Apolonia P. Moroccina

Occupation: Casino Cashier, Dancer, Artist, Photographer

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Instagram: Moroccinapolonia

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?
I must say I’m still half way there, I mean I did identify it, but I’m still struggling with a fear of security, and now during this Coronavirus situation we are all somehow on ˝standby˝mode. I have been very creative since I remember and all kinds of creative artistic things inspire and attracts me. My parents were both very good handcrafters, so maybe I get it there. For quite a long period I was making jewelry, drawing, painting, but last few years I’m totally enchanted with henna art. It dangerously absorbed me, when I’m doing it, it feels like fusion space, where no thoughts or mind is involved. And it’s so different from my daily job as I work in Casino. We spend 1/3 of our life at work, so it’s quite amazing if we can work what we are inspired for, not just go to work to pay the bills.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?
That would be a WOMAN ˝sitting˝in every single female on earth. Stunningly beautiful, amazingly powerful, gently touching force that creates a stream in every woman. But if I search around in my world there are many of them, actually I could say I pick something to learn or research from every woman I meet, so many different stories and extremely strong souls. I’m grateful for growing up with them.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?
I’m gonna put it this way…we have a dance tribe, a group of over 30 ladys that have an amazing leader, our dance teacher. We perform a modern version of belly dance called TRIBAL FUSION BELLY DANCE. As many (more males than females) perceive this dance as sort of sexual, it actually is a bit of a different philosophy. It comes out of basic belly dance in combination of tribal spirit and costumes. We can put in or to say use anything we wish in the performance, but the point is to wake up our inner WOMAN that has this enormous power and to ˝wear her˝as a cloak all the time, everywhere, every day with us. And it is far away from sexual jingle – mingle to entertain just male population, it is really to put on fire THE WOMAN in other female, so they can start to see what makes them feel so good and strong in their body. Actually old times belly dancers were women entertaining women. I can’t put into words how it feels in the moment when I put on the costume and step in front of an audience; there is many women you can touch and awaken her ˝Shakti˝. It feels like all female ancestors are the force pouring through while we are dancing. And still after the last 11 years I dance Tribal Fusion Belly Dance there are many times I become emotional while watching other groups or dancers, being touched by their performance, touched by the ˝Shakti˝. It seems to me that #WHYITRIBE is important because we can crash the barriers we build around us as females, that are coming through history and we wear them in our collective and in our cellular memory. Let’s not tame ourselves any more just because of history. Tribal women are powerful and strong ancestors. OWN IT! TRIBE IT!

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/ HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?
My mother passed away just three days before Corona lock down in my country. So as we couldn’t move anywhere, not gather with anybody and I live alone, of course there were hell of a moments of grief being alone, and in moments of this sorrow I was saying to myself:˝Girl, you are doing amazing, going through this experience alone! It will be fine, tomorrow is a new day.˝
This period was actually a blessing; I took all the time I wanted for to go through this process peacefully, without any interruption. Nature is always great healer.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?
Maybe this comes from different spaces; from a way how we were raised, how we grew up, our mother influence, from environment we are living, from history memories we are all carrying, from past experiences we went through. Sometimes one sentence is enough, that we tame our self. But you know what? … It’s also just one sentence needed to start praise yourself: YOU ARE ENOUGH!

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?
I don’t have to. I think deep down everyone feels good to get a compliment, so there’s nothing wrong if we humbly accept it or appreciate it. And also the opposite, to feel free to give compliment to others. On the other hand we can feel an honest compliment as we also are aware of our qualities that compliment has been given for.

WHO WAS THE FIRST FEMALE TO TEACH YOU OR INSPIRE YOU TO FEEL THAT #YOUAREENOUGH?
There were my mother’s friends that couldn’t have their own children. Because they took time for me and they actually appreciate that time. So I didn’t have to compete for their attention.

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?
Historically women were in lower position than man, even always luckily were extra powerful women raising their voices, like Evita Peron, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, Frida Kahlo if you want … and many more. If we look back that just recently women in some Islamic countries are able to make driving licence, that tells a lot. Nowadays we are creating this situations by ourselves as we praise the emptiness of ˝perfect˝ female body photographies in magazines, that are far away from reality and has the totally wrong impact on girls. Instead we should emphasize strength, intellect, wisdom.

ARE WE TOLD ENOUGH AS YOUNG GIRLS THAT #WEAREENOUGH? IF NOT, HOW CAN WE CHANGE THIS MESSAGING FOR YOUNG GIRLS TODAY?
My story was quite the opposite. And it really can have such an influence if you are raised in circumstances that you accept the ˝I am enough˝ so subconsciously that you never even think about that. Words can hit strongly, one sentence can be enough. But since we are energetic beings, and we perceive many informations from surroundings and we create patterns and mechanisms out of which we are operating than; it is quite a struggle to operate from “I’m not enough”. How can we change it ? If we are sensitive enough towards others, listen more respectfully, I mean really listen, not thinking what our answer will be, because than we can’t listen, right ? And be supportive and honest. sometimes honesty is hard, but it shows respect.

WHAT WOULD YOU GO BACK AND TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF, TO ENCOURAGE SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-LOVE?I would ask me: ˝How do you feel? … How does it feel in this body ? ˝ And how can we find a way to see yourself as beautiful, strong and enough. Because you are!

WHERE DO YOU THINK THE NEED TO COMPETE WITH OTHER WOMEN COMES FROM?
IS IT TAUGHT?
Maybe it comes from low self-esteem, low self-acceptance, bad self-respect or out of fear of being replaced, or just trying to be someone else. There is such an influence of media that is pushing this fake perfection over all limits. They teach kids in school all the time of unhealthy competition, they need to fulfill this competing task on every step. How they feel, doesn’t count as long as they obey to literally becoming robots.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?
From forever humans have this primal deep need for belonging. To be understood, accepted and acknowledged. I found this quote I like from Seth Godin, ‘A tribe is a connected group of people, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. For millions of years human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate..As this platform is. I’m so very grateful to be a part. Having any kind of supportive system is always a blessing.

HOW ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP YOUR SELF-ESTEEM UP IN THE MIDST OF THIS GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS READING THIS?
I’m actually lucky to live in the  mountains and I’m in love with nature. I spend every day long walks or hiking in hills, forests…nature is my remedy. I had plenty of time to express my creativity as I love to draw, paint, dance, photography. So this pandemic time was actually great time given to me as a gift. And if I needed a chit-chat, I called my friends.