Freaky Friday - What I learned about myself from pole dancing, walking, strangers and beauty treatments.
I've been in New York City for the past week writing, exploring and branching out. The 10 day trip was planned to be with my boyfriend but we broke up a few days before I was supposed to leave. Since the plane ticket was booked and a friend so generously offered a place to stay in the city, I ventured on. What I found was unexpected. I thought I would be exploring under different circumstances and now I find myself falling in love with a city so alive and full of love, I'm glad I made the leap of faith and came here. I've tried new things, moved out of my comfort zone and I feel myself stronger and more fortified than ever. But how did I come to be this way? It took some pole dancing, lots of walking and meeting all sorts of different people around New York City...oh and beauty treatments of course!
It didn't take long for the magic of New York to take hold of me. Once I made it from the airport to the apartment, life began to sizzle. The door guys were uber lovely and friendly and helped me find a Mexican place for lunch. Honestly, the door guys through this whole trip have been incredible and made me feel at my best self. One afternoon I somehow talked with them for over an hour. They've given me tips on how to get around the city, where to go, the best movie theater, shows, food and so much more. I owe them big! I should say, all of the strangers I mention I feel have become fast friends. Later on my first night, while on the subway going to meet a friend for pizza and a glass of wine, it was unbearably hot down in the subway. I believe the conversation with him began with him saying it was really hot and I replied, "it's hot ball soup down here." The subway cart (is that what you call it?) was packed full of humans. We chatted and ended up getting off at the same spot. He was a music student and was going to play a gig at a jazz bar called, . If you're ever in town you should check it out every Friday.
The weekend/week went on like this meeting people on every corner, walking from neighborhood to neighborhood, on subway rides, in coffee shops and one of my favorite places to be in the world, spas/Beauty shops/Sephora.
Class pass had a crazy deal five classes for $19. I decided to jump on this. The class pass is a fitness app where you can go to different fitness studios and gyms all around the city. It's beautiful! (A true work of genius) I decided I was going to try all the classes I've never done before. First up, soul cycle. (A friend actually took me to this. But I've never been before). It was like dancing on a bike. The energy was great. The instructor didn't try to get us to work harder to burn off brunch. She was sweet and inspiring. After 50 minutes I felt amazing! Next up was pole dancing. Now, I have pole danced before. You know, on buses, in Vegas and the like but I was never given formal instruction and that's exactly what I received when I went to Femme Fitness. Just myself and another lady were in the class. It was both our first time and from the look on her face she was feeling what I was feeling, "thank goodness we will be newbees together!" The teacher, Jessica was super sweet and lovely. Before class began she asked us to introduce ourselves to each other and say what our favorite body part was. She asked for a volunteer and I could see my new pole dancing friend was shy so I volunteered, "my name is Dorothy and my favorite body part would have to be my legs." The instructor clapped and we went on to the other lady who mentioned her back. And away we went with the class. Throughout the class pole dancing didn't feel overly raunchy. The way the instructor gave instruction was to empower us and love our bodies as is. It felt so natural. The instructor shared with us how pole dancing classes had helped her lose 60 pounds and that she competes. In this moment, she was proof that when you love something, life can't help but fall into place beautifully. She gave me hope. By the end of class I realized how hard pole dancing is but also how empowering it is for the female body. To learn to move your body sensually and without apologizing for who you are or what you are doing. Pole dancing was a feel good, fun New York moment for me. If you're ever in town, look up Femme Fitness. From the pole dancing class I felt ready to challenge myself with yoga and went to Brooklyn to my friend's yoga class. Which I've never venture to her classes because of fear. She challenges the body. I'm glad I went because my fears were not justified. Sure, her classes are challenging but any good yoga session is challenging in some way whether mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually. She warmed us up nicely, I love her stories and yoga history she ties into class and her empowerment of the self she gifts you with. By the end of class, I was feeling incredible! If you're ever in the city, look up Julie Dohrman. Also, she has workshops and retreats all the time. One is coming up on Nantucket at Supta Yoga and it will be a beautiful weekend workshop! Check it out here. I hope to see you there!
After these classes, I realized how much I have not been appreciating and taking care of my body for the past few years. I made a vow to do more of this. More challenging fitness classes. More yoga classes. My yoga home is on Nantucket at Dharma Yoga and I can't wait to go back!
Self-care is something we shouldn't get enough of. We should always be doing more of it. Take the opportunities or time that comes our way to take care of ourselves. If we aren't at our best, then we are no good for those around us. There was a crazy amazing deal to get a customized facial at the Skin Spa. Opportunity knocked and I grabbed it! On Nantucket, we certainly do have incredible estheticians but it can be out of my price range. After the beautififying of my face with the hopes of having Cate Blanchett's skin, I went to check out and there was an incredible, energetic and effervescent woman to help me out. It was the end of the day and no one was around during this time, so we were really able to chat. Somehow we got into the subject on love and relationships and I told her I was recently let go from my status as girlfriend. She quickly pumped me up and said things to me I needed to hear in a way I needed to hear it. She's an angel! Skin Spa, make sure to treasure Amanda! And if you're in the city, for sure check them out. They are always having specials. I was able to get a facial for $50! And there are first timer deals as well. Make sure to ask them about it. Ask for Amanda And make sure to mention my name please!
Everywhere in New York has a new opportunity. I was sitting in a coffee shop trying to write and getting nowhere when two men sat next to me and began talking to me. Somehow we got onto the subject of love and relationships and I heavily suggested one of the gentlemen call the woman that he just had a New York moment with. He saw her from across traffic in Midtown East, and was wowed by how beautiful she was. He ran across traffic to get to her. He took my advice and called her right then and there. He was giddy afterwards. They have a date tonight. Send them prayers people for an amazing date. This feels like a setup from the universe to me! I can't wait to follow up.
This past week New York and her inhabitants have taught me so much about myself. One, because this island is so alive, I feel alive. Two, how a smile can open up a heart. New Yorkers seem distant until you smile at them. I try to smile at each person on the street as I walk around. One man shouted at me, "keep smiling lady!" And gave me the thumbs up. I too returned the thumbs up and moved my way down the street where I discovered a cupcake vending machine. Thank you New York! Smiling at people has made the whole trip worth it. People have been incredible! The third thing I realized is I can take better care of myself and my body. Which I've already begun doing. It's not so much a chore as it has become a joy to do so. This shift makes me feel more vibrant and ready for what's next. And lastly, I've realized it doesn't take much to make someone's day or week. Sometimes, it's just conversation and holding space that allows not only ones own self to feel good but others as well.
I still have more to experience and places to explore; bike ride in Central Park, yoga with my mentor's teacher at the dharma yoga center, food, pizza, food carts, movies to see, church (read the LoveBlog for the church and how it inspired me for love is breaking us, love is rebuilding us) and some Brooklyn brewery time with friends. And so much more I have yet to discover.
I'm hoping by the end of this trip Alexander Skarsgard has my phone number for when I feel like dating again.
Here's a list of the places I've loved thus far;
Peace, Love & Hugs!