Wake Up with Me

I recently committed to 3 hours of movement per week.

My body has been asking for it, and I’ve been much too sedentary since I’ve been working so much with my computer.

I fell into a rut of feeling too tired to exercise, which was enabling a downward spiral of staying put >> low energy >> staying put.

I did pretty goody the first week, but it felt constraining after, and I’ve been moving around so much that making it to the gym has been a bit of a challenge.

I thought my commitment to movement had to be something like working out at the gym or some formal class.

Instead of giving up, I decided to include movement in all forms, and counting dance breaks and walks and stretching into the 3-hours per week commitment.

The last few days I started adding back a practice of stretching and dancing in the morning, to warm up my muscles, wake up my body and ground into it to start the day deliciously.

This is the result:

 

I’ve found, or rather ‘re-membered,’ that this morning ritual shifts completely whatever I was feeling, that I can tap into the wisdom in my body, and it wakes up my appetite for something healthy and nourishing, as opposed to some sweet treat in the morning.

It frees up my back, I feel lighter and more nimble, and it sets me up to make decisions based on what is good for me instead of what feels good in the moment.

I find myself fighting less with myself and having to use my will power a lot less. Instead, I just feel like doing what I need to be doing for myself.

It’s fantastic, and I’m so happy I’m remembering this practice and feel so committed to continuing it.

And it occurred to me, that perhaps you’d like to come along for the ride.

Soooo…. I’ve been toying with the idea of a series called Wake Up With Melody, where I post a video of my morning routine, share about the music, and thoughts on current events and something to inspire you.

What do you think? What kinds of things would you like to see in this series?

Don’t be shy! Let me know in the comments!

And if you’d like to receive these, please sign up for the mailing list here.

This is your formal invitation into a more intimate slice of my life, where you get to wake up with me and maybe dance along.

Big love and gratitude always,

 

Melody

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Isabel Allende on Dancing

A friend of mine recently shared this with me on Facebook, and I find it so poignant and delicious I had to offer it to you as well.

Isabel Allende’s description of the sheer letting go and reconnection/alignment that happens when we dance with abandon is just breathtaking.

“Mi primer recuerdo de felicidad, cuando era una mocosa huesuda y desgreñada, es moverme al son de los tambores y ésa es también mi más reciente felicidad, porque anoche estuve en la plaza del Congo bailando y bailando, sin pensamientos en la cabeza, y hoy mi cuerpo está caliente y cansado. La musica es un viento que lleva los años, los recuerdos y el temor, ese animal agazapado adentro. Con los tambores desaparece la Zarité de todos los días y vuelvo a ser la niña que danzaba cuando apenas sabia caminar. Golpeo el suelo con las plantas de los pies y la vida me sube por las piernas, me recorre el esqueleto, se apodera de mí, me quita la desazon y me endulza la memoria. El mundo se estremece. El ritmo nace en la isla bajo el mar, sacude la tierra, me atraviesa como un reláampago y se va al cielo llevándose mis pesares. Baila, baila Zarité, porque esclavo que baila es libre – mientras baila.”

La Isla Bajo El Mar Isabel Allende

My translation:

“My first memory of happiness, from when I was a snotty, bony, dirty little girl, was moving to the sound of the drums and that’s also my most recent joy, because last night I was in the Congo square dancing and dancing, without thoughts in my mind, and today my body is hot and tired. The music is a wind that takes away the years, the memories and the fear, that crouching animal within. With the drums, the Zarite of every day disappears and I go back to being that girl that danced when she barely knew how to walk. I beat the ground with the soles of my feet and life rises up my legs, runs through my skeleton, takes over me, takes away my melancholy and sweetens my memory. The world shivers. The rhythm is born on the island under the sea, shakes the earth, goes through me like lightning and goes up to the sky taking with it my heaviness. Dance, dance Sarite, because the slave that dances is free – while he dances.”

The Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende 13

What’s your reaction when you read this? Do these words reflect your experience of wild dancing?

Naked Wellness is Going International!

Ok. So this isn’t so much a blog post as it is an announcement.

And I’m so very excited to share it with you!

I kind of ruined the surprise with the title but, in my defense, I couldn’t help it. It’s just that I’m that excited about it!

Are you ready?

Here goes…

On February 27th, I will be leading the Come Back Into Your Senses workshop in the sweet paradise island of Koh Phangan, Thailand.

!!!

Yes, it’s so very hard working from paradise…

……

Oh. Where was I?

Right! This is the part where I explain what exactly this workshop is about. Which is…

We’re not just minds, and we’re not just souls.

Our bodies serve a purpose, are incredibly wise, and they deserve to be honored.

So, if by any chance you happen to be around (or decide to stop by), please do yourself a favor and stop by the Life Spiral Center at The Sanctuary, Koh Phangan, to remind yourself of why you should stop fighting with your body to behave the way you believe it should, and reconnect with the many pleasures of having an embodied existence.

We will experiment with breathwork, meditation, sensual movement and mhhhhmmmmoaning!

By bypassing the thinking brain, we will open up the communication lines with our body, gain clarity around its needs, boost our confidence, creativity and sensuality and have a magnificiently fun time getting out of our minds.

As a result, we will be able to tap into our body’s wisdom as another tool to go after our dreams and find more joy and pleasure in life.

Ahhh… the joy!

Ahhhhh… the pleasure!

And it’s all happening in beautiful southern Thailand, where we can run into the sea and have delicious fresh young coconuts after we’re done with the workshop.

Mhhhhmmmmm….. I can’t wait!

Winter Stagnation?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written about getting back into our sexy.

 

Hmph.

 

I suppose all the layers upon layers of winter clothing have been a literal barrier to me being in touch with my body as usual.

 

During summer, it’s so easy!

 

My body is right there, visible.

 

(Especially because I tend to wear nothing but a bikini, a sarong and sandals… Yes, even in NYC).

 

The warm summer breeze feels scrumptious on my skin, and so do the suns rays.

 

People are smiling, music is blaring, our senses are bombarded with all sorts of pleasurable experiences.

 

Summer is all about being (at least!) half-naked, being open, exploring, having lots of energy and running around doing all sorts of activities with loved ones.

 

Winter, on the other hand, is a time for reflection.

 

It’s natural to want to turn inward, pull the comforter up to our nose and stay in bed.

 

I mean, that’s how we’re built.

 

In winter, we go into hibernation mode.

 

Inevitably, this makes it hard to accomplish all the things that we’d like to accomplish.

 

And we start beating ourselves up.

 

Why is my ass expanding?

Why am I eating so much fatty crap?

Why does my body feel all heavy and lethargic?

Why is it so hard to get a move on?

Why do I have to talk myself into doing all this stuff, when it’s stuff that I would normally want to do?

 

There must be something wrong with us. Right?

 

Short answer? No.

 

Our bodies, being the amazingly intelligent creatures that they are, are forcing us to slow down. They’re keeping the balance.

 

According to Tao and Chinese medicine, there’s a time for expansion, a time to be expanded, a time for contraction, and a time to be contracted. This is a cycle that repeats itself and is present in everything.

 

In terms of seasons, spring is the expansion phase, summer the expanded stage, fall the contracting period and winter the contracted one.

 

And who are we to go against nature?

 

We run into trouble because our society demands us to be on all the time, no matter what season it is.

 

And at a time when we’re feeling like resting up, we’re stressing about so-and-so’s holidays party, whether or not our mother-in-law will like our gift, hoping the turkey comes out perfect or trying to figure out our plans for New Year’s Eve and making sure we have someone to kiss at midnight.

 

Or about the year-end bonus, how much vacation time we can take, or dealing with our boss’s demands for when we get back to work.

 

Or if we’re entrepreneurs, we are concerned about being consistent, keeping up the pace we set during the more expanded months, making sure everything is running smoothly and we’re putting ourselves out there in the same way as before.

 

Oy vey!

 

I’m stressing out just writing this.

 

All this stuff to think about and/or get done, and I don’t feel like it. Damnit!

 

And you know what? I’m not going to feel crappy about it anymore, and I suggest you do the same.

 

This is not the time to be all crazy and run around.

 

Don’t get me wrong, this decrease in outward movement doesn’t mean we need to be stagnant.

 

It simply means that the focus of our movement turns inside out.

 

It’s the time to reflect upon our year, foster gratitude for all the blessings we received, think about what we’d like next.

 

It’s the time to take care of ourselves. Reconnect with our body in a different way by giving it a warm bath, exfoliating with a dry brush, putting lotion on and giving ourselves a loving massage.

 

Winter is the time to rest and recharge, so that when spring comes around we’re refreshed and ready to, well… spring!

 

So try not to feel guilty when you’re eating fattier foods. To a certain extent, our body asks for heartier meals and this means more calories. It does it in its wisdom to protect us from the cold.

 

Yes, our ass might be bigger. But it’s only temporary.

 

Try not to feel guilty if you don’t get to do everything you set out to do. It’s ok to go at a slower pace.

 

Or when you’re not focused on the things you think you should be focusing on.

 

Perhaps winter is a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves first.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

And if you’ll be in NYC on January 4th, we’re saying “G’bye!” to New Years Resolutions and learning to instead attract what we want for 2011. Join me for an Intention Setting + Fire Building workshop at Home (my offline effort to build community around a safe haven for fun, exploration and transformation).

 

We will take the time to reflect on the past year and what we’d like to invite into our lives next, set our intentions and then explore how to keep our firepower and belief in our deservingness to receive going strong throughout the year.

 

If you’re interested in attending or learning more about this initiative, please go Facebook or the Home website for more information.

Getting Back Into Your Sexy – First Edition

I don’t particularly like list blog posts because I don’t like telling people what to do.

It’s my mission to let go and not be a control freak.

I’m not here to direct your life.

So I figured I could make this into a series instead of a list, the added benefits being that I can keep adding stuff, and you won’t have to be stuck reading a neverending post.

Yes?

Ok. Here we go!

My sexy? What is this woman talking about?!?!?

You know when you’re all caught up in your head, overanalyzing everything to the point of paralysis?

Those times when you have a gazillion possibilities staring you in the face, and you don’t know which way to go?

For those moments of “well, I could go this way, which would be great because of a.b and c. But then I miss out on x. Or I could do it this way, which solves that. But leaves me without b. No, no.. I got it! Wait.. No. No, that doesn’t work either. Hmm… I’ll sit on this some more and see if I come up with something new.”

Blah. Blah. Blah. Blechh.

If this sounds like your rambling inner dialogue, the one that keeps you stuck in the same spot forever and ever… You know what I’m talking about.

And you are the person I wrote this for.

Your sexy is that place where you know in your gut what the next step is, and you take action.

You flow, from a deep-driven desire.

Kind of like when you have that special someone in the bedroom with you, and you’re following your natural instincts.

There are no doubts, no thoughts. Just…

Sweet action.

The suggestions you will find throughout this series will take you out of your mind so that you can take action outside the bedroom.

Actions that have to do with finally getting your thing out of your head and into the world.

Making it happen. Finally!

These techniques will help you bypass your thinking brain, so that you can make decisions from your more creative side and your intuition.

When you quiet all those thinking voices, you just know what the next step is.

There’s no wavering, no questioning.

The best way, in my experience, to get out of your mind is to move into your body.

Into your sexy.

So here’s the first way I use to achieve that:

Music and Movement

This is not the first time I’m writing about movement as an exorcism.

That’s because it works.

Put on some of your favorite music. Try to make it something without lyrics (or with very few ones), so that your thinking brain isn’t activated throughout the exercise.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath and focus on how the air travels in through your nose and into your belly and lungs.

Then turn your attention to the music.

Let the sounds wash over you, focusing on how they feel on your body.

For this exercise, I enjoy using music with a deep bass. I can feel it reverberating in my core, and it’s like it’s making its way through every single cell in my body.

Inevitably, this leads me to movement.

I start swaying, my fingers tap, my arms move, my hips…

My body starts dancing out of its own accord.

Letting the music play you like an instrument is a beautiful thing.

But perhaps this doesn’t get you to move, and that’s ok too. The point is to focus on the sensations in your body, and to remember to keep breathing deep, beautiful breaths.

This exercise is designed to help strip you of inhibitions, and all those paralyzing questions.

What are your thoughts? Please leave your feedback in the comments section.

Orgasmic Dancing: Exercise and Exorcise

When was the last time you let yourself go into your body and let it move whichever way it wants?

Without censoring.

Without allowing self-consciousness about how you may look stop you.

Without a care in the world.

Just. Moving.

Just. Dancing.

I’m going to guess it’s been a while. I know, up until the past year, it had been too long for me.

I had forgotten what it felt like.

Do you remember dancing like this when you were a child?

This was before you learned what dancing was “supposed to look like.” (and who makes those rules, anyway??).

It was fun, wasn’t it? Real fun.

Grounding.

Expressive.

Liberating.

I’d been having somewhat of a down day last Saturday, when I went to the GlobeSonic event at i70, one of the piers in New York City. The DJ’s were spinning from 4 pm til midnight, and a whole bunch of people gathered to sweat, celebrate summer, and relish in our ability to move to the beat.

And it brought home, again, how much of an exorcism dancing can be.

As I got into the music, allowing my body to do its thing, I left all my worries on that floor. All the stress was pushed out of my body through my pores in the form of sweat.

As I connected to all that creativity and sensuality (by which I mean that delicious awareness of your senses that makes you feel alive), I felt the power rising from deep in my belly, up and up, passing behind my heart, and into my throat…

The pressure building and building.

It was orgasmic.

Actually, it was better than orgasmic; I could make it last as long as I kept moving, and gave me the same afterglow.

You can see me practically moaning in this picture:

Spontaneous orgasmic dancing in progress

Wooohooooo!

The pressure was so strong I couldn’t contain the hollering (and from the sounds around me, neither could the rest of the crowd).

My friend Andi was in awe. We’d never hung out in this type of setting before, so she’d never seen me like that.

But I didn’t care. It was something that required expression, and I was free to express it.

After all, that was what the whole shindig was about:

Expressing yourself with your body.

But in a way, I wasn’t really dancing anymore. I wasn’t moving to the music.

I wasn’t in control anymore. The music was.

The music was playing my body.

It was liberating and exhilarating and a total complete and natural high.

There is such beautiful power and connectedness in these… rituals.

And that’s what they are. It’s no coincidence that most cultures developed dances and rituals around them.

There was nothing funny going on. Nothing to laugh about.

Yet I laughed out of the sheer bubble of happiness that couldn’t be contained anymore.

Why not?

So many times we stop ourselves from expressing how we feel because it’s not “the right thing to do” in a particular situation.

Let me ask you… Who cares??? And, again, who makes those rules????

It’s quite an experience to do this with a group of people, giving each other permission to let go and express and leave everything on the dancefloor.

This is why movements like 5Rhythms, a dance/meditation practice based on “sweating your prayers,” are so successful.

But you don’t have to join a group if you don’t feel ready.

So, if you’re ready for some long-lasting dancing orgasms of your own…

Put on your favorite music, close your eyes, and drop into your body in your own living room.

You’ll start off slowly getting into it. Shyly, even though you’re all alone.

Just feel the music and let your body do its thing. You’ll find yourself wanting to dance a particular way at the beginning, and that’s ok.

As you go, you’ll start loosening up. Getting more creative.

Letting go.

Try this for at least 30 minutes.

It’s not only great exercise, but also a magnificent and fun way of exorcising.

Jump in!

What’s your initial reaction to this post? If you tried the exorcise, how did you feel?