Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nia Poetry

Joy for No Reason
By Danna Faulds

I am filled with quiet
joy for no reason save
the fact that I'm alive.
The message I receive
is clear--there's no time
to lose from loving, no
place but here to offer
kindness, no day but this
to be my true, unfettered
self and pass the flame
from heart to heart. This
is the only moment that
exists--so simple, so
exquisite, and so real.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Summer Vacation Nia Diary

July 11, 2007

What I Am Doing on my Summer Vacation

I am a convert. I have crossed over from the life of the mind to the life of the bodymind. I am now a true believer.

During my July vacation I hiked familiar trails in Maine, in the Camden Hills. Every trail felt new to me, every step I took was grounded and efficient. Going up, going down, finding my way through rocks and tree roots, climbing onto and over slabs of granite, sensing the slippery, wet stones after a rain shower, everything was easy, like floating. What accounted for my delight? My ability to connect to the earth through my base, my feet, legs, and pelvis. My own tree trunk. My experience with The Nia Technique over the past 8 years has brought me to this place of dynamic ease, dancing through life.

Yesterday, a day at home: my stomach is in a knot and I feel stuck in this state. I’m not really trying to distract myself from it, knowing it is necessary for me to be feelings these feelings. I’m here for some reason I do not understand as yet. I decided to watch a DVD of a new Nia routine which I wanted to learn. I spent a few minutes moving along with the class as I watched. One of the moves was from tae kwon do, pushing the heal of my right hand forward as I stepped back with the right foot into a bow stance. I exhaled with a loud “heeeett” as I pushed the breath out of my lungs. That simple gesture and sound changed my mood. All the fear and anxiety that I had been internalizing had a place to go. I repeated the movement a few times, totally engaged, feeling my energy return. My mood shifted, as did my thoughts, from depressive and dark to optimistic and joyful.

This simple transformation has sparked an idea. How habitual is it for me to internalize my feelings? Wasn’t that what I was taught growing up? I was the little girl who was told to sit with her hands folded in school. I so wanted to move and express myself that I resorted to singing to myself, at a low whisper. Of course, my mother got a call from the school that I was singing when I was supposed to be quiet. Because I was a good little girl, I stopped. Internalizing, keeping quiet about what was going on inside of me was taught at home, too. My mother told her friends, “Suzy never gives me any trouble.” Internalizing and containing was taught to me when I became a therapist. Listen, don’t laugh or cry or show your fear or horror over what you hear. Be a transference object. Keep yourself out of it.

Today I taught a Nia class. I chose to focus on the base, the feet, legs, and pelvis. I felt such joy this morning as I prepared. I chose music by Candy Dulfer, a female saxophonist with her own brand of funky music called “Girls’ Night Out:” expression of joy, fun, playfulness, aggression, sexuality, sensuality. “Sultry” was the pearl, the word on this hot and humid day that embodied the movements. My students, who are all middle-aged like me, come to class to express, to feel their bodies move, to bring outside what is locked inside. In the process we become fit, we sweat, we are spontaneous.

Come dance with me sometime. Give yourself the opportunity of a lifetime, to express, to ex-ternalize, to bring what is inside out, to breathe, to be funny, sad, angry, afraid, and let yourself and everyone see. Let your face shine, be wholly yourself, all of you, body, mind, emotions, spirit, energy.