Tonight I mourn the loss of a precious little girl. A dancer. A liver of life. A daughter. A sister. A friend.
I met her only once and had the opportunity and joy of seeing her fly across the dance floor with her Build a Bear Turtle turning and twirling as we took a one hour journey through movement.
A little girl so content to be in the moment. A little girl whose teenage brother loved her so much he acquiesced to coming to an expressive family dance class! Now, that's love!
A smile as wide as the ocean across her face, she pranced around in her little socks clutching her turtle, dancing with her doting Mom and Dad and the other kids in the class. She had a lot of fun and was elated as she got to ride on the magic carpet pulled by her brother as she enjoyed the ride sliding across the room.
I mourn the loss of a devoted family who loved a sweet little girl who loved the sweet apples that were served after class while drawing a picture of her dance adventure, so much so her mom called me to find out where I bought them!
Hannah, for sure, taught many people many lessons in her short lifetime and touched many lives. She was especially sent here to teach us about the value of life. I am sure.
Adieu, Hannah. May your flight to heaven be joyous and full of light and love and dancing with turtles.
I had the most amazing experience last night in Washington DC. So powerful that it really knocked me off my feet onto a chair for a bit.
I attended the Maitrya Buddha relic Loving-kindness tour being held at the Church of the Holy City near Dupont in DC by happenstance as I was also facilitating a Biodanza class in the same location.
As I waited in line with my husband, we chatted matter-of-factly about life in general, took off our shoes after a 15 minute wait on the 200 years old spiral staircase and proceeded in the chapel as they let in maybe 20 people at a time at any one time.
The whole church area was vibing with great energy beforehand, but in this room full of incense, gold relics, flowers , statues, monks, nuns, I really felt it. I was awash with emotion already. I spotted a monk or nun performing what looked like a blessing ceremony and asked another if I could also go in that line. She said yes. Feeling moved, but still quite okay and grounded I waited my turn. I'll take any blessings I can get!
I noticed she was asking each person something and wondered if I was suppose to be prepared to pray for a wish. I came up with the desire for more compassion and wisdom, my standards, and was ready to tell her.
Upon my turn I made eye contact with the monk/nun...still not sure.... and she whispered to me a sentence that I didn't quite understand and then said... "see it in there!" as she showed me the golden conical shaped item she was holding that had a glass window encasing something that I couldn't quite zero in on as it was an inch from my face! I was at a relic tour and I should have guessed, but since I had made a beeline for blessing, I didn't really know what a Buddha relic was at that point!
At any rate, I knelt and she placed this object, draped with a white slim cloth under it, over my crown and held it there for about 30 seconds. My hands placed on my heart, I immediately felt an warm energy surge run through me. Like an infusion of love.
I got up and immediate was touched by the emotion within me and had to sit. I found an empty chair on the sides of the chapel and sat one seat away from a young monk/nun clutching a box of tissues.
She gently placed it on the chair next to me sensing I was going to cry, I guess, because I did. I was so moved my this simple experience and what I didn't really understand was that inside the conical shaped object were relics from the Maitreya Buddha.
Relics were found among the cremation objects of the Buddha and other Buddhist Masters and now resemble beautiful pearl-like crystals (see photo) embodying the master's, get ready...compassion and wisdom!
I got up, trying to withhold my tears, in order to move around the relic table with my husband who was at the top of the line by now. First up, pouring water on the Buddha statue bathing him, then sounding chimes to awaken my spiritual guides. We gazed at these holy relics and the other visual delights on the display. So amazing.
Tears continued to stream down my face. I couldn't stop the flood of emotion in me. Not sadness, not joy. Just emotion. Beauty. Calm. Peace. All of this history before me. I felt it.
I am not a Buddhist and am not sure about the controversy surrounding the Maitreya Buddha...check it out on Wiki..... but I do know that something beautiful happened to me that night.
My heart was opened a bit more to compassion and loving-kindness. It was the Loving-kindness Tour, after all. And the world needs more of that.
I am sitting here. Now. Silent. Present with what is. I hear the distant roar of cars in the background as they careen I-95. The cicadas chirp intermittently. The hum of the hot water heater comes from the basement door left ajar. The Mandela clocks ticks every so quietly behind me.
I notice the rustling of my son’s artwork taped to the door that crinkles in the breeze. A freshness fills this cool morning and feels comfortable on my skin.
Eyes closed, I feel supremely relaxed as I breathe organically, letting my lungs be how they need to be with no forceful manipulations. My unclad feet dangle from the brown leather chair upon which I am seated. The breeze passes through. My senses are blending into a kind of oneness.
All is well.
I feel serene.
I am connected with ME.
I am connected to LIFE.
10 minutes later....refreshed and off to LIVE my LIFE with my morning meditation filling my spirit.
Grateful for the small things in life and the great things... the big rEVOLution I make space for in my life. Couldn't be without it.
Have a great day, life dancers, and may you make you cultivate presence in your life today!
No, I have not taken up soccer...but it IS a catchy phrase and kind of pertains to this post as you will see. Quite au contraire, my bending is of the inanimate kind and does not involve a ball.
In fact, fork/spoon bending has become my new magic trick activity du jour since beginning the life coach training in the Martha Beck Institute. Curious, you say, but I do believe in the magic of life.
The first time I bent a spoon was after reading Martha Beck's new book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, in which she encourages the reader to reclaim life through instinctual connections...the journey of life through nature and spirit. Formidable book that I could NOT put down! Run out and read it...NOW!
But back to utensil bending...
Do you believe in magic?
Bending the silver requires you to access the 1st Technology of Magic, according to Martha, which is "Wordlessness".
If you meditate, do Biodanza or any other contemplative activity that creates space for you to zone out and connect to the world with flow and peace, this may be easier to access as these people tend to be more able to zen out and drop into their right-brain connection. Gone are the words, the thoughts, the constant chatter and babble that fills our heads.
Wordlessness is the quiet zone of just being with the present moment...where silence is golden and lovingly embraced; where your senses are heightened and felt.
Once you tap into what she calls this "energy internet" of wordlessness, the 2nd Technology of Magic leads you to "Oneness".
In this blissful energy filled space, there exists a profound tri-fold connection of self, the other and the universe. Technologically, it's akin to pressing "send" on your email and zipping your message lickety-split to its destination. It's magic that we can communicate in seconds via electronic courrier with someone across the globe with the click of a key, isn't it?
So why not create this same magic with our "energy internet" beginning with a spoon? or a fork? Why not play with being able to connect with inanimate objects as well as with a human beings?
Nine years ago while living in South Africa, I was on safari with my college BFF and she was dead set on spotting a leopard....not an easy feat when you have only a day or two to game drive and take in the Big 5! Moreover, leopards are not as likely to spot as they tend to be solitary creatures who move around a lot and whose spotted coats provide almost perfect camouflage coverage.
In mostly silence, we dropped into this state of oneness with nature that you can attain while game driving... a kind of a state of flow as you sync with your surroundings with the intention a spotting these beautiful creatures in the wild.
My friend then pulls out a brown paper cheetah print lunch bag (not leopard, but who cares, right?) and begins to wave it out the window. She had brought it specifically "to call" the animals and was energetically trying to coax them to appear. She was also gently cat calling them if I remember correctly!
"Fat chance", I thought, along with "She's crazy fun and that's why I love her! " Amused by her but willing to go with it, we gazed out the windows seeking with my bundled newborn babe of 6 months bouncing around in his car seat. (PS... Babies love game drives...puts them to sleep!) So there we were...two girls and a baby bonding in a car cat calling leopards with high hopes.
And blow me down! All of a sudden her bag waving and glowing personal energy internet produces magic! We spot a mother leopard with her cub teaching it how to hunt not far from the road! This was a most incredulous and unique sighting! We looked at each other, she with a knowing smile, me with an amazed grin and we enjoyed the beautiful sight of the most secretive and elusive nocturnal animal with its babe. The fact that I was also there with my own newborn leads me to believe now that synchronicity was working on many levels at that time.
You see, my soul sister could already connect to wordlessness and had a sense of oneness with the world at that point in her developed spiritual life. She was able to drop into silence and oneness connecting directly to life via her internal source and when you let go and connect your beliefs in this way, the universe listens and hears you. And voilà, the leopard appears, the iron sturdy silverware bends and who knows what other awesome things manifest for yourself and the world!
Bending it for LOVE...
David Beckham most likely also dropped in to his wordless state of flow to be able to be one with the ball and "bend it".
So here's to finding this magic in life...the kind of magic wordlessness that connects you authentically to things, people, places; the kind of magic oneness that creates spaces in your heart to believe in the power of a loving connection to all that can heal life, others and the even the world. Hey, maybe it could help you bend a fork!
In a space where I am you and you are me, it is me and I am it we become more respectful of the existence of life.
Imagine the implications for the world if we BELIEVE this to be true?
So, remember, magic is always just around the bend! But don't ruin all your silverware trying to find it!
My husband and I watch with amazement as our teens embrace all types of social media with gusto. No reticence involved. Fingers ablaze, they tap away with an uncannily speedy thumb agility that will be the death of learning proper typewriting in our day....er...keyboarding, as they call it now.
So here’s what’s in/out from what I can see on my end:
Facebook is passé for the teens mostly...”only old people us that, Mom”.... They’ll hop on for family photos from time to time, but that’s about it. Instead, they have moved on to Snapchat, instant photos that can only be opened by the recipient twice before being banished into thin internet air, Instagram, permanent photos upon which people can comment briefly and “like” in droves if the pic is cool enough and Vine, my favorite, the new 6 second crazy-like videos you can take of whatever is going down at the moment. Vines repeat over and over once you open one, driving listeners mad when locked in a car for long drives! Vines don’t disappear unless you delete them! Yikes!
From my viewpoint as a Mom of two teen girls, there seems to be high competition for “likes” on photos, usually of oneself, I guess pumping up one’s self-esteem. Nowadays, kids really groove on this type of recognition. They vie for “likes” and see who will be the victorious poster of the week. It’s quite funny to observe and all done tongue in cheek, but still....I wonder.
Like a garden, they are harvesting acceptance with “likes” and looking for belonging to their group. This generation of “Millennials” is what Joel Stein calls the “ME, ME, ME Generation” on the cover of Time magazine, a group of kids who have “mutated to adapt to their environment.” Adaptation is good, don’t get me wrong, but Joel does not yet have teens!
I wonder if the incessant texting, picture posting for likes and vine videoing is tarnishing their ability to have a good time and be present, to make real friends that last like glue. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe this is the new way of having fun, making friends and what is more present than a Vine video? :) Despite my annoyance with it all..... I think it’s just the old fashioned in me that wants them to go out and play outside.... I am amazed with kid’s ability to key into what’s relevant and have fun with it.
Yes, I sometimes take away the phones when necessary to the great despair of my kids who act as if their lifeline has been cut and they will shrivel and die immediately if they can’t text Janie with the latest drama. The way I look at it, it’s my job to be aware and teach my kids how to first, love themselves, and second how to nourish love from others human beings sans technology.
What I need to come to terms with is that the “smart” apparatus is a 24/7 attachment to the palm and they are used to it now...no going back. Adaptation. Heck, even I’m used to it and am a harvester of likes in my own right with my business pages! Guilty!
SHOW ME SOME LOVE! :)
Last week, my husband took our three children to “Take your children to work week” in Washington, DC. The alternative was staying home with me and doing some housework, grocery shopping, manic computer work and playing with the dog...so they went with him for some alternative excitement! :)
The office organizes an enriched day for the kids so that they can understand how a humanitarian organization functions and provides assistance to those in the world less fortunate than we in this country. We lived in Africa for 14 years, so our kids have experienced this first hand, but I fear living back in the good old “let’s go shopping” US of A has maybe tainted those memories. So, I pushed them out the door lovingly with Daddy lest they forget that much of the world does not live like they do here in America.
When it came time to introduce themselves to the staff at hand, my 9 year old boldly stated...”Hi, my name is Nathan and I’m awesome!”
Of course, people thought this was funny and cute...'cause he is....and the day went on with fun things to do and experience hands on.
Flash forward a week and I then go to the same work space to facilitate a Biodanza ice breaker for a team meeting. One of the gentlemen comes up to me after class and says he really liked my son and that when he introduced himself as such...as awesome....it really made him sit back and think about life. He said this twice with a genuine smile on his face. He was duly impressed that a little guy like that could love him self so much, be so confident and self assured AND introduce himself as such. I did not have time to talk to him more, but I get the impression that this 9 year old made this 50 year old sit back and think about himself and his own self love. Out of the mouths of babes....
I am happy to say that Nathan is well on his life dance and immersed in the rEVOLution of loving life! Makes me feel so good as a mother, too, that we are doing the right things...one never knows!
Love....self love....we need it badly and it's never too late to get it. We also need to do our best to instill it in our kids and nieces and nephews and little neighbors from an early age so that they, too, think they are awesome!
Believing we are awesome and being in love with ourselves is the only thing that’s going to save the world. (and I am not talking about narcissism here---that's another blog!)
People who love and respect themselves make good choices in life and these choices resonate with the world in far reaching ways. The interconnectedness of life is REAL!
People who love themselves profoundly love others and are capable of embracing compassion and thus peace, not war. Imagine what is possible! Think Jesus, Buddha, Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa...
People who love themselves create their “right life” and follow a path that is made for them and not someone else ending up much happier campers in the long run.
What will my Nathan be? I'm not sure. He loves Legos, computer games, swimming and basketball. He resonates towards animals and people and having good old fashion fun. All I know is that I will continue to tell him how awesome he really is and hope that he let's no one squash his self-love along the way. I'm sure there will be moments for him, but love will find a way!
How can you start to self love more? Would LOVE to hear your feedback!
10 things that I LOVE today:
1. Going to Chick Fil A with my nutty daughters and their friend, Michelle, and doing some silly Vine videos which they then posted to their phones. Hope I get lots of "like"! :)
2. The crisp fresh spring air.
3. My sweet puppy and the way she always wants to be touching or very near to me.
4. My wide community of national and international friends.
5. My clean wood floors...that I cleaned this morning.
6. Spring cleaning the garage this week....a long process....and how great it makes me feel when I park inside the actual garage.
7. Spending breakfast time with my little boy in the mornings and hearing his amazing dreams.
8. The trickle of the water in my water fountain on my back porch.
10. My comfy pillow top bed where I read, sleep and dream and scheme.
It's the small things in life! :)
Welcome to the rEVOLution! So, what’s it all about? Well, LOVE...if you haven’t guessed it by now. When it comes down to it life is about love...needing to have it, wanting to give it and feeling great when we do. In my humble opinion, we need a little more love in the world and that is my quest in life....to spread the love to all who cross my path!
I have been facilitating a well know modality (outside the USA) inside the USA for 3 years now in Maryland, New York City, Miami, Philadelphia and wherever else I can get invited!
I came back to the US after 14 years in Africa (check out my Bio) where I found this unique and ingenious movement modality called Biodanza, in South Africa. Biodanza is a mind, body, spirit, emotion rEVOLution that really opens spaces for personal development with no holds barred. It offers you the BODY and EMOTION component to life that we have tended to put by the wayside in the western world. It offers you, as well, the opportunity to come back to love...of self, the other and the universe. It's a real "lov"olution!
Many people are content to talk about their problems, surf the net for fun and forget about the problems-push them further inside the body, attend virtual webinars in pursuit of personal development to make life better, watch reality TV for our kicks and to see how great our lives are compared to others, hang on Facebook way too much to see just how awful our lives really are compared to others, go to the movies to exit our reality and be entertained, etc...but the body has been sorely neglected!! Where is the body in all this?
It is stressed out, overweight and unhappy.... a nation with deep division in terms of who we are and what we want....and your body won’t lie about that! It develops dis-ease, aches, pains, minor and major trauma.....
So my question to you is, do you love yourself?
Love means so many things to some many people. What does it mean to you? My rEVOLution of love is to get people, you!, back into their bodies...back into being present with themselves with full awareness, heartfelt emotion and authenticity. The idea is to get to know yourself from the inside out and not vica versa...rather from your instincts...where it all starts..where we all begins and what society has beaten out of us...the instinct.
Connecting with your instincts, or the "gut feeling" as we call it, and emotions through MOVEMENT will catapult you, like a big black ball hurtling from a cannon, into what life coach Martha Beck calls “your right life”... and what my mission calls for, a reconnection toward love of self, the other and the universe. And like anything else, it's a process to which you must be dedicated.
So, in my inaugural blog on this site, I invite you to dance with life. Life IS a dance. How you do you want to dance it? with tango? a salsa? a slow dance? or perhaps some hip hop action? Maybe you are a more creative soul and want full on and complete authenticity with movement in community? Join me in the rEVOLution! Let's talk! Let's dance!
"small talk about rEVOLutionary