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Follow me on Hubpages

It’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog and I have decided that, while I will be posting things here every once in a while, most of the time I will be posting via Hubpages.

You can follow me there at http://marisemishan.hubpages.com

 

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Read my research

Two years ago I graduated with an MBA from GIBS, a business school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two-year journey was one of the toughest and most rewarding experiences of my life.

Spending the better part of a decade on stage performing as a freelance artist, a business degree was something I never envisioned myself doing. The countless lectures, exams, assignments and group work challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and broaden my mind. At times it was difficult to switch of my emotions and “think like a businessperson”, especially when it came to my research project. My thesis was on the dynamics of collaboration among performing arts organisations in South Africa and involved qualitative interviews with leaders in several performing arts organisations. I wanted to find out what they thought of collaboration as a means to stimulate demand for the performing arts in South Africa and why, if at all, they were not collaborating more. Of course after so many years in the industry I had my own opinions on the subject and it was a challenge to keep these aside.

The research process was  the most mentally challenging thing I have ever done because it required collecting massive amounts of subjective info, distilling it down into manageable parts, deciding which parts were relevant and interesting and them making sense of it all using a combination of previous research and my own insights. Ultimately it changed the way I think about information I am exposed to and developed my ability to think critically.

I am truly grateful for having gone through such a rigorous process and that all that hard work culminated with the publishing of my research.

Finally a special thank you goes out to my research supervisor Anthony Prangley who co-authored the published version of my research.

To read the full article click the link below:

http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ysvkUakP8282yRWWEEap/full

Taylor & Francis Online :: Author Services.

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Getting what you want

I feel the need to share my 360 degree turn-around.

Today is the first day I will be performing a show that I have wanted to be a part of for a very long time – Phantom of the Opera. As I am nervous I decided to read a past blog of mine for some inspiration 35 Tips for the Best Year of Your Life. It’s small ways to make your life more meaningful and blessed. I noticed at the bottom my twitter feed from exactly 1 month ago. I had written “Now universe open up those doors of opportunity”. You see, 1 month ago I was not in a good head space. I felt like I had lost my way. I had put my dancing career on hold for a Masters degree and, as nobody enjoys studying, I was feeling rather depressed.

I decided to take action at the beginning of the year by waking up at 5am to meditate on what I wanted in life. While one can’t be 100% sure that it was just the meditation that brought about my recent luck, I must say that in the space of 1 month my life really has turned around. 

I made the decision to not give up dancing just yet and once that decision was made it was as if the universe finally received much needed clarity from me on what precisely I wanted and then the doors of opportunity opened wide. Everything aligned and I am able to complete my Masters degree and perform in this incredible show.

It got me thinking on the power of meditation but also on the fact that the universe does give you what you want so be sure you know what it is that you want. All my previous actions and decisions were sending out a message to the universe that I was saying goodbye to dancing even though in my heart this is not how I felt. It was almost as if I needed to make a conscious decision to dance for another year, to set the universe straight, so to speak.

I think maybe our choices, whether we make them with our hearts or our minds, have a much greater impact than we realise. If, like me, you believe in the power of the universe, you will take heed of my story. If you think everything is down to coincidence, well then I guess I have no concrete, scientific evidence to prove otherwise.

All I know is what I have experienced and I am now 100% a believer in the power of meditation and asking the universe for a little help. As the saying goes…”Ask and you shall receive”.

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Quotes to inspire you!!

Even though my blog is primarily a travel blog, every once in a while I like to write about general things that interest or bother me. Lately I have noticed a tendancy to think negative thoughts, common ones are guilt, anger and envy. We all know how bad negative energy is for the body and one’s karma in general, so what do you do when one of these negative thoughts plants itself in your mind?

I have 2 techniques for getting rid of negative thoughts. The first is to fantasize about something, anything, for instance getting that role in the show I auditioned for, getting my business of the ground and winning Business Woman of the Year or anything a bit steamy usually does the trick (although this is not advised when driving). The second technique is to say a mantra over and over again. Mantras are usually 1- liners aimed at attracting something positive into your life, like health, money, confidence and abundance.

The Buddist way of life teaches us to live in the present. As fantasizing involves thinking about the future its probably a bit better to use mantras to clear negative thoughts from the mind so I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favourite mantras and quotes. If you have more why not keep adding to the list in the comments section at the bottom.

My favorites

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings” William Blake

“The parable of talents teaches us it is unacceptable to bury our talents…it is our duty to develop those talents given to us, and the joy we derive from doing so. G-d would not have put us on this earth with a passion and talent for something, if we were only going to bury it”

 

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter” E.E. Cummings

“What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now
Was a beautiful day” U2

“Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of someone else”

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles” Tim Cahill

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can change; and the wisdom to know the difference” Serenity Prayer

“Everyday, in every way, I create for myself a never-ending flow of prosperity from the entire universe”

 “I can change my life. I deserve to be able to show the world and myself what I am capable of. I deserve to be me”

‘There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life; music and cats” Albert Schweitzer

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined” Henry David Thoreau

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together” African Proverb

“Half of the failures of life come from pulling one’s horse when he is leaping” Thomas Hood

‘I am free from fear and doubt, casting want and misery out, knowing now all good supply, ever comes from realms on high” Violet Flame

“It is not work that kills men, it is worry” Henry Ward Beecher

“The virtue of love isn’t finding the perfect person, but loving the imperfect person perfectly”

“Success in love is more than finding the right person. It is becomming the right person”

“Hard work, determination and a big smile are the key elements of success” Matthew D. Braun

“Love and understanding turn a look into a smile and a house into a home”

“The most attractive women are those whose lives are not defined by their relationships but enriched by them”

“I ease up on myself. I need not rush. I let go and allow the river to carry me to new adventures. I obey the laws of Eternal Rhythm. There is plenty of time for me to do all the things I need to do. There is plenty of time”

“Each day I am learning. Each day I open the door wider…the door that leads me to my Higher Self. I have the Inner Strength to find my way”

‘I am greatful and proud of who I am today’

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight” Benjamin Franklin

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us” Helen Keller

“I am happy with who I am, I am a good person and I deserve good things”

“Be who you are and say what you feel beacause those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind” Dr Seuss

“I am changing all my garments, old ones for the bright new day, with the Sun of understanding, I am shining all the way. I am light within, without. I am light is all about. Fill me , free me, glorify me. Seal me , heal me, purify me. Until transfigured they describe me. I am shining like the Son. I am shining like the Sun!” Violet Flame

“With each step I take, I am moving closer to the life that I want”

“Funny doesn’t sag! It’s not about how you look but about the bit of light that you bring to whatever you do…”

“Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health-it rusts your spirit and your hips” Terri Guillemets

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here, we should dance”

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” Dr Seuss

“I see dance to be used as communiaction between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words.” Ruth St. Denis

“Do not vacillate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing” Ethiopian saying

“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain”

“I deserve the happiness that I feel everyday”

“Every man’s life is a fairytale written by G-d’s fingers” Hans Christian Anderson

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” Nelson Mandela

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand” Mark Twain

‘Hold a true friend with both hands” Kanuri proverb, Nigeria

“My life makes a difference. The love in my life begins with me. I love who I am”

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine

“Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected”

“Where words fail, music speaks” Hans Christian Anderson

“I am filled with a vibrant living force. I am capable and whole. I am a responsible person. I am powerful and I am loving. I am a plesure to know. I am filled with beauty, strength and light. My life makes a difference. I touch the world wherever I go. I have so much to give. I hold my head up high. I deserve love. I love who I am”

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow” Lin Yutang

“Rising early makes the road short” Wolof proverb, Senegal

“Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky” Cesar Pavese

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is to love and be loved in return” Natalie Cole, Unforgettable

“Some people go to priests, others to poetry; I to my friends” Virginia Woolf

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best” Henry van Dyke

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here” Desiderata

“Do not follow a person who is running away'” Kalenjin (Kenya)

“To love another person is to see the face of G-d” Les Misrables

“Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts” Charles Dickens

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi

“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway” Mary Kay Ash

“Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead” Hans Christian Anderson 

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35 Tips for the best year of your life!!

Hello world!

This is just a quick post. A friend of mine forwarded me this great email with 35 tips to having the best year of your life. So I thought the best way to share them would be to post them here. Enjoy!!

35 Tips

  1. Remember that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
  2. Keep the promises you make to others – and to yourself.
  3. The project that most scares you is the project you need to do first.
  4. Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results.
  5. Stop being busy being busy. This New Year, clean out the distractions from your work+life and devote to a monomaniacal focus on the few things that matter.
  6. Read “The War of Art”.
  7. Watch “The Fighter”.
  8. In a world where technology is causing some of us to forget how to act human, become the politest person you know.
  9. Remember that all great ideas were first ridiculed.
  10. Remember that critics are dreamers gone scared.
  11. Be “Apple-Like” in your obsession with getting the details right.
  12. Take 60 minutes every weekend to craft a blueprint for the coming seven days. As Saul Bellow once said: “A plan relieves you of the torment of choice.”
  13. Release your need to be liked this New Year. You can’t be a visionary if you long to be liked.
  14. Disrupt or be disrupted.
  15. Hire a personal trainer to get you into the best shape of your life. Superstars focus on the value they receive versus the cost of the service.
  16. Give your teammates, customers and family one of the greatest gifts of all: the gift of your attention (and presence).
  17. Every morning ask yourself: “How may I best serve the most people?”
  18. Every night ask yourself: “What 5 good things happened to me this day?”
  19. Don’t waste your most valuable hours (the morning) doing low value work.
  20. Leave every project you touch at work better than you found it.
  21. Your job is not just to work. Your job is to leave a trail of leaders behind you.
  22. A job is not “just a job”. Every job is a gorgeous vehicle to express your gifts and talents – and to model exceptionalism for all around you.
  23. Fears unfaced become your limits.
  24. Get up at 5 am and take 60 minutes to prepare your mind, body, emotions and spirit to be remarkable during the hours that follow. Being a superstar is not the domain of the gifted but the prepared.
  25. Write love letters to your family.
  26. Smile at strangers.
  27. Drink more water.
  28. Keep a journal. Your life’s story is worth recording.
  29. Do more than you’re paid to do and do work that leaves your teammates breathless.
  30. Leave your ego at the door every morning.
  31. Set 5 daily goals every morning. These small wins will lead to nearly 2000 little victories by the end of the year.
  32. Say “please” and “thank you”.
  33. Remember the secret to happiness is doing work that matters and being an instrument of service.
  34. Don’t be the richest person in the graveyard. Health is wealth.
  35. Life’s short. The greatest risk is risk-less living. And settling for average.

I genuinely wish you the best year of your life.  Stay Great.

(Tips forwarded by HEALTH VITALITY ENERGY NUTRITION AND WELLNESS! LIVE WITH PASSION Carin Hendrikz +2711 465 0640082 5574638.  universe@iafrica.com P O Box 783397 Sandton 2146)

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What are you worth?

One of the things bloggers know to do is to blog regularly and I made a promise (aka New Year’s resolution) to myself to spend at least 30 mins a day on my blog. However, I have already let that slide, you see its been 6 days since my last confession, I mean blog. So, because I’m away from home and don’t have too much time on my hands, today’s post is not about a festival or travel or dance. It’s about something we all face everyday especially in our jobs. Self-worth or the value we place on ourselves.

People with steady jobs usually expect an annual increase and a bonus and often get disappointed when they don’t get them or when the amount is less than what they hoped for. So how do we arrive at that amount in our heads of what we think  we deserve? Generally it’s based on the amount of time and energy we put into our job over the course of a year. As a freelancer things are a bit different. We usually are contacted by a company, we get a brief description of the job and the amount we can expect to be paid. As most freelancers are always hustling for work we generally say yes to any and every job, or at least that’s how it is in the dance industry. So what ends up happening in our eagerness to work, is we don’t look at the finer details and barely glance at the contract. What generally follows are weeks of hell. For instance, we get paid less than the other artists like singers and actors, we work the longest hours, we sit around doing nothing, waiting for the other artists to show up, we get put up in the worst accommodation, we are expected to perform even under terrible conditions like in the boiling sun or freezing cold, on a stage so slippery you fear for a career-ending fall at every movement, in costumes that don’t fit, are unflattering and are made of the cheapest and lowest grade materials. But worst of all is the fact that most dancers are too afraid to say something. Oh we complain all right, but to each other and not to the people who could actually do something about it, like the company director or the event organisers. The reason for this is that there is so little work around and nobody wants to be perceived as “difficult to work with” because then you wont get offered a job by the same company in the future.

Well I have decided this year is going to be different, another New Year’s resolution of mine. I need to decide what my value as a performer is. While I am by no means the best dancer in the world or even in South Africa or even in Jo’burg, I have been doing this for 10 years. I have worked with the country’s top choreographers, performed overseas and made a small name for myself through So you think you can dance. I am also extremely hard-working, professional and so incredibly passionate about dancing that there is nothing I wont do to become a better dancer. So on the Scale of Self-Worth I should rate myself well above average but you would never say that if you saw the types of conditions I put up with. But no more!

What we all need to realise is that standing up for one’s self and complaining are two sides of the same coin. That is why all people, not just dancers are afraid of speaking up for fear it comes across as though they are complaining. No one wants to be around a miserable old fart who never has a good thing to say, so it is up to you to judge whether you really are being treated unfairly or whether it’s all in your head. Having an honest friend or partner to help you judge the situation can help in this respect.

Ultimately, what I have learned is that if you are good at what you do and you are professional (always on time, prepared, motivated, self-disciplined, show initiative,speak firmly but politely and with respect to those around you) then there should be absolutely nothing to fear from standing up for yourself. If you are unhappy with something, nobody is going to swoop in and change things for you. Why? Because no one cares. All people care about themselves first and so they will see that their needs are met before yours, so you are the only one who can change your circumstances.

Now to put this into practice is the hardest part. For me, I am going to scrutinise every sentence on that contract. I will add and subtract clauses as I see fit. So if the contract says something like “You will be contracted to X company from this date to this date” I will insert a clause stipulating that I will not work on Sundays and Public holidays and that I must get at least 1 day off a week (yes, 7 day work weeks are what dancers have to put up with too). I will also consider the amount of time I am expected to make myself available and if, when on the job that time is not being used productively, I will discuss this with the director. The same goes for anyone in a regular 9-5 job. Consider the amount of time you put into an assignment and the quality of the work you produce compared to your colleagues. Consider your travel costs and time spent away from your family on work. Consider your stress levels and how many hours a night you spend lying awake and whether all this extra stress and effort has helped you move up the corporate ladder or just become the guy/girl everyone can rely on to do the bulk of the work while never getting any of the recognition.

At the end of the story, how you value yourself is how other people will value you. If you continue to put up with it, others will continue to give it to you. I sincerely do not believe that your bosses will punish you for asking for better pay or better working conditions, if you deserve them. People hire people because they are good at their jobs, not because they are the cheapest or because they are the quietest and complain the least.

Know what you are worth and then have the courage to go out there and get it.

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A bolgger is born!!

Well I’ve finally done it, started a blog!

Now that I’m ready to conquer the world let me share my ideas for what I hope will be the most intoxicating, adventurous blog out there (why start small?). I have three passions in life, Dance, Travel and Animals. I hope to combine the top two in this blog by providing a running commentary on the world’s greatest festivals! Have you ever wanted to buy a round-the-world ticket, take a gap year and chase all the biggest festivals and parades the world has to offer? Me too but because I am a professional dancer by trade I dont just want to stand by as a casual onlooker, I want to be in them, participate and perform in them…

Imagine having a backstage pass and front row seat to all the weird and wonderfulness of world festivals. Well thats what this blog is all about. I plan on collecting a rich repository of festival info for each month of the year. No festival is safe, no matter how big or small, bizarre or fashionable, they will all get a mention. And if there is way to become a participant in any of them, I will find it!! As I am just a struggling artist, the first of our journey’s together will have to be taken armchair-style. That is until some Prince Travel Channel sweeps me off my feet and plonks me into my dream job as a travel presenter with my own show called Around the World in 80 Dances, a show dedicated to travel through dance.

I love dancing, I really do and the more exotic (not erotic), the better! If you think about it, every major celebration, including parades and festivals, in any country or culture in the world, contains dancing. Dancing is about exprssing yourself, even drunkenly, its about having a good time and just enjoying the fact that your body works and can move. In fact, I hope to discover new forms of dance through my (internet) travels.

So here’s to a year of great adventures, perhaps one being the next real trip we take…

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