Welcome, Summer in Northern hemisphere! Long warm days, vibrant nature, delicious greens, refreshing swimming holes, summer projects outdoors, picnics and barefoot dancing on the grass…  

 

Hi, peoples :) In this issue: 

But, before I jump into all those, and speaking of dancing - let us share a smile… 

:) 

 

 

Upcoming Offerings & Events: 

 

For the Body. Summertime tips: 

As I’ve been preparing my body for the summer, here are some insights from one of my top resources - “The Joy of Self-Healing” book by H.Harrison and A.Raisch. We can support our bodies best by: 

 

For the Mind. Dancing & “5rhythm” wave: 

Isn’t it interesting that I placed it in the ‘Mind’ rather than ‘Body’ section? It surprised me too, initially, until I remembered that movement, and especially harmonious movement, creates all sorts of great hormones and neuroplasticity in the brain, alleviates pain and stress, and has other benefits beyond physical wellness (see studies here, here, here, here, here). All that to say: dance, be that silly, structured, ecstatic, spontaneous, kids’ or any other flavor – has lots of benefits for us beyond physical exercise, especially when we drop the judgments about our own and others’ skill level, and just enjoy! 

 

Gabrielle Roth outlined 5 styles of dancing that enable various parts of our physical, mental and emotional bodies to get the movement out: she called them “5rhythms” wave. The ‘wave’ here refers to starting slow (“Flowing”), then speeding up (“Staccato”) towards a climax (“Chaos”), and then slowing back down (“Lyrical”) into rest (“Stillness”) – all together, these create a wave. Almost any kind of music can be woven into a wave: rock, folk, pop, instrumental, a capella, classical, oriental, etc. Each rhythm is much more complex than just speed – you can focus on specific emotions for each rhythm, or specific chakra, or specific element; or just dance!  

 

One easy way to experience the full wave is to let specific parts of our bodies guide each rhythm: 

 ~ in Flowing, follow our feet. Element: earth; emotion: fear. 

 ~ in Staccato, follow our hips, which frequently creates edgy movements. Element: fire; emotion: anger. 

 ~ in Chaos, follow our head into letting-go. Element: water; emotion: sadness.  

 ~ in Lyrical, follow our hands weaving imaginary patterns. Element: air; emotion: joy & lightness. 

 ~ in Stillness, follow our breath, blending movement and pauses. Element: ether; emotion: compassion & tranquility. 

 

Here is one such 25-min wave: https://soundcloud.com/emphox/short-wave-1. There are longer versions as well, if you find yourself wanting more. 

 

If you want to bring free-form dance into your life, join your local conscious dance event (sometimes known as “ecstatic dance” or “trance dance”) – you can find them on various social platforms, by googling, or at ecstaticdance.org  

 

Honestly, if you’ve always thought of yourself as mediocre or not-at-all dancer, the hardest part may be letting go of your own judgments. And the easiest way to do that – is going to an event where others dance how they feel, without self-evaluation, so you can witness their freedom and get inspired and learn from that. At least, that was hardest for me, and the self-consciousness still creeps up on me occasionally – but moving through it while dancing to good music feels so rewarding and delicious in the end! And, sometimes, when feeling extra sensitive, I choose to practice self-compassion and just dance alone or with a trusted friend. 

 

If you are open to sharing, I’d love to hear about your experiences with dance of any sort. And perhaps we will dance together sometime! :) 

 

 

For the Heart. IFS (Internal Family Systems) healing modality: 

“A part of me wants to join you to go to …, but another part wants to stay here and never move ever again.” - I bet you’ve heard statements like that, where someone expresses feeling torn by naming various parts in themselves. Well, little did we know, these parts are more-or-less stable in us, have specific voices and patterns within us, and even play out roles that we didn’t know they had.  

IFS talk-therapy modality outlined a way to get to know various parts within ourselves, which is especially useful when we feel lots of emotional turmoil or act in ways that sabotage ourselves or our relationships

 

One very common part in many of us is Inner Critic, which, while striving towards a higher benchmark, lashes out at us in an internal dialogue and makes us feel so sh!tty, that we struggle to recover and feel good about ourselves. You know what I’m talking about? Now imagine if you could address this inner voice and explore why it’s being so mean to you. 

IFS discovered that all the hurtful parts within us are, in fact, benevolent parts that took on “mean” roles in the past to protect us – and, given safe environment now, these parts are willing to release their mean roles and become supportive participants of our world... 

Here is an article on IFS basics, if you are interested to read more. 

 

I’ve witnessed IFS in practice a few times by now, and because it was so powerful – I am psyched to begin learning it as a practitioner in the coming weeks. I invite questions, personal experiences and comments about it.  

 

 

For the Spirit. Movie ‘The Green Beautiful’: 

This is a movie that I’ve yet to hear a single dislike of, by anyone, even people who don’t like movies with subtitles! :) Let me introduce to you -  

The Green Beautiful”, aka ”La Belle Verte” or “Belle Verte(1996, France, Eng. Subtitles)

I guarantee you will leave genuinely entertained, if not invigorated and inspired, and perhaps even seeking out “The concerts of Silence” ;)

Watch it here if you have most any library card. Or here otherwise (there are pop-ups here, and I don’t know the full integrity of this website, but I watched the movie here myself).

 

 

To conclude… 

Thank you for reading this. I continue seeing this more of a letter to friends – here is where my mind is at, so when I see you – you know that, and I’d love to hear what’s going on for you, perhaps how any of this landed for you. I invite more personable connections and replies – if you feel called to :) 

Also, to not receive the communications from me in regard to the affairs of Smiling Spaces, please reply to this with subject 'Unsubscribe' or let me know - and no hard feelings on my part, I want to honor your needs and your interests.

 

Wishing you wellness of body, mind, heart and spirit. 

Warmly, 

Aliona @ Smiling Spaces 
June 4th, 2022 ~ Strawberry Moon 

 

P.S. I am also working on being less rigid and inviting more compassion for myself and others. As such, practicing that here, sending out this newsletter a few days after New Moon – I take responsibility for that, feeling a little sadness about not being as punctual as I would like to be, and I forgive myself. Keeping on healing and growing.

 

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