The Design Unfolds

Fall apart

I am certain God has a plan.  There is a design unfolding, I’m just not certain what it is.

My husband and I lost a good friend and major player in the business yesterday.  Unexpectedly.  Gone.  Just like that.

I am certain God has a plan.  There is a design unfolding, I’m just not certain what it is.  I don’t question it.  I trust.  God and Love never fail.  Humans…well that’s a totally different story, too long to tell in a blog.

An angel came into our lives 3 years ago, at a time when we were scratching our heads about how the business was going to continue to flourish.  He said yes to everything we asked.  He was a man of true integrity.  He always kept us an arm’s length away from anything personal, and we respected that about him.  He was an honest man, a loving man, a compassionate man.  A man who loved photography.  A man who loved children.  A man who loved God more than life itself.

I am certain God has a plan.  There is a design unfolding.  I’m just not certain what it is.  But I know that this man will be greatly missed on the planet and although his physical presence is no longer with us, I know that his spirit is still around.  He loved playing games.  He loved sarcasm.  He had a totally dry wit.  And as I sit here creating this blog post, I can hear him say, “don’t you have something else better to do…like go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather? I’m fine, really I am. Go. Go.”  Thank you, Jim, for all the love you showered on us, our business, your friends, the world.  Your radiant spirit is present.

I am certain God has a plan.  We are willing participants in its unfolding.  There is a design, I’m just not certain what it is but I know that the Truth is True and All is Well, Unconquerable Life Prevails.

 

 

 

A Creative Life

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Recently I read the following quote by George Bernard Shaw”

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

My response to reading that quote is wow. How many people in my world these days recognize and acknowledge they are being used for a mighty purpose or that they are being a force of nature?  They’re out, no doubt about it.  I’m in communication with many of them through Facebook and through comments on my blog, my friends, my family.

However as I look at the tragic state of the world, this Country even, I observe a great many more who, instead of recognizing their purpose or instead of being a force of nature, truly find themselves as “a feverish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself” to making them happy. That is their identity. Their physical ailments, their aches and pains, their emotional outbursts, their mental fatigue.  

Nothing human is going to fix them — or fix anything in the world.  Only Spirit and a true change in consciousness, a change in identity, will lift them out of their feverish clod of ailments state of dying (as opposed to a state of being). 

My remedy?  Dance, Move, Express Spirit, Create Change.  Be the Source, Not the Seeker.  It’s all here.  Now.  

Be responsible for your world.  I watched a 3 hour movie, “Cloud Atlas” last night.  Hard to follow the 6 lives through the past, present and future, but the basic premise was that our thoughts, our words and our actions create our world and how we live our lives has a far greater impact on the world — this world and future worlds — than we can ever imagine.

BE.  LIVE.  LOVE.  SPEAK WITH INTEGRITY.  DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY.  DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING.  DO YOUR BEST.

If you do those things, any physical ailment, heart break, mental anguish is annihilated in the presence of your greatness.  Do it.

I practice Nia and I have a Nia practice…I am a Nia Practitioner.  I invite you to DANCE, MOVE, EXPRESS SPIRIT, CREATE CHANGE. 

 

 

Dance, Move, Express, Spirit, Create, Change

Someone asked me a few months ago if there were 6 words I would use for my memoir (ala “The Six Word Memoir Project”). At the time I struggled with coming up with 6 words to leave as a memoir.

However, a shift occurred recently (coinciding with the New Year) allowing for six words to emerge as my mantra for 2014…actually it’s a mantra for my life. Those six words are:  DANCE, MOVE, EXPRESS, SPIRIT, CREATE, CHANGE. As a memoir it would look more like: “Dance, Move, Express Spirit, Create Change”. These six words represent the truth of who I am…and they speak volumes about how I live my life. They have become my way of life…my path…my journey. I shared (and continue to share) these words with my students in my Nia classes since the beginning of the year. They could feel my passion…

I have a Nia practice…which makes me a Nia practitioner. Practitioners offer to and share their experiences with others…experiences of healing, growth, relaxation, consciousness and so much more. I offer and share with my students my experiences of dancing, moving, expressing spirit and creating change. My birthday was last weekend. At a lovely birthday dinner, I was honored to receive so many wonderful gifts from my friends (many of whom are also my students).  One gift, a framed painting with the words “DANCE, MOVE, EXPRESS, SPIRIT, CREATE, CHANGE in gold lettering nestled amidst splashes of turquoise and purple (my favorite colors); and another, a beautiful card with DANCE, MOVE, EXPRESS, SPIRIT, CREATE, CHANGE in hand calligraphy. Both of these gifts are now hanging in my studio.

This is the life of a practitioner. I am so enjoying this journey. 

Sixty-three

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January 11th was my 63rd birthday.  I’m not sure what “63” is supposed to feel like other than what it does. 

My husband and I had a birthday dinner party at a local Italian restaurant.  Several friends joined us.  We laughed and ate and drank wine (and some drank Old Fashions).  We moved our dinner party to the bar of a close-by hotel (where one of my friends was staying). There was a guitarist who had a really rich playlist from which to choose.  A couple of us girlfriends got up and danced and didn’t care that no one else did, and the guitarist appreciated the gesture. 

Other than having a few more aches and pains, I feel more awesome now than I did at 33.  It has to do with consciousness.

DANCE MOVE EXPRESS SPIRIT CREATE CHANGE

DANCE!

MOVE!

EXPRESS SPIRIT!

CREATE CHANGE!

My sacred journey involves dancing through life and that involves teaching Nia.  Those 6 words above are my definition of what Nia means to me.  If you’d like to know more about Nia beyond those 6 words, check out http://www.nianow.com.  Find a class near you. Dance, Move, Express, Spirit, Create, Change.  If you’re looking for a fitness class that is beyond dance, beyond fitness, beyond simply exercising the body, then Nia is for you.  Go.  Dance.  Move.  Express Spirit.  Create Change.  

 

 

My Passion

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My passion is in expressing spirit.  I am spirit in action.  I teach Nia — a fusion fitness that is above and beyond any designed cardio dance workout.  Nia combines 9 movement forms, is done barefoot, a cardio dance exercise with 13 basic principles that can be used in and out of the studio/dance floor.  Nia invites change.

In 2014, my role as a Nia teacher is to invite my students to step into their greatness.  Weight loss, muscle toning, flexbility, mobility, agility, strength, stability — these are all things that are benefits from a consistent practice of Nia.  Far greater than any of these, in my personal opinion though, is the opportunity for a continued acknowledgement and expression of the greatness of one’s Spirit.  The mind and the emotions begin to be steered through Spirit.  The body responds to the expression of Spirit.  In all cultures throughout the history of mankind, dance has been a way to express, to commune, to create change.

Nia:  Dance Move Express Spirit Create Change.  Nia:  Dance, Move, Express Spirit, Create Change.

Compelling.

 

 

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.

Patterns of Movement

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Interesting to me that 8 days have passed since my last blog post.  Time is a-movin’ and there’s no time like the present moment…so here I am.

What is your reason for exercise?  If it is guilt or shame, I’m offering an invitation to come out of that pattern of thought and/or feeling.  If your reason for exercise does not contain the essence of joy, then I would suggest that it’s a deep and dark hole that has been dug (by no one other than yourself I might add quickly, lest blame be cast outside of one’s self).  

I’ve experienced the ecstatic dance of Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms; I’ve attended the initial training of Eurythmy.  Eurythmy is the movement form created by Rudolf Steiner, cultural philosopher who was way ahead of his time.  Waldorf Schools and Biodynamic Farming are all aspects of Rudolf Steiner’s genius, as is Eurythmy.  

I retired from the corporate world in 1998 and moved to a spiritual retreat center housed within 320 acres of an organic farm in Indiana.  My dear friend and spiritual mentor lived there.  Long story short, nine months after moving to Indiana (a birth cycle, eh?) I found myself moving to Wisconsin to marry my long time friend and newly discovered soul mate.  My love of dance survived it all…I was of course, dancing through life!  My soon-to-be husband knew of my love for dance.  His sister, who lives in Texas, invited us to visit in the fall of 1999.  She had been telling me about this exercise called “Nia”; she thought I would really love it.  Understatement of my lifetime.  She took us to the healthclub where we took off our shoes (really, an exercise done barefoot? Who knew?) and I found myself in a large room filled to capacity with excitement and anticipation.  Fifty plus women (and my soul mate…perhaps another man or two as well) eagerly awaiting…the music started.  Ahhhh, Kenny Loggins.  Really?  We’re going to exercise to the music of Kenny Loggins?  

I tasted this thing called “Nia”.  At that time Nia was an acronym for Neuromuscular Integrative Action (or as I remember someone telling me later in my Nia career, “No Inhibitions Allowed).     Yes yes yes!!!  This was for me.  At the end of the class during the cool down we moved on the floor to Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love”.  Wow.  Powerful.  I could sense the energy and passion from the dancers in the room.  Or was it my energy and passion I sensed?  Probably a bit of both.  I was hooked.  Oh, but I’m in Texas…is there anyone in Wisconsin teaching Nia?  

Those of you who live in Wisconsin can have a major chuckle.  Who knew that besides Texas, Wisconsin had the greatest number of Nia teachers?  Well, maybe California, New York and Colorado were up there in numbers, too.  But really, Wisconsin?  HA.  It took me another year and a half before my own Nia mentor kicked me in the butt one day by saying “You should really take the White Belt Intensive; Debbie and Carlos Rosas (the founders of Nia) are coming to Milwaukee.”  Before I could muster up any resistance, I found myself saying “ok”.  And, “the rest is history” as they say.  I’ve now been teaching Nia for 12 years.  I’m proud of my White, Blue, Brown and Black Belt experiences.  I’ve never stuck with ANYTHING this long — including my marriage.  Nia is “Now I Am.”   I love that…those words contains spirit, confidence,  bold and creative beingness.  

If you haven’t sought out a Nia class yet, I would strong encourage you to do so.  It may not be a household word (yet) like Zumba, but Nia has been around for 30 years now.  There is a science, a craft and an art to Nia.  There is a purpose and design to every move in Nia.  Ahhhh, objectivity.   And within the purpose and design, there is also the invitation to move “your body’s way”.  Ahhhh, subjectivity!!  I love it.  Objective/Subjective. Yin/Yang.  Sun/Moon.  Day/Night.  Batman/Catwoman.  

You can check out http://www.nianow.com for classes near you.  My classes are listed to the right of this blog post…an open invitation to experience body awareness, movement and dance as you’ve never before experienced it.  There are 4 classes that I teach and 1 class taught by Kathy Rink, another fabulous Nia teacher and good friend.  Five opportunities per week for you to get your groove on — your body’s way.  It’s sublime.  It’s creative.  It’s expressive.  Nia invites change.  Nia creates the opening for you to fill your life with joy…not just for an hour in class, but in all aspects of your living.  YES.  Now I Am dancing through life.  The essence of joy runs through everything I do.  There is form and freedom.  There is structure and improvisation.  You choose.  No guilt.  No shame.  Pure joy.  Love your Body.  Love Your Live.  Right here.  Right now.  There is nothing like the present moment!

 

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.