Sweet Darkness ~ Dec 23 – 26, 2019 ~ Focus, Music and More

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! FocusPocus is now one complete post (art, focus, playlists and announcements) all together on Thursdays! So whether you come to the blog for the art, the information, the music or the latest happenings and offerings, you are in the right place. Every Thursday, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

In this week of the Winter Solstice, we played with dark and light and fire and air and cracks in our perfect offerings. Three poets lighted our path this week: David Whyte, Judy Brown and Leonard Cohen.

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your home
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness
and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
From ‘The House of Belonging’
Poems by David Whyte
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press (with thanks to Mary Linn Bergstrom)

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.
~ Judy Brown, from The Sea Accepts All Rivers (with thanks to Shandoah Goldman)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Below are our playlists for the week. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

Lots of events are unfolding, friends, so before the playlists, here is all the details on what’s coming up!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings at 11am!
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 11am ~~ my mix of guided and unguided movement, meditation and creativity! Please go to http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop for the details. Come join us in the trees by the river for grounded, flowing, spacious movement. Second Thursdays are followed by a pot luck lunch! Nourish yourself with movement and bring something nourishing to share! There is space in upcoming classes so please go HERE to sign up!
* The Studio at Dancing Water is at 2370 Old Lynchburg Road ~ detailed directions at http://www.susanmcculley.com and via email when you sign up!

Interview about Octabusy & Other Things on Lisa Jakub’s Embrace Your Weird podcast!
It was my honor and pleasure to have a conversation with Lisa Jakub about the seduction of busyness and ways of navigating it on her fantastic podcast, Embrace Your Weird. Please listen, share, review and spread the word! Go here to check it out!

January Nourishment at Dancing Water ~ 5 Nourishing Movement classes for $50!
A new year begins. A perfect time to reconnect to your body and yourSELF. Register for 5 Nourishing Movement classes at The Studio at Dancing Water on Thursdays, January 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 from 11-12:15pm for $50. (If you’d like to do 4 of the 5, please contact me. We can make that happen!) Must be purchased by January 2!

ONE WORD for 2020
As we draw closer to the end of the year, now is a good time to open yourself to one word that you might use for your intention for 2020. In ten years of doing the One Word practice, I find that thinking about it helps less than being on the lookout for a word that captures how you’d like to feel or the energy you’d like to bring into the new year.

Support local retailers by buying Octabusy
at New Dominion Bookshop on Charlottesville’s downtown mall (ndbookshop.com, 434-295-2552, staff@ndbookshop.com)
and at The Telegraph Art & Comics https://www.telegraphcomics.com/
and at the beautiful Nourish Louisa shop in downtown Louisa! Go here http://www.nourishlouisa.com/ for more. I’ll be sharing more soon on events at this super-cool spot!
And just this week: both Buddha Cat and Octabusy are now available at the lovely Wine & Country Shop in Ivy! Please check them out here. It’s an amazing store full of wonderful finds, not just super-cool books!
You can also order signed copies of Octabusy (including discounts on multiple copies) now on my website at susanmcculley.com/shop
and get Kindle and paperback editions on Amazon!
(And wherever you buy it, please leave a review there!)

On My Last Nerve: Achieving Balance Using Practices & Herbs ~ a Book Signing and Workshop at The Elderberry ~~ Saturday, January 4, 2020 ~ 12noon – 2pm FREE!
It’s time to come back to ourselves after the holiday frenzy! Join teacher and artist Susan McCulley and Clinical Herbalist Heather Wetzel to explore a realignment of ourselves following the swirl of the holidays.
12:00-1:00: Book signing, art demonstration and conversation about the counter cultural choice for presence and less busyness with Susan, author of Octabusy: How to Let Go in a Sea of Doing
1:00 – 2:00: Susan and Heather will present a short workshop focusing on re-balancing body, mind, and spirit after the holidays utilizing life hacks and herbal strategies for moving from the habitual responses of our nervous system’s “fright, flight, or freeze” reactions into a more balanced, flowing, and peaceful state of “rest and digest” for the new year. Topics include:
· How to support yourself to be more centered, calm and relaxed.
· Physical and mindful practices that can bring you back to center and be done anywhere, no matter what is happening around you.
· Tastings (including recipes) of tried and true adaptogenic herbal preparations to enhance your resilience to stress
· New ideas to support and encourage graceful adaptation to change and less reactive to stress
We all need encouragement and new ideas to support us as we step into change-filled 2020 and beyond. Reserve your seat now as space is limited ~ go HERE https://www.elderberryherbals.com/calendar/on-my-last-nerve-achieving-balance-using-practices-amp-herbs-book-signing-and-workshop-saturday-january-4-2020-12noon-2pm!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, January 13, 430-6pm
Shandoah Goldman returns to The Studio at Dancing Water (2370 Old Lynchburg Road, Charlottesville) to continue the full moon restorative practice! The full moon is a time of completion. The fullness of the cycle lends itself to a practice of non-doing. Join Shandoah for a deeply nourishing practice of restorative yoga. Using props to offer support and comfort, the body is invited to profoundly let go and unwind. Rather than efforting or stretching, this is the practice of releasing and relaxing. We’ll celebrate what is finished and soften into the next cycle. Shandoah is a gifted guide for deep release and is a Shiatsu practitioner offering hands on assists during class. All bodies welcome, no experience in yoga or anything else is needed.
Monday (Moonday!), January 13, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water, $30 or $25 if registered before January 1. (Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Full Moon class will be on February 10!)

Scholarships Available for all Experiences at The Studio at Dancing Water
We have delicious experiences coming up at The Studio AND we have scholarships available for them. If finances are stopping you from joining us, please reach out and let me know (PM me or connect at sjmnia@gmail.com).

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Jan 3 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Jan 3 from 11:25 -12:25.

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

Monday, Dec 23, 2019, 1045am ~Sweet Darkness

Sea Dreamer (feat. Sting) 5:40 Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Problem Solved 8:13 Moodswings
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
A Night In the Park 4:42 John Kelley
Night over Manaus 5:49 Boozoo Bajou
Spirit In the Dark 5:04 Diane Schuur & B.B. King
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Dark Waters 4:37 Bob Holroyd
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
When Comes December 4:04 Tim Story

Tuesday, Dec 24, 2019, 840am ~ Sweet Darkness

What Child Is This 2:59 Dan Crary
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
Night over Manaus 5:49 Boozoo Bajou
Wizards In Winter 3:06 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Spirit In the Dark 5:04 Diane Schuur & B.B. King
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Winter 5:43 Tori Amos
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
Greensleeves 4:29 Steve Erquiaga

Thursday, Dec 26, 2019, 840am Guest Teaching for Jeanne ~ Sweet Darkness

I See Fire 5:01 Ed Sheeran
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Tangled and Dark 4:53 Bonnie Raitt
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
A Night In the Park (Alternate Version) 3:55 John Kelley 3
Fire to Me 4:36 Hyper/The Crystal Method
Spirit In the Dark 5:04 Diane Schuur & B.B. King
Man On Fire 4:19 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
When Comes December 4:04 Tim Story

Thursday, Dec 26, 2019, 11am ~ Winter Warmth Movement Meditation at the Studio at Dancing Water

Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
A Night In the Park (Alternate Version) 3:55 John Kelley
Spirit In The Dark 4:03 Aretha Frankli
Gabryelle (Spiritual South Mix) 6:18 Dj Spen
Man On Fire 4:19 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Dark Waters 4:37 Bob Holroyd
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
Spirit 4:09 Moby
Greensleeves 4:29 Steve Erquiaga

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