The Feeling of Fly

What do you want to create this year? Not
what do you want to do, but why do you want to do it? How do you want to feel? If you’ve made a resolution, ask yourself why you want to do it. If you haven’t made a resolution, just ask yourself how you want to feel in 2014. Noodle on it. We’ll get back to it.

Berglandia Christmas 2013 I 013

If you’ve taken classes with me for a while, you might have noticed that when I go to Minnesota to visit my husband’s family, I usually learn a new routine while I’m there. I don’t mean this the way it sounds, but there’s something about being in my in-laws’ house that makes me want to go to the basement and dance. Seriously, though, for years when I traveled to northern Minnesota, I loved the time away to sink myself deeply into a new routine and embody it.

Since my sabbatical in the summer of 2012, though, I haven’t really learned anybody else’s routines. Since then, I’ve focused on my own work: creating routines, writing blog and book, and inventing workshops (there’s one coming up on January 11, want to come?). I’ve looked at some of the routines created at Nia headquarters, I’ve listened to the music, and I just felt, “Meh.”

As Frank and I were packing for our Christmas trip to Roseau this year, we promised each other that we’d get our movement in every day by stretching and walking outside. But when my sister-in-law said that it had been minus 10 for more than a week, on a whim I threw a couple of the Nia routines into my bag.

Interlude: Are you thinking about it? What do you want to feel more of this year?

When we arrived for the family Christmas celebration, it was in the 20s (above) and we took some lovely walks on the frozen river.

Berglandia Christmas 2013 I 035
And even as the temperature dipped into the single digits and the snow started to fall, being outside was exhilarating and fun.

Berglandia Christmas 2013 I 048

But when most of the family left Roseau to go back to work, the temperature plummeted to 30 below. Our son tossed a cup of hot water into the air and it exploded into frozen snow before it hit the ground. Just to say we did it, we went out for a walk that morning bundled up to our eyelashes. It was fun in a crazy way but after about 20 minutes, we started getting tingly in a we-might-lose-some-digits kind of way.

The deep freeze temperatures continued for the rest of our trip. We never did see it get even close to above zero again. So, I pulled out Fly, one of the Nia routines, and danced in the basement, just like old times.

I wasn’t expecting much.

After doing it once, I kind of liked it. I sweat up a storm in that basement, that’s for sure. The next time, I liked it even more. Every time when I was done, I bounded up those basement stairs two-at-a-time. I felt strong. I felt flexible. I felt amazing.

The feel of our trip to arctic northern Minnesota and the feel of Fly mirrored each other. The movements in Fly are full of crisp agility and deep release. During our time with our family, the snow squeaked sharp under our boots and every breath was clear and intense. The frigid temperatures also required me to let go of my expectations of how the holiday would unfold. Just like our visit, Fly invited me to be super-duper crisp, and to let go.

This week, we’ll start playing with Fly ~ cultivating crisp and fluid, super-sharp and super-relaxed. I’m excited to share with you the feeling of this routine and the power and mobility it invites into the body. (As we go along, it’s possible that I’ll start replacing some of the music. I am, after all, me.  We’ll see.) If you’re in Charlottesville, do join me. If you’re not, go to and get Fly to do wherever you are.  Let me know if, like me, you feel like bounding up the stairs two-at-a-time!

Postlude: So? How do you want to feel this year? What do you want to create? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll integrate some of your intentions into Fly this week.

  1. Alison Montgomery said:

    I’d like to create anything; everything…to create with pencils and brushes, charcoal and color…to create with words as story, prose or verse…to create with hammer and nails, with destruction and construction…to create with cloth and leather and needle and thread…to create with seeds and scions and spade and soil…to create dance with body and soul…to create lovingkindness within and all around…to create beauty from objects surpassingly ordinary…that’s all.

  2. “To create beauty from objects surpassingly ordinary” ~~ reminds me of Sarah McLachlan’s song Ordinary Miracle and Einstein’s quote that we can choose to see nothing as a miracle or everything. The more I live it, the more I think that nothing in this life is anything but an extraordinary miracle. ❤

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