Opening to the Light

During the past several months, I’ve been under the tutelage of a Reiki Master Teacher (and good friend, Kathy Rink) training to become a Reiki Master Teacher myself.

Our last formal class was yesterday. I receive my Reiki Master Teacher attunement in late September.

Some of the most incredulous realizations, images, dreams and experiences have occurred during this training.

I became more grounded through the Root chakra. I opened up to knowing that shame cannot exist in the same place as the sacred – check out the article I wrote for a new project created by Theresa Reed and Debra Smouse. http://www.midlifemidwifeproject.com/2014/08/10/re-awakening-sacred/.

Personal power redefined itself for me with the Solar Plexus chakra; closed areas of my heart were gently accessed and given permission to blossom without fear. I recognized and acknowledged that I do voice my truth with integrity into the world through my Throat chakra.

During the time given to explore my Brow chakra (Third Eye), I remembered a time when I was a small child, terrified of the dark. My mom would come in and kiss me goodnight and the door would close into total darkness…except for a small slit under the door…the light emanating from the living room gave me solace. There were a few times, I’m unable to pinpoint how old I was — perhaps 6, 7 or 8 years of age — when I would focus on this little slit of light and all of a sudden it would burst into a huge flash of light. The door would become quite small (think Alice in Wonderland) and I would feel safe and secure in this light. Then the light would fade, the door would come back to its normal size but I would have a sensing that I needn’t be afraid of the dark. This was probably the first experience I had of opening to the Light.

The Crown chakra is like a lotus blossom unfurling its petals, receiving and connecting with the Divine. I was 30 years old when I began…or was invited to begin…a journey of spiritual awakening.

I’m 63 now. The journey continues, however, I’ve known for quite a few years that I am the source, not the seeker. The journey is within me and unfolds organically as I remain in place to give and receive the gifts of love, truth and life. I already know the answer to “will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64”.

My journey has led me to many people and many experiences. One of the most mind blowing, heart opening, body changing, spirit expressing experiences is my ong-going Nia practice. If you haven’t danced, moved, expressed spirit or invited change into your life, what are you waiting for?

My Reiki practice is open by appointment. My Nia practice continues with 3 super-charged classes a week — no appointment or experience necessary! Along with my 3 Nia classes is an additional opportunity to dance with Kathy Rink. Here’s our Nia schedule: Mondays & Saturdays and 9 a.m.; Wednesdays at 6 p.m., Thursdays with Kathy at 9 a.m. Every 2nd Wednesday of the month I have a “Night In After Nia” where we commune together after class for fun, frolic and food.

Life just doesn’t get much better.

Letting Go, No Judgment

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I am constantly amazed at Nia’s ability to draw forth from me more of my creative in-the-moment capabilities.  

Last week I was attending the Blue Belt Nia Intensive with Caroline Kohles and Winalee Zeeb.  My first time through the Blue Belt Intensive was in September of 2003, so here I was 10 years later revisiting Communication, Relationship and Intimacy (the cornerstones of Blue Belt).  There is a great deal of information that is shared in Nia Intensives…academic as well as somatic.  

Being a Black Belt since 2008, I was under the mistaken impression that I would be “reviewing” the Blue Belt principles…HA HA HA.  Yes, certainly reviewing was part of the process, but WHOA Nellie…embodying the principles was never so evident.  Amazing, magical, wonderous, marvelous, ecstatic rippling waves of recognition occurred as I moved with and was moved by the physical realm, the mental realm, emotional realm and spirit realm (lovingly referred to in Nia as BMES).

Winalee and Caroline are two of Nia’s original Trainers.  Along with energizing the Intensive with their own spirits, what they offered to me or what I took in from them was the essence of letting go, letting go and letting go.  No judgment.  Such a seemingly simple thing to do…if I’m holding on to something and let it go, I no longer am holding on to it…right?  Ahhhh grasshopper, there is much to learn about letting go.  And I’m having the time of my life right now doing so!!!  

Another of the fantasmagorical life-changing moments from Blue Belt was the two phrases:  “what am I bringing to the relationship?” and “what can I bring instead?”  Life-changing…opens up a whole new world.  

Last, but not least, I’d like to say that I have had the opportunity to not only witness, but be in full experiential mode with this letting-go-no-judgement-what-am-I-bringing-to-the-relationship-and-what-can-I-bring-instead way of living as I taught my Saturday and Monday Nia classes after returning from the Blue Belt.  On Saturday, I took a routine I had been working with for a couple of weeks and decided to do totally in-the-moment choreography using Nia’s 52 Moves.  My plan worked beautifully.  I received lovely feedback from many of the students in class that day.  So, I decided to do it again on Monday.  Oh how the Universe loves to creatively play with me.  My iPod froze up.  What to do, what to do.  What am I bringing to the relationship?  Anxiety.  What can I bring instead?  Joy!!!  And of course the fact that my good friend and fellow Nia teacher, Kathy Rink, was in class that day, had her iPod with her and after a moment of “trying” to decide what Nia playlist to use, she offered that she had a “Chillout” playlist.  OMG.  Can I?  Should I?  Dare I teach in the moment without even knowing the music?  It took about 5 seconds for the Universe to kick me in the butt and utter the words, “Go for it, Kathy.  Put it on.”  

Perfection.  Magical.  Creative.  Holy cow.  No judgment.  I let go.  As a Black Belt, this should be second nature to me (ooops…is that a judgment?).  I’ve taught individual “songs” before in the moment.  And only one other time just prior to attending my Black Belt Intensive in 2008 did I teach an entire routine without knowing the music (ala Mary Carol Rick’s divine playlist).  Five years later, I do it again with an ENTIRELY different experience.  In 2008, I was so totally aware of all the mistakes, the tendencies, the this and the that.  In 2013, no judgment.  Totally present.  JOY lead the way.  The Nia 52 Moves provided the platform.  Life As Art. So cool.  I want more.  And guess what???  I can have it!!!  YAY ME!!!

Nia — Home for My Body

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It was in the fall of 1999 when I first discovered Nia through my sister-in-law, Dee.  Many of you who know me have heard this story.  I moved to Wisconsin in September of 1999.   In October, my husband and I (we were not married at the time) went to visit Dee, who lives in Ft. Worth, Texas.  While there, she invited me to go to a Nia class with her.  WOW.  My body immediately fell in love…I was not as in tune with my body then as I am now, but I do remember distinctly sensing that my body felt “at home”.

Seems like yesterday.  I recall thinking that it would be a definite long shot to find a Nia class in Wisconsin; however, once I was back home I looked on the http://www.nianow.com website and found several Nia teachers in Wisconsin — must’ve been at least 30 teachers.  I was amazed!  YES!!  The closest was about 20 minutes away.  Barb Wesson, who is now a Nia Trainer, was my first Nia teacher…and the one responsible for my taking the Nia White Belt Intensive — the first step to becoming a Nia teacher.  Who knew?  Me, an overweight introvert whose dream from an early age was to be a dancer, now stepping into the spotlight of being a dance instructor.  The thought of it petrified me.  

In June of 2001, I took that first step into my greatness…I became a White Belt Nia teacher.  In July of 2001, Frank and I were married.  Two of the most powerful, life-altering events of my life…my two passions.  How lucky can one girl get?  I’m not sure luck had anything to do with it.  My sensing is that Life had a plan and it was unfolding with graceful, dynamic ease.

I’ve been teaching Nia for 11 years and have journeyed through the entire Nia Belt System:  White Belt in 2001 — focusing on the body, the joy of movement and sensations; Blue Belt in 2003 — focusing on communication, relationship and intimacy; Brown Belt in 2006 — focusing on energy dynamics in all 4 realms — physical, mental, emotional and spirit; and Black Belt in 2008 merging the other Belt information into an alchemy of the unknown, allowing a truly unique creative adventure to unfold.

I am so blessed.  I not only share my life with my soul mate, I share my love of dance and my own creative spirit through the lifestyle practice of Nia — the premiere cardiovascular fusion fitness/dance exercise on the face of the earth.   It’s more than just cardio, dance or exercise.  Nia creates space for change.  And as we all know, change is the only constant in life…