It’s All About the Hips

Please welcome the bodacious Beandrea to the Owl Dance and Moon blog! I asked this visionary/this sister of my soul to speak to the topic of “bodypleasure.” Stay tuned, as soon I’ll be talking about ec(o)stasy and its deliciously disruptive potential, as I see it…or, as Beandrea said so succulently,  the “triune nectar” of “creativity, sexuality, and spirituality.”

It’s all about the hips  

by Beandrea Terese Davis

beandrea@joyfullybea.com 

One of my most vivid memories at a silent meditation retreat was of a woman’s hips. I sat on the aisle where the teachers walked to the front platform at the beginning of each 30-minute sitting period. One of the meditation teachers, a midwife from Canada, wore knee-length skirts and stockings each day. I couldn’t take my eyes off her hips as she walked past me down the aisle. She let them sway widely emitting a regal presence in the way she quietly strutted. I could hear the give in her stockings switch as she walked jovially towards the Buddha statue and bowed at her cushion.  

There is juiciness in exploring the hips – the full pelvic tilt, side-to-side, front to back, in circles upon circles. When I am connected to my hips I feel connected to the Life Force within me.  

In my Black woman-owned preschool my favorite teacher was Mrs. Donna. She led us in a dance every afternoon before naptime. The way she swayed her hips from side to side with her head leaning back and her hands in fists as her side filled me with delight. She moved with such passion. Instead of sleeping during naptime, I laid on my cot staring at the ceiling still entranced by Mrs. Donna’s hips as I heard the teachers watching As the World Turns in the lounge.  

I hated practicing walking meditation for a year and then during my third silent meditation retreat it clicked in my head: “walking is all about the hips.” From then on I was hooked. As I lifted and lowered my feet in a slow, deliberate pace across the length of a room with white walls, I saw that the legs and the torso are actually extensions of the hips. I felt how the body’s movement is rooted in the pelvis, the anatomical and energetic center of the human structure.  

Since May I have felt overly slugglish and constantly tired and have gained a dress size. Throughout my life whenever I have had a new medical doctor, she would take one look at my “prominent neck” and order a battery of thyroid tests. These tests would then come back from the lab showing nothing to be out of the ordinary with the doctor staring intently at my goiter-like neck in disbelief. An herbalist whose wisdom I value gave me an herb called Ashwaganda. She told me thyroid dysfunction is “an epidemic” in the USA and is often sub-clinical, meaning it doesn’t show up on traditional tests.  

But at the same time as it feels like someone is sitting on my head, I can feel a soothing warm sensation in my hands and feet. I can feel the warmth of my skin inside a red bathrobe I bought from Sears. I feel light currents of cool air against my bare legs and my feet warm and protected inside purple slippers bought on the same day as the red robe.   

Embodiment is one of the most delicious pleasures I know. When I’m walking I feel my feet in my shoes, noticing the cushioning between my feet and the ground. When I’m on all fours doing hip circles, I feel the sensations spinning out from my pelvis. The pelvic bowl is the crucible of my creativity, my sexuality, my spirituality. This triune nectar holds my ability to make form out of the formless, to choose to flow with life’s waters.  

Try this: Move your hips! Move them side-to-side, front to back and connect those movements by making circles. Notice how you feel as you move your body in this way.

Then take out pen, paper, and a timer and free write about your experience, keeping your hand moving the whole time. Here’s to a world full of juicy hips! 

Beandrea is a writer and healer who takes a lot of deep breaths. Her writing has been published in several national magazines including: Yoga Journal, Science of Mind, and Utne. She blogs about living an authentic life she loves at www.joyfullybea.com and loves receiving affirmation and intriguing inquiries. 

Copyright 2009. Beandrea Terese Davis. Please check with author (beandrea@joyfullybea.com) before reprinting.

[I also recommend her piece, “Re-membering Pangaea :: the healing power of touch,” –scroll down to her April 22, 2009 blog post.]

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Let’s Sleep Together…

…literally speaking, that is. 

I will be sleeping with LOTS of people across the U.S. next spring, and I hope you’ll join me and invite your friends! 

No, I’m not talking about an orgy…so, are you still interested? (wicked grin) 

I’m talking about my eco-dream salon tour! 

It’s a mobile multi-night mystery school where you don’t get in trouble for falling asleep in “class!” (because your dreams are the only teachers)…. 

It’s a…

…studio for sleepers.

…slumber party for artists.

…playboratory for dreamers.

…somnolent summit for concerned Earthlings. 

I will be sleepily starting my journey on March 13, 2010 in Santa Fe, as part of New Mexico’s Women and Creativity Month 2010 activities, and in partnership with Little Globe, a local organization dedicated to community-based art and healing. 

I’ll also be dreaming collaboratively on April 16, 2010, in Baltimore as one entrée on the Transmodern Festival’s  menu of artsy antics. 

If this eARThy endeavor intrigues you, I’d love your help! I’m seeking connections with grassroots galleries…healing arts centers…environmental groups…community spaces and other possibilities around the U.S. (Even your own home—cuz don’t your friends all want to sleep together anyway?) 

Probable metro areas, in addition to the confirmed Santa Fe and Baltimore, are: the Bay Area; Madison, WI; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Gainesville, FL; Washington, DC; and NYC. I’m interested in “staging areas” in these cities, so let me know if you have any leads or ideas by dropping me a line at almah@owldanceandmoon.com. I’m also open to traveling to the Pacific Northwest and New England. And wherever Dream wants to take me! (Gaston Bachelard calls dreams “abductors,” after all.)  

Climate change has been oft-described as a NiGHTmARe. We need solutions. So it’s time to wake up and sleep on it! I will be throwing drowsy parties across the U.S. to invite folks to sleep, perchance to dream about what restorative beauty we can give to this Unraveling Moment. In this soporific salon we’ll share dream seductions/experiments as well as poetic in(terr)ventions for ecological healing. Other dreamy elements include: 

  • Midnight Tea (steep yourself in a bottomless cup of Possibility)
  • Lullaby Theatre
  • Collective Dream Adventures/Assignments
  • Dream Buddies/Partnerships
  • MUSEum : altar and artifacts to give thanks for the dreams of the past and to wink at those to come. Obscure objects, curiosities, and who knows?
  • Scores to score your dreams : audio accompaniments to fertilize the seedbeds aka consciousness of the participating sleepers
  • Art-making for insomniacs and other night creatures
  • Strange dream interpretation machinery
  • Dream mapping
  • Dreamer-on-the-street innerviews
  • And more and more and more….
  •  

    We must [save the Earth] by means of story and shared dream experience. The dream drives the action…it’s the dream that creates.”   ~ Thomas Berry, in The Great Story 

    It’s an art adventure.

    It’s a café for dreamers.

    It’s a Hypnagogic Hotel.

    It’s biodreamediation…one dream at a time, we will re-renchant our inner ecology…and repair the outer ecology for the good of all life and perhaps tickle the Future into giving us another chance. 

    Stay tuned for ways you can get involved in…

    …trance-forming the world…and creating healing dreamscapes across this nation of images/imagination. 
     

River Aria

Ec(o)stasy in images…this video poem, “River Aria,” was a collaboration between myself and  my compañera, María Firmino-Castillo.

Do you have images and stories and shards of your ec(o)static moments, prayers? Please share….

“Open me, river me, do what you will.” –Roberta Werdinger

Sunset Strategy Session

“The problem, if you love it, is as beautiful as the sunset.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Wanna learn how to cuddle up to your sexy problem? Join me for a one-on-one festival of problem-solvin’ and problem-lovin’. It’s fast, fun, and foolish. And it’s all by phone; go to the circus without leaving home.

If your problem isn’t at least a little cuter by the time our call is over, e-mail me at almah AT owldanceandmoon DOT com within a week of our session and you get your money back.  No questions asked.

It’s $60 for one hour. And isn’t getting unstuck just…priceless?

I can’t wait to meet your gorgeous problem.

Welcome to Eco-Ecstasy, Enchantment, & Wild Experiment!

What’s this all about?

There’s a word that captures it perfectly and I’d like, with all respect, to invoke it now: skalalitude.

It’s a word from the Salish people of the Pacific Northwest that describes “when people and nature are in perfect harmony, then magic and beauty are everywhere.”

That’s all. And that’s everything.