Always Be Dancing

The Art of Movement for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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How To Be and Give Peace

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
Kindness (Loving Kindness)
Kinship
Love
Neutrality
Pacifism
Patience
Peace
Peacefulness
Quiet
Reconciliation
Respect
Serenity
Self-Possession
Sociability 
Society
Stillness
Sympathy 
Tranquility
Understanding 
Unity 
Zeal
Facets of Peace

Two more words/phrases that mean a lot to me: Ubuntu & MWE

UBUNTU

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


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Books to Peak Your Curiosity!

Alphamaniacs: Builders of 26 Wonders of the Word by Paul Fleischman. Art by Melissa Sweet

This is a Junior Library Guild award winner, and I can see why! This collection of mini-biographies of daring linguists who saw language through shapes and sound and then dissected and reconstructed it into awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, wacky and wonderful verbal curiosities of the most marvelous kind. These creators took nothing at face value-instead they were able to see language on many planes.I am inspired by the sheer creativity and found each story so interesting. This is the perfect book for a budding linguist or coder! This is nonfiction for the junior and mid grade reader that is delivered in a very creative and engaging way.I so appreciate the great variety of words used-it was really run rolling them off my tongue, and I enjoyed the interesting illustrations and the diverse fonts. 

Incredible Jobs You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of by Natalie Labarre

This book puts a capital C in creative careers. The fact that we can put a name to this plethora of the innumerable opportunities there are for you to find the one-two-three man many paths you might like to follow-or even forge a new one to add to the second edition! This book does a great job of disseminating facts by keeping them so interesting and interactive. There are questions posed of direction to ponder through each two-page spread. This book opens up the world of possibilities for finding fulfillment in life! Love it! 

I’m sure the first thing noticed is the totally cool large size presentation of the book that will be a great addition to any coffee table; young and old will be immediately drawn to this book! The illustrations are a clever depiction of realistic items seasoned with a bit of fantasy and whimsy. 

This Or That? What will you choose at the British Museum? By Pippa Goodhart

This book has created such a marketable concept for bringing art alive from all the museums in the world! This opens the doors of museums far and wide to everyone. I am enamored with this simple but thought provoking book that does a great job of creating texture, style and color ideas that just pop off the pages of the book.  You might choose this or you might choose that but more importantly, your answers can lead to more curiosity and greater imagination. This is a book for all ages! Children and grown ups can enjoy it together and travel many roads to discovery.

Thank you to Candlewick Press for these books. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Roots And Wings: A handbook for parents and educators to promote positive change based on the principles of mindfulness by Alex Koster M.Ed.

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This is a wonderfully helpful book that is passionately written from deep in the soul of the author. Alex Koster openly shares her knowledge on how a mindful approach to life can bring about positive family, community and societal change in this increasingly digital, impersonal, self-absorbed age. The simple but effective strategies and techniques she offers give parents and educators the mindfulness tools they will need to “put their air masks on first” and then be able to help their children become confident, happy, compassionate adults.

The main message I took away from this book is that by living a more aware, kind and joyful life, life itself will be more enjoyable. Therefore, I will be a more loving and lovable person who is then confident, happy, and compassionate enough to help my children and for those who I care for. Sounds like a win-win to me!

I highly recommend this wonderful book. It’s heart centered approach is just what is needed to diffuse the stress of today.

Thank you to the author for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Always Be Dancing: 40+ Day Kundalini Kriya and Meditation Series

My day starts with an 11-minute Sa Ray Sa Sa meditation.

This version is to be practiced on the Full Moon, but I was so inspired by this meditation for Saturday’s full moon (5/4/2019) that I am continuing with it, for at least 40 days.

This version of the meditation is a key to opening the flow of Kundalini. The new awareness will give you the authority to make the right choices to conquer the ugliness of life. You will be peaceful and secure. *Yeah, I need this!

Mantra:

Sa Ray Sa Sa, Sa Ray Sa Sa, Sa Ray Sa Sa, Sa Rang

Har Ray Har Har, Har Ray Har Har, Har Ray Har Har, Har Rang

Mudra and Movement:

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  1. Start with hands flat together in Prayer Pose at the Navel Point. Breathe in.
  2. Sa Re Sa Sa, ascend the palms up the center front of the torso passing all the chakras, about 4·6 inches in front of the body

*Passing by Heart Center, begin to open the hand mudra to resemble a lotus flower; fully open by the time the hands reach the level of the Brow Point. (The open lotus has the base of the palms together, the little finger tips touch and the thumb tips touch. The rest of the fingers are spread open to express an open lotus flower.)

*The full path up coordinates with: Sa Ray Sa Sa, Sa Ray Sa Sa, Sa Ray Sa Sa, Sa Rang

4. Har Re Har Har turn the fingers to point down, with the back of the hands touching

*It is a reverse Prayer Pose. Slowly bring this mudra down the chakras in rhythm with the music until the fingertips reach the Navel Point on the sounds Har Rang. Then turn them around and begin again.

*The full path down coordinates with: Har Ray Har Har, Har Ray Har Har, Har Ray Har Har, Har Rang

Time: 11 – 31 minutes.

Here is Nirinjan Kaur’s FANTASTICAL version!

 

             Meditation for Prosperity II (Har Har)

                                          Posture: Sit in Easy Pose, with a light chin lock 

                                  Eyes: Focus at the tip of the nose, eyes are 9/10th closed.

Mudra: Elbows are by the sides, forearms are at a 45° angle, with the fingers at the level of the throat. The exercise begins with the palms facing down.

Alternately strike the sides of the hands together. When the palms are face down, the sides of the Jupiter (index) fingers touch, and the thumbs cross below the hands, with the right thumb under the left.

When the palms are face up, the Mercury (pinky) fingers and the Moon Mounds (located at the base of the palms) touch.

Yogi Bhajan said that the thumbs crossing in this way (right under left) is the key to the meditation.

Mantra: Har

Chant continuously from the navel, using the tip of the tongue (pronounced “hu-duh”).

Time: Continue for 3-11 minutes. To end, sit quietly and reflect on the vibration of the mantra. 

Set for the Nervous System and Glandular Balance*

This kriya is for reducing stress and fortifying the mind and body to effectively respond to change in a healthy way.

*I am doing all the exercises in this kriya for 3 minutes each. It is a very powerful kriya and after doing the full sequence on day-one, I decided to break it down so my body and mind are more prepared and can sustain this for a 40 or more day challenge. Please remember to breathe and rest between each section. I find that to end, I breathe in through my nose, with closed eyes, I roll my eyes up to look at third eye, and hold my breath for 10-15 seconds. I also make sure to have a gentle neck lock and root lock**.  I like to notice the colors that appear before my “eyes”-noting their relation to the chakras. I then continue to breathe normally and rest for another 2-3 breaths before I continue on. 

**I describe the sensation of the neck lock as a subtle lifting-up behind the ears to create a long back of the neck and of the root lock as a gentle pulling-up on the muscles of the “seat” as if to try and lift yourself off the floor.

  1. Sit in Easy Pose with the arms extended straight out to the sides parallel to the ground. The palms are facing up. Begin to move only your Saturn finger (the middle finger) up and down rapidly. Using a powerful breath, inhale as you raise the finger and exhale as you lower it. Continue rhythmically, coordinating this movement with the breath for 7 minutes. This exercise stimulates the pituitary to create a balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.
  2. Remain is Easy Pose. Stretch the arms out in front parallel to the ground. Place the left hand over the right interlacing the fingers with the palms facing down. Begin to rapidly swing your arms from side to side, moving the head and neck in the same direction as the arms. Keep the elbows straight. Continue coordinating the movement with a powerful breath for 5 minutes. This exercise makes the body very flexible. It also strengthens the chest muscle and stimulates the lymph nodes in that area.
  3. Sitting in Easy Pose, extend the arms straight out in front, parallel to the ground. Make fists of the hands with the thumbs tucked inside touching the fleshy mound below the little finger. Keeping the arms and hands straight, bring the left arm up as the right arm goes down. Continue alternately moving the arms up and down forcefully, coordinating the movement with forceful breathing for 8 minutes. This exercise works to balance the parathyroid gland and stimulates weight loss.
  4. Butterfly Pose. Sit with the soles of the feet pressed together. Draw the feet into the groin, keeping the knees as close to the floor as possible. Interlace the fingers and place the hands in the lap.

Inhale and raise the arms up over the head while simultaneously drawing the knees up towards the center of the body. Exhale and lower the knees and arms down to the original position. Continue rhythmically coordinating the movement with powerful breathing for 8 minutes. This exercise balances the prana and apana, and sets the navel point.

 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser

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What a hip grandpa-type Mr. Posey is! I loved immediately the intergenerational friendship between Mr. Posey and Andy. It immediately blankets the story with a sense of compassion and brotherly love that is only reiteration through the fun the two have on their outing, which seems to be a common thing for them to do.

It is funny to think Mr. Posey could get a new pair of glasses at a thrift store as it is obvious that he needs a prescription to see, but that is the fun. With each new/old pair of glasses Mr. Posey tries on, we are invited into a world created by his vivid imagination and is blurred vision of the night sky, undersea life and even what is like for a cat to be pursued by a pack of wild dogs. The accompanying illustrations by Daniel Duncan are so whimsical and beautifully detailed from the overflowing trash can in the bathroom, Mr. Posey’s fancy black and white shoes, a lazy bee floating by a sunflower and the perfect overall effect of the musty thrift store that Mr. Posey and Andy go to. The book is told completely through the illustrations and you can spend hours catching every detail.

To find out that all Mr. Posey needed to do was clean his own, old, dirty glasses is a hoot. With his newly cleaned specs, Mr. Posey is able to enjoy his surroundings more, bringing a sense of mindfulness to his life. Old becomes new.

This is a wonderful picture book with just enough text and new words to excite the young reader as well as the perfect book for read aloud. I highly recommend this sweet story of friendship with an equally gratifying tale of caring for the environment (such as buying used things and using a clothesline for drying.)

The story and illustrations are winners.

Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews by Eve: You Are Light by Aaron Becker

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This book is simply delightful. From the very first turn of the page, which casts a gorgeous mandala shadow onto my hand, I was drawn into its sturdy die-cut frame and stained-glass creativeness. The poetic prose match perfectly with the play of translucent-jewel toned inserts that radiate around a bright yellow sun, together illuminating the story of the sun’s effect on the water cycle while at the same time reflecting the story back onto the reader. You cannot but hold it up to the light at each turn! It’s truly mesmerizing and joy-inducing. This book is very clever and artfully profound. It will certainly delight young children but it has a wider outreach due to its unique and beautiful presentation of both spirituality and natural scientific facts.

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This book is an absolute exuberant celebration of life. With few words, it reminds us to be mindful of our consumption, of our relationship to mother earth and of our connection to every living thing. It is truly an awakening. This book is the full package: creative concept, engaging story; good for young and old…and it is devotedly dedicated to STEAM. I love it!

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Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.