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

On New Years Day, I stood in a friends kitchen that was full-to-brimming with amazing people. To my right and left were two women who I love and respect and don’t get to see often enough. And while we were enjoying some truly delicious food, I also wanted to gobble up their wisdom.

I asked the woman on my left what she knows now that she didn’t know at the beginning of 2019. With no hesitation, she said, “I know now that it is my job to feel good.” She went on to say how taking her self-care seriously and choosing practices that allow her to feel great has made her a better coach, teacher, artist and human being. While she credited Gabrielle Bernstein with the approach, I like the way she says it even better.

We are taught to put others first and that somehow if we suffer and struggle we are some how better and more virtuous than if we take care of ourselves and let ourselves feel really good. Instead, what if we make it our job to feel great?

Then I turned to the woman on my right and asked her what she’d learned in 2019 and she told me about incorporating positive psychology into her coaching. The next day she sent me this fascinating interview. What struck me about it was the healing power of finding a balance of building the ability to tolerate discomfort AND to feel good, feel gratitude, celebrate ourselves and what we do well.

We are taught to do whatever we can to avoid discomfort and when we feel it (even a little) we are taught to run, numb or lash out. What if we make it our practice to tolerate the awkwardness of discomfort without needing to do anything about it. Paradoxically, this ability allows us to expand our capacity to feel the good stuff of pleasure, comfort and joy. (With thanks to Denise Stewart and Marga Odahowski for generously sharing your genius!)

As James Clear says, “When life doesn’t challenge you, challenge yourself.​”

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!

Things are happening, friends! So before the playlists, here is all the details on what’s coming up!

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

An Extra Day To Play ~ Guest Teaching on Saturday, Feb 8, 9-1010am at acac downtown!
It always feels like a special occasion when I get to guest teach for Anne on Saturday mornings! We’ll explore music and movement, sensation and space around practicing the courageous choice to feel good AND to tolerate discomfort! Some special Saturday morning songs, too! See you then!

Full Moon Restorative Yoga with Shandoah ~ Moonday, February 10, 430-6pm CLASS IS FULL ~ GET ON THE WAITING LIST (THERE ARE ALWAYS CANCELLATIONS) AND Moonday, March 9, 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. Email Susan at sjmnia@gmail.com to get on the waiting list.
Monday (Moonday!), February 10, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water is FULL and please let me know if you’d like to be on the waiting list.
Monday (Moonday!), March 9, 430-6pm at The Studio at Dancing Water ~ $30, $25 if registered before Feb 28!

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
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 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, Feb 3, 2020, 1045am ~ Feel Good & Tolerate Discomfort

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
The Obvious Child 4:10 Paul Simon
Love The One You’re With 5:03 Luther Vandross
Something To Believe In 4:44 Parachute
Inside 4:18 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Sometimes 5:14 Kaskade
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Hurts So Good 3:42 Johnny Cougar
Sweet Child o’ Mine (Rick Rubin…) 3:56 Sheryl Crow
Feeling Good (feat. Audra Mae) 3:50 Avicii
Deep Inside 5:06 Kid Beyond
Halving The Compass 5:27 Helios

Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020, 840am ~ Feel Good & Tolerate Discomfort (including the discomfort of the iPod stuck on shuffle)

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
Love The One You’re With 5:03 Luther Vandross
The Obvious Child 4:10 Paul Simon
Something To Believe In 4:44 Parachute
Inside 4:18 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Hurts So Good 3:42 Johnny Cougar
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Sweet Child o’ Mine (Rick Rubin…) 3:56 Sheryl Crow
Feeling Good (feat. Audra Mae) 3:50 Avicii
Deep Inside 5:06 Kid Beyond
Halving The Compass 5:27 Helios

Thursday, Feb 6, 2020, 11am at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Feel Good & Tolerate Discomfort

Webs 7:29 Glen Velez
Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
The Obvious Child 4:10 Paul Simon
Love The One You’re With 5:03 Luther Vandross
Something To Believe In 4:44 Parachute
Inside 4:18 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Hurts So Good 3:42 Johnny Cougar
Life Is Better With You  3:19 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Feeling Good (feat. Audra Mae) 3:50 Avicii
Deep Inside 5:06 Kid Beyond
Halving The Compass 5:27 Helios

Saturday, Feb 8, 2020, 9am Guest Teaching for Anne ~ Feel Good & Tolerate Discomfort

Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)  3:21 Aretha Franklin
The Obvious Child  4:10 Paul Simon
Love The One You’re With  5:03 Luther Vandross
Something To Believe In  4:44 Parachute
Feel It (feat. Mr. Talkbox)  4:40 TobyMac
Inside  4:18 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Sometimes  5:14 Kaskade
Amor Real  7:26 Jon Anderson
Hurts So Good  3:42 Johnny Cougar
Sweet Child o’ Mine (Rick Rubin…)  3:56 Sheryl Crow
Feeling Good (feat. Audra Mae)  3:50 Avicii
Deep Inside  5:06 Kid Beyond
Halving The Compass  5:27 Helios

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