Archive

Balance

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 Tao is The Way. The Way is balanced and non-dualistic [link to last week]. Everything, even apparent opposites, are contained within each other. And the Tao is less something to learn or figure out and more something to feel, embody and remember.

In the next few weeks, as we move toward the spring equinox, we will explore this interwoven non-duality. We’ll approach it from an experiential perspective and allow ourselves to reconnect with the Tao of everything…including you. Since after all, that is the way of all things.

This week our focus is on the Tao of Water & Fire. Our bodies are a combination of flow and flame. The Earth boils and flows, explodes and trickles. The universe itself is a mash-up of liquid heat. What is your experience of water? How do you feel when you move, think, act like water? What is your experience of fire? How do you fire up movement, thought and action?

I’d love to hear all about it. Please leave a comment below!

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!

Welcome Spring with Susan’s Firedance Next Week
In our annual celebration of spring and St. Patrick’s Day and all things green, I will be teaching my latest variation on the routine Firedance on Mon, Mar 16, 1045-12noon at acac Albemarle Square; Tue Mar 17 840-940am at acac downtown and Thu, Mar 19 11-1215pm at The Studio at Dancing Water. We will incorporate our month-long focus on the Balance of the Tao and the energy of Heaven and Earth that naturally weaves into the music of Riverdance and the grounded power of the movement. And DO wear your green!

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!

Usher in April with Five Thursdays of Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water
Watch the leaves come in and the forest start to bloom with Five Thursdays of Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water in April! Please join us for 5 Nourishing Movement classes in April on Thursdays, Apr 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 from 11am-1215pm for just $50. (If you’d like to come for 3 or 4 of the 5, please let me know and we can make that happen for $10/class!) It’s an amazing month in the trees by the river!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, April 6, 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!), April 6, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water ~ $30, $25 if registered before Mar 23!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Apr 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, Apr 3 from 11:25 -12:25.

New Nia Classes with Susan Tate!
Susan Tate will be offering Nia classes at the beautiful Charlottesville Tango on Water Studio. Classes are 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

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 see a video about the National Water Dance Project and our iteration of it here in Cville. You can find more information about the whole event on Emily’s site here. Www.emilywrightdance.com
Community Workshops:
As a part of this project, we are offering free community dance workshops between now and April 18 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, Mar 9, 2020, 1045am ~

Water 4:07 Dionne Farris
Feels Like Fire 4:40 Dido/Santana
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Fire In the Belly 5:43 Ganga Giri
Nothing But The Water (II) 5:19 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Baiana (CloZee Remix) 4:13 Barbatuques & CloZee Baiana (CloZee Remix)
Cool, Clear Water 5:28 Bonnie Raitt
Spirit Voices 3:56 Paul Simon
Bathe in These Waters (EarthTones Mix) 5:27 Donna De Lory
Under African Skies 3:37 Paul Simon
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Prema

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020, 840am ~

Water 4:07 Dionne Farris
Feels Like Fire 4:40 Dido/Santana
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Fire In the Belly 5:43 Ganga Giri
Nothing But The Water (II) 5:19 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Baiana (CloZee Remix) 4:13 Barbatuques & CloZee Baiana (CloZee Remix)
Spirit Voices 3:56 Paul Simon
Bathe in These Waters (EarthTones Mix) 5:27 Donna De Lory
Under African Skies 3:37 Paul Simon
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Prema

Thursday, Mar 12, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~

Spring Clean 4:48 The Happening
Water 4:07 Dionne Farris
Feels Like Fire 4:40 Dido/Santana
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Fire In the Belly 5:43 Ganga Giri
Nothing But The Water (II) 5:19 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Baiana (CloZee Remix) 4:13 Barbatuques & CloZee Baiana (CloZee Remix)
Spirit Voices 3:56 Paul Simon
Bathe in These Waters (EarthTones Mix) 5:27 Donna De Lory
Under African Skies 3:37 Paul Simon
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Prema

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.

Has this ever happened to you? You start off on something ~ a walk in the woods, a job, a marriage, a life ~ and it doesn’t go the way you thought or planned or imagined. You thought it would go along this line of progress, one thing after another in a logical path and instead it turned into an unexpected, circuitous, hairy canary route. I bet you know what I’m talking about.

Our minds love the idea of duality. We think things are either/or, win/lose, right/wrong. Our whole culture is set up this way. It’s all or nothing, with us or against us, you’re in or you’re out. It’s everywhere you look. And it’s an illusion.

While our minds want either/or, our bodies, nature and the universe function in non-duality: both/and, non-linear, intertwined reality. We can see this in all our movements: push back to go forward, push left to go right, push down to go up. Everything is balanced with its opposite.

Eastern philosophy has understood non-duality for thousands of years. The Tao Te Ching (roughly translated to The Way or The Way of Virtue) was written around the 4th century B.C. by Lao Tzu. One of the main themes is the balance and non-duality of a life of wisdom.

As we move toward the spring equinox, we will do a series of classes on this interwoven non-duality. We’ll approach it from a taoist and an experiential perspective and allow ourselves to be both all and nothing, both with and against, both winning and losing, both right and wrong. Since after all, that is the way of all things.

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!

Usher in April with Five Thursdays of Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water
Watch the leaves come in and the forest start to bloom with Five Thursdays of Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water in April! Please join us for 5 Nourishing Movement classes in April on Thursdays, Apr 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 from 11am-1215pm for just $50. (If you’d like to come for 3 or 4 of the 5, please let me know and we can make that happen for $10/class!) It’s an amazing month in the trees by the river!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, April 6, 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!), April 6, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water ~ $30, $25 if registered before Mar 23!

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

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, Mar 2, 2020, 1045am ~ Moving Healing Living in Balance

Father Space 5:56 Bjarno
Live In The Balance 4:15 Jackson Browne
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Free Souls Part 3 (DUBLEX INC. Remix) 5:43 Nickodemus & Osiris
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Crystal Bowl Balance 4:22 winalee zeeb

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020, 840am ~ Moving Healing Living in Balance

Father Space 5:56 Bjarno
Live In The Balance 4:15 Jackson Browne
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Free Souls Part 3 (DUBLEX INC. Remix) 5:43 Nickodemus & Osiris
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
A Sound Meditation 5:30 Benjamin Iobst

Thursday, Mar 5, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Moving Healing Living in Balance

La Guitarra 4:30 B-Tribe
One Good Dub 8:16 Kaya Project
Live In The Balance 4:15 Jackson Browne
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Free Souls Part 3 (DUBLEX INC. Remix) 5:43 Nickodemus & Osiris
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
A Sound Meditation 5:30 Benjamin Iobst

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.

Full disclosure: I don’t like winter. I never have. Sure, when I was a kid I enjoyed the occasional Connecticut snow day but I would have traded them all for summer sun and swimming and watermelon. So it was eye-opening for me to read a piece by Dr. Deepak Chopra called Transform Winter into a Restorative Season (I really hope you’ll read it.)

Dr. Chopra describes the natural wisdom of winter and invites us to tap into the balanced renewal that is possible in the darker, colder, grayer months. His first direction is to focus attention on energy ~ not just energy quantity but energy quality. He says,

… keep your quality of energy at a comfortable place of balance. … Dynamic balance is known medically as homeostasis, and the body-mind is designed to maintain it. So, your goal is simply to cooperate with what your body-mind wants to do.

Here are some thoughts (from the hibernating bear, of course) about how to do that:

His second suggestion is to focus on renewal and healing. Beyond balance, these are activities and perspectives that help us fill ourselves up and keep us from getting depleted. Dr. Chopra recommends that we follow renewing pursuits: creativity, appreciation, acceptance, self healing, service, kindness and that

Healing should not be approached with an attitude of ‘I have to fix myself.’ Healing is a natural process of the body-mind that you only need to cooperate with.

Our culture of get-’er-done and go-all-out-all-the-time, tends to skip over the stage of renewal, restoration and recuperation. The Gestalt Cycle of Experience shows the natural cycle of anything we experience. For example, you might wake up in the morning with a soft sense of emptiness, what we might call the fertile void. Then you have a sensation of thirst. You might have the awareness of a dry throat or tongue so you shift to mobilzation by deciding what to do about your thirst and action as you move out of bed to the sink (if it’s me, I go straight to the faucet, but my husband is all civilized and uses a glass). As the water connects with your mouth and throat, you feel contact and then satisfaction. With your thirst need met, you can withdraw from that experience and return to the fertile void.

Americans are all about the mobilzation/action/contact/satisfaction part of the cycle and then skip over the rest, zooming off to the next mobilization. Dr. Chopra and the season of winter itself asks us to pause in the lower half of the cycle.

Really, winter offers us a unique opportunity to pay attention and invest in self-awareness. Winter is about listening to the cycle of nature and our own bodies to align with balance and recuperation. What are some ways that you might spend more time in creating dynamic balance, restoration and self-awareness in the second half of this winter season?

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!

Things are happening, y’all! 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 to an end and spring starts springing, 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. Email Susan at sjmnia@gmail.com to get on the waiting list.
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.
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 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!)

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

Monday, Feb 10, 2020, 1045am ~ Restorative Winter: Energy & Renewal

To Mend 4:42 Bluetech, Lynx, Janover
Love’s Divine 4:39 Seal
Lady Delay 7:03 Anton Kubikov & Maxim Miyutenko
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Everything Comes From You 4:42 Big Blue Ball featuring Richard Evans, Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinéad O’Connor, Guo Yue
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Lovers of Light 3:58 Afro Celt Sound System
A Little Bit Of Riddim (Featuring Cherine Anderson) 4:19 Michael Franti
The Mummer’s Dance 6:13 Loreena McKimmet
A Thousand Beautiful Things 3:07 Annie Lennox
Vespers 4:13 Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020, 840am ~ Restorative Winter: Energy & Renewal

To Mend 4:42 Bluetech, Lynx, Janover
Love’s Divine 4:39 Seal
Lady Delay 7:03 Anton Kubikov & Maxim Miyutenko
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Everything Comes From You 4:42 Big Blue Ball featuring Richard Evans, Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinéad O’Connor, Guo Yue
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Lovers of Light 3:58 Afro Celt Sound System
The Mummer’s Dance 6:13 Loreena McKimmet
A Thousand Beautiful Things 3:07 Annie Lennox
Vespers 4:13 Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Restorative Winter: Energy & Renewal

Beyond This Moment 4:47 Patrick O’Hearn
To Mend 4:42 Bluetech, Lynx, Janover
Love’s Divine 4:39 Seal
Lady Delay 7:03 Anton Kubikov & Maxim Miyutenko
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Everything Comes From You 4:42 Big Blue Ball featuring Richard Evans, Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinéad O’Connor, Guo Yue
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Lovers of Light 3:58 Afro Celt Sound System
The Mummer’s Dance 6:13 Loreena McKimmet
A Thousand Beautiful Things 3:07 Annie Lennox
Vespers 4:13 Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy

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.

A dear friend of mine had a stroke several years ago. I love spending time with her and witnessing her courage and determination to keep her body moving and to heal. She is positive and optimistic and is grateful that the stroke happened on the left side of her brain so she is able to use her right, dominant hand. Sometimes we talk about how different her life is now. I asked her once what she missed most and without hesitation, she said, “I miss walking smoothing and being able to do things with both hands.”

So often do I take for granted my ability to move through spaces easily, open a jar of tahini, and drive my husband’s big red truck (both hands on the wheel!). Spending time with her reminds me to appreciate the small miracles my hands and feet, and in particular my thumbs and big toes allow me to perform.

As my friend points out, it’s not just one opposable thumb, but TWO that make our daily tasks so amazingly easy. Have you ever had an injury to one hand or thumb and suddenly realize what you are unable to do? I loved this piece about just that.

The thumbs are, of course, the largest finger on the hand and the strongest. It’s how we grip and pull and squeeze. It can also be where we hold tension. Right now, take the thumb of one hand and massage the big muscle at the base of your other thumb. Then give it a shake out and see if you were holding tension there.

Thumbs also are helpful in orienting the upper body. The whole hand is full of stretch receptors which are part of the proprioceptive system which allows us to sense ourselves in space. The thumb is a big part of that system that helps the nervous system to relax by knowing where we are and how to get where we’re going. The orientation of the thumb is also how we shift the orientation of the shoulder joint. You can do it right now by turning one thumb left and right with the opposite hand on your shoulder. Feel that rotation? Pretty cool, right?

Energetically, the thumbs are the nurturing finger. Think of a baby sucking its thumb for comfort and how when hands are in prayer, the thumbs rest at the heart. Focusing on the thumbs gives us a chance to mindfully choose what we want to nurture in this moment.

It’s in my yoga practice that I tend to notice my big toes the most. Balance is challenging for me but pouring awareness into the big toe helps me find and keep myself balanced. Focus on the big toe directs energy down the inside of my leg where it is most stable and roots me strong.

The big toe isn’t just about rooting down. This largest, strongest toe is also about propelling us when we walk and move. Many of us spend most of our time with our feet encased in shoes. So even if you’ve never had a foot injury, it’s likely that your feet have been in “casts” of shoes for most of your life. The restriction that happens when we are in shoes prevents the full range of motion through the toe and foot and that has surprising ramifications.

As this piece from Yoga Journal points out, big toe movement strengthens the arch of the foot and the arch of the foot is connected with the chain of muscles up the back of your leg, so “weak big-toe flexors, the muscles that bend the toe, may change the strength and effectiveness of your largest glute muscle, gluteus maximus.”

Focus on strength and mobility in thumbs and big toes ripples throughout the body. I’d love to hear what you noticed this week in your practice. Leave a comment below and we can all learn from each other!

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!

There are THINGS 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!

Four Thursdays of Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water in February!
Let the love flow in February! Four Nourishing Movement classes on Thursdays, Feb 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 11am-1215pm for just $40. Put pleasure and movement and yourself on the top of your list. Go here to join us!
http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop/february-nourishing-movement-classes-4-thursdays-for-40

Charlottesville Climate Collaborative Plant-Based Cooking Class on Monday, February 3, 6-8pm ~ CLASS IS FULL ~ GET ON THE WAITING LIST!
This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years: I am excited to be leading a plant-based, whole-food cooking class in collaboration with the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative on Monday, Feb 3, 6-8pm at Bread & Roses at Trinity Episcopal Church off Preston Avenue in Charlottesville! We will be preparing a simple, versatile, delicious, fun, whole food, plant based meal and sharing it together while talking about easy ways of giving plants a bigger place on our plates. Our class will introduce the concept of the Buddha Bowl – a nourishing, plant-based meal that is essentially a little bite of everything. The Buddha Bowl is a one-stop shop for proteins, grains, and veggies. It’s also super versatile – break it down for picky eaters or dress it up with sauces to impress your dinner guests. You can also prepare ingredients ahead of time and then repurpose for multiple weekday meals.
THIS CLASS IS FULL ~ GET ON THE WAITING LIST AND WE MAY BE ABLE TO ADD ANOTHER CLASS!
Space limited to 12 participants so please register by sending an email to andrea@cvilleclimate.org and submitting a $10 donation here: https://www.cvilleclimate.org/donation-page Can’t wait to share a meal with you!

An Extra Day To Play ~ Guest Teaching on Saturday, Feb 8, 9-1010am at acac downtown!
It always feels like a special occasion when I get to guest teach for Anne on Saturday mornings! We’ll explore music and movement, sensation and space around the courageous choice to feel good AND to tolerate discomfort! See you then.

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, February 10, 430-6pm CLASS IS FULL ~ GET ON THE WAITING LIST (THERE ARE ALWAYS CANCELLATIONS) AND 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. Email Susan at sjmnia@gmail.com to get on the waiting list.
Monday (Moonday!), February 10, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water is FULL and please let me know if you’d like to be on the waiting list.
Monday (Moonday!), March 9, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water ~ $30, $25 if registered before Feb 28!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Feb 7 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, Feb 7 from 11:25 -12:25.

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.

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 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!)

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

Monday, Jan 27, 2020, 1045am ~ Thumbs & Big Toes

The Rising 4:47 Bruce Springsteen
Bubble Toes 3:57 Jack Johnson
Luna 6:06 Ganga
Spinning the Wheel 6:24 George Michael
Under My Thumb (Paradise Mix) 3:28 Anakelly
Work That Body 5:35 Rodney Hunter
Toe Jam (Feat. David Byrne And Dizee Rascal) 3:22 The Bpa
Thumbs 3:36 Sabrina Carpenter
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Popsicle Toes 4:34 Michael Franks
Sunsethighway 4:00 Kiln
Onwards 5:27 Afro Celt Sound System

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020, 840am ~ Thumbs & Big Toes

The Rising 4:47 Bruce Springsteen
Bubble Toes 3:57 Jack Johnson
Luna 6:06 Ganga
Under My Thumb (Paradise Mix) 3:28 Anakelly
Work That Body 5:35 Rodney Hunter
Toe Jam (Feat. David Byrne And Dizee Rascal) 3:22 The Bpa
Thumbs 3:36 Sabrina Carpenter
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Popsicle Toes 4:34 Michael Franks
Sunsethighway 4:00 Kiln
Onwards 5:27 Afro Celt Sound System

Thursday, Jan 30, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Thumbs & Big Toes

Nature Boy (Live) 8:51 Beautiful Chorus
The Rising 4:47 Bruce Springsteen
Bubble Toes 3:57 Jack Johnson
Luna 6:06 Ganga
Under My Thumb (Paradise Mix) 3:28 Anakelly
Work That Body 5:35 Rodney Hunter
Toe Jam (Feat. David Byrne And Dizee Rascal) 3:22 The Bpa
Thumbs 3:36 Sabrina Carpenter
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Popsicle Toes 4:34 Michael Franks
Sunsethighway 4:00 Kiln
Onwards 5:27 Afro Celt Sound System

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 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


At various times in the past week, my art room spilled from my office into the living room and occasionally onto the kitchen table. I’ve had watercolors drying on one table with pens and pencils scattered around on the floor and paper, notes, and quotes interspersed in all of it. At any given time, there were at least two pairs of glasses in the mix, a couple of rulers, scissors, and some glue.

After art-ing for a while, I take some time to go through what I’ve made and decide which pieces I might use and how. But then I pop up from my art bubble, survey the mess with uneasiness. Even if I know I’m going to make art again in the not-too-distant future, I’ll clean it all up and put everything away.

It’s the process of creating — whether it’s in an art studio, a kitchen, on a construction site, or in a relationship. We messy things up, get out all the tools, the paint, the ladders and then we chop, draw, sauté, talk. Then, we pause and evaluate where we are and clear things up before creating some more.

I know builders who leave the site a jumble of scraps and tools and sawdust throughout a project. I know artists whose studios are in a constant state of disarray. I’ve had times in my life when relationships resided permanently in tangle of unresolved conversations and issues. I’ve heard it said that it’s all a work in progress so why put everything away if you’re just going to get it out again tomorrow?

But when I do that, I can’t find what I’m looking for, I forget what I’m doing, and I get easily distracted from what’s important. Art gets damaged or lost. Time and energy and food gets wasted. People don’t feel heard or seen.

I know people with woodworking shops that are so meticulously organized that they rarely use them. I’ve seen gleaming kitchens of granite and steel that never have sauce on the counter or a pile of pots in the sink. I’ve known relationships that stay neat and tidy and polite and don’t get much below the surface.

When I over-focus on the tidy, creativity and exploration rarely happen. I stay in safer waters, where growth and possibility (and awkward feelings) don’t come into play.

For me, the best is a mix of the messy and the clean. In order to be more centered, clear, creative and adventurous, I have to messy it up, then clean it up, then do it again. Play around. Experiment. Muck about. Then clean it up. From there I can figure out where all my tools are, what the next step might be, and what I needfor the next round of creating.

It’s a cycle of chaos and order, over and over again that moves us forward and keeps us growing. It’s the back and forth from mess to clean that keeps us from getting mired in the clutter or hamstrung by the neatness.

Whatever you’re doing, messy it up, then clean it up, then do it again.

%d bloggers like this: