"Sometimes I have the strange sensation of things separating ...
I can actually feel the Universe expand ... I wonder if I haven't found the
secret to disappearances." - Elizabeth Herron
Soul Alchemy (Womanifesto):
The basic definition of 'alchemy' is the transmutation of base metals to more precious metals. This was the meaning held for the word stemming from medieval times. Today, there are many ways to define what alchemy is, and all of these are rooted in transmutation, leading ultimately to transformation. This can be of a substance, a chemical, or any other energy form. I found this particular definition on the Wikipedia website:
Alchemy is the art of liberating parts of the Cosmos from temporal existence and achieving perfection which, for metals is gold, and for man, longevity ... Material perfection was sought through the action of a preparation (Philosopher's Stone for metals; Elixir of Life for humans), while spiritual ennoblement resulted from some form of inner revelation or other enlightenment.
In the way of Urban Soul Alchemy, it is to work with a damaged or more dense aspect of energy, and transform it to something new. Something more harmonious which will open and clear channels for energy to begin running freely and smoothly again, soothing dis-ease and bringing recall of joy and unity. This in and of itself is a part of the divine dance ... movement, leading to release, and bringing home true honoring of the self and of all others. Embrace and enjoy this dance, and remember it is simply a mechanism to pierce the veils of self-forgetting, to remember who YOU are, and to step back firmly onto your Path with light in your Heart, and music and electricity in your Body.
There exists a very dynamic nature between spirit and human design. Soul Alchemy is one way to become aware of the 'shadow bonds' of old or negative thought patterns and buried emotions. It is one way to learn to act upon self-guidance in order to release these bonds. We can break the continual cycle of seeking out teachers and gurus, and become our own. This brings us to true self empowerment and guides us into embracing the trust that we need in order to begin listening to, and putting into practice, the nudges and shoves of our personal intuition. When we recognize our human body as a vehicle and as a temple, and subsequently acknowledge and embrace the world of Spirit, we can create a bridge which brings these two worlds closer together and allows within our lives, miracles to happen and beauty to be born.
When we tune in to the deepest wills of our hearts and the beautiful wisdom of our souls we become much more aware of how the human and spirit worlds influence each other. Thusly we also become acutely aware of the need to be as clear of a vessel as we possibly can. Then Soul Alchemy branches into the work of transmuting the more shadowy aspects that can bog us down (judgments, emotional baggage, etc.) so that we may hold our received teachings with humility and truth. With dedication to the practice of transforming that which no longer serves harmony on all levels, we may truly achieve purity, peace, and balance.
Blessings, and Namaste,
☼ Danielle ☼
Studies have shown that when both the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of one's brain are working in tandem, that collaborative effort can produce astounding results. The same is true within a community. When the leadership within the healing arts community and those in the business and administrative world's join together in partnerships intended for community building, the entire community reaps the benefits of that effort.
The arts are not only educationally beneficial to people, they also have an abundant healing quality. Business and community leaders who are able to recognize this quality and work with the art organizations within their community are also able to develop, implement and support programming that uniquely inspires and lifts those living in that community.
A neighborhood center that offers healing and educational centered arts programs, such as drama or music therapy, better serves the people in its area than the one that does not. A business or organization that is looking to inspire and motivate its employees or constituents will see exponentially better results if healing arts such as meditation or yoga techniques are incorporated in the programs and daily structure afforded those people.
When one's body, mind and soul are well aligned and attuned to the same vibrations and goals, the overall quality of that person's productivity and resulting body of work will show it. An entire community that is equally aligned will experience this same result on an even grander scale.
What is the Deva Dance Temple?
According to Sanskrit tradition and lore, a Deva is a being of brilliant light that oversees different aspects of creation. They are believed to have an instinctive understanding of relationships, energies, elements and harmonies. The word Deva may also be seen as a seed term for that which is "divine".
The Deva Dance Temple is an umbrella term for these classes and workshops which serve to put us in touch with and deepen our connection to the Elements, Cycles, and Rhythms which are the framework and makeup of which we and the world are composed.
These workshops serve the purposes of re-igniting our passion and appreciation for the deep mysteries and magic that surround us and whisper joyous messages to us daily.
Deva Dance Temples are held when the call for them is there. This can be in the form of combining movement medicine with Women's Gatherings, Deep Soul Journeys, Community Healing work, Dream Work, Journalling, and many other forms of Art and Healing. Dance and Movement Medicine are here to assist us in this divine method of clearing through the bramble weeds and tangle brush in order to see what has been hidden from view. We can then make new decisions and choices, and put this transformation into divine action, remembering who we are and the pure potential for new world creation that resides within us all.
Another concept of the Deva Dance Temple is to invite collaboration between women in order to work together towards offering their unique gifts and talents together in a workshop setting. Ecstatic Dance and Movement Medicine are strong tools for connecting our minds, bodies and spirits on both an individual and collective component. In this way, Dance can be a wonderful addition to all other artistic and healing mediums. Some examples of collaborative mediums that I have worked on with other organizations and practitioners are:
Yoga & Pilates
Life Coaching & Self Empowerment
Drumming & Chanting
Tai Chi/Qi Gong
Thai Massage & Yoga Therapy
If it speaks to you to collaborate on a workshop by adding dance therapy, sound therapy and/or body work to your existing practice and offerings, please feel free to contact me. In the spirit of community, awakening and transformation, let's work together!
“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
― John O'Donohue
The Other Side of Here:
As the full moon is just rising above the pines out here in the wood, and as the moonlight falls on the last of the lingering first snow of the season and illuminates it between the pines, and the familiar becomes unfamiliar, it is much easier to walk and remember that the earth below is dreaming, the stars above are singing, and that unseen blessings walk beside us at each moment. I wish you great joy as you find, unlock, and begin to unpack your own treasures ... may there be moments of stillness where in the here and now it's possible to sit and dwell on what true treasure is."
- Jeff Stockton
Traditionally, storytelling has not been simply a means of entertainment. It has been a rich method steeped in culture, music, and dance along with spoken word used to breathe life and vitality into a culture and its traditions. Through storytelling, meanings were given to the history of a tribe's people. Life lessons were passed along regarding leadership and love, and how to have a harmonious relationship with the earth, her plants, her minerals and her animals.
Storytelling is also a skill which can be tuned and refined. We can find ways to use the healing messages of our dreams and bring them forth into a story. We can take an incident within our lives that we have been struggling with, and transform it into a story through word, song or movement so that we may be witnessed by another, and healing may occur.
Our imaginations are tuned deeply into the other worlds, and the art of storytelling allows us an avenue upon which to create something tangible from our imaginative depths. Both magic and healing happen here. We can create a world within which we feel comfortable stepping. We can learn new things about ourselves which give way to epiphanies and open new doors.
And ultimately, through storytelling, we can really take the time to slow down and process. This slowing down gives way to the counterpart of storytelling. In fresh, new ways, we learn to listen ... to truly listen to the whispers of our imaginations, the messages from spirit, the wisdom of our own inner teachers.
One of my favorite examples is that of the Celts and Druids. When a message was received through the Dreamtime, they would take the time to write in as much detail as possible that which they could recall of the dream. Upon fine tuning the details, yet more time was taken to transform the words into a song or a poem.
This song or poem that was made about the details of a dream was called the "Aisling" (ash-ling). In essence, this would always transform the dream into a thing of harmony, and lead to a manifestation of beauty. This is the healing power of the story.
In this work, we use movement medicine and potent introspective tools that assist in bringing stories to life. Perhaps we work together in order to create a piece of choreography to be shared in a small setting and have it witnessed, or simply commune together in a Deva Dance Temple and sweat our prayers. Let us share in the beauty of the story.
Dance and Music Therapy – Can a Beat Help Heal? by Mark Wimbley, M.D.
In the U.S., we have high rates of chronic pain, autism, ADD, depression and anxiety, insomnia, and adult and childhood obesity. Dance is a well known high calorie burning form of movement and a way to connect with others. In Europe, it is quite common for medical doctors to prescribe dance, art or music therapy because it gets to the gets the core or soul of the patient. Dance therapy is being used as part of pain management, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and physical therapy.
There is a lot of concern about opiates and benzodiazepines which are two types of medicines often used for pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Some professionals, patients, and parents alike may be concerned about the use of antidepressants and ADD medications as well. Patients with acute/chronic pain have reduction in pain and need to take less opiates and pain medication with the help of dance therapy. This is in part due to the social and psychological benefits, as well as the distraction. Dance helps pain patients by elevating their mood, improving body movement, muscle conditioning, plus it can aid in weight loss which also helps reduce pain for overweight individuals.
I see in our clinics an increased prevalence of both autism and ADD. Some reports find as many as 5 out of 10 boys may have ADD; autistic traits may be as high as 2 out 4 kids according to a school psychologist. A study in Sweden indicates that boys with ADD in dance therapy calmed down, had better focus in class, and were involved in fewer conflicts. Autistic and ADD children should continue their medical treatment and consider adding dance and music therapy treatments.
Dancing offers health benefits for anyone. It can improve your cardiovascular health, muscle tone, balance, and coordination. Additionally, dance is an effective adjunct in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and depression. Dr Keil published a review of literature of 11 trials in Sweden and the U.S. which indicate that dance showed benefits for patients with dementia, Parkinson’s, shoulder pain, depression, fibromyalgia, and quality of life in heart failure patients. Studies at UCLA and other institutions show that chronic stress can lead to cancer development by weakening the immune system; dancing definitely reduces anxiety and stress.
Music therapy can also be used as a part of pain management. Music can help to soothe, inspire, and energize patients who have pain. Music has been used as a part of medicine for thousands of years. There are music therapists working with patients with chronic pain in U.S. hospitals, pain clinics, senior centers, and rehabilitation hospitals. Research demonstrates that music reduces the perception of pain, improves relaxation, decreases anxiety and stress, plus improves one’s mood. These benefits allow the patient to need less pain medication in addition to lowering their blood pressure and heart rate. Music therapy can involve listening to music, making music, singing, writing music, and using music to form images in your mind while meditating to music.
If you have traveled to Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America you may remember seeing people getting together in homes, restaurants or clubs socializing and dancing. The way we live in a hurry, always on the phone or working too much, most of us can almost palpably feel the pressure we live with. By listening to music and beginning to move to beat, you will find that you will get a good workout over time since you’re burning calories, but also it has a soothing impact on you. Dance should be a social event; you can dance with your kids, spouse, and friends. Dancing is fun and can be a great way to connect; you do not have to be the best, just give at try and get moving. Dancing is beneficial for everyone!
Welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog space. In this place, I will share writings of my own, along with other events and musings from the world of Movement Medicine, Dance Therapy, Yoga and Shamanic Healing.