We have entered the time of New Moon in Scorpio, which allows us to tap deeply into the energies of water, emotional healing, and the deeper more hidden aspects of our emotions and psyches. Occurring right after Samhain, this New Moon is also known as Lunar Samhain. The days are growing shorter as we approach Winter Solstice, and everything around us seems to be calling us to go inward and reflect.
Scorpio energy is very strong in its ability to bring shadow aspects up for acknowledgment and to shine light on them. Now is a good time to feel out where you may be projecting thoughts, emotions, or feelings such as anger, jealousy, or unresolved childhood issues. This is also a time where issues surrounding "leadership" can come to the forefront - particularly issues regarding those that we feel we should be able to count on to truly lead us toward where we feel will be a "better place". This boils down to leadership within all arenas, the political, the spiritual, the parental, and so forth.
Scorpio is a strong contender energy in supplying and evoking creative/sexual energy. Tapping deeply into your own creativity and fine tuning this energy to tackle creative projects that have been simmering for a good while would be very beneficial right now. Also, doing some internal work to take a close look at your thoughts and views toward leadership - and how you can begin to take steps toward acknowledging the true Leader within and begin taking reverent responsibility for your own creation of life's circumstances. Fine tune the essence of where you may have given your power away at any point in your life, and do the necessary work to heal and reclaim that power so that once we begin to move out of this beautiful 'silence', forward movement can be made in great strides toward healing and harnessing the Light in a more potent fashion.
Here are some tips and suggestions for working with this Scorpio New Moon energy:
Remember to be gentle with yourself right now, but hold a strong vision for what you wish to see take place within your entire body/mind/spirit system, your life and those closest to you, and the global community as a whole. Now is the time to get as real with ourselves as we can get, and visualize, move, and breathe our deepest heart's desires into fruition. Always remember your Soul's true potential. We are all so much more than we have allowed ourselves to believe. Let us REMEMBER.
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.
I wanted to share this lovely article on Criticism, as I feel it strikes a deep chord with so many of us these days. In particular, we have learned to criticize ourselves and compare our 'failures' and 'successes'. We would be much better served to find ways to celebrate all of our experiences, and to hold compassion for those things we have judged against ourselves or others. This is not always easy and it certainly takes work for most of us to get there - to rewire those old programs and heal old wounds. Simply in making the choice to do so however, will have taken us leaps and bounds forward on the journey.
Criticism - by Nissim Amon
A coral reef is a place full of life and vibrant colour, where hundreds of different species of fish and plants live free of the need to criticize each other. Although an immense variety of life exists there, every plant knows its place and each and every fish knows exactly where it belongs. Once in a while a human diver appears with a mask and air-tanks, and like everybody else down there, he is not critical either. The diver enjoys being a visitor to the underwater world, observing the richness and beauty of Nature without judgment.
Things change the moment the diver steps out of the water and back onto dry land. Dry land accommodates an infinite variety of humans, humans however seem to have innumerable opinions about each other, so the game of criticizing one another, is one of their most favourite pastimes.
On the human reef, we sit on small balconies, observe our neighbours and complain: the octopus is a mess, the crab is an idiot, the jellyfish is spineless, the silver fish is obsessed with glamour, the eel is too slippery, and all the shallow water fish are limited and without depth. This takes place, in every house, in every city, all over the world.
Criticism is so widely spread that some consider it the ultimate social skill and are constantly polishing their expertise. They are unaware that the stronger the stream of criticism flows, the further happiness drifts away....
Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha gave a small discourse on criticism. He said that while it is easy to observe and point out other people's faults, it is extremely difficult to see one's own. He also said that most people hide their faults, like a dishonest gambler hides unlucky cards. The Bedouins of the desert have a similar saying – A camel cannot see his own hump!
So how can we see our own humps? To solve this riddle we must realize that we are not able to criticize our own humps, because the hump is the very place where criticism comes from.
When we discover "what is wrong" with other people, we criticize them, but this criticism is entirely of our own fabrication, and it has nothing much to do with the people themselves. Our shortcomings, flaws and negativity are a reflection or projection of ourselves on others. Our hump is what criticizes other people for having a bigger hump.
This inner voice, residing in our transparent hump, guarantees its survival thanks to the satisfying feeling we get from patronizing others. It specializes in finding their faults and feeds off the elation the feeling of superiority gives us.
If we lack a sense of self-worth, criticism becomes our way of avoiding self-examination. Becoming aware of this is an important step in the right direction.
The next step is to have the courage and fortitude to remove the hump and consciously rid our lives of obsessive criticism. Not only must one decide to do this, which is a huge step in itself, it is imperative to constantly remind ourselves not to falter on this decision. Try writing yourself little notes and stick them on all the mirrors in your house, make it a conscious effort - because it is so very easy to go back to criticizing everything again.
Your hump has a knack of playing tricks on you by telling you that you have a good sense of self-criticism, don’t be deceived by this. It is a very common deception. All forms of criticism come from the same hump....
When the positive spotlight is turned within it has nothing whatsoever to do with condemnation, disapproval or judgement. When YOU look inside of yourself, it is called wakefulness, mindfulness and awareness, not criticism.
The realization that you are neither superior nor inferior to anyone is a very high spiritual achievement. When this understanding is no longer purely intellectual but goes to the deepest level of your heart, it will give you the freedom that you seek, and also allow you the freedom of letting everyone else, be exactly who they are and whatever they choose to be.
The person who doesn't feel he is superior behaves without pretension and one who knows that he is not inferior feels no fear.
"One hundred percent ordinary,
From moment to moment,
The truth we seek is reality itself."
I came across this article today, and I really quite enjoyed it for its scientific breakdown of the mechanics of the brain when it comes to movement and thought patterning. This is for all of those people that enjoy a good scientific measure to back up the artistic measure of things. The article is quite lengthy, and this is just an excerpt. If you would like to read the entire article, please click here.
(original article: Body and Brain Connections, by Veronica Hackethal)
This Is Your Brain on Dance:
Only recently has science tried to analyze how dance benefits the brain and brings such joy. One theory holds that, like most exercise, dance releases a cascade of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Dancing induces the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers that increase pain tolerance and boost mood. Endorphins are responsible for the euphoria experienced during a “runner’s high” and have a similar effect on the body during dancing.
Dancing increases the brain levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that smooth out negative emotions. Norepinephrine also helps increase attention and mental focus.Dancing also increases the brain levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that smooth out negative emotions. Norepinephrine also helps increase attention and mental focus. In addition, moving to music while we dance activates the brain’s pleasure circuits. Dancing can even induce the production of proteins that increase the growth of new neurons in the brain. Dancing also helps lay down new synapses, or connections, between neurons. Both processes can increase neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to change and adapt to new environments, behaviors, and even recover from injury.
Dancing activates both sides of the brain, a process that promotes brain integration and improves learning. Many regions of the brain are required to remember, plan, and produce the coordinated movements that enable us to dance to music and rhythm. The cerebral cortex, the largest area of the brain, makes us human: it enables us to experience emotions, plan our movements and behavior, and engage in complex thinking. A region of the cerebral cortex called the motor cortex plays a major role in planning, control, and execution of voluntary movement. The motor cortex has at least five areas that are important for dancers. The posterior parietal cortex interprets and helps plan movements in response to multiple sensory inputs, like vision and hearing. The premotor cortex integrates sensory and spatial input to plan and guide movement. The supplementary motor area plans complex movements, especially sequential movement and coordination of both sides of the body. The premotor and supplementary motor cortex communicate with the primary motor cortex, which in turn produces nerve signals that travel down the spinal cord and tell the muscles how to execute movement.
The basal ganglia are two areas that lie below the motor cortex in the brain and play important roles in regulation and relay of information necessary for voluntary movement. The basal ganglia also play a role in cognitive and emotional functions. Damage to the basal ganglia contributes to many of the symptoms of movement disorders, like Parkinson’s and Huntington disease. The basal ganglia are also part of the limbic system, which contains the brain’s pleasure center. An area of the basal ganglia called the thalamus is a somatosensory relay center that contains neurons directly connected to the hippocampus, which can turn on the brain’s pleasure center. The hippocampus also plays an important role in memory and spatial navigation. Two other areas of the basal ganglia called the caudate and putamen are important for learning, memory, and regulating movements.
Other brain areas also play important roles in dancing. The cerebellum is the bun-like area at the back of the brain and plays a role in fine-tuning movement, coordination, and balance. The primary somatosensory cortex receives and interprets sensory information from all over the body. This area is depictedby the cortical homunculus, which isbasically a drawing that shows which areas of the brain are dedicated to different body parts. In these types of drawings, depictions of body parts look cartoonish, and heavily used body parts are drawn much larger than infrequently used ones. When one body part is used a lot, such as the hand of a pianist, or the foot of a ballet dancer, new neural connections sprout. The area of the brain dedicated to the heavily used body part expands in proportion to the increased innervation. In the case of a dancer, the corresponding representation in the cortical homunculus would be a very large foot. In “The Neural Basis of Human Dance,” published in 2006 in the journal Cerebral Cortex, Brown and colleagues did PET scans of the brains of dancers while they executed tango steps on a footboard. Overall, the researchers found a great deal of coordination among different brain areas, and a trend for right-brain dominance. Though there is much overlap in function between the two sides of the brain, as well as variation between individuals, the general thinking goes that the left side handles analytical functions, while the right side handles artistic ability. The researchers were able to pinpoint different regions of the brain that were activated by different aspects of dance. Here’s the breakdown of what they found:
An area of the cerebellum called the anterior vermis was like the metronome of the brain. This region was involved in entrainment, which refers to movement to external timekeepers, like music. Spatial navigation of the leg was connected to activation of many brain regions: the primary motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, and parts of the cerebellum. Movement to a regular rhythm, called meter, was associated with activation of parts of the basal ganglia, especially both sides of the putamen. Movement to the melody and harmony of the music was handled by the superior temporal gyrus and the superior temporal pole, parts of the brain dedicated to hearing. Visuo-spatial planning , which enables a dancer to plan and maneuver through space, was connected to the precuneus, which lies between the somatosensory cortex and the part of the brain that interprets visual stimuli. The precuneus may also be involved in memory and aspects of consciousness, such as self-reflection.
The take-home message is that dancing gives the brain a workout and boosts brain power. Studies of professional dancers have found that dance develops areas of the brain involved in motor control, spatial imagery processing, sensory integration, memory, mental focus, and cognition.The take-home message is that dancing gives the brain a workout and boosts brain power. Studies of professional dancers have found that dance develops areas of the brain involved in motor control, spatial imagery processing, sensory integration, memory, mental focus, and cognition. In 2004, the Dana Arts and Cognition Consortium convened cognitive neuroscientists from seven universities across North America to discuss the connections between arts training and improved cognitive performance. After three years of further research, the consortium’s culminating 2008 report “Learning, Arts, and the Brain,” reached the same conclusion as many dance teachers. “An interest in a performing art,” they wrote, “leads to a high state of motivation that produces the sustained attention necessary to improve performance, and the training of attention that leads to improvement in other domains of cognition.”
Samadhi is an integral tenet for many practices of yoga. At its root, Samadhi is a form of meditation, which at its core is a practice intended to help you focus on your breathing, your mind, and ultimately your life.
Meditation helps you clear your mind of all negative energy and thought and focus on purely the positive. While doing yoga, meditation helps the participant to bridge the gap between their mind and their body. While concentrating on your breathing, you are able to explore your mind and body in ways that you may have never imagined. Samadhi has spiritual elements, it helps you to leave the ordinary and enter the other-worldly. We all live on a certain plane of consciousness. Samadhi helps to transcend the physical and mental planes and move you forward in your spiritual journey, much like Shamanic Journeying does.
As with all practices, Samadhi has varying levels. These levels can be achieved through meditation and practice. It begins with Savikalpa Samadhi. In this level, one can reach a transcendental state, freeing themselves from the previously known human plane of consciousness. Those who have experienced this state claim to have become aware of a shift in both space and in time. Further, people say that they have come to understand themselves more fully and with greater depth and truth. They become aware of facts, both mundane and extraordinary, that had previously been unknown to them. When the meditation is complete, the person once again becomes aware of their self and are greeted by a return to the everyday human consciousness.
The following level is known as Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In this state, a practitioner’s mind becomes free. While still being aware of the world around you - the sounds, the smells and that which is observed by all of our physical senses - you are able to free yourself from them. They are happening, but they do not bother or affect you. At this level, one begins to merge a bit deeper with their soul level of identity. It has been described vividly as a sort of melting away, and as a feeling of peace enveloping the entirety of the body and mind. Conventional human thinking ceases to hold you to the world you know and your perception begins to shift fully and completely.
Like scuba diving or flying, one cannot simply run back to the state where they first began. After the joy and immense pleasure experienced at this level, a practitioner must ease themselves back into life as they knew it and the everyday human state of physical consciousness.
While Nirvikalpa Samadhi is not an easy state to attain, many spiritual masters do find their way there. The next level of Samadhi has been said to take even more time to attain. This state is known as Sahaja Samadhi. At this level, the practitioner allows their consciousness to rise so far beyond the worldly that they are said to not quite fully return to the `mundane`. They will forever see our physical world through a new set of eyes, and this new understanding of the deeper level that everything runs upon will lead to deeper compassion and love for the world as a whole.
It can take years to reach even the first level of Samadhi, but the practice and the journey are themselves what matter. As you proceed, you will receive greater and longer lasting benefits from the practice. Start slow and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the wonderful practice that is Samadhi. It will change your life and shift your consciousness, creating from within you a happier person who can more easily cope with any struggles that life may bring your way.
I came across this blog post tonight, by Aaron Paquette, and it really hit me. There is a whole lot of intense and powerful movement happening right now, with all of the energy surging around the awakening of the Divine Feminine. I love this, I really do. As a trance dancer and medicine woman, I have been anxiously awaiting this time in our earth's history. I could feel it coming, ever since I was a small child. I am prepared for the upheavals that the earth has in store for us, the cracking open of surfaces that have been still for too long, the washing away of old and harmful patterns, and the healing of ancient wounds as the dust is wiped from our eyes.
Now, as a mother and wife, I have witnessed and experienced firsthand the struggle that our men face. There is a bit of a sense of loss, a triggering of deep and old wounds, and an uncertainty that can shake one to the core. New ground is being paved now as a new world is being formed. And for those men and fathers that, with thanks to the mainly unconscious conditioning of our 'modern' society, feel that they have nowhere to turn with their emotions... this can be a time of depression. It has been long bred into the veins of our society that emotional expression by a man, particularly expression of fear or uncertainty, is unsettling. More than that, it can be looked down upon as a sort of 'weakness'. I feel for our men. I really do. Now more than ever, they could use a place to lay their heads and weep. I have witnessed much anger on the parts of women - anger toward the domination that masculine power has symbolized, and weariness of the patriarchal system.
All of this is well and valid. I fully understand the anger toward the patriarchal system which has held us in chains of linear action and scrutinizing thought. Can we turn this into a positive, and allow for the release and emotional expression of the masculine energy? Can we find it in our hearts to allow for this shift, however intense it may be, and make room for new growth?
I believe that with deep wisdom and new acceptance, we most certainly can. Thank you Aaron Paquette, for inspiring this post.
"This piece talks about the legacies of Residential School, of fractured communities, of a culture that is still here despite concerted attempts to destroy it.
Lughnasadh is the first harvest point on the wheel of the year. Most people who are familiar with the sacred timing of Lughnasadh are aware of it occurring on the first day of August each year. More traditionally however, Lughnasadh occurs at the exact opposite point on the wheel of the year from Imbolc. This year, that precise opposition occurs on the 7th of August. This is the time of year that Leo holds sway, and this year in particular will be very exciting since Leo will be in the New Moon coming up on August 5th. This is a very firey time of year, the hottest time of year for many places in our world, and therefore it is a fantastic time for your personal creation mechanics. In fact, the very root of the word, "Lugh", means "Light". This is a wonderful time for you to infuse your ideas and creations with Light and focus on the growth that you have been intending upon in your life, whether it be personal, family oriented, professional, global, or all of these areas. Tune into your inner fire in order to enhance your creativity and ignite the spark within the seeds of any projects that you have been meaning to tackle.
This is a most beneficial time to allow yourself to receive guidance in whatever forms feel comfortable to you. Meditation, divination, and journey work are all excellent examples of tools that you can engage in order to receive guidance. Connect to the Leo energy, your inner wildcat, your lion or lioness self. Leo is also significant in accessing your inner courage, and at a time of year where there is so much Light pouring forth, and especially if you are working with this Light intently, please remember that stronger burning Light will burn deeper into that which remains hidden... the shadow aspects. This pertains to those things that you may have placed upon the back burner or swept under the rug, or have simply been unaware of until now. Along with that which is buried deep, once it reaches the level of conscious awareness, emotion may be brought to the surface along with it. Allow this emotion to come. Beauty lies within its release. Allow this to assist you in connecting with the Earth Mother, and the waters with which she supports all of life.
One of the after effects of emotional release, should it occur for you, is a feeling of emptiness, or a void of some sort. This is entirely natural. Now would be the time to plant your new seeds of intention. What do you wish to plant and energize? What do you want to see grow within your own life, and blossom from this point forward? Between now and August 7th, you may wish to intuit these seeds, plant them, water them and observe their growth. Harvest and transformation help to remind us of the wonders of our planet earth. They keep the magic within our hearts alive, seeing how something new and nourishing happens from something so small. But this only happens once that one small thing is planted by us, watered by us, and nurtured by us. Attention needs to be given to these small things, and it is then that we can anticipate growth and change ... transformation and alchemy. Here are some questions to assist in this process:
Giving thanks for, and truly acknowledging, that which you have already received will assist in the process of honoring the Earth Mother. So you can see how it only makes sense that giving thanks before your needs are met will only help to enhance that which you hope to receive. Think of Gratitude as your fertilizer, the feed for your seeds. Once you truly feel this Gratitude take hold within you, move with it. Stretch it, dance it, reach with it, breathe it, sing it. Move it from within, to throughout and around you. This vibration of Gratitude will be that much stronger then. It will anchor much more clearly into your energetic field, and then simply by nature of the business, it will assist you in bringing forth more of that which resides in your heart.
How wonderful is that?
Tonight’s full moon is in the wonderfully watery sign of Aquarius. Within the circles and worlds of the mystics, astrology passionatas, and cosmic surfers this particular full moon is very auspicious. There are three windows of energy driving each full moon, and these are:
1) The exact point of day PRIOR to the full moon;
2) The Full Moon day itself;
3) The day directly following the Full Moon.
It is a full 180 degree stretch between the sign occupied by the Full Moon and the sign occupied by the Sun. The day prior to July 22 sees the moon in earthy Capricorn and the Sun sitting in the emotional and watery Cancer. The very next day, the chart shifts, and this Full Moon of July 22, 2013 lies within Aquarius, placing the sign directly opposite the Aquarius house as Leo. Therefore, the Sun resides at this point in time within the house of Leo. The sign of Leo is ruled, rather potently, by the element of Fire itself. If the Sun depicts the energy, vibration and oscillation of Male energy, then the Moon depicts the energy, vibration and oscillation of Female energy. With the potency of Aquarius and Leo backing the two of these, it creates a very strong window of opportunity for Manifestation, driven particularly by the marriage and balancing of the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine within each of us.
Here are some simple, yet very effective ways to work with the intensity of this particular Full Moon energy:
· Set a clear, emotion-filled, heart-driven intention for yourself. If you are able to work with a stone or crystal at this time, I would highly recommend it. A few stones I would suggest are:
a) Citrine, for its manifestation and Fire balancing qualities
b) Amethyst, for working with the energy of Aquarius and clearing the higher chakras for highest intent of manifestation
c) Garnet and Jasper, for a lovely ‘massage’ of the Heart Center and clarity of heart driven prayer
First, clear the stones with running water or sage smoke (preferably followed by the smoke of sweetgrass). Secondly, ask the stone if it is willing to work with you for your highest good. There are a few different methods of establishing a ‘yes/no’ response, ie: a pendulum or muscle testing. Upon receiving a ‘yes’ response, you may gently place your intention to the stone, and mentally or vocally repeat your intention until you feel it ‘take hold’ within and around you.
· Upon going to bed for the night, intend to work with the dreamtime. Ask for guidance within your dreams, and for clarity and understanding upon awakening.
a) Place the ‘Intention Stone’ you have just worked with beneath your pillow. You may be surprised at the vividness and knowledge that come up within your dreams by performing this simple task.
b) Keep a dream journal next to your bed, in the event that you wake during the night in the midst of a dream and have the feeling to remember it. More often than not, if you think to yourself that there is absolutely NO way you will forget this dream and choose to go back to sleep, the chances are good that you will forget in upon waking again in the morning. Frustrating, I know, but ‘tis the mysterious way of the psyche!
c) First thing the following morning, be sure to record any insights, sensations, or emotions that you experience. Greet the day with gratitude. Remember, this process can also be done the day/night after the Full Moon.
· For the days and weeks following the Full Moon, intend upon paying heed to the Divine Mother.
a) Shower upon yourself the true essence of Self Love, a reverence for the Great Mystery, a commitment to decisive action for following the mysterious and magical path of your own intuition.
b) Take note of what you have given, and give yourself permission to open to receive.
c) Trust your spirit and its innate wisdom of freedom within action.
We are working with the mighty dance of Aquarian Air and Leo Fire here. Unique ways of self-expression are likely to bring themselves to the forefront. This is a delicate dance now, and work must be undertaken to find a way to authentically ignite the flame of intent and desire, while gently and gracefully fanning these flames with the delicate breath of air. This is truly the idea behind breathing life into ideas. Aquarius energy is also great to work with in the realms of technology and learning techniques for navigating the new world which is being birthed at this time.
Once put into motion from within, air moves swiftly and fire responds accordingly. Motion must be undertaken. In this, yes, I mean physical movement. In whatever way you sweat your prayers, be it Yoga, Dance, Walking/Running or Martial Arts, be sure to move the body in order to anchor these gifts within your energy field. This is also to maintain a healthy equilibrium between Mind, Body, and Spirit. We do not want the mind to take over so that the potency of these elements become less so. Of course, I am partial to the dancing path myself. So my method is to grab some good, pounding music and drive my body into action with the beat. Apres-danse is a perfect time to pick up your journal and a pen.
Intend now upon expanding beyond limiting beliefs, creating goals (both personal and business related), and committing yourself to the notion of trying new things while catching hold of your thought waves in order to guide them into new territory. You may even feel the need at this point to change some things, such as your hairstyle or your presentational wardrobe. Listen to that. Most importantly, allow yourself the time and space to process your experiences. Claim your place within your own life. Remember that you are the grand architect of your experience here … your Earth Walk. Make yourself a promise to never forget this one simple, yet deep seeded truth. No matter what comes up for you in this experience, above all else, remember to love this process. However it feels, trust that it is at work for you and your highest good. Remember to let go, and to have fun!
Please also enjoy the following article:
Decompression the Cosmic Way, by Sarah Varcas
This is the first of two Full Moons in Aquarius making the second (20th/21st August) an auspicious astrological Blue Moon. In an attempt to clear the air ready for this lunar event, the current Full Moon brings us a veritable energy blast, filled with the electrical power of its ruler Uranus who is now moving retrograde in Aries.
This is not the most comfortable of Moons. There’s some irritation here and a building inner pressure which may cause us to feel what I can only describe as compressed. Think of the pressure within an aerosol can and this’ll give you an idea of the energies around us right now. We want to break out and be free, explode into life, but instead we have to squeeze ourselves through this little nozzle to get into open air. And we all know what damage aerosols can do…
The good thing is this pressure has a powerfully creative element to it if we allow it expression rather than seek only to confine it. If we feel it building inside us this is a sure sign that something needs to be acknowledged and expressed, no matter how much we may prefer that it politely go away. This Moon helps us with this expression if we’ll let her, and if we won’t she’ll just call upon Uranus to do it for us anyway, so far better we step up to the plate and take responsibility for our own personal de-compression chamber and begin to release some of it bit by bit.
It may be anger, frustration, impatience, jealousy, despair… so many emotions we’d rather not have and yet which seem to take up so much energy when they come upon us. This Moon is triggering them now, not to torture us with our inner demons but to show us how their compressed energy inside of us is just about ready to explode. There’s nowhere left for it to go except outward. It will tolerate forced containment no more, which is why we need to stay alert to our feelings and behaviour at this Full Moon, not allowing the polarisation of blame and attack, judgement and conflict. Instead we are all united in a process of decompression during which we can breathe out fully and allow all this pressured, built up energy inside us to gradually release. We may need to do something physical to assist with it: walking, dancing, running. We may prefer to sit quietly and watch it disperse. We may need to act it out, write it out, sing it out. Whatever’s necessary to release the energy we must be prepared to do with awareness and the intention that its expression contribute to the highest good of us all.
To be honest, this is a bit of a test. Here we have an opportunity to show just how far we’ve come in managing the powerful energies that build inside. They can feel so huge, so over-powering that we may live our lives in fear of ever expressing them or even admitting they’re there. But however huge they feel, the universe is infinitely bigger and no matter how much of them we have to release there will always be space for more if necessary. What may feel all-pervading and destructive to us is a mere puff to the endless cosmos into which we gaze!
So this Full Moon is all about energy and what we do with it, how we express it. It’s about owning up to the monster we thought we had inside only to find in the eyes of the universe it’s merely a naughty puppy that needs some love and a bit of firm training. So yes, a pressurised Moon for sure, but one that’s ready to reveal just how creative we can be with the energy inside if we’ll only own up to it in the first place!
Happy Full Moon everyone!
This past April Fools' Day, the publisher of Conscious Dancer magazine posted an April Fools' joke. Mark Metz, with tongue in cheek, created an article in jest about how the American Medical Association had taken a drastic change of course in their actions and had begun to prescribe movement in place of medication. As it turns out, I, along with many others got really excited about this prospect and were prepared completely to jump on board with this apparent paradigm shift made by a major institution. And along with all of these others, I too was deeply disappointed to discover that it was in fact, a prank. A well intentioned prank of course, but I feel that the deepest disappointment was due to the fact that many of us intrinsically felt the divine spark of, "Well, why NOT? It's not entirely an unfathomable idea!" Here is the original "prank post" by Mark Metz:
"In a surprise statement today, the American Medical Association did an about face on the pharmaceutical industry, and recommended that before prescribing anti-depressants or mood-altering drugs to people of any age, and especially youth, that a 90-day program of holistic-movement or dance-therapy be implemented and evaluated before trying medication as a last resort. The new initiative, called "Dance First!", is a call-to-action for everyone in the health care professions and dance/movement fields to be proactive, and is timed to take advantage of the auspicious nature and spirit of levity that surrounds April 1st..."
As it turns out, the reactions from so many people desiring there to be truly such a surge for movement as a recognized therapy has sparked a proposal into action. Here are the points put forth by the proposal on indiegogo:
Teachers of conscious dance or holistic movement modalities need an association to create standards for the field, codify best practices, and provide marketing trainings and support. This cause is near and dear to virtually everyone working in this field.
This is a brilliant and courageous step forward into the recognition of movement medicine on a much wider scale.
Thank you Mark, for helping to spur this into action.
If you wish to donate to this cause on indiegogo, please go to the following link:
The following article is from: http://globalwaterdances.org/event.shtml
The Event : Global Water Dances Initiative -
"Dancing for Safe Water Everywhere" Global Water Dances is a world event first launched in June 2011. The second global performance is scheduled for June 15, 2013. On a single day, a series of dances centered on water issues are performed beginning in the Western Pacific Rim, then encircling the globe. These dances are also broadcast online.
These dances use dance and music to blend local water issues with the global struggle to ensure safe water for all human beings.
Read about our musicians.
Global Water Dances will start with performances in countries in the Pacific Rim, rolling westward through the time zones. Each group will produce a 4-part site-specific performance; the first two parts local and latter two global.
Global Water Dances is a bold visionary artistic initiative focused on the critical need for safe drinking water. Already today, there are an estimated 5 million deaths per year globally from polluted water. By 2025, over half the world's population will be facing water-related problems. (See Water Issues page for more info.)
Global Water Dances is a model of how to use participatory art-making to raise consciousness about environmental problems and how to bring people together to work on solving these problems. Participants and viewers of Global Water Dances learn about the critical role of humans in protecting water supplies.
The initiators of Global Water Dances are an international network of dance and non-verbal communication experts. In working with local choreographers around the world, we draw on Rudolf Laban and Irmgard Bartenieff's practices with human movement to mirror the universe's dynamic patterns. Using Laban's technique of Movement Choirs, the choreographers create dances which will not only move the participants, but also the observers.
The activities in Global Water Dances will be simple; creating bonds using time, space and rhythm. The dances are professionally choreographed and people of all ages and abilities from the local communities participate. Each dance event reflects in its own way the importance of water locally and in the eco-systems we share world-wide.
Flow, the medium of dance/movement, can connect community, just as water connects people. Communities grew up and were often defined by the water nearby. Movement also provides an embodied practice for community-building and can foster new understandings and behaviors. Through Global Water Dances we want to connect the local to the global community to safeguard that all humans have access to clean drinking water, so that the water flowing through us is sustaining and not harming us. Taking responsibility for, valuing and protecting water can shift people easily into other ways of caring for the planet.
Global Water Dances raises the awareness of participants and observers about the importance of water, and provides a model for empowering local communities to take action. The Global Water Dances event brings local environmental experts and organizations, artists and members of the community together in a process that can build ongoing collaborations.
Just the other day, I had a conversation with someone about addiction, and whether or not it is possible for an addicted individual to change. Many people seem to be dismayed, due to experiences of their own, or due to the experiences of loved ones who have danced with addiction. The common threads weaving their way through the difficulty of moving beyond addiction seem to be deeply embedded thought patterns, fears, and reactions living within the psyche. To take this a step further, that which is heavily programmed within the psyche can eventually settle in and become programmed within the body.
So we may address addiction issues by accessing the deeper mind directly, through methods such as meditation, psychotherapy, counseling. We can also address addictions by accessing the deeper layers of the body through conscious movement practices along the lines of yoga, t'ai chi, martial arts, and dance. It is ultimately a matter of training ourselves to look at things in new and different ways in order to see that which we haven't seen before.
I am a firm believer that people can change. Not just a believer, but a faith holder in this regard.
This is for two reasons:
1. I have seen it happen. Time and time again.
2. There is one primal, universal law. And that is change. Change is the only thing we can be sure of.
The following is an excerpt from Richard Miller's book, "Yoga Nidra". This is a wonderful book for describing the shifting mechanisms that take place with this sacred practice:
Awakening from the dream Yoga, often inadequately translated as “union,” represents both the action of awakening to, as well as the description of, our underlying True Nature or pure Being that is the birthing ground of authentic spontaneity. Nidra or “sleep,” on the other hand, is the state in which we are unconscious to True Nature, when we are identified with, and swayed by, thoughts and actions that are based on misperception and reactive patterns. Yoga Nidra represents a paradox and is a play on the words “sleep” and “awake” as it means “The Sleep of the Yogi,” and implies that the normal person is asleep to their True Nature through all states of consciousness—waking, dreaming, and deep sleep—while the yogi is one who is awake to and knows his or her True Nature across all states, even sleep.
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.