Friday, April 30, 2010

Making Space for What Matters


I recently wrote a "HELP ME!" sort of email to someone whom I truly admire. I see her as someone who has it together on all levels. She is fit inside and out. From afar, it also looks like she has a lot on her plate and manages to keep it all working gracefully.

I basically asked her how she does it. How she fits it all in. I asked her a nuts and bolts sort of question: what does your daily routine look like?

She wrote back with an unexpected (and yet not...) answer. This woman, whom I look up to as a powerhouse of the Get-It-Done sort, said to me (in a nutshell): "Yes, when you added dance and teaching to all you do, I was worried. Something has to give; you have to make choices."

But wait, I wanted to yell to her! What about your daily schedule? Don't you have a favorite calendar that keeps track of things and smacks you in the ass when you aren't working fast enough, hard enough, good enough? HELP!

Her Gentle & Wise Reminder of What is Important was not exactly the kind of smack this CrazedChick had in mind. Where was the magic pill or liquid or cake or whatever?!

I can make fun of myself now, many days of thinking later, but at the time, I was crazed. I did want a magical calendar system that would Fix My Life.

I spent some hours online looking for an application that would simultaneously: 1) Keep track of every single idea that flitted across the surface of my brain (God forbid I lose any of that brilliance!); 2) Tell me what to do and when and for how long; 3) Guide me through the writing of three books at the same time; 4) Interrupt me when it was time to meditate; 5) Chronicle ideas for choreography directly from my muscles to paper; 6) Mainline my espresso at regular intervals...

You get the idea.

After some breathing and talking to Marcy, I calmed down enough to start soaking in my mentor's wisdom. (Yes. Mentor. That is how I see Ana Brett.)

Now, slowly, but surely, I am Making Space for What Matters. My priority is dance. Period. I must make choices that support that. Some of these choices will be difficult and some are only a matter of changing ways of thinking that do not support my creative life.

For example, I moved more of the furniture out of the living room. Easy, right? But I had to stop and think about what the real purpose of our home is. And it's not to entertain! It's to be the space we need it to be.

By moving that furniture, I remind myself every day that I am to be using that new space.

Yesterday, I read this great post over at Zen Habits about killing our to-do lists and focusing on One Thing. I am instituting that, starting today. I am putting all those bits of paper that hold a million ideas into a folder. They aren't going anywhere but letting them cover my desk is only reminding me of what I am not working on, when I should just be focusing on what I am working on.

Each day, when I wake, I will ask myself, "What is my One Thing today." I will learn to trust my instincts, just as I do every time I get in front of a group to teach yogadance.

Last night, with that Zen Habits piece floating around in my brain, I also realized that I am working with old ideas of myself when it comes to something as seemingly simple as my reading choices.

I do not let myself read what I really want to read right now, because I think I should be reading certain sorts of things.

Silliest idea ever!

But this is how we stop ourselves from really diving into our Passions. We resist even the best sorts of change by continuing to live with old labels.

I am making space by giving up those old labels.

It's scary to me. I've lived with those labels for a long time, and they served me through great difficulty in this life.

Time to say "thank you" and move on.

Like Ana said, something has to give. If I want to live my priorities, my bliss, I must choose to be brave.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Age is in Our Minds


The other night, Marcy and I watched an excellent documentary about the making of the album Rio. We love music documentaries in general, but specifically, I big time HEART Duran Duran, and I have done so since I was 15 and first saw their video for The Reflex on the newly part-of-general-cable MTV. It was like a little miracle that first song, and I very much wanted to crawl into the television.

They were cute, certainly, but it was the music and Simon's singing that got me hooked. I wanted nothing more than to grow up and be a singer and dancer. I ached with this desire. To this day, their music triggers that response. (Of course, I have -- Thank all that is good -- returned to dance and in doing so have unintentionally returned to song, as I encourage singing in my yogadance classes to open up that 5th chakra that is very tight in most women.)

Back to the documentary. At one point, they show some old footage of Simon le Bon and he flashes this incredible smile, and suddenly, I was not just remembering being 15 but I was 15. Really. I could feel the 15 that I had been and it felt transformative. On the inside. Like I had accessed some part of me that is infinitely and forever 15.

Suddenly, a lot of stuff clicked into place.

I remembered earlier this year reading in a Kripalu newsletter (go here to read the article) about the work of a scientist who did an experiment referred to as "counterclockwise."

Harvard Psychologist Ellen J. Langer basically took a group of elderly men, who suffered from a variety of age-related ailments, and she put them in a house that was purely comprised of things from their youth. They were not allowed to bring anything modern with them.

By the end of the study, she was playing touch football with all of the men, including one of whom came to the house with a cane!

Surrounding them with their youth did not just remind them of their youth but it made them youthful.

Yes. I am listening to way more Duran Duran again.

If you could conceive for a moment that aging is all in our minds, what would you change about your life?

What sorts of things could you do to support this change?*

(*Please. No one needs to get a mullet. Not ever again. I mean, we can take this way too far, right?)

NOTE: The video, The Reflex, was watched for the sake of the creation of this post, and I am pretty sure I felt my skin tighten.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aged by Others


I've been getting white hairs since I was 14 years old. I remember exactly where I was when my friend pointed it out to me. We were in a stairwell full of teenagers transitioning to their next class. We were on our way to French class.

The idea of my aging was pointed out to me fairly early on, you could say.

As my white hairs increased, women especially felt the need to point out that those hairs were "prematurely aging" me. (Though I never got anything but compliments from men...there's a sociology paper in that.)

I kept my white hair. It was gorgeous. It came in perfectly striped, as if done by a professional.

Notice that I said it "was" gorgeous.

I got tired of women telling me things about my age, first of all. Women who knew me and women who had never met me. I got tired of people deciding things about me because of my freaking hair color.

I color it now. At first, I colored because I was tired of being put in a box and now I do it because I like how it looks.

Hair coloring aside, I wonder how many ways every day we are aged by other people's perceptions of us or how they think we should be?

How many times do we hear that certain clothes, certain music, or certain activities aren't for our age?

I cringe at how many times I have thought or said, "She's dressing too young." What? She is dressing how she feels! Have you thought or said the same?

As I look around for dance workshops to go to, my frustration increases. There is so much ageism in the world of dance. Most serious workshops are targeted at people under 25, and if there is a segment of the workshop for those of us with a few more years, they assume you are a teacher.

The dance world says "no" to me based on my years rather than my abilities.

I am invisible to them. Not for long, of course, because I am stubborn and this dancing is the love of my life.

But how many women are stopped in their tracks by this Ageism? How much beauty and wisdom and talent are we missing out on because women over 35 are shoved into pre-labeled boxes?

What have your experiences been like?


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aging Ourselves


(Our little apple tree is covered in blossoms this year!)

I've been thinking about aging a lot lately. First, I am 41 and getting into one's forties is definitely a traditional sort of marker. Second, I returned to dance at the age of 40 and dance is not known for its kindness toward anyone much over 25.

Before I returned to dance, worrying about aging was just one more thing I could put on my Anxiety To Do list, and I was, frankly, always on the look out for items for that. It was also one more reason to Be Depressed.

Turns out that recovering from life long anxiety and depression had everything to do with...living. Thus the subtitle to my blog: It's never too late to embody your bliss. Most of us -- regardless of our callings -- need to come back into our bodies, having neglected them for too long. Our bodies are our gateways to our spirits and thus to our capacity to have a joyful life.

Back to thinking about aging. I am healthier, I think, than I have ever been in my whole life. I am also stronger and more creative.

I have decided that aging is mostly in our minds. We tell ourselves a boat load of stories about what to expect and then act surprised when those expectations are met.

I do not deny that I am getting older. I simply do not believe that that has to automatically mean I am deteriorating. Use it or lose it is my motto. Also, hydrate it; feed it well; and do what makes it happy.

Ah! Right there! That last one! That is where most of aging really comes from. We are not living our happiest lives, and as we get older, we think we have run out of time.

We haven't.

Or we have. It all depends on the story you tell.

This past weekend, I read a sad story. A woman, age 38 (come on!), saw (in a mirror in a gym) that a part of her body wasn't quite what it used to be athletically and so came to the conclusion, basically, that this is "it," from here on, it's all downhill.

She decided that this is what "aging gracefully" is -- accepting the inevitable.

I would like a different definition, how about you?

How about aging gracefully being defined by how we live in every moment with joy and abandon, that we never give in to "should's" or "supposed to's" or "that's how it's been's."

I refuse to believe that I had one moment in time when I was able to have the life I was meant to have. Believing it's all downhill from here, for me? I may as well stop dancing right now and start eating more donuts and just settle into my role as a consumer of products.

Instead, I choose to believe that I am where I was meant to be. I believe I have come to dance at this age for a reason. I believe it is my responsibility to take hold of that destiny and squeeze every ounce of happy out of it that I can.

I believe that my greatest responsibility is to write my own story and never let anyone or anything else define me -- including a mirror in a gym.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Meditation Monday: Challenging Your Self


I do not try to dance better than anyone else.
I only try to dance better than myself.
--Mikhail Baryshnikov

On Mondays, I have decided to post a meditation. It may be about dance, it may not. The underlying theme will always be about fully embodying your Best Life, your Bliss.

That subtitle at the top -- It's never too late to embody your bliss -- I believe that with all my heart and soul, and I believe that it's true for every single human being on this planet, whether they have fifty years or fifty breaths left to live on this physical plane.

No matter what you've come from, I believe it to be true for you.

No matter where you dream of going, I believe it to be true for you.

But the other thing I believe is that you have to work for it -- sometimes very hard and for a very long time.

Thus today's quote.

Nothing matters but the challenge you set for yourself. Nothing matters but that you show up.

Trusting the Rhythm


Marcy and I were working on a new playlist for me to use during my yogadance teaching. It was going really well and then we hit a wall. Or so it seemed. It turned out that one song was out of place, and once we moved that, the rest fell in line.

"This is just the process we go through for these lists. We get excited and then it seems like it's not going to work and then we keep going and it does." I thought I was making an astute observation, until Marcy answered me (and excuse the nickname usage, but I want you to hear her voice).

"That's life, chach, ya know...the hero's journey and all. It's the same for everything."

Playlists and life...all the same.

You start out with an idea of how something will turn out, but joy really depends upon your ability to be spontaneous in the moment, so forks in the road can be met with angst (my first inclination) or excitement (Marcy's first).

The more I dance, the better I get at transitioning more quickly to the excitement mode when I get to that fork. Dancing is all about spontaneity in the moment and I am starting to transfer that to all aspects of my life.

I'm learning to trust in my own sense of rhythm.

That is exactly when things can get truly exciting for the hero on their journey. (She writes as butterflies fill her tummy...)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Big Time Gratitude


I have been stressed. My right shoulder tells me that I was more stressed than I even admitted. It's nothing serious, but just enough of a message from my body that I am able to listen, to pay attention, to look up from a certain level of self-absorption long enough to glimpse my reality -- a reality full of beauty and much to be thankful for.

I am thankful that Toby Kitten's surgery went well. (Snip snip...it was time. Scottie, our 16 year old, was tired of being "courted" by Toby.) This morning, I get to go pick him up at the vet's, and I will, I'm sure, spend most of the day staring at him.

I am thankful for the opportunity to share my love of dance with so many people. I am thankful that the work I do impacts others. I am thankful for all the smiling faces, the giggling, the hootin' and hollerin'.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful and powerful women that this work is bringing into my life.

I am thankful for the muse and her generosity. I am thankful for the stacks of paper on my desk. Yes, I complain about the quantity of ideas, but really, how is that something to complain about?

I am thankful for all the people in my life who are saying all the things that I need to hear.

I am thankful for this current challenge that is telling me I need to prioritize better and start making some difficult choices. I am thankful because it is representative of the power of bringing dance back into my life. It has changed every thing. Every. Thing.

It has even changed our living room. Marcy encouraged me to remove some of the furniture so I would have a bigger dancing space. She said, "That is what our house is FOR! LIVING! Not for showing off to other people and entertaining!" So there. I am thankful for her, as I am many many many times every day.

I am thankful for all the flowers, good espresso, sandal wearing weather, toe-nails that are bright pink, sushi being gluten free, the color of our kitchen, great poets, dreams that do not awaken me with fear, organic chocolate, local musicians that rock, bird song, bike rides that are not endangered by sudden snow storms, the yoga studio that hosts my classes, the smell of that studio, sticky pads in the shape of monkey heads, tiny note pads with classic Japanese scenes printed on them, good pens, the sound of Marcy's giggles.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sister Lake


(Lake Erie, April 2010)

Standing at the edge of our Great Lake, I feel the expansiveness of this living. My breathing slows and deepens, often to the rhythm of the waves hitting the shore's edge, teasing my feet.

I can stand and stare for a very long time, hypnotized by the waves and the wind and the sun dancing like diamonds scattered by a generous goddess.

Inevitably, individual rocks begin to capture my attention. I go home every time with at least two.

Standing in awe of the Big, I anchor myself with the Small details, fearing otherwise I will float away, slide unawares into and under those waves.

Cool rocks on the warm skin of my palms and feet sunk into sand, I feel a-part-of and separate-from simultaneously. The ache of this human life and the beauty are one and the same.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lost in So Much-ness of the Unhelpful Variety


Yesterday, on my way to the peninsula for a walk, I stopped at a local herb shop to get a blue candle, and I found this dancing angel. She is now in my writing space, as you can see.

She reminds me of my center, of what is truly important.

Right now, I need that little reminder, because I am feeling a little lost. I am lost in the Land of So Much: So much information, so much possibility, so much communication, so much chatter, so much interaction, so much choice.

Yesterday I read a post over at Anchors and Masts where Tess helped me to frame what it is that I am feeling right now. She helped me to start anyway.

Framing the question helps us to get to the answer, right?

For today, I'll let the bird song and the sun and the blue sky be my companions. I am thinking they have some wisdom to share.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bright Sun, Blue Sky, Partly Foggy Brain


(Lake Erie, April 2010)

I used to get really painful, vomit-inducing, stop-my-life migraines. From the time I was 12 until I was almost 30, these were a constant source of worry and distress. I've written about how I got rid of that version of them here.

It turns out, though, that I didn't get rid of them, because migraines aren't "just" headaches. A headache is one of the possible symptoms of migraine disease, which is actually a neurological disorder. A disorder that morphs over the years and can change drastically in its signs and symptoms.

This does not diminish the minor miracle that was getting rid of the version I had for so many years. Believe me. I am thankful every day of my life that I am done with those!

The version I get now is much more subtle in its approach and it still interrupts my normal life, just in a new way.

We teasingly call it my "brain damage days." (Migraine disease does leave brain damage in its path -- especially due to the auras that I used to get and still occasionally get.)

For the past few days, I've been noticing an onset of a set of "brain damage days." I've gotten really good at noticing subtle things that are red flags.

For example, my emotional responses to life change. In particular, I get extra annoyed. Yes, many of you are saying, "OH! I have migraine disease to the max!" Ha. Very funny.

I get extra annoyed at things that would barely blip on my radar. I have a hard time not reacting in an angry way. I can't really describe this, but trust me when I say, it's different than a normal annoyance or a normal urge to tell someone off.

Now, as compared to five years ago, I have a Witness Consciousness available to me (thank you, yoga), and I see that this is happening.

It doesn't make the rest stop, but at least, I see it coming. It doesn't make the rest stop, because that severe annoyed feeling means the domino has been tipped...or the storm clouds are already running into each other and the thunder and lightening has begun.

I am in the middle of a storm right now.

Trying to deal with this, yesterday, I did hours of yoga and kundalini yoga breath work. I sat with a candle. I went for a walk at our lake.

If you look at the above picture, you can see that those waves have picked up a lot of particulate and it's floating on the surface. That is my brain right now.

The only way to get over this is to ride those waves until they are done with themselves.


Monday, April 19, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?


It truly is spring. Outside and in, it seems.

Marcy and I have been spending a lot of time with Ideas lately. Dreaming, imagining, making lists, giggling, making more lists.

My apple green desk is covered in little slips at the moment.

As we quickly approach Beltane (May 1st), I know we will need to transition from Dreaming to Doing. Beltane is a fire festival, full of energy, marking the beginning of the growing season.

Here at our house, we placed the first seeds in the ground a week ago, so by the time of this festival, we should have some very tiny greens starting.

The lists on my desk are also tiny seeds in need of sun, rain, care, and time. Like with growing your own vegetables, there is a precarious and precious balance between human intervention and allowing things to be.

This is where I tend to get stuck.

How about you? Where in the creative process do you tend to slow down or stop? When is it most likely that your garden will be overcome with weeds?


Friday, April 16, 2010

Blisschick is Two & Not So Terrible


(One of my favorite tulips.)

Last night, I awoke in the middle of the night and realized, "Crap! Today was my blog's 2nd anniversary!"

Yep. I've been writing Blisschick since April 15th, 2008.

What I find most startling about that first post is that at the end of it, I ask this question:

When was the last time you turned the music up really loud and danced in your living room until you sweat?

When I wrote that, I couldn't have told you the last time I had done this very thing. When I wrote that, I thought I was just...writing. You know, asking other people questions to get them thinking.

I snort at myself as I write this now.

If I were a novel, can we say "foreshadowing?"

I'm not a novel, but I do believe I am a slice of something huge and divine and that when I was born, "dancer" was stamped on my heart and soul.

Dancer...dancer...dancer...

Through all the depression and the anxiety and the not really wanting to live, that word kept being whispered inside of me.

One day, I was finally able to hear.

I think of all the things that could have happened. I think of the chain of events that gave me my life back and I shudder at the fragility of it all.

This blog, that post, that question...they have all been links in that chain. As have all the amazing relationships I have had the privilege to experience because of this "virtual" world of ideas and imagination and possibility and belief.

Thank you.

An Ode to an Almond Tree & A Girl Named Marcy


It is with great pride that I post this photo today. It may seem a simple, single pale pink flower on a small tree, but it is so much more.

As Georgie O'Keefe said, “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time."

Almond trees are having a hard time all over the country. In California, they are being attacked by a virus and they don't know what it is or what to do about it. Almonds are becoming more precious than ever.

We did not know this when we ordered this tiny baby tree. She has been nothing but trouble since she arrived. Japanese beetles love her tasty leaves, which is a sign that she is the weakest plant in our yard.

After the second year of pruning her back to basically the beginning, after all the excitement over her quick growth was met with clippers, I said to Marcy that I thought we should just take her out, give up.

Marcy cried.

I have a bit of a "survival of the fittest" approach to gardening*. Marcy does not. After she named the second thing we put in this yard, I told her, No more...we can't name every bush, tree, and flower that we put in the ground. Really. There aren't enough names for the couple thousand spring bulbs I have planted over the years.

(*Don't think me cold. Whenever we have contemplated moving from this place, I am the one who stops us. I cry at the very thought of leaving all this behind.)

But when she got upset over the almond tree, I knew she was right. This tree needed our care and patience.

Like I had when Marcy met me.

My roots were weak; I rarely flowered; and I certainly had many, many years ahead of me during which I would be barren.

But Marcy, who has the patience of a Buddha, saw me in the way in which Georgia speaks in that quote.

She saw me and she could see this tree.

And now both I and the tree have flowered and there is definitely a harvest in our near futures.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Get Off That Wheel, Little Hamster!


(Lilly and Toby and some passion vine...signs of the summer to come.)

"I really am feeling like that hamster on a wheel...my little legs just going, going, going, but I'm still in one spot."

I found myself saying this to Marcy the other night, and it was disturbing. We've always tried very hard to stay mindful of the day to day rhythms of our life together. We've made choices that create more serenity and open space.

Suddenly, as I embark on fully living my passion and purpose, I find myself being...typical.

What?!

Here's what I mean by "typical:"

Always working. I'm rarely ever just being.

Constantly judging my projects as successful or not.

Looking for ways to bring in more success.

Feeling an anxious need for more, better, bigger, and faster.

Going through the motions in order to mark things off my "to do" list. (Even with the "spiritual" components of life.)

Or just skipping the spiritual components all together because they take time, focus, and silence.

You get the idea.

After saying the above to Marcy, I added, "The way I'm acting, I may as well have a job in a cubicle."

Luckily something woke me from this stupor -- the nightmares I wrote about recently.

It hasn't been so much the actual nightmares but some things I've done to deal with them. I mentioned that I would be doing a 40 day kundalini kriya -- a morning chant to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Marcy thought I should try something a bit different. I got out a prayer card I have for Joan of Arc and placed it by my bed. At night, I use the card right before going to sleep.

The Kriya lasted one day, but I've been working with the card every night. My nightmares are gone, and I've been sleeping exceptionally well.

I've also been more mindful of pre-bed ritual. And I realized, as much as I teach other people to use Kundalini yoga breaths, I myself have completely stopped using them unless I am on the mat.

Physician heal thyself... Walk the talk... Practice what you preach...

Time to step off that wheel and treat my life with the respect it deserves. Time to re-institute the ritual that gives my life meaning. Time to slow down and breathe.

Here are some things I've not been doing that are important to my soul and my creativity and my emotional health:

Pre-bed kundalini yoga. A small, short but powerful set of movement and breath that works to "turn down" the nervous system.

Deep breathing in my pre-bed hot salt bath. I don't remember the last time I did this on a regular basis, and last night, it felt wonderful.

Reading for stretches. Not reading for stretches is a big indication that my focus is way off.

Re-committing to my movement journal.

Sitting in the yard and watching birds and not doing anything but that.

Sitting on the floor and playing with the cats.

Playing with dance rather than just working on my body.

There are a lot of other things but that's enough for now. In general, I need to slow down and breathe in deeply this joy that I have found. This is not a race.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Me & Spring Don't Get Along


Perhaps it's that my body is busy right now fighting off some viruses that are around me or perhaps it's the time of year.

This is when, what we call, my "Spring Autism" starts to show itself. The transition from the quiet, hibernation of winter to the busy and loud of summer can be difficult for me to process. My brain feels overwhelmed, flooded by all the new sounds and sights and options and action and movement.

I can go into a sort of shut down mode in response to it all. A deer in headlights sort of thing happens to me.

Spring also throws me off physically as my body hates the combination of cold and wet. My digestion, my joints, my trigger points...

Is there a season with whom you are not on best of terms? How do you deal with it?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Your Path Can Never Be My Path


A little something from Krishnamurti:

I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organised; nor should any organisation be formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organise a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallised; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others.

This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do. Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley....


Dancing into Yoga

Yoga means to yoke or to unite, whether with an Infinite Divine or the Divine Within. Either way, these kids -- these dancers -- know more about yoga than most adult yogis I've come across.

The Wooden Floor is an organization out of Santa Ana, California, a city that, according to their website, leads the nation in urban hardship.

To quote a little boy in the video: "It doesn't matter what kind of dance it is...it's just...you have to dance."

Exactly.




Monday, April 12, 2010

To Car or Not To Car


(A scented narcissus that is one of my favorites in our front yard)


On Friday, I wrote about how much living my bliss has been changing every part of my life from big to small.

Dancing has brought me back to my center, the essence of who I am. Depression and anxiety no longer hold me in their cold and deadly grip. This is not to say that I am forever released from the possibility of their return, but now I have an awareness of their ways and the tools to banish them that I never had before.

It is still an every single day set of choices that brings me to happiness and joy and peace and purpose and passion.

Dancing has changed my relationship to my body -- how I feel about it, how I utilize it, how I energize it, how I fuel it.

Those are some of the big things that have changed and that continue to change as I learn to navigate through these calmer, bluer, warmer waters.

Onto a smaller thing which really isn't that small, not really, but it is minuscule when compared to overcoming debilitating depression.

To Car or Not To Car...that has been the most recent question. I got a lot of wonderful feedback to this perplexing issue. Truly helpful stuff out there. On this blog, in emails, in person. We are surrounded by thoughtful, caring people who are capable of some excellent critical thinking.

I want to thank everyone for contributing to the dialogue.

We have our decision.

On Saturday, I had this amazing and eye opening discussion with a wonderful woman. I currently teach one day out of her yoga studio, but this is going to change. This yoga studio is very close to home. Close enough to walk in really bad weather.

And now that I know how much she and I are on the same page about a multitude of exciting things, I feel relaxed about the car issue.

I know we don't need it.

I know the money would be better used toward more training so that I might grow as a dancer and instructor. Someday, I hope the money will be better used toward opening a new and bigger studio.

These are the kinds of choices I am talking about here all the time.

Most of us cannot "have it all." A lot of us don't even want what "have it all" means.

The main thing I want in this life is to be able to do the thing that brings me not just happiness but deep and abiding peace and sanity.

For that, I am willing to sacrifice what is essentially, for us, an issue of convenience. For now. Sometimes the same decisions need to be made day after day, month after month, year after year...


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Un/Veiling

I'm reading about geisha (pronounced gay-sha and not gee-sha with both syllables receiving equal weight) right now as research toward a project that is sitting deep within a foggy region of my imagination.

I thought I would share some Kabuki dance and theatre today. The complexity and formality of this school of dance is far beyond my understanding at this point. (This is also a bit for Rebecca!)



Friday, April 9, 2010

All Parts of This Life Are Changing...


(One of my favorites of Marcy's newest work. The story cracks me up!)

It takes my breath away when I think about how quickly and completely my life has changed. I will catch myself (or more accurately, Marcy will catch me) thinking that things are moving too slowly, that I haven't accomplished "enough" yet, that I am not "successful." Typical thoughts in this cultural environment in which I find myself.

But...there is this HUGE but...I only started dancing again last July. And really, when I look at the big picture honestly, I only completely committed to this new (old) path some time in October. Barely six months ago.

What? When I tell the true story of it, I can have moments of feeling pretty darn amazed by what has happened to me. I can even go so far as to give myself a little credit.

Right now, all of this change is leaking all over our lives, and I find myself reevaluating everything.

Including something that I didn't expect. There should be drum rolls here, and if you've been reading blisschick for long, you'll know why in a sec...

Yes, I have actually....(dramatic pause)...or we, I should say, have actually been contemplating getting...a car.

There. I said it. A car.

We've been car free (and very intentionally) for almost 9 years now. NINE years. We rent occasionally; we accept offered rides in bad weather. But for the most part, for nine years, we've been committed to walking, biking, and public transportation.

It has changed our lives in too many amazing ways to mention here. We could write a book about the unexpected impacts.

But now...we are re-thinking how a car would expand my teaching opportunities. It would make it easier for me to go to trainings and workshops.

Yet there are an equal number of reasons why the answer should be No. How fast would we be back to the car-reliant ways of most Americans? How fast would we become part of that tribe called the "Busy's?" How soon would we notice a loss of contemplative discernment about how we utilize resources, including our time and personal energy?

I'm completely flummoxed about this. From hour to hour, I am confident that Yes is correct, and then the next hour, I am back to a steadfast No.

Sigh. Writing this has brought me no closer to a final decision.

I will just keep dancing on it and see what happens.