Ecstatic Dance Evolution

When I first heard of Ecstatic Dance I thought it was kind of different and odd since it was so completely different from what I was used to.  And then let’s frame this by sharing that I grew up teaching group exercise staring with high impact aerobics and went to Texas A&M so dance to me had lots of boundaries, restrictions and accepted moves.  Little did I know that was all changing before my eyes and in my life…

Until, after the Magdalen Workshop in Houston that Sarah and I had co-chaired I woke up in the middle of the night and just knew that I MUST GO TO DANCE TOMORROW!  It was that kind of knowing that was big and foreboding and I could do nothing else but here it loudly in my head and I could feel the dancing in my  bones trying to come out.  Plus, my friend Randy had told me about it and I knew he was going so that helped me feel safe about trying it out.  Yet, I felt a bit paranoid about showing up alone so I texted him in the middle of the night letting him know that I would be there in the morning, and I prefaced it by sharing that Spirit made me do it!

That was last summer and I have to say that after my first dance where I just starting to tap into my inner groove, I have gotten more and more into Ecstatic Dance so much that my life has become ecstatic.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, let me start by saying that Ecstatic Dance has just a few guidelines and no rules!  For me it’s like teaching high impact with strict dance moves to provided music at a 180 beats per minute and then going straight to teaching a spin class that flows with nature and gives you the opportunity to feel yourself more intently while you get your sweat on.  Does that paint a better picture?  Because that’s what it’s like, it’s amazing.  You don’t need to wear any shoes, but maybe socks when it’s super cold; you don’t, I repeat DO NOT use the mirrors, which is so fantastic since I grew up staring at myself in the mirrors and wearing the perfect outfit, and about clothes, you just need anything that is kind of loosely yoga based so you can move around comfortably.  I’ll never forget my first dance because I actually wore a bra!  And quickly after seeing everyone in their jog bras did the remove-your-bra-without-taking-off-your-clothes in public shimmy shimmy co co puff shake.  And finally, there is no talking during dance.  We are invited to use our body language only as we dance and you can always dance with another person but when you are done, you can put your hands together and give a little nod in gratitude before continuing on your journey. Having an ecstatic life means that it is full of joy and happyness because when your thoughts, words and actions match your expression about life, you become much more grateful and in synchronicity with the world around you.

Samadhi and her team create a beautifully curated sacred space in which to totally feel the music and let it move you in any way that feels good to you.  You can’t dance in any way wrong.  It just doesn’t exist! You can go in any direction at any time doing whatever your body feels and without any judgement about how you look or how anyone else looks.  It’s all just an expression of each person as they take a journey through the music!  It’s like a grown up version of going to Great Skate!  Remember skating?  You just do what you want when you want.  It’s a big sand box and we are all just playing together and having fun. Sometimes the music makes me feel like jumping up and down, or gliding around the floor, or even beating on the floor during a tribal beat.  It’s always different and a compilation of rythms and beats that make you want to move.

Back story is that I sometimes dream in music and wake up with a song that means something to me.  That’s what Ecstatic Dance is for me.  Samadhi is the amazing talented individual that started it here in Houston more than twelve years ago.  She is ALL about the music, I mean she spends hours upon hours working on the music set which is completely different for each dance every single Sunday.  And it’s all professionally mixed and flows together so you never lose your dance buzz.  The music is created by going through the chakras taking everyone on their own individual journey, kind of like how teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation works.  Everyone comes in for their own experience and gets exactly what they need at that moment.  Samadhi and her group of trained facilitators set the intention with a theme each week during a conference call on Wednesdays and then from then on Spirit works to create a vortex of loving support to which everyone shows up and it starts.

The dance officially starts with a warm up which is a few songs to which you’ll see people stretching on the floor, in yoga poses, dancing around, meditating, or just laying on the ground in their own silent space.  Then, when the warm up has ended, Samadhi invites us to come together in opening circle where we all sit in a massive circle to hear about the intention of the dance, who is facilitating since there are a few different leaders so we can understand the intent of the set of music we are about to dance to.  The last dance held at Planet Funk Academy was facilitated by Andy and the theme was Epic and the set of music even included the theme to James Bond and Star Wars which was a total delight for us all to dance to!  Now that the dance has moved to MATCH in Midtown Houston, we are all excited to open up the dance for more people to join, especially since we are now in a beautiful new studio in the middle of town.  The floors are so soft and spring loaded, with tall ceilings and the music sounds fantastic!  You are all invited to attend Ecstatic Dance Evolution Houston every Sunday from 10:30am to 1pm and know that you are welcome to come any time and leave any time.  Some people come after warm up and that is totally up to you!  The dance is about 90 minutes long with definite high notes and ends in a loving manner by winding everyone back down for a closing circle.  The Closing circle is when we slowly move back into a circle and Samadhi invites us for share-backs where anyone can voice how their experience was during the dance, then we go around sharing our names quickly, and then end with any community announcements.

The entire Sunday morning when I go to Ecstatic Dance is the best way I know how to start my favorite day of the week!  It’s a great place to meet friends, meet new ones and just be yourself.  Everyone wears what suits them from yoga clothes for women and shorts and bathing suit trunks for men. Sometimes I wear flash tattoos, bendi and sequins with my hair in mini buns!  It just depends on my mood.  Plus, after dance we will share a local place in which we are all meeting if anyone wants to join us for lunch.  And this is the best time to meet all those familiar faces that you’ve just experienced Ecstatic Dance with and maybe don’t know.  This past Sunday we had a great group of new people from as far as Victoria with us during dance and there were about 85 in attendance.  Samadhi has worked tirelessly to create Ecstatic Dance Evolution in which to package the dance with her style so that others can go through facilitator training, join the music service and create their own conscious community with her brand of dance.  For me, the experience is always different each week depending on where I am with my life and what I’m feeling, but it’s the one place that I can truly go to express myself and I always leave feeling a bit shinier and brighter about life!

Sonya Sophia School of Living Arts

As my life continues to become more ecstatic in nature, I was introduced to Sonya and invited to work together but first I needed to complete the training to become an EFT Practitioner.  It was a beautiful coming together of friends in Houston with new friends in Austin.  Little did I know I was about to leap into another beautiful journey of self discovery that continues to lead me deeper into my own healing nature.  First, the online training was phenomenal.  It included educational video’s, interviews, and TedTalks about the history and research completed on Emotional Free Tapping (EFT).  At the same time, I had just been introduced to Sonya Sophia when a friend of mine shared a tap on money with me and it lead to an intense journey that incorporated lots of laughter and deep insights on how I view money and love.  I loved what Sonya represented and that is healing humanity so that we can all get ON with our lives.  She is a giving soul with enlightenment in her eyes for each and all of us.  With her love and guidance, she allowed me to just dive in head first!  I had never done anything like EFT before and it was a great opportunity to dig into my own stuff and get it all out.  I had no idea that my wish was about to come true!

Less than two weeks later, we were meeting in Northern California at a retreat called Compound Joy where we would all spend ten days together working, and healing our own selves and each other in the process.  But before I got there, I was constantly attached to the online teacher training keeping up with everyone else that had started weeks before me.  The goal was to have it completed before we arrived at the retreat. But you know me, I got it done.

Then, I was off to California with a friends from dance that I didn’t know where already registered and that felt great to know a handful of people before leaving!  The retreat at Compound Joy was full of new friends from all over the planet and soon we became one big family.  We were all meant to be there.  It was like a slice of heaven as we spent each day with great food, and met on the Tennis Court for the 5 Tibetan Exercises, before learning the 17 Chinese Wand Innercises, and then ending with the Ascension Attitudes Meditation in the sun.  We would then have our educational segment with Sonya that was recorded and ended with a massive group tap for us to fall into our own healing experience that included lots of A-Ha moments and big shifts.  Of course, I was journalling the entire experience and it was amazing.

Then, we would have another nourishing meal before heading off around the house to complete a tapping trade where we would practice being the practitioner with a friend (that we connected with after a short ecstatic dance) and then break before meeting again to switch roles and then lead a tap for your partner.  Tap trades took at least three or four hours.  And Compound Joy is on twenty acres, so there were lots of places to meet with your partner to facilitate the trade.  This went on with different partners daily until the end of the week, we were focused on Relationships, our Divine Path, and Manifesting our Future Self.  There were even a few partys that were perfectly timed and genius if you ask me – so I won’t give it all away so you can be surprised yourself!

The EFT Intensive Retreat is where you earn your wings.  And after we all graduated and returned back to our home towns, we’ve continued to tap trade for each other via Skype since we are all infinitely connected.  Returning back to our home places as emotionally cleared meant we were shaking up our lives and the lives around us.  After a brief moment of expansion and contraction into our lives that we had left, we were all a bit different.  For me, my experience meant I was seeing life differently, more in tune with my divine self and more at un-ease with my reality as it continues to change for the better!  As we all become more enlightened and increased our awareness, then the duality of life starts to fuse together into one heightened consciousness.  Gone are the days of doing one thing to receive money and then spending it on completely other things.  It’s all love and as we move from conditional love and conditional money, then we can co-create a community full of unconditional love and let the money flow.

I’ve completed thirty complimentary sessions and have already started receiving clients for EFT sessions both in person and via the web for long distance sessions. For me, it’s a bit different in that I offer my own version of energetic EFT sessions due to my training, experience and emotional intelligence. If you are interested in learning more about EFT and would like to schedule an introductory session, please contact me via Text or Call at 713-232-9796.  With Light and Love!

Living Mandala: Burning Man 2016

Realize Sacred Contact is a communal art space based upon sacred geometry offering experiences from social interaction to self-individuation and divine union. This living mandala of the universe guides human knowing to its inner source for an experience of oneness and unconditional love.

Realizing Sacred Contact is a phenomenon that involves activating and opening the third eye of conscious awareness. The living mandala represents the universe and offers the community the opportunity to focus within. Here they will realize their own human potential as connections to divine consciousness. Conscious awareness is inherent in every single person, yet many are unaware of their potential and fearful of their divine source. RSC offers an altered state of living. As they come upon this living 40’ in diameter mandala, they are offered a journey towards a sense of oneness located at the center of the exhibit, embodied in a ball of golden light representing love and divine union.

Entering the site, the community is guided towards self-individuation as the terrain and spatial areas offer a heightened awareness of balance between female-yin and male-yang. At the very center is the eye of knowing, where a ball of golden light draws one’s awareness into the light that encompasses the spirituality of human consciousness.

To realize is to see with real-eyes and not with any false sense of knowing, but with deep inner love for one’s self. Realizing Sacred Contact is for each burner to experience, enjoy and remember for years to come as we all exponentially grow in our own group consciousness, inspiring humanity to attain his or her own true divine passion, one burner at a time.

Physical and Interactivity
Realizing Sacred Contact will be viewed from afar as a 28’ tall tetrahedron floating above a 40’ diameter circular mandala offering nonstop public access. Inside the mandala there will be three opposing half spheres or bowls for group and private interaction. Inviting and illuminated by colored LED lighting, these large bowls will ground the exhibit and offera unique location to meet for social and group interaction.

In addition, there will be six sections of seating, each flanking one of three support columns framed by the tetrahedron for contemplation and meditation. Two additional and spatially recognized tetrahedrons diminishing in size will offer participants a journey into the mandala while creating movement, flow and pattern towards the center.

Inside the main tetrahedron floating 18’ off the ground are four copper-colored triangles, interlaid to create a twelve-pointed star drawing the focus upwards. Inside each point of the star is a spinning disc inscribed with a symbol, each representing a different form of spirituality uniting as one collective universal consciousness.

At the very center of the top section of the main tetrahedron there is a distinct ball of golden light visible from outside the mandala. Directly below this central focal point will be a raised and illuminated area to experience being at the center of the universe uniting the collective universal consciousness with their inner sacred source of wisdom and knowing.

Fits the Mission
Realize Sacred Contact aims to guide burners into an experience of oneness within themselves. It offers an opportunity to tap into a source of knowing that they are never really alone. The living mandala is a representation of the universe as a symbol of radical inclusion.

This exemplifies the 10 Principles of Burning Man starting with decommodification of the project, as it is pure color, texture and light. The living mandala encourages radical self-reliance as burners take a journey within. Participants are able to join others inside the pods as they meet others coming from the playa. From there, they can dance, meditate, or even relax on the benches as they move towards the light in the middle, enjoying the twelve-pointed star high above their heads as a representation of all spiritual philosophies joined together by one love for a collective consciousness.

This project is a massive communal effort to collectively grow the human consciousness one person and one flame at a time. We are all basically 99.99% the same recognizing that together we are parts of one whole of life and the universe. Together we will all participate in finding our way to the mandala, as our own inner flame is drawn to the source, like bees to the hive. It is our civic responsibility to continue creating opportunities for the human race to experience this type of love that exists from the divine source within one of us.

We didn’t get short-listed this year!  Yet we are still headed to Burning Man and will focus time on developing the idea. Thank you all for your support!