Sunday, October 26, 2008

Art Imitates Life

I recently watched an episode of "Ugly Betty", one of my favorite pieces of fluff. In it, Betty faces her high school archnemesis, Kimmy Keegan, who during a low period in her life begs Betty to help her get a job where Betty works. Although Betty tries to befriend her old enemy, she can't help reliving one of the more painful episodes suffered at Kimmy's hands. Betty becomes so fixated on that image of what happened in the past, she doesn't see what's happening in the present. When a situation occurs that reminds Betty of that painful incident, her insecurity rears it head. Instead of stepping back and calmly assessing the situation, she simply reacts, a reaction that is extreme and inappropriate. Betty immediately realizes that things were not as she imagined them to be and that she's made a terrible mistake. By then, of course, it's too late.

So why does this matter? Because I, too, have succumbed to the blindness of insecurity and have reacted extremely and imappropriately in recent occurrences with a friend which has prompted her to cut ties with me. And, like Betty, I realized too late what I had done. For me, this is indeed a very sad turn of events that could have been totally avoided if I had just taken a breath, stepped back and tried to view things in a more realistic light. I didn't see what was in front of me. I was reacting to what I thought, not to what was true.

This is a very valuable, very painful lesson, one which I will not forget. It may be too late to make amends with the friend I have lost but perhaps the sting of this wound will remind me to seek knowledge before reacting to speculation.

Always and all ways,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Energetic Shift

Sometimes it only takes a little change in routine to manifest a marked difference.

Last night I attended an event coordinated by Dancers Over 40, Inc. (, a non-profit organization that provides a community of support for mature dancers, choreographers and related artists. It was a tribute to Jack Cole, a master dancer/choreographer and included film clips of his choreography as well as discussions by many of his former dancers. Although I have been a member for many years, I have never attended any of the DO40 events but this one had a lot of energy surrounding it so I made it a point to be there. I almost didn't get in...the show was closed out but by a miracle I received a ticket. I'm so glad I was able to see that show. Being in the audience, surrounded by fellow dancers and other theatrical types, watching film clips of incredible choreography and seeing several DO40 members performing live was just the sort of energy boost I needed. For the first time in years I felt the excitement I use to feel when I was actively studying dance and performing. During intermission I ran into Kathy Conry, a wonderful dancer with whom I took a couple of tap classes before she left for the West Coast for nearly six months to choreograph a show. She said she had only just returned and would be calling me to resume classes. I can't wait.

In an incidence of serendipity, I met a young performer on the cancellation line who, among other things, is a practicing reconnective healer. We talked quite a while about healing arts and how this subject is gaining prominence in the universal dialogue. We exchanged cards and look forward to resuming our discussion at a later date. Also on the cancellation line I met Jaime, a fellow DO40 member who, like me, is Puerto Rican. They were among those ahead of me on line who received last minute cancellation tickets released by the box office. I felt a connection with them and was glad that I was ultimately able to join them inside the auditorium.

After the show I was energized and full of ideas. On the train home I realized how much I missed being in the flow of dance energy and how much happier I am when I have the music in me. Numerologically speaking, this is my 8 personal month. Eight is the number of taking charge of my life and making decisions. 2009 is an eight personal year for me, meaning that all the contemplation and reflection I have been doing this year is preparing me to take charge and move forward next year. I would like to think that next year I'll be dancing more, interacting with many interesting and exciting people, and moving in new directions. If my hunch is correct, I'm in for a very busy year full of things that will yield healing energy. Lord knows I'm ready, willing and in need. Bring it on.

5, 6, 7, 8...

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mercury Retrograde

I've been hearing (from those who are more knowledgeable in matters of astrology than I am) that we are in a period of Mercury retrograde (MR). In an effort to better understand exactly what that means, I did what anyone in this age of advanced technology would do...I googled it. There were quite a few entries with explanations of this occurrence (here's one: And for an interesting assessment of MR and its effect on Sarah Palin, check this one: Essentially, the planet Mercury, which rules over communication, appears to be moving in reverse orbit. While this phenomenon is only an optical illusion, it is significant in its effect. Communications of all kinds tend to go awry: emails get lost or misdirected, telephone lines go down, computers malfunction, people have trouble expressing themselves, making decisions or understanding what others are trying to say. In short, mis-communication is the order of the day.

So what's that got to do with me? Everything! Miscommunication has been the catch-phrase in my life for the past few weeks. No matter how carefully I explain myself, either I'm not understood properly, or my attempts are somehow misconstrued. No matter how carefully others communicate to me, I'm never sure if I've got it right so I continually ask questions in an attempt to "get it", thereby annoying the heck out of them. In those situations where communications aren't great to begin with, MR just seems to make it worse. This is a source of never-ending frustration for me that has caused a great deal of anxiety and has manifested itself as anything from intense anger to deep despair.

What to do? Retreat, relax, reassess, and wait for realignment. I have to stay focused on the bigger picture. As long as I keep other aspects of my life balanced (or as balanced as I can), time will hopefully do the rest. For some months now I have been enjoying a wonderful sense of inner calm and have been moving in a flow of serendipity and relative happiness. It doesn't make sense that all of that inner work I've been doing would just up and disappear. What does make sense is that this trying period is just a speed bump trying to slow me down and reassess what I'm doing. I just have to exercise patience, something I don't always have a large reserve of.

(Postscript: Mercury retrograde will be over on October 15. It will be the last MR for 2008.)

Waiting to exhale,
Always and All Ways,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How Does My Garden Grow?

For the last six weeks or so, my garden has been a study in contradictions. Usually fall follows summer in a pretty predictable pattern: food crops ripen and are harvested, leaves begin to fall in earnest, the ambient temperature drops. This year it was a little different. My peppers and tomatoes did not do very well this year although my flowers were explosively abundant. I heard the same thing regarding food crops from other gardeners in my area. The plants would bud and bloom but wouldn't set fruit.

Then in mid-August the leaves began falling off the trees in such quantities that I had to sweep them up on a daily basis, giving me reason to believe an early fall would set in. After about three weeks of this behavior, the energy shifted, seemingly from one day to the next. The falling leaves slowed to a trickle and suddenly the non-performing tomatoes fruited and swelled as if trying to play catch-up. It was as if the oncoming energy of fall was deferring to the late-blooming energy of summer, holding its breath, if you will, to give summer a chance to tend to unfinished business before resuming. This week, Summer shows her waning face during the day while Autumn cools the nights, each taking turns as if on a seesaw. Soon Autumn will take over and it will be back to business.

There have been other contradictory signs in my garden as well. While there have been reports for years about the waning bee population, this year I saw a marked increase in bee activity, at times observing as many as five different varieties of bees in my garden simultaneously. I also observed more monarch butterflies this summer than I have in the previous 17 years I have lived in my house. So with this flurry of pollinating activity going on, why didn't the crops do better?

And then there was the mystery melon. A melon vine mysteriously appeared in my garden and began to grow. Although I did not plant it, out of curiosity I allowed it to mature. Only one melon fruited, a small, softball-sized canteloupe. When it fell off the vine, I left it in the sun for about a week. I didn't think it was any good, but when I cut it open it was sweet and delicious. A totally unexpected surprise.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and take my observations a little further. This will sound a little far-fetched if not downright absurd but bear with me. The rise of Barack Obama in the presidential campaign has been an unexpected surprise for many. Polls show the popularity of the two candidates seesawing slightly, up a little one day, down a little the next. The country seems to be holding its breath, waiting for the political race to end before exhaling. Once it ends, the new president will take over and it will be back to business.

In many ways, it seems to me that the energy surrounding the events occuring in our country have been forecasted by the energy in my garden. Of course my garden experience is not the same as another's and I don't pretend to be able to divine anything by watching how my garden grows. I'm just making corresponding connections where they seem to fit.

I wonder if that flurry of busy bees and those poor tomatoes trying to catch up have anything to say about this $700 billion bailout.

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva