Sunday, November 30, 2014

Why kira kira life was Created #1

kira kira life was created because Akari (the founder of kira kira life):
Reason #1 - It had to do with Akari following her dream.
Reason #2 - It had to do with Akari's grandpa and her mom.
Reason #3 - It had to do with Akari being mesmerized by the world.

In this blog entry, I, Akari, will write about the reason #1 - "Akari needed another income source."

I was a full-time school teacher until this past June. Becoming a teacher was my dream ever since I was a kindergartener, so I can say I did have a dream job.

However, my other passion - dancing - needed to be recognized and realized. I've always danced since I could walk, even in my mother's womb according to her. 

Here on Maui, I have been studying a classical Indian dance called Odissi under Sarala Dandekar's guidance. In April 2013, I went to India to study with Sarala's teacher, Guru Jhelum Paranjape. I had a profound time studying with her for one solid month.

This one-month visit did not satisfy my desire to be immersed in the art form, but fueled more. In India, I was given an opportunity to perform with Jhelum and her senior students. When I watched her solo piece from the wings of the stage, something profound touched me. It was similar to when I saw Sarala dancing for the first time, and this time, it echoed at an ever deeper place in my soul. I found myself crying. I had a full make up on my face, especially around my eyes, and I still had one more piece to dance. Despite every attempt to hold back the tears, my eyes welled up. I looked straight down keeping my face parallel to the floor, so that tears would drop straight to the floor. At that moment, I realized how much my soul yarns to study this ancient art form.

Since then, the desire has not faded one iota. I’ve had many dialogues with myself. A part of me said, “You barely make a living being a teacher. What do you think you are doing by giving up on a secure income source?” But the other said, “You’re right, but you cannot dance as much as you want as long as you are teaching. You happen to be the only one in your household. You’re free to do whatever you want to do now. Your body is still capable of handling rigorous practice. You can teach again after your body is no longer able to tolerate the strain. If not now, when? When are you going to do it? I just don’t want you to regret on your deathbed that you didn't’ dance when you had the chance.” That was it. The last sentence from myself has found a permanent place in me. 

Therefore, I decided to take a year off (at least) from my teaching job to focus on studying Odissi. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made to date in life. I miss seeing children everyday, but I do not regret having done so. I feel very alive today while I can dance as much as I want, and knowing that I would probably be able to say, "I did everything I could" even if my life ends tomorrow is a great feeling.

But was I able to make a comfortable living just dancing? No. Not quite. Although I had saved some money while teaching, it is not enough to allow me to just dance for the whole year. However, taking another full-time or part-time job that sets a certain schedule and a place to show up will not serve the whole point of leaving the teaching job. I needed flexibility (schedule and location wise), so that I could set enough time aside for dance classes, rehearsals, and practice time. 

Based on this background and intention, kira kira life was brought to life. Every dollar you spend at is supporting me to follow my dream. Therefore, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You might be thinking, "So does this mean that Akari started this online store just to make money?"
The answer is no.
I started this because this was passion of mine also. 
How so? 
#1 - It had to do with Akari's grandpa and her mom.
#2 - It had to do with Akari being mesmerized by the world.

I am kind of a person who follows through with to whatever I commit myself and will not do a half-baked job. I will put my heart into this business, so please stay tuned.

May you shine from within,

kira kira life