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Breath

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.

“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” –Mary Oliver

Ironically, my breath caught when I read this. I know the feeling of shallow little rabbit breaths, the feeling of bracing myself for something (anything!), the feeling of not really living my life.

Breath is both the foundation of our practice and the space within it. In his lovely Rise & Shine meditation on Insight Timer Elliott Treves says “breath is discernment and action all at once.” (You can listen to his meditation here.) That is, breath is both our receiving and saying yes, and our decision to release, let go and say no.

This week we crossed the threshold from one year to the next by bringing more life to our bodies, minds and lives by breathing mindfully. We noticed how the breath impacts movement and how movement impacts breath. I’d love to hear what came to your attention in your practice and in your days.

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!

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

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

ONE WORD for 2020
One Word 2020! It is my practice to choose a word at the beginning of each year to act as a rudder, nudging me toward what I want to bring into my life. In the past, my words have been
2011 – OPEN
2012 – RELEASE
2013 – SPACIOUS
2014 — WORTHY
2015 — FREEDOM
2016 – heARTful
2017 – AWAKE
2018 – HEALING
2019 – CLEAR
For 2020, my word is CALM. What is your word for 2020?
I am creating a piece of art from all of our one word intentions for the new year. Pick a word that indicates what you want more of in the coming 12 months, something you want to feel and be more. Tell me your word (by Friday, January 3!) and I’ll include it in the piece! (If you’ve already told me your word, you’re already in!)

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!)

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

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

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

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ 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.

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

Monday, Dec 30, 2019, 1045am ~ Are You Breathing Just a Little?

Passing Through 5:19 Bob Holroyd
Shine On 3:43 Eric Bibb
Light You Up 6:20 Shawn Mullins
Barely Breathing 4:15 Duncan Sheik
Raag Trance 5:32 Biddu
Shine On 4:11 NEEDTOBREATHE
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Central Reservation [Ben Watt Mix] 4:02 Beth Orton
Life 4:39 Lina feat Buku Wise
The Sheer Weight of Memory 5:28 Bob Holroyd
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson
Universalfemalebreathchoir 4:54 Kiln

Tuesday, Dec 31, 2019, 840am ~ Are You Breathing Just a Little?

Passing Through 5:19 Bob Holroyd
Shine On 3:43 Eric Bibb
Light You Up 6:20 Shawn Mullins
Barely Breathing 4:15 Duncan Sheik
Raag Trance 5:32 Biddu
Shine On 4:11 NEEDTOBREATHE
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Life 4:39 Lina feat Buku Wise
The Sheer Weight of Memory 5:28 Bob Holroyd
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Thursday, Jan 2, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Are You Breathing Just a Little?

The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich
Passing Through 5:19 Bob Holroyd
Shine On 3:43 Eric Bibb
Light You Up 6:20 Shawn Mullins
Barely Breathing 4:15 Duncan Sheik
Raag Trance 5:32 Biddu
Shine On 4:11 NEEDTOBREATHE
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Life 4:39 Lina feat Buku Wise
The Sheer Weight of Memory 5:28 Bob Holroyd
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson
Universalfemalebreathchoir 4:54 Kiln

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