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Tough Luck, Self-Awareness, Ballroom Dancing-- A Well-Earned Win!


Dymtro Churchun and Pichi at Capital Ballroom Competition

We cannot change what happens to us, but we can choose what we can do next. To link these two statements successfully requires the key of self-awareness. When tough luck strikes, self-awareness unlocks the understanding of our situation, by recognizing the behaviors that arise from that challenge and its consequence. If self-awareness is not present, the consequences of a person’s life can be disastrous; however, if a person is leading a destructive life, it is not, necessarily, the end. Tough luck does not have to win.

One always has the ability to harness self-awareness and become empowered by self-confidence, which often occurs when hitting rock-bottom. At such moments, an epiphany can lead to transformation. There is a dramatic change in our thoughts, our emotions, and our behaviors. This new and empowered being, that we become, alters how we interface in the world, and in particular—how we slay victoriously, tough luck. The consequence of new life results? An inconceivable life that one only dreams about.


Self-awareness, one of the most powerful tools of the mind, is the glue of cause-and-effect. With regards to cause-and-effect, logic is used for validity of facts. With regards to tough luck and how we cannot, at times, choose what happens to us; indeed, we might get stuck. At this moment, self-awareness of tough luck facts, and what we want our facts to be what we are made of, and who we are. You ask: how do you change the reality of tough luck into a positive, constructive, factual reality? You need to bridge the two realities with an effective and practical plan. Then, with passionate, yet focused emotion--execute. During this process, freedom manifests itself. We are not victims of our fate. The passion that drives our being draws forth the thrill of new-found personal power, ultimately presenting itself with fulfilling life results.

My own a-ha moment was when I got pulled over by the police for my tail light being busted. I happened to be talking to my friend who was hell-bent on giving me his two cents about what he thought about the police. Moreover, he elaborated on authority. He declared that he thought the reason why he doesn’t like authority, and how he doesn’t like being told what to do was because of his father; his father used to beat the holy crap out of him. His tough luck. His passionate yet logical conversation, made me think. Realizing that I had a very similar background, my tough luck, I started to put two and two together. I have always reacted negatively with people who possess a faint undertone of authoritative attitude, even if they are constructive, positive and helpful. I don’t like authority, and I—definitely—don’t like being told what to do.


The epiphany at the traffic stop changed my own self-awareness. Because of my lightning bolt flash of self-awareness, the pieces fell into place with the new information. It was very poignant at the time, because I was rebelling against my ballroom dance teacher/partner, Dmytro Churchun, from Chevy Chase Ballroom. Over the past two years, I would have conflicts with him knowing full well that he was trying to help me. I couldn’t understand where my behavior arose from—at all!


But now, with my new self-awareness, I realized that Dmytro, a Ukrainian, possesses a barely perceptible Eastern European style of teaching, which is authoritative, commanding, and measured. All great characteristics to help me develop into an excellent competitor; however, I still could not rationally shake by defiant behavior. Hence, I made a five-prong plan: 1) Be aware of emerging defiant feelings. 2) Mindful breathing. 3) Focus on dancing body movement. 4) Be aware of all three steps. 5) Passionately execute. It had to work, and it did work! I didn’t want Dmytro dragging me screaming and kicking into a Gulag. If I didn’t shape up my attitude, God forbid, Dmytro would have done just that! Thank heaven—Dmytro possessed the strength of patience.


I’m grateful for the following: The Officer. My friend. My ah-ah moment. And, Dmytro. Because of them, I am now free from my defiance and my past associated with that tough luck. And yes, I’m a better dancer for it. Best of all, I didn’t get a ticket!




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