I am among a long list of people who wanted to be Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. There was nothing I wanted more at the tender age of 10 than to be a unionized welder in NYC while working as a dancer in a nightclub which helped me work my way to become a principal dancer in the NYC Ballet Company. I would have even forgone the hot boyfriend and eating lobster at fancy restaurants, if I could just figure out how to do a double pirouette and weld some copper. My mind would daydream about how I could possibly become 8 years older, move to New York, and get a welding job. Those were minor details to my bigger dream.
Looking back I notice two life lessons that Jennifer Beals has taught me. One of them is that our imagination is the foundation for which creativity and intentions come into alignment. Meaning, when we "imagine" we set forth a domino effect of creative energy in motion. Long and short, what we imagine has the potential to be actualized. We imagine all the time, we probably don't use the words "day dream or imagination" when describing what it is we are doing. We think about what to cook at home for dinner, where we want to set up our next business, if we want another child, how we earn more income, how our workout routine could be shifted and the list goes on. When we put intention behind this imagery the potential to work toward and create the life we want becomes clearer. Intention sets up the engaging of the energy around us to fulfill and actualize our imagery.
Now it doesn't mean that all of the sudden I look like Jennifer Beals, quit my day job and have become a principal dancer in the NYC ballet. But what it does mean is that something in Flashdance inspired me (or appealed to me) about living in NYC and working toward a dream (no matter how many people think you won’t achieve it) and going for it. And I can honestly say I am doing them both. What imagination does is it plants the seeds of possibility. Inside this possibility lies endless potential. I often use imagery and imagination with my patients for healing and helping to open up creative blocks and have found it profoundly helpful.
The other take away that I got from Flashdance is that although I may never become a welding New York City principal ballet dancer, as that job has already been handled perfectly by Jennifer Beals, I am becoming the best me I could have imagined. As there is only one me that's the best I can do. The more that I am able to accept myself for who I am, which includes all the areas that need some “working on” and all of my quirkiness, the more I am able to move through the world with much more gratitude, love and enjoyment. We should individually take pride, love and honor in ourselves for the unique person that we are. We can use normal human emotions like envy and jealousy as a radar to help us to ramp up the self love and self acceptance. And to help us focus on all the things in which we are grateful for in our lives.
So, Jennifer Beals, thank you for being one of the many individuals who inspired me to work hard, believe in myself, and dare to dream.