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Music / Playlists

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.

Nearly half of everything you do every day is habit. Knowing what your habits are, then and making conscious choices about those habits is incredibly powerful. James Clear writes eloquently about habit and he says this:

Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat. – James Clear, Atomic Habits

Step back and look at any part of your life and follow the thread back to the habits that led to where you are now.

Businessman and motivational speaker, T. H. Eker speaks to the power of habit in regards to our financial health:

You must acquire the habits and skills of managing a small amount of money before you can have a large amount. Remember, we are creatures of habit and, therefore, the habit of managing your money is more important than the amount.

The same approach is true for any aspect of our lives: habit lays the groundwork for health – or lack thereof. Are there any parts of your life that you would like to shift in some way? What if instead of focusing on the goals, you focused on the habits, small or big, that move you toward those goals. If you want to get leaner, make a habit of eating more nutrient rich, lower calorie dense foods. Want to improve your strength? Make a habit of pushing, pulling, lifting and otherwise using your muscles (Note that this does not necessarily mean to lift weights at the gym. It could be pushing your body weight, carrying groceries instead of using a cart, picking up your grandkids, etc.) Want to improve your relationships? Practice the habit of accepting the bid! LINK

What is true for us individually and personally is true for groups of people, organizations and countries. It’s worth looking carefully at the habits we have as a culture and a society. Are we willing to look at the white-centered, male-centered, hetero-centered, able bodied-centered, money-centered (what else? Tell me what you notice about our societal habits!) culture that we all swim in? What if we stop over-looking the bullying, the jokes, the assumptions and start questioning our cultural habits?

I’ll give the last word on this to James Clear:

New goals don’t deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is not an outcome, it is a process. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results.

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

Plant-Based Cooking Class on Monday, February 3, 6-8pm
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.
Space limited to 10 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!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, February 10, 430-6pm
Shandoah Goldman returns to The Studio at Dancing Water (2370 Old Lynchburg Road, Charlottesville) to continue the full moon restorative practice! The full moon is a time of completion. The fullness of the cycle lends itself to a practice of non-doing. Join Shandoah for a deeply nourishing practice of restorative yoga. Using props to offer support and comfort, the body is invited to profoundly let go and unwind. Rather than efforting or stretching, this is the practice of releasing and relaxing. We’ll celebrate what is finished and soften into the next cycle. Shandoah is a gifted guide for deep release and is a Shiatsu practitioner offering hands on assists during class. All bodies welcome, no experience in yoga or anything else is needed.
TWO SPOTS LEFT!
Monday (Moonday!), February 10, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water, $30 or $25 if registered before February 1. (Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Full Moon class will be on March 9!)

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.

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
· Plus we’ll have time for your questions and to talk about the issues you are facing!
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! Sign up 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 20, 2020, 1045am ~ Lagging Measure of Habits ~ MLK Day

Blackbird 3:09 Dionne Farris
Sol Tapado 3:52 Thievery Corporation
Marisi 6:33 Cantoma
You Might Die Trying 4:44 Dave Matthews Band
Pride (In The Name Of Love) 4:27 U2
The Paris Swing Box 5:24 Parov Stelar
One Billion Hands 4:05 Lourds Lane
Woke Up This Morning 3:55 Ruthie Foster
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings
Lovetown 5:29 Peter Gabriel
Love Rescue Me 3:48 Playing For Change
MLK 2:34 U2
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020, 840am ~ Lagging Measure of Habits

Blackbird 3:09 Dionne Farris
Sol Tapado 3:52 Thievery Corporation
You Might Die Trying 4:44 Dave Matthews Band
Pride (In The Name Of Love) 4:27 U2
The Paris Swing Box 5:24 Parov Stelar
One Billion Hands 4:05 Lourds Lane
Woke Up This Morning 3:55 Ruthie Foster
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings
Lovetown 5:29 Peter Gabriel
Love Rescue Me 3:48 Playing For Change
MLK 2:34 U2
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

Thursday, Jan 23, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Lagging Measure of Habits

Innerbloom 9:38 RÜFÜS DU SOL
Blackbird 3:09 Dionne Farris
Sol Tapado 3:52 Thievery Corporation
You Might Die Trying 4:44 Dave Matthews Band
Pride (In The Name Of Love) 4:27 U2
The Paris Swing Box 5:24 Parov Stelar
One Billion Hands 4:05 Lourds Lane
Woke Up This Morning 3:55 Ruthie Foster
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings
Lovetown 5:29 Peter Gabriel
Love Rescue Me 3:48 Playing For Change
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

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.

In his book, The Omnivore’s Dillemma, Michael Pollan famously offered the shortest description of the best eating approach for human beings:
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

For nearly 20 years, my teaching has focused on connecting people to their bodies with natural, varied, healing movement. In addition to creating movement experiences, I also help people eat more plant based, whole foods for the health of their bodies, animals and the planet. I recently found the work of therapist, Andrea Wachter on Insight Timer and in her course Getting Over Overeating, she suggests making food choices that are nutritious, delicious and moderate. (I love this simple metric – but not just for food choices!)

One approach that I recommend for people who are interested in improving their eating habits and their health is to choose foods based on their nutrient density. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s health equation is H = N/C or Health Expectancy equals Nutrients divided by Calories. Another way of saying it is the higher the nutrient density of our food choices, the better our health. Dr.. Fuhrman created the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) which makes it simple to find the highest nutrient foods on which to base our choices.

My friend and colleague, Cecily Armstrong likes to say, “I want to eat things that look like I want to look: bright, colorful, alive, firm, vibrant.” Think about looking at your plate and asking if you want to look and feel like whatever you are eating. Cecily has such a great approach to the sometimes crazy world of nutrition and health and she will hop on the phone with anyone interested in exploring it with her for 30 minutes for free. I hope you’ll reach out to her (or to me) if you’re intrigued.

“I propose that movement, like food, is not optional; that ailments you may be experiencing are simply (and complexly) symptoms of movement hunger in response to a movement diet that is dangerously low in terms of quantity and poor in terms of quality—meaning you aren’t getting the full spectrum of movement nutrition necessary for a baseline human function.”
Katy Bowman, Move Your DNA

Movement is much like food. It is essential for the optimum functioning of our bodies (although they can function without it, poor things) and it is up to us to choose that which works for our individual body.

Katy Bowman is a body mechanist and proponent of natural movement of all kinds. She is an advocate for moving in a wide variety of ways ~ on the floor, on our feet, pushing, pulling, hanging, all of it ~ as much as we can. If we think about how our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have moved, that’s what Katy Bowman is all about!

Those who take my classes know that I’m all about that, too! The Nia Technique, similarly offers the body a buffet of mindful movement. The practice we do together offers the movement equivalent of nutrient density with movements that are nutritious (that is, they train, condition and heal), delicious (that is, we are invited to choose what feels great) and moderate (that is, not too much, not too little).

As in food and movement, so in life. The writer and wise thinker, Seth Godin proposes that “instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

Look at your calendar this week. How are you spending your time, with whom, doing what? How are you spending your money, your energy your attention? Are these things that are nutritious, delicious and moderate? How might you create a more nutrient dense life? How could you make choices that would feel healing, wonderful and in just the right amount? As we say in my classes:

Please let me know about your experience with nutrient density and if you have any questions about all these resources!

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

Plant-Based Cooking Class on Monday, February 3, 6-8pm
I am excited to be leading a plant-based, whole-food cooking class together 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. Space limited to 10 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!

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!)

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, February 10, 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.
THREE SPOTS LEFT!
Monday (Moonday!), February 10, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water, $30 or $25 if registered before February 1. (Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Full Moon class will be on March 9!)

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, Jan 13, 2020, 1045am ~ Nutrient Density: Food, Movement, Life

Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
Brand New Day – Reprise 3:14 Joshua Radin
Hero Dead And Gone (Discotheque Mix) 4:55 De-Phazz
I Know What I Know 3:13 Paul Simon
The Boy in the Bubble 3:59 Paul Simon
Coolsville 4:53 Rick Braun
Long Train Running (Groovy Dooby Mix) 5:07 DJ’s Brothers
Sexual Revolution 4:48 Macy Gray
Wild Honey 3:47 U2
Shine 4:12 Joshua
How Sweet It Is 4:22 Joan Osborne
Gandhi/Buddha 3:28 Cheryl Wheeler
Slow Like Honey 5:59 Fiona Apple
A Sound Meditation 5:30 Benjamin Iobst

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2020, 840am ~ Nutrient Density: Food, Movement, Life

Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
Brand New Day – Reprise 3:14 Joshua Radin
Hero Dead And Gone (Discotheque Mix) 4:55 De-Phazz
I Know What I Know 3:13 Paul Simon
The Boy in the Bubble 3:59 Paul Simon
Coolsville 4:53 Rick Braun
Long Train Running (Groovy Dooby Mix) 5:07 DJ’s Brothers
Wild Honey 3:47 U2
Shine 4:12 Joshua
How Sweet It Is 4:22 Joan Osborne
Gandhi/Buddha 3:28 Cheryl Wheeler
Slow Like Honey 5:59 Fiona Apple
A Sound Meditation 5:30 Benjamin Iobst

Thursday, Jan 16, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Nutrient Density: Food, Movement, Life

Little Steps 3:50 Bird
Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
Brand New Day – Reprise 3:14 Joshua Radin
Hero Dead And Gone (Discotheque Mix) 4:55 De-Phazz
I Know What I Know 3:13 Paul Simon
The Boy in the Bubble 3:59 Paul Simon
Coolsville 4:53 Rick Braun
Long Train Running (Groovy Dooby Mix) 5:07 DJ’s Brothers
Wild Honey 3:47 U2
Shine 4:12 Joshua
How Sweet It Is 4:22 Joan Osborne
Gandhi/Buddha 3:28 Cheryl Wheeler
Slow Like Honey 5:59 Fiona Apple
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.

An intention is different than a resolution. A resolution is a goal, something you want to be different. An intention is a feeling, a process, an approach. I can apply an intention to anything: my work, my relationships, my health, my social action…and perhaps my goal.

This week, we integrated body and mind by practicing with a one word intention. What is something you want to feel more of during class, during today or even all year? Holding that intention in your awareness allows the possibility of your word infusing everything you do.

For the past many years, I’ve used a One Word to nudge and rudder me through my days and I’ve been amazed at the power of this simple practice. My word for 2020 is CALM and during class this week, I realized that I can be angry and calm at the same time. I can be engaged, moving quickly, happy, laughing…and also calm. That’s something I’d love to feel more of this year.

What about you? What is your word for today, this week or this year? Please share your One Word in the comments to inspire us all!

This piece of art is created from more than 90 One Word intentions set by folks in our community. There is space in it for your word and is designed to be used as a reminder and an inspiration. Please feel free to print it out, write in your word and put it where you will see it regularly. And feel free to share it with anyone who you think would enjoy it! Again, it’s a gift to everybody to share your word in the comments below!

(PS In a lot of ways, setting an intention is a gift to yourself. An intention is a way of setting your course toward more of what you want to feel and be. I love this article about ways to be kind to yourself that my thoughtful Dad sent along. Check it out and let me know what else you might like to give yourself this year. )

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!

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!)

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, Jan 6, 2019, 1045am ~ One Word 2020

Healing Senses 8:27 Parijat
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
Keep On Searching 5:08 Kraak & Smaak
Dance Floor (Nu Brazilia Remix) 5:28 The Tao Of Groove
Baila Morena 4:10 Zucchero & Maná
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
The Word 2:43 The Beatles
New Beginning 5:32 Tracy Chapman
I May Know The Word 8:09 Natalie Merchant

Tuesday, Jan 7, 2019, 840am ~ One Word 2020?

Healing Senses 8:27 Parijat
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
Keep On Searching 5:08 Kraak & Smaak
Baila Morena 4:10 Zucchero & Maná
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
The Word 2:43 The Beatles
New Beginning 5:32 Tracy Chapman
I May Know The Word 8:09 Natalie Merchant

Thursday, Jan 9, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ One Word 2020

Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: II. Allemande 4:36 Yo-Yo Ma
Healing Senses 8:27 Parijat
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
Keep On Searching 5:08 Kraak & Smaak
Baila Morena 4:10 Zucchero & Maná
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
The Word 2:43 The Beatles
New Beginning 5:32 Tracy Chapman
I May Know The Word 8:09 Natalie Merchant

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

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.

In this week of the Winter Solstice, we played with dark and light and fire and air and cracks in our perfect offerings. Three poets lighted our path this week: David Whyte, Judy Brown and Leonard Cohen.

SWEET DARKNESS
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your home
tonight.
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness
and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
From ‘The House of Belonging’
Poems by David Whyte
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press (with thanks to Mary Linn Bergstrom)

FIRE
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.
~ Judy Brown, from The Sea Accepts All Rivers (with thanks to Shandoah Goldman)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen, Anthem

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!

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!

ONE WORD for 2020
As we draw closer to the end of the year, now is a good time to open yourself to one word that you might use for your intention for 2020. In ten years of doing the One Word practice, I find that thinking about it helps less than being on the lookout for a word that captures how you’d like to feel or the energy you’d like to bring into the new year.

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 ~ Jan 3 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Jan 3 from 11:25 -12:25.

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

Monday, Dec 23, 2019, 1045am ~Sweet Darkness

Sea Dreamer (feat. Sting) 5:40 Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Problem Solved 8:13 Moodswings
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
A Night In the Park 4:42 John Kelley
Night over Manaus 5:49 Boozoo Bajou
Spirit In the Dark 5:04 Diane Schuur & B.B. King
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Dark Waters 4:37 Bob Holroyd
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
When Comes December 4:04 Tim Story

Tuesday, Dec 24, 2019, 840am ~ Sweet Darkness

What Child Is This 2:59 Dan Crary
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
Night over Manaus 5:49 Boozoo Bajou
Wizards In Winter 3:06 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Spirit In the Dark 5:04 Diane Schuur & B.B. King
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Winter 5:43 Tori Amos
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
Greensleeves 4:29 Steve Erquiaga

Thursday, Dec 26, 2019, 840am Guest Teaching for Jeanne ~ Sweet Darkness

I See Fire 5:01 Ed Sheeran
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Tangled and Dark 4:53 Bonnie Raitt
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
A Night In the Park (Alternate Version) 3:55 John Kelley 3
Fire to Me 4:36 Hyper/The Crystal Method
Spirit In the Dark 5:04 Diane Schuur & B.B. King
Man On Fire 4:19 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
When Comes December 4:04 Tim Story

Thursday, Dec 26, 2019, 11am ~ Winter Warmth Movement Meditation at the Studio at Dancing Water

Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf
By The Rivers Dark 5:21 Leonard Cohen
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
A Night In the Park (Alternate Version) 3:55 John Kelley
Spirit In The Dark 4:03 Aretha Frankli
Gabryelle (Spiritual South Mix) 6:18 Dj Spen
Man On Fire 4:19 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting
Dark Waters 4:37 Bob Holroyd
Anthem 6:00 Leonard Cohen
Spirit 4:09 Moby
Greensleeves 4:29 Steve Erquiaga

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! FocusPocus is now one complete post (art, focus, playlists and announcements) all together on Thursdays! So whether you come to the blog for the art, the information, the music or the latest happenings and offerings, you are in the right place. Every Thursday, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

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

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

This week: body organization & balance. Although we do it all the time, one way to soothe the nervous system is to consciously organize the body: upper and lower, left and right, and the big organizer, cross lateral. By mindfully choosing to notice how the body is moving, we reorient the nervous system and calm frenzied brain firings. Another organization is to play with balance and challenging the vestibular system (that’s the inner ear). By moving the head in space, balancing on one foot (with or without closed eyes) the whole system gets reconnected.

Do it right now. Move your lower body while stabilizing your upper body, then switch. Move your left side then your right. Move across the diagonal either to the front, to the back, out and in or in and out (hint: the most basic way to do cross-lateral movement is to walk!). Play with variations on balance, too, by shifting the head in space, balancing on one foot (or another body part) and shifting where you’re looking. Notice the subtle sensations of organizing the body in different ways and see what feels calming and grounding right now.

I hope this series has been interesting and helpful and that you will come back to it whenever you need a reminder of the choices we can make to get our lizard brains settled down and our human brains back on line. I’d love to hear what you notice/d and how I can help more! Please leave a comment about your experience 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!

Lots of events are unfolding, friends, so before the playlists, here is all the details on what’s coming up!

Extra chance to move with Susan at ACAC on Thursday, December 26 at 8:40am
This holiday week I’m lucky enough to be Guest Teaching for Jeanne on Thursday, December 26 from 840-940 at acac downtown. Come reconnect to your body and yourself for an extra time this week!

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!

Special Winter Warmth Nourishing Movement Class at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday morning, December 26 at 11am!
On Boxing Day, 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 THREE SPOTS LEFT! Please go here to register!

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!

ONE WORD for 2020
As we draw closer to the end of the year, now is a good time to open yourself to one word that you might use for your intention for 2020. In ten years of doing the One Word practice, I find that thinking about it helps less than being on the lookout for a word that captures how you’d like to feel or the energy you’d like to bring into the new year.

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 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 ~ Jan 3 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Jan 3 from 11:25 -12:25.

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

Monday, Dec 16, 2019, 1045am ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Body Organization & Balance

Stand By Me (Live from the Late Show with David Letterman) 2:49 Tracy Chapman
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Mokil Shebil 6:28 Mashti meets Deep Dive Corp.
Warriors (Album Version) 5:23 Vargo
Walk Into The Sun 5:21 Dirty Vegas
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroy
Laugh as the Sun 6:00 Rusted Root
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Subtle Body 7:02 Wayne Jones

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019, 840am ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Body Organization & Balance

Stand By Me (Live from the Late Show with David Letterman) 2:49 Tracy Chapman
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Mokil Shebil 6:28 Mashti meets Deep Dive Corp.
Warriors (Album Version) 5:23 Vargo
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroy
Laugh as the Sun 6:00 Rusted Root
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Subtle Body 7:02 Wayne Jones

Thursday, Dec 19, 2019, 11am ~ Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Soothing the Nervous System: Body Organization & Balance

Adrift in Kerala 6:07 Bob Holroyd
Stand By Me (Live from the Late Show with David Letterman) 2:49 Tracy Chapman
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Mokil Shebil 6:28 Mashti meets Deep Dive Corp.
Warriors (Album Version) 5:23 Vargo
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroy
Laugh as the Sun 6:00 Rusted Root
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Subtle Body 7:02 Wayne Jones

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! FocusPocus is now one complete post (art, focus, playlists and announcements) all together on Thursdays! So whether you come to the blog for the art, the information, the music or the latest happenings and offerings, you are in the right place. Every Thursday, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

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

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

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

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

Here are our playlists for the week. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

Lots of events are unfolding, friends, so before the playlists, here is all the details on what’s coming up!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings at 11am!
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 11am ~~ my mix of guided and unguided movement, meditation and creativity! Please go to http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop for the details. Come join us in the trees by the river for grounded, flowing, spacious movement. Second Thursdays are followed by a pot luck lunch! Nourish yourself with movement and bring something nourishing to share! There is space in upcoming classes so please go HERE to sign up!
* The Studio at Dancing Water is at 2370 Old Lynchburg Road ~ detailed directions at http://www.susanmcculley.com and via email when you sign up!

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

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

ORDER OCTABUSY!
Support local retailers by ordering Octabusy
at Over The Moon Bookstore in Crozet (overthemoonbookstore.com, (434) 823-1144, Anne@OvertheMoonBookstore.com)
and buy it at New Dominion Bookshop on Charlottesville’s downtown mall (ndbookshop.com, 434-295-2552, staff@ndbookshop.com)
and at The Telegraph Art & Comics https://www.telegraphcomics.com/
and coming soon to the beautiful Nourish Louisa shop in downtown Louisa! Go here http://www.nourishlouisa.com/ for more. I’ll be sharing more soon on events at this super-cool spot!
You can also order signed copies of Octabusy (including discounts on multiple copies) now on my website at susanmcculley.com/shop
and get Kindle and paperback editions on Amazon!
(And wherever you buy it, please leave a review there!)

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

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

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

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

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Jan 3 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Jan 3 from 11:25 -12:25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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