Mystical Cats Tarot

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My good friend, Mary Carol, gifted me with the Mystical Cats tarot. I have 2 cats and have always been a “cat person”…of course I love dogs and all animals, but cats are my fave.  There is something mystical about them.

I drew the Strength card today.  As aways, my one card draw always speaks some truth to me.  Today is no exception.

With this deck comes the usual booklet that gives the meanings for each of the cards and additionally their is “the cat’s advice”. The cat’s advice for the Strength card includes this:  “You have overcome your baser instincts to choose the higher path. Your courage and strength are deeper than you know. Draw upon them to carry you through any challenge.”

 

I’m needing to make some positive changes related to the evolving tarot side of my business offerings (creating a specific tarot website and maybe even a tarot Facebook page).  Being more of an introvert though I hesitate in putting myself out there in the world; yet my love for tarot is a passion whose flame continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  What to do, what to do?

The Mystical Cat speaks.  Strength.

Hear me roar.

And a special kind of thanks to my mentor, The Tarot Lady.

 

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.

Tarot Tuesday

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I had this brainiac idea two years ago to combine my love for Nia and my love for Tarot.  Alas, it was not to be until 2016.

My own Tarot guru (www.thetarotlady.com) did an Entrepreneurcast in 2015 for me. The words I took from her beautiful work for 2015:  Dream, Create, Study, Learn, Inquire and Prepare.

My previous blog post alluded to my tapping into tarot by using a tarot card for each Nia class…well, the Universe had a different plan based on my Entrepreneurcast and my decision to do something more in-depth with Tarot and Nia!  Voila’!!  Tarot Tuesday was born.

Here’s how it goes:  One of my students gives me a question.  I do a tarot reading and then sit with it a bit and the final step before taking it to class is to find music to go with the reading….I call it “dancing the cards.”  The actual reading takes about 15-20 minutes at the beginning of class.  We all gather around enlarged paper copies of the Celtic Cross tarot layout. I do the reading.  In the moment feedback is encouraged and welcomed.  Then I pick up the cards and we dance.

To date, Tarot Tuesday has been well-received and well-attended!!  SUCCESS!!  It was foreseen that this would be the result…a lot of hard work, studying learning, inquiring of the cards and preparing the classes has been absolutely AWESOME.

In case you’re wondering, I use the Chyrsalis tarot deck. It’s a non-traditional tarot deck. It drew me in and speaks quite clearly to me and through me.

Combining Nia and Tarot, my two passions for creative inspiration and expression is nothing less than perfect…I made a decision and the Universe conspired to make it happen.  Not in my time, but in spirit’s.

I am blessed to have a Nia community with open mind and open hearts.  They are all my heroes.

 

 

Rising Up

If Not Now, When

My husband and I have been having conversations about change, about rising up to the challenge of letting go of some pretty ingrained behaviors.  One thing that we’ve come to learn in this process is that letting go of subtle attachments is not easy.  It’s not easy because it’s not easy to identify subtle attachments until they’ve raised their ugly heads.

Testy responses, emotionally-charged reactions, tones of voice, eye-rolling,  listening but not hearing…

Those behaviors have to go.  My purpose on earth is to become fully and wholly ME — not the human form that is known as Jill; not the mind that thinks it knows a lot; not the emotional center that wants to always have its way — but ME (the I Am), fully present, in touch with my divine nature.  The body, mind and heart will always be incomplete and “in progress”. The I Am is perfect NOW, and to discover the I Am doesn’t involve going to the mountain top and focusing on my belly button, or sitting in Lotus position Om-ing til the cows come home.

I Am — a Human BEING.  No, I am not just human — that is merely my form.  What animates that form is BEING charged by spirit.

I love living life in the moment, with clarity and purpose, with conviction and compassion, expressing truth through an incomplete mind, love through an incomplete emotional realm and life through an incomplete body, offering forgiveness to myself and others and always, always, always knowing that gratitude needs to be for ALL things.  There is no picking and choosing.  Am I always 100% in this precious space?

Lots of laughs and eye rolling for sure.  It sure is rewarding being aware of subtle shifts creating HUGE changes.  High five to the husband and me for making it a dance.

 

I Am Still Here

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It’s been a bit of time since I’ve posted on my blog…early January was the last post, shortly after I was offered (by spirit) the guidepost words of Gratitude and Forgiveness for moving into 2015.  Along with those two guidepost words, I was also given (as an invitation from spirit):  Dream, Create, Study, Learn, Inquire and Prepare, Infinity and Dance.

My journey through this invitation from spirit has been nothing less than amazing.  My dream was to create something new and exciting in my studio for those who are looking to expand, to grow, to manifest their own dream(s).  Shortly after this invitation was offered to me, I received a Facebook invitation to an event — a Long Distance Learning (my favorite kind since I don’t like to travel) Kai Earth Immersion.  Kai, developed by Kelly Atkins (who I’ve known since 2001 but have never met in person), is a fitness practice based on the elements of nature (Water, Air, Earth, Fire and Wood) using the architecture of authentic movement, a deepening of a relationship with one’s body — for me it’s a conversation with my own divine nature while moving through an internal landscape of sensations and emotions.

As those of you who have been following my blog know, I’ve been teaching Nia for 14 years.  My passion for sharing and teaching Nia has not dwindled one iota by adding Kai into my class offerings.  In fact, Kai has allowed me to deepen my own relationship with Nia.  The two practices, Nia and Kai, are both cardiovascular in nature (depending on the energy one wishes to expend); however I can also say that the two are as different as night and day — neither better than the other — both offering a wealth of body/mind/emotion/spirit information through movement.

You can find out more about Nia by checking out http://www.nianow.com. You can find out more about Kai by checking out http://www.kaimoves.com.  AND you can actually experience both of these unique fitness practices by attending my classes.  Nia is taught at my studio on Saturday, Monday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m., Wednesdays at 6 p.m.  Kai is taught on the first two Tuesday evenings of every month at 6 p.m.  As more folks become aware of and interested in my Kai classes, I will expand those offerings.

I am still here…awash in the creative waters of inspiration and movement.  I am dreaming, I am creating, I am learning and studying, I am inquiring and preparing. An infinity of dance awaits…

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!!!

Movement as Prayer

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Vibe-rations

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I taught the Nia routine “Vibe” today.  I love the music.  My personal focus was to be in the moment with my movements.  As with all Nia routines that are produced by Nia HQ, this one has specific choreography that goes with each song; choreography that was developed with a specific focus and intent by Debbie Rosas (co-founder of Nia) and the Nia Trainers.

The focus I set for my class was “Conditioning and Confidence in Possibilities”.  Conditioning in this case was using different levels of intensity with the 52 Moves or choreography.  Sometimes I used speed as a reference for conditioning and also the planes (high, middle, low) of Nia; and sometimes both.  So many ways to utilize conditioning, too.  The “possibilities” piece had to do with where each person was individually with their energy level, their body sensitivity, etc. and their choices along the way.   I also added to my conversation “in the circle” (I always start my classes in a circle to set the focus) that choosing NOT to participate in the “speed or planes” of a move did NOT constitute a lack of self-confidence…more so it was an indication of listening to one’s body.  The invitation is always there to explore if it’s the right thing to do.

As soon as the music started, I knew — I sensed — that I was not going to follow the original choreography.  My spirit realm spoke quite clearly that it was time to really allow my personal focus of “being in the moment with my movements” to manifest in truly creative ways.

And truly creative it was!  I found myself surprised by some of the interesting “pearls” that came forth from my Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spirit realms.  I had such a great time, and I do believe my students did as well.

Have you ever found yourself compelled to create in the moment?  Did you allow yourself the space to do so?  What was your sensation at a physical level?  Did your mind want to distract you or did it relax and go with the flow?  Is it possible to use words to describe your emotions around creating in the moment?  I found myself to be “giddy”, “delighted”, “radiant”, “sassy”.  My mind allowed no distractions.  My cueing was with the language of the 52 Moves.  “Grapevine, Lateral Travel, Slow Clock, Cross Front Cha Cha Cha.  Double-time.  A physical sensation of being grounded (which never left me) seduced me into being in the moment.  It was pure passion…my sacred livelihood manifesting with each movement…each translation…each smile on my students’ faces.  

Endless gratitude for Nia and all its wonderous possibilities and conditioning! 

The Energy of Passion

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I had a new student in my Nia class last night.  As usual, there was a little apprehension, a little nervousness.  The first focus was “to self-induce an internal massage with the essential oil of pleasure.”  The second focus was “momentum”.

We stepped in…we began our warm up to the music of “Wish U Were Here” from the Fly routine…the music is sensual and conducive to self-inducing an internal massage with the essential oil of pleasure!!!  She got it.  She was smiling.  She was moving her body, undulating her spine, creepy crawler fingers…

As the hour progressed, she continued to let go.  I could see and sense her ability to go with the momentum of the movements.  She revealed in her a movements a passion for dancing…a passion for healing…

After class her eyes were wide with wonderment.  Her exact words were “Thank you, this has been a very special night.”  She’ll be back.

“Get In Your Body” — yep.  She did.  I did.  The rest of the students did, too.  And I do believe our focus became a reality…

 

Risking My Significance

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“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.