Way Down Deep

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My latest accomplishment has been to receive my certification as a Chakradance™ Facilitator.  I cannot express fully enough in words how grateful I am to have had this movement practice for the soul come into my life.  It was quite synchronistic that I found it actually.  I had noticed it several times on my Facebook newsfeed.  I’ve been facilitating meditation classes for quite some time and on most occasions go through the chakras.  When I taught Yoga back along the way, chakras were very much a part of my teaching.  I’ve been teaching Nia for 15 years and movement of the 3 body weights in Nia (the pelvis, chest and head) activate and open the 7 chakras.

I’ve been wanting to expand the offerings at Sacred Space Studio so when I logged on to my email one morning back in April, there was a message from “Jenny” of Chakradance™ letting me know that this day was the last day to register for the Facilitator training at a reduced cost.  All sorts of thoughts when through my head about not having the time or not being sure if this was exactly what I was looking for, yadda yadda yadda.  You know the drill.  But my intuition was much more open and willing than my mind, so I went for it.  And W.O.W. am I ever delighted that I followed my intuition.

The feedback I’ve received from the several one hour and 15 minutes classes I’ve taught has been encouraging and enlightening.  I finished my first of seven Workshops this past Sunday — starting with the Base Chakra — and the feedback from this workshop confirmed even further that I had made the right choice.

Spontaneous dance, specific music, creative visualizations and imagery, along with the wonderful Mandala-creating exercise contained in the classes and the workshops invites the participants to go way down deep.  It’s transformational.  It’s healing.  It’s truly a movement practice for the soul.

It is my pleasure to be offering Nia classes, Reiki classes and therapy sessions, Chakradance™ classes and workshops, Tarot readings and meditation classes at Sacred Space Studio.  If you find yourself compelled toward any of these offerings, please feel free to contact me.  You can find my contact information on the “About” page.

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.

 

Moving Energy

This Sunday I’m teaching my first Reiki I class since receiving my Reiki Master Teacher certification. What an honor. I believe I was born to do this; just as I was born to teach Nia. It’s in the stars. Really. Several years ago (more than 25 years!), I worked with an astrologist. My chart indicated that leading groups, energy work (Reiki) and creative arts (Nia) were very strong — this would be my direction in life.

At that time, I worked for a major corporation (from which I retired after 30 years in 1998). I felt I had no room in my life (at least that’s what I thought) for energy work or dance. Amazingly enough, I managed to fit in Reiki I (1986), Reiki II (1997), took Gabrielle Roth’s 7 Rhythms classes (1983 and 1993) and Eurythmy classes (1996) plus every aerobic fitness class available.

It wasn’t until I retired in 1998, moved to Indiana and subsequently to Wisconsin that the direction became apparent. I stepped in to the Nia White Belt Intensive in June of 2001, married my twin flame in July of 2001 and began a journey of consciously moving energy. My Nia practice (13+ years) has been my passion…I love to dance and Nia is conscious movement in the form of a dance exercise fitness fusion. My Nia and Reiki practices are (and have been) a part of the The Nutman Co. USA, Inc. business that my husband and I own.

My Reiki practice did not really take off until recently. I attended two Shamanic Journey workshops in March of 2014. From each of the journeys, I discovered that “Reiki Master” was the direction into which I should move. I found a Reiki Master Teacher close to home…one of my best friends and a Nia compadre! The Reiki Master and Reiki Master Teacher classes were exciting, filled with energy and except for my journey with Nia, was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

So now I get to put into practice my Reiki Master Teacher training. This Sunday, I’m stepping in to moving energy the Reiki way. I am so blessed.

Are you a Reiki practitioner? Have you had a Reiki treatment? Do you teach Nia? Have you taken a Nia class?

If you want to have the movement of energy in your life, these are two premiere modalities for doing so, and natural healing occurs along the way. It might be a cliche’ but “try it, you’ll like it!”

Sacral Chakra

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The Sacral Chakra is the 2nd of 7 major chakras.  Chakras are energy centers, each having a unique language, color, tone, and essence.  An imbalance of any chakra can result in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual concerns.  Balancing the chakras through movement is the best way I’ve found to increase the beautiful vibration found in each of these energy centers.

Although the Sacral Chakra is known for it’s sexual energy, it is important to note that creative energy emanates from this chakra as well.  An imbalance in the sacral chakra can result in a creative block, sexual deviancy, abuse or frigidness.  

Have I mentioned recently that I teach the best cardio dance fitness fusion/lifestyle practice on the face of the planet? Check it out here:  http://www.nianow.com).  Nia has 52 Moves, 7 of which are related to the Pelvis, Chest and Head (in Nia we call these “the Core”).  The pelvis — home of the Sacral Chakra — has 2 moves:  Pelvic Circles and Hip Bumps.

I have found in my 12 years of teaching Nia, that most (not all) women have a disconnect with their pelvis and/or hips. Creative and sexual energy in the Sacral Chakra goes far beyond the desire and outworking involved in bringing forth a human life.  The exhilaration felt in moving the pelvis and hips the Nia way provides a doorway to loving our bodies and loving our lives.  Flexibility, mobility and stability are experienced in the pelvis and hips in a safe way when we do Pelvic Circles and Hip Bumps and we are once again connected to the source of creative energy.  Creative energy can be in the form of singing, dancing, painting, sculpting, writing, playing…creative energy is…well…creative energy!!  

I have no children…mine and my husband’s conscious choice…yet he and I have created and brought forth such beauty in our 2 and 1/2 acres of gardens and strolling paths, a vineyard, a pond and many sitting areas enjoyed by our friends, customers and neighbors.  We find ways of creating the environment or atmosphere for others to step into their creative greatness.  And we do it with a passion that emanates from the creative energy of the sacral chakra.  

Take a moment to rub your palms together briskly, creating some heat.  Next, lay the palms of your hands on your abdominal area (you can do this standing, sitting or lying down).  The abdominal area is just below your navel.  Allow the heat (which YOU created) in your palms to soak into your sacral chakra.  Offer gratitude for sensing the balance in the creative and sexual energy in your Sacral Chakra.

Want to learn more about Pelvic Circles and Hip Bumps?  Come to one of my classes!  I teach 4 classes a week at my studio. You can also find a studio near you by using the website URL above and clicking on “Find Nia” and then “Classes”.  

Dance like nobody’s watching…dance like everybody’s watching!!!  Just DANCE!!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!!!

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…

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Imaginable Lightness of Being

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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.

 

 

 

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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…