Monday, November 30, 2009

Rewriting Story

My wings reside in my feet...

I always call people on those stories they tell that begin with "I was born to be/do...but..."

"But what?!" I say to them. "There is no but...it's never too late...figure it out a different way..."

I am annoying, aren't I?

But could I hear myself using those same lines? No. Of course not. Not until now, anyway. I thought my "but" was legitimate -- as opposed to other people's. (Yes. I am totally making fun of myself, if you are missing that.)

My story has always been that I was born to be a dancer, that that is my most natural ability, that that is my greatest gift, but I was born into the wrong environment and missed my chance.

Yet if I excavate my core beliefs, this is nothing but bullshit.

I believe we are born into a time and a place for a reason. I believe that we go through all that we go through for a reason. I believe we take physical form to grow in very specific ways spiritually.

Saying I was born into the wrong environment is not a valid excuse in the face of these beliefs. It is illogical.

You see, I am walking this Path of Dancer every day. I work hard; I push myself; I focus on process. But I walk this Path with so much fear still about age and missed opportunity. I am not trusting my own beliefs or this Life.

If I really believe in the "no mistakes" theory, I must believe that I was born to be a Dancer who would get quite lost, who would suffer severe emotional distress, who would pull herself up, who would find love, and then, finally, find her True Self.

At 40.

Sticking with this line of logic, I must then believe that there is meaning in finding Dance again at an age when most people are thinking about retiring or transitioning away from Dance.

There must be a purpose for me yet to be discovered in this particular role within this particular story. Just because I can't see it yet, doesn't mean it's not there.

A year ago, I would never ever have seen where I am right now. NEVER.

This is one of those cases when my Heart must allow my logical Brain to lead a bit. My Heart must trust this logic and abandon its fear -- a fear that still binds me and prevents me from leaping rather than just hopping about.

It turns out, you see, that I am the Cliff, the Bird, the Air Current, the Cloud, and the Beat of the Wing. I am the Impulse and the Action. I am the Great Unknown and also the Possibility.

This seems extra appropriate right now with Advent having just started -- a time of waiting for the birth of Light and Love and the fulfillment of Holy Longing.

Recently in a post, I wrote that I have experienced a rebirth.

Time to slap the baby's bum and get to the messy and beautiful living.

Wherever a dancer stands ready,
that spot is holy ground.
--Martha Graham

Amen, Martha. Amen.

Note: I leave this coming Sunday for Kripalu to complete my YogaDance teacher training. For the rest of this week, I'll be sharing some wonderful guest posts about obstacles to bliss. I will blog from my training, like last time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MysticBliss: The Waiting Begins



Today, as many of you may know, is the first day of the Advent season, which is all about my favorite thing -- Waiting. (Yes. I am using sarcasm in a post about Advent...)

Seriously. I am not good at waiting. You know this if you've been reading here for more than, say, five seconds.

And yet...

Last year by creating some ritual around Advent, I found that the anticipation created a much more meaningful Christmas season.

And this year, I am finding that waiting is coming just a bit more naturally to me. For instance, I have no idea where this new Dance path is leading me and I am fine with that (most of the time).

One of the resources I used last year was this great site by the Church of England. It's wonderfully liberal and broad minded, just the sort of thing that I happen to think Christ would have appreciated! :)

If you celebrate this season, I ask you: What are you waiting to birth in your life?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

MusicBliss: GLEEfully Recommended

Is there a reason you aren't watching the television show Glee? Because I can't imagine a good one -- reason, that is.

Marcy and I watch this via iTunes and we can barely wait for the next one to load.

This story of the magic of music to transform our lives; this story of the underdog having special "powers"; this story of the hell that is high school that we must all figure out a way to survive...it's worth your time.

And the music! There were some missteps, yes, when they started to overproduce and it covered up all the raw emotion, but they figured it out and some truly special arrangements have come out of their vision.

Like this. It has to be my favorite so far.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Glitter Gratitude


You probably can't tell, but that is a pink glitter flower ring. It only cost a few dollars, and when I put it on, I am instantly giggling and happy. That is a lot of bang for our buck!

When I first started this blog, like most blogs, it had a completely different focus. Or maybe not. It seemed like it to me.

I wanted to only write about things that were making me happy, but that felt, quickly, like a partial story and the whole story is what gives those giggle moments their full meaning.

When I first started this blog, I wrote a lot about my formula for happiness, which was, and still pretty much is, this:

Happiness = (Geekery + Glitter)2

Today, on this day after Thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks for the glitter in my life, because Shiny, Giggling, and Beauty are all important to our Souls. They are the food of our Spirits.

This is the stuff that comprises the Cherry on top of our Life Cakes. (mmmm...cake...)

The sun coming through this window as I write.

The pink glitter ring on my finger.

The string of Christmas lights that I hung
around the central doorway downstairs.

The candles that we light at night.

The stars in the clear night sky.

The many colored scarves that I wrap
around my neck for warmth and style.

The tiny pink, polka dotted toe-undeez that serve
a purpose but are so cute.

The Keen, black ballet flat shoes that remind me
"I am Dancer" every time I look down at my feet.

The beaded fruit hanging around a mirror in
the living room. (Yes. Beaded fruit.)

The Advent candles on the mantle.

The new attitude I have since I've started dancing -- the way I wake up in the morning excited for my day, complete with glittered butterflies in my tum.

How about you? What is shiny and beautiful in your life these days? Or are you in need of a Glitter Injection?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hierarchy of Gratitude


As you read this, Marcy is preparing to turn these organic lemons into a fresh, homemade lemon curd tart.

I am thankful every time I shop at our organic grocer that we can afford to be shopping there. So many people do not have enough to eat, much less have access to high quality food. Or people don't understand that there are better choices than diet pops and prepackaged meals.

We can afford it and we know about it: we are wealthy both in resource and information.

Thinking of wealth beyond dollars, reminded me of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs -- a pyramid that truly exhibits how privileged many of us are.

(Note: This is not a guilt post. Far from it. Having more, means we are held more accountable, I think, to the larger community.)

Today, during this American Thanksgiving, I am grateful for living a life where the following needs are met in abundance:

Physiological

Marcy and I eat well and live in a beautiful home that is small by North American standards but would house entire families in most communities on this globe. We live in a clean city. We have clean drinking water that comes right into our home. We live in a city in which we are able to easily get around. We sleep and rest in peace.

Safety

We sleep and rest and live our lives free of fear that comes with War or extreme poverty. Our employment is safe, even in these difficult times. Our neighborhood is safe and we know our neighbors, which increases that safety.

Love/Belonging

Obviously, this need is fully met, as explained in my post yesterday.

Esteem

Love and respect for yourself and a feeling that others love and respect you. I struggle, like anyone, with self esteem, but I never doubt that I can do whatever I put my mind to -- evidence that I don't struggle very hard. And I know others love and respect me

Self Actualization

This category includes creativity and spontaneity and a sense of meaning and purpose and the opportunity for peak experiences.

I was thinking about this a lot lately in terms of my YogaDance teacher training and the extreme privilege that that is. We can afford to send me away -- not that we don't have to save -- but beyond the money, I have the time.

The fact that I can spend so much of my energy seeking, pursuing meaning, asking the "big" questions, finding ways to use my gifts to their fullest potentials -- yes, I am aware and grateful.

More so all the time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Love Gratitude


I am so grateful for all of the Love in my life.

I swim in it every day. Like Lilly cat in this photo worshiping the sun, I feel bathed in the Light of So Much Love.

The love in my life is wrapped in glistening black and white fur -- and gray fur and white fur and a bit of orange.

The love in my life giggles sweetly and has carried me through grief until I, too, could giggle.

The love in my life helps to build my dreams, supports my desires, and holds up my wishes. (Those are just a few examples.)

The love in my life carves pathways through dark woods that emerge in brightly lit fields of (sun)flowers.

How about you? What does the love look like in your life?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Body Gratitude


I am Grateful for this Body.

For someone who has suffered from all sorts of disordered eating and body image issues, that, my Friendly Chicks, is a huge and important sentence.

Because guess what? I actually mean it!

I am Grateful for this Body as she rediscovers her Love of Dance, as she takes me on this Adventure of a Lifetime, as she learns to use her Wings.

I am Grateful for this Body as she lifts bigger weights for more repetitions, as she shakes and sweats and grunts and Just Does It!

I am Grateful for this Body as she stands in releve and does not falter or does falter and then calmly re-finds her center.

I am Grateful for this Body as she moves and grooves and shakes and wiggles and turns and twirls and lifts and lands and Shows. Her. Stuff.

I am Grateful for this Body as she breathes deeply and feels the rhythms and sees the sounds recreated in her physical movements.

I am Grateful for this Body as she stretches beyond her Wildest Dreams.

I am Grateful for this Body as she Glows and Shines and Sparkles and Beholds her own Beauty.

I am Grateful for this Body.

I thank Saint Cecilia and Goddesses Terpsichore and Hathor and Brighid and Saraswati.

I thank the Wind and the Water.

I thank the Desire residing in my very blood and being.

I thank the Universe and the Dance that is embedded in the stuff of life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

CountDOWN! & Some News


Oh, my, it is officially less than two weeks until I travel back to Massachusetts for the final week of YogaDance teacher training.

Oh. My.

Even if my brain did not know this, my body would. As you all know by know (aren't you sick of hearing this!?), I am a horrible traveler, and I start to get worked up about every single tiny detail approximately two weeks before I have to go somewhere.

It seems like there is just not enough time.

And before you get all Buddhist or Power of Now on me, I know this is actually an illusion. I know that! Could someone tell the nerves in my tummy, please?

In the meantime, did you all notice that there is a freaking holiday this week? Which means company! Which means my schedule gets thrown off! Which means that lack of time feeling gets even bigger!

Besides my own drama, I have some wonderful news that I wanted to share with you.

If you've not read about my writing group, go here where I wrote a description of each of the members. Besides myself and Marcy, there are two other women and one lonely male.

Dr. Captain America, I dubbed him. If you met him and his giant smile and his big guns (meaning BICEPS), you would know why we call him that.

Anyway, he has started a blog!

Please go visit him! He is writing about his life as a father, husband, ER physician, and writer.

Very cool stuff. He's a great storyteller (and thus the name of his site).

Make him feel welcome. I know you can!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MusicBliss: RIP Michael Hutchence

I remember exactly where I was on this date in 1997. I was driving down a very specific block of our city, going North, and the Sun was bright and beautiful and I had the windows down. Typical for the days around my birthday, actually.

I had the radio on and learned that Michael Hutchence had killed himself. Their CD Elegantly Wasted was new enough that Marcy and I didn't have it. We didn't get it. I couldn't listen to him.

For me, Michael Hutchence is one of those unique, brilliant singers who comes along very rarely. He was constantly pushing himself, daring with his voice.

Just recently, as I dance through my life now, I realized I could hear him again and not identify with the despair of him. I could just dance and appreciate what he was trying to do.

So in honor of him today, a selection from that last CD, a CD that is over 10 years old and sounds brand new -- a CD, I think, that was ahead of itself.




One of the most emotional performances I have ever viewed:



Something much more lighthearted right here.

A video that I could never watch enough times, especially starting at minute 3:22 (when the Japanese drummers come in).



And a classic that they did at every single concert (a montage of many concerts):

Friday, November 20, 2009

41 is Just a Number


As I am writing this, I am listening to Pandora and the band that is playing? The Pimps of Joytime. I think that is just right.

I am 41 today, and yet, I have never felt younger, more alive, more vital, more excited.

Last year, when I turned 40, I was a bit traumatized. I wasn't quite sure what to make of this aging thing because I was not yet fully living.

Within a few months of my 40th, we lost a very special and dear friend, and shortly after, we went to the Wedding That Changed My Life, the wedding where my heart reached to the sky and blossomed like those cosmos in the picture above. The wedding where I danced and twirled back into my own body, back into my own essence, right back into my Purpose.

There are moments when I think, "What if I hadn't gone? What if I had canceled like I was tempted? What if the Sad we were feeling had stopped us from experiencing that moment?"

I can feel my heart flutter in my chest when I think like that, and I remind myself that there is no point to those thoughts, that I did go to the wedding, that I did get myself back, and I say a little prayer of thanks to the Universe for this Ultimate Gift of ReBirth.

So really, today is my ReBirthday. I am in my First Year of my Bliss Life.

If it sounds like a conversion experience to you, that's because it totally feels like one.

When I got back from Kripalu and my teacher training, I wrote that I didn't know if I could ever really express what happened there, and I still can't, but that's as close as words can get -- I was converted.

I was converted from Depressed to Happy. I was converted from Shadow to Real. I was converted from Sideline to Center Stage.

All of this had been happening inside of me already -- you know, like the phrase "overnight success." There really is no such thing. There is always this long and difficult path behind the overnight that you just don't see. The process had started for me years ago, but it was going away and Being Seen that acted as the Final and Necessary Alchemy.

From coal to Diamond -- in a Snap! A big, shiny Diamond of Hope, at that.

Anything is Possible.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Panic at the Disco


There's no disco involved in this post, though there is dancing, and well, sometimes there is so much dancing here at the lilypad that maybe you could see it as a disco of sorts. A disco with cats!

Excuse the silly. Sugar and wine last night during our writing group.

Though there's no literal disco, there is some panic.

I woke up this morning in a bit of one -- again, a panic and not a disco. I would prefer, I think, waking up in the latter.

I woke up this morning with my mind already moving like a train through the countryside -- way too fast.

I realized, upon opening my eyes, that I am now less than two and a half weeks from returning to Kripalu for the second half of my YogaDance teacher training.

Now, I am excited about that. I am excited to see those people again. I am uber excited to be back on such a strict daily schedule (hello, German blood).

What I panic about is my perception that I have not met some crazy goals I set for myself for the time in between the two parts of the teacher training.

I have not gotten to three hours of movement a day.

I have not choreographed prayer dances and line dances and circle dances.

I have not become perfect!

I mock myself, but I think many of you understand.

Believe it or not, I am breathing, by the way.

I could go into emergency get-it-done mode but that won't happen, because a) I'm just not into that any more and b) hello?! Holidays!?

This is all about balance.

I have goals. It's good to have goals. But then how do you balance that so you don't become obsessed, like some wide eyed, steroid-enhanced hamster on the Wheel from Hell?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Embracing the Difficulty of Change



I go back to Kripalu for the second part of my YogaDance teacher training in just two and a half weeks! Since I've returned from the first part, I have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride, to put it mildly.

I keep reminding myself that all change can be difficult -- even good change.

As is my nature, though, I have been fighting this, so Jamie's Wishcasting question today is perfect:

What do you wish to embrace?

I wish to embrace this journey, fully.

I wish to completely understand that I am not just growing and becoming when I am on schedule and feeling great and dancing my heart out, but that I am also growing and becoming when I am exhausted, when I doubt, when I don't feel like it any more.

When I don't embrace these parts of the journey, I resist them and then I judge myself for them.

Rather than just accepting, for example, that there will be moments when I lose sight of what I am doing, I tell myself that I am not dedicated enough or that I am in danger of quitting completely.

Yep. That really helps!

If I embrace all these parts, I can see that this is my old brain, my fearful brain that worries I might fail, and it's also the part of my heart that wants to protect me from disappointment.

To be really truthful, it's also just old, lazy patterns. Those patterns that thought it was easier and safer to stay in the status quo. Those patterns that were comfortable but were not challenging or stimulating me to be the Shiniest version of myself.

Do you expect good change to be easy and comfortable? Are you willing to embrace pain and difficulty to birth your beautiful dreams?

(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A BreakUp for New Year's

I've written about my personal struggle with body image right here, and we had a very interesting discussion around body image and yoga right here.

This stuff hits nerves, ya know?

As I dance my way to better fitness, I have had to be very careful to eat correctly, which for me mostly means eating enough. Here's the thing: If you don't eat enough, your body goes into a Panic about Starvation. Your body fears there won't be enough for tomorrow, so it holds onto what it already has extra tight. It grips.

You will not lose weight in a healthy manner or gain muscle and stamina if you eat too little. Period.

I can tell when I am lifting weights, for example, if I ate correctly two days before. (I think my energy level is two days behind my eating habits.)

If I did not eat enough calories, or enough protein specifically, my muscles immediately feel tired. They get this deep ache after just a few lifts.

There is a big and important lesson in there, and as usual, my body is way smarter than my brain.

Years ago, I was so obsessed with my weight, that I would weigh myself not just daily but many times a day. I would go to the bathroom and think, "Hmmmm...I just took a piss...I wonder if I weigh less now?"

Yep. Obsessed.

I know I am not alone.

So Marcy, in her infinite wisdom, made me do something that I am grateful for to this day: She made me throw that scale away.

And with it, sitting out at the curb, went much of my Self Hate.

I no longer had that number with which to bludgeon myself. I could not insert it into some sick, malignant mantra of Judgment.

I know many of you are already coming up with a half dozen reasons why you can't do this. You are freaking out inside. You are breaking into a cold sweat.

But, why? Ask yourself, Why do you need this number?

Why can't you rely on how you feel? On how strong you are? On how far you can run? On how your clothes fit?

Why can't we accept our individual beauty for what it is?

We must stop the tyranny of this Evil lurking in our bathrooms.

I call on you all, you Blisschicks, to participate in

World Wide Dump Your Scale Day
on January 1, 2010.


That's right -- January 1st. That day so many of us would be starting some unmanageable weight loss plan. That day so many of us would hit the gym -- too hard and be done within a month. That day that is shiny and new in its (false) promises.

Instead of torturing yourself, I want you to set yourself FREE. Set your friends free. Set an example for all the little girls around us.

Kick that scale to the curb. Say bu-bye.

Pass this around. Here's a blog button you can use if you feel strongly about this.


Just click it and drag it onto your desktop and paste it into your blog.

Stop the Tyranny of Numbers!

Eat well, exercise to a good sweat, and laugh every day. That's a much better New Year's Resolution, don't you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Owning Pink


Have you discovered this fabulous website, blog, community yet? You should check it out -- and not just because I wrote a piece about finding my mojo -- a piece I'm particularly proud of. (Smile.)

Once you're there, be sure to spend some time and do a little digging and perhaps even set up your own profile so you can get involved with all these other fabulous women who are stretching themselves, their wings, and their lives.

Here's the mission statement of this beautiful creation:

We at Owning Pink are committed to inviting you to explore your truth, knowing you are loved, nurtured, and safe. By engaging with our community, we hope you will feel inspired, get motivated to bring your authentic self out of the closet, and take steps that bring you closer to health, healing, and inner peace. If you have lost your mojo and feel you have little to give, we welcome you with no expectations. If you’re a rockin’ Pink Goddess with loads of mojo and gifts you believe will benefit our community, we invite you to share your wisdom and support others who may cherish knowing you. Chances are you’re all of the above, sometimes seeking, sometimes giving, always enough.


Regardless of where you are on your personal path of awakening, we welcome you to the Pink Posse. Let us bear witness to your journey, knowing that while each of us walks a unique path, we walk it in good company. May Owning Pink encourage you to look within and discover what you need to find and keep your mojo. Remember that it is through our wounds that we connect and through our connections that we become truly alive.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

MysticBliss: Wild Woman Katharine Hepburn


You have to love that grumpy look on her face!

Why Katharine?

She wore pants and dared to understate the one thing her culture found most valuable -- her beauty. She loved whomever she wanted. And she lived how she wanted.

A few quotes:

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.

If you always do what interests you,
at least one person is pleased.


Without discipline, there's no life at all.

Here's a great snippet of an interview with her later in life:


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finding Your Own Optimal BPM


In college, I knew some DJ's. At that point, they were still using...records, and the best of the best of these DJ's moved each song smoothly into the next and even aimed to match BPM's when he did so. BPM's -- Beats Per Minute.

This DJ taught me that most people in a club setting like to dance to music that has about 120 beats per minute. He said more than that and most people sit down.

Right now, my favorite music to dance to is Salsa and the typical BPMs on that are 180 to 220.

Yes. It's fast.

Yesterday, I was talking about the "shoulds" that can still haunt my days, like anyone else.

One of the main things I am working on is getting into a regular schedule that feeds me, and it hit me while standing at the kitchen window yesterday evening that this schedule thing is all about finding my rhythm.

Again, I can take a lesson from dance.

Right now, my favorite thing is Salsa but that wasn't the case just two weeks ago when I was thoroughly absorbed by traditional, Broadway-type jazz.

A few weeks before that, I was playing around with (egads!) slow songs.

My body's desire for rhythm is constantly in flux and so I wonder why I would be surprised that the same is true of my brain.

As I am in this Salsa space in my body, I am also writing a lot more and a lot faster. I cram in a ton of work rather quickly.

It just so happens that this mode of working matches the way my ego likes to think about me: efficient and quick and productive and never stopping! What happens to my ego when I am in a slow song stage of life?

You got it -- my ego gets all "oh...I suck!"

But my body never goes there. My body just thinks, "mmmm...yummmm...slow songs...nice change...let's see what I can do with this."

Oh, Body, you are so much smarter than Brain could ever be.

Why? Because brain is just an organ. It's an organ that we ascribe a lot of power to, but doing this is a lot like suddenly deciding that our livers are in charge.

Nope. It's the whole of us that has the most important and wise stuff to say.

Do you allow the rhythm of your life to ebb and flow?

(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009, Sculpture/Terra Vista Studio)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perfect & Infinite, We each Are


My particular bliss path of dance and writing excites me on a daily basis. Since I've returned to dance, I am never understimulated or without ideas. I am overflowing with ideas, actually, and I wish I had a few more hours in the day, though the thought of that also exhausts me!

Excitement and stimulation aside, I am also met with daily struggles.

Which is the point, right? I've said this a million times -- being a blisschick is about the daily choices we make and this is hard. Most people don't really want to take this kind of responsibility for their lives or they are stuck in self-defeating patterns that they are blind to or...well, there are a million reasons why most people don't see their lives as something they are in charge of.

Right now, my main struggles are centered around a lot of those "shoulds" that haunt most of us.

I think my body should be changing faster.

I think I should be dancing more hours a day than I do.

I think I should still be reading multiple books a week.

I think I should write in my paper journal a whole lot more.

I think I should be eating better, drinking more water, taking my vitamins.

This list could go on and on and it gets ridiculous with minutiae pretty quickly (as evidenced by "taking my vitamins").

None of this "should" thinking, though, fits in with the person I know I am when I am dancing. The person who is already right where she needs to be; the person who does enough; the person who is enough.

See...this is the main clue that dancing is my central thing -- the fact that I feel like the perfect and infinite being that I am while I am doing it. And yes, this feeling has started to leak out past the boundaries of those moments of dance, and I feel that way for more of my day than ever in my life.

How about you?

When in your life do you feel like the perfect and infinite being you are? What are you doing when that happens?

And please, none of this "we should feel this while we are just being; it shouldn't be reliant on some doing..." We are spiritual beings, yes, but we have physical form in order to have a physical experience of life.

It is through physical experience that we touch our spirits. It's simply how we are made.

I think we get stuck in this line of thinking about "just being," and we use it to denigrate ourselves, to judge ourselves. We get mired in it.

When really, we are made, built, meant to have fun, to experience happiness.

So, again, what are you doing when you feel utterly in your center?

(Photo and text copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WishCasting: Double Dog Dare!


But I am FORTY!

And I will be FORTY ONE a week from this Friday!

I could say this til the cows come home and it wouldn't make any difference anymore.

Yes, I am forty and I will be forty one, but I am alive and whole and happy when I dance. That is who I am and age means nothing when it comes to the needs and dreams of my soul.

This week, for Wishcasting Wednesday, Jamie Ridler asks us:

What do you Dare?

I dare to defy convention.

I dare to defy my own understanding of age.

I dare to defy what other's would have me believe.

Above all, I now, officially, dare myself to be Significant and Shiny.

No more hiding.

No more thinking small.

No more justifying thinking small.

No more putting it off.

Today, I want to turn Jamie's Wishcasting around, and so:

I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!

I double dog dare you to be the significant being you were born to be.

I double dog dare you to stop hiding, to stop thinking small, to stop limiting yourself, to stop justifying this slow death you are living.

I double dog dare you to set your dreams free.

I double dog dare you to live the happy, full, beautiful life we are all meant for.

I double dog dare you to stop the damn excuses, to murder that cast of opera divas who live in your head, to drown each and every freaking gremlin who comes to your door.

I double dog dare you to stop living with all these damn rules about who, what, when, and where!

I double dog dare you to spin and twirl through this life while wearing sparkles and bitch boots.

I double dog dare you to believe in it all because it's more fun that way!

I double dog dare you to have the faith and awe about life of your wee child self -- the one who knew she could touch the moon outside her bedroom window; the one who knew every single person on this planet would want to watch her dance; the one who knew that life was sweet like ripened summer blueberries.

How's that for some wishcasting?

(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blisschick at Love, Peace, & Yoga


I've written a piece recently for Love, Peace, & Yoga about all the fears I had to overcome just to leave this beautiful house we call the Lilypad and go to my teacher training at Kripalu. You can read it here.

Love, Peace, & Yoga creates custom bags -- including mat bags. Using the coupon code in the photo above, you can get 10% off!

They will then donate 5% of the sales to Kula for Karma, an amazing organization that provides free yoga to people "challenged by difficult circumstances, such as illness, abuse, and addiction."

You'd get a bag and someone would get a free yoga class. That's good karma!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday Musings


Beginning with inevitable Weather Talk...

We have been having the most amazing weather recently.

Sunday it got up to at least 64 degrees, and they are calling for a high of 70 today!

Marcy and I did not realize how much we had been missing the Big Ball of Beautiful Light until we got to spend so much time in it. It was cleansing and invigorating.

As one of the characters on a Jeeves & Wooster (BBC) once said, "This fresh air is getting into my lungs!"

Moving onto The Kitchen Sink...

Our sink is clogged.

So what, right? Today, I will be calling the plumber, and as an Introvert, this is not something I look forward to -- a stranger in my space.

But, alas, life as an adult who owns a home.

I do have a point, wait...where did I put it? Oh, here...the cat dragged it under my chair.

We have had a bucket in the sink to Rinse Things Into. This has been a lesson.

We use about a half bucket of water just to rinse out the espresso thingie after we make our morning drinks.

This startled me. So having a clogged sink has made me even more aware of and grateful for the water we use. We are figuring out ways to cut back.

In the meantime, we got to see what it must have been like to live in that Little House on the Prairie!! (giggle...)

And culminating with a Typical Rant...

I do not know why, but during Autumn, I get less...tolerant of people and their grouch. People's grouch seems to grow in the Autumn, and I think it has to do with the Holidays and all the stuff we have attached to them.

I don't know.

But crank, snark, and cynicism, all seem to go through the roof as we approach Thanksgiving.

By Saturday mid-morning, I had read a disproportionate number of negative blog posts in my Reader. Which is saying a lot, because the blogs in my reader make it there due to their general lack of Judgment and Nasty.

This led to me feeling quite grumpy which led to me not dancing enough which led to me feeling even more grumpy.

Let's try a little harder to take care of each other, okay?


(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009, Lilly Watching)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

MysticBliss: WildWomen of Tribal Fusion Bellydance

In the mid-east, where bellydance originated, women, as you know, are often forced to hide every square inch of their beauty and their femininity.

Bellydance can be seen, through this lens, as a form of protest and reclamation.

Here is my beautiful body in all its grace and power, this form of dance says.

Today, I want to share with you some of the amazing Wild Women who perform what has come to be known as Tribal Fusion style bellydance.







Saturday, November 7, 2009

MusicBliss: Drumming to Cleanse the Soul

Inspired and made shiny by the drummers we saw Thursday night, here are a few different drum performances, one of which surely will affect you. Try them out!







Friday, November 6, 2009

Drumming their Bliss




Last night, Marcy and I went with a friend to our local Brewerie to hear a drum trio from New York City, Raquy and the Cavemen.

From the first hit on the drum, I felt myself being affected. There is nothing like sitting mere feet from powerful drumming. I felt myself being polished, made shiny by the waves of sound. And I was reminded of some things.

The weather here has been gray and I have not been sleeping well. So I've had a couple of my difficult days, yet I push through, continuing to dance and to do what I know is important to me. But still...there has been a weightiness to it all.

The drumming woke me back up.

Watching people do their thing, live their purpose, being witness to this is healing to everyone.

It also reminded me what it looks like when people are working from the top of their game. It reminded me that I am doing the same when I am dancing.

I left there completely inspired and with my own sense of purpose just bursting forth from my heart.

I was renewed and full of ideas and feeling all of my Power.

Today, the sun is out and it is not going away. There are no gray clouds hanging out over the Lake.

Exactly like my insides.

What does this for you? When was the last time you witnessed someone doin' their thing? How did it make you feel?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Calling All BlissChicks & Wild Women!


When I first started blogging in April 2008, I tried something like this, being too naive to realize that I needed to wait, have some patience...projects like this take a certain number of readers and you have to cultivate community.

So here I am...many readers later, thanks to all of you.

Once a month, I would like to announce a topic or a question.

Then I want YOU to write the answer -- and not in the comments.

I want YOU to submit your piece to Blisschick. I will link to your blogs when I post your pieces, and in this way, I hope we can expand this Community of Chicks, spread out this Bounty of Bliss.

Here are the Submission Guidelines:

1. Email me your piece: pinkyogi at gmail dot com

2. Include a picture if you want. Otherwise, I will supply a visual.

3. Write anything from a few sentences to 500 words.

4. Make sure I have all your links -- blog, etsy store, wherever you are out there.

For December ("due" by November 23):

What is the main difficulty you have encountered in trying to craft a life of bliss? What have you tried to do about this?

Go!

Write!

Email me!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Formula for Experiencing Life Fully Lived


Jamie Ridler asks us for today's Wishcasting Wednesday:

What do you wish to Experience?

At first this question seemed extra hard to me, because I am experiencing so much that is wonderful right now thanks to this Awakened Dancer journey that I am on.

But it is that very journey, I realize, that opens me to more experiences outside of Dance.

Awakening your essential nature allows you to expand that nature. Awakening your core gives you the strength you need to grow ever bigger.

Here's the formula:

Overcome Fear + Take Risk =
Experience the Excitement of Life Fully Lived


I overcame a multitude of fears (MULTITUDE) to take the risk of going away for a teacher training, and as a result, my life has gotten Shiny beyond my wildest dreams.

What other fears could I approach like this and what dreams might come true because of my Courage?

Here are just a few of the things I wish to Experience:

1. Overcoming my Fear of Flying.

If I were to risk flying, oh, the places I would go!

I could go back to Paris. Just writing that sentence made my heart leap.

I could visit a warm beach in the middle of winter. I could snorkel! I have only ever snorkeled once in my life and I would put it in my Top Ten Favorite Things to Do. But because of my fear of flying...how sad is that?

This list could get out of control, so I'll just stop there.

2. Overcoming my Fear of my Own Power.

This is huge.

If I could risk tasting the depths of my own power, I could have any life that I could dream up.

As Marianne Williamson says in a very famous quote, isn't that what we really fear? That we are bigger and more powerful than we ever could imagine?

3. Overcoming my Fear of the Spotlight.

If I could step into the spotlight, I could be who I truly am.

There are many reasons I have shied away from taking center stage -- metaphorically and literally.

But for me, the big reason is that I have bought into the idea that this is "Showing Off."

But what is "Showing Off" about using the skills you were born with?!

What fears could you overcome so that you could meet risks head on and experience excitement?

(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dancing My Way into Trusting Life


I've mentioned briefly that there are a few ways I have known that dancing is my path, besides the utter joy and complete centeredness that it brings me.

First, I have thought for years about going to a Yoga Teacher Training, but I would always find some lame reason not to. As soon as dancing entered the equation, I signed up and went. There was fear, for sure, but not hesitation.

And second, with this dancing path that I am on, I feel no urgency. I have become happy with the process and abandoned my typical obsession with product.

I am learning to trust and have faith in my inner wisdom and vision.

Big stuff, that.

The other day, I realized -- another of those duh! moments -- that this comes from the practice of dance itself.

When I am dancing, I am totally in the Moment. I am my breath; I am my body; I am my soul. There is no separation. I just Am.

As I dance, there is no logical cognition going on. I am not thinking, "Well, for this beat, I think I should and wait! I have to count, and maybe..."

Nope. No "thinking," except for the thinking that naturally and spontaneously happens between my spirit and my muscles and my senses.

I just move. I breathe and I react. There is no pausing, no wondering, no second guessing.

I do not think about transitions from one move to the next. I just transition.

Ahhhh! Yes. Now I see.

That is life well lived.

Dancing truly is life.

Be in the now. React from your instincts. Be the beauty you love, as Rumi said.

See how the physical body can teach us all we need to know if we just pay attention? The physical body contains the map and the treasure.

What is your body trying to tell you, whether through pain or pleasure?


(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Dancing Queen...of Heaven!


I've mentioned that I'm reading the newest Deepak Chopra book, and yesterday I was reading a section about perception.

Chopra talks about how opening ourselves up to the possibility of synchronicity and messages that we will begin to notice how often these things occur.

He also points out that you can just stay where you are and write this stuff off as coincidence or explain it away with "science." (Again, I put science in quotes, because science, like any system, is a metaphorical language attempting to explain the ultimately unexplainable.)

But staying in that place is cynical. (I am really simplifying here; read the book.)

In the end, like I've said before, I would rather be on the side of the freaks than the cynics. I mean, I would rather see meaning in everything than meaning in nothing.

At the very least, this is way more fun.

This morning, Marcy said to me, "That's what drug trips are often about -- altering perception, opening up your mind to other ways of seeing."

There is no illegal drug tripping going on in this house -- for goodness sake, I can barely take Advil -- but last night, accidentally, there was some of the legal kind.

I have been having a very difficult time getting a good night's sleep. I'm excited and wound up, so it's for good reason, but lack of sleep is still lack of sleep regardless of the Why.

So I caved last night and took a sleep aid. Oh, my...

I don't remember how I got here but...

I have this small, about 2 inch high, glow in the dark Mary on my bedside table. I adore kitsch and I especially adore extreme kitsch of the religious nature.

Marcy had reached over and turned out my lamp because the sleep aid was already kicking in.

I looked over at Mary and she was...dancing!

I sat up, and according to Marcy spent at least 20 minutes watching and talking about Mary dancing, until she finally got me to put the Mary on my pillow. I fell right to sleep.

But the dancing!

Marcy just fed the fantasy, saying things like "Maybe Mary is going to tell you something..."

So I waited. But she was only interested in boogieing.

Today, I felt totally embarrassed. I have never had such an experience.

Marcy pointed out that it wasn't embarrassing and why not, why not, see it as a wee bit more than just a drug induced hallucination?

Why not notice that she was dancing? Why not find some meaning in that?

Why not, indeed?

(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

MysticBliss: All Saints

Today is All Saints day. This day was instituted to celebrate all saints -- known and unknown.

I like that "unknown."

Saints walk amongst us every day.

I do not mean holy people who never do wrong. I mean those rare individuals who try to think outside the box, challenge their culture, walk their talk even when it is inconvenient.

I think of Dorothy Day, who fed so many and whose life work continues after her death.

I think of John Dear, still working hard for peace in a world that does not take peace seriously.

But I also think of "regular" men and women who are willing to follow their hearts and not the money.

"Regular" men and women who dare live their dreams at a time when people think the most important things are retirement plans and health insurance.

"Regular" men and women who pursue the vast expanse of Inner Space.

"Regular" men and women who live with joy and bliss and contentment in the face of a toxic fear that larger, earth bound forces would have us feed on.

Who has been a Saint in your life?