Believe it Before you See it

“Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” 

Mark Victor Hansen

Two and a half years ago when the Covid pandemic first hit I didn’t think it was a big deal.  Like many people I brushed it off. And so I remember in November 2019 some of my volunteers told me about Covid.  This was before it was on most people’s radar. I told them not to worry. “It’s not a big deal. It is just a cold.”

By January of 2020 there were a few people missing from classes. The helpers and assistants said that maybe we should put a pause on the classes. Again I brushed it off. “No. It’s fine. Most people are still attending.”

At the end of February things changed again. I remember there was one class of 40 students and only 7 actually made it to class.  That was when I realized that it wasn’t fine.  And within three weeks the government announced that the province was shutting down. I remember feeling a massive sense of loss. Toronto Dance Salsa has always been a place of connection and safety. TDS has always remained open. Massive snowstorms, my broken toe – I taught through them all and Toronto Dance Salsa stayed strong and open. The only time I’ve ever missed a class was when I was in hospital. And even then, another instructor taught my classes. TDS was always open.

I couldn’t wrap my head around it. We had to shut down. And I remember for the first two weeks I spiraled. I didn’t want to get out of bed because I didn’t know how to save the school. Every situation I thought of, including virtual classes, made no sense. We’re a Latin school. People touch for connection. I mean, my goodness, if you know me, you know I’m a hugger. And now the government says no hugs. How is that even possible? I didn’t know what to do or how to save Toronto Dance Salsa

Like many times before and since, I went to my mentor for advice. I gave him all my complaints and reasons why I couldn’t save TDS.

“Aleks, if you keep believing that, then that is what will happen. The school will die.”

“But you don’t understand. I need your help. Help me solve this. What should I do?”

“Aleks, you’re focusing on 997 problems and reasons why this isn’t going to work out. Come back to me in three days with solutions. How can you actually save TDS?”

To be honest, after our talk I felt angry and spiraled down even further. I didn’t think he was being fair. The situation was obviously unfair. And I still didn’t know what to do. What could I possibly be missing that my mentor saw?

By the second day, my anger subsided. My mind shifted. What if it’s possible? How can I save the school?

On the third day, I went back to my mentor with a smile on my face. “This is what we are going to do. We’re going to create a virtual class like no other. People from around the world are going to dance together.” And I laid it out for him, excited, glowing, believing that we can do this. And from that belief, we were able to create virtual classes. Some of you reading this were part of those classes. And I’m really grateful. The virtual classes allowed us to hold out just long enough for the in-person to start.

And so as shocking as this is, I believe life is like a bag of chips you can’t see. Here’s what I mean. When I was little, I remember opening up the snack drawer and yelling “Mom, you didn’t buy my favorite chips.”  This happened almost every time she went shopping. And she’d yell back from the living room telling me that they were in the snack drawer. “I checked the snack drawer. They aren’t there.” Reluctantly, she would get up, threatening that if she found them, I couldn’t have any chips. She always found them. And so what I realized and what my mentor taught me was, you have to believe, in spite of the fact that you might not see it yet, because the chips were always there. I only believed they weren’t. And our brain does an amazing job of making sure what we see is aligned with what we believe.

And so if this week, this month, you feel like you’re dealing with an impossible problem, remember to believe that solutions are possible. You can figure it out. And simply starting with belief creates amazing, beautiful moments where you can find a way out. I mean, I did with the school and I believe you can too. Go get your bag of chips. It’s there. Believe it.

Facing our fears is often why we don’t believe. Click the link to learn more.

I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you come in every week, have fun, socialize, and let loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.

If you have any questions you would like me to answer, here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodancesalsa), on Twitter (#torontodancesalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].