Woodstock Remembered 44 Years Later


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.

Letting Go, No Judgment


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!!!