Archive

Tag Archives: Rumi

franti to cville prayer flags 012A week of Akhilanda, the goddess of Never Not Broken. In the playlists from classes, you might notice a number of interesting songs about brokeness, and riding and rolling on the crocodile of fear. I’ve also listed the Rumi poem I used on Monday and Tuesday.

The Michael Franti & Spearhead prayer flags are packaged up and Sara is leaving today to hand-deliver them! I made a little video invitation with images of the flags that you can find here. Please share it, pass it on, pay it forward and maybe the video will reach him as well as the flags!

As always, please let me know how I can help more.

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

This Rumi poem found its way to me this week (thank you, Gina) and it speaks to this croc-riding power of Akhilanda.

BirdWings
by Rumi

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
if it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
and expanding,
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.

Monday, Jul 21, 2014, 1045am ~ Akhilanda Rides Again and Again and Again

Amazing 4:34 One Eskimo
Wounded In All The Right Places [Feat. k.d. lang] 4:33 1 Giant Leap
Never Goin’ Down [Ben Chapman Remix] [1991] 3:51 Adamski
Smokey Quartz 6:59 Shakatura
Broken (New Version) 4:15 Lifehouse
Some Kind Of Ride 3:45 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Everything Is Broken 4:52 R.L. Burnside
It’s Alright 3:28 Dar Williams
Broken Piano 2:36 Ben Folds
Ghosts in My Machine 3:33 Annie Lennox
Gonna Be [Ben Human Remix] 4:10 Mo’ Horizons
Closer To Fine 4:02 Indigo Girls
Broken 3:56 Jack Johnson
Broken 4:49 Helen Jane Long

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014, 9am ~ Akhilanda Rides Again and Again and Again

The White Spirit 5:20 Uman
Childhood [2000] 4:44 Dusted
Wounded In All The Right Places [Feat. k.d. lang] 4:33 1 Giant Leap
Broken (New Version) 4:15 Lifehouse
Nostalgia Worship 6:46 Bassnectar
Everything Is Broken 4:52 R.L. Burnside
Ghosts in My Machine 3:33 Annie Lennox
Shakin’ It Up 6:15 Ganga Girl
Broken Piano 2:36 Ben Folds
Raag Trance 5:32 Biddu
Falling Into You 4:19 Céline Dion
Prayer Of St. Francis 2:02 Sarah McLachlan
When It Falls 5:31 Zero 7

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014, 1055am ~ Akhilanda Rides Again and Again and Again

Destiny 5:38 Zero 7
Wounded In All The Right Places [Feat. k.d. lang] 4:33 1 Giant Leap
Smooth 5:00 Santana
Broken (New Version) 4:15 Lifehouse
Everything Is Broken 4:52 R.L. Burnside
Roll With It 5:18 Steve Winwood
Pick Up The Pieces 4:03 The Average White Band
Lady Marmalade 4:25 Christina Aguilera
Mercy 3:41 Duffy
All We Are 3:37 Matt Nathanson
Fields of Gold 5:00 Eva Cassidy
Broken 4:49 Helen Jane Long

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014, 9am ~ Akhilanda Rides Again and Again and Again

Coming Back To Life 6:19 Pink Floyd
Living In The Moment 3:55 Jason Mraz
Never Know 3:33 Jack Johnson
Drifting Away (Paradiso Mix) 5:07 Faithless
Drive By 3:16 Train
Drop 4:56 Cornelius
Breathe (Extreme Mix) 4:04 Soulfood
Stairway To Heaven 8:03 Led Zeppelin
Why Must I Feel Like This Today? [Feat. Baaba Maal, Michael Franti, Ulali, Radio Active & Krishna Das] 9:28 1 Giant Leap
Everloving 3:26 Moby
Father I Know (Mix 1) 3:08 Jamie Catto

NIA TRAINER, JULIE WYLIE, COMING TO CHARLOTTESVILLE

We’re excited to support a weekend of classes and workshops with Nia Trainer, Julie Wylie now scheduled for September and a Nia White Belt early in 2015. Events will include lots of things for everyBODY as well as for belts wanting to reconnect to the principles and practices. More info coming soon.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…;

If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going. 

Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. There is one planned in Charlottesville (see above) and lots of other places, too.

Meduim: Watercolor on stonedge natural paper Size: 18" x 13"

It’s been a while since I’ve connected with my favorite Hindu goddess, Akhilanda.

Okay, I admit that she’s my favorite Hindu goddess because she is the only Hindu goddess I know.

Akhilanda.  Her name means Never Not Broken, she rides a spinning crocodile on the river of fear, she is a cut crystal in the sun shedding new light on every reality, and she is powerful beyond measure.  Oh yeah, I could use some of that ju-ju.  It’s time she and I hang out again.

Akhilanda first spun into my field of view in the fall of 2011, when I read this piece by JC Peters in Elephant Journal. Then I wrote about Akhilanda in April 2012, when I was about to begin a four-month sabbatical from teaching Nia, and everything about my practice felt broken. Now, in what I am lovingly calling The Sucky Summer of 2014, I am writing about her again.

Akhilanda’s Never-Not-Broken power lies in the breaking of entrenched patterns and habits and making ourselves new.  Of course, this can be uncomfortable to put it mildly.  The Never-Not-Broken feeling can be one we go to great lengths to avoid.  When difficult circumstances arise, it’s easy to shake my fist at the heavens and curse those damn Hindu goddesses.  The spinning, multi-faceted jewel of Akhilanda, however, offers 10,000 perspectives on every situation.

Akhilanda rides through the body.

As Frank rebuilds his strength after six weeks of virtual immobility, he experiences one of the body’s paradoxes: in order to build strength in the muscles, the very fiber of the muscles must be broken. The process of breaking and healing makes the muscle stronger than it was.

Akhilanda rides through emotions.

To see my tall, strong husband buckled over, in a wheel chair, then slid into the MRI machine felt like more than I could bear.  The temptation to stay in the waiting room, to look away, to keep my emotions at a manageable mid-range was strong.  Akhilanda’s wisdom invites me to jump into the river of emotion and allow myself to feel the depths of sadness, grief, fear.  Like strengthening a muscle, as I stretch my capacity for feeling painful emotions, I also increase how much joy, happiness and love I can let in.

Akhilanda is rides through scary situations, those things we think we cannot do.

I feared Frank aging and being disabled for a thousand reasons not the least of which was that I believed that would be a cross, angry, useless, horrible caregiver.  My prediction was that when in the presence of my beloved in serious pain, I would be pathetic mess.  Not surprisingly, I have feared any circumstance that would reveal this ugly side of myself.

Then, I found myself spun right into the heart of just such a circumstance.  My partner injured and pain with just me to look after him.

Mother Theresa, I am not. Sometimes I am a cross, angry, useless horrible caregiver and a pathetic mess.  But surprisingly, this is the exception.  Mostly, I can stay present and connected and do what needs doing and offer whatever comfort and service I can with love.  In this scary and painful situation that I feared, I discovered something unexpected about me and about our relationship.

All of which begs the question, of course: is it actually a Sucky Summer or just a crocodile-riding one?

Be crumbled.
So wild flowers will come up
Where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different. Surrender.
~Rumi

After teaching Nia for 12 years (the anniversary of my very first class is this month), I am taking a break for the summer.  From May 1 to August 31, I will be on sabbatical.

I’ve thought about writing this post for a while now as this decision was made weeks ago.  I have stories and analogies and lots of things to say about how I got here and what I think and feel about it.  And for today, I just want to tell the truth:  I need to release what I know to allow what is next.  I need, as Rumi says, to be crumbled.

I love my job.  I love teaching and moving, I love the people I get to work and play with, I love the music and the magic.  And recently, I realize that I am tired, I am lacking inspiration.  I feel stuck and unsure of what my path is as a teacher and a student.  I feel lost.

When I spoke to other teachers far more experienced and talented than me about these admittedly disconcerting and even frightening feelings, they didn’t scoff or say to just soldier on.  They said, “Of course.  This is what happens.  It’s perfectly normal.”  They said, “Wonderful!  You are on the next stage of the adventure!  I’m so excited for you.”  Hmph.  It sure doesn’t feel normal.  It feels like I’ve lost my bearings and my mojo.  And darn barn, I want my mojo back.

But the other thing these wise and experienced colleagues told me was that there is no magic way to move forward from this place.  There is no telling what it means or how to shift it or what will happen.  They said, “You just have to do whatever you have to do.”  For a while, I had no idea what that was.  None.  I was completely at a loss.

Then my one little word for 2012 came to me:  Release.  Let go and make some space.  Even though that idea was just as scary as losing my mojo, there was part of me that knew absolutely .  This is what I need to do.  Release and make some space.

This month, I will be exploring this process of “sabbatical-ing” in my Nia classes and here in my blog.  This summer, I’ll continue to write and share about the wild flowers that emerge in the space I’m clearing.  I hope you’ll come with me and perhaps find something that you are ready to release.  Something for which you want to make space.