9/3/15

9/2/15

Bobbie Sue Redmond
aka "angel"
6/11/04' - 9/2/14'
One year ago today, my dog, my beautiful dog Bobbie died in my arms. 
Bobbie literally saved my life, she kept me alive through her profound presence. We were originally a pack of six, but during the last two years of her life we had become a pack of two. Neither she nor I had the tools to manage this at first, we were deeply sad and depressed. But each day, each night, each moment, we would look at each other and know that we had to create a new normal, a new way to navigate life. 
And we did ... eventually.
It has been so hard not to have her next to me this last year, especially as my own life has changed in so many ways. I have thought of her every day, every night, often. 
I miss her so much that it physically hurts.
But what has kept me going is her indomitable spirit!
I feel her, she comes to me in different ways - there is no denying her visitations, they comfort me at the deepest level and I say, "hi angel, I'm so glad you're here!".
I needed to mourn and grieve her absence for a full year, it was my own way of sitting shiva.
Today, I pay tribute to Bobbie Sue, my angel, who continues to strengthen me.
I remember her with so much love and gratitude ...
"Grief is a matter of the heart and soul. Grieve your loss, allow it in, and spend time with it. Suffering is the optional part. Love never dies, and spirit knows no less"
~ Louise Hay

9/1/15

September
holds
the 
promise 
of
new
beginnings!

8/31/15

wayne dyer wisdom:

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

8/28/15

"Saturday’s Super Full Moon in Pisces (11:35am Pacific) pulls you into deep, chaotic and mysterious waters, stirring up strong feelings and opening your psychic sensors to collective energies. The Pisces Full Moon highlights and heightens your sensitivity to all living beings, increasing your capacity to feel the suffering of the world. The Full Moon closely conjoins with Neptune, God/Goddess of the Ocean and modern ruler of the Fishes, amplifying these Piscean themes and specifically calling out your inner VICTIM. Any part of yourself that still feels and acts like a victim is likely to be lit up at this Full Moon, ready to be seen, felt and dissolved as you reconnect with the truth of your infinite Source self. No need to go into shadow-Virgo shame or judgment. Here at the end of the Age of Pisces, we’re ALL dealing with the Victim archetype as we collectively process and heal from the closing cycle. The ultimate lesson of Pisces is that we’re all one, and as long as we’re suffering from the illusion of separation, we’ll continue to project our divine power outside ourselves and play the victim. The Pisces Full Moon calls you inward to reconnect with Source, your true place of power. Take a break from Virgo-season busyness and tend to your soul. Let yourself fully know and embrace and love your inner Victim (resistance and denial are not so useful). Feel your feelings, honor your sensitivity and be compassionate with yourself. Unplug from the energy of collective trauma and freak-out, and reconnect with the ultimate level of reality, where everything truly is in divine order (despite appearances to the contrary). Piscean paths to healing include music, dance, art, meditation, prayer, dream work and grief work. While the Pisces Full Moon conjoins with Neptune, the Virgo Sun conjoins with Jupiter – a big hello to the Jupiter-Neptune opposition, which will be in effect through next spring. Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces (i.e., the planet associated with Pisces before Neptune was discovered in 1846), and its opposition with Neptune presents a challenge to embody your spiritual power, use your magical gifts, and live your ideals – walk the talk. The Virgo-Pisces polarity, highlighted by the Full Moon and further amplified by the Jupiter-Neptune opposition, is the axis of SERVICE. As we face seemingly insurmountable global crises, it’s very tempting to check out, hide out, run for cover and hope it all blows over before we run out of canned goods. Not the most empowering or useful approach. Instead, we’re being called to serve at a higher level, to act as Planetary Priestesses and Priests, each doing our small but essential part in laying to rest the old paradigm and midwifing the new. The Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Virgo brings the helpful quality of DISCERNMENT to the potentially mass-hysteria-producing Neptunian/Piscean chaotic deluge. The discernment of: What is real here? What do you know to be true in your BODY? (Trust it!) How can you best utilize your specific skills to respond effectively in the moment?"
~ Emily Trinkaus

8/25/15

Tension is who you think you should be.
Relaxation is who you are.
~ Chinese Proverb
I am back in Portland ...
Teaching:
Stretch Appeal Dance
TODAY and Thursday @12:45 @BodyVox
Stretch Appeal Soft
Saturday @12:30 @BodyVox

8/19/15

NO Stretch Appeal practice on:
Thursday, 8/20/15 or Saturday, 8/22/15

Next practice WILL BE
Tuesday, 8/25/15
Hope to move with you then ...

8/18/15

Dreams heed no borders, the eyes need no visas. With eyes shut I walk across the line in time. All the time.
~ Singh Kalra

8/14/15

fresh, affordable and delicious:
grateful for today:
meditated
talked to my dad on the phone
walked with two of my most favorite beings
worked
found a new home for stretch appeal soft
shared time with a like-minded teacher
received a sublime massage
took myself out to dinner
had the most delicious risotto with gulf shrimp, arugula and fresh green beans
(see above photo)
to-go cheese cake
walked home
had fun taking selfies
(see below photos)
melt-in-your-mouth good cheese cake
hints of lemon and lavender
beckoned outside by two loudly singing birds
both dangling on the tippy top of the tree that sits just outside of my urban terrace
i know that sound
i lived on the Willamette river for 15 years
i go out to terrace
it's like watching puppies rolling on the grass
these two birds
loud - happy - playful
looking for me
i speak to them in my bird voice
they both turn 180 degrees
quiet
i giggle and keep calling to them
they watch me
i watch them
they fly away.

selfie school:





8/13/15

8/12/15

3-Ingredient Smoothies

Posted by BuzzFeed Health on Tuesday, August 11, 2015
"Veronika was bad at faces but good with smells. She learned to make perfumes and gave them to the ones she loved so she might know when they were near."
Empathy doesn't involve feeling sorry for someone. It is our honest answer to the question, 'why did they do what they did?' The useful answer is rarely, "because they're stupid." Or even, "because they're evil." In fact, most of the time, people with similar information, similar beliefs and similar apparent choices will choose similar actions. So if you want to know why someone does what they do, start with what they know, what they believe and where they came from. Dismissing actions we don't admire merely because we don't care enough to have empathy is rarely going to help us make the change we seek. It doesn't help us understand, and it creates a gulf that drives us apart.
~ Seth Godin

8/11/15

life lessons from robin williams:

"My wife and I were blessed to orbit the wonderful world of Robin Williams. His passing one year ago left a massive void for us, but happy memories of him help mend the holes in our hearts.
Robin wasn’t a teacher or a preacher. He didn’t sermonize or lecture anyone. Instead, he taught by example. Here are a few lessons I learned from him.
Be different. Calling Robin ordinary would be as insulting as calling Einstein a smart-alecky know-it-all. Nonconformity was his keystone. Although he respected the fashionably cool and aloof crowd, Robin identified with the eccentrics and outliers.
His lifelong interests included bicycling, video games, graphic novels, and collecting imaginative toys. For any other middle-aged man, those boyish hobbies might raise eyebrows. Robin didn’t care. He was who he was, and the world loved him for it.
Give back. Few celebrities were so generous. Comic Relief, Challenged Athletes, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital were among Robin’s favorite worthy causes. He often handed out whatever cash he had in his wallet to homeless people on the streets. When his wallet was empty, he’d borrow money from me so he could give that to the homeless, too.
His USO shows for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were legendary. Military personnel often wrote him to say how seeing Robin Williams at their base was the highlight of their tour of duty. He entertained even when he was ill and his voice was giving out, and he always stayed until every last soldier got a photo or an autograph. He gave back to fans. After comedy concerts, Robin waded into the throngs of stage door autograph seekers and signed his name to whatever was thrust in his face. In Scotland, a cueball bald man approached him and said, “Mr. Williams, sign my head!” Robin shrugged, took the fan’s felt-tip marker, and scribbled his signature on the fellow’s bare scalp. 
Live for the moment. Robin had a Zen quality, a natural ability to zero in on whatever was at hand. Improvisational comedy requires you to have that kind of focus, and nobody was more alive in the moment onstage than Robin. Performing improv with him was like trying to keep pace with a hurricane.
He also lived in the moment by enjoying life’s simple pleasures. One night, my wife and I took him to dinner at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican family restaurant. Nothing fancy, wooden booths, dim lighting, decent food. He loved it and thanked us repeatedly for taking him there, as if it were the most joyous experience of his day. He had that sort of big reaction to small things all the time. He could get excited over a breakfast of scrambled eggs.
On occasions, he stood on his patio overlooking San Francisco Bay soaking in the sunshine and cool breeze, and he would say, “What an amazing day!” He truly meant it. Robin appreciated the simple joys of life. In that regard, he really knew how to seize the day.
Be kind. Comedians can be cruel sometimes, but Robin was a gentle soul. He was self-deprecating, and his personal foibles were the launch pad of many of his best comedy bits. But he made fun of other people’s faults, too, and he agonized over punchlines that seemed too mean. Making anyone unhappy gave him genuine distress.
On Christmas mornings, Robin visited the children’s ward of UCSF Medical Center. He entered unannounced to give small toys and autographs to the poor boys and girls stuck in hospital beds on the holiday. We snapped Polaroid photos of him at each bedside, and he took his time greeting every child, even preemies in their incubators. There was no fanfare, no forewarning, no announcement to the news media. For Robin, it was just another quiet act of kindness.
Have humility. Strangers who met him for the first time were often taken aback to find him quiet and somewhat shy. In private, he could be modest and retiring. Some pompous entertainers might grumble about small crowds and small venues. Robin didn’t mind. In the early 80s as his fame skyrocketed, he frequently performed at a closet-sized comedy club in San Francisco called the Holy City Zoo. Maximum occupancy was about 95 people. He loved the place. In preparation for his 2008 Weapons of Self Destruction world tour, he appeared unannounced at an even smaller dive in the Mission District that only had fifty folding chairs. To warm up for shows in London’s West End, we found ourselves in a suburban club that was an underground toilet. Literally. It was below ground and used to be a public restroom. Robin liked it.
Despite his stardom, he didn’t require bodyguards or an entourage to shadow him. Wherever we traveled with him, Robin was likely to wander off by himself. He might’ve been the world’s most unpretentious superstar. 
Have fun. Robin treasured the camaraderie of comedians and loved trading riffs with them onstage and off. Keeping pace with him could put even the most self-assured comics off their game, but he never meant to intimidate. He just wanted to laugh.
That was true with everyone, not just comedians. Robin loved to laugh with his family and friends, with his fellow actors, film crews, strangers, with anyone he met.
Oh, the joy whenever Jonathan Winters visited. He and Robin loved playing off one another, adopting and then shedding characters, two grown boys making each other laugh. Robin called Jonathan his Buddha, and watching them together was nirvana.
During Robin’s last comedy tour, at the end of every performance, crowds sprang to their feet to give him standing ovations, and palpable electricity filled the arenas. As he came offstage, Robin would let out a high-pitched giggle and repeated the word, “Wow!” He acted like a teenager who just came off a thrilling carnival ride. Even after thousands of live performances, he knew how to have fun. 
Finally, he left us with one last lesson. Death comes to everyone, but how you perish isn’t as important as how you live. Nobody ever lived like my pal Robin Williams."
by Dan Spencer

8/7/15

8/6/15

8/4/15

the toxic attraction between an empath & a narcissist:

"I am an empath. I discovered I was an empath after I got involved in a very deep and highly destructive relationship with a narcissist. I am writing this article from the perspective of an empath. Through writing about the empath personality type I have connected with many other people who class themselves as an empath and time and again I have heard people tell me how they have also attracted relationships with narcissists. There is a link. So, I decided to explore it further. This is my theory… From my own experience and studies on the narcissist personality type, there is always one core trait: A narcissist is wounded. Something, somewhere along the line, usually stemming from childhood causes a person to feel worthless and unvalued and, due to this, they will constantly and very desperately seek validation. Here comes the empath, the healer. An empath has the ability to sense and absorb other people’s pain and often takes it on as though it were their own. If an empath is not consciously aware of boundaries and does not understand how to protect themselves, they will very easily and very quickly bond with the narcissist in order to try to fix and repair any damage and attempt to eradicate all their pain. What the empath fails to realize is that the narcissist is a taker. An energy sucker, a vampire so to speak. They will draw the life and soul out of anyone they come into contact with, given the chance. This is so that they can build up their own reserves and, in doing so, they can use the imbalance to their advantage. This dynamic will confuse and debilitate an empath, as if they do not have a full understanding of their own or other people’s capabilities, they will fail to see that not everyone is like them. An empath will always put themselves into other people’s shoes and experience the feelings, thoughts and emotions of others, while forgetting that other people may have an agenda very different to their own and that not everyone is sincere. The narcissist’s agenda is one of manipulation, it is imperative they are in a position whereby they can rise above others and be in control. The empath’s agenda is to love, heal and care. There is no balance and it is extremely unlikely there ever will be one. The more love and care an empath offers, the more powerful and in control a narcissist will become. The more powerful the narcissist becomes, the more likely the empath will retreat into a victim status. Then, there is a very big change—the empath will take on narcissistic traits as they too become wounded and are constantly triggered by the damage being in the company with a narcissist creates. Before long, an extremely vicious circle has begun to swirl. When a narcissist sees that an empath is wounded they will play on this and the main intention will be to keep the empath down. The lower down an empath becomes, the higher a narcissist will feel. An empath will begin to frantically seek love, validation, confirmation and acceptance from a narcissist and each cry for help as such will affirm to the narcissist what they are desperate to feel inside—worthy. A bitter battle can ensue. As an empath focuses solely on their pain, trauma and the destruction of their lives, they become self-obsessed and fail to see where the damage is coming from. Instead of looking outwards and seeing what is causing it, the empath will turn everything inward and blame themselves. An empath at this stage must realize the situation they are in and wake up to it, as anyone who is deeply in pain and has been hurt can then become a narcissist themselves as they turn their focus onto their own pain and look for others to make them feel okay again. Any attempt to communicate authentically with the narcissist will be futile as they will certainly not be looking to soothe and heal anyone else. Not only this, they are extremely charismatic and manipulative and have a powerful way of turning everything away from themselves and onto others. A narcissist will blame their own pain on an empath, plus they will also make sure the empath feels responsible for the pain they too are suffering. An empath will know that they are in a destructive relationship by this stage and will feel so insecure, unloved and unworthy and it can be easy to blame all of their destruction onto the narcissist. However, an empath should not be looking to blame anyone else. An empath has a choice, to remain the victim, a pawn in the narcissists game or to garner all strength they can muster and find a way out. Emotionally exhausted, lost, depleted and debilitated an empath will struggle to understand what has happened to the once loving, attentive and charismatic person they were attracted to. However we allow ourselves to be treated is a result of our own choices. If an empath chooses to stay in a relationship with a narcissist and refuses to take responsibility for the dynamic, they are choosing at some level what they believe they are worth on the inside. An empath cannot let their self-worth be determined by a narcissist. It is imperative they trust and believe in themselves enough to recognize that they are not deserving of the words and actions the narcissist delivers and to look for an escape. In an empath’s eyes, all they searched and looked for was someone to take care of and love and to ultimately fix. That is where the trouble began and that is the most profound part of this that an empath must realize. We are not here to fix anyone. We cannot fix anyone. Everyone is responsible for and capable of fixing themselves, but only if they so choose to. The more an empath can learn about the personality of a narcissist the sooner they will spot one and the less chance they have of developing a relationship with one. If a relationship is already underway, it is never to late to seek help, seek understanding and knowledge and to dig deep into one’s soul and recognize our own strengths and capabilities and do everything we can to build the courage and confidence to see it for what it is and walk away—for good. The chance of a narcissist changing is highly unlikely, so we shouldn’t stick around waiting for it to happen. If a narcissist wants to change, then great, but it should never happen at the expense of anyone else. They are not consciously aware of their behaviour and the damage it causes and in their game they will sacrifice anyone and anything for their own gain—regardless of what pretty lies and sweet nothings they try to whisper. An empath is authentic and is desperate to live true to their soul’s purpose and will very likely find the whole relationship a huge lesson, a dodged bullet and painfully awakening. A narcissist will struggle to have any connection to their authentic self and will likely walk away from the relationship very easily once they realize they have lost their ability to control the empath. The game is no longer pleasurable if they are not having their ego constantly stroked, so they will seek out their next victim. The ability for these two types to bond is quite simply impossible. The narcissist’s heart is closed, an empath’s is open—it is nothing short of a recipe for a huge disaster, and not a beautiful one."
by Alex Myles

8/1/15

Discomfort comes with sensation, and these sensations can guide us.

7/31/15

yes ...

Tomorrow's Stretch Appeal Soft practice
will be taught in the large studio 
where there is lots of cool air
and 
even more cool moves.
Come join me!
Bring your partner ~ it's a beautiful way to share relaxation.
12:30 - 1:30
BodyVox Dance Center
Portland, OR.

7/25/15

Mindfulness of the body is key to liberation but only if it's infused with kindness and compassion.
~ Kristen Neff

7/23/15

7/20/15

DANCE MOVIE MEDLEY

Never miss a chance to Dance. How many movies can you name?

Posted by DJ Mosaken on Saturday, July 18, 2015

7/14/15

“Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves but also to that cosmos ancient and vast from which we spring. We are one species. We are star stuff harvesting star light.” 
~ Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan with his son Nick

this happens tomorrow:

Radical Nourishment - Wednesday's Uranian New Moon in Cancer
by emily
"Wednesday’s New Moon wants to shake you out of your ruts, strip away your security blanket of comfy conditioning and catalyze your most radical, creative, ALIVE and genius self. 
The New Moon (6:24pm Pacific) animates security-seeking Cancer the Crab, but its square to revolutionary Uranus stirs up restlessness and a readiness for radical change. Cancer rules history, memory and the past, and signifies the conditioned self - the self you developed based on your earliest experiences, including those in the womb. Cancer is associated with the subconscious, which was programmed before age 5 and which basically runs the show 99 percent of the time. 
Uranus the Great Awakener disrupts your regularly scheduled programming and wakes up the feelings, needs and desires of your true self. What are the old habits you need to break out of so you can feel fed at the deepest level? How can you best nurture and cultivate your unique genius? Where are you limiting your power, vitality and growth by playing it safe? The Uranian revolutionary impulse is extra-potent right now, and for the next few weeks, as Uranus prepares to turn Retrograde on July 26. 
Cancer is the sign of home, foundation, family and tribe - the root system you need to pursue your goals and take power in the world. This Uranian Cancer New Moon could bring a lightning bolt of awareness to what's NOT working in your current support system and the steps you can take to ultimately create more nurturing and nourishment.
Cancerian themes are further activated at the New Moon by the conjunction of Mercury and Mars in Cancer exactly opposing Pluto in Capricorn. Transformational Pluto calls for shedding your ego's agenda of what you THINK you should want and need, and dropping into a deeper level of self-honesty and authenticity. Notice where you're feeling powerless, pissed-off, self-pitying, and/or victimy - that's your signal to pull back, take responsibility for your feelings, and commit to honoring your true needs and desires. 
As outer planets, Uranus and Pluto want to connect our personal lives (Cancer) with the bigger picture, the life of the collective. At this time of hyper-technologized culture and virtual everything, where much of life happens in our minds and on our screens, one of the most radical things we can do is to really come home to our bodies and to the body of the Earth. 
The bottom-line Cancer "issue" is INSECURITY - pervasive in the modern West and often appearing as over-eating, hyper-consumerism and other addictions. We'll never feel really safe or secure or satiated until we root down and make home right where we are, and tend to our bodies and home planet as the sacred beings they/we are. As Michael Meade says, "we can never get enough of what we don't really need."

7/11/15

today is the day!

STRETCH APPEAL SOFT
12:30 - 1:30
BodyVox Dance Center
1201 NW 17th Avenue
Portland
503-229-0627

7/10/15

7/7/15

premiering this saturday, 7/11/15:

12:30 - 1:30
BodyVox Dance Center
1201 NW 17th Avenue
Portland
503-229-0627
Stretch Appeal Soft is designed to create an inner connection between your body, mind and spirit. Stretch Appeal Soft focuses on the fundamentals of the body ~ the core, posture, alignment, breath and stance. This movement practice is taught in a gentle, slow-style format that fluidly shifts through certain poses while seated, standing and in full shavasana (lying on the floor on your back). Stretch Appeal Soft is peaceful, relaxing and non-competitive. The moves are tailored to your particular muscular structure, flexibility and varying tension levels. It is completely adjustable to the individual. Stretch Appeal Soft teaches your body how to relax, renew and restore while increasing pliability. Shoes are not necessary/mat recommended. Open class, everyone welcome.

7/6/15

7/2/15

you
are
enough

sally mann ~ you inspire!