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How many times do I say (or think), “I’ve got to figure this out.” This week we danced the possibilities of resting the “thinking mind” — the one that over-manages and over-plans and instead living from our “working mind” – the one that gracefully resides and chooses in the present moment. As Sarah Susanka reminds us:

“When you are trying to figure out the right thing to do, you are in thinking mind. You have set up a duality between what is right atnd what is wrong, with the implication that if you don’t pick the correct option, you’ll be screwing up. But in reality, you can’t screw up. Whatever you pick will produce a set of life experiences that will continue to reveal you to you, whether the content of what happens is pleasant to go through or miserable. All of it contains food for your growth. The part of you that’ trying to determine what’s correct is lost in appearances, whereas the nutrients for self-understanding lie in that vast ocean of peace beneath the surface.” ~ The Not So Big Life p. 195

In addition to Susanka’s book, inspiration for this week’s focus came from two talks by Tara Brach, meditation teacher and author. Those talks are Impermanence: Awakening Through Insecurity, Part 1 & Part 2, they are wonderful and I hope you’ll listen to them both.

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 upcoming awesome things!

Author Fest 2019 at the Waynesboro Public Library 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 and you can find out more here. I do hope you’ll join us!

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!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ April 5 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, April 5 from 11:25 -12:25.

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, Mar 11, 2019, 1045am ~ Feel (Rather Than Figure) It Out

Delirium [Dub Mix] 6:15 Euphoria
Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
Sweeter Love 8:09 Blue Six
Serpentine Fire 3:50 Earth, Wind & Fire
Mothership 3:14 Kid Beyond
It’s Alright 3:28 Dar Williams
Crazy Knowledge (Soul Of Man Remix) 6:29 Dreadzone
Feel On Baby 5:07 The Rolling Stones
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! 3:58 Justin Timberlake
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Far Away The End 2:19 Jeroen Elfferich

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2018, 840am ~ Feel (Rather Than Figure) It Out

Delirium [Dub Mix] 6:15 Euphoria
Serpentine Fire 3:50 Earth, Wind & Fire
Mothership 3:14 Kid Beyond
It’s Alright 3:28 Dar Williams
Crazy Knowledge (Soul Of Man Remix) 6:29 Dreadzone
Dance Little Sister 3:55 Terence Trent D’Arby
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Far Away The End 2:19 Jeroen Elfferich

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2018, 11am ~ Feel (Rather Than Figure) It Out

How Does It Feel 4:57 Afterlife
Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
Sweeter Love 8:09 Blue Six
Mothership 3:14 Kid Beyond
Crazy Knowledge (Soul Of Man Remix) 6:29 Dreadzone
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ 4:48 Scissor Sisters
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
The Essence One 3:24 Jeroen Elfferich

Thursday, Mar 14, 2018, 840am ~ Feel (Rather Than Figure) It Out

How Does It Feel 4:57 Afterlife
Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
Sweeter Love 8:09 Blue Six
Mothership 3:14 Kid Beyond
Crazy Knowledge (Soul Of Man Remix) 6:29 Dreadzone
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ 4:48 Scissor Sisters
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
The Essence Five 2:21 Jeroen Elfferich

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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In May, my mother-in-law and sister- and brother-in-law are driving from Minnesota to Virginia for a visit. After the excitement of getting the dates in the calendar, my first thought was, “I need to figure out what I’ll cook for them!”

After a sleepless night, I walk to yoga thinking, “I’m tired so I should figure out how many Wheels to do in class today.”

A friend announces her upcoming birthday party and I think, “Hmmm, now to figure out what to wear!”

It happens when I’m driving. And when I’m falling asleep. And doing chores. It happens a lot.
I catch myself figuring things out that aren’t actually things that need to be figured out.

In her book, The Not So Big Life, Sarah Susanka makes the distinction between “working mind” and “thinking mind.” She says,

…the spontaneous response to situations in the present moment is “working mind,” a label coined by the author and teacher Ramesh Balsekar. This is mind without baggage, with out preconceiving and second-guessing. As soon as you find yourself planning how to cope with a situation or with an eventuality that might come about as a consequence of a projected sequence of events, you are in “thinking mind” — the mind that believes it is up to it to orchestrate reality. (p. 186)

I notice that when I say “I need to figure out…” the space between my eyebrows contracts, my eyes (and brain) get a little tight. This is the sensation of “thinking mind” and it not only takes me out of the present moment, it is exhausting.

“It is not half so important to know as to feel.” – Rachel Carson

I’m married to a man who was born to build things. He creates furniture, cabinetry and beautiful spaces to live in. One of the results of his gift is that I’ve moved quite a lot in the past 20 years. We’re about to move into our sixth home together (not including our rolling camper home and various other places we stayed when we were between houses). Usually when faced with a move, I go into full-on FIGURE IT OUT mode so I can “cope with an eventuality that might come about as a consequence of a projected sequence of events.” This time, I’ve done my best to approach the move from “working mind.” I’m doing my best to be more in the flow and the inspiration, clearing spaces and making decisions from how it feels rather than from between my eyebrows.

This is not to say that planning is a bad thing, or even that thinking is a bad thing. Planning and thinking are tools that are extraordinarily helpful. Instead, I’m practicing noticing when I am over-planning, over-controlling, over-managing. When I find myself spinning and grinding and trying really hard to figure something out, instead I’m feel it out. Often, this means trusting that I will know when I need to know with more wisdom than I could possibly know now.

In her dharma talk on impermanence, Tara Brach quotes poet John O’Donohue:

“We’re so busy managing our life so to cover over this great mystery we’re involved in.”

What would happen if you dropped unnecessary managing and controlling and stepped into the mystery? What might it be like to trust that the present is unfolding and that you can sense what is the most skillful next step.

Instead of figuring it out, feel in.

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