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Le Que y Tu! The most recent installment of a travel sketchbook of our adventures in our camper, Le Que!

Before we launch off on the trip, here’s what happened this spring with our beloved Le Que. If you haven’t seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in a while (like, say, 50 years) here’s the scene I’m talking about. Frank’s transformation was TOTALLY like this.

I realized that the very first time I ever drew our travels was three years ago when we went to these very same parks! Check out the inaugural illustration:

Grayson Highlands is a glorious park and at the highest point in Virginia so is unseasonably cool. Which rocks.

The last time we were here, we saw a bear.

Grayson Highlands is known for its views and vistas, which we love, but we are truly lovers of a water feature. Wilson Creek trail was a-MAZ-ing. And here’s Steve Martin, performing Grandmother’s Song, the song that we sang on the trail.

And what’s better than one water feature hike? Two!

Somehow, I have to be reminded over and over. Going outside changes everything.

Then we started making our way home via Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was a great day and at the end of it, I asked Frank what surprised him. He said a bunch of things including how easy it was to get out of our steep campsite and how we ended up doing that big mountain hike right at the last minute at the end of the day. I noted that he was NOT surprised that I went skinny dipping in broad daylight nor that I was swearing a blue streak whilst showering in cold water. He knows me well.

Now get off your screen and go outside and do things!

Octabusy is finished!
Except for editing. And fixing some mistakes. And the printing.
But mostly. Mostly, it’s finished.
And she is ready for some time away to rest and relax.
So we’ve packed up our little camper and we’re off to Grayson Highlands State Park!

I’ll be back teaching on August 5. Until then, a reminder of some of the goodness that is coming up.
Until soon, friends!
Love

 

 

 

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.

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/
https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom/

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Aug 2 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, Aug 2 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.)

Two weeks away and I’ve been on all sorts of adventures! Want to see? This is what I’ve been up to…

AND as promised, here are playlists from the amazing Mary Linn Bergstrom who, in addition to the rest of the Nia team covered my classes while I was away. Big gratitude to them all and ENJOY!

Wed July 18 and Thurs July 19 GNO adapted to B.B. King
1. Need Your Love So Bad/B.B. King & Sheryl Crow
2. Sweet Little Angel (1990 Live at San Quentin)
3. The Thrill is Gone (1990 Live at San Quentin)
4. Every Day I Have the Blues (1990 Live at San Quentin)
5. Into the Night (1990 Live at San Quentin)
6. Rock This House/B.B. King & Elton John
7. When Love Comes to Town/B.B. King & U2
8. Let the Good Times Roll (1990 Live at San Quentin)
9. Whole Lot of Lovin’ (1990 Live at San Quentin)
10. Peace to the World (1990 Live at San Quentin)
11. Rock Me Baby/B.B. King & Eric Clapton
12. Come Rain or Come Shine/B.B. King & Eric Clapton
Tues July 24, Wed July 25, and Thurs July 26 Sexi adapted to Alicia Keys
1. Wild Horses (live version from Unplugged album)
2. You Don’t Know My Name (live version from VH1 Storytellers album)
3. She Don’t Really Care_1 Luv
4. Rock Wit U
5. Girl Can’t Be Herself
6. No One (live version from VH1 Storytellers album)
7. The Gospel
8. Pawn It All (CLEAN version)
9. Blended Family
10. Work On It
11. Superwoman
12. Holy War
Tues, July 31
1. Orange Sky/Alexi Murdoch
2. Nourah/Makyo
3. Qalanderi/Cheb i Sabbah
4. I Shall Be Free/Kid Beyond
5. Never Goin’ Down (Ben Chapman Remix)/Adamski
6. Yanni Hu Wey/One At Last
7. Piece of My Heart/Melissa Etheridge
8. Mercy/Melissa Etheridge
9. Free/Zac Brown Band

 

transition 061116

When our girl was young, she hated vacations. She hated Christmas break and spring break and she really, really hated it when school let out for the summer. At the time, her vacation aversion was more than a little challenging, but I got it. Vacations took her out of the comfortable, familiar routine of school that she loved. All the unfilled, empty time of a vacation (or worse, leaving home to go somewhere else) made the poor girl anxious to distraction.

I don’t suffer from vacation anxiety, I love to get out and see new places and explore the world. What I suffer from, as a friend pointed out to me recently, is Vacation Packing Anxiety. It’s not the going away but the getting ready to go away that gets me. When I stop to think about my life, however, it’s more generalized than that: I have transitionitis.

As my husband and I get ready for a trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, half a dozen lists are posted around the house. Even still I have loose ends and tendrils that I don’t want to forget twisting in my brain (pick up an extra bike inner tube, remember the food in the freezer, bring your Tevas). I have piles of books and art supplies in my office, stacks of granola bars and chocolate on the countertops. The kitchen floor is cluttered with bins half-filled with canisters of rice and quinoa, jars of olives and salad dressing, cans of tomatoes and artichokes. I keep tripping on my hiking boots which I’ve left out on the floor so I won’t forget them.

Transitionitis is in full swing. Lucky for me, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice with it since between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox, we will take four trips. Simply writing those words makes my heart flutter.

From a Buddhist perspective, I know that life is change. We are transitioning all the time whether we are conscious of it or not. So the opportunity to practice with so many explicit transitions is a healthy and helpful one…albeit uncomfortable and messy with a lot of shoes scattered on the floor.

Feelings, and in particular fear, are part of what we get when we land on the planet. Along with elbows and earlobes and eye teeth, we get emotions …all of them including worry. Just like sensations in the body, our job is to listen to them, give them our attention and respond to them with compassion. So when I find myself caught in the racy feeling that I won’t get everything done, or the tight fear that I will forget something important, that’s the time to pause, breathe, and feel whatever sensations are happening.

As soon as we pull out of the driveway on Tuesday, I know I’ll feel differently but for now I’m a bundle of nervousness. In the meantime, I’m checking things off my list and breathing. I’m sorting paper, colored pens and pencils and breathing. I’m stowing sandals, backpacks, bathing suits and breathing.

All the while, I’m reminding myself how lucky I am to be reluctant to leave the everyday life that I love for the traveling life that I also love. And I’m reminding myself that life really is one big transition, so bring on the practice!

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TEACHING NOTE: I’ll be teaching on Monday, Jun 13 at 1045am at acac Albemarle Square and then my next class will be Monday, Jul 4 at 1045am! Please join me!

CR022314 004Time is a funny thing.  A sometimes slippery, sometimes sluggish thing.  On one level, time is what our lives are made of.  Time is what allows me to experience my life unfolding, moving, happening, changing.

Intellectually, I know that time is rigid and crisply measured:  60 seconds is 60 seconds, an hour is an hour, a day is a day.  And yet, I have a strange, fluid, ever-shifting direct experience of time.

When we planned our month-long Costa Rica adventure in June last year, it seemed so far in the future, it was almost as if it would never come.  But of course, it did.  Once we left, when we gazed out at a whole month away, it seemed almost like it would never be over.  But of course, now it nearly is.

I am doing my best to savor our time here.  To be present for this precious, delicious time together in a beautiful foreign place.  There are so many things that I am longing for at home:  my favorite breakfast, teaching Nia, taking yoga, all my people and my cat (just to name a few).  Yet, I find myself in the funny human place of resisting time’s passing.  Resisting letting go of the things I love here.  Of course I know this is silly.  Of course I do.

The slight heaviness and tightness in my heart remains.  Silly as it may be.

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