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  • Suzana Stankovic

What I Learned in the Wilderness

Today marks the third anniversary of Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio, a long-held dream of mine.

Doors opened to the public on January 24, 2017.

Like the studio, my daughter is also three. I signed the lease ten days before my due date because, to my own surprise, that's when I had finally found the space I had been seeking.

It was August, sweltering hot, and my belly was HUGE. My life was about to change in ways I could never comprehend. Nonetheless, I signed that multi-year lease and then, standing in my studio for the first time, took this selfie, feeling pretty nonchalant about the whole thing:

What was I thinking?! I wasn't.

I was just following my wild heart.

Here's my daughter being super fierce with me when she was just eight months old, LOL!

Photo: Andreas Altmann

And here she is now:

And here's my studio when I'm teaching ballet:

The past three years have been a magical and brutal wilderness of personal transformation. It has been exhilarating, exhausting, beautiful beyond words, nerve-racking and terrifying.

Here's what I learned in the wilderness:

Don't wait.

Don't wait for perfection, permission or approval. Don't wait until you're ready. Waiting for things to be just right might seem sensible, but it will keep you on the sidelines of life and that's the most dangerous place to be. I'm not saying be reckless. I am saying life exists in the now and it is only in the now that you can take action. In particular, you must take wise + radical action with no option of turning back.

When I had my daughter and signed that lease, there was no turning back. If you have the option of turning back, chances are quite strong that you will, because growth is very uncomfortable and you will need to sit in the fire of your discomfort until you are transformed, that is, until you make it to the other side of fear. You'll do this many times on your journey if you're really living and growing.

Pema Chodron said it best:

"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest."

Say good-bye to comfort! Say hello to your dreams!

To my dancers: thank you for dancing with me. Your passion, courage and beauty inspire me more than I can ever say. I hold your humanity and your shining potential deeply, deeply sacred.

To anyone reading these words: Know that no one and nothing can stop you from being who you were born to be and from bringing forth the light that you alone were meant to bring.


Suzana Stankovic


Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio

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