Archive

Awareness

The holiday season is upon us and our practice continues throughout. If you’re like me, you need it in these swirling days more than ever!

Monday, Dec 23, 1045-12noon ~ acac Albemarle Square
Tuesday, Dec 24, 840-940am ~ acac downtown
Thursday, Dec 26, 840-940am ~ acac downtown ~ guest teaching for Jeanne! extra chance to dance!
Thursday, Dec 26, 11-1215pm ~ The Studio at Dancing Water ~ Special Winter Warmth Nourishing Movement Class ~ join me at Dancing Water for a special, lightly-guided movement meditation on the warmth of winter. As the sun gingerly begins creeping back in, we will warm ourselves from the inside out with gently-led movement that invites diving deep and connecting out. JUST TWO SPOTS LEFT! Please register here!

Monday, Dec 30, 1045-12noon ~ acac Albemarle Square
Tuesday, Dec 31, 840-940am ~ acac downtown
Thursday, Jan 2, 11-1215pm ~ The Studio at Dancing Water ~ Nourishing Movement ~ start the year with integrated intention! Please register here!

See you soon and happy, merry everything!
Love love,

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.

The weeks between Halloween and the Solstice can be challenging: the darkness and cold creeping in, the cultural frenzy of shopping and eating and jingling leaves the nervous system jangling (even if you are loving every minute of it). So for these next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on practical practices that we can do to soothe and strengthen our nervous systems. Think of them as nervous system “hacks.” We’ll focus on things we do in class all the time but call attention to them so we have easier access to them as we move through the world.

As we move into the second half of the 6-week series, we focus on systemic, whole-body movement. While grounding/orienting, squeezing/releasing and shaking can happen in one body part, the last three weeks are all about organizing and moving the body as a whole.

This week: head/tail movement. Similar to our Core/Distal focus last week, we move the whole spine and in fact the whole body by focusing on movement at the top and bottom of the spine. In our culture, spinal movement isn’t really a thing: we’re taught to keep it straight and tall and alert to all coming danger. But the design of the spinal structure – this cascade of multi-faceted bone – tells us that it is designed to move, flow and be soft and receptive. When we hold it rigidly, tension gathers and gets stuck, breath doesn’t move and the nervous system stays vigilant. Even if movement in parts of the spine doesn’t feel accessible, imagining the little bones moving and flowing is the first (and an excellent) step.

Do it right now. Move your spine from the top (right behind your eyebrows) and the bottom (the very base of your tailbone). Movement of any size and in any direction releases tension, held energy and reassures your nervous system that all is well and it can go off hyper-alert.

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!

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!

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!

Book Signing and Art Demonstration at Cville Arts
Saturday, December 14, 11-12noon
This week, I refreshed my display at Cville Arts in preparation for the holiday season and my upcoming event! Come see how Octabusy was made with an art demonstration and book signing at Cville Arts on the downtown mall!

ORDER OCTABUSY!
Support local retailers by ordering Octabusy
at Over The Moon Bookstore in Crozet (overthemoonbookstore.com, (434) 823-1144, Anne@OvertheMoonBookstore.com)
and buy it 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 coming soon to 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!
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 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 conversation
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).

The Movement Barn offers the GYROTONIC Method
Note from Susan: I recently had the good fortune to meet, move and have a GYROTONIC session with Casey Turner. I love the circular, functional, mindful approach of this technique. And I loved doing it with a view of the mountains in a field of flowers! Please check out her beautiful offerings.
The Movement Barn is a boutique fitness studio in Charlottesville, VA offering private GYROTONIC® sessions in a picturesque setting. Located in a field of wildflowers, The Movement Barn provides a unique workout experience for people of all ages and levels of ability. The GYROTONIC® Method is designed to increase strength, agility, and range of movement. This low impact system uses flowing exercises with circular and spiral motion to open energy pathways, stimulate the nervous system, and create space in the joints. For more information, visit http://www.themovementbarn.com, email catherine@themovementbarn.com, or follow @themovementbarn on Instagram!

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 9, 2019, 1045am ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Head ~ Tail

Qurna 7:09 Banco de Gaia
Kunya Sobé 5:20 Cirque du Soleil
Succumb to Me 5:15 Terence Trent D’Arby
Caravena 5:14 Cirque du Soleil
LaHore Connection 5:15 Prem Joshua
Crazy Benny 5:32 Safri Duo
Cantaloop 4:39 US3
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
I’ll Be Around 4:32 Joan Osborne
Lydia 5:58 Tim Story

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019, 840am ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Head ~ Tail

Qurna 7:09 Banco de Gaia
Kunya Sobé 5:20 Cirque du Soleil
Succumb to Me 5:15 Terence Trent D’Arby
LaHore Connection 5:15 Prem Joshua
Crazy Benny 5:32 Safri Duo
Cantaloop 4:39 US3
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
I’ll Be Around 4:32 Joan Osborne
Lydia 5:58 Tim Story

Thursday, Dec 5, 2019, 11am ~ Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Head ~ Tail

Soft Music Under Stars 8:49 Fila Brazillia
Qurna 7:09 Banco de Gaia
Kunya Sobé 5:20 Cirque du Soleil
Succumb to Me 5:15 Terence Trent D’Arby
LaHore Connection 5:15 Prem Joshua
Crazy Benny 5:32 Safri Duo
Cantaloop 4:39 US3
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
I’ll Be Around 4:32 Joan Osborne
Lydia 5:58 Tim Story

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.

The weeks between Halloween and the Solstice are challenging for me: the darkness and cold creeping in, the cultural frenzy of shopping and eating and jingling leaves my nervous system jangling. So for these next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on practical practices that we can do to soothe and strengthen our nervous systems. We’ll be focusing on things we do in class all the time but calling attention to them so we have easier access to them as we move through the world.

This week, we focused on the simple movements of squeeze and release. Even the simplest creatures (think of little water bugs, caterpillars, worms) squeeze and release. All parts of our bodies (think of heart and lungs and esophagus and muscles) squeeze and release.

In our modern human lives, though, we can get stuck in stressful patterns. We can squeeze in and just keep squeezing, creating chronic tension and holding patterns that create disfunction, discomfort and injury. We can release and just keep releasing, collapsing and closing down.

In your body and in your life, which way do you tend to go? Do you brace and contract and walk through the world as the strong one? Do you accommodate and contort and walk through the world as the super-flexy one?

Creating health is a creating an integrated balance of fully squeezing and then fully releasing. Pulling energy in with strength and letting it go with flexibility.

Do it right now. Wherever you are. Squeeze in tight. You can use your hands to squeeze and then expand to let all your muscles hug into the bones. Then let go. Really release and let go completely. See what it feels like to let yourself feel both and then feel the balance that emerges. I’d love to hear about your experience

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!

December Nourishment at Dancing Water ~ 4 Nourishing Movement classes for $40!
The light wanes and temperatures drop. It’s now that making a commitment to ourselves and our well-being is essential. Register for 4 Nourishing Movement classes at The Studio at Dancing Water on Thursdays, December 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 11-12:15pm for $40. Must be purchased by December 5!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah Goldman ~ Moonday, Decmeber 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.
Monday (Moonday!), December 9, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water, $30 or $25 if registered before December 1. (Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Full Moon classes will be on January 13 and 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).

Book Signing and Art Demonstration at Cville Arts
Saturday, December 14, 11-12noon
Come see how Octabusy was made with an art demonstration and book signing at Cville Arts on the downtown mall!

ORDER OCTABUSY!
Support local booksellers by ordering Octabusy
at Over The Moon Bookstore in Crozet (overthemoonbookstore.com, (434) 823-1144, Anne@OvertheMoonBookstore.com)
and buy it at New Dominion Bookshop on Charlottesville’s downtown mall (ndbookshop.com, 434-295-2552, staff@ndbookshop.com)
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!)

Winter Solstice Restorative Yoga + Sound Experience with Shandoah Goldman ~ Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Immerse in the return of light as you cocoon yourself by candles and hearth. The experience is set within a quartz faced historic hall. Rest deep into restoring postures while being serenaded by crystal bowl soundscapes + alchemist delights for the senses and an energy gift bag to take home.
WHEN Saturday December 21st optional walk on scenic trails arrive by 3:30pm / Experience begins at 4:30pm and ends at 6pm
BRING a yoga mat/ two blankets/ two firm pillows or 1 bolster / warm layers / water
LOCATION Private home in Esmont revealed after purchase of ticket
WHO Restorative Yoga guided by Shandoah Goldman | Somatic Cville \ Sounds by Waverly Davis | Sacra Space \  Alchemist delights by Chloe Morgan
TICKETS Limited spaces available $44 before 12/1/19 $52 after  https://www.tickettailor.com/events/somaticcville/320206
The Movement Barn offers the GYROTONIC Method
Note from Susan: I recently had the good fortune to meet, move and have a GYROTONIC session with Casey Turner. I love the circular, functional, mindful approach of this technique. And I loved doing it with a view of the mountains in a field of flowers! Please check out her beautiful offerings.
The Movement Barn is a boutique fitness studio in Charlottesville, VA offering private GYROTONIC® sessions in a picturesque setting. Located in a field of wildflowers, The Movement Barn provides a unique workout experience for people of all ages and levels of ability. The GYROTONIC® Method is designed to increase strength, agility, and range of movement. This low impact system uses flowing exercises with circular and spiral motion to open energy pathways, stimulate the nervous system, and create space in the joints. For more information, visit http://www.themovementbarn.com, email catherine@themovementbarn.com, or follow @themovementbarn on Instagram!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Dec 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, Sep 6 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, Nov 18, 2019, 1045am ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Squeeze & Release

(after my teaching bag was stolen out of my car one hour before class we danced to this playlist: originally Feb 2 2006 playlist provided at the last minute by Becky Trexler!!)
Sofa Rockers [Richard Dorfmeister Remix] 8:34 Sofa Surfers
The Hush 5:24 Rae & Christian
Journeyman – AO 6:41 Bob Holroyd
Silk Road 8:00 Kitaro
Spellbound 5:43 Rae & Christian
Open Your Heart 5:46 M People
Freedom 4:29 Nicole C. Mullen
Don’t Wait Too Long 3:10 Madeleine Peyroux
Ascension 4:52 Lex van Someren

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019, 840am ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Squeeze & Release

Damascus 2:03 Conjure One Feat. Chemda
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
Breathe 4:12 Blue Stone
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Knock On Wood 4:13 Safri Duo
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
Amma 6:26 James Asher & Sivamani
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Give Me Strength 4:03 Sally Taylor
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019, 11am ~ Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Squeeze & Release

Stretching My Molecules (feat. Al Agami & Hush Forever) 8:30 Mashti & Deep Dive Corp.
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
Breathe 4:12 Blue Stone
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Knock On Wood 4:13 Safri Duo
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
Amma 6:26 James Asher & Sivamani
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Give Me Strength 4:03 Sally Taylor
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal

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.

Bids for our attention and connection are all around us. The invitation of our practice is to notice the bids that come to you and then make a conscious choice about whether you turn toward and accept them or turn away and reject them. Our focus is on the bids that come to us in three areas: relationships, in our movement (and other community) practice, and in your body & heart.

Bids in relationships.

Few things have had as powerful impact on my relationships than the approach of accepting the bid. Once I knew about this idea, I suddenly saw when my partner, friends, students, step-children were offering me a bid for connection, I could make clear choices about how to accept them. Whether it is a direct question (“Do you want to walk up the road with me?”), a subtle comment (“Oh wow, look at that!”) or a sigh, a facial expression or a gesture, I see them all as an attempt to connect. I have also noticed when I am or am not making bids in my relationships. Here are a few things to give you more about how bids happen in relationships:

The Easiest Way to Improve Your Relationship | The Gottman Institute

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Emotional Bids

When It Comes to Relationships The Little Things Count

Bids in class.

In the moving experiences we do together (and really, any group experience whether it’s a team at work, your worship community or a PTO meeting), there is an abundance of bids for attention and connection. The teacher or leader may suggest or offer something and it’s up to each of us how to respond. Do we turn toward the offering or do we receive it more neutrally or do we actively reject it? The music in class bids for attention with its rhythms, melodies and sounds. Again, how do you respond to the bids from the music? Do you turn toward it or turn away?

Bids in your body & heart.

The body is constantly offering sensation ~ it is the language of the body. Emotions and thoughts also have physical sensations that are giving us information about what is happening in our body/mind. Just like your partner asks for our attention, or the mc bids for us to respond, the body offers sensation for us to turn toward or away from. Do I adjust how I’m moving or what I’m doing based on what I sense or do I override the sensation and ignore it?

It is my hope that the practice of noticing and responding to bids for connection will enrich your relationships, your interactions in your practices and in your community and your connection with your self. And as always, I love hearing from you! Please comment below about what you noticed about the bids that came to you this week.

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!

TEDx Charlottesville at the Paramount Theater on Friday, Nov 8!
One of my very favorite Charlottesville event is happening this week! TEDx Charlottesville is a delicious day of inspiration, community and connection. Over 20 speakers will share their most impassioned ideas worth sharing in the beautiful historic Paramount Theater. You’ll be well-fed in body, mind and spirit. I am coaching two of the speakers: Sahara Clemons (speaking in the morning) and Tim Cunningham (speaking in the afternoon). Tickets are still available! And if you aren’t in Cville or can’t join us, you can check out the live feed on Friday here.

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah Goldman ~~ Mon, Nov 11, 430-6pm ~~~ SOLD OUT! WAITING LIST STARTED…
The full moon is a time of completion. The fullness of the cycle lends itself to a practice of non-doing. Join Shandoah Goldman at The Studio at Dancing Water (2370 Old Lynchburg Road, Charlottesville) 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!), Nov 11, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water, $30

Nia teaching shift ~ Loring on Wednesdays at 11am, Rachel on Tuesdays at 545pm
After teaching almost exclusively at acac for nearly 20 years, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to teach mindful movement in a healing environment. I’ve been offered the chance to move with people recovering from eating disorders and in order to do it, I will let go of the Wednesday 11am class. Starting on October 30, Loring will teach on Wednesdays at Albemarle Square so I can follow this opportunity. Jeanne’s circumstances have also shifted so starting on October 29, Rachel will be teaching the Tuesday evening class at 545pm.

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!

November Nourishment at Dancing Water ~ 2 Nourishing Movement classes for $20!
As the holidays approach, nurture yourself with 2 classes of Nourishing movement at The Studio at Dancing Water. Two Thursdays, November 14 and 21 from 11-12:15pm for just $20. Must be purchased by November 14!

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).

Book Signing and Art Demonstration at Cville Arts
Saturday, December 14, 11-12noon
Come see how Octabusy was made with an art demonstration and book signing at Cville Arts on the downtown mall!

ORDER OCTABUSY!
Support local booksellers by ordering Octabusy
at Over The Moon Bookstore in Crozet (overthemoonbookstore.com, (434) 823-1144, Anne@OvertheMoonBookstore.com)
and buy it at New Dominion Bookshop on Charlottesville’s downtown mall (ndbookshop.com, 434-295-2552, staff@ndbookshop.com)
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!)

The Movement Barn offers the GYROTONIC Method
Note from Susan: I recently had the good fortune to meet, move and have a GYROTONIC session with Casey Turner. I love the circular, functional, mindful approach of this technique. And I loved doing it with a view of the mountains in a field of flowers! Please check out her beautiful offerings.
The Movement Barn is a boutique fitness studio in Charlottesville, VA offering private GYROTONIC® sessions in a picturesque setting. Located in a field of wildflowers, The Movement Barn provides a unique workout experience for people of all ages and levels of ability. The GYROTONIC® Method is designed to increase strength, agility, and range of movement. This low impact system uses flowing exercises with circular and spiral motion to open energy pathways, stimulate the nervous system, and create space in the joints. For more information, visit http://www.themovementbarn.com, email catherine@themovementbarn.com, or follow @themovementbarn on Instagram!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Dec 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, Sep 6 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, Nov 4, 2019, 1045am ~ Accepting the Bid

Amazing 4:15 One Eskimo
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Wounded In All The Right Places [Feat. k.d. lang] 4:33 1 Giant Leap
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Just Groovin 7:12 Groove Junkies
Gabryelle (Spiritual South Mix) 6:18 Dj Spen
It’s Alright 3:28 Dar Williams
Just Say Yes 4:41 Snow Patrol
Burfli (Hills and Land) 4:49 Global Collective
Landslide 3:20 Fleetwood Mac
The Spirit of the Earth Continues (Floating Earth Remix) 6:32 Cybertribe

Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019, 840am ~ Accepting the Bid

Amazing 4:15 One Eskimo
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Wounded In All The Right Places [Feat. k.d. lang] 4:33 1 Giant Leap
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Just Groovin 7:12 Groove Junkies
Gabryelle (Spiritual South Mix) 6:18 Dj Spen
It’s Alright 3:28 Dar Williams
Just Say Yes 4:41 Snow Patrol
Burfli (Hills and Land) 4:49 Global Collective
Landslide 3:20 Fleetwood Mac
Gentle Exit 4:15 The Happening

Thursday, Nov 7, 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Accepting the Bid

Give-A-Way 7:21 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Wounded In All The Right Places [Feat. k.d. lang] 4:33 1 Giant Leap
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Just Groovin 7:12 Groove Junkies
Gabryelle (Spiritual South Mix) 6:18 Dj Spen
It’s Alright 3:28 Dar Williams
Just Say Yes 4:41 Snow Patrol
Burfli (Hills and Land) 4:49 Global Collective
Landslide 3:20 Fleetwood Mac
Gentle Exit 4:15 The Happening

Am I accepting bids for connection?

This preview of the focus for my classes this week underscores the small choices that we make all the time about whether to turn toward or turn away from any bid for our attention. Whether it’s in relationships, in movement, in community, or in the body, the more we turn TOWARD the bid rather than away, the more we ACCEPT the bid rather than reject it, the healthier our connections are.
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I’ll post much more here on Thursday and for now, be on the lookout for bids for connection in all kinds of realms. I’d love to hear about what you notice.

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! As you may have noticed, I’ve been rolling the two weekly FocusPocus posts (art and content on Sundays, playlists and announcements on Thursdays) into one complete post. 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.

Multitasking. It’s an idea that I have snuggled up to affectionately for years. It never was a relationship that loved me back, though. Even before I learned that the human brain cannot do more than one thing at a time, multitasking always leaves me feeling scattered, jangled and incomplete.

When I was writing my book, Octabusy: How to Let Go in a Sea of Doing, I thought I was being terribly clever to choose an octopus as the main character in my fable about the cultural norm of busyness. What could be a better poster child for doing many things at once than an eight-armed creature?

When I was nearly finished with the book, I read Sy Montgomery’s Soul of an Octopus and learned that an octopus’s nervous system is distributed through its arms and therefore actually can effectively multitask. Gah.

My mistake notwithstanding, the human lesson remains. And in the book, the Sea Turtle is the teacher who reminds Octabusy about the wisdom of doing one thing at a time. She invites the practice of creating space around what we choose to do by pausing, relaxing and then doing.

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!

SO MUCH is happening, 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!

Restorative Yoga with Octabusy: Letting Go of Doing to Restore Your Most Precious Device ~ Sunday, October 13, 4-6:30pm at The Studio at Dancing Water – JUST 3 SPACES LEFT
What better way to celebrate the release of my book, Octabusy: Letting Go in a Sea of Doing, than an afternoon of deep restorative yoga, a reading and signing of the book, and some refreshment? Join me and my teacher, Shandoah Goldman for a recuperative practice for anyone who needs another coffee, rests only while sleeping, are healing anything, need permission to do nothing, or feel that your energy is running low. You’ll also receive a copy of the book (signed however you’d like ~ and you’ll also be able to buy additional copies of the book at 25% off!).
Shandoah’s guidance will help you recharge your body’s batteries and slow down your nervous system through restorative yoga, shiatsu pressure points, visualizations and breathing techniques. We will use bolsters, blankets and blocks designed to bring your body into postures which access the parasympathetic nervous system and give you the permission for deep rest rather than ‘stretch.’ Prepare to come back to neutral with an energized readiness. Please bring socks, a long sleeve shirt and an extra layer.
I’ll read some from the book and offer tea and refreshment to fill out this truly psychosomatic experience that will leave you restored, recharged and rested. $65 with signed copy of Octabusy. Space is limited, please register here.

Octobusy Launch Celebration at New Dominion Bookshop ~ Saturday, October 19, 7-8pm
I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my new book, Octabusy: How to Let Go in a Sea of Doing at the wonderful New Dominion Bookshop on the Charlottesville downtown mall on Saturday evening, October 19 from 7-8pm. I’ll read a little, talk a little, sign a little, snack and do a happy dance! You can get the information here and here and if you can’t be there, you CAN preorder from NDB!

Saturday October 26, 9-12noon – Nourishing the Nervous System with Mindful Movement ~ CLASS IS FULL & WAITING LIST AVAILABLE
NOTE from Susan: I am thrilled, honored, excited to welcome Emily Wright to teach at Dancing Water. She is an extraordinary, approachable, gifted teacher. I can’t wait to do this with her. Will you join me?
The body is a central portal to nervous system regulation. When we are regulated and integrated, we have the capacity to be our most awake, available, creative, curious, flexible selves. Using a blend of guided movement work, journaling, visual art-making, poetry, and mindfulness practices, participants will explore states of autonomic nervous system regulation as a means to establish safe, nourishing connections to ourselves, each other, and the natural world.
About the instructor:
Emily Wright, MFA, PhD, is a movement educator, author, and practitioner. She offers classes and workshops in functional movement, contact improvisation, and intergenerational community dance informed by her extensive background in dance and other somatic disciplines.

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. Whether you’re interested in Shandoah Goldman’s Restorative Yoga + Octabusy book celebration on Oct 13 or Nourishing Movement classes with me on Thursday mornings at 11am, we can help with any of them. If finances are stopping you from joining us, please reach out and let me know (PM me or connect at sjmnia@gmail.com) .

The Movement Barn offers the GYROTONIC Method
Note from Susan: I recently had the good fortune to meet, move and have a GYROTONIC session with Casey Turner. I love the circular, functional, mindful approach of this technique. And I loved doing it with a view of the mountains in a field of flowers! Please check out her beautiful offerings.
The Movement Barn is a boutique fitness studio in Charlottesville, VA offering private GYROTONIC® sessions in a picturesque setting. Located in a field of wildflowers, The Movement Barn provides a unique workout experience for people of all ages and levels of ability. The GYROTONIC® Method is designed to increase strength, agility, and range of movement. This low impact system uses flowing exercises with circular and spiral motion to open energy pathways, stimulate the nervous system, and create space in the joints. For more information, visit http://www.themovementbarn.com, email catherine@themovementbarn.com, or follow @themovementbarn on Instagram!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Oct 4 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, Sep 6 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, Sep 30, 2019, 1045am ~ One Thing at a Time: Pause. Relax. Do.

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
From Mumbai 7:20 Sebastian Taylor
Isla De La Piedra 5:05 Phontaine
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Mundian to Bach Ke 3:46 Panjabi MC
Desert Days 5:31 John Kelley
Inner Membrane 5:19 Govinda
Since Supernatural 4:32 Governor Washington/Melky Jean/Santana
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty Lights
Melt 5:13 Leftfield
Peace 4:05 George Winston

Tuesday, Oct 1, 2019, 840am ~ One Thing at a Time: Pause. Relax. Do.

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
From Mumbai 7:20 Sebastian Taylor
Isla De La Piedra 5:05 Phontaine
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Mundian to Bach Ke 3:46 Panjabi MC
Desert Days 5:31 John Kelley
Inner Membrane 5:19 Govinda
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty Lights
Melt 5:13 Leftfield
Peace 4:05 George Winston

Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019, 11am ~ One Thing at a Time: Pause. Relax. Do.

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
Terrapin 4:31 Bonobo
From Mumbai 7:20 Sebastian Taylor
Souk Rok 5:25 Ranu Raraku
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
The Dream of the Blue Turtles/Demolition Man 6:09 Sting
Desert Days 5:31 John Kelley
Inner Membrane 5:19 Govinda
One Of These Things First 4:49 Nick Drake
Sea Turtle 3:41 Balos Hideaway
Melt 5:13 Leftfield
Peace 4:05 George Winston

Thursday, Oct 3, 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ One Thing at a Time: Pause. Relax. Do.

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
Terrapin 4:31 Bonobo
From Mumbai 7:20 Sebastian Taylor
Sea Turtle 3:41 Balos Hideaway
Gonna Be [Ben Human Remix] 4:10 Mo’ Horizons
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
U R The Answer 5:57 Stephen Bray/ Michael Beckwith
Desert Days 5:31 John Kelley
Grateful 3:54 Nimesh Patel & Daniel Nahmod
Moon Walking 5:24 Bjarno
Feel Your Body Float 7:29 Anuvida & Nik Tynhall

Saturday, Oct 5, 2019, 9am ~ Guest Teach for Anne

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
BOOM 2:45 X Ambassadors
Shadowman 6:36 Afro Celt Sound System
Hermes 4:08 Santana
Gold Dust Woman 5:02 Fleetwood Mac
Stand Up 3:41 Sugarland
Gravity 4:06 John Mayer
Lavender Hill 4:33 Lex van Someren
Ascension 4:52 Lex van Someren

I have a friend who listens to me with his whole being. He sits absolutely still and just…listens. Not many people in our culture do this. At first, it was disconcerting. I thought that maybe he wasn’t understanding me because he wasn’t nodding or “uh-huh”-ing or anything. He gets still and listens with the intention to understand. He listens to really hear me. And his listening sometimes allows him to hear things that even I can’t hear. He can hear what I am saying and also what I’m not. There is something deeply nourishing about talking with him. I can feel it in my cells.

It’s as simple as this:

Deep listening = Paying close attention

Paying close attention = Love

Deep listening = Love

So my question for you is this: what are you listening to? who are you listening to? can you listen deeply? what are you half listening to? listening to while doing other things? listening to while deciding what you’ll say in response?

What are you deeply, fully, completely listening to?

Whatever it is, you are loving it.

Listen and love.

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