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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's about transformation ...

Years ago (many years), I was making the crucial transition from martial arts to Oriental (Mid-Eastern, or belly) dance. I knew that I had "come home." But after several moves, town to town, and several teachers, I found myself in a city with no Oriental dance teachers.

There really wasn't much choice. I "hung out my shingle," and started to teach.

You know the old saying, of course: "We teach that which we need to learn."

The process of teaching accelerated my own learning.

Beyond this, though, I found myself having a desire, an actual longing, to find a pathway for personal growth. I knew that the dance art could be - and would be - an essential component. Beyond that, I didn't have a clue.

With all my heart, I wished that there was a book to read that would explain all of this. How we - as women - could reconnect with what was our original sacred path; how we could find honest-to-God(dess) body/mind/psyche/spirit integration and healing.

What I was looking for was a path of personal transformation.

I looked high and low. I looked for teachers and books. (Remember, this was pre-internet days - no on-line search to pull up the world's resources!)

Finally, I found my first "clue" -- a book, Being a Woman, by Dr. Toni Grant. She wrote it back in 1988, in response to her own search, her own longing - which was much like mine.

And guess what? Even though she proposed four core feminine archetypes, she didn't invent them - for that, she gave credit to Toni Wolfe, who was both the mistress and protege of Carl Jung. However, she built on and elucidated the set of four "archetypes" that Toni Wolfe had intuited. She made that work not only available to women today, but relevant as well - a great starting point!

This was like finding the first "stepping stone" in a hidden path; it truly was like finding a guidepost hidden in the deep forest. From here, I began my journey - a journey that evolved into the book that I had wanted to read, and which I've now written: Unveiling: An Inner Journey.

And now, dear ones, back to the "detail work" of preparing this book for publication - so I can get it to you!

yours in dance - A.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Because it feels so good ...

Dear Ones --

Teaching two back-to-back dance classes simply feels fantastic!

After several weeks where, for one reason or another, I taught only one class on Sundays, yesterday was a great chance to "amp-up" by teaching two back-to-back classes again.

I'd forgotten how good it feels.

One class is certainly good, but two (or more) is better. Even two (or more) classes in a week, if not on the same day. By the second class, my body is more warmed up. My body's "memory" for technique and even choreography is deeper.

As I move around after class, I notice that my body is "springier" - I feel as though there's more elasticity in my joints. It's easier to get up off the floor, or to bend and twist to pick things up.

Beginner's classes are - surprisingly - especially wonderful for toning and conditioning! Even though I've been studying and teaching for years, it is so great to be reminded of how fabulous that deep, core workout feels. My abs and butt, hips and thighs all simply feel more powerful after today's classes.

Wherever you are, darling, I hope you're enjoying your dance practice as much as I am!

yours in dance -- A.

It's been a long time - and worth the wait!

Yes, darlings - I know.

Over a year is a long, very long, time to go between blogposts.

There is a reason.

It's the book that we all want to read.

Unveiling: An Inner Journey.

Why is this important, to you, to me, to all of us right now?

There are only three real questions in our lives:
1) What do we really want? (And can we figure this out?)
2) Once we figure out what we want, can we get it?
and - the wonderful, important question -
3) Is there a "fountain of youth," and - if so - can we get some of it?

The answers, dear ones, are yes, Yes, and oh-so-definately-and-resoundingly-YES! (Especially to the last one.)

But it has taken me years to get these answers, and even more to write them up for you.

In fact, after over fourteen years of work, as of a year ago, this book was still not done. And while I had much of the groundwork in place, the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF - the answers to the questions that we all have - had not yet come together.

Now they have.

The book - Unveiling - is nearly ready.

I'm in final editing, copy-editing, and final-touches-and-rewording stages.

Three more weeks, and it goes to Amazon. (Actually, to Amazon's CreateSpace - my publisher. But for all of us, when we want to buy this, it will be listed on Amazon. And thanks to the wonders of marvelous technology, it will be listed as an "In stock, ships within 24 hours" option!

There will still be a little bit of a wait involved. (Once I get it to Amazon, because it really is a REAL book, and they have to do all the typesetting and layout and such, and I will proof designs and galleys, it will take an ADDITIONAL 10-12 weeks.) This means, we'll actually get this book - hard copy in our hands (or Kindle, if that's how you prefer it), sometime around the end of July or beginning of August. Certainly in time to make this a "beach read"!

And won't we all have one heck of a party when Amazon DOES release the book? Wow, what a fabulous time we'll all have - and the biggest hafla we've ever hosted!

But for now, darlings, it's back to work. Chapter 7 needs a little rewriting. (I found just the best stuff last night, to help make it clearer and more readily pulled into our heads -- now it's time to integrate this info so the chapter will make so much more sense, so easily!)

This book is full of insights and practical knowledge that will help us change our lives!

Plus, there are stories -- from my life, from some of yours (if you've been my students or teachers, or even co-workers and friends).

And even more - there are suggestions for very specific things that we can do to achieve breakthroughs; to create honest-to-God(dess) for-real transformations in our lives!

More soon, darlings -- as I get this book ready, and uploaded, and on its journey to you, I'll be telling you MUCH more about it!

Yours in dance -- Alay'nya