Tuesday, May 22, 2012

To create freedom

My journey with the Nia Technique has been a lovely journey of self discovery and growth. It has changed my view of everything in the world, from the way I sense my feet to the way I have a conversation with a friend.

One of the most illuminating tools for me from Nia is White Belt Principle #11 "Creating a Sacred Livelihood". Nia asks "what do you devote your life to? what drives you? what inspires you? what is that single purpose which gives purpose to everything else? What is your purpose in life? In Being sacred "Each success feels like a step into your greatness—into the presence of your own grace and divine light" www.nianow.com  It is a tool that helped me find what motivates me. It has help me be in line with me! It has allowed me to see down the right path and to sense when I am off that path. So what does it mean to create a sacred livelihood? 

Sacred "to be dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person." Creating a Sacred Livelihood is about consciously bringing your gifts to the world through each choice and action in a way that creates a life of happiness, a sense of purpose, and a sustainable state of health and well-being. Discovering your unique purpose will help illuminate your path—and like your body, your purpose will evolve as you evolve. With every thought, choice and action, you are creating something new, a new ripple to impact the world. (www.nianow.com) 

Using Nia as my guide, I listened to my body and discovered what I want my life to be about. What are the sensations from my body as I move through this life? When do I feel good, when do I feel trapped? What makes me smile? What makes me "in the zone"?  For example, when I have to work a job where I have to be at a certain location everyday from 9-5, my body literally hurts, leading to my energy level decreasing, my creativity disappearing, and I become sick. My body is telling me, this is not sacred to me so don't do it. It is not furthering my greatness.

So when does my body feel good?  About 5 years ago, I listed 3 things I would do if I didn't have to earn the almighty dollar. I wrote down dance, be creative everyday, and exercise. When I am doing any of these things, my body feels good, my mind feels calm, and my energy is high.  So here is a step on my sacred path...in order to find my purpose, I should dance, create, and exercise every day. 

Another step along my path to being sacred is releasing myself from the feeling of being trapped. I have often felt trapped by the pressure of the world around me. Trapped by money, I have to earn money to live. Trapped by expectation, I should have a "career". Trapped by pain, my body hurts. Trapped by low body image, I feel "less than" when I think about my body.  The feeling of being trapped was crippling. I could not thrive while trapped. I needed to free myself, and I knew that I should dance, create and exercise in order to do it.

So, what does this mean? I like to dance, create,exercise and I want to be free. I have an empathetic spirit, an unique, strong energy and an eye for beauty. How do I put that all together into livelihood? How can I do these things everyday and how can they can they lead me to my greatness? For me it is Nia. Nia allows me to be creative everyday, playing with music, movement, clothes. It is dancing and sweating, which quiets the crazy in my head. It allows me earn money, ease pain, love my body. But why do I do Nia? It is my tool, but why am I doing it? What is the purpose, the sacred purpose, the reason I do anything? When I listened, the answer was...

To create freedom. 

My sacred livelihood statement is "My life's purpose is to create freedom." I dance to create freedom for my body, mind, spirit and emotions. I teach Nia to create freedom for the bodies in my class. I seek knowledge to create freedom for my brain. I create jewelry to create freedom for my creative spirit. I share food with friends to create freedom for my smile. I share my words to create freedom for my voice. I seek to feel free....never trapped. When I feel trapped, my body lets me know! I receive the messages of fatigue, pain, feeling drained and anxious. When I feel that way, I look at what I am doing and I ask myself  "is this creating freedom?" No, then what can I do to change that? To create freedom...it is my guiding light. 

What is sacred to you? What unique gifts do you bring? What makes your soul soar? what drives you? when does your body say "oh yeah ~this is what we should be doing"? If you listen, your body will tell you! When you figure that out, the trick is then to do it ALL THE TIME!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Be Persistent!

Today, there was a Pileated Woodpecker calling in our backyard. The Woody-Woodpecker laughter filled the air. And it filled my heart with joy!

Years ago, we lived in a lovely log cabin in the woods. While living there, I worked from home, creating jewelry. I developed a fondness for these giant woodpeckers. I would often hear them knocking and calling. I would see them right outside the window. One time, I saw a baby woodpecker, pecking the ground and pull a worm up from the earth. It was amazing and so cute. 

Then I began to see them and hear them all of the time, I mean all of the time. When I would go hiking, I would hear their laughter throughout the forest. I would see them flying through the trees. Once on a hike, a playful pair seemed to lead us up the trail with their undulating flight. No matter what forest I was in, they were there calling.

This made me think about the spiritual meaning of the Pileated Woodpecker. Was there a message in seeing these amazing birds so often? One things that immediately jumped out at me while researching, was that a Pileated  Woodpecker represented persistence. They will peck and peck until they find what they are looking for, that bug hiding under the bark. During my time at the cabin, I was really beginning my personal journey to self discovery and that was when I connected with the Pileated.  When I would be on a meditative hike and would hear the knocking, I would feel like I was on the right path. If I was questioning everything or thinking about quitting, I would hear their persistence. It became a great reminder to keep going.

I am going through a little struggle right now. I had to cancel one of my Nia classes this week. Not enough people were coming to pay for the space rental. I love teaching Nia and sharing the moves with everybody. So, to have to cancel a class feels sad. I want to teach my classes and grow my classes and this really feels like a step in the wrong direction. I am feeling frustrated.

And then I heard the Pileated. I walked outside of our downtown home, and there it was, right outside the back door, high in a Walnut tree. I stood there and watched as it called and cleaned itself. They have the greatest profile, with their wild red hair and long beaks.  It was awesome. And today, it was my reminder to be persistent~and I needed that. To keep knocking, keep pecking until I find what I am looking for.

 I find it is nice to have a reminder outside myself, that every single time I hear it, I say "thank you for the reminder".  

What's your version of the Pileated Woodpecker? Is there something outside of you, that when you see it, you are reminded of some lesson you need to learn? or are learning? The world can be full of cues, if we just pay attention.