Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 17

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I have the pleasure of heading out to visit a dear friend I have known for about thirty years now. We are meeting out at a winery out by the mountains I spoke of yesterday. It will be nice to see her and check in since it has been a few months since we last saw one another. 

I am always amazed and grateful for the friendships I have and especially honored that I have managed to hold them dearly even after all of these years, distances and shifts that happen in our lives. I am fortunate that I have many folks in my life and a handful of great friends who mean the world to me and have made life so amazingly sweet. 

One of the most beautiful things about this friendship, as is necessary in all my friends, is the ability to just laugh at ourselves, the absurdity of life and at any little thing that tickles us. We have laughed for most of our time together which has kept us happy, healthy and young. 

Laughter really is one of the things I treasure most and the thing that connects me to people. It must be a part of my life and must be something we can share together for there to be immense joy in our relationships. Even in my love relationships it is a must. If we can’t laugh, we can’t love. 

Now mind you, this does not mean I do not take life seriously or I don’t act professionally or appropriately, it just means I find humor or absurdity and enjoy a laugh because of it. Nothing is all that important but the love and energy we share. Everything else is just living. 

Now some might wonder about work and career, but what I have come to realize is that dance is just dance. It’s not important. I can love it and be passionate about it, but in the end, it matters not. It’s just dance and there is nothing about it that should bring you trouble or sadness. 

We can live something and even somebody and not lose ourselves by placing the thing or person before our own healthy heart and well-being. If you find you are held hostage by the things in your life, start laughing at them. No seriously, laugh at how absurd that something is and how much power we have given it. 

When we can laugh at our own lives, errors, mistakes, difficulties; we can let go of the need to control, be or prove ourselves worthy. There is no need to prove the invaluable worth of who you are. You simply are a marvel in all of your being. And the joy of that being is more than enough to bring a smile and a chuckle to begin the laughter of life. 

So I journey to celebrate the joy of my dear friend and raise a glass of Veritas to our wonderfully blessed life of laughter. Here’s laughing with you kids!!!

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 16

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We sat and spoke of the past under the eyes of the mountain. 

We gazed out across the sea of green rolling hills breathing in the air of conviction.

We released the flood gates of the heart unleashing a necessary pouring of emotion as we allowed ourselves to once again reclaim our hearts. 

It has been a long time since our spirits met without any interruption of life and commitment.

The ocean of trees looked on whispering to go further and further into the rings of our hearts.

With the comfort of a forever friendship we linked arms and walked; sauntering into our future by understanding the very nature of our present.

I know why we met beside these mountains. 

I understand why it is the sky cradled us in its light.

This is the space our hearts were hearing decades ago that we saw deep within one another. 

And although our lives at that moment could not hear the calling of the mountain; we somehow knew there would be this day, this space, this love. 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 15

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6/16/21

Looks as though this is day fifteen of Thirty Days of Thoughts and I am tickled with all of the momentum that has been happening on many levels. I am giddy about the wonderful shifts that have been happening and grateful for the challenge. I believe this is also the longest streak I have had in a very long time. Much to celebrate indeed. 

Some of the wonderful things that have occurred are the focus, inspiration, dedication and follow through that is opening up some wonderful feelings of courage and confidence. In addition to this there is more balance that is happening in so many aspects of my life. 

One of the joys has been a sense of pulling out to see how much time there is in a day to accomplish so many wonderful and joy filled things. I have been walking more and more as well as for longer distances. Which the boys absolutely love. In addition I have added running back into my life that is fulfilling a great love and joy of movement but in a very different way than the ongoing EBAS practice which has also increased. 

On top of that my meditation practice has also increased and has become such a joy to focus on the breath and body in a very different way. It’s a joy to get back to the balance of body, mind and spirit while increasing energy and focus. Not to mention the creativity that is happening as well. 

It feels very much like a wonderful reboot or upgrade really. It’s also nice to know that it is never too late to begin again, reboot, reconfigure and remap your life in so many ways. Oddly, as I find myself aging I feel a strange sense of vitality much like I had when I was in my twenties. It’s as if a youthful and invigorating heart is awake and alive again with hope and the potential for opportunities. 

So I am grateful for all of the wonderful things that are coming from this practice in addition to the voice that is evolving and the skills that are becoming. This is a practice as I have mentioned before just as it is clear that one’s life is as well. Life as a practice seems so appropriate to give oneself the space one needs or deserves to live well with joy and with pleasure. 

Thank you for walking this far with me and I look forward to spending the next fifteen days with you. Let’s see where the sweet mysteries will take us. 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 14

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“That’s the strange thing about us human beings is  even if the heart is lost, l we are still capable of giving love. The only difficulty is when the heart is no longer there, it’s almost impossible to receive love”.

This line comes at a time in the work where the character’s niece shared with him that she has read all letters that he gave to her mother, his sister, for safekeeping. After her passing the daughter is going through her mother’s things and comes across the correspondence between her uncle and a long lost love. 

It’s a tender dialogue in which much about the secret love affair is revealed in addition to the painful unexpected separation which affects the rest of his life. The irony is that even in pain, one can still give love even if the heart has difficulty accepting it. 

It’s a fascinating conundrum to choose to continue loving even if one has difficulty letting them feel the vulnerability of being loved. This is what is difficult for the niece to understand after the heartfelt and close relationship that the two of them have shared. 

It makes one wonder how many folks go through this or if in fact some don’t even have the courage to love? To love and be loved would seem to go hand in hand but what if only half of the equation is the only thing possible for some? 

What if half of that equation is folks who only let folks love them but never love in return? Is it difficult for human beings to find the right equation that equals true love and happiness or do we all vacillate between many of these imbalanced relationships? 

It is a beautiful and tender story that is shaping up wonderfully and I am excited to be working on this long term project with a clarity that is new for me. All of this clearing of the mind is also a cleansing which opens the space for a creative flow that has been hidden for some time. 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 13

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“That’s the strange thing about us, even if the heart is lost we are still capable of giving love. The only difficulty is when the heart is no longer there, it’s almost impossible to receive love”.

This is a line from one of the characters I am working with on a project that has been whirling around me for years. Last night’s dreams brought so many of the challenges of the story into new light and lifted the veil of not knowing how to connect the dots.  

There were so many lines that revealed themselves along with imagery and poetic metaphors for things that it became all too clear how this story needed to be told. Especially the time frame and the place. 

One thing that struck me was how much I was thinking about the writing as a linear format rather than the organic way I normally tell stories, present imagery or make work. For some reason I never thought to write something like this the same way I make dances. The dream last night basically was the movie of the work and it was unfolding image after image. 

I am pretty excited about rewiring the process abs in some ways making it a little more messy. Layout all the moments and images and then shade shape and form from there. This work is begging for a collage and is needing to be presented through a movement perspective rather than a literary perspective. Spending time in the depth of each imagistic moment is what always works for me in dance and seems to be the way the story is begging to be told here. 

It seems as if I am getting the “picture” that in order for me to write, I must write like a choreographer. In order for me to convey my ideas, I need to shape worlds like I shape dance works in space. It’s a big ah ha for me to realize I just have to keep creating the way that is best and works for me rather than trying to create in a way that works for others. Stay in the creative flow you know and let the medium be the variable. 

I have a lot of scribbling and imaging to do today so I think it will be enough for today’s thoughts. My intention was to talk about the line I started with but I think I will save that for tomorrow. Happy to explain why the character says what he does and what it all means. But for now, I’m rather inspired to get to making; dancing my way through the story. 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 11

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6/12/21

All the little shifts and changes seem to be adding up. I started with this month-long writing challenge and have found myself walking more and more as well. The small adjustments seem to build a kind of energetic momentum that allow and support success in and of themselves but also for one another. 

I have chosen to start this coming week by adding in a little more exercise and get the cardio on by running and also getting back to swimming. I’m feeling adding in two runs and a swim this coming week would be a lovely goal to set and achieve. Again, starting small and letting momentum be the wind. 

I have some other things that have been crossing my mind to address such as more water and much less wine. While I do drink a lot of water, with the added exercise I need to be mindful of keeping hydrated. The biggest thing is diminishing the wine part and letting go of all those extra sugars and calories. That and the clarity of a clean body and bloodstream. 

Another thing I would like to increase is my own personal EBAS practice. It would be nice to be consistent and to use it as energy work and as a movement meditation that helps to open and center for all the writing and preparation for presenting at the conference I mentioned yesterday, and all the writing for the new workshops me and my creative partner are processing. 

I’m going to need to be a creative warrior in addition to the creative alchemist; transforming all of the ideas and information into gold. I need to continue my focus on wellness and well-being as a way of welcoming more creativity and productivity into my life and all of my work. 

It is exciting to be riding the kind of momentum that is coming from this daily writing as well as my morning pages and meditation and affirmations. I feel as if I am recognizing a part of myself that I had lost long before the pandemic as a result of so many challenges at work and in my personal life. But now, after choosing doing the heart work, I am feeling rejuvenated, inspired and as if there is hope for so much more. 

I am glad that I made a conscious choice to heal during the pandemic as opposed to hide. I committed to doing the kind of excavation that was necessary to break through some old wounds and battle scars that I have been hiding from or rather numbing from. It feels good to untangle those knots and become a weaver of a new tapestry. 

There is a lot to say about giving yourself another chance. There is so much to experience with new sensibilities and a new found curiosity of even the old patterns that you have had. I am super reinspired to be looking at the breath of my work with a new light and a new hope. There are solutions to so many questions that we just have to give it another chance. 

And so that is what is happening, giving myself, my work, my wellness another chance to really be good again. Small incremental shifts feeding off of and into one another for the kind of ecstatic energy necessary for some amazing work and sharing. It’s time to sing again literally and figuratively. It’s time to let the voice be heard and the heart to sing. Yes! 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 10

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6/11/21

I am looking forward to presenting at the annual Corps de Ballet conference coming up at the beginning of July. I was invited to share my research with them through the lens of the Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS) connecting the work with their theme; Suspended in Grand Renversé: Embracing the “Big Upset” and Ballet’s Relationship to Liberatory Practices. 

I am excited about this particular sharing as I will be making the connection with The Five Element System of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and EBAS to the ballet form and how this time of return might be the right time for rewiring our practice and welcoming more folks into the form through a sensorial approach to the form rather than the traditional aesthetic approach which has isolated so many from the fold. 

In this sharing I will be turning our focus to the sensations and imagery the elements offer as a new window into the experiential discovery from the inside out, rather than the outside in. Since the five elements of: winter, spring, summer, late summer and fall correspond to yin and yang organs, emotions and energies; this shift will allow access to an internalized visioning as well as emotional connection and qualitative correlation to qualitative dynamics. 

By referencing the actions and movements in EBAS like the Spinal Awakening Series, we will be able to see how the kidneys are connected to the contraction as the first articulation and movement in awakening our practice in EBAS. Winter is the first element of the wheel just as the contraction is the first articulation of EBAS. Wonderfully, the plié is the first exercise in the ballet form as well. Looking at how the kidneys rise and fall or rather descend and ascend in the “waters” of the form, helps us to feel or sense the buoyancy of the floating vertical pelvic bowl and the animating of our backspace through the kidneys. 

This is just an example of the kind of information we will be swimming in as we explore how layering and weaving all these concepts through the somatic lens and the experiential body practice opens the floor to all bodies who wish to explore the movements of ballet through their own perspective and potential. The practice becomes one of internal connection rather than external manufacturing and manipulation. Imagine the freedom of sensing and then reflecting then ultimately radiating that imagery and energy through movement and spirit? 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 9

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6/10/21

This morning ritual has been a delight to move through that space I spoke of yesterday and to do so with my boys right here at my side. We seemed to have carved out a time where we can be in silence together connecting and grounding before our day ahead. 

Once they have gone out and eaten, both of them head over to the couch to their positions flanking me and leaving just enough space for me to do my thing. They patiently relax and wait for me to get through my journaling and reading of my daily affirmations and meditation. 

Once that is complete I know it is time for attending to the new ritual of this writing challenge. I realized the momentum is actually picking up and the shift in having to write is turning into a joy to write. Writing is becoming much more like a practice than a chore. It got me thinking about movement being a life practice for me and why not giving energy to other aspects of my life. In fact is not life a practice in itself? 

It is kind of simple when you stop to think of it. What if we created a series of practices for ourselves while creating the space to engage in them on a daily basis? That space I spoke of yesterday is a practice. Putting space in the in between is a practice. Making changes in our lives is a practice. 

Anything we wish to learn, explore, achieve and become takes practice. Why shouldn’t being a good person be the same. It takes practice to be mindful of your words. It takes practice to listen to people. It takes practice to be kind. It takes practice to rewire our ways of thinking, neuromuscular pathways and our gratitude. 

With practice one can shift so many things. With practice we get better. With practice it gets better. But to practice we have to choose a practice. That choice is necessary for the change. That little bit of awareness, time and space will be the difference of a fulfilled and present life. A life in practice. 

Thirty Days of Thoughts: Day 8

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6/9/21

As I sit down to write today I realized how much I enjoy writing in the morning than at any other time in the day. I also realized that the morning holds a wonderful quiet and peace for me than at any other time of day. Recognizing this reminds me that perhaps this time of day is the most important and productive time for me and that I should keep that space sacred for myself and give myself and the work I do to this time. 

In some of the work I was doing yesterday that was on my to do list, I also noticed a shift in my connection to that work. I breezed through much of it and had a strange sense of ease and joy in facing the wind of my work. My habit is to procrastinate out of fear and uncertainty but with a change in focus and a new habit forming, there is a shift in confidence and connection to a lot of the other work I am doing as well. 

The shift yesterday in perspective regarding the question of is this “good for my life” added to this ease as well. Yes, getting things done and out of the head space with worry eases up space for joy. Funny how when we remove the worry, stress, fear, shame and any other noise of emotion that lives in our head and heart space, we open a place for joy, wonder, light, creativity and love to be. What a great way to think about letting go of the negative clutter; letting the heaviness of the dark drain open a space to be refilled with light. 

Of course being able to do this is not an easy task. However, if we allow a little space for ourselves we may give our bodies, hearts and minds a moment to make a decision to let go rather than react, respond or speak. Is it possible for us to create a small moment in between to quiet, allow and empty ourselves and create the opportunity for the refilling of that space with light? Is it possible that we can give the people and animals in our lives that space as well? 

It is a really nice thing when we not only give ourselves the space of time, but we give other beings this space and time as well. I like to think that if I am capable of creating a “distance” I am capable of welcoming love in that distance to bring us closer. It doesn’t seem like it should work that way, but if we allow ourselves and others the space, time and courtesy; we diffuse the tension, release the stress and let go of the need to be right, win or come out on top. 

Why is it that the ego takes over and we feel as if we have to make ourselves feel better by destroying someone else? Why do we as a culture feel as if winning is all that matters? How come we can’t be happy with simply doing our best, not responding or reacting and letting the dust settle to reflect and then respond out of kindness? 

This space has been doing me a great bit of good. Learning to rewire the moments in between and giving myself a break, a pause or a silence in order to let go and drain the negativity as opposed to letting it pour over the edges spilling into other unwanted aspects of our lives. If we are no longer spilling we then are draining and that is the goal. 

This new connection of honoring my morning rituals and giving myself this space to write, reflect, connect with the boys is giving me momentum for that space. Recognizing when I am at my best and giving myself the opportunity to be my best creates space for me to practice throughout the rest of the day. 

I have a strong sense of gratitude for being present to make those good choices and to pause to see if the action is good for my life and letting myself refill with joy. So for myself mornings are the time for draining and refilling. The opening for the release. The quiet for the rewiring of ritual. The little sacred space for nothingness.