed woman. This was both the most terrifying and empowering thing I’ve ever done. I’d love to be able to say that I’m feeling like my old self again, but that would also be a lie. I’m feeling like my new self. A better self. A stronger self. I’m feeling more confident in my abilities as an artist and instructor. I’m feeling more confident in what I have to offer the world. I’m feeling a fierce warrior spirit rise up inside of me that I have never connected with before… and it feels
Its always important to find moments in our life that challenge us. We grow when we are uncomfortable. I had gotten too comfortable in my “perfect life” and forgot this. I can tell you, today I am feeling hurt and pain… but its only from running the ropes and being a bad ass!
* A HUGE thank you, to every artist, athlete, coach, director, and everyone involved in making this partnership happen! Its truly a day I will never ever forget!