celebrating spirit…12-20-16


Been dancing in the new year at St. Joseph’s Grass Valley as long as I’ve been involved in this conscious dance practice. I’ve missed one or two over the last decade+ and it always seemed a bit strange to NOT be there. To be out in the world carousing and drinking and participating in all the standard crazy behaviors that signify ringing in another journey around the sun in this culture. Don’t get me wrong, I was out there having fun, it just felt like something was a bit off. Like ritual. Like intention. Like community.

And so when new management took over St. Joseph’s two years ago and declared it unavailable, a little piece of my heart withered. But now things have shifted and we get to return. I am super-excited, anticipating spending time again in this unique venue built in 1866 as a convent for the Sisters of Mercy. The clapboard, the tall stained glass, the rose garden…and all the memories this place holds. It calls me back.

Juliette and I sat down this week and sketched out this Eve & Day journey. It begins with potluck (bring whatever!) and connection before moving into a first wave of music. The incredible Terre Busse will create a Temple of Release for the massive stage. A place where we can lighten our burden, metaphorically and physically let go of what no longer serves. Maniko will work her sound magic, lead us in our most beloved sangha songs. And then, of course, we’ll dance some more. There is a lounge area right in the space—futons, pillows, blankets—to cuddle up and be social. Count on a ritual around midnight leading us from the landscape of release right into presence. There is nothing like emptying out to create possibility for landing in the present moment. After midnite, some downtempo, sliding us toward bedtime.

In the morning I’ll hold us for simple foundational yoga on that buttery dance floor starting at nine. No prior yoga experience required. And then we’ll dance some more, harvesting release and presence, turning it into the fruit of intention. See above: “Like ritual. Like intention. Like community.” What a grounded, heart-full, conscious way to step in to 2017.   I hope you can join us for New Year’s Eve and/or the New Year’s Day Sweat. See sidebar link for all the juicy details. No more dance in Sacramento until January 4…

And so as we cruise into the holidays, I am sending my love to you and yours. I know we will meet again on some floor somewhere. May it be soon.

Love, bella


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