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What would happen if you decelerated everything you do?

Slowing down has a wide range of benefits. From stimulating intrinsic muscles and core strength in the body, to focusing the mind on details and nuances, to shifting the emotions from reaction to response, to breaking habit, no matter what you’re doing, experimenting with deceleration is worth doing. Thanks to all who danced in-person and on-line with me this week – I wonder if I’m the only one with sore muscles from all that S-L-O-W!

Below are all the playlists for the week and you can also find my playlists on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/! Sign up for free and listen to all the music for free! Follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen! No matter where you are, we can listen and dance together! Note that if you are using the Spotify app for mobile devices, the program inserts “recommended” music that is not on my original playlist.

A few announce-y things:

Get an early peek at my new web site ~ SUSANMCCULLEY.COM ! ~ I’m building a web site for my work so everything I do can be found in one place! There you can find my current teaching schedule, special events and classes, workshops, info about coaching and mentoring, as well as access to my writing and art. Right now, my blog, A Thousand Beautiful Things, is up on the new site. The Focus Pocus blog is on its way there soon. I’ve got lots of new projects and classes – both in-person and on-line in the works, so please go to the Contact page and sign up to be on the mailing list so I can connect with you. The site’s in its early stages yet, but do check it out at www.susanmcculley.com and let me know what you think!

TEDx CHARLOTTESVILLE ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2015 ~ In its third year in The Ville, TED is an incredible event of ideas and inspiration. I’m delighted again this year to be coaching two of the TEDx speakers and – dang – check out the line-up, y’all. It’s going to be an amazing day. You can find out more here.

BREAKING YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION eCOURSE ~ My friends, Wendy and Megan have put together a delicious e-course about creating balance around eating sugar. They are both dietary professionals and offer all kinds of resources that have helped me look more carefully and kindly about when I reach for the chocolate. You can get more information here.

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

Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs – one obvious example this week is our theme song La Da Da (Slow Down, Feel Love) by the Makepeace Brothers. I’ve inserted others from them on Spotify! ***

Monday, Oct 5, 2015, 1045am ~ Slow Like Honey

North 6:49 Afro Celt Sound System
North, Pt. 2 3:01 Afro Celt Sound System
When You’re Falling [Featuring Peter Gabriel] 5:14 Afro Celt Sound System
Colossus 6:44 Afro Celt Sound System
La Da Da 3:32 The Makepeace Brothers
Shadowman 6:36 Afro Celt Sound System
Life Begins Again [Featuring Robert Plant] 6:22 Afro Celt Sound System
Further in Time 6:32 Afro Celt Sound System
Persistence of Memory 4:29 Afro Celt Sound System
Slow Like Honey 5:59 Fiona Apple
Slow Dawn 5:19 David Darling Ashes And Snow

Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015, 840am ~ Slow Like Honey

The Day After Everything Changed 4:30 Ellis Paul
Kissing 6:05 Bliss
La Da Da 3:32 The Makepeace Brothers
Keep On Searching 5:08 Kraak & Smaak
Freek 7:16 Shakatura
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
The Book Of My Life (Feat. Anoushka Shankar) 6:16 Sting
Slow Like Honey 5:59 Fiona Apple
Slow Dawn 5:19 David Darling

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2015, 11am ~ Slow Like Honey

Damascus 2:03 Conjure One Feat. Chemda
Clouds 6:33 Feuerhake
I Shall Be Free 6:13 Kid Beyond
Sol Tapado 3:52 Thievery Corporation
Freek 7:16 Shakatura
The Hearts A Lonely Hunter 6:22 Thievery Corporation
Shadowman 6:36 Afro Celt Sound System
Rail Gaddi 4:55 Chirag Pehchan, Mangal Singh
La Da Da 3:32 The Makepeace Brothers
Tupelo Honey 5:37 Cassandra Wilson
Oracle 5:29 Maneesh De Moor

Thursday, Oct 8, 2015, 840am ~ Slow Like Honey

North 6:49 Afro Celt Sound System
North, Pt. 2 3:01 Afro Celt Sound System
When You’re Falling [Featuring Peter Gabriel] 5:14 Afro Celt Sound System
Colossus 6:44 Afro Celt Sound System
La Da Da 3:32 The Makepeace Brothers
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
I Shall Be Free 6:13 Kid Beyond
Sunchyme 3:54 Dario G.
Tupelo Honey 5:37 Cassandra Wilson
Oracle 5:29 Maneesh De Moor

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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Do everything at half-speed today. Eat slowly, walk slowly, pay attention to sights, smells, sounds. Affectionate attention is a blessing. ~ Geneen Roth

Live for a while in our turbo-charged, multi-tasking, drive-through, microwaved, instant-access, act-now-offer-ends-soon world and it will seem that full-on, super-fast is the only speed worth talking about. We love instant gratification and super efficiency and getting’ ‘er done. It’s no wonder: fast is fun and dramatic and exhilarating.

But actually, slow is the speed where the good stuff is happening. Slow like honey.

A friend told me of the first time she went to a Nascar race. She hadn’t wanted to go. She thought it would be boring. But it wasn’t. She loved it. The speed, Susan, she said. The speed was hypnotic, intoxicating, I couldn’t get enough.

Speed is like that. It’s a rush and a high…and speed is deceptive. Debby Rosas, one of the co-founders of The Nia Technique says, Speed is the illusion of mastery.

And it’s true: do something fast and you’re likely to skip over the nuances, leave out the details, pay more attention to how fast you’re doing it rather than what you’re actually doing.

Tai Chi is one of the Nine Movement forms that sets the energetic foundation of Nia. Years ago, my t’ai chi teacher, Hiromi Johnson explained that historically, martial artists learned fighting movements slowly — training their muscles, their minds and their nervous systems with precision — before they could deliver those movements with speed.

Slow like honey is a powerful practice in your body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Body. Walk across the room at a normal speed and then walk again and half speed. Notice what part of your foot touches the ground first. Notice the tiny movements happening in your ankles and lower legs. Notice the push off your back foot. Slowing it down gives time to pay attention and respond to what’s happening.

Mind. I’m in the process of building a web site and it is a mind-bender and a half. Most of the time, I don’t know what I’m doing and not the first thing about how to solve the long string of problems that come up. When things are really confusing and I don’t know what to do next, the best thing I can do is stop, slow down, take a breath, even walk (slowly) away from the computer (as much as I want to throw the godforsaken thing out the window). My mind somehow gets off the manic crazy gerbil wheel and always gives me a next step on the path.

Emotions. When I feel the heat of anger or the twist of frustration, slowing myself down is one of the most skillful things I can do. Stop. Take a breath. Check out what’s happening in my body. Respond instead of react. Emotional wisdom never comes in lashing out. Slowing down is also a great practice for positive, joyful situations. When you’re feeling happy or excited, slow down your breath, soften your eyes and truly let in what is happening. Slow down the handshake. Slow down the hug. And by all means, slow down the kiss.

Spirit. Inspiration can come in a rush but the process of creating benefits from making space, slowing down and letting the next inspiration flow in. I notice this when I’m writing and drawing, in particular. I may think I know where a piece is going but when I stop, and slow down the process, often better ideas and directions pop in.

Build the strength of slow. True mastery is in slowing down.

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