Archive

Awareness

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.

My friend, Pat is amazing at parties. Actually, it’s not just parties. He’s amazing at people.

When he meets someone – for the first time or the 200th – he brings true curiosity and caring. And he asks questions. Lots of questions. My favorite of his (one that I’ve unabashedly stolen) is this: What has your attention?

[Miller quote art]

What I love about this question is that it is wide open. The answerer can choose where to take it. They can go deep or not, positive or not, what’s challenging them or exciting them. And it creates a space where Pat can understand them, see them in a way that “How are you?” “Fine thanks, how are you?” will never allow.
Pat approaches a party or any gathering of humans as an adventure in paying attention. And this reminds me of one of my favorite poems.
[Grassblade Experiencing art]

I remember Pat’s question, and Paul Reps’ poem whenever I find myself entangled in the illusion of sames. When I find myself thinking, “This is another Monday” or “We’ve had this conversation a thousand times before,” “I’ve done this movement in every single Nia class I’ve ever taken” or “I make this salad every day,” I remember THIS IS THE LAW: NO SAMES.

A few years ago I wrote a little piece during a meditation challenge with Sharon Saltzberg about the conversation Susan & Susan’s Mind about this very thing. You can read it here. It still makes me laugh. https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/poem-mind/

Where do you get caught in the illusion of sames? Where does your mind tell you you’ve done/seen/felt/said all these things before? And how would it feel to obey the law?

[Wayne Dyer quote]

Ultimately, where we place our attention and the quality of that attention determines not just our experience and our perception, but our attention can change the object of our attention. The landscape you see every day on the way to work, the interaction with your long-time barista, your relationship with your partner, your relationship with yourself ~ all can shift and transform depending on the kind of attention we give. I’d love to hear how you use Pat’s question and your own attention to create transformations big and small.

Here 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!

Things are happening, you guys! 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!

Welcome Spring with Four Thursdays of Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water in March ~ with Special Guest Teacher, Susan Tate on March 26!!
As winter wends its way to spring, join us for 4 Nourishing Movement classes in March on Thursdays, Mar 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 11am-1215pm for just $40. On Thu, Mar 26, I’m delighted that author, teacher, wellness visionary, Nia Black Belt (and one of Susan McCulley’s first Nia teachers!), Susan Tate will be guest teaching! Prepare for the growth of the season with classes with two Susans! Go here to join us!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, March 9, 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. TWO SPOTS LEFT!
Monday (Moonday!), March 9, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water ~ $30, $25 if registered before Feb 28!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Mar 6 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, Mar 6 from 11:25 -12:25.

New Nia Classes + Workshop with Susan Tate!
Susan Tate will be offering Nia classes at the beautiful Charlottesville Tango on Water Studio beginning with a FREE celebration class at 11 am on Sunday, March 1. Thereafter, classes will be on Sundays at 11 am. $18 drop in/or discounted class card. Charlottesville Tango on Water at 208 E Water Street. More info: http://www.susantate.org
AND To introduce people to the studio and Nia in this new space, Susan will offer her MindHEARTBody Balance: Letting Love Lead the Way Nia workshop there on Saturday, February 22 from 1 – 4 pm. Early registration is $50 / $65 day of. For more info and to register: https://mind-heart-body-balance-charlottesville-2-22-20.eventbrite.com

Resetting & Balancing the Nervous System with Mindful Practices & Herbal Nourishment: Book Signing and Workshop with Susan & Heather ~ Saturday, February 29, 2020 ~ 10am-12pm at Nourish Louisa
“Stop the glorification of busy….It is OK not to be busy. Repeat this with me: it is OK not to be busy.” ~ Joshua Becker
Mid-winter is the perfect time to look inward at the rush and tumble of our days and practice ways of reconnecting and restoring our frazzled nervous systems. Join teacher and artist Susan McCulley and Clinical Herbalist Heather Wetzel to explore a realignment of our busy, over-scheduled days at the beautiful Nourish Louisa shop (http://www.nourishlouisa.com/) at 205 W. Main Street, Louisa, VA 23093
10:00-11:00: Book signing 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. Come talk with Susan, watch an art demonstration, and have a cup of something warm.
11:00 – 12:00: Susan and Heather will present a short workshop focusing on re-balancing body, mind, and spirit using mindfulness 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.”. 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 move through our fast-paced, stress-ridden world. Reserve your seat now as space is limited at http://www.nourishlouisa.com/! Saturday, February 29, 2020 ~ 10am-12pm ~ $15 ~ includes lunch and small drink of your choice / Limited to 12 participants.

National Water Dance ~ April 18, 4pm at Darden Towe
Emily Wright Dance is facilitating the National Water Dance project on April 18, 2020, at 4 PM in Darden Towe Park. National Water Dance partners dance artists and community members in the performance of site-specific movement choirs to bring attention to critical water issues. Participants from across the country join together in different locations in a simultaneous dance that will be live-streamed on social media. 
Click here to watch the National Water Dance video.
Community Workshops:
As a part of this project, we are offering free community dance workshops throughout the months of February and March as a means to recruit participants and share the power of dance to cultivate somatic empathy to address climate crisis. Dancing together — especially in natural environments — helps us remember our interdependence with the ecological systems of which we are a part and can galvanize us toward creative, collaborative solutions.
Workshops are available for all ages and levels of ability and can be tailored to fit the needs of different populations, including those with special needs or limited mobility. No previous dance experience is necessary! Workshops will last approximately 60 minutes and include simple progressions, movement games and the opportunity to learn the movements included in the National Water Dance performance.    
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!

WHERE TO FIND OCTABUSY!
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 both Buddha Cat and Octabusy are 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!)

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

Monday, Feb 24, 2020, 1045am ~ What Has Your Attention?

Out Of Town 5:20 Cantoma
Leaving Babylon 6:42 Bluetech
Back Home 5:19 Fishtank
In This Love Together 5:12 Michael Bernard Beckwith
Further in Time 6:32 Afro Celt Sound System
Time is Now 5:41 Veeresh and the Humaniversity Sound
Just Say Yes 4:41 Snow Patrol
Quiet 8 4:45 Sheila Chandra
Gravity 4:06 John Mayer
Miasma 4:35 Bill Mize
Wiarthul 5:55 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020, 840am ~ What Has Your Attention?

Out Of Town 5:20 Cantoma
Leaving Babylon 6:42 Bluetech
Back Home 5:19 Fishtank
Further in Time 6:32 Afro Celt Sound System
Time is Now 5:41 Veeresh and the Humaniversity Sound
Just Say Yes 4:41 Snow Patrol
Quiet 8 4:45 Sheila Chandra
Gravity 4:06 John Mayer
Miasma 4:35 Bill Mize
Wiarthul 5:55 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (this was the most asked-about song all week! I hope you enjoy going back and listening again.)

Thursday, Feb 27, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ What Has Your Attention?

Early Till Late 4:47 Cantoma
Out Of Town 5:20 Cantoma
Leaving Babylon 6:42 Bluetech
Back Home 5:19 Fishtank
Further in Time 6:32 Afro Celt Sound System
Time is Now 5:41 Veeresh and the Humaniversity Sound
Just Say Yes 4:41 Snow Patrol
Quiet 8 4:45 Sheila Chandra
Gravity 4:06 John Mayer
Miasma 4:35 Bill Mize
Wiarthul 5:55 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

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