Wednesday, July 16


angela, canon digital rebel xti

In my twenties, when I lived in Berkeley, I went to this amazing spirit movement class named Karuna. Twice a week men and women would gather in this large dance studio and for over an hour, we would get out of our heads and into our bodies. The energy was tingly and wild and free, the music tribal and inspiring. Our beautiful instructor was so in touch with her body and nature that when we were around her, we felt like one with the elements. The way my body moved in that class felt other worldly. I think of those classes often. I think of how we ended in a large circle, all looking at one another, holding hands, smiling and then bowing to one another. It was a community of earth children where the connection between us was totally unspoken.

I've missed that feeling.

I have heard about Nia for a few years now and my YMCA finally just started providing the class, although I found myself hesitant to go because I thought nothing could compare to that Karuna class. I was being stubborn.

Today, as I was standing against a wall and stretching, this lovely woman approached me with bright eyes and a warm smile, asking if I had ever taken a Nia class. She then went on to share how it has shifted her life in such a positive way. Her enthusiasm was contagious. I found myself filled with an anticipation I haven't felt in a long while.

I love to dance. Dancing has always come so natural to me. It is what I would always do as a child out in our backyard...blast my stereo and leap, twirl and choreograph my own modern dances. I was never taught to dance. I just jumped in and knew what to do. I can be such a klutz walking around a room, bumping into things and tripping but when the music comes on and I truly let go, I have a gracefulness that surprises.

I'm not sure why I tend to forget how healing it is for me. How it can become a way of expressing myself when words do not measure the fullness of what I am experiencing.

This woman today opened up that place in me and I was reminded. She then confessed she was teaching the next class in five minutes and I followed her into the studio like a giddy little girl.

Oh wow. I have been reborn. The movements were so very healing for me. There were moments when I cried and smiled and giggled. What I loved most about the class is that the instructor leads but also encourages that we go with what our body is telling us to do and so many times throughout the class we get to break free and dance around the studio. Sometimes we imagined swimming in an ocean, sometimes we were trees blowing in the wind and other times, we were grounded to the earth and scooping up the energy from its roots. It brought back the freedom I felt in that Karuna class.

I've needed this so much. I've needed something new and fresh. I've needed a way to open my heart where I didn't have to attach a language to it. I feel like I've written and talked so much about this journey and have been searching for another way to express what I am going through inside.

Not only do I feel inspired to take Nia as much as I am able...but also to perhaps someday teach a class. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Thinking about inspiring others to open up and free their bodies and connect themselves to their heart, the elements and other people moving around them. It's something I am feeling a calling for and its bubbling up inside of me as I write this.

I was talking with a dear friend the other day, who has also walked this fertility path and she said whenever she felt she was getting to the end of her rope, that she knew she needed to try something new. She asked me what that looked like for me and at the time I wasn't sure...but I asked. I asked God and spoke that question out loud to the Universe. I put that energy out there and opened up a space for clarity. What newness do I need to bring into my life?

Then a little angel took me by the hand today and answered my question.

Dance. You need to dance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the way you write it just... you paint the picture so clearly, so colourfully. I feel it, I want to experience it, I want to release it.
Trust in your body, unwind your mind... Let everything else in your life flow-and forget about the worries of conceiving.. I believe that a little angel will also find you there, take you by the hand, and lead you into motherhood.

July 16, 2008 at 6:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is so great! Dancing is the ultimate freeing experience.

I never took a class like that, but it sounds divine. When I lived in Berkeley, I was a Dead Head. The way we danced at those shows was some of the most inspirational and spiritual times of my life. Twirling and spinning, intertwining with each other. Sometimes ending up in exhausted heaps on the floor. The best was at Shoreline Amphitheater where the wind was so strong it was almost like we were floating in the clouds....

wow, thanks for bringing that back to me...

I would love to see pictures of YOU dancing, our sweet boho. :)

July 16, 2008 at 8:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger nap girl said...

i found nia for the first time about 5 years ago. it was truly a spiritual experience for me ~ i am glad it found you today :) a world without dancing? no thank you!
ox kelley

July 16, 2008 at 9:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Imelda said...

Sounds amazing. I haven't had time to take a dance class for a while. This makes me want to get back and move again.

July 17, 2008 at 2:33:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth:
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
I danced for the scribe and the pharisee,
But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me,
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;
They came with me and the dance went on:
I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame:
The holy people said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high
And they left me there on the cross to die.
I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black.
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone
But I am the dance and I still go on.
They cut me down and I leapt up high.
I am the life that’ll never, never die,
I’ll live in you if you live in me.
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
© Sydney Carter

May the LORD GOD guide your steps into that newness you long for.
Fulness of life.

July 17, 2008 at 4:43:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for remembering me!

I am putting 'dancing more' on my todo since years. I thought i should search for african dancing, something where i could just jump and get the devil out of me (!) - but these class are difficult to find...

Andrea wrote about Nia a while ago, it went on my todo, and i lost view again... until now - i must try it!

July 17, 2008 at 6:37:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And you can dance/ for inspiration" - all i can hear now is Madonna in my ears :-) this sound like a divinely inspired path for you, Den. and it makes me think of girlie dancing in swirly's lounge... I'd take your class in a heartbeat, swirling in that pure feminine energy.

July 17, 2008 at 7:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Darlene said...

I want a class like that here...no, I won't start one myself ;)

and you know that beautiful girl in your picture...?

I helped make her...
...and so did you :)

love you sis
xox d

July 17, 2008 at 1:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger meghan said...

I have trouble dancing - i can't forget myself enough...

I'll try this week though. i WILL.

SO glad to read this post - you sound lighter!!


July 17, 2008 at 2:35:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been reading your blog for a while but have never commented, but now I feel compelled to! I am so happy for you that you have rediscovered dance, I believe creative movement is such an important aspect of human existence, yet one that is not appreciated nearly enough in 'western' society.
When I was a child I danced like nothing else. My dream was to become a ballerina, but then for some reason I stopped dancing. Two years ago I started bellydancing, and it has literally changed my life. To me, dance is a visual manifestation of music, energy and spirit and I get so excited when I read that someone else has incorporated it into their life! Yay for dancing!!!

July 18, 2008 at 2:45:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE that you found a "treat" or comfort of sorts or maybe it found you? I am not a graceful dancer, but get my groove on anyway. Have you seen dancingmatt2008?
thank you for being here boho girl!

July 18, 2008 at 6:19:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. What a wonderful post. As a former dancer and fertility challenged person this brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy that you found this class. I'm going to have to look into this for myself. Also, congrats on your lovely post on Shutter Sisters today.

July 18, 2008 at 1:00:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Stacy said...

this speaks to me on many levels... thank you for sharing your beautiful experience.

love you.

July 19, 2008 at 11:41:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping me a bit with your post. I am trying to deal with the crushing stress of a job that everyone wants me to have, but me. Everyone loves the bragging rights - and I am happy that I'm able to take the financial burden off my wonderful husband, but every day I go to work and pound the round peg that is my soul into the square hole. I see I need to take inspiration from your wisdom. I need to step back and look at this portion of my entire story and see what my feeling this way means, where I am headed, and that maybe my next step in life is a scary one and I'm hanging on to the unpleasant because it's at least a known entity. I also need to care for myself in a gentle healing way, even though there will be some that find this selfish and feel that I should use this energy to care for them. And I'll stop by your beautiful blog often to remind me to be gentle and nurturing with myself. Thanks for being there.

July 22, 2008 at 4:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

so glad you asked my love.

This is such a joyous discovery.

I can see your wings spreading even larger-who knew that was possible when they are so beautiful and expanded already?

hee hee


July 22, 2008 at 9:27:00 AM PDT  

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