This is what I’ve been up to these days!
This is what I’ve been up to these days!
This is what I’ve been up to these days!
Well, after having a baby and relocating to Ogden, Utah, I am now teaching Lotus Fusion Dance at the wonderful studio space downtown called Lotus Yoga & Dance Studio which is part of the Blooming Lotus Imports gift store and food lounge! It’s a wonderful space run by wonderful, conscious people.
On Saturday, October 25th, the owner, Stephanie, is offering an all day FREE event of yoga, meditation and dance! My class will be at 3:45 pm. Come check it out and all the other classes! It’s sure to be a great opportunity to “sample” all that Lotus has to share with the public.
Come check it out!
As I recover from the birth of my son, not quite 11 weeks ago, I have been thinking about my body a lot. After getting out of my bath this morning, a stolen few moments of luxury, I sat in front of a long mirror brushing my hair and observed my naked stomach, thighs and breasts. Yes, things have definitely changed. There are things about my shape that will never be the same and things that may yet. My mother told me, “It took 9 months for your body to become this way, it will take time for things to get back to normal.” Although, I must admit, I loved the huge curvy swell of my belly and thighs while I was pregnant. I had never felt more feminine and luscious in all my life.
Now that my little son has emerged and is growing steadily, my belly bears a resemblance to what I can best describe as a deflated balloon. It somewhat appears like it’s old shape and yet, there is definite evidence of it’s former occupant.
The young girl who still resides in me, conditioned by society and fashion magazines, used to recoil in horror at the idea of letting the fine-tuned instrument of my ever managed body go. But the woman I have become is not repulsed in the slightest. There is an almost jovial sense of humor in the sheer lunacy of it all. The ridiculousness of fighting change. Change is ever constant. The snake which does not shed it’s skin is near to death. How many mental illnesses must be hatched under the pretense of keeping things the same? The terrible fear of losing a well fabricated sense of self-hood which has become outgrown, as ill-fitting as a pair of childhood tights one keeps trying to cram them self into.
At this moment there is an awesome sense of pride in what my body can do…has done!
What an amazing power to have grown another living being inside myself, to have spent hours of sweat and effort to bring him forth into the world, and now to transmogrify my own flesh into the sustenance which sustains him! While that conditioned little girl sometimes looks in the mirror and thinks, “My God, what has happened?” the woman and mother in me thinks, “My God, what a miracle!” What a relief to have shed yet another skin, another past, another obsolescent identity.
I used to think all my little projects were the meaning of my life. But now I know they are the spice added to the flavor of the meaning of my life and that the true meaning is in “Be”ing a strand in the immense tapestry of Creation.
People too often make the mistake of dismissing that which is common as being beneath their consideration for divinity, and yet the alchemy of it all! How magical that this can occur with such perfect harmony. In a Universe of such vastness, the birth of a star is also common. What elegance in the conception of the order of things! My God, what the Universe must have felt at the moment of the bang which gave birth to us all!
I have been feeling both overwhelmed with love since my son, Alexander, was born and a bittersweet kind of pain as I know his path to separation from me as his guardian and steward has already begun.
Kahlil Gibran explains this far better than I ever could…..
by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
In considering this, I have never been made more aware of my own mortality than when I brought forth a new little being who will live on to see a world I will never see. As such, I feel it is my sacred charge to prepare him as best I can to navigate his life, and to do everything I can to leave this world a better place than I found it.
Jade Beall is not only an amazing dancer…
…but also a gifted photographer who has started a project focusing on the beauty of women’s bodies after motherhood. As a new mother myself, I celebrate my body’s capacity to create and sustain life. Motherhood is gorgeous and Beall’s photography project captures the changing curves and planes in all their splendor:
Visit her website for more inspiring images: www.jadebeall.com/
I love these people so, so very much!
As a Nature-lover and Pantheist, I am adamant about the preservation of habitat, good stewardship and understanding and supporting ecosystems. Beavers are a keystone species in the health of an environment.
As an employee of Oregon State University and wife of an OSU Alumnus, I thought Beaver Nation should check out this delightful Nature documentary about our noble, eco-hero mascot. Beavers are vital to reversing the effects of global warming and conserving water and all the life it supports:
Beaver Whisperer, Michel Leclair, has come up with an ingenious method of working with the Beavers to the benefit of all. Click the link: Leave it To Beavers, to watch the documentary!
The first time I saw Zoe Jakes some seven years ago, I was beyond captivated. The first time I saw her dance live six years ago, I went straight out and signed up for a Tribal Fusion class the VERY next day. Then I got a chance to interview her for the cover of fuse: a tribal and tribal fusion belly dance magazine in 2011.
Now, in 2014, Zoe continues to be one of the most talented, creative and innovative artists out there, not just as a dancer, but as an artistic director, producer and member of the band Beats Antique, storyteller and sorceress. She weaves a spell over everyone in her path, drawing from the past and weaving it into the present and future. Zoe, you amaze me!
Being pregnant is so different from what I thought it would be. Aside from this little developing being, I’m amazed at how much I am growing and changing. The obvious way of course is physically, but even that is amazing in how much my body shifts and perfectly accommodates the little person in there and all my organs somehow move exactly where they need to be to keep doing their job. It’s a shocking feeling to realize that I am breathing, eating and even pumping blood for myself and another person. I’ve never been so physically present in my life or amazed at how truly marvelous and strong the human body is, at how it perfectly adapts and shifts to create balance, like a landscape or ecosystem, and generates energy for two lives. In this way, my body is like the Earth and I participate in an inner dance with Nature.
Emotionally and mentally, I’m changing too and not just in wild shifts of hormonal imbalances, although that does happen every so often, but in a strange sense of “letting go” that all my years of meditation, yoga and spiritual studies never brought me even close to. Letting go of control and just allowing things to be. Pregnancy, I suppose in a way, is a fast track to learning how to release control, or at least it has been for me. It’s actually very liberating to finally release it, to accept the world and myself as it is….accepting this moment, this life, this place in space and time as exactly what it should be. Moving consciously into a sense of openness to all life.
Joseph Campbell talks about how you’re never truly alive until you can say “Yes,” to life as it is. I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain this state of consciousness after pregnancy, but as of this moment, I feel like I understand that. Saying “yes” to this moment in time, no matter what it is, even if I feel great sadness…saying “yes” to that emotion, and accepting ALL of my emotions as part of myself. Enjoying the fleeting moments of amazement and joy and vulnerability and warmth and the love I feel for this little one who is part of myself. This little being who is part of my every movement and heartbeat. I and this little being are one right now. It’s the most intimate thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Without even trying there is already a deep and very rich, meaningful communication between us. Without even trying, he is already held, nurtured, spoken to, embraced, loved and known by me, held by my most natural instincts and inner nature.
I say “yes” to this little soul. Yes, I want you to be here. Yes, you are welcome here. Yes, I look forward to meeting you soon. And to myself, I say “yes” I want to be alive. I say yes to my life now. I have never felt more awake or willing to accept this moment of reality and existence.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to do this. I didn’t think I would be capable of the task or that I’d be too selfishly absorbed in my own melodrama to care about moving into adulthood and becoming a mother, but I was wrong. That was before I knew what I was truly capable of. That was before I ever realized just how much love I could have for another person, or that I’d be willing to lay down my life for someone else without fear. I’ve never felt more courage or excitement about anything. I once thought motherhood was “giving something up,” I never realized what you get in return is exponentially greater. I enjoyed my life before. I did. I went on adventures and traveled and got to explore to know myself and what I stand for and what I love and I did those things and I will continue to do those things. I’m also happy I have had 8 beautiful years with my spouse – for it to be “just us.” I feel truly blessed by God or the Universe or whatever you want to call the great mysterious force governing all life, that we had such great times together over the years. But I also remember feeling a longing, an absence, a “something is missing” emotion over the past three to four years. There’s a Björk song where she sings, “I miss you but I haven’t met you yet/ So special but it hasn’t happened yet/ You are gorgeous but I haven’t met you yet/ I remember but it hasn’t happened yet.” I know it’s totally corny to quote pop music, but that’s exactly how I felt. The Universe believed in me even before I did. The lesson comes when the student is ready.
There is not one single thing I have ever done in my silly little life before this that has been as challenging, rewarding or affirming and spiritually astonishing as this. Not school, or awards or accolades. Not dance, not previous moments of revelation, and most certainly NOT A JOB. I think moving here was the prep before the test, a shedding of old identities so a new one could be born….for both of us. Not one single thing has ever felt this incredible. And he hasn’t even been born yet! I have only to trust now and release into my most natural state of being. My body knows just what to do, I have only to trust it.
I have always really loved Sera Solstice.
Reading this Culture Grinder interview of hers just made me love her even more:
“When I was in college, everyone told me I would do nothing with an art degree. Everyone would say I couldn’t make money from dancing; that it can only be a hobby. But my career took off. I worked my ass off until there was an over-flowing wait-list for my classes. Then people said I couldn’t have an artistic career and kids. This one, I almost believed. Then I became pregnant in 2006. I have two kids now and I travel all over the world, bringing my family with me. I have to say that I love being in my thirties and the maturity that comes from getting a little older. I have a new perspective on what is important and what is superficial bullshit.”
Read the Full Interview – Culture Grinder: Interview with Sera Solstice
She was also featured as Culture Grinder of the Month, August 2012