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You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. ~ Jane Goodall

Happy New Year, EveryBody! Thank you for being part of the mindful practice that we do together (either in person or virtually).

Jane Goodall’s quote has been in my mind and heart all week and I notice how even small choices in how I spend my time, money, and energy reverberate out in my personal sphere and beyond. Intention offers the opportunity to be clear about what kind of difference we want to make in the world.

With that in mind, choosing a word for the year is a simple and powerful way to rudder decisions to align with your highest values. My word for this year is CLEAR. What’s yours? I’d love to hear.

And if you are looking for a way in to finding a word, this New Year Meditation on Insight Timer is lovely. Find it here. 
– New Year Meditation.

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! If you would like to hear the Dan Wilson song, What A Year for a New Year, please send me a message. It’s unpublished and I have permission to share it. And in general, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

And first, some announcements…

Buddha Cat & More at the Cville Arts Cooperative
I’m delighted to announce that my work has been accepted at Cville Arts Crafts & Art Cooperative (www.cvillearts.org) on the downtown mall at 118 E. Main Street (near the fountain and next to the mosaic sofa)! This beautiful, eclectic gallery offers a variety of art and crafts made by all Virginia artists. My display is up ~~ you’ll find it in the back gallery! I am honored to be included in this talented gathering of artists! Please do some of your holiday shopping at Cville Arts!

Buddha Cat Now 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!

Buddha Cat Available at Local Stores!
If you’d rather not order online and/or if you’d like to support an independent bookstore, you can find the book at some local establishments! Please go to my web site to find a complete listing of where to find Buddha Cat and more!

Yoga Retreat in Mexico with Lynsie McKeown ~ February 9-16, 2019
It’s time to say YES to you and your well-being; to put you first. Join Lynsie McKeown, February 9-16, 2019, for 8 days of daily practice, luxury villas, delectable meals and immersive experiences in paradise. This retreat is designed to nourish, support and celebrate YOU. Immersed in beauty and nature, you’ll experience the benefits of a complete practice; asana (vinyasa tantra), pranayama, guided meditation and Yoga Nidra (a deep state of restoration, relaxation, and awareness). Body, mind, heart and soul will be rejuvenated. You’ll leave feeling full—full of more joy, motivation and inspiration to carry you through the rest of your year. Find out more here.

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, Dec 31, 2018, 1045am ~ Intention: What Kind of Difference

Words (Feat. India.Arie) 4:03 Anthony David
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) 6:29 Rodney Hunter
The Word 2:43 The Beatles
Walk Into The Sun 5:21 Dirty Vegas
Moon & Sun 6:02 Dalminjo Fjörd Fusioneer
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
The Difference 3:50 The Wallflowers
Good Intentions 3:16 Lyle Lovett
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson

Tuesday, Jan 1, 2018 ~ Intention: What Kind of Difference

Words (Feat. India.Arie) 4:03 Anthony David
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) 6:29 Rodney Hunter
The Word 2:43 The Beatles
Walk Into The Sun 5:21 Dirty Vegas
Moon & Sun 6:02 Dalminjo Fjörd Fusioneer
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
The Difference 3:50 The Wallflowers
Good Intentions 3:16 Lyle Lovett
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson

Wednesday, Jan 2, 2018, 11am ~ Intention: What Kind of Difference

Words (Feat. India.Arie) 4:03 Anthony David
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) 6:29 Rodney Hunter
I Can See Clearly Now 2:43 Johnny Nash
Walk Into The Sun 5:21 Dirty Vegas
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
Cool, Clear Water 5:28 Bonnie Raitt
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson
Somehow Familiar 3:40 Fabrizio Paterlini

Thursday, Jan 3, 2018, 840am ~ Intention: What Kind of Difference

Words (Feat. India.Arie) 4:03 Anthony David
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) 6:29 Rodney Hunter
I Can See Clearly Now 2:43 Johnny Nash
Walk Into The Sun 5:21 Dirty Vegas
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead 72
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
Cool, Clear Water 5:28 Bonnie Raitt
What a Year for a New Year 4:06 Dan Wilson
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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This quote from Jane Goodall struck a chord with me. She said,

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

There have been times in my life when I’ve turned my eyes away and decided that my choices didn’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Sometimes I convince myself that it doesn’t really matter if I buy water in plastic bottles or don’t send a thank you note or don’t vote in all the elections. There are so many people and the world is so big, what difference can it possibly make if I leave the lights on or don’t write to my senator about the latest injustice? So I throw up my hands and figure it doesn’t matter.

On the other side, there have been times when I have poured myself, dedicated myself, committed myself to what feels like skillful and right action. My choice, for example, to eat a whole food plant-based diet and not to eat meat or factory-farmed eggs is grounded in my understanding of the catastrophic impact of livestock farming on the environment and that meat is unnecessary for good health. I know that the diet I choose is better for the earth, for my body and it’s definitely better for the animals but when I see that well over 90% of Americans eat meat and a lot of it, I feel the utter futility of my choices. Why bother recycling or writing a blog every week or being kind to strangers?

I’m a drop in the ocean. A grain of sand in the desert. Nothing I do or don’t do can possibly make any difference whatsoever.

And yet my body knows this isn’t true. The small choices I make every day to move mindfully, to drink plenty of water, to sleep and breathe and take care of myself does make a difference. Just one week of sitting in a car and not eating / sleeping / hydrating / moving as I usually do showed up in all kinds of discomforts.

My mind knows this isn’t true. The daily choice to meditate even for a few minutes ripples out in how I approach the world and myself.

My heart knows this isn’t true. My intention to connect with people — my family and friends, my students, my co-workers, cashiers and waiters and delivery folks — has a powerful impact on my sense of my community and my place in it.

I am a drop in the ocean and at the same time I am, as the 13th Century Persian poet Rumi said, “[I am] the entire ocean in a drop.”

I know in my bones and breath and heart that I am connected to everything. My choices matter. This is why I set an intention at the beginning of every class. This is why I choose One Word at the beginning of every year. I know I can’t help but have an impact on the world around me. I get to decide the kind of difference I want to make.


IMPORTANT NOTE: All of this is not to say that I’ve got all this figured out and that when I set an intention I always do it all the time. In fact, that’s absolutely not the case and that’s actually a great thing. We’ll dance with that, my friends, next week.

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