For the next two weeks, we’ll be dancing a new-to-me routine called Sacred, choreographed by Nia Trainer Kelle Rae Oien. The focus of the routine is the bones with the intent of creating sustainability in the body. In my White Belt Nia training, I studied the bones for the first time, in part by using an Anatomy Coloring Book. In working with the routine, I deepened my fascination with the art of the bones: their names, their functions, their sculptured design. 

 

The word “sacrum” is from the Latin for “sacred” or “holy bone.” The obvious question is, why sacred? Here are some of the theories:

  • the pelvis is the container of the scared organs of procreation
  • the sacrum is the last bone to decompose after death so ancient people perhaps saw this as the bone from which the afterlife begins
  • the sacrum may have been used as a vessel for holding offerings or sacrifices

What do you think the sacrum resembles?

The xiphoid process at the tip of the sternum is made of cartilage in a child and gradually changed to bone by the time an adult is around 40.

The manubrium, connects with the clavicles or collarbones (we’ll look at those in detail next week!) and connects to the 1st pair of ribs. The body of the sternum, the gladiolus, connects with the next 6 pairs of ribs. Together, these 7 pairs of ribs are known as the true ribs, beneath those are two false ribs (indirectly connected to the sternum) and two floating ribs (not connected to the sternum at all).

The neurocranium is the part that is around the brain as opposed to the viscerocranium which are the facial bones.

The sphenoid bone is one of the most complex in the body due to its connection to facial bones, ligaments, and muscles. It’s in the middle of the skull near the front and forms much of the nasal cavity.

The ethmoid bone (Greek for sieve) is a small bone with a lacy construction (hence the name) separates the nasal cavity from the brain.

“The best way to prepare for the next pose is to be fully in this one.” – Kelly Stine

I am addicted to planning so I can control what happens and so that I can be ready. What happens if I am so present in this moment, that I’m ready now?

All the playlists from the week are below or you can listen to them by going to Spotify! Dance for free at Spotify! Sign up, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

And first the announce-y type things:

Memorial Day Nia – Monday, May 29 from 11-12:15pm
For the holiday, acac has a slightly modified schedule so on Memorial Day (and all Monday holidays), Nia at acac Albemarle Square will be from 11am-1215pm! Come spend some of your day off with your body and with us!

dance.sit.create… Saturday, Jun 24, 2o17, 8:30am-5pm
Come spend a delicious day playing at the sweet intersection of movement, stillness and art. We’ll explore the creative magic of the number 7 and the power of play for inspiration and restoration. No experience in anything is necessary. All you need is a willingness to see what happens and eat delicious, healthy meals. The retreat provides everything you need for an uplifting, rejuvenating day. Susan offers the structure and guidance for movement, meditation, and creative jaunts. Rebecca caters extraordinary vegetarian, gluten-free, seasonal food (tea, snack, lunch). And it doesn’t stop with one day. Also included is a 6-week series of music, meditations, and prompts to keep you in the flow. Some scholarship is available ~ email me for more on that (sjmnia@gmail.com).
Early Bird: $100 if registered by May 24. Late Bird: $125 if registered by June 20
Limited to 20 participants.
Checks to SusaNia LLC and mailed to 1255 Sunset Avenue Ext., Charlottesville VA 22903 with registration form or at http://www.susanmcculley.com.

dance.sit.create… research question
Please help me prepare for the upcoming retreat by answering this question: Are you an artist? If you said yes, what is it about you and/or your life that makes you one? If you said no, what would have to be different about you and/or your life for you to be one? Please feel free to answer in the comments or PM me! Thanks, y’all.

CHARLOTTESVILLE WHITE BELT TRAINING in September
Our friend, mentor and Nia Trainer, Helen Terry is coming to Charlottesville to offer a White Belt training! White Belt is the first level of Nia training, designed to provide body-centered training to anyone interested in living better in a body or teaching Nia. Helen is a First Generation Nia Trainer, chosen years ago by the creators of Nia to be one of the first Nia trainers. She’ll be retiring soon, so don’t miss your chance to learn from this amazing teacher and trainer! For more information and to register, please visit: https://nianow.com/node/1139984. Please feel free to contact Mary Linn at marylinnl@acac.com with any questions!
As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

The Awesome Event sponsored by Divine Play October 27-29
Join us for the weekend of October 27-19 in exploring an understanding of the mind that will allow you to break free of limits, relate with others, and naturally ripple ease, resilience and FUN through your personal and work life. Get all the information, buy tickets at http://www.theawesomeevent.com or call Jeanne Catherine: 434-218-9500.

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, May 15, 2017, 1045am ~ With Kate

Thank you, Kate for teaching while I tended to my beloved while he had his “spa treatment”!
Duende by Gipsy Kings
Sunday Morning, Up All Night by NYXYSS
Groove is in the Heart by Barclay Cream
Is This Love by OBE Chill Remix
Brutha Noah by Electro Swing & Gospel Breaks
Melt by Somerville & Wilson
Agolo by Angelique Kidjo
Xiao Thao Khoi San by Bob Holroyd
Reckoner by Radiohead
Ain’t Gonna Wait For You Forever by Ken Wank
All I Need by The Normalites
About You by Deep Dive Corp.
Blueprint by Bob Holroyd
Lullaby by Troels Hammer

Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 840am ~

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Mal
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams
The Way You Dream 8:21 Asha Bhosle/Michael Stipe
Ma’ Africa 4:49 Mahotella Queens/Ulali
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti
I’m Ready 3:52 Taj Mahal
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
I’ll Take You There 4:35 The Staples Singers
Release [Remix] 5:31 Afro Celt Sound System
People Get Ready 3:35 Eva Cassidy
Somehow Familiar 3:40 Fabrizio Paterlini

Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 11am ~

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Mal
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams
The Way You Dream 8:21 Asha Bhosle/Michael Stipe
Ma’ Africa 4:49 Mahotella Queens/Ulali
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti
I’m Ready 3:52 Taj Mahal
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
I’ll Take You There 4:35 The Staples Singers
Release [Remix] 5:31 Afro Celt Sound System
People Get Ready 3:35 Eva Cassidy
Halving The Compass 5:27 Helios

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 840am ~

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Maal
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams
Nourah 6:51 Makyo
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech
Raag Trance 5:32 Biddu
Now I’m Here 4:15 Queen
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
I’ll Take You There 4:35 The Staples Singers
Release [Remix] 5:31 Afro Celt Sound System
People Get Ready 3:35 Eva Cassidy
Halving The Compass 5:27 Helios

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. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

“The best way to prepare for the next pose is to be fully in this one.” – Kelly Stine

When I was in 3rd grade Mrs. Schneider had us do an exercise: write down and then tell the class something that you are good at. That clever Mrs. Schneider was way ahead of her time, assigning self-love to 8-year-olds in the early 1970s. I remember feeling uncomfortable to identify something I thought I did well, but I was nothing if not a direction-follower, so I did it.

Here’s what it was: I am organized.

My 3rd-grade-self loved keeping track of things, keeping my notebook in order and organizing what I was supposed to be doing. Even then, I was a list-making-planner, getting ready for what was coming.

To this day, I like having a plan. I like the neatness of a plan. A plan relaxes me and makes me feel ready. And yes thankyouverymuch, I do recognize that it is a way for me to pretend I have control over everything when I utterly and completely do not. I also recognize that this is a nervous person’s strategy. Thinking back on it, I feel tenderness for my little girl self that was already looking for ways of battening down the anxiety hatches.

These days, when my teachers talk about the almighty present moment and about staying in the Now instead of looking forward or back, I chafe a little. I mean, I get it. I know that Now is where life is happening and “Now is a gift; that’s why we call it the present” and all that. But we have to plan things, otherwise, the kids have no money for college, there is no food in the house at dinner time, and we’re homeless when we retire.

My genius yoga teacher, Kelly Stine says, “The best way to prepare for the next pose is to be fully in this one.”

My mind likes to think that I am already doing that, but my body knows different. I can feel it when I do yoga. Before I’m completely in Warrior I, I’m already beginning to open my hips and arms to get into Warrior II. Then, before I get into Warrior II, I’m flipping my front palm and reaching up and back for Reverse Warrior. If I keep projecting myself into the next pose, I’m never really in any of them.

I can feel it in Nia, too. I know another movement is coming up and I don’t really finish the one I’m doing to get the class ready for the next one. Kelly teaches that instead of mushing the two movements together, or having one dribble out, to be fully in the first right up until I’m in the next.

Like my organized, nervous 3rd grade self, I can see that this tendency to be projecting ahead happens often when I’m anxious about something.

Have you ever been at a cocktail party, having a conversation with someone, but they aren’t really looking at you? With eyes and attention wandering, they are casting around the room to see who is there and who might be the next person to talk to.

It’s possible that my love of planning and organizing is a way for me to get myself ready. It’s also a way to dissipate anxiety (social or otherwise) and disengage from whatever is happening in the moment. Instead, I could see whatever I’m doing right now as my planning. Fully engaged, present … and ready.

I don’t want to be a distracted flitting-ahead yogi. I don’t want to be that preoccupied person at the cocktail party. I want to be the one who is fully up to her eyebrows in the conversation she’s having right now. And when it’s over, it’s over and I have another full-on conversation.

I want to be ready now.

Every once in a while, my toes get painful little cracks in them. They always appear in the same place: at the base of my big toes. They hurt like the devil when they show up and given their vulnerable placement, it takes weeks for them to heal. The only way I’ve found to fix them is to tape my toes. It’s not a great look for a barefoot dance teacher but I’ve yet to find a better option.

For years, I couldn’t figure out why it was happening – was it the weather, when I danced on unfamiliar surfaces, what?? Finally, I turned on my witness – high caliber awareness – and paid close attention to what was going on when the toe tape came out. The witness revealed that these teeny injuries happen when I’m learning new choreography and stepping back onto my toes rather than the ball of my foot.

Even with the witness’s observation, I still have to tape up my toes now and again (as anyone in classes this week knows) but at least now I know how I do what I do…and what the consequences are. Without that information, no choice or change is possible.

All the playlists from the week are below or you can listen to them by going to Spotify! Dance for free at Spotify! Sign up, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

And first the announce-y type things:

Marie-Therese Pain Obituary
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and long-time dancer, Marie Pain. You can find her obituary here. I will be attending the service on Saturday to deliver our community condolences (I have a card if you’d like to sign it) and welcome anyone who would like to join me.

Memorial Day Nia – Monday, May 29 from 11-12:15pm
For the holiday, acac has a slightly modified schedule so on Memorial Day (and all Monday holidays), Nia at acac Albemarle Square will be from 11am-1215pm! Come spend some of your day off with your body and with us!

dance.sit.create… Saturday, Jun 24, 2o17, 8:30am-5pm
Come spend a delicious day playing at the sweet intersection of movement, stillness and art. We’ll explore the creative magic of the number 7 and the power of play for inspiration and restoration. No experience in anything is necessary. All you need is a willingness to see what happens and eat delicious, healthy meals. The retreat provides everything you need for an uplifting, rejuvenating day. Susan offers the structure and guidance for movement, meditation, and creative jaunts. Rebecca caters extraordinary vegetarian, gluten-free, seasonal food (tea, snack, lunch). And it doesn’t stop with one day. Also included is a 6-week series of music, meditations, and prompts to keep you in the flow. Some scholarship is available ~ email me for more on that (sjmnia@gmail.com).
Early Bird: $100 if registered by May 24. Late Bird: $125 if registered by June 20
Limited to 20 participants.
Checks to SusaNia LLC and mailed to 1255 Sunset Avenue Ext., Charlottesville VA 22903 with registration form or at http://www.susanmcculley.com.

dance.sit.create… research question
Please help me prepare for the upcoming retreat by answering this question: Are you an artist? If you said yes, what is it about you and/or your life that makes you one? If you said no, what would have to be different about you and/or your life for you to be one? Please feel free to answer in the comments or PM me! Thanks, y’all.

CHARLOTTESVILLE WHITE BELT TRAINING in September
Our friend, mentor and Nia Trainer, Helen Terry is coming to Charlottesville to offer a White Belt training! White Belt is the first level of Nia training, designed to provide body-centered training to anyone interested in living better in a body or teaching Nia. Helen is a First Generation Nia Trainer, chosen years ago by the creators of Nia to be one of the first Nia trainers. She’ll be retiring soon, so don’t miss your chance to learn from this amazing teacher and trainer! For more information and to register, please visit: https://nianow.com/node/1139984. Please feel free to contact Mary Linn at marylinnl@acac.com with any questions!
As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3pm ~ Love Warrior at the Quaker Friends Meeting House

I See Fire 5:01 Ed Sheeran
Beauty & the East (Banco de Gaia Remix) 6:51 Bombay Dub Orchestra
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
Mexican Chef 3:49 Xenia Rubinos
Ain’t No Man 3:34 The Avett Brothers
American Idiot 2:54 Green Day
Faith (feat. Ariana Grande) 2:43 Stevie Wonder
Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar) 4:50 Beyoncé
That’s What Makes Us Great (feat. Bruce Springsteen) 3:25 Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers
Revolution 3:40 Coco Love Alcorn
This Land Is Your Land 4:38 Little Feat
Mercy 4:31 Dave Matthews Band
We Are the Ones 2:51 Sweet Honey In the Rock
Gentle Exit 4:15 The Happening

Monday, May 8, 2017, 1045am ~ Witness Choice Variety

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Any Way You Want It 3:24 Journey
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd
Stillpoint 4:18 Oliver Shanti & Friends

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 840am ~ Witness Choice Variety

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
#1 Spice 3:51 Young Cardamom & HAB
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama 3:15 Peter Kater

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 11am ~ Witness Choice Variety

We Are All Connected 7:07 Magic Sound Fabric
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
One World, One People 4:43 Xcultures
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Moon & Sun 6:02 Dalminjo Fjörd Fusioneer
Do Your Thing 4:45 Basement Jaxx
A Little Bit Of Riddim (Featuring Cherine Anderson) 4:19 Michael Franti
Give It Away 5:17 Zero 7
Witness 4:48 Sarah McLachlan

Thursday, May 11, 2017, 840am ~ Witness Choice Variety

We Are All Connected 7:07 Magic Sound Fabric
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One World, One People 4:43 Xcultures
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Moon & Sun 6:02 Dalminjo Fjörd Fusioneer
Do Your Thing 4:45 Basement Jaxx
A Little Bit Of Riddim (Featuring Cherine Anderson) 4:19 Michael Franti
Give It Away 5:17 Zero 7
Let It Go 2:16 Jamie Catto & Alex Forster

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. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!


Sometimes, I think I’m doing something and really I’m not.
Or I think I’m not doing something but I actually am.

Lately, I’ve been exploring new music* with the particular intention to expand the variety of what I listen to and use in my classes. I’ve been working on a playlist for weeks: combining a variety of styles and rhythms, tempos and lyrical themes. Satisfied, I sit back, look at what I created…and see that it was a playlist of entirely white artists.

Dang it.

In conversations, I can get excited. I want to share something so I interrupt people. It’s an annoying habit that does nothing to create connection or build relationships. Just ask my husband. So, I pay attention and breathe when I have an urge to jump in and say something. But when I ask Frank how he likes it now I’m not talking over him, he raises his eyebrows, “You mean you were doing something differently?”

Double dang it.

I notice this in Nia and yoga, too. I’ll be moving around the studio, feeling like I’m really breaking into some new moves only to realize that I’m doing the same exact thing I always do with my feet. I think my hips are nice and square in Twisted Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana). But when I put my hand on my low back, I can feel that it’s all cattywampus. I catch myself in the mirror, or someone catches me in a photo and there it is: I’m doing what I usually do the way I usually do it.

It’s normal to find a groove and stick to it. Habit is, as an old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon said, the most powerful force in the universe. Habits develop to save energy and allow us to focus on threats and problems that haven’t been solved yet. But if I walk on the same parts of the carpet all the time, those parts get worn down to the nub while others go untouched. It is healthy to break out of habitual patterns and find new pathways in the body and brain.

Habit-breaking is not only healthful for the nervous system, but it give us options when circumstances shift and we are unable to do things in our habitual way. If you never, ever use your non-dominant hand to open doors or brush your hair or eat, what will happen when you injure your dominant arm? (Answer: You will stay in one room with messy hair and be hungry.)

Much of any body~mind practice focuses on us noticing our habits and making different choices. In Nia, many principles focus on creating movement variety and breaking out of our habitual patterns. We use the Principle 2, Part 2, The 9 Movement Forms (and a bevy of other Principles) to create new skills and possibilities in the body.

However, not one of those principles will effect a single pingle thing unless we witness how we do what we do. We have to actually know what we’re doing if we’re going to choose something different. Without that awareness, we are swimming in an unconscious sea of habit. Even after years of practice, I find myself continually going back to doing-it-the-way-I-do-it – and the only way I can make that statement is that I know how I do what I do. It’s only from there that I have a choice.

Whether you dance Nia or garden or chase after toddlers, spend some time and attention on noticing how you do it. Without judgment or criticism, be a witness to your own patterns:
Oh, I tend to step back onto the ball of my foot and lift my elbows when I free dance.
Ah, when I pick up my daughter, I always put her on my right hip.
Hmm, no matter what the time of day, whenever I get home, I have a snack.
Look at that, I interrupt people.

The first step in creating real, actual change is to witness how I do what I do. There is no skipping that step. From there, the possibilities are endless.

* I’m always interested in knowing what you’re listening to and especially what you are dancing to in the car/kitchen/shower. I’d love it if you’d share your current favorites in the comments below, on the Focus Pocus Facebook page, or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com

First, the difficult news: it is with deep sadness that I share that our friend and long-time Nia dancer, Marie-Therese Pain died unexpectedly last week. We will miss her bright smile and generous, positive energy in classes. When it’s ready, her obituary will be here and a funeral mass will be held at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church (401 Alderman Road Charlottesville, VA 22903) at 11AM on Saturday, May 13th.

It’s been a week of wobbles. Which is a good thing…albeit often an uncomfortable one. Whether it’s in body, mind and emotions, it’s easy to run from awkward wobbly feelings but then we lose the chance to learn and grow and get stronger. So wobble on, my friends.

All the playlists from the week are below or you can listen to them by going to Spotify! Dance for free at Spotify! Sign up, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

This week’s announcements and news:

• Interview on Home Grown on Sunday, May 7 at 10am
Listen in on Sunday, May 7, to an interview on Home Grown: Your Show about Local Art on 94.7 WPVC FM, Charlottesville. Susan will talk with hosts Leslie M. Scott-Jones and David Vaughn Straughn about movement, stillness and art…and dance.sit.create. It will also be on a Facebook Live Stream https://www.facebook.com/HomeGrownWPVC/

• Love Warrior: embody an evolving movement ~ Sunday, May 7, 3-430pm
a moving experience of activism in support of a local Syrian immigrant family
Join Susan to experience a new and evolving routine called Love Warrior. This is a movement experience designed for everyBody that allows us to experience the sensation of the change we want to see in the world. We can then translate that sensation directly into action. If you’ve not done this routine before, this is a great time to experience it. If you have, come do it with us again ~~ it’s always changing.
The way we treat the most vulnerable among us says the most about who we are. Enjoy an evening of movement, music, and community and at the same time offer support to a Syrian immigrant family. Home made Syrian baked treats will be available for sale after class!
Donate-What-You-Can ~ All proceeds from the event will go to our Syrian neighbors

Memorial Day Nia – Monday, May 29 from 11-12:15pm
For the holiday, acac has a slightly modified schedule so on Memorial Day (and all Monday holidays), Nia at acac Albemarle Square will be from 11am-1215pm! Come spend some of your day off with your body and with us!

dance.sit.create… RESCHEDULED Saturday, Jun 24, 2o17, 8:30am-5pm
Turns out that Mother’s Day weekend is a terrible time for a retreat. So, we will dance.sit.create…now on June 24. Come spend a delicious day playing at the sweet intersection of movement, stillness and art. We’ll explore the creative magic of the number 7 and the power of play for inspiration and restoration. No experience in anything is necessary. All you need is a willingness to see what happens and eat delicious, healthy meals. The retreat provides everything you need for an uplifting, rejuvenating day. Susan offers the structure and guidance for movement, meditation, and creative jaunts. Rebecca caters extraordinary vegetarian, gluten-free, seasonal food (tea, snack, lunch). And it doesn’t stop with one day. Also included is a 6-week series of music, meditations, and prompts to keep you in the flow.
Early Bird: $100 if registered by May 24. Late Bird: $125 if registered by June 20
Limited to 20 participants.
Checks to SusaNia LLC and mailed to 1255 Sunset Avenue Ext., Charlottesville VA 22903 with registration form or at http://www.susanmcculley.com.

CHARLOTTESVILLE WHITE BELT TRAINING in September
Our friend, mentor and Nia Trainer, Helen Terry is coming to Charlottesville to offer a White Belt training! White Belt is the first level of Nia training, designed to provide body-centered training to anyone interested in living better in a body or teaching Nia. Helen is a First Generation Nia Trainer, chosen years ago by the creators of Nia to be one of the first Nia trainers. She’ll be retiring soon, so don’t miss your chance to learn from this amazing teacher and trainer! For more information and to register, please visit: https://nianow.com/node/1139984. Please feel free to contact Mary Linn at marylinnl@acac.com with any questions!
As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, May 1, 2017, 1045am ~ Wobbly

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
No Quiero Nada Mas 4:46 Sancti Spiritus
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Red Alert 4:17 Basement Jaxx
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
In Focus [Intimate Mix] 4:49 Popcorn
Beguiled 4:46 Tim Story

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 840am ~ Wobbly

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Red Alert 4:17 Basement Jaxx
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
In Focus [Intimate Mix] 4:49 Popcorn
April Come She Will 2:06 Tracy Grammer

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 11am ~ Wobbly

Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Kate 3:14 Ben Folds Five
Drumming Up a Storm 6:01 Bob Holroyd
New Shoes 3:22 Paolo Nutini
Life Is Better With You 3:19 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Champs Elysees (Stephane Pompougnac Mix) 4:51 Clémentine
Don’t Give Up 5:56 Peter Gabriel
Tibet Part II (Nia Movement Meditation, Stillness) 4:54 Mark Isham

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 840am ~ Wobbly

Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Fall Down 3:22 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Drumming Up a Storm 6:01 Bob Holroyd
New Shoes 3:22 Paolo Nutini
Champs Elysees (Stephane Pompougnac Mix) 4:51 Clémentine
Don’t Give Up 5:56 Peter Gabriel

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photo by Rebecca George ~ find her art at https://www.instagram.com/bravedragonfly/

My friend and colleague, Loring Myles, is teaching her last Nia class at acac today. The mother of one of my closest friends is dying. And it feels sincerely unclear to me what the Sam Hill is happening in the world. Endings and uncertainty can leave me wobbly. Which seems like an excellent time to revisit this post from late summer 2013

 

‘The old is not old enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born.’ ”

– from John O’Donohue’s poem For the Interim Time

The past few weeks have been full of everything at our house: family visiting from Minnesota, planning for upcoming travels near and far (including buying a camper!?), a parent’s serious illness (and then amazing recovery!), and then yesterday, we took our second (and last) child to college. Lots of broken routines and unexpected twists, lots of emotions of every color and intensity.

After all that, I feel fragile. Like I might crack if I move too quickly. Or at least bruise at the smallest thing: like when I see a parent laughing with (or angry with) their child, or an elder slowly and gingerly crossing a road, or the rich blue late summer sky filled with plumes of white clouds.

My friend calls it “wobbly.” It’s true. The past few days, I’ve felt all kinds of wobbly.

This week, on her (wonderful!) blog, author (and Nia student!) Deborah Prum posted a quote from Frederick Buechner that is full of paradox and wisdom and speaks directly to how I’m feeling. In part it reads, “We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old.” This is the interim time that John O’Donohue’s perceptive poem blesses. This is the uncomfortable, in-between time when even a familiar path feels uneven and strange. It’s the time when one thing is over but the next hasn’t yet begun. We’ve cast off from shore into a fog bank with no land is in sight.

In part, it’s the time of year. Kids are going to school, sometimes for the first time, or leaving home. I suspect I am not the only one who watched my boy walk away and wondered how my days will be, how my relationship with my partner will be, and who I will be with him gone. Wobbly questions, indeed.

But it’s not just a fall thing and it’s not just a child-going-to-school thing. We are all in transition all the time. We are all letting go of something and waiting for whatever comes next. For you it may be making plans to move, have or adopt a baby, change jobs or embark on a creative project. You may be preparing for retirement or travel or going to school. And of course, navigating the ultimate transitions of aging, illness, and death in ourselves and in others is so filled with uncertainty and fear that it can plop us smartly on our butts. Whether it’s an exciting something you want, or a troubling something you fear, there is always that in-between feeling when you’re leaving one thing and haven’t yet come to the next.

Most of us shrink from this interim time. The discomfort can be intolerable and we will do whatever we can to avoid it. Our unwillingness to be in the awkwardness of transition can lead to all manner of poor, short-sighted decisions. Fear of the interim time is at the root of rebound relationships, ill-considered next jobs, and even trashy magazine reading in the doctor’s office.

Whatever transitions you are in right now, whatever interim time you are wandering in, remind yourself that this is fertile, important ground to walk. It’s worth spending time in the uncomfortable liminal space. It’s important to stay here, breathe, and not run. As John O’Donohue encourages us:

As far as you can, hold your confidence.

Do not allow your confusion to sqauander

This call which is loosening

Your roots in the false ground,

That you might come free

From all you have outgrown.

Fear not the wobblies. Welcome them, as they are necessary for growth. Fear not the transitional, in-betweenie feeling. Allow yourself to walk wobbly but wise through the transitions for it is the only way to recognize what you have outgrown and see clearly what is next.

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