NOTE: It was brought to my attention that these words were not spoken by Chief Seattle. From Snopes.com “The words Chief Seattle has become famous for were written by Ted Perry, the screenwriter for Home, a 1972 film about ecology. They have since been widely quoted in books, on TV, and from the pulpit. A children’s book, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message From Chief Seattle, sold 280,000 within the first six months of its 1991 issue.” My feeling is that whoever said them, they are true and it’s bogus to attribute them to a Native American.

Connections and relationships are everywhere. As we move through our days, we are in connection with everything — our bodies, our movement, our thoughts, objects around us, other people, the environment — everything. The invitation is to open our awareness so that we recognize all these (inter) connections and making choices about what we want to bring to all of our relationships.

Speaking of relationships, I’m grateful for mine with Mary Linn. I love the chance to teach and create together and I’m grateful for her generosity in sharing her classes and her gifts. (We’ll be playing again in May so check that out below!)

You can find this week’s (inter)Connection & Relationship playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

But first, here are a bundle of things I know you want to know about:

Moving to Heal classes with Sheila Queen 12:30-2pm at Northside Library (except *)
Join Nia Blue Belt and Moving to Heal Instructor, Sheila Queen for a class designed for anybody looking for a gentle movement practice to complement and facilitate healing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Northside Library from 12:30-2 (except*)
April: Friday: 4/27
May: Thursday: 5/10, *5/17 (1-2:30), 5/31
Friday 5/25
June: Friday: *22 (10:30-12), 29
For questions and more information, contact Sheila Queen at squeen125@gmail.com

Nia Freedance First Fridays with Kate at ACAC ~ Friday, May 4!
Every first Friday Kate Aust shares a Nia freedance class at ACAC Albemarle Square. Nia Freedance gives you an opportunity to play for a full hour moving your body’s way. We each get to tap into the creative wisdom of our body, emotions, mind and spirit stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance class will be Friday, May 4 from 11:25 to 12:25 in studio B.

Bliss Revisited with Susan & Mary Linn on May 14 & 17
Mary Linn & I are diving back into Bliss: a classic routine created by Nia co-founder, Carlos Rosas. The music of British production duo Mark Rae and Steve Christian and German DJ Shantel allow the body to drop deep roots and long powerful reaches. Join us for Bliss!
Mon, May 14, 1045-12noon Albemarle Square, Room A
Thu, May 17, 840-940am Downtown, Group Ex Studio
Thu, May 17, 630-730pm Albemarle Square, Room B

acac Memorial Day Hours: Monday, May 28
Susan will teach her class on Memorial Day at 11am at acac Albemarle Square. Spend part of the holiday with yourself, your body and us!

Acac hours for the holiday are:
acac Albemarle Square: 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Downtown 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Crozet staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
kids zone – 8:30-11:30am
acac Pantops staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
Adventure Central* – 9:00am-7:00pm *tennis courts only
Waterpark – 10:00am-7:00pm

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

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018, 1245pm ~ Earth Day: (inter)Connection & Relationship with Mary Linn

Monday, Apr 23, 2018, 1045am ~ Earth Day: (inter)Connection & Relationship with Mary Linn

Thursday, Apr 26, 2017, 840am ~ (inter)Connection & Relationship with Mary Linn

Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
A Horse with No Name 4:08 America
Octopus’s Garden 3:19 The Beatles
Joy to the World 3:18 Three Dog Night
Firefly 2:29 Michael Franti
Blackbird 3:08 Bobby McFerrin
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Birds 3:49 Coldplay
Fireflies 3:46 Owl City
Penguins 2:31 Lyle Lovett
The Buzzard 3:50 Old Blind Dogs
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Re-Recorded Version) 2:43 The Token
Which Way Does That Old Pony Run 4:09 Lyle Lovett
Man Of The Hour 2:57 Norah Jones
Earth 3:02 Hans Zimmer, The Lyndhurst Orchestra, Lisa Gerrard & Gavin Greenaway

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018, 840am ~ (inter)Connection & Relationship

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Headphones 4:18 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Stolen Car 3:58 Sting
The Sound of Sunshine 3:44 Michael Franti & Spearhead
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Never Coming Home 5:00 Sting
Once a Day (Featuring Sonna Rele) 4:00 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Brand New Day 6:20 Sting
Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) 4:09 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2017, 11am ~ (inter)Connection & Relationship (and Pat Taylor’s birthday!)

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Headphones 4:18 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Stolen Car 3:58 Sting
The Sound of Sunshine 3:44 Michael Franti & Spearhead
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Never Coming Home 5:00 Sting
Once a Day (Featuring Sonna Rele) 4:00 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Brand New Day 6:20 Sting
Life Is Better With You 3:19 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot 6:44 Sting
Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) 4:09 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Somehow Familiar 3:40 Fabrizio Paterlini

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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On some level I know that everything is connected. Everything.

And yet, I find myself needing reminders. Which explains, at least in part, why I’ve written about connection many times over the years.

You can read about

Obviously, it’s a topic that deeply interests me. One of the reasons is how easy it is for us, perhaps particularly in our culture, to think that separation and independence is a thing. In fact, everything leans on, touches, effects and is connected to everything else.

Which means that the pain in my hip is inextricably connected to that in my foot and my shoulder.

And the melting of the ice caps and wild fires are part of the same issue.

And as Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

To forget this is folly.

Happy Earth Day.

Full & Empty. Whether we are talking about your breath or your stomach or your attention or your presence, full and empty have sensations. This week we went to the edges to explore the feeling of full and empty and did our best to avoid the mushy middle. It’s juicy at the edges.

You can find this week’s playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

But first, here are a bundle of things I know you want to know about:

Earth Day with Susan & Mary Linn ~ April 21 & 23
There is no place like our home planet. In gratitude and honor of the Earth, Mary Linn & Susan will teach a specially-designed class that allows us to both ground and soar.
Sat, Apr 21, 1230-1245pm Nia 101, 1245-145pm Earth Day class
Mon, Apr 23, 1045-12noon

Nia~Moving to Heal~Joy of Movement classes with Susan Tate moving location
Mondays, 5:30 – 6:30pm & Wednesdays, 12 – 1pm NEW LOCATION: University Baptist Church Community Room G 17 1223 W. Main Street, Charlottesville FREE classes or people with cancer, survivors, caregivers, & Cancer Center staff. Nia is a joyful, restorative movement practice that combines dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts. It is designed to empower your body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace. Classes are taught by Susan Tate, Licensed Black Belt Nia Instructor. This class is offered thanks to a generous grant from the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler and the UVA Cancer Center. Registration not required. Drop in any time for these free classes. Parking is free. Contact Susan Tate at susan@susantate.org with questions. Thank you to the University Baptist Church for sharing your space with us.

Moving to Heal classes with Sheila Queen 12:30-2pm at Northside Library (except *)
Join Nia Blue Belt and Moving to Heal Instructor, Sheila Queen for a class designed for anybody looking for a gentle movement practice to complement and facilitate healing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Northside Library from 12:30-2 (except*)
April: Friday: 4/27
May: Thursday: 5/10, *5/17 (1-2:30), 5/31
Friday 5/25
June: Friday: *22 (10:30-12), 29
For questions and more information, contact Sheila Queen at squeen125@gmail.com

Nia Freedance First Fridays with Kate at ACAC ~ Friday, May 4!
Every first Friday Kate Aust shares a Nia freedance class at ACAC Albemarle Square. Nia Freedance gives you an opportunity to play for a full hour moving your body’s way. We each get to tap into the creative wisdom of our body, emotions, mind and spirit stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance class will be Friday, May 4 from 11:25 to 12:25 in studio B.

acac Memorial Day Hours: Monday, May 28
Susan will teach her class on Memorial Day at 11am at acac Albemarle Square. Spend part of the holiday with yourself, your body and us!

Acac hours for the holiday are:
acac Albemarle Square: 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Downtown 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Crozet staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
kids zone – 8:30-11:30am
acac Pantops staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
Adventure Central* – 9:00am-7:00pm *tennis courts only
Waterpark – 10:00am-7:00pm

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

Monday, Apr 16, 2018, 1045am ~ Full & Empty

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
Center Of The Sun 5:01 Conjure One Feat. Poe
Lovers House 4:49 City Reverb
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
Further in Time 6:32 Afro Celt Sound System
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Facing East 3:48 Thievery Corporation
Drive 3:53 Incubus
When It Falls 5:31 Zero 7
Feel Your Body Float 7:29 Anuvida & Nik Tynhall

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018, 840am ~ Full & Empty

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
Center Of The Sun 5:01 Conjure One Feat. Poe
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
Further in Time 6:32 Afro Celt Sound System
Mussiki é (Jungle Mix) 7:11 Miango
Facing East 3:48 Thievery Corporation
Drive 3:53 Incubus
When It Falls 5:31 Zero 7
Somehow Familiar 3:40 Fabrizio Paterlini

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2017, 11am ~ Full & Empty

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
Plane Shift 6:14 Loop Guru
Saracen 5:03 Jeff Stott
Spellbound 5:43 Rae & Christian
Life Begins Again [Featuring Robert Plant] 6:22 Afro Celt Sound System
Body Language / Interpretation 5:00 Booka Shade
Sargasso Sea 7:02 Daveen Rowala
Electrorloge 6:29 Trouble Makers
Bengali Song 4:08 Nitin Sawhney
Slip Into Something More Comfortable 4:48 Kinobe
Breathing Out 4:56 Shaman’s Dream

Thursday, Apr 19, 2017, 840am ~ Full & Empty

Breathe In (feat. Wafia) 3:20 Japanese Wallpaper
Plane Shift 6:14 Loop Guru
Saracen 5:03 Jeff Stott
Life Begins Again [Featuring Robert Plant] 6:22 Afro Celt Sound System
Body Language / Interpretation 5:00 Booka Shade
Sargasso Sea 7:02 Daveen Rowala
Electrorloge 6:29 Trouble Makers
Bengali Song 4:08 Nitin Sawhney
Slip Into Something More Comfortable 4:48 Kinobe
Breathing Out 4:56 Shaman’s Dream

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!

In a recent Contact Improvisation class with experienced teacher and mover, Brad Stoller, he taught about the sensations of full and empty. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the feelings of full and empty in physical movement, in breath and in awareness. Can I feel full without overflowing, without being overwhelmed or overdoing? Can I feel empty without feeling depleted?

Brad taught that full and empty allows for a wider range of movement, sensation, and experience than we might typically feel. Full and empty sounds both mundane and esoteric. We know the idea of full and empty, but how often to we embody them? I’ve been thinking about and experimenting with full and empty in three primary ways: breath, weight and attention.

Breath

“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.” ~ Andrew Weil

How often am I breathing in the mushy middle? Most of  my breaths are shallow ones that don’t really fill or empty my lungs. There is aliveness, groundedness, and energy in breathing in fully and emptying completely. You can do it right now: take three deep breaths, drawing as much air as you can in — then take a little extra sip at the top — and then letting go as much air as you can out — then squeezing the last drops out. It’s like working a muscle, stretching and strengthening what hasn’t been used to allow your body to expand its ability to nourish and cleanse itself. It can be a heady business so take your time but full and complete breathing is one of the most healthful, centering, and empowering things you can do for your body, mind and spirit.

Weight

All movement is weight shift. The only way an earth-bound being can move is by shifting weight. It’s common to shuffle or drag our feet, to not really push off the ground but to hesitantly scuffle along with the mistaken notion that it’s safer. I notice this scuffle-tendency in particular when I’m walking up stairs or doing movements that are unfamiliar. Experiment with movement with clear weight shift: really engaging whatever is in contact with the floor to put your full weight into and out of each movement.

You can also do this in your metaphorical weight in life. Decide when to show up with your full weight, your full presence. If something feels important to you, step in fully. If something isn’t important or feels dangerous in some way, step out completely. When you are engaged, engage fully. When you disengage, really disengage. Notice when you are scuffling along in a situation.

Attention

There is a scene is the 1997 movie, As Good As It Gets in which Carol (Helen Hunt) is driving with Simon (Greg Kinnear) and Melvin (Jack Nickolson). Simon is telling her a difficult story about his past and she says, “I’m going to pull over so I can give you my full attention.” Melvin squirms in the back seat since her full attention is exactly what he wants and she is ignoring him. Attention is a powerful thing when we direct it.

Much of the time, our attention is diluted. I’m making dinner and listening to a podcast. I’m driving and thinking about my next class. I’m watching a documentary and making art. As with breath and movement, there is a completely different sensation when I bring my full attention to what I’m doing.

Notice where you are putting your attention and make the choice to bring it fully or to let it go.

Our culture is one of distraction so few of us are comfortable with the sensations of full and empty. This week, see if you can stretch the edges of how completely you are willing to step in…and out.

I’m not sure what I love more: the Pali word “tathata” or the translation “suchness” or “thusness.” “Thusness”? Really, all tathata means is “right now, it’s like this.” This is such a powerful notion that The Buddha used the term when he referred to himself: Tathagata or “One Who Knows and Sees Reality as it is.” (You can read a little something about tathata here.)

The mind loves the past and the future. The mind wants to push away some things and cling onto others. But the body can only reside in what is real and the only thing that’s real, the only thing we really have is the present moment. All we have is thusness.

You can find this week’s Thusness (or, Right Now, It’s Like This) playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

But first, here are some things you want to know about:

Cville Dance Co-Op: Sun Shine on Shy Spring with Susan ~ This Sunday, April 15
In spite of the calendar, spring seems to be a reluctant season this year. No matter what’s happening with the weather, we can co-create warmth and growth and sun shining brilliance on the dance floor. I’ll be offering music with that focus and holding the space for the Cville Dance Co-op on Sunday, April 15 from 10:15-12noon at Common Ground in the Jefferson School (a nice surprise!).
The Co-op http://www.cvilledancecoop.com/who-we-are/ is a substance free, non-verbal, barefoot, 115 minutes of freedance. No steps to learn, no teacher, nothing but what’s flowing and moving in your own body. Let the Sun Shine on this Shy Spring. I hope you’ll join us.
C’ville Dance Co-op, http://cvilledancecoop.com
Location (Common Ground, 2nd floor of Jefferson School, 233 4th St NW)
Date/time: Sunday, Apr 15: doors open at 10:15am for warming up, entrance locks at 10:45am, dancing until noon, then closing circle (come for the whole time!)
What to bring: Water bottle, comfortable clothes, optional donation for Common Ground
You can RSVP or ask questions at the Facebook event here.

Earth Day with Susan & Mary Linn ~ Saturday, April 21 & Monday, April 23
There is no place like our home planet. In gratitude and honor of the Earth, Mary Linn & Susan will teach a specially-designed class that allows us to both ground and soar.
Sat, Apr 21, 1230-1245pm Nia 101, 1245-145pm Earth Day class
Mon, Apr 23, 1045-12noon

Nia~Moving to Heal~Joy of Movement classes with Susan Tate moving location
Mondays, 5:30 – 6:30pm & Wednesdays, 12 – 1pm NEW LOCATION: University Baptist Church Community Room G 17 1223 W. Main Street, Charlottesville FREE classes or people with cancer, survivors, caregivers, & Cancer Center staff. Nia is a joyful, restorative movement practice that combines dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts. It is designed to empower your body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace. Classes are taught by Susan Tate, Licensed Black Belt Nia Instructor. This class is offered thanks to a generous grant from the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler and the UVA Cancer Center. Registration not required. Drop in any time for these free classes. Parking is free. Contact Susan Tate at susan@susantate.org with questions. Thank you to the University Baptist Church for sharing your space with us.

Moving to Heal classes with Sheila Queen 12:30-2pm at Northside Library (except *)
Join Nia Blue Belt and Moving to Heal Instructor, Sheila Queen for a class designed for anybody looking for a gentle movement practice to complement and facilitate healing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Northside Library from 12:30-2 (except*)
April: Friday: 4/13, 4/27
May: Thursday: 5/10, *5/17 (1-2:30), 5/31
Friday 5/25
June: Friday: *22 (10:30-12), 29
For questions and more information, contact Sheila Queen at squeen125@gmail.com

Nia Freedance First Fridays with Kate at ACAC ~ Friday, May 4!
Every first Friday Kate Aust shares a Nia freedance class at ACAC Albemarle Square. Nia Freedance gives you an opportunity to play for a full hour moving your body’s way. We each get to tap into the creative wisdom of our body, emotions, mind and spirit stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance class will be Friday, May 4 from 11:25 to 12:25 in studio B.

acac Memorial Day Hours: Monday, May 28
Susan will teach her class on Memorial Day at 11am at acac Albemarle Square. Spend part of the holiday with yourself, your body and us!

Acac hours for the holiday are:
acac Albemarle Square: 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Downtown 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Crozet staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
kids zone – 8:30-11:30am
acac Pantops staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
Adventure Central* – 9:00am-7:00pm *tennis courts only
Waterpark – 10:00am-7:00pm

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

Monday, Apr 9, 2018, 1045am ~ Right Now, It’s Like This

Here Comes the Sun 3:05 United Guitar Players
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Tears From The Moon 4:18 Conjure One Feat. Sinéad O’ Connor
Praise You 5:22 Fatboy Slim
Desert Days 5:31 John Kelley
Lady Marmalade 4:25 Christina Aguilera
Baya Baya 5:27 Safri Duo
Spring Street 5:00 Dar Williams
This 3:33 Brian Eno
Sacred Love 6:03 Sting
Give It Away 5:17 Zero 7
Tabla Breath 5:27 Benjy Wertheimer & John de Kadt

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2018, 840am ~ Right Now, It’s Like This

Here Comes the Sun 3:05 United Guitar Players
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Tears From The Moon 4:18 Conjure One Feat. Sinéad O’ Connor
Praise You 5:22 Fatboy Slim
Desert Days 5:31 John Kelley
Lady Marmalade 4:25 Christina Aguilera
Baya Baya 5:27 Safri Duo
Spring Street 5:00 Dar Williams
This 3:33 Brian Eno
Give It Away 5:17 Zero 7
Tabla Breath 5:27 Benjy Wertheimer & John de Kadt

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2017, 11am ~ Right Now, It’s Like This

Amulet 1:37 Paul Simon
Factor 30 9:34 Bjarno
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd
Stillpoint 4:18 Oliver Shanti & Friends

Thursday, Apr 12, 2017, 840am ~ Right Now, It’s Like This

Amulet 1:37 Paul Simon
Factor 30 9:34 Bjarno
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd
Stillpoint 4:18 Oliver Shanti & Friends

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!


The first time I heard these words, from meditation teacher Phillip Moffitt, I found them simultaneously confounding and profound. He was teaching about grasping and aversion, about clinging and resistance, about wantingwantingwanting and notwantingthatnotatall. He suggested that instead of pushing and pulling and fighting whatever was happening to open attention and simply acknowledge that this is what is happening right now.

Right now, this raspberry tastes sweet and cold and delicious.

Right now, my heart hurts from hearing the news.

Right now, this hot shower falling on my skin feels wonderful.

Right now, my hip hurts.

My mind is so quick to rush to the future — the next raspberry (and the next and the next), the cataclysm of what will become of the world, the apprehension about stepping into the cold bathroom, the fear that my hip will never be well. Instead I can say, “Right now, it’s like this” and just leave it at that.

Amazing.

The other thing my mind is quick to do is to compare what’s happening right now with the past and if it’s similar (even in the smallest way), my mind says, “Oh, I know this. This is the same as that. So I don’t have to pay any attention.”

Which is horse hockey, of course. Every moment is brand new. Every sensation is new. Every feeling/thought/awareness is new.

There is aliveness in this.

Especially when I’m resisting whatever is happening, I love Silvia Boorstein’s practice of choosing to meet each moment fully and as a friend. These two parts are important. It makes a difference to be both all in and with friendliness. She writes about how she uses this practice here. 

One definition of suffering is wanting things to be different than they are. This week, play with the possibility of making space for whatever is happening. Your mind will judge it — good, bad, like, not like — that’s what minds do. But this practice invites us to be with whatever is happening and letting go of the suffering.

Imagine that. No wonder every meditation teacher I’ve ever had says some version of “Right now, it’s like this.”

 

Before I get to the playlists and announcements and all of that, after a week of heart-centered practice here is a lovely meditation by Sarah Blondin that resonated with me. Listen to it when you need a reminder that of all the people in the world to whom you give your love and care, none deserve it more than you yourself (to paraphrase the Buddha).

Special thanks to Mary Linn for marking the 50th anniversary of MLK’s passing with me in the Tuesday and Wednesday classes. As always, it is a Joy to teach with her — especially a classic routine that is this juicy.

You can find this week’s Art of the Heart playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Put the music we dance together with other pieces that lift you up, calm you, and challenge you!

But first, here are a bundle of things I know you want to know about:

Nia Freedance First Fridays with Kate at ACAC ~ Friday, Apr 6!
Every first Friday Kate Aust shares a Nia freedance class at ACAC Albemarle Square. Nia Freedance gives you an opportunity to play for a full hour moving your body’s way. We each get to tap into the creative wisdom of our body, emotions, mind and spirit stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance class will be Friday, April 6 from 11:25 to 12:25 in studio B.

5Rhythms events with Jeffery Boynton ~ Apr 7
I had the good fortune to dance with Jeffery late last year. I’m delighted to see them offering an event this spring! This is an invitation to the dance only you can do. There are no steps to learn, no preparations to make, no prerequisites to participate. Only curiosity, breath, and your presence, moment by moment, a practice of being.

*TOGETHER*: An evening with 5Rhythms® on April 7
Location: Common Ground Healing Arts, Charlottesville, VA
When: Saturday, April 7, 2018
Time: 5:00PM-7:00PM
*doors close at 5:20pm
Cost (by Pre-Registration Only):
$20 Pre-register by 3/30 thru 5Rhythms App or at www.afterbefore.live/store
$25 thereafter.
Class led by Jeffrey Boynton, certified 5Rhythms Teacher and member 5RTA
https://www.afterbefore.live/offerings/

Nia~Moving to Heal~Joy of Movement classes with Susan Tate moving location
Mondays, 5:30 – 6:30pm & Wednesdays, 12 – 1pm NEW LOCATION: University Baptist Church Community Room G 17 1223 W. Main Street, Charlottesville FREE classes or people with cancer, survivors, caregivers, & Cancer Center staff. Nia is a joyful, restorative movement practice that combines dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts. It is designed to empower your body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace. Classes are taught by Susan Tate, Licensed Black Belt Nia Instructor. This class is offered thanks to a generous grant from the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler and the UVA Cancer Center. Registration not required. Drop in any time for these free classes. Parking is free. Contact Susan Tate at susan@susantate.org with questions. Thank you to the University Baptist Church for sharing your space with us.

Earth Day with Susan & Mary Linn ~ April 21 & 23
There is no place like our home planet. In gratitude and honor of the Earth, Mary Linn & Susan will teach a specially-designed class that allows us to both ground and soar.
Sat, Apr 21, 1230-1245pm Nia 101, 1245-145pm Earth Day class
Mon, Apr 23, 1045-12noon

Moving to Heal classes with Sheila Queen 12:30-2pm at Northside Library (except *)
Join Nia Blue Belt and Moving to Heal Instructor, Sheila Queen for a class designed for anybody looking for a gentle movement practice to complement and facilitate healing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Northside Library from 12:30-2 (except*)
April: Friday: 4/6, 4/13, 4/27
May: Thursday: 5/10, *5/17 (1-2:30), 5/31
Friday 5/25
June: Friday: *22 (10:30-12), 29
For questions and more information, contact Sheila Queen at squeen125@gmail.com

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

Monday, Apr 2, 2018, 1045am ~ Art of the Heart

North 6:49 Afro Celt Sound System
North, Pt. 2 3:02 Afro Celt Sound System
When You’re Falling [Featuring Peter Gabriel] 5:14 Afro Celt Sound System
Colossus 6:44 Afro Celt Sound System
Ma’ Africa 4:49 Mahotella Queens/Ulali
Braided Hair 4:03 Neneh Cherry/Speech
Lagan 4:05 Afro Celt Sound System
Passion 5:46 Michael Franti
Daphne 7:03 Eddi Reader/Mahotella Queens/Revetti Sakalar
Persistence of Memory 4:29 Afro Celt Sound System
Paris Texas 6:45 Gotan Project

Tuesday, Apr 3, 2018, 840am ~ Art of the Heart: Moodfood with Mary Linn

Throw Off the Shackles 6:21 Moodswings
Moodswings Overture 5:53 Moodswings
Problem Solved 8:13 Moodswings
Rainsong 6:30 Moodswings
100% Total Success 3:52 Moodswings
Microcosmic 4:24 Moodswings
Spiritual High Part I 10:09 Moodswings
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings

Tuesday, Apr 3, 2018, 545pm ~ Art of the Heart: Moodfood with Mary Linn

Throw Off the Shackles 6:21 Moodswings
Moodswings Overture 5:53 Moodswings
Problem Solved 8:13 Moodswings
Rainsong 6:30 Moodswings
100% Total Success 3:52 Moodswings
Microcosmic 4:24 Moodswings
Spiritual High Part I 10:09 Moodswings
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings
Thailand 7:30 Moodswings

Wednesday, Apr 4, 2017, 11am ~ Art of the Heart: Moodfood with Mary Linn

Throw Off the Shackles 6:21 Moodswings
Moodswings Overture 5:53 Moodswings
Problem Solved 8:13 Moodswings
Rainsong 6:30 Moodswings
100% Total Success 3:52 Moodswings
Microcosmic 4:24 Moodswings
Spiritual High Part I 10:09 Moodswings
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings
Thailand 7:30 Moodswings

Thursday, Apr 5, 2017, 840am ~ Art of the Heart: Moodfood Variation

Throw Off the Shackles 6:21 Moodswings
Moodswings Overture 5:53 Moodswings
Problem Solved 8:13 Moodswings
Rainsong 6:30 Moodswings
Pride (In The Name Of Love) 4:27 U2
So Beautiful Or So What 4:09 Paul Simon
Spiritual High Part I 10:09 Moodswings
Spiritual High, Pt. 3 5:14 Moodswings
Show the Way 3:44 David Wilcox

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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