This week, we started at the end. We focused on the dedication of merit we say at the end of every class.

May the merit of this practice serve to nourish the seeds and roots of happiness.
May the merit of this practice serve to dissolve the seeds and roots of suffering.

By literally moving the heart in space, we connect with the push/pull of grasping and aversion which, not coincidentally, are the roots and seeds of suffering.

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

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

Before the playlists, some announcements of things that are happening!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ March 1 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, March 1 from 11:25 -12:25.

DANCE I.N! Shake it for a Cause on March 2, 6-11pm
Turn up the heat and dance at Fry’s Spring Beach Club to support International Neighbors!
Suggested Donation $5 a person or $15 per family!
Proceeds will help I.N. kids attend FSBC Summer Camp
Music by DJ Ty Chambers!
Little Manila food truck will be outside for delicious food!
Snacks and drinks for kids and adults will be for sale!
Or bring your own dinner!
RSVP and find out more here.

C’ville Arts Features –“Spectra” – by Diana Branscome
Diana Branscome, a gifted talent of C’ville Arts, explores the inspiring and magical aspects of glass. She will be at the gallery during the Historic Downtown Mall’s First Friday celebration on March 1st, from 6 – 8 pm to share her glowing new collection. For more on the event and on Ms. Branscome’s work please go here.

Author Fest 2019 at the Waynesboro Public Library 10am – 1pm on March 16
On Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Waynesboro Public Library will host its 5th Annual Author Fest. The event is free for both authors and the public. Buddha Cat and friends will be there. More information and details are all here!

Nia Jam on Friday, March 29, 5:45-7pm
The acac Nia team will offer a Nia Jam on Friday, March 29 from 545-7pm! More details soon!

Honoring the Effect of Trauma in our Lives with Larry Goldstein and Wendy Hubbard April 27
Larry Goldstein and Wendy Hubbard lead a workshop on releasing the grip of trauma using structures work, personal stories, and group work. Structures enable a person to go back safely to a traumatic memory with crucial support that was missing then and offers fresh options — an alternative memory – a different outcome in which basic human needs are met and longing for love and protection are fulfilled. This reconstructs inner implicit memory maps in the brain and helps people become viscerally acquainted with feelings that were lacking early in their lives. Pre-course online class Saturday, April 20, 3-5pm, In Person One-Day Class Saturday, April 27, 10-6p, Post-course online class, Saturday, May 4, 3-5pm. Cost $150. Limited to 12 participants. To register and for more information, contact Wendy Hubbard at whubbard0@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, Feb 25, 2019, 1045am ~ Dedicating Merit

Connecting Hearts 5:27 Dechen Shak-Dagsay – Regula Curti – Tina Turner
Don’t Ever let Nobody Drag your Spirit Down 3:54 Beleza Brasil
Golden Heart 5:01 Mark Knopfler
Love and Hope 4:24 Ozomatli
Seed 6:25 Afro Celt Sound System
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Bodhisattva 5:20 Steely Dan
Back To Me 3:31 Kathleen Edwards
Fortress Around Your Heart 4:40 Sting
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Govinda (Praising Union) 5:11 Suzanne Sterling
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2018, 840am ~ Dedicating Merit

Connecting Hearts 5:27 Dechen Shak-Dagsay – Regula Curti – Tina Turner
Don’t Ever let Nobody Drag your Spirit Down 3:54 Beleza Brasil
Golden Heart 5:01 Mark Knopfler
Seed 6:25 Afro Celt Sound System
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Bodhisattva 5:20 Steely Dan
Back To Me 3:31 Kathleen Edwards
Fortress Around Your Heart 4:40 Sting
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Govinda (Praising Union) 5:11 Suzanne Sterling
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2018, 11am ~ Dedicating Merit

Connecting Hearts 5:27 Dechen Shak-Dagsay – Regula Curti – Tina Turner
Don’t Ever let Nobody Drag your Spirit Down 3:54 Beleza Brasil
Something To Believe In 4:44 Parachute
Golden Heart 5:01 Mark Knopfler
Seed 6:25 Afro Celt Sound System
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Sambatucada (Nari & Gaudino Sambadrhome Radio Edit) 3:35 Gaudino Da Costa
Back To Me 3:31 Kathleen Edwards
Fortress Around Your Heart 4:40 Sting
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Govinda (Praising Union) 5:11 Suzanne Sterling
Gratitude 6:27 Jamie Catto & Alex Forster

Thursday, Feb 28, 2018, 840am ~ Dedicating Merit

Connecting Hearts 5:27 Dechen Shak-Dagsay – Regula Curti – Tina Turner
Something To Believe In 4:44 Parachute
Golden Heart 5:01 Mark Knopfler
Seed 6:25 Afro Celt Sound System
Love and Hope 4:24 Ozomatli
Sambatucada (Nari & Gaudino Sambadrhome Radio Edit) 3:35 Gaudino Da Costa
Back To Me 3:31 Kathleen Edwards
Fortress Around Your Heart 4:40 Sting
No Roots 3:56 Alice Merton
Govinda (Praising Union) 5:11 Suzanne Sterling
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

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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If you’ve taken a class from me in the past few years, you might notice that at the end, we offer this dedication of merit:

May the merit of this practice serve to nourish the seeds and roots of happiness. May the merit of this practice serve to dissolve the seeds and roots of suffering.

I’ve been practicing mindful movement for 20 years, but I don’t practice to get better at moving. I practice to get better at living. I don’t practice to be a better dancer or to be able to do Bird of Paradise pose. I practice to get better at being human. I practice in class and on my mat and on my cushion so I can go out into the world and live more skillfully. Dedicating merit is an acknowledgment of this deeper intention behind the physical movement and form.

The idea of dedicating merit is that by practicing, we are doing something beneficial, something wholesome, and that we can then choose to take that benefit and offer it into the world. While my personal practices definitely offer me personal benefit, dedicating the merit expands my view of it. Rather than making my practice all about me and the good things it does for me, I can choose to send it out to where it’s needed. This broadens my view not just of my practice but of my place in the complex web of the world. (Lama Palden Drolma wrote a wonderful piece on dedicating merit that articulates the desire to expand the goodness beyond the self. I hope you’ll read it. You can find it here.)

May the merit of this practice serve to nourish the seeds and roots of happiness. May the merit of this practice serve to dissolve the seeds and roots of suffering.

They are interesting questions, aren’t they? What are the seeds and roots of happiness? What are the seeds and roots of suffering? I might say swimming in the ocean or dancing with my friends or a square (or three) of dark chocolate make me happy. I might say that an achy low back or witnessing the abuse of power or losing someone I love cause me suffering. But those are just specifics. What are the seeds and roots?

Buddhists have been thinking about these questions for thousands of years and they identify greed, hatred and ignorance, or The Three Poisons, as the root causes of suffering. (I love this down-to-earth post by Kaitlyn Hatch about this.)

While it can be intellectually interesting and enlightening to explore Buddhist philosophy on these questions, I am a simple woman who can easily get lost in the weeds of thought. Here’s how I think about it: suffering is simply wanting things to be different than they are. When I want things to be different than they are, I either want more of something or less of something. The seeds and roots of suffering are grasping (wanting more) and aversion (wanting less). The seeds and roots of happiness are letting go of wanting more or less and being with whatever is happening just as it is.

May the merit of this practice serve to nourish the seeds and roots of happiness. May the merit of this practice serve to dissolve the seeds and roots of suffering.

Dedicating the merit is dedicating ourselves not just to our own betterment, to our own well-being but to the betterment and well-being of all. All people, all creatures, all beings everywhere. Given the state of the world, this is insanity, of course. Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron, recognizes the enormity of the undertaking and calls it making the warrior commitment. Pema writes

It’s said that when we make this commitment, it sows a seed deep in our unconscious, deep in our mind and heart, that never goes away. This seed is a catalyst that jump-starts our inherent capacity for love and compassion, for empathy, for seeing the sameness of us all. So we make the commitment, we sow the seed, then do our best never to harden our heart or close our mind to anyone.

We’ll fail, of course. We’ll get caught in wanting more of this and less of that and being greedy and hateful and ignorant. Oh heck yeah, we’ll fail over and over. That’s why we practice over and over. And why, at the end of our practice we dedicate whatever merit we might have gained toward nourishing happiness and dissolving all suffering.

What does dedicating the merit mean to you? What do you experience as the seeds and roots of happiness and suffering? It would be a gift to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rules and Instructions. What is your relationship to them? Is it any different to move them? Do you love them or not? What if you shifted your idea of rules and instructions and see how they feel in your bones?

Below are our playlists for the week and the Mary Oliver poems I shared at the end of classes (including the class that wasn’t on Wednesday due to slush and ice and whatnot). If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

And deepest gratitude to Mary Oliver for living a life of paying attention, being astonished and telling about it. I discovered and revisited so many beautiful poems this week. You can find one of them here and if you haven’t heard it, listen to Mary Oliver herself reading Wild Geese. May we all follow her instructions for living a life.

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

Before the playlists, some announcements of things that are happening!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ March 1 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, March 1 from 11:25 -12:25.

Buddha Cat Available at Local Stores!
I’m so grateful for the local stores who are carrying my book and art. New Dominion has both books and prints/cards! Over the Moon has books and cards. Cville Arts has books and art and this month, I’m featured in the front window! Please go check it out! And please go to my web site to find a complete listing of where to find Buddha Cat and more!

Buddha Cat on Amazon
Buddha Cat is now also available on the world’s largest retailer! You can find both Kindle and paperback editions! AND if you are already a reader and fan, PLEASE would you write a review? A review is one of the most powerful things you can do to spread the word. Find the book listing here! Thank you for your energy and support!

Author Fest 2019 at the Waynesboro Public Library on Saturday, March 16
On Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Waynesboro Public Library will host its 5th Annual Author Fest. The event is free for both authors and the public. Buddha Cat and friends will be there so please make plans to join us!

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

Monday, Feb 18, 2019, 1045am ~ Mary Oliver: Rules

Sea Dreamer (feat. Sting) 5:40 Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale
Beauty & the East (Banco de Gaia Remix) 6:51 Bombay Dub Orchestra
Instructions for Survival (521.1hz) 6:39 Listening to Smile
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
Sweet Freedom 5:14 Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Bring Me Some Water 3:54 Melissa Etheridge
Sandstorm 7:26 Darude
Sorrento Moon 4:56 Tina Arena
Do You Sleep? 3:54 Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
Good to Be Alive Today 4:15 Michael Franti & Spearhead
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver
Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2018, 840am ~ Mary Oliver: Rules

Sea Dreamer (feat. Sting) 5:40 Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale
Beauty & the East (Banco de Gaia Remix) 6:51 Bombay Dub Orchestra
Instructions for Survival (521.1hz) 6:39 Listening to Smile
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
Bring Me Some Water 3:54 Melissa Etheridge
Sandstorm 7:26 Darude
Sorrento Moon 4:56 Tina Arena
Do You Sleep? 3:54 Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
Good to Be Alive Today 4:15 Michael Franti & Spearhead
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

Everything That Was Broken by Mary Oliver
Everything that was broken has
forgotten its brokenness. I live
now in a sky-house, through every
window the sun. Also your presence.
Our touching, our stories. Earthy
and holy both. How can this be, but
it is. Every day has something in
it whose name is Forever.

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2018, 11am ~ Mary Oliver: Instructions – CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW AND ICE – HOME DANCING RECOMMENDED

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
Beauty & the East (Banco de Gaia Remix) 6:51 Bombay Dub Orchestra
Instructions for Survival (521.1hz) 6:39 Listening to Smile
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
Sweet Freedom 5:14 Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Bring Me Some Water 3:54 Melissa Etheridge
Spanish Grease [Dorfmeister Con Madrid de Los Austrias Muga Reserv] 7:26 Willie Bobo
Sorrento Moon 4:56 Tina Arena
Shine (feat. Freddy Verano & Linying) [Matoma Remix] 5:08 Felix Jaehn
Broken Rules 4:00 Evenus
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

White-Eyes by Mary Oliver
In winter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.
Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
but he’s restless—
he has an idea,
and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
as long as he stays awake.
But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
In the pine-crown
he makes his nest,
he’s done all he can.

I don’t know the name of this bird,
I only imagine his glittering beak
tucked in a white wing
while the clouds—

which he has summoned
from the north—
which he has taught
to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall
into the world below
like stars, or the feathers
of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
that is asleep now, and silent—
that has turned itself
into snow.

Thursday, Feb 21, 2018, 840am ~ Mary Oliver: Instructions

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
Beauty & the East (Banco de Gaia Remix) 6:51 Bombay Dub Orchestra
Instructions for Survival (521.1hz) 6:39 Listening to Smile
Wristband 3:18 Paul Simon
Sweet Freedom 5:14 Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Bring Me Some Water 3:54 Melissa Etheridge
Fever (Adam Freeland Extended Remix) 7:03 Sarah Vaughan
Sorrento Moon 4:56 Tina Arena
Broken Rules 4:00 Evenus
First Impressions 4:08 Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Edgar Meyer

My Work is Loving the World by Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird – 
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Mindful by Mary Oliver
Everyday
I see or hear
something
that more or less
kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

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!

On January 17, 2019, Mary Oliver died.

She was one of my favorite poets and her writing has changed me and my work. The first time I heard her words was at a Unitarian Universalist church in the late 1990s. I’m not sure if it was Wild Geese or In Blackwater Woods or what it was, but it took my breath away. How could someone so clearly and succinctly say what I didn’t even know I wanted to say? She taught me things that I thought I knew, but didn’t until I heard her poem. Since then, I’m reminded over and over that she saw and expressed what really matters in this world. Mary Oliver got to the essence of things.

Two of her poems, Three Things to Remember and Instructions for Living a Life, have particularly impacted my creative work and teaching. Three Things is in the piece of art above. I love it not only for its mention of dancing but for its reminder that rules are often self-imposed. As a first born, I can get attached to following them and getting others to follow them, too. More and more though, I know that “there are fewer rules than you think” (as my friend and teacher, Mary Linn Bergstrom says).

What is your relationship to rules? Are you a follower? Does “doing it right” matter to you? Or does “doing it right” get you stuck? Or both? Are you a rebel? Are you someone who wants to know what the rules are just so you know what you are not going to do? When do you want to follow rules and when do you think they get in the way?

This is her poem, Instructions for Living a Life:

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

And this is the piece of art I made based on her poem.

I made this piece at one of my own workshops on creativity called Living Life As An Artist. Ironically, it is the first piece of art I ever sold. Think of that: Mary Oliver made me a professional artist.

What do you think of her instructions? Do you follow them? Do you follow them in only some situations? Is there one you do more than the others?

Since her death, I’ve reconnected to Mary Oliver’s work and how it’s impacted me. I’ve also been introduced to poems I either had forgotten or didn’t know. If you have a favorite Mary Oliver poem, will you please share it? I may work them into class somehow or share them in some way or make art with them or … something.

Poetry gives us a new look at things we might not have noticed before — including parts of ourselves. I’d love to hear how poetry, Mary Oliver’s and others’, has changed how you see things, how you see yourself, or how you live. Please leave a comment below to share your favorite poem and your experience of poetry power.

Here’s to following instructions and breaking rules.

Our focus this week was on distinguishing between tension and tone, unconscious and conscious, habit and choice. As the Joseph Campbell model of the self indicates, we can use our practice to bring more of our experience “above the line” into awareness.

Since it was Valentine’s Day, we also danced the One Billion Rising 2019 playlist on both Tuesday night and Thursday morning. Bringing social patterns and “habits” into awareness, we rise and stand and dance for change, It is another way we can bring more of the world “above the line.”

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

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

Before the playlists, some announcements of things that are happening!

Celebration of Mary Oliver ~ Focus Next Week
On January 17, 2019, Mary Oliver died. She was one of my favorite poets and her words have had a powerful impact on me and my work. Next week, we will use as our focus two particularly powerful poems. One of the gifts of her death is that I’ve been introduced to poems I either had forgotten or didn’t know. If you have a favorite Mary Oliver poem, please share it either in the comments below or send it to me via email at sjmnia@gmail.com. I may work them into class somehow or … something. Looking forward to celebrating her deeply insightful view of the world.

Buddha Cat Available at Local Stores!
I’m so grateful for the local stores who are carrying my book and art. New Dominion has both books and prints/cards! Over the Moon has books and cards. Cville Arts has books and art and this month, I’ll be featured in the front window! Please go check it out! And please go to my web site to find a complete listing of where to find Buddha Cat and more!

Buddha Cat on Amazon
Buddha Cat is now also available on the world’s largest retailer! You can find both Kindle and paperback editions! AND if you are already a reader and fan, PLEASE would you write a review? A review is one of the most powerful things you can do to spread the word. Find the book listing here! Thank you for your energy and support!

Author Fest 2019 at the Waynesboro Public Library
On Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Waynesboro Public Library will host its 5th Annual Author Fest. The event is free for both authors and the public. Buddha Cat and friends will be there. More information and details to come!

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

Monday, Feb 11, 2019, 1045am ~ Tension vs. Tone

The Day After Everything Changed 4:30 Ellis Paul
Let The Groove Get In 7:12 Justin Timberlake
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix) 8:36
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroyd
Let It Whip 4:43 Dazz Band
Didji Dance 4:41 Ganga Girl
Life Is Better With You 3:19 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Groove Is You (feat. Al Agami & Hush Forever) 6:27 Deep Dive Corp.
Mad World 3:03 Alex Parks
Hymn to the Fallen 4:43 Voces8

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2018, 840am ~ Tension vs. Tone

Something 3:04 George Harrison
Let The Groove Get In 7:12 Justin Timberlake
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix) 8:36
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroyd
Let It Whip 4:43 Dazz Band
Didji Dance 4:41 Ganga Girl
The Groove Is You (feat. Al Agami & Hush Forever) 6:27 Deep Dive Corp.
Mad World 3:03 Alex Parks
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2018, 545pm ~ One Billion Rising: Bring it Above the Line

Walking Prayers 3:55 Gina Loring
RISE UP 3:23 Sussan Deyhim
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Put a Woman in Charge (feat. Rosanne Cash) 4:05 Keb’ Mo’
Break The Chain 4:32 Tena Clark One Billion Rising
One Billion Hands 4:05 Lourds Lane One Billion Rising
Nasty Woman 4:06 Ara Lee
Didji Dance 4:41 Ganga Girl
Get Up 4:51 Badmarsh & Shri
I Know 3:49 Dionne Farris
Phenomenal Woman 4:24 Ruthie Foster
Light of a Clear Blue Morning 4:15 The Wailin’ Jennys

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2018, 11am ~ Tension vs. Tone

Something 3:04 George Harrison
Let The Groove Get In 7:12 Justin Timberlake
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix) 8:36
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroyd
Nasty Woman 4:06 Ara Lee
Didji Dance 4:41 Ganga Girl
Break The Chain 4:32 Tena Clark One Billion Rising
The Groove Is You (feat. Al Agami & Hush Forever) 6:27 Deep Dive Corp.
Mad World 3:03 Alex Parks
Let It Go  2:16 Jamie Catto & Alex Forster

Thursday, Feb 14, 2018, 840am ~ One Billion Rising: Bring it Above the Line

Walking Prayers 3:55 Gina Loring
RISE UP 3:23 Sussan Deyhim
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Put a Woman in Charge (feat. Rosanne Cash) 4:05 Keb’ Mo’
Break The Chain 4:32 Tena Clark One Billion Rising
One Billion Hands 4:05 Lourds Lane One Billion Rising
Nasty Woman 4:06 Ara Lee
Didji Dance 4:41 Ganga Girl
Get Up 4:51 Badmarsh & Shri
I Know 3:49 Dionne Farris
Phenomenal Woman 4:24 Ruthie Foster
Light of a Clear Blue Morning 4:15 The Wailin’ Jennys

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!

“Tone your core and let the tension go from your face,” says every yoga teacher I’ve ever had whenever they watch me practice.

Mindfulness notices what’s happening. Mindfulness notices what I mean to be doing and what I don’t.

Sense yourself right now.
Where in your body are you holding unnecessarily? That’s tension.
Where are you intentionally engaged? That’s tone.
Both are muscle contractions but they have different sensations and impact the body differently.

Joseph Campbell’s model of the human psyche is a circle with a horizontal line running through it. Everything above the line is conscious, what we know is happening. Tone is above the line. Everything below the line is unconscious. It’s in the dark. Tension is below the line. (In the art above, notice the difference in the definitions of the two words!)

Our practice of mindful movement is an opportunity to get more of our experience above the line.

As we practice noticing, we discern between the sensations of tension and tone. Tension is rooted in habit and anxiety. Tension is a feeling of bracing for some nameless unknown dangerous thing. Tone is rooted in awareness and intention. Tone is a feeling of strength, support and purpose.

Tension and tone happen in our minds and hearts, too. As you move through your days, play with discerning between the tone and tension. See about moving more moments above the line.

WANT TO EXPLORE MORE? A few months ago, we practiced noticing where we grip and inquiring into what it has to teach us. (You can find the post here.)


Lilla Watson, Indigenous Australian (Murri) visual artist and activist says, “If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
This week we explored and danced and lived the power of connection – between body parts and people – and the paradox that the deeper I’m connected, the freer I am.

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

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

Before the playlists, some announcements of things that are happening!

Buddha Cat Available at Local Stores!
I’m so grateful for the local stores who are carrying my book and art. New Dominion has both books and prints/cards! Over the Moon has books and cards. Cville Arts has books and art and this month, my work is featured in the front window!

Please go check it out! And please go to my web site to find a complete listing of where to find Buddha Cat and more!

Buddha Cat on Amazon
Buddha Cat is now also available on the world’s largest retailer! You can find both Kindle and paperback editions! AND if you are already a reader and fan, PLEASE would you write a review? A review is one of the most powerful things you can do to spread the word. Find the book listing here! Thank you for your energy and support!

Author Fest 2019 at the Waynesboro Public Library
On Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Waynesboro Public Library will host its 5th Annual Author Fest. The event is free for both authors and the public. Buddha Cat and friends will be there. More information and details to come!

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

Monday, Feb 4, 2019, 1045am ~ (I)llness vs. (We)llness

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Give Love (Infinite Love Mix) 5:29 MC Yogi
Free 7:01 Funky Green Dogs
Body Language / Interpretation 5:00 Booka Shade
Wherever You Are 3:15 Michael Franti & Spearhead
All We Are 3:37 Matt Nathanson
Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) 4:09 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Tuesday, Feb 5, 2018 ~ (I)llness vs. (We)llness

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Give Love (Infinite Love Mix) 5:29 MC Yogi
Wherever You Are 3:15 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Free 7:01 Funky Green Dogs
Life Is Better With You 3:19 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) 4:09 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Wednesday, Feb 6, 2018, 11am ~ (I)llness vs. (We)llness

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Freedom 4:29 Nicole C. Mullen
Free Souls Part 3 (DUBLEX INC. Remix) 5:43 Nickodemus & Osiris
Body Language / Interpretation 5:00 Booka Shade
Wherever You Are 3:15 Michael Franti & Spearhead
I’m You: You Are Me and We Are You (Pt. Me and You) 6:33 Maxwell
Let’s Stay Together 3:17 Al Green
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Thursday, Feb 7, 2018, 840am ~ (I)llness vs. (We)llness

Aquarius 4:48 Hair, the Musical
What I Got 3:21 Gift Of Gab, Michael Franti & Spearhead
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Legend In My Living Room 3:46 Annie Lennox
Freedom 4:29 Nicole C. Mullen
Free Souls Part 3 (DUBLEX INC. Remix) 5:43 Nickodemus & Osiris
Body Language / Interpretation 5:00 Booka Shade
Wherever You Are 3:15 Michael Franti & Spearhead
I’m You: You Are Me and We Are You (Pt. Me and You) 6:33 Maxwell
Let’s Stay Together 3:17 Al Green
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

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

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