Movement as Prayer

The body says...

I’m currently reading a book entitled, “Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott.   Ms Lamott, for this book alone, has risen to the top of my favorite authors list.  

Three prayers:  Help, Thanks, Wow.   Lamott describes in real life situations how a simple prayer of “Help” or “Thanks” or “Wow” to the Universe brings about change.  Ahhhh…change.  No wonder so many prayers fall short of their mark…not many folks are willing to change or make changes.   When I was little I thought if I prayed everything would be alright.  But things weren’t alright, not always.  Perhaps it was my bartering that made my prayers a little less substantial.  “If you will only do this one thing for me, God, I promise I’ll never….(fill in the blank).”  Tsk. Tsk. It was my end of the bargain that always fell short.  The Universe more often than not answered my prayer.  What was I doing wrong?  Could it be that I wasn’t taking responsibility…that I was assuming that all I needed to do was ask the Powers That Be to do something and I didn’t have to do anything in return?  Well, gee.  I was young.  Come on.  Give a girl a break.  HA.  How about 10,000 breaks?  

I’ve grown up to some degree since those days of  bartering…of long lengthy prayers about what I would do “if only”.  These days there’s no bartering.  I just need to move my body. My movement becomes my prayer.  Simple.  When I find that I’m desiring something…I move my body.  Help — in the freedom and form of Nia.  When I want to express gratitude …I move my body.  Thanks — in the freedom and form of Nia.  For those awe-inspiring magical moments (which happen more often than not)…I move my body.  Wow — in the freedom and form of Nia.

“The body says what words cannot”.  — Martha Graham

No words are necessary.  Just the passion, the love for moving and dancing and wiggling and shaking, for making shapes and the love  for expressing the unique spirit that inhabits and animates this human form; the love for using my mind to imagine and visualize, the love for using my emotions to feel.  Movement as prayer.

Help.  Thanks.  Wow.  Thank you Anne Lamott for simplifying prayer.  Thank you Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas for allowing Nia to come through your bodies, minds, hearts and spirits into the world so that Life could set me on a path of discovering the Joy of Movement and that Movement As Prayer…IS ceaseless prayer.  Now I Am ….  Sacred.

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Imaginable Lightness of Being

Image

I moved from Missouri to New Jersey in 1991.  My job had been eliminated in Kansas City and my two options were Atlanta or New Jersey.  I opted for the east coast.  It was definitely an experience.  I had just turned 40; I had wiped the slate clean and was ready to start anew.  From the beginning of my time on earth, at least as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a dancer.  I had natural rhythm…I could keep the beat.  What I fell short in was learning dance steps.  Somehow my brain and my body did not connect.  In dance classes, if everyone was moving to the right, I was moving to the left.  As much as I loved dance, I kept it to myself and only danced in my room when I was young and only in my house or with friends as I got older. Dance classes were not for me.  

In the mid to late 80’s, I heard about this woman, Gabrielle Roth.  They called her the Urban Shaman.  She would go into the subways under NYC and dance.  I fell in love with her essence.  She had developed 5 Rhythms (Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, Stillness).  Then I found a book “Maps to Ecstacy” by Gabrielle Roth.  It changed my life from being a closet dancer to a profoundly grateful, grooving, free dancing, flowing, belly dancing, rockin’ out to any kind of music ecstatic dancer.  Maps to Ecstacy was my bible.  I would get groups of friends together and we would dance to the 5 Rhythms (Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness).  I was truly ecstatic in every sense of the word!  And when I found myself in New Jersey in 1991, my “bible” close at hand, I was directed through a friend to Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms classes and workshops in NYC.  Being from the midwest and never having gone to a BIG city, I was a bit nervous about traversing by myself into the unknown, but traverse I did.  Her workshops were intense, her classes were brilliant.  

Alas, I worked for a giant corporation and my time soon became caught up in the To Do lists and the daily missteppings of the corporate world.  My only respite was doing the 5 Rhythms; it was my healing path, my path back to sanity, to nature.  When I retired at the age of 48 and moved back to the midwest, my bible came with me.  

I’ve been in Wisconsin now for 13 years.  The rhythms of life, the seasons are all contained with Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms.  I’ve never stopped doing them…they are a part of me…perhaps not doing them on a dance floor, but certainly embodying them in my everyday life.  When I found out through a friend’s Facebook posting last week that Gabrielle Roth was near death, it jolted my reality.  I knew I needed to honor this woman who had given me my wings.  On Saturday, October 20th, my entire Nia class included Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors music and the 5 Rhythms.

On Monday, Oct. 22nd, Gabrielle Roth took her last breath and let go of her physical presence on earth.  Her elegant spirit, her beautiful dancing spirit, remains in my heart and the hearts of millions in the world…in the universe.  And on Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, Debbie Rosas, the gifted divine feminine presence and co-founder of The Nia Technique, offered her own gratitude for Gabrielle Roth.  Please visit http://www.nianow.com and read Debbie’s beautiful gift of words.

Just as Gabrielle Roth and the 5 Rhythms opened my heart and gave me wings, Debbie Rosas and Nia’s 52 Moves provided the avenue for me to acknowledge my sacredness, my power, to honor the beauty of my body, to speak the eloquence of the joy of movement by teaching and sharing Nia.  I have a new bible and it is my body and my life.  Thank you Debbie, thank you Nia.  I have stepped into my greatness.

 

 

 

nikov

Risking My Significance

Image

“I will not die an unlived life; I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk  my significance; to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom goes on as fruit.” — Dawna Markova

My passion is for living life to its fullest.  No, I don’t mean sky diving or swimming with sharks or having to surf the big wave.  Those things are around DOING.  My passion is for BEING.  I love the fall colors this year in my neck of the woods — beautiful colors that actually take my breath away.  A swift gasp of “oh my God” followed by a moment of thankfulness for being alive in this moment, to actually be a part of nature’s magnificent magic.

I am an alchemist, too.  Perhaps not with the ease and grace of Mother Nature.  Perhaps not with the grandeur and nobility of her grand scheme of things.  But an alchemist, none the less.  I am about transformation and to be about transformation, one needs to take risks…the simple risk of letting go of things that I didn’t even know I was holding on to.  It’s a sensation of lightness.  “My yoke is heavy by my burden is light.”

Risking my significance for an opportunity to stand in the eye of the whirlwind is like allowing a seed to burst into its unique life form.  And if you’re laughing at that statement, good!!  There is no “allowing” a seed to burst into its unique life form. That’s called Life..it happens as part of the divine design.  And we are just like those seeds, we too are part of the divine design.  We have unique life forms — each and every one of us.  If we would truly risk our significance to allow our uniqueness to grow and flourish — from seed to blossom, from blossom to fruit, my what a different world we would find ourselves in.

I risk my significance every time I step into my Nia class to teach.  If I were more interested in how I looked and in teaching perfectly, I would miss out on those extraordinary moments of transformation.  Miracles.  They’re always there, waiting for us to open up and receive them.

A wing, a torch, a promise.  Yes.

Being Fascinated!

Image

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?

Any Moment of Loving

Image

Any moment of hating, any moment of lying, any moment of resentment
Is a moment of dying.

Any moment of loving, any moment of giving, any moment of thankfulness
Is a moment of living.

All our moment add together like the digits of a sum
And the answer tells us plainly whether life or death shall come.

–Martin Exeter

It’s been my experience in the recent past of witnessing myself getting involved in the ugliness and hatred that seems to be currently rampant in the world…to the point of creating an imbalance in my physical and emotional well-being.  My reflux and anxiety have climbed to a point that a choice had to be made.

A.  Do I want to continue venting my frustration over the lack of leadership that I sense in the human nature world; do I want to continue to be a part of the insanity and madness that is driving humanity toward the brink of extinction?  Do I truly believe this is my purpose?

B.  Or do I want to be the voice, mind, heart and body of Love in action?  Do I want to fill my being and thus my world with the qualities and characteristics of Life, Love and Truth.  Do I sense that this is truly my sacred livelihood?

I choose Option B — for my physical, mental and emotional well-being and because that really is the truth of who I am.  That is my purpose.  That is my sacred livelihood.  It is what allows me to be in the place of stillness amidst a world in chaos; it is what allows me to be a beacon of light in a world of darkness.

The anger, resentment and immaturity that spits out of the mouths of those who are unconscious of their thoughts, words and action is truly regretable but understandable.  They know not what they do.

The anger, resentment and immaturity that spits out of the mouths of those who are conscious, who are awakened, who know their purpose, is reprehensible.  It goes against everything that is uplifting and joyful, everything that is radiant and made from the fabric of Love, everything that I espouse to be my life’s journey.

So, I can no longer be a willing participant in the divisiveness.  The path this world, this planet is traveling, does so because of humanity’s unwillingness to rise above their self-centered power struggle and state of disillusionment.  No wonder there is so much sickness, illness, disease, war, murder, rape, and abuse in the world.  How could it not be like that?  What is expressed into the world, creates the world.

The only power is in the power of Spirit.  Everything else will crumble and fall.

The ways of the world are not my ways.  And so I dance the dance of life.

Nia — Home for My Body

Image

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…