Category Archives: nia

Passion & Pleasure

I love the phrase — somatic intelligence. I trust that my body is wise and constantly communicating all I need to know for optimum vitality at every level of my being. It feels like a smart investment to listen and understand. A body is something I won’t always have so I like to make good use of its wisdom and function.

Two primary communication systems connect the conscious mind with the soul or superconscious mind:

The heart guides through emotion with passion as the polestar. The body guides through sensation and pleasure lights the way.

I practice receiving and decoding the messages my body transmits. Usually the simple act of paying attention is sufficient. If I am having trouble deciphering the signal or there is a persistent issue (perhaps a pain that doesn’t resolve), hypnosis offers a direct channel with clear reception.

Whatever the means, experience has taught me that the most efficient route to comfort and fulfillment is mapped in the flow of communication from the superconscious mind.

Throughout the winter of 2009, I sensed a growing unease in my body which I eventually identified as the need to MOVE! This feeling grew so intense that only a move of gargantuan proportions could hope to quell it. Unilaterally, I decided my family was moving to Vancouver Island! Hooray! I cashed in my air miles and flew off to map out our salvation.

Two weeks later, it was evident that we were not, in fact, relocating anywhere. The desire to MOVE, however, remained strong and something needed to shift.

After fourteen years of intensely focused mothering, it was time to hone in on what I was passionate about — aside from breastfeeding and attachment parenting. The finalists:  Nia and hypnosis.

With which to begin? Honestly, I was a little afraid of hypnosis, like you might be afraid of a recreational drug. You’ve heard it feels a-mazing but addiction is powerful and you have addictive tendencies. I have long held an image/feeling of floating away like a balloon let go of; drifting out of reality and not caring one teensy bit that three kids needed their dinner made. This floating fantasy convinced me I would benefit from a grounding, body centered practice.

I negotiated with my husband to finance the Nia White Belt training (cheaper than moving 4400 km!) and for the first time since my transformation to mother I ditched the kids and ran away from home in search of adventure.

Did I imagine I would teach Nia? No. I didn’t. I couldn’t. Paralyzing stage fright and less than zero dance, martial arts or healing arts training were the obvious roadblocks. Despite flat out terror and no plan, in a matter of weeks I was teaching to a small group of friends. Six years later, dancing is as necessary as oxygen or chocolate. I have come to rely on Nia for my health and sanity.

Did I understand the implications of practicing and teaching Nia? No. I didn’t. How could I? I didn’t realize, when my body sent the mandate to MOVE, how profoundly essential the sensation of life force flowing through my experience was to my health and well being.

Movement is life. All of life moves and when I dance, I feel ALIVE. Gloriously, passionately and powerfully alive.  My heart relishes in the emotional release, the music, the community connection. My mind delights in imagery, patterns and the science of Nia.  My spirit hums with approval–

Yes. I am here. I am in a body. I am alive!

With my body playing lead, I stepped onto the Nia path and every part of me is thriving.  I am healing old patterns, reframing negative imprints, sweating out toxic beliefs. I am kicking and twirling and weeping with gratitude. I am expressing and exploring and expanding my definition of me. I am leaning in — to passion & pleasure.

Now it is 2015 and a different sensation is bubbling up from deep inside my body. I feel restless, longing for nature and freshness and inspiration. Dreams of hiking on mountains and ocean smells and new vistas. As I lovingly listen and nurture this feeling, it offers a name. It is a desire for CHANGE.

Oh dear. Now what???



The Pubic Sisters

Welcome to the first post in the dance category of my Eatsleepdance blog.  Although this category is not singularly dedicated to Nia, my personal philosophy for happy living is perfectly encapsulated in the Nia triad:

Dancing Through Life
Life As Art
Living Meditation

If you are curious to know more, please check out

I have been dancing Nia for eight years and teaching for five. Before that my experience was…

Dance Arts:

Martial Arts:
one self defense course at the YWCA (in anticipation of moving to the mean streets of Toronto)

Healing Arts:
yoga for a total of maybe twenty classes

When I reminisce to childhood, it turns out a precedent was set back when we roamed free and created our own amusement out of equal parts imagination and boredom.  I was raised in a communal setting with a pack of kids running wild over our 86 acres of land, bordered by the Sturgeon River.  In truth, I barely remember most of it except the freedom, the land, the water and the small town where we went to school.  A few highlights are etched into my cellular memory.

Remember when Grease came out and we spent hours singing along and acting out every scene?  Remember how it was simply a fun movie with great music and how hopelessly devoted we all were to it?  I was Rizzo. Someone, somewhere has footage of our merry band of scallywags acting out the pertinent scenes.  Sadly, this masterpiece was never shared with us.

Remember re-watching this movie with your kids?  A truly cringeworthy experience.  Every word in Grease is a reference to sex —  every single one.  Yet as kids, who knew?  The story I am about to relay is kinda like that.  When we were living it, it was all good, healthy fun.  As an adult, it is easy to see how our unorthodox upbringing might make some folks uncomfortable.

I told my best friend the following story and her response was, “That is deeply inappropriate, I don’t think you should blog about that!”  Ha.  Welcome to my childhood.

We spent many happy hours making up song and dance numbers, and sometimes we would perform for gatherings on our commune.  I had inherited a collection of retro 45’s, including stuff like “Lucky Devil” by Carl Dobkins Jr., and Hayley Mills singing “Let’s Get Together” from The Parent Trap.

Our two signature numbers were “Little Egypt” by The Coasters and these scintillating words sung to the tune of “Baby Face”:

Pubic hair.
You’ve got the sweetest little pubic hair / There’s nothing in the world that can compare, to pubic hair / Penis or vagina, nothing could be finer than… pubic hair/ I’m up in heaven when I’m in your underwe-e-ear / I didn’t need a shove, I took a mouthful of your tasty pubic ha-a-air.

Naturally, we called our little dance troupe The Pubic Sisters.  We were eight.   I vaguely remember costumes of panties and painted on pubic hair for the big reveal as we went down on one knee and hooked our thumbs into the front of our waistbands singing “pubic ha-a-air” for the final tableau.  How fortunate that I was a brunette, Lana a blonde and Christine a redhead, so we could display pubic hair diversity with our felt pens.  I can only imagine the impact we had on university students venturing to the commune for Summer Solstice celebrations.

The point is that Nia reunites me with the uncensored playfulness and freedom of childhood.  Teaching Nia taps into my creative centre and connects me to a lifetime of self expression through song and dance. I also know, from my hypnosis work, that I have spent many lifetimes dancing in various temples honoring Goddesses and palaces housing Pharaohs.

My Nia practice serves as both creation and salvation. Dance is my prayer and my thanksgiving.  Apparently, it always has been.


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