Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Money Stories, Anxiety, & Using Therapeutic Movement (VIDEO)



You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blisschick Redux: Aging Ourselves

This post was originally written on April 27th, 2010. I am now 45. (And our apple tree is nowhere near this level of bloom yet this year.)



(Our little apple tree is covered in blossoms this year!)

I've been thinking about aging a lot lately. First, I am 41 and getting into one's forties is definitely a traditional sort of marker. Second, I returned to dance at the age of 40 and dance is not known for its kindness toward anyone much over 25.

Before I returned to dance, worrying about aging was just one more thing I could put on my Anxiety To Do list, and I was, frankly, always on the look out for items for that. It was also one more reason to Be Depressed.

Turns out that recovering from life long anxiety and depression had everything to do with...living. Thus the subtitle to my blog: It's never too late to embody your bliss. Most of us -- regardless of our callings -- need to come back into our bodies, having neglected them for too long. Our bodies are our gateways to our spirits and thus to our capacity to have a joyful life.

Back to thinking about aging. I am healthier, I think, than I have ever been in my whole life. I am also stronger and more creative.

I have decided that aging is mostly in our minds. We tell ourselves a boat load of stories about what to expect and then act surprised when those expectations are met.

I do not deny that I am getting older. I simply do not believe that that has to automatically mean I am deteriorating. Use it or lose it is my motto. Also, hydrate it; feed it well; and do what makes it happy.

Ah! Right there! That last one! That is where most of aging really comes from. We are not living our happiest lives, and as we get older, we think we have run out of time.

We haven't.

Or we have. It all depends on the story you tell.

This past weekend, I read a sad story. A woman, age 38 (come on!), saw (in a mirror in a gym) that a part of her body wasn't quite what it used to be athletically and so came to the conclusion, basically, that this is "it," from here on, it's all downhill.

She decided that this is what "aging gracefully" is -- accepting the inevitable.

I would like a different definition, how about you?

How about aging gracefully being defined by how we live in every moment with joy and abandon, that we never give in to "should's" or "supposed to's" or "that's how it's been's."

I refuse to believe that I had one moment in time when I was able to have the life I was meant to have. Believing it's all downhill from here, for me? I may as well stop dancing right now and start eating more donuts and just settle into my role as a consumer of products.

Instead, I choose to believe that I am where I was meant to be. I believe I have come to dance at this age for a reason. I believe it is my responsibility to take hold of that destiny and squeeze every ounce of happy out of it that I can.

I believe that my greatest responsibility is to write my own story and never let anyone or anything else define me -- including a mirror in a gym.



If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Are You Tough Enough for Ordinary Love?

You may have noticed that I've added a new tagline to all my banners from here to Facebook to YouTube.
Dance is the path.
Love is the territory.

It came to me weeks ago, of course, while I was chanting.

I think it's the most clear and succinct articulation of my work ever.

If you understand those two tiny sentences or the potentiality contained within those two tiny sentences, then you're definitely one of my peeps.

If you don't get it...if it seems silly or cheesy or trite...then you're not.

Since I changed that tagline, I've been thinking more and more deeply about the concept of love. I guess, too, because I just ran a workshop about unconditional love and because I've started a two to three year process of an 800 hour yoga philosophy course, which really comes down to studying the many ways we separate from and join back to the ultimate reality, which, for me, is this love stuff.

I begin to notice more and more and MORE how messed up we are about love.

How much we fall for the idea that it's a feeling...that it's something that makes us FEEL a certain way.

That's romantic "in-love."

LOVE IS AN ACTIVE VERB.

A feeling is a passive noun.

LOVE IS THE WAY WE WALK THROUGH THIS WORLD.

A feeling is fleeting.

LOVE IS THE WAY WE TREAT OURSELVES AND EVERY SINGLE LIVING BEING AROUND US.

A feeling the becomes narcissistic*.

(An important note: I use this term loosely -- as in "only for self" and not as a reference to the disease model.)

A lot of us are pretty focused on things like "awakening our kundalini" or "becoming enlightened" or "tapping into our higher selves."

But really? We can't even deal with ordinary love. Which is just the starting point.

The day to day starting over even when things are hard.

The minute to minute making choices that include everyone and not just ourselves.

The breath to breath remembering of who we really are and how it has nothing to do with anything but each other.

And then Bono goes and totally explains it all in a song...




If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Importance of Flexibility and Love in Our Personal Daily Practices (Video)

This video is just 4 minutes. And I have no idea why iMovie decided to not sync my voice to my picture but it eventually rights itself. HA!  (And I find this thumbnail highly amusing!)



If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blisschick Redux: Who Would You Be if No One Had Ever Told You Who You Are?

Originally posted to Blisschick on July 3, 2009:


When someone whom you've just met asks you: "What do you do?" -- what is your response?

Most likely, if you are an American, your answer will be your job title. But there are cultures for whom this would be their last response. Yes. It's true. They might say that they are a parent or that they love to read or sail or that they garden or write poems.

(Some of us are lucky, of course, and we spend our days making a living by doing things that express our very essence. I'm not necessarily talking to you!)

So it came as no surprise to me when I last wrote about this idea of who you would be if no one had ever told you who you are that a lot of people ended up talking about jobs.

Answering this question can, eventually, lead to a different work life. But it starts at a much more basic place than that and I think it's worth revisiting.

This is about internal chatter, toxic tapes that play over and over, gremlins, divas that take up all the space and suck the oxygen right out of our ideas and dreams.

For me, this Blisschick, "you are lazy" is a core belief I hold about myself. No matter the lists and lists of evidence that I and others could construct to prove this wrong, it is still there, waiting for a moment when I'm not paying attention to ruin my party.

This means that my question is: "Who would I be, what would my life look like, if no one had ever told me I was essentially a lazy human being?"

The opposite is not always the answer.

Meaning, I do not necessarily replace "I am lazy" with "I am Super Woman of Productivity." Instead, the key here is to erase the lazy tape and replace it with "I am fine and happy the way I am."

Period. And it's probably the "answer" that we are all looking for.

Being fine and happy just the way we are.

So for enCouragingBliss this week, I ask you, what core belief about yourself did someone else teach you and can you let it go to just be fine and happy?

Dig Deep. Be Brave. Choose Bliss.




If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Harmonious Bodies Interview, Part 1: The Physical Body in Natural Dance

One of my favorite sections in this 20 minute interview is when I am talking about what happens when we are little to freeze up the body. (Interviews are such a learning experience; I love being pushed to clearly articulate in words this practice that is not about words.)

Go here to listen.

And again, if you are contemplating my teacher training, this gives you even more insight into my methods.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Body Listening Experiment (Short Video)





If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.