“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?"

~John Steinbeck

Are you in tune with the cycles of nature? Do you ever time events in your life according to the cosmic calendar? How can syncing up your life with the sun, moon, and stars make your life easier?

This is the last Monday Love until we all pass through another solstice cycle, which happens to be the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s always darkest before the dawn, so this is the week when we curl up and get cozy before things start to shift the other way again and things start to lighten up, a few minutes at a time each day.

Just think, it wasn’t too long ago in the grand scheme of things that our ancestors had no Gregorian calendar, and all of the decisions and planning was determined by the moon and stars and where the sun was in the sky.

Sacred sites like Stonehenge and Machu Picchu are aligned in such a way that solstice is marked by a particular angle of the sun. At my house, there’s a certain spot that the sun reaches only on the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the modern way of thinking, and to buy into the limiting belief that the rigid Western calendar is the only way to line things up time-wise. But really, there can be a big upside to using the more cosmic turning points to arrange things in your life.

A lot of the folks I’ve worked with over the years have programs they’re developing, or newsletters they’re putting together, or marketing plans they’re implementing. One of the things I always advise people is to be consistent. For instance, this Monday Love newsletter has gone out without fail for over five years now!

But not everyone wants to take on a weekly newsletter. And monthly can be kind of boring. I’ve had folks give it some thought and decide that a Full Moon / New Moon cycle suits them just fine. Some folks only need to reach out quarterly, so timing their outreach to the solstice and equinoxes is a good fit.

And sometimes it’s a longer cycle, and the idea is to initiate action or a big announcement at one marking point and have it come to fruition on another. My dear friend and successful coaching client Wendy Roman uses this idea and achieves great results with herRhythmwood Soul Journeys — she makes the initial save-the-date announcement on the Winter Solstice, and then ramps up her promotions and outreach through the early spring as the days get longer and things green up — then the actual peak of the program where her participants gather with her at the Rhythmwood Retreaton the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada happens just after Summer Solstice, completing the cosmic circuit.

Life is all about cycles and spirals, from the DNA in our cells to the universe we live in. Consciousness itself can be thought of as a spiral that has a tendency to ascend if we keep learning and progressing. As you probably well know, being stuck going around in circles is no fun.

This is a great time to look inward and reflect on what you want to leave behind in the year gone by, and what you intend to expand moving forward. Step into the solstice willing to shed what doesn’t serve you, and make room for the nourishment of the New Year to come your way!

Much love and Happy Solstice until next week!

M+

Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Member Spotlight :: Alexandra Johnson and International Breema Week!

This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight shines on Breema practitioner Alexandra Johnson, MD. I had the opportunity to interview her about Breema and the upcoming International Breema Week happening in Oakland and around the world January 5th to 13th.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Breema, it’s an embodiment practice based around the central concept of being present. Often done in pairs, with one person guiding the movement in a form that looks something like a cross between Thai Massage, Partner Bodywork, or Contact Improvisation, Breema has a core philosophy centered on “The Nine Principles of Harmony. ”

Because it’s far more than simply a massage or bodywork modality, the Nine Principles are meant to be brought into every aspect of daily existence, to form a comprehensive lifestyle practice.

Alexandra is an MD with a thriving practice where she blends Breema, Self-Breema & Functional Medicine. Her clinic, Greeting Health operates out of The Breema Clinic which is across the street from The Breema Center in Oakland. Describing Breema she says “It’s really the art of being present in daily life, there’s a valuable aspect of self-care in the moment. I do Breema to come to an experience of my mind and body and feelings in harmony, and if I can sit in that space with myself, then whoever I’m working with, in whatever clinical context, I’m sharing that experience with them.

She will be facilitating daily pre-workday Self-Breema (exercises done on your own body) classes at the Breema Center every weekday from 8:15 to 9am starting in January, and will be offering half-price Breema bodywork sessions at the clinic throughout Breema Week. “Self-Breema is a way of moving with the body and mind connected. It’s a way of using mind and body as a reference point in the moment. ‘No Judgement’ and ‘No Extra’ are two of the principles that are really useful in my daily life and practice. Each time you experience it it’s a new and different experience because it asks that question, ‘Where am I in this moment?

International Breema Week is a global phenomenon where facilitators and practitioners all over the world offer complimentary or introductory classes and workshops to build awareness for the practice and to educate the public about The Nine Principles of Harmony. In February, the global Breema community converges in Oakland for one of the thrice-yearly International Intensives to hone their skills and advance their practices.

Here at Dance First and Conscious Dancer , we’ve been honored to include Breema in our family of modalities for many years. Keep an eye on the big list below to find events or workshops near you, and be sure to check their website for more info on trainings and intensives.

Alexandra says it best, Breema is a dynamic practice to integrate into your life! “I’ve been practicing Breema for almost 20 years now, and I still say ‘practicing’ Breema, and I’m still a student! The more I do it, the more I discover about it, and even as I bring it into my medical practice, I’m still discovering new avenues and new things about it every day.

Learn more at www.Breema.com

International Breema Week 
Jan 5 – 13, Oakland and Around the World