Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
This photo was snapped at the end of five very full days. From left is Douglas and Natalie of ChakraDance and my fellow trainee-instructors -- Dana, me, and Nikki.
What a week! Like onions, we peeled back the layers of our souls, as we delved into counselling training, psychology and of course those issues that floated into our conscious during our dance.
Now I'm finalising venues, class schedules and a marketing plan, so I'm head down, and tail up in the business side of things.
Some of you have been asking me what ChakraDance is:
CHAKRADANCE™ was created by Natalie Southgate in 1998. It is a journey into Self where the focus is on personal experience rather than performance.
Drawing on a fusion of philosophies and musical styles, spontaneous dance is used to balance the chakras - the energy centres which in Eastern tradition are the gateways to integrating mind, body, spirit.
Guided by music resonating to each of the 7 chakras CHAKRADANCE™ participants are taken on a dynamic dance journey through their own energy centres. As participants dance to the frequency of each chakra, different issues are experienced and energised.
These experiences can then be integrated into our everyday lives.
Music plays a major role in stimulating the chakra energies as the vibrations of the musical scale are tuned to the human energy system.
Each chakra vibrates to a specific frequency which corresponds to a specific colour vibration.
Each chakra is completely different, (energetically and in terms of the different aspects of our lives which it influences), and so the dance movements expressing each tend to be different.
There is no right way to CHAKRADANCE™ as everyone has their own rhythm and movement.
By surrendering to the music and dancing from the inside out, we are able to free our natural energy flows and feel more fully alive.
For more information about CHAKRADANCE™ visit www.chakradance.com
Monday, 28 May 2007
Monday, 21 May 2007
I start my journey through the chakras at the base chakra. And the Hindu goddess Kali appears to me to help me along the path.
This ancient goddess of destruction represents strength and unwavering will power. She helps me purge the elements of destruction in my life and reclaim my independent spirit by directing my life onto a new path - my true path where I can discover health, prosperity, security and a dynamic presence.
Kali leads me to a field of red poppies. Beautiful red blossoms surround me as she leads me to a clearing in the middle.
I take my shoes off, and feel the rich, velvety earth beneath my feet.
Turning around I see Kali stomping her feet with all her might, and I join her in this dance ... our feet pounding to a hypnotic rhythm, beating out a message.
At this stage of initiation, the ego meets the daunting task of unraveling and unmasking itself in surrender to the Divine. The price of pursuing true freedom can be very high, at least from the vantage point of the ego; to the extent one is unable to let go of the trappings of the false self, a deep, spiritual form of suffering may result. We must enter the path of awakening through love.
Kali stands guard, sword in hand, seeking to clear the demons of the unconscious that may obstruct my progress toward liberation. Perhaps the most ruthlessly compassionate of the Dark Goddesses, Kali will do whatever it takes to wake me from the dream of my life.
I do not fear - love heals all.
In accepting my weaknesses, I find my greater strengths.
I'm heading off tomorrow to to shake my chakras at a Chakradance Retreat, and will hopefully come back with my instructor certification.
As a healing art form, dance can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient cultures dance was used in celebratory, ritualistic and spiritual ways. Primitive man danced the shifting of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, and the transitional moments in life -- birth, death and rites of passage.
Long before any formal religions existed, man danced to connect to his spiritual source, to commune with his Gods, to find meaning from life. As formal religions developed, they too embraced the spiritual nature of dance and it became a significant part of many religious practices. For example, in Hinduism, many of the great epics are taught through dance, whilst in Sufism, the whirling dervishes surrender their individuality and dance into spiritual 'oneness'.
One of the oldest references made to religious dancing comes to us from the Old Testament: "Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre." (Psalms 149:3).
As a metaphor, dance symbolises the rhythm of the universe, divine 'play', the eternal dance of life (birth, death and re-birth). As one of the most evolved healing art forms, dance weaves together all aspects of human existence.
Chakradance drawws inspiration from the true origins of dance, and puts us back in touch with the 'sacred', both within ourselves and with the universe. Dancing through the ancient chakra system awakens not only our bodies, but expands the mind, and calls out to the soul. Dancing the seven chakras is like dancing into seven different worlds, each with their own lessons, meanings and stories. although the dance of each chakra is a unique dance for each of us, we can draw inspiration from the dance roots of each chakra.
The dance of the base chakra draws inspiration from tribal dancing, as found in the indigenous cultures of Africa, Australia and North America. These tribal dances were linked to the issues of the base, including one's roots, survival and grounding. In Chakradance, emphasised movements of the legs and feet connect you to the solid earth. Many envisage dancing around an ancient campfire, bringing the primitive tribal dance to life. These ancient cultures also had imitative dances, emulating the movements of animals. Again, one can draw inspiration from these roots and dance in an animal-like way. In this wild and raw animal dance, our innate instinctual self is reclaimed.
The dance of the sacral chakra can be inspired by the feminine dances found in the Middle East, South America and Hawaii. Dances from these regions celebrated many of the qualities associated with the sacral chakra, including feelings, emotions and sexuality. This sacral dance can be slow and sensual, or flirtatious and erotic, with fluid movements of the hips and lower belly. Throughout this dance we transform into a gypsy, a belly dancer, an ancient goddess, as we surrender to the serpentine movements of the feminine.
To dance the solar plexus chakra is to call on the warrior dances of ancient Greece, Morocco, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. These warrior dances were masculine, powerful, althletic and virile, as they rhythmically mimicked the art of the fight. In Chakradance we enter this dance with dramatic movements, strong, purposeful and clearly defined. As the energy builds, movements can become more complex, even frenzied. Through this dnamic movement, the solar energer ignites, and your inner warrior emerges.
To dance the heart chakra is to move with joy and compassion, reflected in dances from ancient Spain, Egypt and China. many of these dances used exaggerated arm movments to gently whirl into deep states of joyful harmony. Other dances of China symbolised balance, where mimetic movements expressed the union of heaven and earth. In Chakradance we draw inspiration from these dances, and move the arms to feel uplifted, light and free. Inspired by the whirling of the ancient ones, we dance a soaring journey of love, compassion and joy.
The dance of the throat chakra can be inspired by many ancient dances, where the voice and dance were woven together. The Gree word 'XOPOC' (HOROS), referred to both dance and song, and is the origin of the word 'chorus'. In Ancient Egypt, performers often danced while reciting poetry, while in Hawaii, chant and dance were combined to communicate the story. In Tibetan culture, mystical rituals performed by monks would combine chanting and sound (gyaling horns, symbols and bells), with delicate movements of the body. In Chakradance we weave sound and movement to intensify self expression and creativity.
At the third eye chakra, one can life up into ecstatic and altered states of consciousness through trance dance. This practice is still common throughout the world, and existed in many of the ancient cultures of South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and theAmericas. There were numerous reasons, ritualistic and medicinal, for entering into transce. In Chakradance trance dance is used to open the third eye chakra. Each dancer drifts into his or her own visual universe ... images, colours, insights ... the third eye has no boundaries.
The dance of the crown chakra is a deveotinal dance. Cultures from every continent have embraced some form of religious or spritual dancing. In ancient Shamanic practice, dance was used to commune with the Spirits, whilst in Ancient Egypt there were certain ritual dances that wer crucial to the successful outcome of religious rites. The Tantric Buddhists of Nepal have an ancient dance tradition known as Charya Nritya, a Sanskrit term meaning 'dance as a spiritual discipline'. In Chakradance we open the gateway to the soul through a meditative sacred dance. This is the most paradoxical of dances: it is the dance of stillness. Often there will be little physical movement visible to any observer. The dance is internal, for now it is the sould which dances, dancing with the gods.
Chakradance is all about finding your own free authentic movement to express the energy of the chakras. Just as each chakra has its own unique energy, and its own inflence, the way in which we move and the experience we have during the dance are inteensely personal. In Chakradance we guide participants in to each chakra with a simple movement designed to stimulate the energy. From there the process involves letting the movements emerge spontaneously. The beats of the music may move your body, the images in your mind may play out their roles, physical sensations are often expressed, and the energetic flow dances your body to life. The experience is like being moved, dancing from the inside out, an unfolding, an awakening, freedom.
Sunday, 20 May 2007
Rudolph Steiner, a mystic and an educator in the early 1900's spoke of the increasing need for art in culture. In his view, art and visual beauty stimulate "picture consciousness" within an individual.
Thursday, 17 May 2007
I met a woman recently who approached me and told me that I exuded mermaid energy. This was a bolt out of the blue and intrigued me. So I got to researching, and what I discovered was eerily accurate ...
The Mermaid is an expression of a woman living an artful life colorful, open to possibility and yet balanced and grounded. She is a symbol of when you feel most powerful, when you are creating and teaching. Ok - so there is a synergy straight away!
The mermaid is the symbol of the old Goddess energy that represents women, particularly the mysterious, life-generating element. She lives in the element of water the element of the unconscious and dreams.
If you say that you are drawn to water and yet afraid at the same time, this could mean that you are drawn to living your authentic creative life and yet fear it at the same time. I've always loved the water - I grew up on the beach, and now I live on a lake.
Pisces energy is directed toward your inner self. - I am a leo with a pisces rising - You are meant to learn about the power of your thoughts and feelings and thereby to discover the greater degree of choices available to you. Choice is born out of opposing polarities the twin fish of Pisces.
You are drawn to fire, (I'm a leo) as if you are drawn to experience your passion this is symbolised by the color orange (one of my favourite colours, and key colour of goddessfire). A large heart/ breasts (ok - now I think I'm being spied on) symbolises your loving heart and the wish for a life filled with love and affection. Breasts are symbols of maternal nurturing. She represents that which is emotional, loving, empathetic, and giving. She understands sorrows and know how to comfort.
Her abundant, flowing hair, symbolising an abundant love potential. (check!)
The Mermaid is full of soft edged shapes representing feminine energy and she is shaped very much like a full bodied woman. (check) Her tail curves up into two spirals symbols of healing energy.
The mermaid in our culture is the most persistent and pervasive symbol of the old Goddess energy that represents women, particularly the mysterious, life-generating element.
There is an opening with a door located in between your second and third chakras. On either side of this opening are two guardians. This opening is a shrine of a sort, a place to focus energy on self and goals.
Your second chakra governs sexuality, creativity, emotions, anger, fear, instinct to nurture, spleen, perceptions concerning food, women's power and female identity. Second chakra patterns and lessons apply to relationships and power and taking charge of a situation.
Your third chakra governs confidence self-esteem, self-care, decision making, and personal honor.
SELF LOVE....is the capacity to take care of yourself and to make choices that nurture you and renew your vitality. The most important thing to remember is to give yourself the right of choice, self- expression and self-respect. When you stay in a place of self love you will draw in energies that will support and empower you and allow you to in a creative engagement with Spirit and "flow in the power of your creative fire."
Saturday, 12 May 2007
If you didn't think you could make a difference, think again.
This link was sent to me by Kate Nowark. The appeal of Make A Difference Movie on a world-wide level, is seeing it's impact on a personal level. The Teddy Stallard story has the capacity to reach out to people to make a huge difference in all humanity. We must be the difference we want to make.
The miracle of what happens when people come together is that we can change the world.
There is truly a pull inside each and every one of us to make a difference while we are here. It is up to each and every one of us to make our time matter.
Compassion IS the key to making a difference.
View the Make A Difference Movie here.
Posted by Mich at 11:27 pm
Friday, 11 May 2007
I just wanted to share with you an article Anita Ryan-Revel recently wrote for Goddess & Nature Commentaries:
It's so weird yet lovely to think that my Northern Hemisphere goddess sisters are welcoming the approach of summer. While I am snuggling under my blanket and patting my growing spare tire, Northern gals are emerging from their caves, sprightly, sparkly, shiny and new, Amaterasu-style.
I know, I know, this winter and summer thing is part of the Wheel of Life — it's an endless cycle of beginnings, endings and reruns ad nauseam. But why then, as I'm stocking up on cold-and-flu tablets and preparing for hibernation, does my mind turn to May 1 celebrations in England and the United States?
It just doesn't seem fair that millions of spruced-up guys and gals will be swanning around phallic maypoles, electing a queen of the May, creating May Day baskets, rollicking around a bonfire, or washing their face in May dew to restore beauty or, at the very least (as the single gals in the Ozark Mountains believe), help her marry the man of her choice.
But here in the Southern Hemisphere, Aussie goddesses are preparing for Hallowe'en. Also known as Samhain, Hallowe'en is celebrated from April 30 to May 1 and is the most sacred holiday in the Wheel of the Year. This is the time to celebrate the Wise Woman and make contact with those who have passed on.
We're so serious about it, we even have a public holiday to commemorate our dearly departed around this time every year. Although the origin of ANZAC Day isn't rooted in Christianity, paganism or Hallmark (as most significant public holidays seem to be), it is "a day on which the lives of all Australians lost in war time were remembered."
This energy of withdrawal and introspection is probably the reason I have been compelled to do some serious "cave time" since returning from my tour in the USA.
You know how it is. You turn off the phones (and if you're strong, the Internet too), forget the outside world and surround yourself with the comforts of home? Delicious, inspiring and wonderfully necessary ... and absolutely something my Northern sisters wouldn't associate with the onset of summer in May!
History lesson commences: The month of May was named after the Greek goddess of spring, Maia. She was the eldest daughter of Atlas and the most beautiful of her seven sisters, all of whom we can see in the night skies in the Pleiades constellation. Her day of celebration, May 1, is a day of games and feasting celebrating the end of winter, the return of the sun and fertility of the soil (and randy couples). As summer approaches, the earth is juicy, rich, productive and magic — the perfect time to empower summer wishes with some Maia inspiration.
Errrr, back up a second! What are us Southern Hemisphere gals supposed to do with Maia's yummy summertime energy when we are heading into Winter?
To answer this, let's delve deeper into Maia's history to find another aspect (as all goddesses have). It turns out she is sometimes referred to as the grandmother of magic and as the shy and gentle patroness of mothers and nurses. I sense she also enjoyed cross-stitch and bocce, but that's a whole other story.
I reckon this aspect of Maia gives us permission to spend time in May paying special attention to our own mothers, especially on Mother's Day, and every other day in May, for that matter. We can participate in a big-scale event for charity, share a fabulous breakfast, or gift a small token of appreciation — a white carnation should do the trick (as per the example of the founder of Mother's Day).
As for me, during the entire month of May I'll also be spending some time reflecting on the wonders of being a mother. I'll be stepping out of my cave for long enough each evening to star-gaze and give thanks to Maia (sitting pretty in the Pleiades, the constellation located between the hunter Orion and Taurus the Bull) for her gifts of renewal, joy, mother-love and cross stitch.
Anita Ryan-Revel is the author of "The Goddess Guide to Chakra Vitality," aimed at helping you connect with your beautiful, sassy, intuitive, lovable, sacred and authentic self. She has incorporated her journey into hundreds of articles, countless websites and numerous books, many of which can be found at her website, Goddess.com.au You can read more of her columns here. © copyright 2007 by Anita Ryan-Revel.
Sunday, 6 May 2007
I had such a fun day today.
It started with a 3 1/2 hour road trip to Sydney with my friend Dion. I swear we did not shut up for the entire time. And the ultimate destination? The Mind, Body & Spirit Festival in Sydney.
I really connected with some incredible people today: a lovely lass from Wollongong; Jo & Brian Olley of Olley Ear Candles; two incredible artists -- sculptor Rochman Reese and his partner, artist Sofan Chan http://www.theartofhappiness.net; and the crazy gang at Chrysalis!
I so loved this outfit made by Chrysalis ... its from their Goddess Venus collection ... I had to have it (even the same colour). Can you believe its made from bamboo fibre! Its fit for a goddess ... its sexy ... its comfortable ... its so me!
An incredible clairvoyant ~ Rahda ~ gave me an incredible reading, and I had a chakra reading too!
And then the 3 1/2 hour road trip home ... and there was not a quiet moment.
Weeeeeeeee ... what a fun day!
Saturday, 5 May 2007
Thursday, 3 May 2007
- You reach the requirement to maintain your frequent flyer status 4 months early
- You've seen all the in-house movies at least twice before at different hotels
- You opt to sleep through the in-flight movie
- The airport security staff all know you
- The flight attendants know your name
- You wake up in the morning and don't know where you are
- You feel like you're living in a daze
- You become the world's greatest clutz -- in the past two weeks I've cut my heel, and tonight I dropped my suitcase on my ankle
I'm a tired girl ... I need a holiday!