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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!

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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.)


Taking the wheel in our movement and in our days can sometimes be scary and can also be empowering and freeing. We danced in the driver’s seat to the Inspired routine this week – with some songs about driving both old and new. You can find all the 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 I know you want to know about:

Locker Room Renovation at Albemarle Square starting soon
Renovations on the locker rooms at Albemarle Square are starting now and both the men’s and women’s locker rooms are now closed. For all the information, please click on the sidebar link on the right side: acac Locker Room Renovation 2018.

Buddha Cat: Learning Awareness, Presence & Self-Care from a Teacher Who Sometimes Barf on the Bed … Second Printing Is Here!
Buddha Cat is in full swing and on sale at my site! If you haven’t yet, you can go to http://www.susanmcculley.com and sign up to be a Buddha Cat Backer. You will then have access to a discount code for free shipping that never expires for Backers!
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 Now Available at Five 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 two local establishments!
Over The Moon Bookstore at 2025 Library Ave in Crozet, Virginia. It’s a beautiful store filled with great books, lovely things and chocolate and is well worth a visit. They also carry Buddha Cat postcards!
New Dominion Bookshop on the downtown mall at 404 E Main St in Charlottesville, Virginia. New Dominion is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia, and carries books in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, and a unique selection of architecture and landscape gardening resources…as well as Buddha Cat – the book, prints and cards. Please do go in, ask for Buddha Cat by name and support local artists, local booksellers and local cats.
Quilts Unlimited / J. Fenton Gifts on the downtown mall at  118 West Main St in Charlottesville. This is a great place to find contemporary American Handcrafts, artisan jewelry and whimsical (even Buddha-y) gifts.
PawPrints on the downtown mall at 201 East Main Street near the fountain. A locally owned shop, PawPrints offers unique items for both people and pets. You can find fun cat and dog themed toys, treats, gifts and apparel – and Buddha Cat!
Integral Yoga Natural Foods at 923 Preston Ave, IY provides the foods, supplements, personal-care products – and Buddha books! – needed to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Carlos Coalescence: Mary Linn & Susan Team Teaching Favorite Songs from A Favorite Teacher Tue, Oct 23 & Weds, Oct 24
Mary Linn and I are getting together to celebrate our favorites from Carlos Rosas’ choreography! Join us for these gems for three special classes:
Tuesday, Oct 22, 840am at acac downtown
Tuesday, Oct 22, 545pm at acac Albemarle Square
Wednesday, Oct 23, 11am at acac Albemarle Square
Blue Ridge Writer’s Annual Book and Arts Fair, Saturday October 27, 10am-4pm
I’m delighted to be participating in this annual event of 35 local authors of adult and children’s literature as well as artists and musicians. It’s going to be a great day! Join us at City Space, 2nd Floor of the Market Street Garage on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall from 10am-4pm. Talk with local authors, artists and poets and find delightful and inspiring gifts.
Buddha Cat Book Launch Party on Saturday, Nov 3, 2-3pm at New Dominion Bookshop
Come to the historic New Dominion Bookshop on the historic downtown mall for a book launch party! I’ll be signing books and you can do some early holiday shopping and there will be very cool people there (you!) and, of course, snacks! Please join us.
Thanksgiving Day Nia at ACAC Downtown — Thursday, November 22, 8:15am
Start the holiday with mind-full, joy-full, grate-full movement! Please join Susan for a special Thanksgiving class on Thursday, November 22 from 8:15-9:15am (NOTE TIME CHANGE!). Bring a friend or relation! Or take some space for yourself.
Nia Moving To Heal Classes at acac downtown Sundays at 315pm
Join Rachel H on Sundays at 315pm for Nia Moving To Heal: a joyful, restorative 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 and personalize movement to adapt to their health needs.

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

Monday, Oct 15, 2018, 1045am ~ Driver’s Seat

Awake My Soul 4:16 Mumford & Sons
Barely Breathing 4:15 Duncan Sheik
Good Life 4:13 OneRepublic
Drive My Car 2:30 The Beatles
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Everybody Got Their Something 4:23 Nikka Costa
Thank You 4:55 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Drivers Seat 3:59 Sniff ‘n’ The Tears
Once a Day (feat. Sonna Rele) 3:58 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Below My Feet 4:52 Mumford & Sons
Drive 3:53 Incubus
Breathe 3:37 The Makepeace Brothers
You Can Sleep While I Drive 3:16 Melissa Etheridge
Breathing Out 4:56 Shaman’s Dream

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018, 840am ~ Driver’s Seat

Awake My Soul 4:16 Mumford & Sons
Barely Breathing 4:15 Duncan Sheik
Good Life 4:13 OneRepublic
Drive My Car 2:30 The Beatles
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Everybody Got Their Something 4:23 Nikka Costa
Thank You 4:55 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Drivers Seat 3:59 Sniff ‘n’ The Tears
Once a Day (feat. Sonna Rele) 3:58 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Below My Feet 4:52 Mumford & Sons
Drive 3:53 Incubus
Breathe 3:37 The Makepeace Brothers
You Can Sleep While I Drive 3:16 Melissa Etheridge

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2017, 11am ~ Driver’s Seat

Awake My Soul 4:16 Mumford & Sons
Drive 3:53 Incubus
Good Life 4:13 OneRepublic
Drive My Car 2:30 The Beatles
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Thank You 4:55 Michael Franti & Spearhead
She Drives Me Crazy 3:39 Fine Young Cannibals
Once a Day (feat. Sonna Rele) 3:58 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Below My Feet 4:52 Mumford & Sons
Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot 6:44 Sting
Breathe 3:37 The Makepeace Brothers
You Can Sleep While I Drive 3:16 Melissa Etheridge
Breathing Out 4:56 Shaman’s Dream

Thursday, Oct 18, 2017, 840am ~ Driver’s Seat

Awake My Soul 4:16 Mumford & Sons
Drive 3:53 Incubus
Good Life 4:13 OneRepublic
Drive My Car 2:30 The Beatles
Sweet Inspiration 4:41 Derek Trucks Band
Thank You 4:55 Michael Franti & Spearhead
She Drives Me Crazy 3:39 Fine Young Cannibals
Once a Day (feat. Sonna Rele) 3:58 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Below My Feet 4:52 Mumford & Sons
Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot 6:44 Sting
Breathe 3:37 The Makepeace Brothers
You Can Sleep While I Drive 3:16 Melissa Etheridge
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!

Five years ago, my husband and I bought a small camper (Le Que!) to pull behind our truck. We were excited to explore, to discover state parks around the country and to spend more time in nature. I loved the idea of cooking for ourselves (vegetarians can struggle in the Midwest), of making a home on wheels. I loved the thought of hiking and riding in beautiful new places, of going to sleep seeing the stars and waking up in the forest.

The very idea of driving this rig, however, terrified me. Driving just the truck pushed my edges and I did that as little as possible. The idea of driving both the truck AND the campe scared the bejeebies out of me.

So I got really good at riding in the passenger seat. I provided water and snacks and hand massages. I downloaded interesting podcasts. I programmed the GPS and read the maps. I was an excellent passenger.

Frank assured me that he liked driving and didn’t mind being the only one behind the wheel. The camper is actually smaller than his work trailer, so for him, it wasn’t difficult — even to back into tiny campsites and navigate city traffic.

But in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn’t a great idea for me not to be able to drive the rig. What if Frank got ill or injured? What if he was tired and we needed to cover more miles than he could go? What if he just wanted a break?

On our trip this summer, I thought about it a lot. I had long conversations about it in my head but was afraid to say anything out loud. Half way through the trip I mentioned it casually. We were leaving Itasca State Park in Minnesota, and I said that maybe-sometime-maybe-on-this-trip-maybe-next-summer I should try driving. Frank said, “How about right now?”

I immediately regretted saying anything. It was one thing to think of doing it sometime in the misty future. Another thing entirely to think about doing it now. But that’s what happened. Frank pulled over, gave me a couple of (incredibly helpful) things to think about, and I hoisted myself into the driver’s seat.

We were in rural Northern Minnesota so there was no traffic. There were hardly any towns. Hell, there were hardly any curves in the road. But I did it. For nearly two hours, I drove the rig.

At first I was tight as a wire, with eyes darting and hands gripping. But as I drove some every day, I got more relaxed, more aware, more confident. I can’t back the thing up to save my life. That’s something for another summer. But for now, I can drive the rig. As scary as it was at first, it’s one of the most empowering things I’ve done in a long time.

Who is driving your days?

Are you letting your spouse, your child, your work, your expectations, your parents, the news, your fear to drive your choices?

It can be great to sometimes be in the passenger seat, navigating, distributing snacks, providing entertainment and navigation.

And if that’s the only place you sit, if you are afraid to drive, if you are bullied out of driving, if you have a story that you can’t drive or don’t deserve to drive, it’s time to swing yourself up into the rig.

It’s time to sit in the driver’s seat.

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

 

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