Rising Up

If Not Now, When

My husband and I have been having conversations about change, about rising up to the challenge of letting go of some pretty ingrained behaviors.  One thing that we’ve come to learn in this process is that letting go of subtle attachments is not easy.  It’s not easy because it’s not easy to identify subtle attachments until they’ve raised their ugly heads.

Testy responses, emotionally-charged reactions, tones of voice, eye-rolling,  listening but not hearing…

Those behaviors have to go.  My purpose on earth is to become fully and wholly ME — not the human form that is known as Jill; not the mind that thinks it knows a lot; not the emotional center that wants to always have its way — but ME (the I Am), fully present, in touch with my divine nature.  The body, mind and heart will always be incomplete and “in progress”. The I Am is perfect NOW, and to discover the I Am doesn’t involve going to the mountain top and focusing on my belly button, or sitting in Lotus position Om-ing til the cows come home.

I Am — a Human BEING.  No, I am not just human — that is merely my form.  What animates that form is BEING charged by spirit.

I love living life in the moment, with clarity and purpose, with conviction and compassion, expressing truth through an incomplete mind, love through an incomplete emotional realm and life through an incomplete body, offering forgiveness to myself and others and always, always, always knowing that gratitude needs to be for ALL things.  There is no picking and choosing.  Am I always 100% in this precious space?

Lots of laughs and eye rolling for sure.  It sure is rewarding being aware of subtle shifts creating HUGE changes.  High five to the husband and me for making it a dance.

 

Smaller Movements

I seem to waffle between posting on my blog a lot or posting very seldom. Anyone else have that issue? I have the intention to blog every day, I just don’t do it. I’m going to reinstate the intention here that I would like to blog more often.

About a week ago, I started writing “morning thoughts” (yes, writing…as in longhand, cursive). Except for the weekend (do weekends count?), I have been true to writing down my thoughts without caring about proper punctuation or spelling — just stream of consciousness writing which pretty much amounts to getting all the buzzkill crap out of my head and onto paper.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning about not always having to “push through” (relating to the fitness myth of having to push through pain or resistance in order to achieve greatness) but instead to use smaller movements, to even rest while moving.

Those words struck me deeply. As a Nia practitioner, my goal in every class is to bring a variety of movements and energies — but mostly I love the big movements — whether Tae Kwon Do kicks and punches or (Isadora) Duncan’s playful, freestyle of dance movements.

I’ve noticed that my physical stamina is not what it used to be. At the age of 30, I was doing amateur weightlifting (ala Arnold) and going to the health club EVERY day using all the machines and taking aerobics classes. My body was buff. At the age of 40, I gave the health club, machines and aerobics classes up and began to search for other types of dance exercise. I found Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms and Rudolf Steiner’s Eurythmy, which ultimately led me to Nia.

At the age of 63 (closing in on 64 — will you still need me?), I am committing to making smaller movements, slowing down, quieting down. That does not mean my Nia classes won’t be kick ass spectacular, they will be. But there will be a difference and it will be magical.

Let Love Radiate with Awareness

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The Boston Marathon Bombings — another horrific tragedy that has elicited international attention.  Tragic.  Unbelieveable.  My heart goes out to those injured, either physically and/or emotionally and to the families of the deceased.  

There is no human intervention that can stop the ruthlessness, the cruelty and insanity of those who commit these violent acts of terror, be they domestic or international in scope.  Humanity continues to prove to me its separation from Spirit, from Source.  

Fear is the overlying emotion that we are left with in these situations.  Fear that we can no longer go about our daily activities — I mean really — shooting innocent people in a movie theatre?  Shooting innocent children while they’re in school?  And now bombing an event whose focus was on bringing awareness to Patriot’s Day and also the Newtown victims?   Insanity.  The world is going to hell in a handbasket as they say.  “Going” to hell?  I’d say these kinds of tragedies are beyond “going” anywhere.  Hell is here.  And it will continue to be hell on earth as long as we allow ourselves to be controlled by fear.  

What is it that dispels fear?  LOVE.  Not the “Johnny Depp-is-so-sexy” kind of love.  Not the “til-death-do-us-part” kind of love.  Not even the “peace-on-earth” kind of love that is so easily bantered about these days.  It is so easy for those words to come rolling out of our mouths.  “Peace on earth.” “Make love not war.”  “Love is all you need.”

Hmmm…if that is truly what is in the hearts of women and men on earth, if love is all we need, then why isn’t there peace on earth?  Why aren’t we making love not war?  Why are we continuing to pick up the pieces of a fractured country?  Why are we having to deal with Supreme Court rulings on same sex marriages?  Gun control?  Sexual abuse?  Child molestation?  Oh, and the list goes on and on.  

Really?  Is love all we need?  Not in my experience.  There is the need for truth AND love…I call it the divine design.  If we are not being truthful about the love that we offer into the world, then it all goes to hell in a handbasket.  It is only lies that come out of our mouths.  Until liberals and conservatives can stop bashing each other; until men and women can truly love one another without judgment, without bashing each other (literally or figuratively); until Christians and Catholics and Lutherans and Protestants and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and all religions and all their various sides, sects and divisions can love one another in TRUTH…well…we will continue to live in this hellish state of affairs.

Are we so surprised that there is this continued violence?  There are gasps of horror that something so vile could still happen in America.  Really?  I see Facebook posts on a daily basis that continue to affirm the judgment and separation that exists in the minds and hearts of humans.  Where is spiritual expression?  Where is the grandeur of love in its finest and purest communication?  I don’t see it coming from very many…and I’m not being self-righteous here either.  I fall prey to the ways of the world frequently.  I get pulled into the gossip and into conversations that in the end are devastatingly destructive.  Ugly energy, destructive energy.  Is that what I want?  Is that my purpose on earth — to emit and scatter ugly energy?  Of course not.  And it is a rotten sensation when I catch myself in the middle of it.  I have to shake it off and walk away.  And I also have to let LOVE radiate without concern for what comes back.  

These are just thoughts…some sensations and feelings and images that came to me this morning.  Do I see impending gloom and doom?  No.  I see Trouble with a capital T, but within that Trouble, I also see Spirit in Action.  I have many friends who I trust sense, feel and imagine many of these things of which I speak.  

How does all of this apply to Nia? — afterall, it is my desire to keep this blog mostly about Nia.  Nia invites change.  Nia activates my physical, mental, emotional and spirit realms through conscious movement, creative expression.  With Nia, I dance through life…I dance first, allowing the issues in my tissues to move and be free to leave instead of becoming repressed and stagnant.  Nia is about possibilities.  Through teaching and sharing Nia, I reach out through this incredibly rich and flavorful lifestyle and cardiovascular dance fitness practice — and I touch the hearts, minds and spirits of those with whom I am connected — and that energy and vibration allows LOVE to radiate into the universe beyond where parallels line meet…if in fact they ever do meet.  

Let the TRUTH of LOVE radiate.  Dance First.  Get In Your Body and move.  Let emotions and thoughts bubble up to the surface and express them through creative and conscious movement.  

Let Love Radiate with Awareness.  My love radiates to all of those affected by this senseless and violent tragedy in Boston.  There are senseless and violent tragedies being experienced EVERYWHERE in the world.  If it is to stop, it has to begin right here.  With me.  Make it so.

The Gift of Awareness

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This is about my encounter with fear and my gratitude for the gift of awareness.

I have for many years touted the magic and wonders of alternative healing techniques, herbs, and nutrition.  I have not gone to a regular medical doctor in over 7 years.  I know my body.  I trust that my body will let me know when something is not right.  I live with the aches and pains of osteoarthritis in my hands and knees (and probably other areas of my body, although it seems to center in those two areas).

I teach Nia.  For those of you who are familiar with Nia, you already know the abundance of education — somatic and academic — available through Nia.  I’ve been teaching for almost 12 years…I’m forever grateful for the amazing benefits of being in my body — the awareness of sensations, the clever imagery, the deep and cleansing feelings and emotions, the plethora of creative opportunities to express my unique spirit — all contained within one hour of a Nia class — and also in everyday living.

So, with all of this, and more, to support my experience of being fully in my body, why is it that at the first sign of something unfamiliar in my body I sense, feel and imagine FEAR?  Fear is not something I am opposed to or am devoid of…certainly not.  But when it comes to my body, I’m pretty darned aware of what’s going on.  I know when I eat wheat…my belly will bloat and I’ll be uncomfortable.  I know when I eat sugar I can expect a rush followed by a distinctive low.  I know if I attempt to maintain a Level 3 energy level for an entire Nia class, my body will let me know I’ve done too much.  

This past week, I came home Tuesday night after a great Nia class. There was nothing experienced out of the ordinary all day, nor anything out of the ordinary in my Nia class.  Yet when I got home I noticed a severe pain in the index finger of my left hand.  By morning my hand had swollen, in particular the first two fingers (my index or desire finger and my middle or balance/power finger — just an interesting sidenote).  Not only swollen on the knuckles on the back of my hand, but on the pads of the palm of my hand around those two fingers.  Not just swollen, but in SEVERE pain.  On a scale of 1-10, the pain was a 10.  I thought I had broken my finger(s) somehow. The pain radiated down my entire arm into my elbow.  I was fine at work on Tuesday, fine during Nia, fine driving home.  It was really a mystery.  What to do?

By Wednesday late morning it was apparent that I needed to see a professional.  I was going to have to cut my wedding rings off if my hand continued to swell.  My husband drove me to an Urgent Care facility.  The doctor asked me the usual questions.  I couldn’t remember hitting my hand, I couldn’t remember an insect sting or bite.  He was concerned about “gout” (Gout??  Really?  My grandfather had gout so bad that his leg was amputated and 2 weeks later he died).  The doctor wasn’t sure it was gout since I didn’t have all the symptoms.  The next suggestion was that perhaps it was an “infection”.  (Oh great.  I’m in a hospital with an infection.  A friend of mine had gone in to the hospital with a routine infection and died from sepsis.)

Let the mind games begin.  Fear loves mind games.

I have not taken antibiotics for a multitude of years.  They destroy the good flora in the intestines.  I grew up on antibiotics, being a pretty sick kid most of the time.  I was done with that scene.  Yet, when the doctor suggested antibiotics, I jumped at the opportunity.  Fear said YES, you must. 

I took 2 doses of the antibiotics and my body said “NO, stay true to what you know”.  That was the message.  By Friday morning I was still in pain, the swelling had not diminished.  I called my acupuncturist, not expecting to be able to be able to get in.  She was leaving town later in the afternoon but she had an available appointment.  

No fear.  I know acupuncture and how it works with my body.  I trusted.  An hour after the acupuncture, the swelling AND pain had diminished 50%.  Shortly after the acupuncture appointment, the pain was SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.  The swelling was down 75% but the end of Friday.  I could freely move the joints in my last three fingers.  The middle finger was moving quite a bit, still a little stiff in the index finger, but it no longer looked crooked, I could straighten it almost all the way out.  Hallelujah.

I want to also mention my husband’s relentless love and caring; the wonderful compassion and enfoldment of many of my Facebook and personal friends who offered many suggestions and Reiki/energy distance healing.  Gratefulness to the Universe for reminding me to listen to the voice of my body.

Today is Sunday and although there is a bit of a “pins and needles” feeling in my index finger occasionally, I can fully extend it and there is just a teeny bit of swelling on the “pad” on the palm of my hand beneath my index finger.

The gift of Awareness.  Listening.  Being.  Responding. Choosing Love, not fear.

So what was it — the swelling and the pain?  Who knows?  Maybe it was a spider bite.  Maybe it was gout.  It’s a mystery.  My mind wants to know EXACTLY what it was.  Spirit says let it go.  This morning, I’m drinking my Mayan Mojo (a coffee alternative), some Nettles tea, alot of water, taking my Celery Seed, my anti-inflammatory enzymes and my probiotic.  

My body thanks me.  The Universe thanks me.  And I am grateful.

The Fifth Dimension

daylight-savings

I had to laugh when I read the quote above.  I do enjoy Daylight Savings Time, but  I’m not at all sure what purp0se it serves…seems to me it was created to help the farmers plant earlier in the spring and harvest later in the fall.  Humans are so good at trying to manipulate time.  In the end, time is time.  We still have to live our lives in the moment.  Now.  And now.  And now.

The Third Dimension is the Material World; the Fourth Dimension is Time and Space; the Fifth Dimension is where time collapses and we live life in the present moment…what we think manifests.  The Age of Aquarius (go ahead and sing it…I know you want to).

When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age
Of a Aquarius, the age of Aquarius
Aquarius, Aquarius
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the minds true liberation
Aquarius, Aquarius
When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age
Of a Aquarius, the age of Aquarius.

And no amount of harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, golden living dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelation or peace guiding the plants and love steering the stars will happen until human beings let go of their desire, their misdirected need to manipulate the Third and Fourth Dimensions.  

The Fifth Dimension awaits…I certainly have had the opportunity to witness manifesting in the moment, haven’t you?  Some people call these moments miracles or magic.  Yes, they are miracles and they are magic to the simple human mind.  For those of us who have experience with Spirit though, these moments are what happen when one lives in alignment with the Universe, letting go of any greedy insistence on getting “more” — whether it be more money, a bigger car, a better house — or in just wanting more time.

The Age of Aquarius is here.   The Fifth Dimension is available.  Rest in the assurance, the realization and tranquility that whatever is, IS.  It doesn’t need to be changed. 

The damage is done, but it’s not too late.  Healing happens in an instant when we live in the moment, receiving and accepting what comes to us with gratitude.  Gratefulness in all things…no picking and choosing.  Being present.  Laughing. Dancing.  Moving through life with Joy. 

When the moon is in the seventh house…

 

 

 

 

 

Clarity

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As mentioned in my blog from New Year’s Day, Crow Woman is the Guardian of Sacred Law.  I did some reading this morning (after getting 8 hours of sleep — FINALLY!) regarding the significance of Crow Woman from a Native American standpoint.  I have Native American heritage (Ottawa/Ojibwe).  The Ottawa considered the Crow to be messengers.  In Cree lore, Crow Woman lived between two worlds, bringing messages through dreams to her tribe.  

“Her messages are not always welcome or immediately understood but their impact is clear.”

The relationship between Crow Woman, my Sun Sign Capricorn and my 13 Moon Signature White Planetary Mirror holds significance for me.  Crow Woman and the goat of Capricorn both draw forth images of living between two worlds while White Planetary Mirror’s responsibility is to be a reflection of death.  Death, in my humble opinion, is not to be feared.  It is ultimately a letting go of what no longer serves our purpose.  When the physical body can no longer contain our immense spirit, it passes away.

Death is not something I find talked about regularly in a conversation with friends, yet every moment of every day we find ourselves in the process of letting go or needing to let go of something that is detrimental to our overall survival.  It always comes down to choices.  We choose to eat what we want to, whether it’s deemed “good” or “bad” for us.  We choose to get involved emotionally and mentally with the ways of the world which then affect us physically.  Becoming consciously aware of what we think, say and do — every moment of every day — is not just important, but paramount to our personal health and healing.

When I talk to friends about their choices — what they put in their bodies:  food, smoking, pharmaceuticals, alcohol; and what thoughts, words and actions come forth from them) the message is not often not welcomed or understood. Yet one of my purposes on earth is to create opportunities for people to look more deeply inward, to let go of those things that keep them from their true identity — and it is also to allow them to be who they are without judgement.   So, Crow Woman I am — walking between two worlds.

Clarity — mental, emotional and physical — is my focus for 2013.  Clarity around boundaries.  Clarity with absolute awareness (realization) — there’s no sense in focusing on clarity if I’m unwilling to act with integrity on the visions that appear, holding sacred my responsibility of bringing balance to my world while being unattached to the things of the world.  Indeed the world’s way are not my ways, but I do live IN the world — I have a body, a mind, a heart and an immense spirit which contribute to how the quality of my life unfolds.  I am Crow Woman, Guardian of Sacred Law.  Sacred Law:  What one expresses into the world creates the world.  

I hold the power to transform.  I am not afraid to use it.

The dance of life.  Come…come and dance with me.  Create, let love radiate, be the truth of who you are.

Being Fascinated!

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The colors of this autumn season are spectacular…more than I’ve ever witnessed in the 12 years that I’ve lived here.  The colors are fascinating, mesmerizing, inspiring — so much so that I used “being fascinated” as the focus for my Nia class last night.  The playlist included songs about taking a ride, being on the road and traveling by car, by plane or even a motorcycle.  It was a great class, we had a ton of fun and at the end we rolled on the floor like happy dogs in a pile of autumn leaves.  Lots of fun!

The colors — these fascinating, inspiring and mesmerizing colors — seem to be nature’s calling to the human race to WAKE UP.  As I was driving to work the other day, I was so immersed in the grandeur of the ripples and hues undulating within the leaves of the trees, the wheat fields, the coppery colors of the soy bean fields, that I suddenly became aware that I wasn’t paying attention to driving down the road.  I actually had to pull over and let the rapture of the moment totally enfold me.  Along with that rapturous feeling was a little niggling aspect of needing to really wake up — not just to be aware, but to really WAKE UP.

I’ve experienced in the relatively recent past a couple of fairly impressive taps on the shoulders (or perhaps they were kicks in the butt) from Life.  I’ve begun the process of letting go of the ways I’m used to dealing with things, letting go of the ways within which I’m most comfortable moving, letting go of the rigid dialog of judgments and opinions that just serve to keep me from experiencing the rich textures of life and love.  I say I’ve begun the process…because it is simply that…a process.  One does not decide to let go of something and POOF it’s gone.  Most of the things that we become aware of that need to be let go of are deeply ingrained in us.  It takes a bit of doing to unwind them from our muscles, fascia, bones, spine and nervous system.  Without constant conscious awareness, the process of letting go gets washed over; the complacency sets in.  The things we wish to rid ourselves of sink their teeth and claws in just a titch deeper and we we’re right back where we started.  Not a bad place to be, just not the best place to be.  

Constant conscious awareness involves the body, the mind and the emotions.  For the most part, the mind and the emotions work against one another, battling for first place; but when the mind and the emotions are in sync, in agreement, THAT is truly where the rubber meets the road.  Lots can be accomplished when the mind and emotions are in agreement.  The only way that can happen is to let go of what we think is the right thing, what we feel is the right thing — and move with what IS. 

I’m tellin’ ya, it’s quite an eye opener when the fascination for living fully in each moment becomes more important than making sure that what I think, say or do is right — or that what you think, say or do is wrong.  The colors become more vibrant.  The trees and the forrests and the fields of gold begin to speak in a language that is only available for interpretation by a pure heart and a clear mind.  Sometimes we get little glimpses of that vibrancy, and we want more.  

We can have more, however, we need to let go of some “stuff” in order to create the space for receiving more.  One has to be hungry for it.  My body craves the different colors and hues of life moving and dancing and the  tints and textures of the clothing and accessories that adorn it;  my mind craves the dancing light of awareness and clarity; and my heart craves the stellar radiance of the truth of love.  

It’s a whole new way of considering “you are what you eat.”  Are you hungry?