Interview by Nadia Brown
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your past struggles?
Okay, I must admit I don’t struggle with too many things anymore because I’ve learned how to recognize what things might hold me back and then confront them. It’s because I’ve had to develop the mindset of being a survivor with enduring a string of health-related incidents in 2016 such as, surviving two major surgeries (hip replacement surgery and a heart attack,) and two car accidents all within six months. Truth be told, it was a true test of willpower and my faith. Here’s what I mean. I’m a very spiritual person and grew up as a child in a Christian Pentecostal (COGIC) environment. As a result, I developed a belief in divine healing. Meaning, I didn’t put my faith in doctors, take medication, nor on any occasion dare enter the doors of a medical facility. My belief was if God couldn’t heal you no one could. However, now I know it was a belief I adopted from hearing other people say it rather than it being a part of the church official doctrine. What I Know Today Is This: God works and often chooses what’s best for us even if we don’t understand it. Honestly, I didn’t understand why I was going through such a traumatic series of events, but I never blamed him. I thought these obstacles might have manifested themselves to test my faith, and therefore I just needed to get through them. Which is what I did? Yet, I never knew in the bigger scheme of things how they came to teach me some life lessons.
For Example: One, I learned I was much stronger than I thought and could overcome any obstacle that came my way. Two, I learned to listen to my body and take heed to what it’s saying to me. Especially when there’s a physical problem. Here’s the thing: I must confess, I lived in denial for years pretending there was nothing wrong. When I needed help (hip replacement surgery) and I should have asked for it sooner when the symptoms occurred in 2011. Instead, I keep ignoring the problem until it worsened, and I had no choice but to have the surgery June 7th, 2016. So, I literally limped around in constant pain for almost five years for no justifiable reason. Yet, when I got help, it felt like an awakening. I discovered how refreshing it was to let go of the burden (the depilating pain) that was preventing me from getting total health. Total Health: It’s “Something Everyone Deserves!” Three, I learned my true worth and how important it is to take some time off. This and other lessons I learned from a dear friend of mine.
Check This Out. As a writer, I gained the courage to pursue my writing abilities from Dr. Naima Leslie Williams. She is a very caring person and a close friend who passed away from breast cancer in Aug 2016. Her accolades include having a PH-D in literary intuitiveness and she is also an author of eleven books. As a creative nonfiction writer, she encouraged me to tell my stories about the people I encounter, my artistic abilities, and to express what I write with sincerity, honesty, and boldness. Dr. Naima also taught me about self-worth when she came to visit me in the hospital on June 7th, 2016 the day after I had a total hip replacement surgery. She knew I had pushed my body, mind, & spirit to its limit. Therefore, she insisted that I take a break from performing, teaching, dancing, etc. or anything causing me to overexert myself. In which I had not done in over a decade. Then she said something to me no one had ever said to me before. She said, “You Deserve So Much More!” And now I’m asking you (reader) the same, “Don’t You Think You Deserve So Much More?” If so, what are you waiting for? RISE!
What was your inspiration for writing Rise to the Rhythm?
I wrote Rise because I desired to do something different, bold, and daring. I wrote this book hoping it would reach and touch the lives of those who may feel as though they’re stuck in the rhythm of a life that’s going nowhere. Yet, they’re still hanging on to a glimmer of hope. And if this is you know that your, “Hope Has Arrived!” FYI, it took me four and a half years to write this book. It truly has been a labor of love and frustration. Here’s what I mean. Labor of Love: I was, not dying but, living to do a book about how important it is for you to find your life’s rhythm and get connected to living it on the beat. Because you’ll find it to be the glue, you need when trying to reassemble the broken and scattered pieces associated with the disconnection of living a stagnant life that’ll get you nowhere. Here’s the thing: This book isn’t necessarily about dance or music in which one might perceive from the title and or cover. It’s about achievement through mental movement and “life in action” choreography designed by me for your mind, body, and soul.
Frustration: It was difficult to come up with solutions for problems we all deal with such as how to handle rejection, finding the motivation to get up & groove, procrastination, and overcoming your fears. My goal was to put a different spin or twist on these common setbacks and or challenges, so they wouldn’t bore or seem to be so cookie-cutter to the reader.
List five things that people can do who are stuck in a rut?
Don’t live in denial; recognize your obstacle.
Tune into why it showed up and or how you got into such a fix. This is a very important step that so many people overlook.
Know that you don’t have to remain stuck or stagnate. However, like I mention in the book the key is to “Move in A Forward Motion.”
Devise a plan on how you will move forward, and my book will help you to do so.
Don’t let the fear of failing creep up on you and stop you from trying. Remember to stay on course no matter what. Note: Once again Rise to The Rhythm has several strategies designed to help you.
When you’re not writing, what kinds of books are you reading?
I like spiritual books and I’m reading The Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, Hidden Treasure by Chuck Missler, and Heroes Among Us: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Choices by John Quinones.
How do you balance your writing life with your music and other segments of your life?
I think it’s all connected, choreography, music, and life, they all inspire me. It’s why I take bits and pieces from each and incorporate them into my writing. Therefore, as a result it gives readers a wider range of tones, textures, and tantalizing elements or interests they might not find elsewhere.
Discuss your various books? What themes do they predominantly focus on?
I think all my current books have elements created for self-help and aspiration. My desire is to take readers on an exploration journey and to help them connect to the pulse, rhythm, and energy associated with in living a fulfilling life. Here’s what else. I design my books to help you Think Smarter, Feel Sexier, Leap Higher, and above all Live Better!
What are your hobbies?
I’m an amusement park fanatic. I love rollercoaster rides, the food, and playing the games, etc. However, most of my friends and colleagues are too afraid to even attempt the rides, so it’s difficult to find someone to go with. Do you have any suggestions? Second, I love fine dining and going to the movies. In fact, I could do so two or three times a week if I had the time.
Tell us about your future writing projects.
I plan to write more motivational material and eventually create an online course or two composed of the books I’ve written. My big dream is to have my television show, and I’ve written a treatment for pitching it. I’d also like to venture into writing fiction books.
Is there anything else you would like future readers of your books to know about you?
Know that there is much more Hot Stuff to come. I just finished the audio book for Rise to The Rhythm which should be available worldwide in January 2020. Next, I’m current revising my first book Get Up & Groove: Step Into Greatness. I plan to do a pre-order possibly by Jan or Feb 2020.
Next, I’m also planning to do a series of short Cardio Dance, Stretch, & Spoken Word videos in 2020. Please visit my website for all updates.
As for me, I love doing what I do, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. Find me at: http://www.joeyldowdy.com. My books can be purchased from https://books2read.com/u/mVr0xP and also Barnes & Nobles, KOBO, Apple books, and Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/drdancer01