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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.

This is my yoga mat.

Every time I practice on it, I draw a heart on it. When I bought it 5 years ago, I had an image of the “swarm of love” that I wanted on it and I guess I could have drawn it all at once. But that’s not the way a yoga practice goes. A practice is built in small steps and in every choice to get on the mat. Little by little, the image is coming together. One practice, one day, one pose at a time.

Life can change in a moment. We are all one phone call away from everything being utterly different. Usually, though, it’s destruction that happens that way. Accident, injury, illness, death are what usually can turn what we knew upside down.

But if we are growing something, creating something, healing something, that’s a different experience. When we are building, growing, creating, it takes lots of little choices and actions. While the intention and vision may be expansive, the progress to get there is little by little.

This week, we focused on this invitation to keep making choices, taking steps, little by little to heal, create and grow. In particular, we focused on how we use our hands and fingers impacts the whole body. Something as simple and small as crossing the middle finger over the ring finger can create openings through the chest and shoulders and help put our upper body in alignment.

We also played with the energy of each finger: thumb is nuturing, index is desire, middle is power and balance, ring is commitment, and little is boundaries and edges. Intentionally using the fingers and noticing which fingers lead our movement can have a powerful energetic impact.

I shared Pablo Neruda’s poem October Fullness, too. You can find the full and stunning text here.

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!

November Nourishment at Dancing Water ~ 3 Nourishing Movement classes for $30!
As the holidays approach, nurture yourself with 3 classes of Nourishing movement at The Studio at Dancing Water. Three Thursdays, November 7, 14 and 21 from 11-12:15pm for just $30. Must be purchased by November 7!

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 – 1 SPACE 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. http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop/restorative-yoga-with-octabusy-letting-go-of-doing-to-restore-your-most-precious-device

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 ~ Nov 1 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, Oct 7, 2019, 1045am ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Philadelphia 7:10 Parachute
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) 6:11 Ganga Giri
Welcome to the Journey 5:04 Cybertribe
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
Hanuman 3:43 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Steppin Out 3:44 Kaskade
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Feelin’ Good 4:21 The Pussycat Dolls
Journey Into Stillness 4:41 Gary Stroutsos

Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019, 840am ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Philadelphia 7:10 Parachute
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) 6:11 Ganga Giri
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
Hanuman 3:43 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Steppin Out 3:44 Kaskade
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Feelin’ Good 4:21 The Pussycat Dolls
Journey Into Stillness 4:41 Gary Stroutsos

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019, 11am ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Philadelphia 7:10 Parachute
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
In Caelum Fero 7:49 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
BOOM 2:45 X Ambassadors
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
With My Own 2 Hands 4:37 Ben Harper
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Subtle Body 7:02 Wayne Jones

Thursday, Oct 10, 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Beautiful World (Instrumental) 7:15 MRJ
Sofa Rockers [Richard Dorfmeister Remix] 8:34 Sofa Surfers
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) 6:11 Ganga Giri
Hanuman 3:43 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
With My Own 2 Hands 4:37 Ben Harper
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Journey Into Stillness 4:41 Gary Stroutsos

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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

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 week on Thursdays, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

In Zulu culture, there is an ancient greeting: “Sawubona!” which (as indicated in the art above) is a rich and complex word that means many things. At its essence, it means “I see you and WE see you.” But more deeply, it means that you are accepted, you belong, you are valued and important. The response when someone says this is “Yabo Sawubona!” or “I see you seeing me” indicating a willingness to be seen.

In the U.S., the most common greeting is “Hello, how are you?” which is usually both insincere and asking the other to respond in a socially acceptable way, “Fine, thank you, how are you?”

What strikes me is the superficial nature of the American greeting as opposed to the depth and care of the Zulu one.

This week, we focused on the practice of “Sawubona” and “Yabo Sawubona”: the presence to really connect with another and allow another to connect with you. We also explored the neuroscience of how we direct our eyes. Lowering the gaze lights up the egocentric part of the brain while looking up fires the allocentric or other-centered section.

Play with the sensation of really seeing as well as using the eyes mindfully.

Here are some resources to explore a little deeper:

Global Oneness Project with a beautiful explanation of Sawubona.

Sawubona TEDx Talk by Julie Pilat — an American’s experience of the word

In regards to the brain science of using the eyes, an article from the Buddhist magazine, Tricycle called Eyes and the Brain.

Here’s an excerpt of the piece:

Another fundamental duality arises as the brain interprets information received by our eyes, formulating two different views of visual-spatial reality. The egocentric perspective always sees things subjectively, in relation to “me,” while the allocentric, or other-centered, point of view represents an object as “out there” so that it can be identified and interpreted objectively. These two systems operate unconsciously and for the most part seamlessly, although the strong psychic representations of our ego-self tend to dominate our weaker perception of the outside environment.

The first of these processes, the one that determines where things are in relation to “me,” is deactivated during kensho, Austin contends, while the second, which decides where objective “things” are in relation to one another, is enhanced, leading to a startling experience of self-less reality. During kensho, “perception seems to be realer than real and fundamentally the way all things are,” he explains. “The other-centered landscape comes in, occupies the whole mental scenery, and lacks all self-referential ties. This happens for the very first time in an individual’s experience, which makes it startling. It’s actually been there all the time, but many veils of the personal stuff had been interposed, distorting the way in which the real world enters our consciousness. Let all that stuff drop out, and you start seeing the world through an allocentric prism. So two things go on simultaneously, and they reinforce each other in the final experience. One of the Buddhist terms for that remarkable allocentric perception is ‘suchness.’ Suchness is the way things really are, without self in the picture.”

And if you’re feeling science-y, Zen and the brain: mutually illuminating topics by James H. Austin

(Thanks to my friend and TEDx Charlottesville speaker, Tim Cunningham, for connecting me with those last two articles.)

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!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening!

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!

Nia Jam: Balance is a Verb ~ Saturday, September 21, 1230-145pm at acac Albemarle Square Studio A with Susan, Kate & Jeanne (No Nia 101 and class will start at 1230!)
Balance isn’t something we have, it’s something we do. Balance is a constant dance of push and pull, squeeze and release, reach and root. In our fall equinox jam, we’ll focus on balance in the body and in particular in shoulders and hips. Jeanne, Kate & Susan will play with all the balances that happen between upper/lower, left/right, front/back, diagonal lines as well as fast/slow, challenge/recuperation, sharp/fluid and everything in between. Please note that there will be no Nia 101 and that the jam will begin at 1230! And don’t forget, you can bring a friend for FREE so grab a buddy and join us!

Saturday September 28, 9-12noon – Moving & Writing with Light: Nourishing Body & Eyes with Susan & Rebecca
Susan & Rebecca offer a morning to expand your perspective on two things that everybody has: a body and a smartphone. The word “photography” means “writing with light.” A photo isn’t a copy of something— it’s a story written *by light*! And light is weaving stories all around us, all the time. Using the simple cameras that we all carry —the ones in our phones! — we’ll play with the stories of light around us and experience how changing our perspectives can change everything. Susan will weave movement and mindfulness into the morning to practice being with light & shadow. No experience in photography or movement needed, just bring a phone or tablet with a built-in camera and your body. No experience with movement or photography is needed or expected. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

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
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.

Nia resumes in Studio A at acac downtown
Nia is back in Studio A at acac downtown:
Mondays 4:15–5:15pm ~ Rachel
Wednesdays 6-7pm ~ Jeanne
Fridays 9-10:10am ~ Loring
Saturdays 9-10:10am ~ Anne
Sundays 3:30-4:30pm ~ Anne
PLUS
at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesdays 12-1pm Nia Moving to Heal ~ Rachel (starting Sept 3)

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom ~ Video Series with Cecily Armstrong
Over the past few years I’ve been inspired and energized by the teaching and guidance of Cecily Armstrong. She is so generous with her offerings ~ her latest is a three-part video workshop Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom. If you’ve ever felt confused about how best to nourish yourself and live your healthiest, happiest life, Cecily offers amazing insights. You can sign up for the video series here. And/or you can get access to a longer 1-hour on-line workshop with Cecily here! https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom-workshop/

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom [optin]

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Sep 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, Sep 2, 2019, 1045am ~ Sawubona “I See You” ~ Labor Day!

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Papasus 6:08 Loop Guru
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Cotton Eyed Joe 2:50 The Chieftains & Ricky Skaggs
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Carnival 5:59 Natalie Merchant
In Your Eyes 5:26 Peter Gabriel
Mirrors (Radio Edit) 4:37 Justin Timberlake
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Plegaria para el Alma de Layla 3:19 Pedro Aznar

Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019, 840am ~ Sawubona “I See You”

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Papasus 6:08 Loop Guru
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Cotton Eyed Joe 2:50 The Chieftains & Ricky Skaggs
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Carnival 5:59 Natalie Merchant
Mirrors (Radio Edit) 4:37 Justin Timberlake
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Plegaria para el Alma de Layla 3:19 Pedro Aznar

Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019, 11am ~ Sawubona “I See You”

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Sawubona 3:57 Lucky Nabavimbezeli
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Sawubona 4:01 Nicolay
Mirrors (Radio Edit) 4:37 Justin Timberlake
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
See Yourself 3:44 Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019, 840am ~ Sawubona “I See You”

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
burundi 6:26 Star Sounds Orchestra
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Sawubona 3:57 Lucky Nabavimbezeli
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
I Can See Clearly Now 2:43 Johnny Nash
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
See Yourself 3:44 Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Sawubona “I See You”

Relaxer 7:58 Deep-Dive-Corp.
A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
burundi 6:26 Star Sounds Orchestra
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Sawubona 3:57 Lucky Nabavimbezeli
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
See Yourself 3:44 Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Devorzhum 6:13 Dead Can Dance

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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 week on Thursdays, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

The world is big and full of everything. So much is happening and most of it feels chaotic and cataclysmic. What can I possibly do that would make a difference? (I wrote a Facebook essay/post about what has been on my mind and heart about this. You can read it here.)

Our lives are big and full of everything. So much is happening. It can be joyful and exciting and terrifying and crazy. When I was a kid, I thought adults always knew what to do. Now I’m adult (and have been one for a while), I know that adults are just kids in a bigger outfit.

When I feel overwhelmed, when the project feels unwieldy, when I don’t know what to do. When I think that whatever I do doesn’t matter, when I feel myself zoning out or numbing out, first breathe. Then ask: what’s one thing I could do? What’s one step I could take? What’s one choice that would move me in the direction I want to go?

Life is big. It takes courage to be making our way through it. And in every moment, just breathe and do one thing.

Here’s an interesting question from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits,

Can my current habits carry me to my desired future?

And a reminder from basketball great, John R. Wooden,

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

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!

And friends, I am always ALWAYS looking for new music. Do you have a song that you love to move to or that moves you? I’d love to know what it is! Please respond in the comments below or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening this summer!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings ~~ 9am on Aug 29 and 11am in September and beyond!
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 9am on Aug 29 and in September and on, 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!

Nia Jam: Balance is a Verb ~ Saturday, September 21, 1230-145pm at acac Albemarle Square Studio A with Susan & Jeanne (No Nia 101 and class will start at 1230!)
Balance isn’t something we have, it’s something we do. Balance is a constant dance of push and pull, squeeze and release, reach and root. In our fall equinox jam, we’ll focus on balance in the body and in particular in shoulders and hips. Jeanne & Susan will play with all the balances that happen between upper/lower, left/right, front/back, diagonal lines as well as fast/slow, challenge/recuperation, sharp/fluid and everything in between. Please note that there will be no Nia 101 and that the jam will begin at 1230! And don’t forget, you can bring a friend for FREE so grab a buddy and join us!

Saturday September 28, 9-12noon – Moving & Writing with Light: Nourishing Body & Eyes with Susan & Rebecca
Susan & Rebecca offer a morning to expand your perspective on two things that everybody has: a body and a smartphone. The word “photography” means “writing with light.” A photo isn’t a copy of something— it’s a story written *by light*! And light is weaving stories all around us, all the time. Using the simple cameras that we all carry —the ones in our phones! — we’ll play with the stories of light around us and experience how changing our perspectives can change everything. Susan will weave movement and mindfulness into the morning to practice being with light & shadow. No experience in photography or movement needed, just bring a phone or tablet with a built-in camera and your body. No experience with movement or photography is needed or expected. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

Saturday October 26, 9-12noon – Nourishing the Nervous System with Mindful Movement
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. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.
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.

Nia resumes in Studio A at acac downtown
Nia is back in Studio A at acac downtown:
Mondays 4:15–5:15pm ~ Rachel
Wednesdays 6-7pm ~ Jeanne
Fridays 9-10:10am ~ Loring
Saturdays 9-10:10am ~ Anne
Sundays 3:30-4:30pm ~ Anne
PLUS
at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesdays 12-1pm Nia Moving to Heal ~ Rachel (starting Sept 3)

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom ~ Video Series with Cecily Armstrong
Over the past few years I’ve been inspired and energized by the teaching and guidance of Cecily Armstrong. She is so generous with her offerings ~ her latest is a three-part video workshop Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom. If you’ve ever felt confused about how best to nourish yourself and live your healthiest, happiest life, Cecily offers amazing insights. You can sign up for the video series here. And/or you can get access to a longer 1-hour on-line workshop with Cecily here! https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom-workshop/

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom [optin]

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Sep 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, Aug 26, 2019, 1045am ~ One Thing

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
A Go Go (Boozoo Bajou Mix) 5:47 Truby Trio
Galactivation 4:41 Shakatura
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Blue 6:29 LaTour
Riding the Waves 6:35 Afro Celt Sound System
Better Man 5:21 Playing For Change
Windmills Of Your Mind 4:17 Sting
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019, 840am ~ One Thing

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
A Go Go (Boozoo Bajou Mix) 5:47 Truby Trio
Galactivation 4:41 Shakatura
Blue 6:29 LaTour
Riding the Waves 6:35 Afro Celt Sound System
Better Man 5:21 Playing For Change
Windmills Of Your Mind 4:17 Sting
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019, 11am ~ One Thing

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
The Wait 3:36 The Pretenders
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
Lovetown 5:29 Peter Gabriel
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Thursday, Aug 29, 2019, 9am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ One Thing

The Spirit of the Earth Continues (Floating Earth Remix) 6:32 Cybertribe
Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
Fly 3:33 Bart Hafeman
Lovetown 5:29 Peter Gabriel
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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 week on Thursdays, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

The world is big and full of everything. So much is happening and most of it feels chaotic and cataclysmic. What can I possibly do that would make a difference? (I wrote a Facebook essay/post about what has been on my mind and heart about this. You can read it here.)

Our lives are big and full of everything. So much is happening. It can be joyful and exciting and terrifying and crazy. When I was a kid, I thought adults always knew what to do. Now I’m adult (and have been one for a while), I know that adults are just kids in a bigger outfit.

When I feel overwhelmed, when the project feels unwieldy, when I don’t know what to do. When I think that whatever I do doesn’t matter, when I feel myself zoning out or numbing out, I do my best to pause, to breathe. Then ask: what’s one thing I could do? What’s one step I could take? What’s one choice that would move me in the direction I want to go? As Glennon Doyle said, “Just do the next right thing one thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way home.”

Life is big. It takes courage to be making our way through it. And in every moment, just breathe and do one thing.

Here’s an interesting question from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits,

Can my current habits carry me to my desired future?

And here’s a quote that’s been helping me this week from basketball great, John Wooden,

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

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!

And friends, I am always ALWAYS looking for new music. Do you have a song that you love to move to or that moves you? I’d love to know what it is! Please respond in the comments below or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening this summer!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings ~~ 9am on Aug 29 and 11am in September and beyond!
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 9am on Aug 29 and in September and on, 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!

Labor Day Nia with Susan at acac Albemarle Square ~ Monday, September 2, 1045-12noon
It’s Labor Day on September 2! As summer winds down and life transitions toward fall, please join Susan for nourishing mindful movement at her regular class time and place on Labor Day: Monday, September 2, 1045-12noon at acac Albemarle Square.

Guest Teaching for Jeanne! ~ Thur, September 5, 840-940am acac downtown
I’m delighted to be jumping in to teach for Jeanne on Thursday morning next week! An extra opportunity to move together!

Nia Jam: Balance is a Verb ~ Saturday, September 21, 1230-145pm at acac Albemarle Square Studio A with Susan & Jeanne (No Nia 101 and class will start at 1230!)
Balance isn’t something we have, it’s something we do. Balance is a constant dance of push and pull, squeeze and release, reach and root. In our fall equinox jam, we’ll focus on balance in the body and in particular in shoulders and hips. Jeanne & Susan will play with all the balances that happen between upper/lower, left/right, front/back, diagonal lines as well as fast/slow, challenge/recuperation, sharp/fluid and everything in between. Please note that there will be no Nia 101 and that the jam will begin at 1230! And don’t forget, you can bring a friend for FREE so grab a buddy and join us!

Saturday September 28, 9-12noon – Moving & Writing with Light: Nourishing Body & Eyes with Susan & Rebecca
Susan & Rebecca offer a morning to expand your perspective on two things that everybody has: a body and a smartphone. The word “photography” means “writing with light.” A photo isn’t a copy of something— it’s a story written *by light*! And light is weaving stories all around us, all the time. Using the simple cameras that we all carry —the ones in our phones! — we’ll play with the stories of light around us and experience how changing our perspectives can change everything. Susan will weave movement and mindfulness into the morning to practice being with light & shadow. No experience in photography or movement needed, just bring a phone or tablet with a built-in camera and your body. No experience with movement or photography is needed or expected. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

Saturday October 26, 9-12noon – Nourishing the Nervous System with Mindful Movement
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.

Nia resumes in Studio A at acac downtown
Nia is back in Studio A at acac downtown:
Mondays 4:15–5:15pm ~ Rachel
Wednesdays 6-7pm ~ Jeanne
Fridays 9-10:10am ~ Loring
Saturdays 9-10:10am ~ Anne
Sundays 3:30-4:30pm ~ Anne
PLUS
at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesdays 12-1pm Nia Moving to Heal ~ Rachel (starting Sept 3)

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom ~ Video Series with Cecily Armstrong
Over the past few years I’ve been inspired and energized by the teaching and guidance of Cecily Armstrong. She is so generous with her offerings ~ her latest is a three-part video workshop Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom. If you’ve ever felt confused about how best to nourish yourself and live your healthiest, happiest life, Cecily offers amazing insights. You can sign up for the video series here. And/or you can get access to a longer 1-hour on-line workshop with Cecily here! https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom-workshop/

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom [optin]

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Sep 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, Aug 26, 2019, 1045am ~ One Thing

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
A Go Go (Boozoo Bajou Mix) 5:47 Truby Trio
Galactivation 4:41 Shakatura
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Blue 6:29 LaTour
Riding the Waves 6:35 Afro Celt Sound System
Better Man 5:21 Playing For Change
Windmills Of Your Mind 4:17 Sting
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019, 840am ~ One Thing

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
A Go Go (Boozoo Bajou Mix) 5:47 Truby Trio
Galactivation 4:41 Shakatura
Blue 6:29 LaTour
Riding the Waves 6:35 Afro Celt Sound System
Better Man 5:21 Playing For Change
Windmills Of Your Mind 4:17 Sting
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019, 11am ~ One Thing

Thursday, Aug 29, 2019, 9am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ One Thing

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! If you’ve been reading Focus Pocus for a while, you might notice that I didn’t post about our focus this week on Sunday as I usually do. Instead, I’ll roll the two weekly posts (art and content on Sundays, playlists and announcements on Thursdays) int o one all-encompassing 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 week on Thursdays, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

Last week, we paid attention to how the technology we use shapes our bodies. (link) We played with lifting through the arches of the feet, exhaling fully to lift the diaphragm, and lifting the eyes to look out and release the neck. I make a practice of doing this ~ feeling my feet, taking a deep breath and looking around ~ every time I see someone hunched and buried in their phone. (Please note in the comments if you are playing with this and what you notice!)

The body is an integrated system of dynamic energy, so LIFT (where ever it happens) doesn’t happen on its own. For each lift we feel and create in the body, something else needs to root. So to create that dynamic energetic balance, we focused on rooting down AND lifting up.

Your heels are designed to connect you to the earth and keep you grounded and stable. Most of us have spent (almost literally) our entire lives in shoes with a heel. Whether you are male or female (even if you are a child!), check out your shoes: almost all of them have at least some kind of heel. This constraint on the body is at cross purposes with its form and interferes with its function.

You are designed to walk and stand with your heels rooted, your arches lifted and your toes relaxed. Next time you are in a shoe with a heel, notice what’s happening in your feet. It may feel “normal” if you’re used to heels, but listen for signals from your body about what compensations may be happening.

Your tailbone is mobile and can move in lots of directions, but when we put ourselves in heels and lift the calcaneus bone off the floor, in order to keep ourselves upright, the tailbone lifts up. This is a perfectly fine movement for your tailbone to do, but when it’s held chronically it can lead to a whole host of other compensations.

In relationship to the lifting of the diaphragm, take a deep breath and as you exhale, feel the rooting of your sacrum.

Many of us do work (read: phone, computer or tablet work) or repetitive tasks (read: cooking, changing diapers, making art) that drops the head and eyes and rounds the shoulders. As we lift the eyes, we automatically drop the shoulders down the back.

We can work it the other way, too. If you feel stiffness in your neck and shoulders, drop them down and free up your neck so your eyes can look around.

Our culture puts our bodies in all kinds of compromised and compensating positions. Our practice is to notice them and to give the body an experience of what it feels like to move in alignment with its form and function. The more we practice and recognize the sensation, the more we can access it out in the crazy, smartphone-using, seated, shod world.

Please tell us in the comments below how you are noticing this dynamic energy of rooting down and lifting up. Sharing what you’re noticing helps us all connect to the sensations in our own 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!

And friends, I am always ALWAYS looking for new music. Do you have a song that you love to move to or that moves you? I’d love to know what it is! Please respond in the comments below or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening this summer!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 9am (through the end of September ~ in October, we’ll return to 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 brunch/tea/snackie! 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!

Nia Jam: Balance is a Verb ~ Saturday, September 21, 1230-145pm at acac Albemarle Square Studio A with Susan & Jeanne (No Nia 101 and class will start at 1230!)
Balance isn’t something we have, it’s something we do. Balance is a constant dance of push and pull, squeeze and release, reach and root. In our fall equinox jam, we’ll focus on balance in the body and in particular in shoulders and hips. Jeanne & Susan will play with all the balances that happen between upper/lower, left/right, front/back, diagonal lines as well as fast/slow, challenge/recuperation, sharp/fluid and everything in between. Please note that there will be no Nia 101 and that the jam will begin at 1230!

Saturday September 28, 9-12noon – Moving & Writing with Light: Nourishing Body & Eyes with Susan & Rebecca
Susan & Rebecca offer a morning to expand your perspective on two things that everybody has: a body and a smartphone. The word “photography” means “writing with light.” A photo isn’t a copy of something— it’s a story written *by light*! And light is weaving stories all around us, all the time. Using the simple cameras that we all carry —the ones in our phones! — we’ll play with the stories of light around us and experience how changing our perspectives can change everything. Susan will weave movement and mindfulness into the morning to practice being with light & shadow. No experience in photography or movement needed, just bring a phone or tablet with a built-in camera and your body. No experience with movement or photography is needed or expected. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

NEW OFFERING ~~ Saturday October 26, 9-12noon – Nourishing the Nervous System with Mindful Movement
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.

Nia resumes in Studio A at acac downtown
Nia is back in Studio A at acac downtown:
Mondays 4:15–5:15pm ~ Rachel
Wednesdays 6-7pm ~ Jeanne
Fridays 9-10:10am ~ Loring
Saturdays 9-10:10am ~ Anne
Sundays 3:30-4:30pm ~ Anne
PLUS
at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesdays 11-12pm Nia Moving to Heal ~ Rachel (starting Sept 3)

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom ~ Video Series with Cecily Armstrong
Over the past few years I’ve been inspired and energized by the teaching and guidance of Cecily Armstrong. She is so generous with her offerings ~ her latest is a three-part video workshop Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom. If you’ve ever felt confused about how best to nourish yourself and live your healthiest, happiest life, Cecily offers amazing insights. You can sign up for the video series here. And/or you can get access to a longer 1-hour on-line workshop with Cecily here! https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom-workshop/

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom [optin]

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Sep 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, Aug 19, 2019, 1045am ~ Root Down AND Lift Up

Roots 3:42 Bob Marley & The Wailers
Souvenir 5:39 Kaledj feat. Neko
Ibuki Reconstruction 3:33 Kodo
Say Hey (I Love You) (Featuring Cherine Anderson) 3:56 Michael Franti
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Voulez Vous Cousez 4:25 Moulin Rouge
All The Way Down 3:14 The Rolling Stones
Adouma 4:15 Santana
Yahoo 7:33 Veeresh & The Humaniversity Sound
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free 4:09 Derek Trucks Band
Salala (featuring Peter Gabriel) 3:24 Angelique Kidjo
Hit the Ground 3:31 Lizz Wright
Shanti (Peace Out) 6:59 MC Yogi

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019, 840am ~ Root Down AND Lift Up

Roots 3:42 Bob Marley & The Wailers
Souvenir 5:39 Kaledj feat. Neko
Ibuki Reconstruction 3:33 Kodo
Say Hey (I Love You) (Featuring Cherine Anderson) 3:56 Michael Franti
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Voulez Vous Cousez 4:25 Moulin Rouge
All The Way Down 3:14 The Rolling Stones
Yahoo 7:33 Veeresh & The Humaniversity Sound
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free 4:09 Derek Trucks Band
Salala (featuring Peter Gabriel) 3:24 Angelique Kidjo
Hit the Ground 3:31 Lizz Wright
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019, 11am ~ Root Down AND Lift Up

Snakeroot 7:58 Lis Addison
Souvenir 5:39 Kaledj feat. Neko
Ibuki Reconstruction 3:33 Kodo
Drop 4:56 Cornelius
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Voulez Vous Cousez 4:25 Moulin Rouge
Drop It Low 3:45 Kat DeLuna
Adouma 4:15 Santana
Bust Da Drop 3:32 Discowboy
Salala (featuring Peter Gabriel) 3:24 Angelique Kidjo
Floater 4:51 Waldeck
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Thursday, Aug 22, 2019, 9am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Root Down AND Lift Up

Edge Hill 7:00 Groove Armada
Snakeroot 7:58 Lis Addison
Souvenir 5:39 Kaledj feat. Neko
Drop 4:56 Cornelius
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Voulez Vous Cousez 4:25 Moulin Rouge
Drop It Low 3:45 Kat DeLuna
Adouma 4:15 Santana
Bust Da Drop 3:32 Discowboy
Floater 4:51 Waldeck
2/1 8:54 Brian Eno

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

Remember the movie As Good As It Gets? Just before this scene, Helen Hunt has said, “I’m going to pull over so I can give you my full attention.” I love that line and then watching her utterly listen with her whole self.

One question I’ve been exploring this week is, “Am I listening deeply to myself? To my body? To my thoughts? To my emotions?” Leo Babauta wrote about most powerful and neglected act of self care and I hope you’ll read it.

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!

And friends, I am always ALWAYS looking for new music. Do you have a song that you love to move to or that moves you? I’d love to know what it is! Please respond in the comments below or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening this summer!

SUMMER SPECIAL for Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 9am ~~ my mix of guided and unguided movement, meditation and creativity! Now on SUMMER SPECIAL ~~ You and a friend move in the trees by the river at a discounted rate of $20! 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 brunch/tea/snackie! 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!

Saturday August 24, 10am – 130pm – Moving with Ayurveda with Susan & Liz Reynolds
Just as we bring awareness and listen to our bodies as we move, Ayurveda teaches us to listen to both the signals of nature and our own body as a map for health and vitality.  Join Susan and Ayurveda Wellness Coach, Liz Reynolds for a nourishing experience at Dancing Water on Saturday, August 24 from 10am – 130pm. Susan’s integrated approach to movement encourages deep responsiveness to sensation, sound and space. We will then transition to an exploration of Ayurveda cooking and wellness practices with Liz as she offers a delicious vegetarian meal perfectly suited for the end of summer. She will teach about the simplicity of the ancient practice of Ayurveda, and offer tips for transitioning into the fall season. Plus, you’ll get the scoop on what doshas actually are. (And if you have no idea was a dosha is, this is a great place to begin!) $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

Saturday September 28, 9-12noon – Moving & Writing with Light: Nourishing Body & Eyes with Susan & Rebecca
Susan & Rebecca offer a morning to expand your perspective on two things that everybody has: a body and a smartphone. The word “photography” means “writing with light.” A photo isn’t a copy of something— it’s a story written *by light*! And light is weaving stories all around us, all the time. Using the simple cameras that we all carry —the ones in our phones! — we’ll play with the stories of light around us and experience how changing our perspectives can change everything. Susan will weave movement and mindfulness into the morning to practice being with light & shadow. No experience in photography or movement needed, just bring a phone or tablet with a built-in camera and your body. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

Nia resumes in Studio A at acac downtown starting Monday, August 12
Starting on Monday, August 12 Nia in Studio A at acac downtown:
Mondays 4:15–5:15pm ~ Rachel
Wednesdays 6-7pm ~ Jeanne
Fridays 9-10:10am ~ Loring
Saturdays 9-10:10am ~ Anne
Sundays 3:30-4:30pm ~ Anne
PLUS
at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesdays 11-12pm Nia Moving to Heal ~ Rachel (starting Sept 3)

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom ~ Video Series with Cecily Armstrong
Over the past few years I’ve been inspired and energized by the teaching and guidance of Cecily Armstrong. She is so generous with her offerings ~ her latest is a three-part video workshop Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom. If you’ve ever felt confused about how best to nourish yourself and live your healthiest, happiest life, Cecily offers amazing insights. You can sign up for the video series here. And/or you can get access to a longer 1-hour on-line workshop with Cecily here! https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom-workshop/

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom [optin]

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Sep 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.

Nia White Belt Training with Kelle Rae Oien Aug 15-21 at SoulShines in Richmond
Whether for personal growth, developing your practice or preparing to teach, the Nia White Belt training is a life-changing experience. Join stellar White Belt Trainer, Kelle Rae Oien at the new SoulShines Studios in Richmond. Go here for more information!
https://www.facebook.com/events/796684947329568/ (NOTE: A belt can audit 3 sessions for free. (They will need to pay for classes with Kelle – not included in the free offer) A retake (anything more than 3 sessions) is $99 to HQ and $400 to Kelle. That includes all classes.)

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

Monday, Aug 5, 2019, 1045am ~ The Algebra of Attention: Listening = Love

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
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
Aloha Ke Akua 5:57 Nahko and Medicine for the People
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Tus Pies (Your Feet) 5:21 Nahko and Medicine for the People
Listening Wind 4:25 Peter Gabriel
“Listening” By Rumi 2:49 Kim Rosen

Tuesday, Aug 6, 2019, 840am ~ The Algebra of Attention: Listening = Love

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
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
Aloha Ke Akua 5:57 Nahko and Medicine for the People
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Tus Pies (Your Feet) 5:21 Nahko and Medicine for the People
Listening Wind 4:25 Peter Gabriel
“Listening” By Rumi 2:49 Kim Rosen

Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019, 11am ~ The Algebra of Attention: Listening = Love

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat 110
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
Treat You Better 4:34 RÜFÜS DU SOL
Listen to the Music (DJ Malibu Mix) 5:01 The Doobie Brothers
Listen 3:13 Amos Lee
Listen 4:07 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Listening Wind 4:25 Peter Gabriel
Listening 3:22 Jami Sieber

Thursday, Aug 8, 2019, 9am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ The Algebra of Attention: Listening = Love

Mul Mantra 7:56 Snatam Kaur
Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat 110
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
Treat You Better 4:34 RÜFÜS DU SOL
Listen to the Music (DJ Malibu Mix) 5:01 The Doobie Brothers
Listen 3:13 Amos Lee
Listen 4:07 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Listening Wind 4:25 Peter Gabriel
Listening 3:22 Jami Sieber

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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