Friday, September 2, 2011

Nia - an idea worth spread - on TED!

Recently, the Nia Next Generation Trainers to consider the folloowing: "If you were invited to present at TED, what would you say about Nia?"

Do you know about TED.com? TED is a nonprofit web portal, designed to relay "TED talks" or short video lectures by people from across disciplines about ideas worth spreading. If I had a short window to capture the attention of the masses to spread one most importnt idea that Nia conveys, I keep coming back to physical sensation.

When I tell someone that Nia, the holistic movement and lifestyle program that I teach, helps people to develop increased awareness of physical sensation, it might sound groovy, or intriguing. But it also begs the question: how can you learn to sense more, and why would you want to, anyway?
In order to give you one good reason, I’ll share some of my personal journey that brought me to Nia. In 1996, I was a year out of college, living 3000 miles away from home. I was homesick and doing some delayed processing of greif and facing realities of depression and emerging adullthood. I wanted to get out of my head and get in control of my emotions.

So, I signed up for a meditation class.

It was excruiating.

I was bad at meditating. Bad at it. I had been drawn to meditation, had expected to love it, and that it would be the key to liberating myself from my over-active mind and heart. Yet while my mind and emotions finally got quiet, it was my body that siezed the opportunity to scream the loudest. Pain and discomfort an utter distraction, I couldn't tune my body out any longer.
Where was this coming from? I was a 25 years old former ballet dancer - not an 85 year old one. My back hurt, my shoulders couldn’t stay open, I had cramps in my feet sitting cross-legged, and I kept shifting around in an effort to get comfortable, which no one else showed the need to do. Hadn’t I been sitting all my life? I sat on the couch watching movies. I sat at the pub drinking Guinness. I sat at my desk worrying about office politics and trying desperately to finish my work before missing the bus home. Maybe my body had been trying to tell me something about this discomfort in my daily life, but let’s face it…there always seems to be something more urgent, exciting or inebriating to drown it out.

The teacher’s hand found my back, “expand the breath here,” she told me. Huh? I tried to do what she asked and failed. Hadn’t I been breathing all my life? My chest rattled. How was it that I suddenly couldn’t perform this act sufficiently? I was wheezing, gasping, the sensation wasn’t all together unfamiliar. I recalled the labored breath that had started to accompany me up the flight of stairs to my apartment. Ignoring this information from my body did not change the fact that I would spend the next few years learning to manage this new discovery: adult onset asthma.

In the days that followed the meditation class, I thought about not returning the next week. But there was something about the practice that I wanted. It was the permission to focus my attention on one thing. Unfortunately, the one thing that was shouting the loudest for my attention was my body, and I had been neglecting it for a long time. It became clear that I needed to dedicate some time to repairing this relationship. If I couldn’t sit still, maybe I could find solace in moving it, yet I was hesitant to return to the type of dance I knew from my youth, the performing variety that left me analyzing and criticizing the way my body looked. My neighbor had been bugging me about coming to a Nia class at her gym with her for months. I didn’t know what Nia was but she claimed it felt good and was fun, so after months of prodding, the painful meditation experience led me to finally take her up on it.

“Imagine your spine is the mast of a sailboat…Feel yourself get long into the clouds!”
The Nia teacher looked like a dancer, but acted like a party host. She was smiling at everyone, leaving the front of the room at times, walking through the crowd. She was mingling, having a good time, confident that we'd keep it going without her modeling. Occasionally she'd instruct us to sense a body part. I felt naked in the shallow end of the pool.

Without stopping the music to break it down, she had us moving through a quick stepping pattern. How could I tell if I was doing it right? “Sense your ankles” she whispered into the mic, and the energy in the room changed, it softened and relaxed. Someone nearby let out a loud sigh, "ahhh!' I was still unsure what I had gotten myself into, but I knew for sure that I wanted some “ahhh” for myself.

The teacher invited us to gather in a circle for a free dance. I froze. My view of the mirror was blocked by other bodies, leaving me without my familiar aesthetic clues of how to move, yet the others remained unfazed. They were all doing something different, some moving very little, some flailing all around. One woman smiled brightly with eyes closed, swaying. That looked safe: I decided to sway too. The teacher encouraged us to do a “feel good” dance. Someone else was spinning around – that looked like it might feel good, I tried that. Sense your shoulder blades. Oh, the point of pain from the meditation class! I checked in with my shoulders – they felt rigid, tied to my ribs. Make this move feel even better. I shrugged my shoulders, and kept on dancing. I moved them up and down, and then went back to swaying. I circled my shoulders and drummed my feet. It felt good, to move this way. No one told me to do it. I circled the other way; it felt even better. Deep breath, “ahhh”! There it was. I got some of my own. Suddenly I was unconcerned with seeing myself in the mirror, I didn't care what the other dancers were doing. I was paying attention to my shoulders, my sensation. Just this.

This is how I was introduced to pleasure. Before I could feel better, I had to become aware of feeling period. Sensation is the language of the body. When it speaks, you may not like what you hear at first. But once the body has you attention, it will reveal more. Our bodies will tell us how they need to be moved to feel better, to heal, and to experience pleasure. All we have to do is listen. In movement and in stillness, Nia taught me how to turn pain into pleasure through a dance of conscious awareness.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NiaCamp 2011 - Playing with Purpose and Possibilities!



Here we are, smack in the middle of summer...
You know what that means? That Rosanne and I are giddy with plans for this years...
NiaCamp!



NiaCamp is an annual weekend in September, held at an exquisite spot on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH at a real summer camp. It is across the bay from my family's former summer cottage. This spot is my spiritual home. It holds the key to my childhood. And so, each September, I invite you to join me on a return trip to our collective inner-childhoods -- through whatelse...Nia!!!

Rosanne Russell shares this event with me, and together we bring our 10+ years experience teaching and sharing the Joy of Nia, our yoga training, and our backgrounds in visual art and writing. This is a fun, casual Nia and Expressive Arts experience that always weaves in the magic of friendship and community with the natural world. It is the perfect setting to connect with your purpose and activate it, via movement.

I could not be more excited about this year's focus of NiaCamp -- Creating a Sacred Livelihood. The focus is an invitation to explore what you love about Nia and your movement practice and transform these into your personal guiding principles. I may be going out on a limb here, but there is potential for this year to hold the COOLEST CRAFT PROJECT EVER!! (woot!) You will be able to PLAY with your craft on the dance floor! (you can guess, but I am sworn to secrecy).

Registration is open - please visit the page. Space is limited. I HOPE you make it back to camp this summer!

xoxo
Julianne

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heart: Opening


Growing up, I was teased for being tall and thin. The winter that I was ten years old, my father took me to visit my brother and his family at the AFB in Plattsburgh, NY where he was stationed. We went to see Bill Cosby perform. He had a bit about “the breast fairy.” For the next several mornings, everyone joked that it was too bad the fairy had not yet paid me a visit. I remember feeling sensitive and inadequate. Sometime toward the end of middle school, my nephews nicknamed me “Larry Bird” (former star basketball player for the Boston Celtics). I became increasingly ashamed of my structure, especially the fact that my breasts were small and concerned about when that would change, if ever. I began to cloak my body is baggy sweatshirts. Withdrawing my chest from the view of the world while it still seemed to me and by all my accounts, by everyone else, to be not enough. I avoided trips to the beach, terrified of being seen with nothing to fill out my bikini top. I remember sitting at the kitchen table looking at pictures that had just arrived from our family vacation to Florida. My older sister paused on one of me in a a green and orange bikini, standing up in the ocean and said: Isn’t she beautiful? I remember this because immediately and without warning, I burst into tears and fled the room. This was a deep visceral reaction. I was not used to hearing that I was beautiful after a certain age, and I did not believe it.

Around that time, I stopped ballet training. Physically, I became withdrawn, my shoulders rolling inward, sinking my chest further into my body. Without the pressure of performance and the constant demand of my teacher, I could hide behind my shoulders and arms, now typically crossed. One year during college, I came home after happy hour (already with a buzz on) and my roommates were getting ready for a Halloween party. I had no costume and in my buzzed state, not the capacity to pull one together. One of the girls decided that she could dress me up as Olive Oyl in a red top, black skirt and her pair of combat boots. I put my hair in a bun and threw on some red lipstick, looked in the mirror and figured I would need to explain my costume to everyone at the party. Not so. I remember feeling sort of sad that everyone pegged me as Olive Oyl in my hac-job costume without any prompting from me. What did that say about my appearance?

By the time I got to the White belt, my posture might be read as someone who was chilly. Constantly. Arms across a concave chest. Even when I uncrossed my arms, my shoulders still knit in tightly. Debbie pointed this out. It was something for me to work on. By Blue belt, I still hadn’t worked on it. I remember learning the routine Infinity and feeling the possibilities of a new form, seeing Debbie’s expansiveness of heart on the video. At moments, I felt access to opening of my chest cavity, but I could not sustain it. I did not own it outside of practicing the routine.


Yoga training came in between blue and brown belt and came with my first formal exposure to anatomy. During this time, I lost my father to cancer. At the end of one of my Nia classes, a student approached me and shared that she was an energy worker and that she wanted to share something she noticed. She saw a leak behind my heart. So it was not just physical, it was energetic. She asked if I had experienced a lot of loss, and I immediately went to the most recent grief over the loss of my father. She felt it had been there long term. The loss of my best friend to cancer at 16. Compacting the wounds around my heart, the armor my body had built to protect itself from further loss and embarrassment was no longer serving me, was not allowing me to take in what I needed. And as I moved into my first pregnancy, I knew that in order to give and receive what I needed to support twin boys and myself with love, the shape around my heart had to change.

In the training, I struggled with poses like Warrior 1, in which the tension of my shoulders prohibited me from both raising my arms and drawing down my shoulders. The trainer explained that I needed to condition the rhomboids to draw down the scapula. It sounded technical. I looked at pictures in anatomy books. For years I was focused on how I felt about the front of my chest, and thought I could only open my heart from the front, and by throwing my shoulders back. I used props to help me access change along the the spine: blocks, bolsters. I X-Rayed Debbie and Carlos's with more emphasis on the upper spine, the upper extremities, the wings. I stalked my tendency to cross my arms when I was feeling uncertain of myself, insecure, when relating with others, and consciously "disarmed" my chest. I remember feeling so open at the completion of Brown belt. A week after my return, a man was asking me for money on Boston Common and began pestering me. I recall the moment that I would have crossed my armed, folded in and retreated, but I heard the word NO come up inside of me. I connected to my hara, faced him, with my heart and pregnant belly vulnerable and said, NO. Not loudly, but solidly, from a deep well of self-love and preservation. And he turned tail.

When I am feeling closed off now, I either put myself in a restorative backbend to support expansion in the front and strength in the back of the heart - or - I dance my heart wide open. I visualize the expansion. I imagine the expansion. Physically I become expansive. Vulnerability and connection were aspects that I had cut myself off from physically in the past. In the present, I have my body as symbol and as vehicle of what I want to be and what I want to offer to the world.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Radio Interview


Hey there!

On Friday I was interviewed about Nia by
Lisa Davis on her show: It's Your Health.

You can link to it here: Nia Interview
scroll down a ways - it's the last one from 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Big "A" Attention: a healing benefit

The Art of Listening is by far one of the most personally valuable practices that Nia has given to me. I have always loved listening to music, and yet I bring no musical training to my Nia practice. Although my dance background is rather extensive, I am one of those people who doesn't always hear the beat. There, I said it! It is exactly this, which I may perceive as a deficit, that has allowed me the most beautiful relationship with listening to music, to doing my bars, and to the lifestyle of awareness that I desire to cultivate more and more deeply in this lifetime. In order for me to hear the beat, I have got to deeply listen!

To me, the most important skill to develop for receiving the healing benefits and power of sound is Attention. Big "A" Attention. Paying attention means that I do not always receive what I expect. The music isn't necessarily going to flow in the directions that I "think" it might. I am talking about listening to music in a way that increases my ability to pay attention, minimizes my tendency to bring expectation into my experience, which draws me out of the moment, from the truth of now, of what is really, truly going on, evidenced in the sounds, the stillnesses, the rise and fall, the detail of a signature instrument that I might have missed had I been wrapped up in weaving my own story about the music. Listening so that the musicians can fill me in on some quality, some pattern that shows up in their song and perhaps across the entire universe, that I would not know had I not shown up fully. That's what paying attention to music can do for me -- it can help me to be present -- and that is an absolute healing benefit.

Paying attention to music can shift my perspective, giving me access to something broader than my experience. When I am sad, or angry or other-wise freaking out, I can not do justice to the level of awareness and attention I want to place on the music unless I firmly, calmly, and loving tell that sad-angry-freak out situation: "Not now." My focus shifts from how I'm feeling, from what I perceive has been done to me, from my self-absorption, to a union with sound, energy vibration of instruments, presence with the timbre of the voice - and what that evokes, and it is suddenly no longer all about me. I am in someone else's art and I am receiving energy from their life force. I am me and I get a break from me. I am connected to something else. Connection is a most healing, soothing, poignant benefit to paying attention to music.

Paying attention to the music has highlighted other things that really ask for me to listen deeply. When my dog barks, how many times might I reactively tell him quiet down before I understand that he really has something important to tell me (a few years back - the furnace in the basement just beginning to smoulder)... When my emotions are getting in the way of really hearing what my four year old son has to say about his day...When too much on my to-do list draws me out of my senses, I can turn everything off and simply listen to the silence. A major healing benefit of cultivating Attention.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MAY Music - Adapting Nia to new music


This month in class, we will be taking the movements from the Nia body of work called ZenSation...

and adapting the moves to a new music play list!

The play list is subject to change, and may evolve over the next four weeks.

Come to class and be part of the process, share your impressions here, and suggest a title for the adaptation.

Yee-haw!
Julianne

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Physical, Emotional, Energetic Signature


I want to talk about Fascia. It is a smart sleeve. Sometimes being smart backfires.

Fascia knows that its job is to wrap me and hold my contents tight. Fascia is excellent at doing its job. So good in fact, that it holds onto all my contents: physical, chemical, energetic, emotional. And in doing so, it casts my body into a physical signature.

This signature is also known as posture, and it served me at one time. When I needed to close myself off, to not risk being open and vulnerable, my fascia knit together tightly, rounding my shoulders in to protect my heart. Yet as I evolve and become ready for change, the fascia, reflective of our Western culture, doesn't know how to "take time off" from work.

As a Nia student, I thought it was fun when we played with emotions in class. Later, as a Nia teacher, I began to recognize that exploring different emotions as I moved could give me access to trying on different physical signatures related to emotions that I had not expressed as my habit. These experience of trying on new postures gave me a taste of what I wanted to change, how I wanted to evolve, desiring more physical and emotional space and range of motion. In terms of my body signature, I wanted to trade up, in order to access more.

But sheer will is no match for the strength and intelligence of the fascia. I can't simply reorganize and shed off fibers so tightly woven and intent on holding together what I had feared "spilling out" for so long. When the movement is over, and the tensile stress and expansion releases, the fibers return to their previous pattern.

Transformation of tissue is possible: it just takes patience and dedication to expanding one's range steadily over time, and with repetition. Linda Hartley reminds me that, "appropriately applied pressure, stretching and the warmth produced by touch and movement can positively effect the the connective tissue, breaking up or dissolving the gluing and solidifying that so often occur when patterns of chronic tension set in." This phrase could sound like a rote approach taken by many physical therapists. Yet we do the same thing in Nia and have a lot of fun doing it! Over the years, I've learned to integrate props like blocks and bolsters, support from gravity, the floor, the wall, the mirror into cycles 5 and 6 of my Nia practice and my Nia classes, as well as my own self care practice. I learned these techniques by self-research: I played and explored and I listened to the language of my tissues, which is sensation.

Beating myself up for the sculpture I've erected is not useful. It could lead to set backs, including pushing too hard on integral fibers, expecting to force change. Good thing I have Nia to remind me to celebrate the body I inhabit at every moment along the path by choosing pleasure. With Nia, I change my shape through movement incrementally and organically in natural time. This past fall, I attended a vigorous yoga class led by a close friend, Robin Shaw for the first time in about 8 months. I have not been practicing yoga regularly, but integrating Yin yoga stretches into my Nia classes and my daily practice. On the way home from class, Robin remarked how much increase in my flexibility and range of motion she noticed in my body by witnessing me moving. Yoga and bodywork are lovely component to include in my journey into expansion. And yet, all I really need is the variety, curiousity, awareness, compassion and patience that Nia teaches me to embody, in order to transform my physical, emotional, and energetic signature.

The Integrative Science of Nia


Nia science follows an integrated approach to gaining knowledge. Through Nia’s scientific model, practitioners achieve “body literacy” by looking at The Body’s Way and Your Body’s Way.

The study of The Body’s Way is natural science: learning the design of the body that is measurable, in other words, quantitative research. The study of Your Body’s Way can be seen as both applied and social science: applying the “natural science knowledge” to the personal physical experience (applied) and coming to understanding through direct experience via sensation, in other words qualitative research (social).

Through Nia education, practitioners learn to balance the objective and the subjective learning and the delivery of objective/subject data.

All points leading to Nia are integrative. This plants Nia firmly within a holistic foundation.

My perspective on science is influence by and integrated with my perspective on spirituality. Rudolph Steiner's view of science is reflective of my personal spiritual beliefs.

My personal spirituality has always come through as the god inside everyone of us. “Love thy neighbor as you would love yourself” was the sentiment from Catholicism that resonated with me the most, for I didn’t want to feel that separation between myself, my neighbor, and my god. I remember singing in church and gazing at the altar wanting to feel closer, yet as I grew up every naturally occurring behavioral event made me feel ashamed, and disconnected. The god that my Catholic upbringing kept trying to convince me was outside of me or “other”... somehow I came to view as actually one in the same as me – all parts of me, my spirit, my emotions, my body, my thoughts, all integrated with and representative of the god within – and within not just me but everyone and thing in nature.


I think that this belief germinated in my young self even while I was being raised with a different set of beliefs because it is so inherent in the human experience that it remains strong even when culturally challenged. It is the same seed that Steiner says science grew out of. My organic means of knowing god is Steiner’s position on how ancient people came to know anything – from the knowledge of the self, of sensing ourselves to know god, nature, the universe as non-separate. There is some knowing that can be quantified and some that can only be sensed and experienced.


Why have so many Westerners embraced yoga? Yoga comes from a philosophy that is closely connected to a culturo-scientific model that says: “If this is done daily, it will yield certain results.” Yoga is embraced in our Western culture through a cannon of yoga literature that can be studied. While the results may not be guaranteed, there are clearly defined steps to follow, like an established experiment. We are a culture of people who want to "know" what we inherently know to be true through scientific validation. Not only does yoga have a scientific component that appeals to the West, yoga science speaks to several different interest groups insofar as it can be classified as an interdisciplinary study.

From Wikipedia: "The distinctions between the natural science disciplines are not always sharp, and they share a number of cross-discipline fields. Put another way: In some fields of integrative application, specialists in more than one field are a key part of most dialog. Such integrative fields, for example, include nanoscience, astrobiology, and complex system informatics."


Yoga engages the Western masses partly because of the multitude of natural, applied and social sciences that one can study to enhance their workout. People can thus “individualize” their scientific inquiry into the practice. When I am on my mat in a Vinyasa class, I may be showing up partly due to my interest in anatomy. The person on the mat next to me may be there partially in response to reading an article on yoga’s benefit for alleviating depression, the one on the mat in front of my may be using yoga as a tool for weight loss, the research on which has been documented. And the person behind me may be a spiritual scientist, engaged in the physical as one limb or an eight-limb practice toward spiritual enlightenment.

A Nia class is also like this, whether or not we are aware of it in the moment. In any class, people show up to loose weight, to experience the Joy of movement, to be part of a community, to emotionally heal, to physically heal, to combat stress. This is actually where I see a missing link in health science that is pertinent to Nia. Nia has an integrated approach from many different angles, but we are only beginning to think of Nia as a form of Interdisciplinary Studies. We need Nia people who are also social scientists writing about how practicing Nia can yield behavior results, including mindfulness. We need Nia people writing who are also health scientists writing about the laws of nature that are forces at work during a Nia class. We need Nia people who are also applied scientists in all kinds of fields writing about the long term measurable and observable results (quantitative and qualitative) of applying Nia to the regimes of healing stress, mental health issues, physical therapy, educational and athletic performance.

Nia is young: just about 30 years old. Over time, Nia will expand into many different markets, and individuals will be exposed and turned onto Nia who can research and contribute to the scientific cannon of Nia. But today we can all experience and benefit from the applied science of Nia by coming to class, or simply turning on some breathtaking music and being utterly seduced by the science of sensation: the application of awareness of living in your body.


There is so much Nia science that warrants study beyond the science of fitness. There is so much benefit from Nia beyond fitness that I sense, that other sense. Currently, it seems people show up for the fitness and are lucky to get the other components of "body intelligence" that draws from all the realms as a bi-product. When we encourage the view of Nia as interdisciplinary sciences, then like yoga, a Nia cannon will emerge. And many more people will be studying Nia in the interest of enhancing their workout through engagement with their individualized scientific inquiry into the practice. And people will be coming to class for the multitudiness reasons or "knowledges" that people are currently flocking to yoga for.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Consciousness: the Pulse of Nia



By practicing the Nia Technique...

...my consciousness has been transformed by learning to create stillness

...my consciousness has been transformed by learning to sense pleasure and pain in my physical body and in my mental, emotional and spirit bodies

...my consciousness transforms when I become aware of when to receive and when to transmit

...my place of no concern has transformed the way I experience being in relationship with myself and the world

...practicing The Four Energy Allies have transformed the environment I create for myself to live in, my consciousness, and my existence

Even if I didn't choose to teach Nia and didn't share Nia directly with students, my personal evolution in consciousness would spread to others, simply through the culture of consciousness I create for myself.

My continued evolution asks: how do I live this consciousness in every moment? This is the mastery I seek.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Notes from the Field

Here are my notes on processing Valerie Hunt's book, Infinite Mind:The Science of the Human Vibrations of Consciousness.

For me, the mind field is a concept that, in it's totality is exciting and ultimately believable, even while the logical side of me is challenged to fully grasp the components of the theory. Sorta like I felt about Santa Claus... So for the purpose of this post, and in order to get my arms around Hunt's ideas, I am going to take a page from her book and consider some personal experiences that help me locate moments in time that I have felt a connection to the mind field.

In the winter of my junior year of high school, I was at a party making out with a guy who had a truly fabulous car (1960-something GTO), and equally phenomenal body (football player). I can recall the sensations of stirrings coursing through my teenage cells, and then abruptly the message I felt like a switch go off on my skin, hair standing up on my arms, a whoosh of energy surge and evaporate. Take me home, I instructed the guy. I needed to leave. Something had changed so tangibly in me, in the world, and I didn't know what it was. He was confused and I so was I, but the message was clear. The next morning, I discovered that my best friend's battle with cancer had ended at that exact moment. I knew something based on an energetic transmission.

In 1996, Brian and I moved to Portland, OR from Boston, looking for an adventure. I had this hunch that we would end up living in Seattle, but family in Portland made it an easy stepping stone. A musician friend from Boston was living in Seattle and I was in a rush to visit him soon after my move to Portland. My experience of driving into Seattle for the first time was surreal. Approaching the city from the highway, I felt decay. I made every effort as we began to explore to stay open and enthusiastic, and yet I couldn't shake a heavy negativity. I looked forward to meeting up with my hometown friend, who had always been fun-loving. But when I arrived at our meeting spot, he was hardly recognizable. He was jittery, pale, thin and extremely pessimistic. I came to discover that he had developed a drug habit, which disturbed me greatly. It hit me as soon as he left that the way I had been experiencing the energy of the city was a prelude to my encounter with my friend. Looking back, this was an experience where the mindfield connected me with a premonitory knowing and/or an entry into the residual energy of pain and decay that the culture of the 90's left imprinted on this city: it's ghosts.

In 2006, when my pregnancy was first confirmed, I was buoyant. The first few months I felt carried on a wave of magic and everything seemed to magnetize to me. Then at 21 weeks, the ultrasound revealed both the undetected twin pregnancy and my "incompetent cervix." Not only did the language of this condition lead me to concern and self-judgement, but the attitude of the health care professionals working with me imparted fear at every turn. And I took on that fear. Not only was I afraid of how I would care for two infants, I feared that my body was not capable of carrying them to term. I told myself that if I accepted my bedrest orders and took precautions, that I had nothing to fear, over and over, that I could trust my body. And yet those seeds of fear were dropped around me constantly and by even the most well-meaning people. Other people's thoughts and emotions were perpetually flowing into my field. At this time, my 3 year old male dog became very stressed out whenever other people were around me, which generated more fear in me, that he would become aggressive. Eventually he did bite the contractor and the electrician. I hired an animal behaviorist to work with us, as I couldn't bear to give the dog up, nor bring babies into a home with an aggressive animal. She gave me a book on how animals read humans - through our body language, tone, breathing - and how we can read dogs to notice their signals and reflect back what we want to reinforce. Reading this book and working with my dogs taught me a lot about energy. If I desire a calm and relaxed response, that is what I need to put out. This reminds me of Hunt's idea that "brain washing" is actually just organizing the field. This is basically what we do in Nia when we create the space, or choose to be in 5D. Eventually with the pregnancy, the way that I could stay connected to higher emotions and vibrations, in order to lift myself out of the pool of fear was to practice Nia, even though I couldn't dance. Doing my bars, practicing RAW...I was connected with the collective energy of my tribe, working with Nia principles to design my "Labor Toolbox" (birth plan), I was in the moments of my intensive experiences, in the moments of the birth of the principles, the moments of refinements...I was transported across space/time by intention, through the field.

In the final hours of my father's life, he was transported home with all of his children and grandchildren at his bedside. He was leaving his body. His breath grew shallow and his hand in mine was growing cold. The last breath was a soft surrender, after which, all the lights in the house flared and then burnt out. This is my experience of electric energy up and out.

While Hunt's work might not make logical sense to me yet as a cohesive unit, the individual cells have resonated in my own cells and will continue to flow into the field.