Through the generosity of the Natick Cultural Council, I will be creating Jerusalema Dance Breaks in Natick. One will happen at Camp Arrowhead during the summer and the other will be in collaboration with Common Street Spiritual Center to celebrate South African Heritage Day, a day that celebrates South Africa’s roots, their rich, vibrant, and diverse cultures. South Africa is called the ”Rainbow Nation” due to its color and diversity, and this is why Heritage Day exists. Details to follow.
What does the song Jerusalema mean by Master KG and what language?
What is Jerusalema?
Jerusalema is an upbeat gospel-influenced house songt by South African DJ and record producer Master KG featuring South African vocalist Nomcebo. Although it has religious-leaning lyrics, “Jerusalema” is an upbeat disco-house track containing deep, spiritual, gospel lyrics. Lyrically, “it speaks about Jerusalem being the home of many religious believers”.
Jerusalema ikhaya lami (Jerusalem is my home) Ngilondoloze (Guard me) Uhambe nami (Walk with me) Zungangishiyi lana (Do not leave me here) Jerusalema ikhaya lami (Jerusalem is my home) Ngilondoloze (Guard me) Uhambe nami (Walk with me) Zungangishiyi lana (Do not leave me here)
What Language was used to sing Jerusalema song?
Jerusalema was sung in the South African Zulu Language.
What is the Jerusalema Challenge?
Simply put, the Jerusalema challenge is a dance which is attributed to Fenómenos do Semba, a group in Angola, south-west Africa, who recorded themselves dancing to the song while eating and without dropping their plates. This helped the song go viral online. The #JerusalemaChallenge, spawned dance videos from across many countries, including the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Spain, France, Jamaica, Canada, the United States, Sri Lanka and Israel, in particular in Jerusalem itself. In Germany, workers paid tribute to Berlin’s Tegel Airport by dancing to Jerusalema on the tarmac and in the now-shuttered terminal. The Swedish elementary school Baraskolan engaged all students to do the #jerusalemachallenge Baraskolan Jerusalema Challenge The Swiss Federal Office of Police challenged the Irish Garda Síochána to the Jerusalema dance challenge, which they accepted. The video was well received in the two countries with the Swiss police flying the Irish flag at their headquarters for the day.
Jerusalema Dance Tutorial
This is the video that just made me so happy to watch during lockdown. It just felt so much bigger than what could be contained on the screen
Tonight starts the mantra of Light-Bright. We need to be the brightness that conquers the darkness of the winter months and to allow the good in us to conquer the evil. We all have the proverbial devil and angel on our shoulders it is just how we react to them is what separates us. We need to be the light and shine as bright as possible to lead the way into a more positive time of growth for us, personally, communally and globally.
To keep your vibration bright, light and at a high frequency, make time for self care every day. Yoga, meditation, clean food, positive affirmation, kindness, Qigong…..set aside time each day-in a routine-for a formal practice and then encourage as much mindfulness into your daily life as possible.
Seated Breathing Sequence:
Gyan mudra. Breathe in 4 sniffs; breathe out 4 sniffs. Last sniff in, ends the full inhale/Last sniff out, ends the full exhale. (1min.)
Clasp hands. Leave a space for a diamond to form. Powerful inhales and exhales. (1 min.)
Press hands together very hard. Make a diamond. Press the piece of coal so tightly a diamond forms. Continue powerful breathing. (1 min)
Inhale & Squeeze as hard as you can. Hold breath-tighten every part of the body as tight as possible. Breathe out & release.
Today’s set is for spinal flexibility and the release of pent up stagnation so we will become lighter and brighter.
Playlist: Myopia by Moby Circling by Four Tet Sea Of Stars (Remix ft. Amanda Giacomini) by MC Yogi Keep On Movin’ by Soul II Soul River by Ibeya Synchronize ft. Jarvis Cocker by Discodeine I Want To Be Free by Ohio Players Rude Movements by Ahsford & Simpson Can You Feel It (Instrumental) by Mr. Fingers The Ancient Gong by Guru Terath Kaur Khalsa Sweat (Sweat the Club) by Jay Williams
Groove & Flow playlist 11/16/2020
Ayurvedic Tips for Autumn
Fall is a time of transition. Trees, shrubs, animals and birds are preparing for the winter. They are all gathering the energy, including nutrition, that they will need to survive the winter. Temperature is dropping and the wind is slowly gathering strength, carrying with it a hint of winter on its breath. Autumn is windy, erratic and cool.
These are all qualities shared by vata dosha (vata-wind/dosha=energy)
Vata is one of the three energetic forces of the subtle body, the inner happenings of the life inside your body.. This particular dosha corresponds with the elements of air and ether (space). Thanks to the airy and mobile qualities of vata, it plays an integral part in healthy bodily functions such as digestion, the flow of breath, and communication between the mind and the nervous system. Vata types tend to have creative personalities and are often inquisitive in nature.
Excess vata can cause the body, mind, and emotions to feel scattered like the wind. This type of imbalance can happen to anyone, regardless of their Ayurvedic constitution or body type.
Ayurvedic tips to balance Vata this fall:
1. Enjoy warm cooked foods. Foods made with a little olive oil or ghee have a wonderful soothing effect that immediately calms down restless Vata. Root vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are recommended. Cooked grains – like oatmeal, tapioca, cream of rice, and cream of wheat – and most nuts and seeds are also beneficial.
2. Use warming spices like ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin, but not extremely hot spices like cayenne pepper.
5. Take extra care of your skin with a warm sesame oil self-massage.
6. Increase stillness in your day to connect with yourself. Vata is aggravated by feelings of fear and insecurity.
7. Get enough sleep; nap when you need.
8. Reduce stress by consciously practicing yoga, meditation, long deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing.
9. The colors we wear can greatly contribute to how we feel. To help us feel light, be sure to wear bright colors, such as a camisole, a scarf or a pair of sox. Choose the color that makes you feel the lightest and brightest you, you can be. Its a sure fire way to add the perfect color splash into your day to keep you light and bright and uplifting.
10. Try to stick to a regular routine: go to bed at the same time, meditate daily, yoga every morning.
Groove and Flow is a specially blended style of embodied movement where participants explore and experience the joy of movement and freedom of expression within a supportive, creative environment, regardless of experience and/or abilities. This class is balanced with movement, tranquility and meditation and participants can be on a mat or in a chair. All abilities welcomed for this one of a kind experience.
Get creative! Build connections! Create community!
Playlist for G&F 10-19-2020
Garth Stevenson (All songs are from his album Flying. I highly recommend buying this album. It’s truly magnificent, made even more special if you order a hard copy, as you will receive a beautiful hand made CD envelope. Both of his albums are glorious!)
Flying Paintings The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art by Amy Alznauer; paintings by ShanZuo Zhou & DaHuang Zhou
Art is powerful and its transformational power takes center stage in this historic tale of the Zhou brothers whose lives and art were shaped largely by the Cultural Revolution in China. This is a heavy theme for a children’s picture book but with the author’s gentle touch of the subject, accompanied by dynamic ink-and-watercolor paintings by the subjects themselves, readers are immersed in the bold artistic style and the courageous spirit of the Zhou brothers. The book focuses not only on the historical moment in time but also on the difficulties that arise in families and those that relate to art, country, and humankind. The book is magnificently illustrated with art by the Zhou brothers themselves, enlivening the tale with a sense of a first hand narrative. This is a wonderful early non-fiction book that introduces two contemporary Chinese artists who were confronted with much suffering and many roadblocks but were still able to rise up and be true to who they really were.
Grow: Secrets of Our DNA by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Emily Sutton
Knowledge is magnificent and this book is armed to the gills with it. From the beautifully drawn helices on the end pages to the realistic illustrations that bring life to the fascinating world of DNA, this book is a STEAM book for all ages. One of the best takeaways from this book is that although our DNA makes us unique, the fact that uniqueness is a constant for all living creations, only proves that we are all just one giant community. All the same, yet all different. All things grow, all things change.
The cover drew me right in. The illustrator’s use of a variety of mediums, such as pastels, colored pencils, ink and watercolors are a beautiful blend of the simple and the complex. Although the illustrations are cartoon-like, they craftily capture important details using design elements such as texture, color and line. The illustrations wonderfully carry the science of the subject matter. The characters are diverse, the information is highly accessible and interesting and will surely kick off a larger quest for knowledge. I highly recommend this wonderful introduction to life science.
Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is at it again! He does not let failure get him down. He uses creative thought to problem solve and just has a total CAN DO attitude! The book has a great non-fiction element that celebrates black scientists and doctors who help to fire up Jabari’s determination to figure things out. Jabari is honest and he gets frustrated, but his dad brings in the mindfulness aspect that scientists really need and after a few calming breaths, Jabari is ready to give it another try. Through his efforts, Jabari learns compromise and cooperation and through just enough action and rest time, he learns how to be successful and how to have fun!
The illustrations are fun and I just love the Rube Goldberg machines they come up with and the happy way a family interacts and relies on each other for support and love. Very sweet STEAM focused book and an inspirational story of perseverance, problem solving and creativity.
Love Is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer; illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Just like the disco song expresses, Love is the message! Love is, love is the message that I sing to you; Love is the message that I bring to you; Love is the message for a song…. Love is the message for us all! This book shows how a small child, who might be wondering how they can make an impact on the world, that one small gesture can have a much larger effect. This book is a great gateway into the world of activism and brings to light the invisible roots of our global connection. This book gives hope and highlights acceptance and shows how important it is to stand up for human rights for all peoples of the world. This story recounts a true story of the power to unify through love and positivity and how you’re never too young to be an inspiration. The march of diverse characters pulls you right in. They are so endearing with their shining eyes and smiles and pink “cat” hats, the 100’s of hearts floating all around the pages and the beautiful affirmations decorating the signs. This is what the world needs now! I see it right alongside Julian Is A Mermaid, by Jessica Love, as books that will become anthems for the ages.
Norman: One Amazing Goldfish! By Kelly Bennett; illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
Filled with bright bold colors, this amusing story highlights overcoming fear, the power of the true friendship that one can have with a pet, and a trust in one’s own self-worth. This is a fun read and will keep the attention of young readers who will be able to relate to overcoming shyness when introduced to something new. People might try to douse your inner spirit with negativity but if you are true to yourself, whatever the final result, you will gain confidence, knowledge and above all, self- respect! Three cheers for Norman the amazing goldfish. This is a delightful story with a positive message!
Will You Be My Friend by Sam McBratney; Illustrated by Anita Jeram
We’ve been waiting a lifetime for this sequel. This book just feels like home. The characters are so familiar and with each illustration of their expressive faces, you fall deeper and deeper in love with them. I just want to stroke the new bunnies sweet pink nose-enough it is cartoon-like, it has an element of realness that just makes them so cuddly. I love the hopping bunnies on the end sheets that just led you into this story about the joys of discovering a new fiend. This is a warm and wonderful tale that leaves ample space for children to illustrate the tale for themselves, is a loving portrayal of a young child’s growing independence and the deep seated happiness of finding a new friend.
Thank you to Candlewick Press for all of these amazing books. All opinions expressed are my own.
The next Grounding In Community will be held on Natick Common, Sunday September 27th 1:30-2:55. I hope you will join us for inspiring community connecting event. I will be leading a wonderful short Groove & Flow activity for everybody to enjoy.
Living with a sense of purpose is so important. Wake each day with a drive and will to do. Find things that interest you and a determination to learn, even when it is hard. Learn to figure things out-ask questions-make mistakes. Experience the inner sensations of your passion.
Life is to be lived with gusto-zest-zeal. You must live in and for the moment. Your goals and desires and hopes and dreams have many paths that lead to them. Allow yourself the freedom to travel many paths. They will lead you to experiences that will help you on your way. Do not be disappointed if your path is different than you thought it would be; instead be flexible. Learn along the way. Find joy in your travels. Be inspired to live.
Experience the moments within a larger context. Everything you do will cause an effect. Whether the desired one, or not, or possibly one that is not immediately noticeable…maybe not even in your lifetime. Above all be patient Know that patience is not just the ability to wait for it to happen. Rather, it is the absolute knowing that it will happen. Just. Know. It. Will. Happen.
You can effect change.
Alwasy keep your vibration high.
Have a positive outlook.
Look at your heart.
If you are local to Natick, MA, please join me today. I will be leading a short Grove & Flow associated with the fire element and summer. Come get grounded!
Grounding In Community
Natick Common 1:30-3:00PM
Grounding In Community is an outdoor, in-person, and safe way to grow our hope and support each other. Every last Sunday afternoon, from 1:30 – 3:00, we meet under the shade of a giant tree on the Natick Common for a time of spiritual practice, artistic expression, and truth-telling. We lie on the grass, sit on blankets and chairs, sing, explore movement, and speak words of truth that give us greater strength and freedom.
We are living in times that are heavy with foreboding in terms of health, economics, and politics. And so we gather in community to affirm that we are not alone in being afraid and in needing support. Together we create a space where we find the courage to face all this…and to find a way of being well and of keeping hope alive within.
For everyone’s safety, we will wear masks and maintain six feet of distance. If you want, please also bring a blanket, yoga mat, or chair to sit on. It is also recommended to bring a water bottle.
If you are inspired to share a poem, story, song, or reading–something that grounds you in truth and gives you hope–there is a time of open sharing in the structure of the gathering where this will be welcome.
What is the meaning of “BE THE PEACE” to you? Has it changed since we last met?Be the Peace means that I am peace and people perceive me as peace and I emit peace. I know that even a tiny bit of peace can cause a ripple effect and although I may never see this peace, I have no idea what this ripple will actually do and I can only hope that it will be the change/the peace movement. Like the butterfly effect that a tiny movement of a butterfly wing will cause an avalanche of movement in the future. I do not think the meaning has changed except that it has deepened and widened in perspective.
‘You may never know what results come of your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results’. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi said, “My life is my message.” What does that message bring to mind to you?All I want to do is give people peace through movement. I want my form of yoga/mindful movement to be something that people seek out and they can feel peace through a deeper exploration of their own selves within the yoga. To be truly at peace we must be at peace within ourselves.
My mind often repeats the lyrics to one of my favorite yoga songs by Wade Imre Morissette (yes, Alanis’s brother) called Om Narayana
Joy on the inside and peace on the outside, Loving on the inside and laughing on the outside, Kissing on the inside and healing on the outside, Flowing on the inside and thriving on the outside, Clearing on the inside and accepting the outside, Shining on the inside and shining on the outside.
Are Gandhi’s message and the message of BE THE PEACE aligned in some way for you?Being the peace in my life’s message is given through my yoga and I hope through my writing. I want to be seen as a writer and I want people to read what I write. I want to write books that show that peace is so multi-faceted that it is possible to find the angle of peace that suits you and for you to live that way of being. I imagine that peace is a multi-sided dice cube and you can roll it and whatever word/synonym of peace that pops up will be how you express peace at that moment. Mindfulness and peace are completely intertwined.
Affection Amicability Amity Armistice Calmness Caliber Character Closeness Commitment Community Composure Consciousness Contentment Cooperation Courage
Ease Empathy Equanimity Friendliness Friendship Good Vibes Good Will Harmony Hope Integrity Intimacy
Two more words/phrases that mean a lot to me: Ubuntu & MWE
I am, because you are
The word ubuntu is part of a Zulu phrase which literally means that a person is a person through other people. … Ubuntu is a nebulous concept of common humanity, oneness: humanity, you and me both…MWE. Dan Siegel coined the term “MWE” which I love. It is the me; it is the we; it is the me in we; it is the we in me. It is a sense of a sense of internal consistency about who I am across time and across multiple social identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, profession, culture, gender, religion). This integrated identity serves as an internal framework for making choices and provides a stable base from which one can act in the world. Ubuntu is peace. MWE is peace.
‘Be aware that patience is not the art of waiting. It is the metaphysics of knowing that resting calmly will deliver.’ ~ Guru Singh
Zero Local: Next Stop Kindness by Ethan Murrow and Vita Murrow
With very few words, this wonderful picture book is able to clearly express kindness and gratitude and how the two can easily help to build community. In an urban setting, on a commuter rail, where the characters are at first noticeably separated and in their own worlds, how one small gesture can awaken people to what is in front of them. The Butterfly Effect is in full form-where a tiny change in one place creates a large effect in another. Here we see a young child taking on the job of spreading love and positivity-one tiny gesture. The others start to notice, show their curiosity, get involved and smile-change happening. They will then go on their ways, back into their worlds again, but this time with a different paradigm, thereby affecting change on a much larger level.
This is all told in a seemingly simple book. But the few words, the scratch pencil art that is only highlighted occasionally by bursts of yellow. Why not just try to read the story by looking for the yellow moments-what story can you derive from them?
I love the diverse character array, the varied perspectives offered by the angles drawn, that the speed of movement is created wonderfully with pencil lines and from end-sheet to end-sheet pure creative fun! I highly recommend this book. It’s a shower of mindfulness that will evoke curiosity and a wonder view of the world.
The Same But Different Too by Karl Newson. Illustrations by Kate Hindley
Amazing adorable menagerie of characters highlighting their similarities and differences! These illustrations are absolutely so endearing. I just want to hug each one! The most important message of this book jumps out from the get go- I am me and you are you and that is just the way it is supposed to be. Our similarities and differences are what keep the balance in the world. We need each other.
Simple examples highlight the similarities and the differences and show how they are beneficial and that they work together for a symbiotic relationship. The rhymes are very nice and flow easily and the illustrations enrich the simple words. This is a great read-aloud which will be memorized and recited along. It is just so sweet. I really appreciate the attention to mindfulness and how it presents different ways of paying attention. The last 2-page spread is adorable beyond words! Highly recommend this book!
What I Like Most by Mary Murphy. Illustrations by Zhi Cheng-Liang
Starting immediately with the delicate cherry blossom watercolor art of the front end-sheet and the tree of autumn at the end, I knew I was going to love this book. The illustrations are beyond superb. Each one is a piece of art that creates a lvog atmosphere that accompanies the thoughtful text, that is full of curiosity and wonderment.
This is such an amazing early mindfulness book that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike who will all feel the lasting impression of the illustrations and words way past the reading of the story. This book will delight the senses and offers many factual images of seasons, climate, locations, animals and activities. This book conjures up for me The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. This book is sure to become a childhood classic. I cannot recommend it enough!
Thank you to Candlewick Press for these books. All opinions expressed are my own.