????Life at the Center: Carving your Living Stone and Celebrating Debbie Rosas!???? Vol. 67, February 2019


Participating in 2nd Degree Nia Black Belt training January 19-24th shines as one of the higher honors in my life. Our co-founder Debbie Rosas announced at the training – for the first time ever – the true purpose of Nia: to raise the vibration of humanity. My heart thrilled to hear those words! She designed the training around alchemy, metaphorically the art of self-transformation, like changing a base metal (low vibration) into gold (high vibration).

Debbie has taught me to open my imagination to all sorts of possibilities in my life, including the creation of Still & Moving Center, which I do hope in its own small way contributes to human good. Let me dedicate this letter to Debbie. Follow me, if you will, into a surprisingly liberating experience….

Living stone. Almost a contradiction in terms, isn’t it? Yet that’s what I dove into while teaching Nia class one day. What?!? Renee, you are so crazy! What are you talking about, diving into a stone?!?

The focus for class of ‘living stone’ from our Still & Moving Center Almanac seemed so alluringly mysterious, it compelled me to enter it with the entirety of my imagination body. The potent quotes in the almanac somehow wove themselves into the fabric of our class.

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. – Michelangelo Buonarroti

As we begin, I envision all of us in the room as hard – yet living – lumps of potential, waiting to be released from the thrall of our marble prisons, like beautiful classic statues of gods and goddesses. With a breath we begin subtly moving and stretching. I sense each bone as a chunk of stone, very slowly articulating one footfall into the next. My hands and arms methodically slice through the air with their blade edges, from the little finger along the bone up to the elbow point. I realize that I am self-carving my own statue. My slicing eventually whirls so fast it is like using a precision-saw. Away fly the unneeded chips. I become the sculptor of myself.

The more the marble sheds, the more the statue grows. – Michelangelo Buonarroti

By the time the song changes, we have transformed from blocks to bodies – bodies of stone.  Now our movement is terribly restrained. Our joints are mostly locked, our only locomotion feeling stiff, heavy, robotic. Eventually as we move our limbs, the stone softens and loosens.

Withdraw within yourself and look.  And if you do not find yourself beautiful as yet, do as does the creator of a statue….Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, and bring to light all that is shadowed. – Plotinus

These animated statues – which we normally think of as our bodies – dance through the room, moving space. Not moving IN space, mind you, but MOVING space: the atoms of our bodies/statues displace the air molecules as we push and cut through them. Not only our bodies but the space around us gains a new dimension.

Now we conduct our “inner organs” dance, recruiting every core muscle we can find to knead and massage our organs – a very qigong-like practice for our internal health. We’re seeking to break up the stiff, inert connective tissues and fat surrounding our abdominal organs, bringing in more life force and mobility to what might be calcified structures within.

As our martial arts song comes on, we compose ourselves into a standing ‘ready’ position. Extending our hands outward and then back into fists at the waist, we find ways to move energy rather than muscle. It’s very subtle – my outstretched fingers extend themselves into the space beyond their physical boundaries, while my hand and arm muscles stay relaxed. Maybe the flow of qi somehow moves electrons… I sense it but I can’t explain it.

You, too, as living stones, are building yourselves up into a spiritual house. – Jesus

I remind myself and my students as we begin our next song that, scientifically speaking, we are composed of stardust. Anyone else watching the class would see our external frames moving around the dance floor, but we are imagining/seeing ourselves as living stones or animated statues; we sense all the twinkling sparks of light/life swirling within our bodies. The inner dance becomes more real than the outer one.

Within the human body there is a universe intimately bound up with a vast universe. – Hermes

Our last song brings us to the floor. Our living light bodies are so vibrant they are capable of shapeshifting. I invite us to shape ourselves into whatever form we see ourselves releasing into. As I stretch, roll, play and dance with gravity on the floor, something happens. I begin to sense wings forming from between my shoulder blades. They gradually, magically, unfold. I simply send energy rays out through my invisible wings and voilà! My block of stone has become capable of flight! O the joy of dancing in free, mobile forms of our own creation!

Every gesture of the sculptor is tending towards his conception of beauty and perfection. He adapts the human form to the divine purpose. – Pico Iyer

OK, here I am back down on earth. Amazing the places imagination can take us to! Mahalo to Debbie Rosas. Thank YOU for joining me on my moving meditation!

Dancing in Joy and resting in stillness with you,

And you, dear reader?
Just hit Reply – I always love hearing from you.

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