Five years ago, my husband and I bought a small camper (Le Que!) to pull behind our truck. We were excited to explore, to discover state parks around the country and to spend more time in nature. I loved the idea of cooking for ourselves (vegetarians can struggle in the Midwest), of making a home on wheels. I loved the thought of hiking and riding in beautiful new places, of going to sleep seeing the stars and waking up in the forest.

The very idea of driving this rig, however, terrified me. Driving just the truck pushed my edges and I did that as little as possible. The idea of driving both the truck AND the campe scared the bejeebies out of me.

So I got really good at riding in the passenger seat. I provided water and snacks and hand massages. I downloaded interesting podcasts. I programmed the GPS and read the maps. I was an excellent passenger.

Frank assured me that he liked driving and didn’t mind being the only one behind the wheel. The camper is actually smaller than his work trailer, so for him, it wasn’t difficult — even to back into tiny campsites and navigate city traffic.

But in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn’t a great idea for me not to be able to drive the rig. What if Frank got ill or injured? What if he was tired and we needed to cover more miles than he could go? What if he just wanted a break?

On our trip this summer, I thought about it a lot. I had long conversations about it in my head but was afraid to say anything out loud. Half way through the trip I mentioned it casually. We were leaving Itasca State Park in Minnesota, and I said that maybe-sometime-maybe-on-this-trip-maybe-next-summer I should try driving. Frank said, “How about right now?”

I immediately regretted saying anything. It was one thing to think of doing it sometime in the misty future. Another thing entirely to think about doing it now. But that’s what happened. Frank pulled over, gave me a couple of (incredibly helpful) things to think about, and I hoisted myself into the driver’s seat.

We were in rural Northern Minnesota so there was no traffic. There were hardly any towns. Hell, there were hardly any curves in the road. But I did it. For nearly two hours, I drove the rig.

At first I was tight as a wire, with eyes darting and hands gripping. But as I drove some every day, I got more relaxed, more aware, more confident. I can’t back the thing up to save my life. That’s something for another summer. But for now, I can drive the rig. As scary as it was at first, it’s one of the most empowering things I’ve done in a long time.

Who is driving your days?

Are you letting your spouse, your child, your work, your expectations, your parents, the news, your fear to drive your choices?

It can be great to sometimes be in the passenger seat, navigating, distributing snacks, providing entertainment and navigation.

And if that’s the only place you sit, if you are afraid to drive, if you are bullied out of driving, if you have a story that you can’t drive or don’t deserve to drive, it’s time to swing yourself up into the rig.

It’s time to sit in the driver’s seat.

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We danced chaos and herded cats with the Unity routine this week. You can find all the playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

But first, here are some things I know you want to know about:

Locker Room Renovation at Albemarle Square starting soon
Renovations on the locker rooms at Albemarle Square are starting now and both the men’s and women’s locker rooms are now closed. For all the information, please click on the sidebar link on the right side: acac Locker Room Renovation 2018.

Buddha Cat: Learning Awareness, Presence & Self-Care from a Teacher Who Sometimes Barf on the Bed … Second Printing Arrives This Week!
Buddha Cat is on backorder (second printing comes in this week) but it’s still on sale at my site! If you haven’t yet, you can go to http://www.susanmcculley.com and sign up to be a Buddha Cat Backer. You will then have access to a discount code for free shipping that never expires for Backers!

Buddha Cat Now on Amazon
Buddha Cat is now also available on the world’s largest retailer! You can find both Kindle and paperback editions AND if you are already a reader and fan, PLEASE would you write a review? A review is one of the most powerful things you can do to spread the word. Find the book listing here! Thank you for your energy and support!

Buddha Cat Now Available at Five Local Stores!
If you’d rather not order online and/or if you’d like to support an independent bookstore, you can find the book at two local establishments!
Over The Moon Bookstore at 2025 Library Ave in Crozet, Virginia. It’s a beautiful store filled with great books, lovely things and chocolate and is well worth a visit.
New Dominion Bookshop on the downtown mall at 404 E Main St in Charlottesville, Virginia. New Dominion is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia, and carries books in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, and a unique selection of architecture and landscape gardening resources…as well as Buddha Cat. Please do go in, ask for Buddha Cat by name and support local artists, local booksellers and local cats.
Quilts Unlimited / J. Fenton Gifts on the downtown mall at  118 West Main St in Charlottesville. This is a great place to find contemporary American Handcrafts, artisan jewelry and whimsical (even Buddha-y) gifts.
PawPrints on the downtown mall at 201 East Main Street near the fountain. A locally owned shop, PawPrints offers unique items for both people and pets. You can find fun cat and dog themed toys, treats, gifts and apparel – and Buddha Cat!
Integral Yoga Natural Foods at 923 Preston Ave, IY provides the foods, supplements, personal-care products – and Buddha books! – needed to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Buddha Cat & More Art at Hot Yoga Charlottesville Book & Art Reception October 13, 12pm-1pm
A selection of drawings and mixed media pieces including some from the Buddha Cat book is hanging at Hot Yoga Charlottesville (216 Water St W Ste 103, Charlottesville, VA 22902) October 1 – November 9. We’ll have books for signing and art for sale and snacks for snacking on Saturday, October 13, 12noon-1pm. Come sweat and celebrate.

Carlos Coalescence: Mary Linn & Susan Team Teaching Our Favorite Songs from our Favorite Teacher Tue, Oct 23 & Weds, Oct 24
Mary Linn and I are getting together to celebrate our favorites from Carlos Rosas’ choreography! Join us for these gems for three special classes:
Tuesday, Oct 22, 840am at acac downtown
Tuesday, Oct 22, 530pm at acac Albemarle Square
Wednesday, Oct 23, 11am at acac Albemarle Square

Blue Ridge Writer’s Annual Book and Arts Fair, Saturday October 27, 10am-4pm
I’m delighted to be participating in this annual event of 35 local authors of adult and children’s literature. Join us at City Space, 2nd Floor of the Market Street Garage on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall from 10am-4pm. Talk with local authors and poets and find delightful and inspiring gifts.

Buddha Cat Book Launch Party on Saturday, Nov 3, 2-3pm at New Dominion Bookshop
Come to the historic New Dominion Bookshop on the historic downtown mall for a book launch party! I’ll be signing books and you can do some early holiday shopping and there will be very cool people there (you!) and, of course, snacks! Please join us.

Nia Moving To Heal Classes at acac downtown Sundays at 315pm
Join Rachel H on Sundays at 315pm for Nia Moving To Heal: a joyful, restorative practice that combines dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  It is designed to empower your body, mind, spirit, and emotions.  Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace and personalize movement to adapt to their health needs.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Oct 8, 2018, 1045am ~ Herding Cats

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Sunshine 3:34 Matisyahu
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Give Love (Infinite Love Mix) 5:29 MC Yogi
This Cat’s Ona Hot Tin Roof 2:20 Brian Seltzer
Cat Turned Blue 3:43 Rusted Root
Body Language / Interpretation 5:00 Booka Shade
Common Threads 4:17 Bobby McFerrin
Don’t Leave 4:03 Faithless
Song To The Siren 5:51 Robert Plant

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018, 840am ~ Herding Cats

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Sunshine 3:34 Matisyahu
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Give Love (Infinite Love Mix) 5:29 MC Yogi
This Cat’s Ona Hot Tin Roof 2:20 Brian Seltzer
Cat Turned Blue 3:43 Rusted Root
Common Threads 4:17 Bobby McFerrin
Don’t Leave 4:03 Faithless
Song To The Siren 5:51 Robert Plant

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2017, 11am ~ Herding Cats

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Sunshine 3:34 Matisyahu
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Give Love (Infinite Love Mix) 5:29 MC Yogi
Cool for Cats 3:40 Squeeze Cool for Cats
Cat Turned Blue 3:43 Rusted Root
Common Threads 4:17 Bobby McFerrin
Song To The Siren 5:51 Robert Plant

Thursday, Oct 11, 2017, 840am ~ Herding Cats

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Sunshine 3:34 Matisyahu
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Give Love (Infinite Love Mix) 5:29 MC Yogi
Cool for Cats 3:40 Squeeze Cool for Cats
Cat Turned Blue 3:43 Rusted Root
Don’t Leave 4:03 Faithless
Song To The Siren 5:51 Robert Plant

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!

 

In second grade, my (beloved!) teacher Mrs. Schnieder gave us a baffling and challenging assignment: she asked us all to write down and share something that we liked about ourselves.

My second grade self scrambled to find something that followed her assignment without overdoing the self-love thing. (The fact that I found this assignment baffling and challenging and that my young self had already learned that it was really bad to brag or to feel too good about yourself is the subject of another post. And it bears noting nonetheless.)

So after much mental gymnastics, here’s what I wrote down: I’m organized.

Even then, my 7- or 8-year-old self (or however old I was when I was in second grade) knew this about myself and saw it as a positive thing. Life as a kid felt chaotic (or at least teetering on out of control), and my little self saw my organizational skills as a good way of keeping myself safe and loved.

Life, as it turns out, does not get less chaotic in adulthood. And while I know now that my safety and lovability are not reliant on my ability to organize, I still solidly lean on the skill.

And yet some times, no matter how I try, it eludes me.

Right now, as I write this, my office is filled with piles of (unread) books, an overflowing folder of Buddha Cat marketing materials, a pile of unwritten political postcards, a basket of my prints, another of art postcards and a box of book-signing materials (no books, though, I’m waiting for the second printing!). On the coffee table is a scatter of art materials, a stack of square paper, two rulers and a box of envelopes for sending those books (just as soon as they arrive).

It’s a crazy-town mess.

The root of the mess is all good, non-traumatic stuff. It’s self-imposed chaos, disorder, and stress but there it all is, nonetheless.

In the midst of this, I gratefully read Leo Babauta’s post, Herding Cats: A Simple Method for Working with the Disorder of Our Lives. After writing a book about a cat, I’m well-acquainted with the untamed feline temperament. (For evidence, this is the picture Rebecca George took when we were attempting to get Phoenix to sit in meditation with me.)

Leo’s post and the metaphor of herding cats perfectly describes the way my life feels right now. He speaks in this piece directly to my feeling of drowning in my attempts to keep everything neat and tidy and efficient and … GAH. I can exhaust myself with it all.

His wise invitation is to count on the chaos rather than try to fit it into perfectly stacked and sealed bins. Know that chaos will happen, is always happening and not to see it as a bad thing. Rather, Leo suggests to gently nudge the sprawling mess into the general direction we want to go. (His post is wonderful and not long, so I hope you’ll read it.) He says,

When things go astray, it’s not a problem. There’s never a problem, it’s all just beautiful chaos with a loving intention.

Which is something I think I need to tattoo on my forearm and forehead and paint on the walls, so I’m reminded over and over. Right. This is the nature of things. Any attempts to keep it from swirling are futile. So relax and breathe and dance with it.

Do you feel this in your days? Do you feel the swirling spiral of erratic uncertainty? (What is it like to read a post full of parenthetical asides?) What would happen if you breathed all of that in, allowed it to be and gently scooted the cat’s butt in the direction you want it to go?

That’s what I’m practicing. Some days go more smoothly than others, and luckily the supply of crazy chaos is endless so there’s always an opportunity to practice again. What happens if, as Leo suggests:

The wild flow of our lives is a thing of heartbreaking beauty and joy.


(This image of “Climb” reminds me of the feeling of gripping and tension. It’s from the series of ink drawings I did for Inktober 2017. You can follow my installments this year for Inktober 2018 prompts on my Facebook page or on my Instagram feed !)

This week we explored what’s underneath places of chronic gripping and tension with the side-body-focused Elegant Stumbling routine. You can find all the playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

But first, here are some things I know you want to know about:

Locker Room Renovation at Albemarle Square starting soon
Renovations on the locker rooms at Albemarle Square are starting now and both the men’s and women’s locker rooms are now closed. For all the information, please click on the sidebar link on the right side: acac Locker Room Renovation 2018.

Buddha Cat: Learning Awareness, Presence & Self-Care from a Teacher Who Sometimes Barf on the Bed … Are Going Fast!
Buddha Cat is on backorder (second printing comes in next week) but it’s still on sale at my site! If you haven’t yet, you can go to http://www.susanmcculley.com and sign up to be a Buddha Cat Backer. You will then have access to a discount code for free shipping – always for Backers!

Buddha Cat Now Available at Five Local Stores!
If you’d rather not order online and/or if you’d like to support an independent bookstore, you can find the book now at five local establishments!
Over The Moon Bookstore at 2025 Library Ave in Crozet, Virginia. It’s a beautiful store filled with great books, lovely things and chocolate and is well worth a visit.
New Dominion Bookshop on the downtown mall at 404 E Main St in Charlottesville, Virginia. New Dominion is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia, and carries books in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, and a unique selection of architecture and landscape gardening resources…as well as Buddha Cat. Please do go in, ask for Buddha Cat by name and support local artists, local booksellers and local cats.
Quilts Unlimited / J. Fenton Gifts on the downtown mall at  118 West Main St in Charlottesville. This is a great place to find contemporary American Handcrafts, artisan jewelry and whimsical (even Buddha-y) gifts.
PawPrints on the downtown mall at 201 East Main Street near the fountain. A locally owned shop, PawPrints offers unique items for both people and pets. You can find fun cat and dog themed toys, treats, gifts and apparel – and Buddha Cat!
Integral Yoga Natural Foods at 923 Preston Ave, IY provides the foods, supplements, personal-care products – and Buddha books! – needed to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Buddha Cat & More Art at Hot Yoga Charlottesville Book & Art Reception October 13, 12pm-1pm
A selection of drawings and mixed media pieces including some from the Buddha Cat book is hanging at Hot Yoga Charlottesville (216 Water St W Ste 103, Charlottesville, VA 22902) October 1 – November 9. We’ll have books for signing and art for sale and snacks for snacking on Saturday, October 13, 12noon-1pm. Come sweat and celebrate.

Blue Ridge Writer’s Annual Book and Arts Fair, Saturday October 27, 10am-4pm
I’m delighted to be participating in this annual event of 35 local authors of adult and children’s literature. Join us at City Space, 2nd Floor of the Market Street Garage on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall from 10am-4pm. Talk with local authors and poets and find delightful and inspiring gifts.

Buddha Cat Book Launch Party on Saturday, Nov 3, 2-3pm at New Dominion Bookshop
Come to the historic New Dominion Bookshop on the historic downtown mall for a book launch party! I’ll be signing books and you can do some early holiday shopping and there will be very cool people there (you!) and, of course, snacks! Please join us.

Nia Moving To Heal Classes at acac downtown Sundays at 315pm
Join Rachel H on Sundays at 315pm for Nia Moving To Heal: a joyful, restorative practice that combines dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  It is designed to empower your body, mind, spirit, and emotions.  Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace and personalize movement to adapt to their health needs.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Oct 1, 2018, 1045am ~ Where Are You Gripping? (Neck, Shoulders, Hips)

Ooh Child (Alternate Version) 3:54 Beth Orton
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty Lights
I Believe (feat. Michael Franti & Nahko) 3:23 SOJA
SuNu 5:05 Rising Appalachia
Belly Belly Nice 3:53 Dave Matthews Band
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Tribal 4:09 Badmarsh & Shri
Mad World (feat. Safri Duo & Isam B) [Raaban Edit] 3:34 Michael Parsberg
I Don’t Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) 3:44 Flo Rida
Unpack Your Heart 3:16 Phillip Phillips
Ooh Child ((Remix)) 3:33 Nina Simone
Everything’ll Be Alright 4:07 Catherine MacLellan
Waters of Miriam (Live at Esalen) Part 2 4:42 Josh Brill

Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018, 840am ~ Where Are You Gripping? (Head, Shoulders, Belly)

Ooh Child (Alternate Version) 3:54 Beth Orton
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty Lights
I Believe (feat. Michael Franti & Nahko) 3:23 SOJA
SuNu 5:05 Rising Appalachia
Belly Belly Nice 3:53 Dave Matthews Band
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Tribal 4:09 Badmarsh & Shri
Mad World (feat. Safri Duo & Isam B) [Raaban Edit] 3:34 Michael Parsberg
I Don’t Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) 3:44 Flo Rida
Unpack Your Heart 3:16 Phillip Phillips
Ooh Child ((Remix)) 3:33 Nina Simone
Everything’ll Be Alright 4:07 Catherine MacLellan
Let It Go 2:16 Jamie Catto & Alex Forster

Wednesday, Oct 3, 2017, 11am ~Where Are You Gripping? (low back, belly, hands, jaw)

Ooh Child (Alternate Version) 3:54 Beth Orton
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty Lights
I Believe (feat. Michael Franti & Nahko) 3:23 SOJA
SuNu 5:05 Rising Appalachia
Belly Belly Nice 3:53 Dave Matthews Band
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Tribal 4:09 Badmarsh & Shri
Mad World (feat. Safri Duo & Isam B) [Raaban Edit] 3:34 Michael Parsberg
I Don’t Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) 3:44 Flo Rida
Unpack Your Heart 3:16 Phillip Phillips
Ooh Child ((Remix)) 3:33 Nina Simone
Everything’ll Be Alright 4:07 Catherine MacLellan
Waters of Miriam (Live at Esalen) Part 2 4:42 Josh Brill

Thursday, Oct 4, 2017, 840am ~ Where Are You Gripping? (Group Gripping Places: low back/SI joint, shoulders/neck, face, feet)

Ooh Child (Alternate Version) 3:54 Beth Orton
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty Lights
I Believe (feat. Michael Franti & Nahko) 3:23 SOJA
SuNu 5:05 Rising Appalachia
Belly Belly Nice 3:53 Dave Matthews Band
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Tribal 4:09 Badmarsh & Shri
Mad World (feat. Safri Duo & Isam B) [Raaban Edit] 3:34 Michael Parsberg
I Don’t Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) 3:44 Flo Rida
Unpack Your Heart 3:16 Phillip Phillips
Ooh Child ((Remix)) 3:33 Nina Simone
Everything’ll Be Alright 4:07 Catherine MacLellan

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!


“Oh. Your jaw.”
I’d been dancing with enthusiasm and energy when my wise friend caught sight of me. She gently touched her own jaw with her fingertips.
“Your jaw.”
As soon as she said it, I could feel it: my jaw was stiff and locked. I felt the tension in my face, neck and shoulders. It’s a long-held habit that somewhere in my awareness is connected with not saying what I want to say.
I shook my head a little, opened my mouth and stretched it wide.
Then my dance really took off.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Walking up the path behind my husband, I see his familiar walk, the way he holds his head, the stride of his long legs. And his hands. I see his hands curved into the shape of the hammers and drills and circular saws that he’s used for years. Holding tools that he’d put down long ago.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Where do you hold tension? Do you know? For many of us, the patterns are so old that we don’t even notice them. Is it in your eyes? Your shoulders? Your feet? Your belly?

Chronically held tension in the body isn’t a bad thing. It is a teacher, an instruction of where we are stuck and where needs attention. Chronically held tension is a direct link to our growing edges.

Notice where tension gathers in you. Get curious about it. Instead of immediately shaking it out, inquire into what it has to tell you. What is it doing for you? How is it attempting to help you? What does it need? And what would happen if you released it?


As often happens when I set a focus for the week, it kept showing up right. in. my. face.
On Tuesday when I was teaching, I started the music and about half-way through the first song, my iPod just randomly stopped. “Oh,” says my brand-spanking-new iPod. “You think you know what’s going to happen?? Think again.”

And then a post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits popped into my email box. It’s called Give Up Comfort and it speaks directly to our habit, addiction even, to controlling our circumstances. What I love is how he keeps talking about relaxing into whatever happens. Check it out here.

We used the intricate and multi-layered music of 1 Giant Leap to play with getting comfortable with uncertainty. It struck me that this music is like a collage — sometimes the pieces blend together like a painting and sometimes the connections are more distinct. This song is one of my favorites in all categories and is a great example of how a piece of music can take you on an unexpected journey.

Find all the week’s playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

But first, here are some things that are coming up in our dancing community:

Locker Room Renovation at Albemarle Square starting soon
Renovations on the locker rooms at Albemarle Square are starting now. The men’s locker room is now closed and the women’s will be closed on Monday, October 1. For all the information I have, please click on the sidebar link on the right side: acac Locker Room Renovation 2018.

Buddha Cat: Learning Awareness, Presence & Self-Care from a Teacher Who Sometimes Barf on the Bed … Are Going Fast!
Buddha Cat is on sale now! If you haven’t yet, you can go to http://www.susanmcculley.com and sign up to be a Buddha Cat Backer. You will then have access to a discount code for free shipping – ALWAYS available to Backers! The first printing is almost sold out so now is the time to order!

Support Local Businesses! Buddha Cat Now Available at Five Local Stores!
If you’d rather not order online and/or if you’d like to support an independent bookstore, you can find the book at two local establishments!
Over The Moon Bookstore at 2025 Library Ave in Crozet, Virginia. It’s a beautiful store filled with great books, lovely things and chocolate and is well worth a visit.
New Dominion Bookshop on the downtown mall at 404 E Main St in Charlottesville, Virginia. New Dominion is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia, and carries books in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, and a unique selection of architecture and landscape gardening resources…as well as Buddha Cat. Please do go in, ask for Buddha Cat by name and support local artists, local booksellers and local cats.
Quilts Unlimited / J. Fenton Gifts on the downtown mall at  118 West Main St in Charlottesville. This is a great place to find contemporary American Handcrafts, artisan jewelry and whimsical (even Buddha-y) gifts.
PawPrints on the downtown mall at 201 East Main Street near the fountain. A locally owned shop, PawPrints offers unique items for both people and pets. You can find fun cat and dog themed toys, treats, gifts and apparel – and Buddha Cat!
Integral Yoga Natural Foods at 923 Preston Ave, IY provides the foods, supplements, personal-care products – and Buddha books! – needed to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Buddha Cat Art & Book Exhibit Reception TOMORROW EVENING Friday, September 28, 6-730pm
A selection of drawings and mixed media pieces including some from the Buddha Cat book will be displayed at Buck Mountain Episcopal Church’s Deese Hall September 1-30 (4133 Earlysville Rd, Earlysville, VA 22936). The reception for Buddha Cat and More: Mixed-media Drawings and Book will be held there on Friday, September 28 from 6-730pm. Please join us to celebrate art, community, delight and insight.

Buddha Cat & More Art at Hot Yoga Charlottesville in October
A selection of drawings and mixed media pieces including some from the Buddha Cat book will be displayed at Hot Yoga Charlottesville (216 Water St W Ste 103, Charlottesville, VA 22902) October 1 – November 9. We’ll have books for signing and art for sale and snacks for snacking on Saturday, October 13, 12noon-1pm. Come sweat and celebrate.

Buddha Cat Book Launch Party on Saturday, Nov 3, 2-3pm at New Dominion Bookshop
Come to the historic New Dominion Bookshop on the historic downtown mall for a book launch party! I’ll be signing books and you can do some early holiday shopping and there will be very cool people there (you!) and, of course, snacks! Please join us.

Nia Moving To Heal Classes at acac downtown Sundays at 315pm
Join Rachel H on Sundays at 315pm for Nia Moving To Heal: a joyful, restorative practice that combines dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  It is designed to empower your body, mind, spirit, and emotions.  Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace and personalize movement to adapt to their health needs. 

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Sep 24, 2018, 1045am ~ Prediction Addiction

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Maal, 1 Giant Leap
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams, 1 Giant Leap
The Way You Dream 8:21 Asha Bhosle/Michael Stipe, 1 Giant Leap
Ma’ Africa 4:49 Mahotella Queens/Ulali, 1 Giant Leap
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech, 1 Giant Leap
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti, 1 Giant Leap
Daphne 7:03 Eddi Reader/Mahotella Queens/Revetti Sakalar, 1 Giant Leap
All Alone (On Eilean Shona) 7:51 One Giant Leap, 1 Giant Leap
Ghosts 6:36 Eddi Reader, 1 Giant Leap
Come To The Edge [Feat. Lila Downs & Huun Huur Tu] 2:22 1 Giant Leap

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018, 840am ~ Prediction Addiction

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Maal, 1 Giant Leap
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams, 1 Giant Leap
The Way You Dream 8:21 Asha Bhosle/Michael Stipe, 1 Giant Leap
Ma’ Africa 4:49 Mahotella Queens/Ulali, 1 Giant Leap
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech, 1 Giant Leap
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti, 1 Giant Leap
Daphne 7:03 Eddi Reader/Mahotella Queens/Revetti Sakalar, 1 Giant Leap
All Alone (On Eilean Shona) 7:51 One Giant Leap, 1 Giant Leap
Ghosts 6:36 Eddi Reader, 1 Giant Leap

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2017, 11am ~ Prediction Addiction

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Maal, 1 Giant Leap
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams, 1 Giant Leap
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech, 1 Giant Leap
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti, 1 Giant Leap
Why Must I Feel Like This Today? [Feat. Baaba Maal, Michael Franti, Ulali, Radio Active & Krishna Das] 9:28 1 Giant Leap
Daphne 7:03 Eddi Reader/Mahotella Queens/Revetti Sakalar, 1 Giant Leap
All Alone (On Eilean Shona) 7:51 One Giant Leap, 1 Giant Leap
Ghosts 6:36 Eddi Reader, 1 Giant Leap

Thursday, Sep 27, 2017, 840am ~ Prediction Addiction

Dunya Salam 2:55 Baaba Maal, 1 Giant Leap
My Culture 5:39 Maxi Jazz/Robbie Williams, 1 Giant Leap
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech, 1 Giant Leap
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti, 1 Giant Leap
Why Must I Feel Like This Today? [Feat. Baaba Maal, Michael Franti, Ulali, Radio Active & Krishna Das] 9:28 1 Giant Leap
Daphne 7:03 Eddi Reader/Mahotella Queens/Revetti Sakalar, 1 Giant Leap
All Alone (On Eilean Shona) 7:51 One Giant Leap, 1 Giant Leap
Come To The Edge [Feat. Lila Downs & Huun Huur Tu] 2:22 1 Giant Leap

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My husband is building us a house. It’s a big and exciting project full of details and a dozen workers. When I tell people about it, the one question that nearly everyone asks is,

“When will you move in?”

Sigh. Who knows? Maybe December. Maybe January. Maybe March. There are so many variables and so many things that are in flux and changing. We have no idea. But that’s not the answer anybody wants.

Our culture is addicted to attempting to know what will happen. Whole industries have been created around predicting the future.

Polling for elections.
Odds-making for sporting events.
And everyone’s favorite: weather forecasts.

These predictions have varying degrees of accuracy. (Hurricane Florence and the Trump presidential campaign are two good examples of predictions that looked pretty certain and then swung wildly and suddenly at the end.) Which begs the question, Why do we keep listening to them?

Fear.

We are afraid of not knowing. It is uncomfortable to live in uncertainty. So we create illusions that we know what will happen that give our brains a false sense of solidity and clarity.

Instead, what if we practiced getting comfortable with not knowing? What if we focused on allowing ourselves to relax into uncertainty? What if we were willing to embrace the bigger truth of complete groundlessness, as Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron calls it?

Experiment with letting your body and mind relax and let go of their grip on wanting to know. Soften into not knowing.

And when we move into the house, I promise I’ll tell you.

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