“You are more than this body, more than this face. Baby this is just physical. You are a magnificent being that if you were fully realized right now, your body would explode. We are magnificent beings, capable of the greatest love and greatest destruction. Are you a warrior of love or fear?”
-Aaron R. White
T his is for you. You can create beautiful things and you will. There’s nothing stopping you but you. Once you move pass that, once you really decide and put all of yourself behind what you are doing, it’ll come in no time.”
I thought the comment came a little out of left-field. After all this was his interview, why was he giving me advice? On top of that, I said nothing besides an occasional, “Mm” when something resonated with me, or “Repeat that” when I needed further clarification. He continued, “but all of you is not behind what you want to do.”
There was dead silence. You could literally hear a pen drop. At that point I realized these were not off handed comments as I previously thought. Despite his youth, my silence and the brevity of our conversation, he had the uncanny ability to discern an inner conflict I chose to remain private.
Forced to face the truth of my situation, I wept. And with open arms of compassion, this great sage embraced me in love and not judgment. He urged me to forgive myself as well as others who fed me the lie that I, as I am, was not enough, and demanded that from now on, I live in my absolute power.
This is the type of trans-formative experience you have, when Aaron R. White bestows upon you his wisdom. You are not born with his type of wisdom. It is only forged in the raging fires of life’s difficulties, and refined by the determination to make it out alive. White did more than make it out alive, he thrived.
Looking at him today, one would never know he came from such a tumultuous background. Born the oldest of 11 children, both his teenage parents were heavy in the drug game. At only seven, he was forced to raise three of his siblings. This paternal relationship formed early on, birthed a deep-seated love for his siblings that even now, though most of them are young adults, White gushes about. “I love, love, love, my siblings. I see them as my children. They are so amazing and teach me so much. They remind me of what our past was, because sometimes I forget. I am constantly figuring out a way to inspire and drive them, so they know it’s all possible. They’ve made me better.”
One wonders where the tides changed and created the man we recognize today. He says, it was reminding himself that he was born with a divine purpose. “I never lost sight of my purpose, and I feel those that do are the ones that’s joining these gangs because they need to feel some type of connection to something. We all yearn for connection. I just stayed connected to my higher power. And I knew that as long as I kept going… As long as I kept going… better would come.”
At the age of 14, better did come in the form of dance and two of his most cherished instructors, Deidre M. Dawson and Pierre Lockett. A whole new world began to open up for White. He remembers, “I had never really been to downtown Chicago. I’d lived in the city my entire life and never experienced such a large portion of it. Only because no one ever told me this is something you could have. This is something you can experience. But dance and my instructors, Deidre and Pierre did that. They said all the things you want to achieve you can do it by your own hands. All you have to do is work. All you have to do is strive. All you have to do is be passionate about this one thing, and you can manifest and create anything that you want.”
Dance also helped usher White into a place of physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom. It accepted him nonjudgmentally, allowing him to feel comfortable in his own sexuality. Because of dance’s loving embrace, White was able to live in his truth, regardless of those who were unreceptive to it.
With a thirst to learn more about this new found passion, White enrolled in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I). There he excelled, receiving an Academic Competitiveness Grant from the University, The Lisa Carducci Memorial Scholarship from the Department of Dance, and was the progenitor of the Outstanding Performance Award also presented by the Department of Dance. White was also one of two students awarded with the I4I Scholarship, which funded part of his semester abroad at the Taipei National University of the Arts where he studied meditation, Classical Chinese Dance, Kung Fu, and acrobatics.
Building upon his success at U of I, he went on to the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) to obtain his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance. There in his final year, he got the opportunity of a lifetime. That event was a chance to be an apprentice with the Sean Curran Dance Company. White said he was absolutely floored when Mr. Curran extended him the opportunity while still in school, to perform with the company at the Joyce Theater in New York. Of the experience White says, “They are such lovely people. I never felt so welcomed by a group that had been dancing together for years. Everyone who is asked to be a part of that company is valued. Sean is just that way.”
It was also at NYU that White was reintroduced to Reiki Healing, which according to Reiki.org , “is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.” White had a brief introduction to Reiki during undergrad by a friend, but it wasn’t until he linked with his Professor, Dr. Renee Redding-Jones and her Reiki instructor Vanessa A. Spencer, that he discovered it’s true healing powers.
Inspired and curious by what he learned, he studied further with Marilyn Vega, Reiki Master and R.N, to deepen his understanding of energetic studies. Now White is a Reiki Master-in-training and practices on numerous clients. Reiki is the one thing he says, that allowed him to confront the pain of his past, free himself of its baggage, and connect to a higher source of power.
When White is not healing clients through Reiki, he dances with five companies and teaches, which is his greatest passion. Teaching for him is a mutual giving of blessings. He teaches, but learns just as much from his students. White’s also still well connected to his colleagues he met while studying abroad in Taiwan. They are developing a mutual collaboration to perform as well as teach dance to Taiwanese students.
When asked what is the greatest lesson he learned that could help someone else along their journey, White left these uplifting words, “ Well, you’re sabotaging yourself by 80% already because you don’t think you can. And if you don’t think you can, then it won’t manifest. You are preventing it from happening. But if you just remember all I need is this one day. Just one day, be the best I can be this day, and constantly live for this day and this moment. So many opportunities will open up.”
Additionally White adds:
“ Are you connected to your higher power, whoever that may be? Or if not, are you connected to your spirituality? Because that’s what saved me, knowing I’m a spiritual being having a human experience. You are more than this body, more than this face. Baby this is just physical. You are a magnificent being that if you were fully realized right now, your body would explode. We are magnificent beings, capable of the greatest love and greatest destruction. Are you a warrior of love or fear?”
Aaron R. White, we here at Livin’ Like Maya celebrate you for being the true embodiment of wisdom and love. We thank you for serving humanity through your extraordinary gift of dance and heart for service. And we appreciate you dearly, for challenging us to manifest and create our own reality.
Continue to illuminate the world with your light, share your wisdom so others lives might be changed, and last but never least, live, learn and evolve each day. We pray nothing but God’s continued blessings over your life.
The Livin’ Like Maya Fam
To learn more about Aaron visit his site: http://www.aaronrwhite.com/
You can also click the picture at the very top to check out his dance reel or watch it here: http://vimeo.com/88960694
All Photos by David Perkins via http://davidperkinsphotography.com/
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