Abundantly Joyful

Happy New Year!  It’s officially 2014.  

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Just a quick blog post to let everyone know that my intent is to blog more often this year.  Last year just got away from me.

The word for this year is ABUNDANCE.  Our business enjoyed a vibrant year in 2013 and we’re trusting that more is on the way. Obviously we’re not just sitting on our butts waiting for that to happen — we are doers…we’re into making it happen, not my magic, even though it seems to happen that way sometimes!  The Universe WANTS to allow our dreams to be manifested, but it takes being proactive — spiritually speaking.  We have to be IN PLACE for LOVE to do what it does best…respond.  

So Happy New Year all!  May you be in place to receive all the joy that is yours to have!!!

 

 

 

Woodstock Remembered 44 Years Later

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Were you there?  Were you, really?  I used to imagine that I was there.  I was born in the 50’s, graduated in 1968 (the year of the riots) and in 1969 the event that brought about the changing culture, Woodstock, happened.  It was definitely a “happening”.  I remember my mother harrumphing about the pot smoking and the nudity and the general “free sex” kind of theme that seemed to be the most popular media subjects. 

I thought Woodstock was magical.  And I think even more magical today — because it’s a memory.  It’s remembered 44 years later.  Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Ravi Shankar, Richie Havens, and who knows who else of the Woodstock performers are now deceased…some of them way to early.  They were legends in their own time and died too young.

I teach Nia (www.nianow.com) and I love “themes”.  I love dressing the part and inviting others to “dress up” for class.  This week is the 44th anniversary of Woodstock, so all of my classes (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday) have the Woodstock theme and thus the Woodstock music.  Santana, Jimi, Janis, The Who, The Band, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Sly & the Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Grateful Dead, Crosby Stills Nash & Young…the music I grew up on.  The music of my generation.  

We’re called Baby Boomers.  We’re in our late 50’s and early 60’s — age wise, certainly not spirit wise.  My spirit allows me to embody the love generation, the folks who stepped in to a whole new way of being…a whole new culture of peace and love.

Was it a farce?  Was it just a figment of 1 million imaginations?  Or was it the beginning of one million people becoming consciously aligned with the spirit of love…be it somewhat stoned.  

I consider myself to be high on Love.  I don’t need the weed to proceed.  So let’s get on with it.  Peace, Love, Rock and Roll.  Let’s celebrate the truth of who we are:

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Fifth Dimension

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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…

 

 

 

 

 

Love or Fear?

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It’s cold.  It’s winter and it’s Wisconsin, so what is it that I expected?  Surely not 70 degrees and warm sunshine!  So if it’s cold, it’s winter and it’s Wisconsin, wouldn’t it be a likely choice that I would wear clothes that would keep me warm? Sure it would.  It’s just common sense.  It wouldn’t be healthy wearing shorts, a tank top and flip flops in the snow.

Why is it that some folks make choices that are opposite of creating healthy situations?  There’s the obvious ones like continuing to smoke even though there is so much research out there to prove that it’s bad for your health…or driving intoxicated — and in both of those choices, by the way, others are involved.  Second hand smoke or becoming increasingly incapable of remaining healthy for any period of time, or potentially involving other drivers on the road.  Then there’s the little choices.  I’m going to eat that chocolate cake because I want it.  I’m going to drink that third cup of coffee because I want to.  Doesn’t matter that it’s not healthy for me (for whatever reasons).  I want to do it,  and I’m going to.  So there.

Choices.  We all make them.  Some made blindly, some more consciously than others and always we get to handle the results and/or consequences of our choices.  Some make choices based on the authority we have bestowed on another — like the pseudo-authority of doctors, lawyers, politicians.  Back in the early 80’s, I used to drive an old beater of a car — a old heap of a Dodge Charger.  It would’ve fallen apart if it weren’t for the “Question Authority” bumper stickers I had all over it.  I still question authority when it comes from outside myself.  I do heed the wise words of those I trust (good friends, my husband).   I don’t trust doctors.  I’ll listen to them on occasion but then I’ll wait for my own internal authority figure to suggest what choice I should make based on all the information.  For instance, the flu shot.  If the mass consciousness believes it to be the thing to do, I can usually bet that it’s not for me.  I don’t do something “just because.”  Vaccinations.  Don’t do them either.  Cold medicine, cholesterol medicine, arthritis medicine…pretty soon our bodies aren’t even our bodies anymore — they are a conglomeration of pharmaceuticals and synthetics — and the effects go far beyond just the body (although without a body, the rest of it doesn’t matter, eh?).

And then on other occasions, I make a decision based on impulse.  Sometimes it works out in my favor, most times those impulsive decisions (like eating that chocolate cake) prove to have some pretty interesting consequences.  Choices are normally made out of Love or out of Fear.  What’s the motive behind your choice?  Often life will find a way for us to hear that wee, small but oh so powerful voice of our own inner authority.  You have to be ready to hear it.  You might be driving somewhere looking to the heavens for an answer to a current uncomfortable life circumstance and you hear a voice that says something powerful.  WHO WAS THAT???  The inner authority speaks.  The person who is ready to hear it will listen and adjust accordingly.

I have a choice for you — and it’s the Mother of all Choices.  Are you ready?  

CHOOSE LOVE.  It’s the only choice.  One of the ways to choose LOVE is to love your body and love your life.  If you’re unfamiliar with how to do that, I can help you.  Find a Nia class near you (www.nianow.com).  Go.  Dance.  Be.  Laugh.  Transform your life.  Love your Body.  Celebrate.  Change.  

 

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?

Forgiving and For Giving

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Interestingly enough, the body DOES say what words cannot.  I’ve noticed more often than not that when forgiveness is needed and self-centeredness keeps us from offering it to ourselves and to others, the body ends up suffering.  (Metaphysically, we could translate “the body” as the planet, the world and those who inhabit it).

Self-centeredness, judgment and greed have blinded the human race from fully expressing the magnificence and greatness of who we were designed to BE.  We have fallen way short of the divine design — that we are Divine Beings in human form.  We would much rather choose to see only the “human” and not acknowledge the divine.  Such a waste.  Look around.  Do you like what you see in the world?  If you say yes, then I invite you to re-read the first sentence of this paragraph.  If more likely you say no, then part of the solution to bringing about more balance in the world is forgiveness.

Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement in the Jewish world; a day of repentance and forgiveness.  I wish all of my Jewish friends an easy go of it.  

“Repentance” has such a heavy sensation to it and yet it need not be.  Forgiving and repenting need not include wailing and carrying a crushing load.  Repenting is the act of moving from the darkness into the light.  My yoke may be heavy, but my burden is “light” (as in the radiant light of the sun).  The body need not suffer with the weight of repentance and forgiveness.

I have learned to be both forgiving and for giving.  I first forgive myself for the judgments, the self-centeredness and the greed that is part of the load I carry simply because I am IN the world.  And I am for giving thankfulness and gratitude that I am consciously aware I am not OF the world.  My repentance is a simple act of saying “no thank you” as I turn away from the darkness.  In doing so, my body says what words cannot.  I dance.

I dance not because I want to but because I HAVE to.  It is my way of expressing forgiveness.  Emotions become untangled, thoughts become unencumbered, physically the sensation is of lightness, and spirit invokes the qualities and characteristics of the divine.  They all merge together as an uplifting, creative expression of Love.

So let your body say what words cannot — Love Your Body and Love Your Life.  Dance with me.  

To find a Nia class near you, check out http://www.nianow.com and click on “Find Nia”.  You won’t regret it.

Any Moment of Loving

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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.