I haven’t posted since the winter solstice. How interesting the first time I’ve been inspired to write again is the first day of spring! I’ve been spending all my time and energy gestating what will be my most beautiful creation, the little love warrior I’ve been dancing into being.
I’m 39 weeks pregnant today, and I’ve been feeling heavy. Mostly physically, but occasionally mentally and spiritually as well. Growing a person is energetically demanding and incredibly grounding. It feels a little too grounding for me at times. Having to slow down (way, way down) and surrender to stillness is a challenge for my fiery nature. I find myself occasionally getting frustrated with my bodies need for so much rest. I usually use activity, especially dance, to move through my emotions and balance my mood. I was able to dance, move and work with more grace and ease than I expected to, right up until I finished teaching mid February but now seems like the distant past. This last month has been a process of accepting that in order to honor my body and take care of myself and the baby, I need to let go of the need I normally have to sweat it out. I’m trying to remember I can get my dance on it other ways.
This morning, when I awoke and thought about the day ahead, time stretched out in a seemingly endless fashion before me. I’ve finished my to-do list, and the empty time seemed daunting. Then I found in my email inbox the first day of a new 21 day meditation experience with Deepak and Oprah called Shedding The Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit that I had signed up for a few weeks ago. Today’s meditation was called ‘Finding The Lightness In Your Life.’ It was amazing, beautiful and perfect timing as the The sun just moved into Aries and the wheel of the year has just turned to Spring. Personally, I really, really needed the reminder.
I don’t have a daily sitting meditation practice, but I’ve been meditating in some form for about 17 years and it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful it can be. I so often choose movement meditation over one sitting in stillness and I forget how good stillness can be. In today’s meditation, the mantra quickly fell away and I saw myself shedding the heavy, dense energy that had hardened around me over the last while. It cracked off in bits and pieces, revealing the brilliant light body underneath. I was reminded we are all the embodiment of conscious light, radiant stars that come to play and learn in this dense physical realm. I felt connected to all light everywhere in the universe and could feel myself as the rays of the sun shining down on the earth. As this light, I was pure love and compassion, and as I touched the faces of the beings on the planet, my heart overflowed with love for them all. I felt myself as every star in the multiverse, and the unending light of love flowing through every dimension. Back in my body, I could see the light of my daughter glowing within me, a soft golden glow, different in quality from my light, and I was once again reminded she’s coming here to teach me how to love in an even bigger way. I can’t wait to have my heart cracked open to experience these new dimensions of love and to dance with her in my arms.
I’ll be taking a hiatus from teaching until January 2017, but when I return, I will have so much more light and love to share with you all. I can’t wait to dance with you again! Until then, if you want to get your hoop on, there are still classes happening with Infinity Hoopdance.
Last week, I attended a beautiful meditation for world peace on November 11th, 2015. Two days later the Western world was rocked when the terrorists attacked Paris (I only heard about the earlier Beirut attacks after that).
It was so difficult to wrap my mind around. Violence in the Middle East always seems so far removed, but Paris…. I grew up learning all about France, in school, in countless movies and books, through the food I eat and the wine I drink. I have spent time there, and since I speak French, I feel a kinship with the place, in a way I don’t always feel with the far flung reaches of the globe where I’ve never been.
The news of the attacks hit me, and a whole lot of people I know hard. I cried, and wondered how it could happen, why and how could we stop it from happening again? What can we do? I became more educated about what has been happening in other areas of the world, the things our media doesn’t always report and my heart grew heavier still. Then people began reacting in fear, with many condemning the people who need our compassion the most and my heart felt like it might break.
I refuse to let this harden my heart, or to change what I believe. I know that peace is possible, but we will never defeat darkness and hate with more of the same. Only light can drive out the darkness and only love can conquer fear and hate. This world needs more love, not less. More compassion, not less. More understanding of each others humanity, not alienation and xenephobia.
These terrorists use, well, terror because their hearts are hurting so badly that lashing out in anger is the only thing that might bring them some relief from the pain of their lives. How many of us can even comprehend suffering of that magnitude. Their pain is immense and must seem practically insurmountable.
I, and so many of the people around me are lucky enough to have lives filled with joy and love. Our basic needs are beyond met and we have the room in our lives for fun, and creative self expression. Heck, I get to dance for a living, and dancing is my living praying. It’s how I connect with all that is. It fills me up with so much love and joy that it just burst out of me.
I am lucky enough to be able to facilitate this joyful movement for others as well. In my Hoop Flow class last night, our theme was Dancing Your Essence. We were moving with the intention of expressing our unique light. We moved through several exercises, including Sway and some blindfolded hoopdance, and went into a 25 minute dance journey with a wide variety of music, allowing our bodies to move and interpret the tracks in whatever way authentically arose. We moved through melancholy, desperate, sad music into the hopeful, happy and joyful. You could feel the energy in the room shift, and the happier the music, the higher the vibration. People were grinning from ear to ear, myself included as I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for this kind of healing tool .
After a short rest, we concluded our dance journey with a song dedicated to world peace. With our intention, we filled up our hearts with so much love that it just couldn’t be contained, and then sent it out into the world around us. This was the track we danced to: https://soundcloud.com/revolvr/youve-got-the-love-remix
We can begin to change the world by starting with our own hearts. First emptying them out, through our movement, sweat and tears. Then filling them up with so much love and light that it just spills out of you. Then from that place of fullness, you can go out into the world to do your work. Obviously it isn’t enough to just pray and dance. There is work to do on the ground. This is how I start though. This is how I do my healing work for my own heart, filling it with love, music, movement, joy, compassion, community and gratitude. This is also part of my work out in the world. Helping others fill up their hearts, filling up their cup so it’s overflowing with love, so they too can go out into the wider world and meet all those they meet with love as well, treating each person with dignity, respect and compassion.
It starts right here, and begins with you. Paraphrasing the wise words of Gabrielle Roth, healing happens when you lovingly move through your pain, sweat your prayers and let go of the past. Once we have done this, our hearts are open, full of love and we can work together to create peace on earth.
Yesterday, we started working on a Tattoo I’ve been dreaming of for ages.
This is the very top of it. We’ll be working our way down, and I won’t unveil the rest until it’s completely finished, say 10 hours in the studio from now (who knows how many months that will be).
I’m so happy with it though I wanted to give you a sneak peak. You are those butterflies, with the stars inside, learning to fly. This tattoo represents all of us, and the cosmic greatness within that just can’t help but shine forth!
I spent last week in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous part of the Kootenay mountains,halfway between Nelson and Revelstoke, in a little town called Argenta for the Medicine Hoop Retreat hosted by Jen ‘Cookie’ Cookson. We were basically in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere quite so remote… I drove for hours without cell service out (which definitely makes it seem like the middle of the wilderness). After taking a Ferry, I turned onto a secondary highway which was a little more rustic (ie- twisty, turny high mountain dirt logging road) that I expected. It was so gorgeous it took my breath away (it wasn’t the heights or the fact that driving off the road would mean instant death, I swear!).
Fortunately it was early in the day and the weather was clear, so I just slowed down and enjoyed the view coming with all the hairpin switchback turns. The lake, the forest, the mountains with the clouds nestled gently into them, the wild flowers, the random waterfalls. It was unreal. I couldn’t even listen to music, all I could do on the drive was drink in the gorgeousness of the landscape.
When I reached my friend Cookie’s house (an adorable log cabin, next to fields with cows and bulls), she was shocked to see me. I made great time she said. Apparently, most people take the main highway, and it takes at least an extra hour (and it’s paved, and goes through some beautiful towns instead of the wilderness). I, however, trusted google maps, and honestly, I’m so happy I did. It was totally worth it.
I spent the day with Jen, who gave me the tour of the property, taking me through the forest, by the river and through the fields. It was so peaceful, yet invigorating. I hadn’t seen Jen since Bali last year, so there was a lot of catching up to do and hugs to be had. We talked about life, love, food and the retreat we were hosting that weekend while we wandered.
The next day, as we were waiting for the retreat participants to arrive, I decided to dislocate my pinky toe by slamming it onto her staircase landing. I popped it back in place and thought it might not be so bad… It didn’t really hurt (yet), but all I had to do was give it a minute. I rarely take over the counter medication, but I always travel with some pain killers, so when I realized that yes, it was going to be incredibly painful I popped some ibuprofen with a muscle relaxer and asked Jen to make some coffee so the caffeine would kick it ASAP.
Bless her, she made me some rocket fuel and set me up outside, under a gorgeous tree in a zero G lounge chair with coffee, ice for my foot and the book ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’. I sat there, under the blue sky, looking at the trees and the mountain with the hint of cloud dressing it up like a fluffy fascinator and I felt no pain. Just peace. I was so well taken care of. If I had to injure myself, this was an ok place to recuperate.
Two of our guests (friends Cookie made in Bali, my new friends) arrived after driving up from the States, and we spend the afternoon getting to know each other, exclaiming at how beautiful it was and then heading out to a farm to pick out some veggies for the weekend. Later that evening, when our party was complete (just five of us that evening), we sat down to an incredible, mostly raw vegan dinner we made together, (Ok, Cookie did most of the work, I just cooked the green beans with summer savory and coconut oil), drank some wine and talked until we all crashed.
We had planned on camping, but the retreat turned out to be intimate enough that we could all crash in Cookies home. The bonus of the sleepover was waking up to fresh coffee brewing and and homemade spelt bread toasted with coconut oil and almond butter as well as each other’s company.
It took us some time to get going in the morning, but that was beautiful and relaxing. Once the 6th member of our tribe arrive, our Sacred Dance instructor, Bernice Raabis, we headed to the Argenta Hall. Another log cabin, this one with a wide open hall for hooping and with a kitchen, eating area and a lounge area for couches. It was perfect.
After a short and sweet opening circle that created this beautiful energy of connection and intention, we started our movement practice with my Hooping with Wild Abandon workshop, which was hilarious. I thought it would be the perfect addition to a retreat focusing on sacred play. The intent behind this one is to play with movements that don’t need a lot of technical expertise or flight time. I want to give new (and experienced) hoopers some ways of playing with the hoop to music that are easy and fun, but also kind of badass. Spoiler alert, there’s a lot of pelvic thrusting involved. It was a great way to start the day and everyone was a great sport when it came to all the silliness. I think they had a good time.
After that we sat down to some lunch, more amazing deliciousness courtesy of Cookie and her magical sunflower seed pate. We digested our food by taking a walk outside, looking at some property for sale behind the hall. My toe was black and blue at this point, but it only hurt when I had shoes on, so I got to walk through the field and forest barefoot, feeling the softness of the dirt, grass and pine needles under my feet. So good to connect with the earth like that.
While we were out walking, Bernice was preparing the hall for our sacred dance journey into the shadow side of Sacred Play. We moved and danced together releasing and honoring the blocks that we had about play and opening into the joy of movement and play for it’s own sake. Her music was so perfect and evocative.
After all that dancing, we were so ready to go on the shamanic drum journey with Cookie. We were able to lay down on the mats and couches, journeying together, finding our animal allies and totems and then sharing our experiences with each other.
Spending the rest of the afternoon jamming and drinking tea, we wrapped up early and headed back to Cookies abode to chill and relax. Everyone it seemed was just as interested in spending time relaxing outside and getting to know each other as we were in hooping. It was like reconnecting with old friends, even though we had just met and we were never at a loss for words.
The next day, we changed locations, to the Meadow Creek Hall, due to the Argenta Hall being needed for a celebration of life for one of their community members who was finishing his Earth Walk. I was so happy we were able to juice up the space with all the gorgeous energy the day before, so they could send him off in style. The Meadow Creek Hall was even more perfect that the last one. A larger, brighter space, complete with a two lane bowling alley!
We opened with movement mediation I facilitated, where I offered a guided meditation to bring love, light, appreciation and healing into each part of the body, then created space for free form movement, dance, stretching and an exploration of whatever our bodies’ needed at the time. We drew energy from the Earth and the Cosmos and reveled in our movement, honoring our inner child and the way it wanted to dance.
Breathless afterwards, we shared our experiences and the feedback from everyone, hearing what the experience let them tap into moved me to tears. There is so much power and healing in moving in whatever ways our bodies crave, I love it so much and creating a safe space for people to do that is one of my favorite things in the world.
After some snacks, we made our way back to the hall to experience an 80’s music driven journey through the chakras led by the hoop shaman and healer, our host Cookie. This was quite the sensory experience. I grabbed a huge hoop and spent the first few songs body rocking and giving my lower chakras a hoop massage as Cookie guided us through some dance driven chakra clearing. It was so good. As we moved up the chakras’s I picked up progressively smaller hoops, interestingly, and once we were in the head, I found I was off body hooping exclusively. Very interesting how that happened. I couldn’t always tune in to what Cookie was saying, as I was transported by the music and dance into another realm of existence. I really didn’t want to stop, but by the end of the hour, I was spent, sweaty and so, so happy. I felt clear, and light and ready for a shower, but we just had a late lunch instead.
Eating on the incredibly comfortable couches sucked the energy right out of us, and we realized that we were all quite spent and decided we would wrap up the hooping part of the retreat and do some exploring of the land instead. Best. Idea. Ever! I’m so grateful we had such a small group so we could be flexible with the schedule and respond to everyone’s energy levels and desires. It was so perfect.
We headed out to Duncan Lake, this crystal clear mountain lake that was almost as smooth as glass. It was cool, but not cold. Just borderline for skinny dipping, especially since we didn’t have towels. There is something about being buck naked out in nature, in a forest valley, surrounded by the elements. I felt completely safe and unguarded, like I was being cradled in mother nature’s arms. That’s the feeling I had the whole time in the Kootenays. The Rocky’s are so tall, wild and exhilarating, with this masculine, exciting energy. The Koots felt softer, far more feminine and gentle.
The whole time I was there, I was planning my return trip (next summer, but for longer, there’s so much more to explore). We closed the retreat by having dinner at Drifter’s, the only local restaurant around. The food wasn’t quite like the amazing local, organic food we’d been chowing down on all weekend, but the cook did mention she infused Reiki love into each meal she cooked (after asking us if we were having a goddess weekend!).
Cookie surprised us all with gorgeous handmade accessories, hair pieces and eyelashes, each lovingly crafted to suit us personally. This woman is so full of love, compassion and talent, it blows my mind. I learn so much from being around her, and I felt the same way about each woman I came to know and love at the retreat. Saying goodbye was hard, but it really was just so long, until next time my friends, because I know we’ll all be back to play and dance under the stars (Oh my, did I mention the stars??? You can see the starry bowl, with more stars that I’ve ever seen in my life!). Next year, I know there will be more of us, and it will be different, and amazing in it’s own way, but this intimate little retreat, which was just as much connecting with the land and each other, as well as our hoops, was perfect in every way.
My Sacred Circularities experience in Sedona was so jam packed with amazing transformational experiences, I don’t think it can be properly conveyed with mere words. To give you a real sense of how I feel about it would require enthusiastic hand gestures, jumping up and down and a few funky dance moves thrown in. Maybe some fireworks and an orchestra playing in the background as well. So, as I share the experience with you, imagine a symphony accompanying my words and maybe a choir of angels, or castrato altar boys. Maybe some explosions too, just at the dramatic parts.
Ok, now I feel like maybe I’ve built it up too much. Instead of the symphony and chorus of heavenly host, imagine Djembe and Hang drums with African rhythms, Native American Flutes, sacred mantras sung in harmony, the crackle of a roaring bonfire and the whoosh of a fire hoop. Oh, and coyotes cackling in the not so far off distance. Also, imagine being in the Arizona desert in the fall, so the air is cool but the sun is warm, on acres of incredible desert terrain, surrounded by the stunning red rocks on land dedicated to meditation and spiritual enlightenment, surrounded by vistas like this:
The Mago retreat center is gorgeous! About half an hour from any other developments, down a red dirt forest service road, it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. As you drive in, the first thing you’re greeted with after the gate is a figure like this friendly Taoist master, who I keep thinking of as a wizard. Definitely sets the tone for the magical feeling you get from this land.
Everything about the retreat center exudes peace, serenity and healing. After checking into my casita, home for the next week, I wandered the grounds to find my bearings. I came across the swimming pool and a very epic tribute to another Taoist master. The weather was perfect and I was so happy to be there with a little time to myself to soak it all in before loosing myself in the upcoming spiritual shenanigans.
As I approached Earth Hall, our venue for the week, a giant globe popped up out of the desert, surrounded by statues of children playing. In a half circle around the kids were giant golden statues of spiritual masters; Jesus, Mary, Confucius, Chief Seattle, Mohammed, and a Taoist master, all beatifically looking down upon the children and the earth, holding space for all of our work this weekend.
Our first official event was a meet and greet which of course turned into a hoop jam. Just seconds into playing with my Synergy hoop I fell into the absolute bliss that I had been longing for. The swirling vortex energy coming from the earth had been calling me to dance in it for years.
After a delicious first meal together where we may or may not have honored the mindful speech posters peppering the dining hall, we returned to Earth hall for a Sacred Cacao opening ceremony. The energy within our circle was so vibrant and alive! Looking around at all the bright shining faces I knew some radical transcendence was going to transpire over the week. Our night was punctuated by the laughter of coyotes outside the hall, and many of us could feel the presence of something bigger than us descend into the room. Perhaps it was the Sacred Circularties oversoul, along with all our guides, ancestors, spirit animals, totems and friends, along with all the elementals, devas and nature spirits, the energy of the divine source, and all other beings of the highest vibration who were there to support our journey. We called it all in.
There were so many amazing classes, and moments after that I’ll have to just share a few highlights, but every class was worthwhile and appreciated. I loved starting my mornings with Qi Gong with Shelly White Light. The first session I went to was great, but it was the second day when we had a smaller, intimate group journey with the same warrior’s breath exercise that was really incredible for me. The emotion and energy that moved through the group brought us individually and collectively to tears. It felt like a deep lineage healing and clearing on behalf of all women, as well as a profoundly personal healing.
The dream workshops with Jane Carlton were also incredible for going deep, deep within yourself. The shamanic drum journeys were vivid and wild. First I journeyed into a wolf’s den with my spirit animal, where he accepted me into his pack, only to play a horrible prank on me (spirit has a wicked sense of humor). Then I wound up shifting my perspective to several other creatures’ points of view, from the wolf, to an ant walking between giant blades of grass, all the way down to an amoeba.
On a second shamanic drum journey in a subsequent, more intimate workshop with Jane, we journeyed to find our healing pools. I found mine in a different, very exotic dimension. That was another journey with aspects shared by our small group, many of us seeing elements of each others’ dreams, like phosphor-luminescence, canopy beds and a representation of our divine masculine consort. So much fun to know you’re traveling as a pack in dream space.
The Theta Healing with Jocelyn Gordon was another profound group meditation journey. We connected up to divine source energy and came back down together, healing and downloading new programs of thought and belief systems to upgrade our lives. I’ve done many of these journeys alone, but I find the energy of the group really heightens the experience. After our journey, I could feel how we were all vibrating at a higher frequencies.
There were of course, many great hoop classes over the week. I learned some super badass new breaks from Ann Humphreys and appreciated core hooping all over again with Anah Reichenbach (Aka Hoopalicious). Anah also had us plank, do jumping lunges and dance as weirdly as we possibly could. Fantastic fun was had by all (except during the lunges, those were hard!) Rainbow Michael blew our minds equating Anti-spin to planetary movement and cosmic alignment. Jocelyn Gordon kicked our butts and reminded us that LIFE IS AWESOME! (Oh yes, it is!) in her HoopYogini classes and Julia Hartsell unlocked some amazing spiral movements in her sustained spinning workshop.
A major highlight of the week for me was playing with texture and possibilities in Beth Lavinder’s workshops. She equated hoop dance and movement to textures in fabric, saying when she watched someone hoop, she could feel the texture of their dance. Such a beautiful, apt metaphor that I completely understand as a very tactile person. Watching Beth dance feels like silky smooth satin, and dancing with Beth feels like magic.
There were a couple workshops that really combined spiritual and transformational aspects with active movement, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Julia Hartsell’s ecstatic spin jam was the first, and it was so easy to drop in and bliss out with her spectacular play list. Khan Wong’s two movement classes involved deeply witnessing a partner’s soul essence through movement and art. I feel as if you can’t help but fall in love with the person you witness when you see them move authentically. My partner (whom I was so deeply moved by and honored to witness) said we need to get the whole world to do this with each other. Imagine that… to see the authentic soul essence of a stranger would be to suddenly know them intimately. How different the world would be.
The Five Elements Ecstatic Dance and African dance classes with Malaika were so incredibly wonderful and powerful. In all of them she created such a community feel, inspired by African villages… We danced, sang, laughed and moved together as one tribe, one entity. I also had the privileged of booking a Lomi Lomi massage with her, a Hawaiian spiritually based body work modality that was one of the most wonderfully holistic healing experiences I’ve had to date.
There were also two amazing Yin yoga/sound healing classes lead by Rainbow Michael. The first was so relaxing, we were all puddles of blissfully resonant ooze at the end. There was a spin jam scheduled for afterwards, but I think we all just went to bed instead (at least my wonderful roommate and I did). The second class was just before the closing ceremony. Rainbow was careful not to melt us into puddles again, but the long, relaxing poses stretching all the fascia, ligaments and connective tissues in our bodies was the perfect way to end the retreat.
It wasn’t until the last full day that I wandered into the healing garden, but I’m sure it was perfectly timed. I may have spent too much time there if I had known about it earlier in the week. It’s a vortex site with a beautiful lake, with many a spot to sit and meditate and soak in the energy.
That might have been the most relaxing part of the week, although our trip out to Boyton Canyon and dinner at the Chocola Tree were right up there as well. Did I mention they provided a smoothie service to us in between classes? YUM! Then there was also the divine Hoop Kirtan experience and the ridiculously fun talent showcase where we saw talents of all kinds explode from our friends (SO MUCH TALENT!) I also can’t forget our full moon fire ceremony where we popped quite a few fire hooping cherries! I had the opportunity to briefly double fire hoop for the first time, to live drumming. It was indescribable to have the chance to play and dance under the full moon in ceremony with my Sacred Circularities tribe.
I want to give huge props and a million thank you’s to Jaguar Mary, the Divine Creatrix of Sacred Circularities.
The schedule was absolutely perfectly made and she was able to hold such a safe, peaceful container for all of us to shed our skins, open ourselves up, be transformed and taken to the next level. I can only begin to imagine the intricacies of throwing such an event, but she handles it all so gracefully. She also had a few wonderful, radiant volunteers who I thank deeply, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you’s also go out to every single person who was there. Thank you for being so profoundly authentic and willing to share your experience and transformation with us all. You each have a piece of my soul and I will hold space for all your hopes and dreams in my own heart.
Just days after my remedial manifestation lesson, I’ve been reminded of a truth about myself and self care.
I need to move and dance in order to be happy. I really learned this lesson when I had a broken foot and couldn’t dance for 2 months. Over the years, I’ve made movement a part of my daily life and I make sure I dance a few times a week at least.
A shoulder injury I sustained while sleeping (how lame is that?!?) the day after I returned from my epic journey to Arizona has kept me pretty chill for the last 2 weeks. I have only hooped when I needed to, when performing at and rehearsing for the Fierce Woman Awards last week. I also had to pare down my daily yoga routine to just a few simple stretches to keep me from seizing up. Today was the first time I was able to chaturanga without too much pain.
I was actually surprised my ability to keep it together even without my daily routine of movement. I thought I had become dependent upon it to function, addicted to it in lieu of coffee in the morning. I was fine though. More than fine, my mood since I’ve been back has been as high as it’s ever been. Joyous really. I felt amazing. My cup was filled up to overflowing in Sedona and everything just kept being awesome. That is, until yesterday.
Yesterday, by the afternoon, I felt cranky with no real reason. My husband was cranky as well, and I blamed it partially on him… I tend to have a hard time being happy when he’s cranky. The no sugar thing has been hard for him, since he doesn’t actually like bitter tasting foods. I should have been prepared for this. He even warned me.
But I just couldn’t get into anything yesterday, and felt vaguely frustrated and disinterested in all things even when I went to bed.
I woke up feeling better today, but still not quite my shiny, happy radiant normal state. That is until I put on a grizmatik track as I was making coconut manna cookies in the kitchen. Coming through my new nifty Bose speaker it sounded SOOO GOOOD and it was SOOOO FUNKY I couldn’t help myself. I had a dance party in my kitchen. My shoulder did not feel awesome but the rest of my body and soul had outvoted it.
After 5 minutes of getting down, slip sliding, popin’ and lockin’ and booty shaking in my fuzzy slippers lifted my soul up and into the stratosphere.
OH YEAH, I remembered. I need to move. If I don’t, energy gets stuck in my body and interpreted as frustration. I knew this from experience, and it was confirmed during that hypnosis session. I’ll wonder what’s wrong with me and the world, when I all need to do is shake my groove thing. Dancing is one of the most healing and transformational activities on the planet.
I can’t believe I forget that sometimes.
The beautiful icing on the cake was sitting down, moments later to the beginning of my creation coach class only to find the topic was ‘Transforming Energy Through Dance..’ Thanks for the gentle reminder universe!!!
This awesome stencil that I found somewhere on facebook really says it all. I don’t know where it came from (if it’s yours or you know who I can attribute it to, please let me know). But it’s so succinct, I had to share.
‘Every time I dance, I turn into a better version of me’.
Here’s an example:
A couple years ago, two days before my wedding, I was getting a little stressed out about the details. I was snappy, defensive and felt like everything was a looming disaster. My husband and sister couldn’t talk me down, so they just handed me a hoop and said “Dance! We’ll be back in an hour or so. Just dance it out.”
Of course after 15 minutes of moving to music everything seemed right in the world again. An hour later, I couldn’t even remember what I had been upset about. (BTW, I wasn’t a bridezilla at all. That was one of only two times I kind of freaked out. I was a chill bride, I swear!)
Anyway. Some people run to blow off steam, some people knit. I love to dance, with or without my hoops because it makes me better in every way, every time I do it.
It’s great exercise obviously, and it gets all your endorphins going, so you feel good doing it (and afterwards), but unlike just running or doing yoga, I get to be creative. It’s easy to drop into that beautiful flow state that sends my conscious mind to the back burner while my body and spirit take the wheel. I feel a sense of peace and oneness that transcends the personal experience I’m having and puts me in touch with the greater picture.
Dancing makes me happy. It feels celebratory. Or, it can feel incredibly emotional in other ways; sad, angry, lonely, scared… But dancing out those emotions is so cathartic that it swings back to happy. Or at least peaceful.
For years, whenever I’ve asked for guidance (from above, from my inner self, from the universe, which ever), the message I almost invariably receive is ‘Dance!’.
Not only does it make me better, it makes the world better. Every time you dance, you make the world a better place. Even if it’s a dance of sadness, of pain, of anger or frustration, it makes the world better.
Dancing is the expression of your essence. As you move, you let yourself be known.
“Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.”
This art, this essence expression makes you a better version of yourself. Every time you move authentically, you level up at life. You are here to be you. Every time you dance, you let your soul qualities shine through. Through dance, you allow your most radiant self to shine through.
“As we let our light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”- Marianne Williamson
Imagine a world where everyone allowed their most radiant inner light shine through.
What would that look like?
What would that feel like?
Imagining it gives me warm fuzzies and chills all at the same time.
Our joyful movement raises the collective vibration and illuminates the world.
Our dance is revolutionary.
I’ll leave you with a great hoop dance jam I had the other day.
I found some music that moved me, almost to tears and I had to hoop it out.
We started our journey outside the wantilan, standing on the roots of a giant tree as Malaika smudged us with sage one by one, blessing us and clearing away any energy we no longer needed. As the fragrant smoke wafted over me, I released all the energy holding me back from being completely present in the moment and invited in all my personal power.
I entered the wantilan and took a moment at the altar, bowing to Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles. Then I walked to the back and stared out at the rice fields, stretching and grounding into my body, working out all the kinks from hooping my heart out at Hoop Kirtan the night before.
Once everyone had been smudged and cleared, we gathered in a circle while Malaika explained the path we would take as we journeyed through the five elements together. This shamanic journey came to her through spirit and is focused on breath. We had a different breathing pattern for every element, which we familiarized ourselves with before we began.
We started on the floor, laying down and exploring the feeling of the earth underneath us. It felt comfortable and safe on the beautiful dark wood. As we rose up, we grew roots into the earth to connect us deeply to Her spirit.
Dancing with Air has a beautiful expansive quality and the music was dreamy and ethereal, but drove us forward. We found partners and gently put our third eyes together, inhaling in unison, exhaling Aloha to each other, switching partners many times, connecting deeply with everyone we met.
Moving into Earth we started a powerful Sufi breath pattern where we inhaled twice with a long exhale as we stamped our feet in a primal rhythm to the drums. The energy became primal as we danced with our sister, and brought in the spirits of our mothers and grandmothers. It was intoxicating and liberating as we sent energy down into the Earth and received it in turn.
Awakening the Fire element, we stood in a circle and shook ourselves. We shook and shook and shook for ages. It was intoxicating to completely surrender to the flames by shaking every inch of my body, shimmying and shaking my entire being. There were primal yells, grunts guttural cries and moans in an orgasmic release of everything no longer serving us into the Flame. My entire body is still tingling. Once we stopped shaking, we spun out of the circle and into our goddess power, embodying Shakti, Lakshmi, Svaraswati and all the goddesses in all the realms. Some of us picked up our hoops and danced into our power with their spiraling universal energy.
Finally slowing down, moving into water, we explored our bodies with the reverence reserved for the most sacred of things. Touching each part in turn with sincere gratitude and love, with promises to treat our temples with the utmost respect and love. We then found partners and turned our movements into a contact dance, slowly moving together, feeling each others flesh, blood and breath as our own. We split off into groups and merged into new ones, finding support and safety in each other.
We ended up together in a puddle on the floor, utterly spent, limbs tangled, perfectly content and at peace in meditation. I didn`t want to get up, I just wanted to stay and bliss out in that pile of loving cuddles, but after a few minutes we sat up and closed our journey by passing around the seed of a cacao plant. We spoke two words as we held it. One was how we felt at that moment and the other was our gift to the world. Themes emerged. We all felt peace, clarity, love, bliss and gratitude in the moment, and many of our gifts were similar as well. Light, love, inspiration, passion, sincerity, sensitivity…..
It was such an honor to share this space with such beautiful, powerful and radiant women. The journey was transformative. Our states of consciousness were altered into higher dimensions through movement, breathwork and the loving guidance of Malaika, who is the embodiment of inspiration and joyful earth magic. We re-emerged lighter, stronger and more powerful beings. This was one of the most intensely immersive dance experiences I’ve had. It truly as a shamanic journey and I feel such a strong connection to everyone and everything, and intense gratitude that I am here right now, in Bali at www.sacredcircularities.com
I’ve had a hoop crush on Brecken for years. The way she moves is absolutely incomparable to anything else on the planet. Watching her makes makes me feel like anything is possible. I also have a teacher crush on her, ever since she came to took her waves and barrel rolls class last year. She is one the greatest, most eloquent teachers I have had in any subject, and her passion really helps you take the subject material in to yourself in a visceral, rather than purely cerebral way.
Brecken has been breaking ground with floor hooping for a few years and has been teaching us how to move with the same safety and fluidity in her floor workshop, which I talk more about here:
My feet haven’t really touched the ground in the last two weeks.
Anytime anyone asks me how I’m doing, I grin (almost maniacal) at them and practically yell “Great! I’m AWESOME! Never better!!!” Then they back away slowly, wishing they hadn’t asked… Since we’ve been in the middle of second winter here in Edmonton (hit with a blizzard on the first day of spring) a lot of people are getting pretty grouchy, and sick of the snow. My joy has been a little confusing to the winter haters in my life.
Not me though, I’m loving it! I frolicked in it. I may have also sneak-attacked my husband with a giant icicle.
It’s not because I love snow per se, but I’m loving the fact that in two weeks I’ll be flying to Bali, Indonesia (aka, paradise).
Not only do I get to escape our 3 feet of snow to spend a week in the tropics, but I get to do all my favorite things while I’m there too! This is no ordinary vacation.
I’m attending the Sacred Circularities Hoop Dance And Movement Meditation Retreat as a blogger, so I will be participating and then sharing my experiences everyday here with you!
Healing and Transformative Movement through Hoop Dance, Trance Dance, Meditation, Nia, Yoga, Sacred Sound, Personal Empowerment Practice, Shamanic Dreaming, Theta Healing and More!
YES, YES and MORE YES to all of that! This is the stuff that I live for, the stuff my dreams are made of!
Writing and dancing are my two favorite things, not to mention traveling nd explore new places (especially creative, sacred places). To be able to fuse them together life this is such a wonderful opportunity! It actually came up right after the hoop workshop with Baxter (HoopPath: EarthQuaker), where we spent time shaking up our untruth, so our Truth could rebuild our lives with more stability and beauty. Throughout that weekend, I felt like the energy was transformative, and I talked about how life changing it was, but I had no idea that the magic would work so quickly.
This website is dedicated to my own personal journey of transformation through dance, meditation and listening to my body’s wisdom and this year (my 30th) is dedicated to deepening my connection to my body, mind and spirit…. I had always been excited about turning 30. I felt intuitively I would be stepping into my own power. Little did I know how much fun I would have along the way. Definitely living the dream!