Nia and Tarot

It is what it isSo you might ask what Tarot and Nia have to do with one another.  They are more similar than different actually.  They both move me deeply.  I am guided by spirit when reading Tarot or when dancing Nia. Both require listening to my intuition and sensing in all the realms — physical, emotional, mental and spirit.

My plan is to begin using one Tarot card to guide me in setting the focus and the intent  for each day and if there is a Nia class that day, that same focus will apply to the class.

I’m really excited about how this journey will unfold.  It is What It Is and I’m Going with the Flow.

 

Magic Moments

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I remember watching the movie, “Grand Canyon” several years ago. It’s one of my all time favorite movies about life happening.  At one point in the movie, the wife (played by Mary McDonnell) is jogging and finds an abandoned baby. She doesn’t call the police and instead decides to keep it. When her husband (played by Kevin Kline) comes home and decides that she’s crazy, she tells him she believes it to be a miracle.  She tells him “Maybe we don’t have any experience with miracles so we’re slow to recognize them.”

That line has always stuck with me and I believe it to be true about magic.  Perhaps we don’t have enough experience in recognizing when magic happens.

Another line from the Grand Canyon movie during this same scene with the baby is when the husband groans from realizing that he is not going to win this argument and says “I’m getting a headache.” She tells him emphatically, “No. It is inappropriate for you to get a headache in the presence of a miracle.”

I believe that people in the our society today have allowed themselves to become numb to the intricacies of magical moments — they’re not finding and/or having any magical moments because they can no longer recognize them…and most people will not come far enough out of their comfort zone to allow magic to happen.

Magic has always been a part of my life. From the fairy tales my mom used to tell me to watching cartoons about magic to finally recognizing that it exists with every move I make.

My most current magical moment was in realizing that the respiratory cold my body is experiencing is not separate from the shifting consciousness I’m experiencing from my connection and communion with Nia, with Reiki and with Tarot.  That which no longer serves me has to move out in order for that which is waiting to serve me to come into place.  So I am grateful for what is moving out and for what is moving in.

In my last blog post I spoke of the words that had been given to me through spirit:  Gratitude and Forgiveness and the six words that have become my creative process were given to me by my Tarot guru (www.thetarotlady.com): Dream, Create, Study, Learn, Inquire and Prepare. My Dream is being created…I’ve already designed a class around dancing Nia to the energy of each of the Major Arcana tarot cards and a workshop designed to delve a little deeper into tarot and movement. I will be studying and learning more about how to best present my dream, I will be inquiring internally and preparing for what comes next.

For those of you who dabble in or know tarot, the cards related to my creative process are:

Seven of Cups:  “I am willing to do what I can to make my dreams a reality.”
Queen of Wands:  “I am powerfully creative. I trust and stoke my inner creative fire.”
The Chariot: “I can steer my life any way I wish”
Ace of Swords:  “New thoughts, ideas” and Eight of Swords REVERSED: “I am always able to find a way.”
High Priestess: “All the answers I need are within me. I trust my own intuition.”
Three of Wands: “I am ready to expand my world. My potential is unlimited.”

The Empress: “My creativity and abundance are unlimited” and the Knight of Cups: “I bring my innermost dreams to life” are my guides through the process.

There is even more being magically placed before me that I am unable to speak about just yet, but I know it’s powerful and I open my arms to what life has to offer.

My birthday was Sunday; my body turned 64 years of age. My spirit is eternal.

Step out of your comfort zone.  Say yes and be blessed.

Living the Truth

I’ve come to the conclusion that this banquet of sensations that are roiling about in my body, mind and heart are my spirit’s invitation to expand…to be more of who I say I am…to stop hiding my greatness.  All of my astrological charts, my Tarot readings, and in particular my own intuition, are pointing to “expansion”.

I had a phenomenal phone conversation with a good friend the other day.  Expansion became the topic.  Of particular interest was what is happening currently in my life that is allowing for this expansion and what obstacles or issues have kept me from experiencing it up to now.  

Interestingly enough, through just a bit of prompting from my friend, I was able to pretty much pinpoint an event that occurred where I was able to release a long-held belief/judgment that instantly created the sensation of breathing deeply, expanding my heart realm, opening my arms to opportunity, a clarity that blossomed forth from my solar plexus.  A weight was lifted.  Magical stuff.

So now I’m resting with that yummy sensation of expansion and realizing all the opportunities that are available to me — specifically in the area of conscious movement.  There’s Nia (which I love and have been teaching for 12 years) and there’s also many other venues available to consider.  

Presence.  Expansion.  Magic.  

I’m moving with it…and it feels exciting.  It feels risky.  It feels good.  

Look out world….

The Mythtery of a Comfort Zone

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I’ve always been big on having my comfort zone clearly defined (I’m a Capricorn).  It isn’t a destination I can find using my GPS…unless GPS stands for Gastro-intestinal Panic Syndrome.  That’s usually when I know I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone.  My gut tells me immediately.  Nervousness…butterflies in my stomach.

But the love for my comfort zone has changed…was it yesterday? …or was it a week ago — perhaps even months ago, years ago…somewhere along the line I became aware that my comfort zone really wasn’t all that comforting.  It was more like the feeling after a nice toke.  Those of you who know about tokes (one toke over the line, sweet Jesus), know what I mean.  That feeling of ahhhhh.  I have nothing to do and nowhere to go.  In fact it’s not that I have nothing to do, but I that I don’t WANT to do anything.  I don’t want to go anywhere, except maybe a trip to the kitchen to see what I can dream up to squelch the munchies (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on…well…anything.)  But I digress…(nice memories though).

The alleged comfort zone is not a mystery, it’s a mythtery.  It doesn’t exist except in our heads and we concoct it as bait to catch our own sense of self-denial or self-loathing or insecurities and let them snuggle in all nice and warm.  (Another toke would be good here.)  Comfort zones are the adult version of a binky.

I turned 62 this past January.  I went to the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert at Summerfest last night — stepping out of my comfort zone.  I don’t like going to Summerfest at night…you know…the hoodlums, and the thieves, and the people who only come out at night will be there.  Ha. Did I see any?  Nope.  What I saw were about a million 50 to 70 year old men and women (some taking that toke occasionally) who seemed to have found their comfort zone.  So I decided to settle in, too.

Then I had to go to the bathroom.  The concert was supposed to start in 30 minutes.  It took a lifetime to get to the bathrooms (evidently the kiosks had run out of beer, so the 50- and 70-somethings were left to stand mortified in the middle of the walkway causing a major damn, I mean dam-up.  Holy cow…really…I got the sensing of what cows must feel like who are being herded into a small contained area.  It was ridiculous.  Comfort zone?  I think not.  Smelly, sweaty people (me being one of them) being pushed in one direction with a whole ‘nother grouping swarming and pushing the other way.  Not a pleasant sensation when one has claustrophobia.  

I finally made it to the bathroom…only to have to stand in a line with 14,000 other women who had swam their way through the morass of sweaty humanity…oh and did I mention that it had rained…no, poured…just moments before, so the air was heavy with (pot smoke) moisture — and the grounds and bathrooms were filled with puddles of (hopefully) water.   I’m standing behind a woman who had Farrah Faucett hair — really gorgeous.  She turned around and I was caught off guard.  Her face was brown and leathery, although she was attractive in a chain-smoker kind of way.  She made a comment, using her best gravely voice, about her 70’s hair-do going to hell and what was she doing here at her age.  I laughed and said, “yeah, I know, I’m 62”.  She gasped out that she was 45 and said “you must not be a smoker.”  It actually took everything I had not to gasp back at the fact that she was only 45.  She looked 20 years older than 45 — which would put her pretty close to my age, so I probably have to add that I don’t look 62 (at least I don’t think I do…part of my comfort zone).

Everyone made it back to their seats, the concert started, I danced and head-banged to the music and felt that youthful satisfaction of rockin’ out (deep breathing in the wafting pot smoke from the 50- to 70-somethings).  

Back to my comfort zone…or actually the lack of it.  Someone moved it.  They didn’t ask if they could, they just moved it.  And to date I haven’t found it since my GPS (not the one used in a car) seems to be on stand-by, lurking about, making itself known.

I like it though…I read on one of my Facebook friend’s posts that the butterflies, the nerves and nervousness lets her know that there is magic awaiting…

As much as I used to enjoy my comfort zone, I’m much more fascinated with the possibility of magic happening.  So whoever took my comfort zone, have fun.  You can have it.  Magic it is for me.

Abracadabra!!!  Did I mention that I teach Nia?  (www.nianow.com)  

 

 

 

Life As Art

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I hosted and focused a “Life As Art” event on June 15th.  Everyone from my Nia community along with a few local Nia teachers who have come to my classes were invited.  Thirteen originally responded with a fourteenth student calling to say she was compelled to be at this event and would I still accept another participant — and of course I did!!

We began at my Sacred Space Studio where we danced to an incredibly sweaty Beatles routine with the focus of Life As Art — the dance of creating patterns. There were 19 dancers — the studio was full of energy!  The fourteen participants then met back at my house at 10:45, had some yogurt and fruit (readied by my wonderful husband), and gathered on our deck. I handed out the “welcome” packets that contained an journal, an envelope, 3 pieces of art paper, a gemstone, the 13 Nia White Belt principles with a specific “affirmation” respective of each, information about Zentangles, and a few select adages for the day (one on the dance of energy, one on Choices and one on leading a fascinating life. I directed everyone to look at the contents of their packet and then the contents of their envelope. The envelope contained one of three topics: Magic, Trust, or Surrender; 2 Zentangle squares, 2 body tattoos — everyone received “I AM” and then one other word (Passion, Breathe, Gratitude, etc. from Conscious Ink. Lastly (but not leastly) two letters of the alphabet.

I had everyone look at which topic they had and invited them to find their other group members — there would be 3 groups of 5. The way they found their groups was to strike up a conversation using their specific word. For instance, one of the participants had the word “magic” and struck up a conversation with a group of 4 or 5 folks by saying “isn’t this property just magical” — 4 of the 5 people said “YES it is magical”. And thus the first group was formed. The second group formed quickly from someone speaking about “trusting that the weather would hold out”; and the third “surrendered to the anticipation of how the day would unfold.”. There was one group who only had 4 members — I became the 5th member of the group who only had 4 members. 

The participants were invited to take some time to walk the property. The weather was perfect (unlike the forecast which was for rain and storms all day); we have lots of areas to sit and meditate or take photos or simply to admire the beauty of nature. I walked up to the “ridge” where I could have an overview of our property. Different ones were walking together and looking at the flowers, plants, garden sculptures; others were sitting alone journaling, some were stopping to take photos. It was an incredibly rich panorama of spirited blessings. Truly magical. 

We all had lunch together (provided by Frank…the food was incredibly delicious), and then broke up into our individual groups with the assignments of creating Zentangles — one person started a pattern and passed it on to the next person in the group until all 5 participants had a chance to create a pattern (there were 2 Zentangles for each person within a group) — along with Zentangling the group was invited to create on one of the sheets of art paper (or all 3 if they wished) their own “dance of energy”.

We came back together and shared our Zentangles and our artwork. Anita suggested that we share the vision for each of our “dances of energy”…which was an incredibly rich experience to listen to each person’s creative expression. Magical. We all sat together in our living room and shared why we thought we were in the particular group we were in — I suggested that it was not by accident and no coincidence that they were in their specific group. The trust and surrender from each person was indeed a magical experience. One person from each group read the related poem from that specific group (Magic, Trust or Surrender). 

Our closing ceremony was to take the 2 letters of the alphabet they had each received and make a statement, “Now I Am __________ ___________. There were 3 participants who only had 1 letter — those 3 participants got to choose any letter of the alphabet to go along with the one they received. A very creative experience indeed (especially around the Q, X and Z!!!!). 

After the event had completed, we sat around and sampled Frank’s wine and had gluten free chocolate chip cookies!! Not everyone was available to stay (or leave and come back) for dinner, so we all hugged and said our so-long, farewells. Several came back with a guest and we had a lovely dinner — again provided by Franko. The weather was PERFECT. The last person to leave was Catherine and as she drove off, the rain started to come down softly, only to turn into torrential rains and 60 mile and hour winds. It rained and stormed all night. 

Incredible experience. I am blessed, truly and magically blessed through trust and surrendering to living in the moment and allowing spirit to open the doors of creative expression. I am so thankful for everyone’s participation and we will do it again!!!

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!!!