Debbie Rosas

Co-creator of Nia Technique, teacher, author, artist, choreographer and speaker

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Giving

Ok. So I may die broke but I’ll die happy. I love nothing more than sharing what I have and this include money. Today I took some of the team involved in this years routine shoot for lunch and nails to my favorite hangouts: Jo Bar and Elegant Nails. Seven of us jointed. I left feeling as I always do when I give: full and satisfied. Giving is what the body and universe does. It’s only we humans who believe we have to hold on. Letting go feels so damn good,

A Front Row Seat

I had one of the most enjoyable and exciting experiences as a woman, wife and friend. I got a front row seat at my honey’s CD release. This is his first CD. After all these years supporting me, Nia and my life’s work, I got to support his dream. He blew my mind with his greatness. I knew he was great, but he surprised me with his creativity. He is currently ranked #4 on ReverbNation, a major music site. My goal is to raise him to #1. Listen, and check it out. I love the songs Cher Amour and Three Little Children. Please share this page and ask your friends to listen and become a fan! The link is ReverbNation.com/stuart7

Oral pleasures

Ok. Today I had oral surgery. Fixing a newly fixed root canal. I secretly love letting my body worked on, healed, cut into. Had a whole bowl of soup and ready to watch Dexter. If there’s pain do it masterfully.

Do Women Make Better Bosses?

I think women make better bosses and I didn’t need a research paper to convince me. I guess the question really is, “In what ways do women make better bosses?” I was spurred to think about this after my friend Barry Moltz wrote an article called, 5 Ways Women are Better Bosses Than Men.

I’ve had great men and woman bosses. I’ve learned a lot from them both. All in all I like the mothering women bring and as long as they have a strong side to balance out their soft side I feel I get the best: a boss that knows how to blend the energies of Yin (receptive) and Yang (direct).

In my opinion, in today’s work place and in life, a powerful boss and leader recognize their place as at the center, at the core, the intrinsic spine of the body of the company.

They choose to be the center, they’re the hub, and most of all, they choose to be the boss and  leader of a body of people. Man or woman boss, when you look at them, you’ll see their feet firmly planted, rooted, supporting what they believe to be true and real. They’re strong, agile, mobile, stable and flexible in their body, mind, emotions and spirit. They strive to achieve balance in all aspects of their life, personal and professional. The philosophy they live and work by is one in the same. Their decisions they make and the decision making process they use comes from mentally being aware, and from physically sensing and connecting to everything they do and say.

They are spirited bosses, guides, leaders of their life, and of their work. They guide themselves no differently than they guide others, and they excel at co-creating success for everyone, not just themselves. They use the best that human resources and empowered creative people have to offer. They blend the science, craft and the art of living a healthy and meaningful life into their business.

They lead with a visionary mind to develop growth, respecting the parts and the whole. They are fluid masters, martial artists of their own life, and what makes them so extraordinary is that what they do reflects health, vitality, wellness and transformation. They are interactive and creative with people to fulfill their dream and vision and the dream and vision of others. These bosses reflect what it means to invest in life.

The letters CEO are powerful.

As I see it, the first tool needed to self-master being a boss and leader is the art of Communication.

A healthy CEO is fully interactive. They communicate first with him/herself, their physical body, thinking and intuitive mind, emotional body, and their illuminated spirit, where the higher self — the master’s voice speaks. They look, listen and feel to gain awareness, insights and clarity before they take conscious action. The act out of love and compassion and use the energy of desire to fuel visions and dreams.

The second tool needed to self-master being a boss and leader is the art Energy.

A powerful CEO works on a full tank of gas. It’s the fuel they use, which comes from the source, inside them, made strong by asking the right questions, by researching, and by making right and wrong moves. They develop their inner resources by nourishing the body, mind, sprit and emotions of themselves and the organization they lead. As a master of energy they are able to cultivate, harmonize, blend, activate and motivate people using the energy of love.

The third tool needed to self-master being a boss and leader is the art of Orgasm.

A dynamic CEO knows when to hold back and when to let it all go. They know the art of foreplay, and the art of seduction that draws people and things to them. They understand timing and sensitivity, knowing when to use the soft touch and when to use the hard, firm approach. They recognize the power that comes from taking time to blend with those around, to develop a connection so power is doubled. They are masters at using language, and at using just the right kind and amount of words. They know how and when to listen, speak and close the sale. They guide and direct the out come with passion, desire, love and pleasure. They know the power of completion, and when their idea becomes manifested into reality, they know who to thank and give gratitude to. They co-create using the power of the masculine and feminine.

 Here’s my favorite tools to be the best boss ever!

CEO: Communication Energy Orgasm

Tools for Self-Mastery In Your Life + Work

1. Grounding, to become an active listener and speaker, a strong and dynamic boss and leader in the world, have your meetings in bare feet.

2. Centering, a process used to physically help you think, guide and delegate from a place of human-grace and personal power. See yourself as a center inside a circle. Know that everyone can see all sides, you’re not hiding anything.

3. Natural Time, a way to discover and connect to your timing. To your personal energy flow and cycle time that supports your creative and decision making processes involves running every decision through all 13 joints, give yourself time to sense your body saying yes 13 times. (link to 13 joint handout)

4. Consciousness (the art of mindfulness), is the awakened use of mind energy where the greatest insights and efficiency are discovered. Recognize the sensation of small thinking. It’s tight constricted and fearful. Conscious awakened thinking is fluid and expansive, fearless.

5. Focus, the way you harness and direct your energy with your conscious mind and guide your physical body, including a body or organization of other people is by setting an intent and keeping your eyes looking through the windshield, not turning around and looking in the back seat.

6. Intent, the way you communicate with extreme clarity to pre-set and strategically plan for the outcome to either a personal or professional vision is to cast the future. Don’t sweat the small stuff, keep your eye on the goal.

7. Awareness, the awakened state of being where you develop the art of physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually listening to, and speaking to yourself and others is activated when you pay attention to details. This means everything: body language, tone of voice, words and the meaning behind them.

8. FreeDance, a way to arrive to decisions without interrupting the flow, it’s like doodling. Do it with people, with your thoughts and ideas.

9. The Big I-Self, that part of you that creatively looks at the bigger picture and recognizes the relationship of oneness that exists between all things; between people, thoughts, feelings, projects and tasks is the one you want to communicate with.  You’ll know when your speaking and communicating with the Big-I. You’ll take full responsibility for your actions and words.

10. Mastery, a self directed and guided, fluid process for achieving goals and dreams supported by self-empowered inertia, foreword movement of evolutionary and visionary proportions; a creative and developmental path that organically grows and changes as you do, as the company does takes time. Allow yourself to move through stages of embryonic, creeping, crawling, standing and walking. In each process, in every project, everything has a beginning, middle and end.

11. Love, the fifth sense is used to direct and guide all forms of your communication. See love as your only choice, in this way even letting someone go can come from a place of gratitude, humility and compassion.

12. Whole, the environment work place where balanced power is maintained. A blend of hard and soft, linear and fluid, masculine and feminine energy dynamics are needed to sustain the life of any business. A healthy family has a father and mother both of whom take their roles seriously and the role of supporting each other seriously.

13. CEO, Communication-Communicative, Energy-Energized and Orgasm-Orgasmic: Three powers to achieving self-mastery in becoming the best boss and leader you can be. It’s all based around the power of three — harmony. It’s something you sense, not just talk about.

Sometimes Truth Hurts

I knew the day would come. I was waiting for it. There were days when I thought it could happen and it didn’t. Today was one of the those days I didn’t even think about it. I was oblivious. Having a great day. The sun was out and I was having an impromptu breakfast with my guy before I dropped him off at his producers studio to work on the final process of his album. The restaurant was called “Grandma’s” and Jeff had been lusting for a seat at the counter to check it out. He loves breakfast. Me? I’m not a morning eater. I usually don’t eat until after noon. If I eat too early I fall asleep. But today was different. Yesterday and last night we spent time celebrating Nia’s 30th anniversary. Jeff and I have been raising Nia together for a long time. He’s given me so much of his passion, love and creativity, making this work bigger than I ever imagined. It is my work, but he gave it life, a long life. There aren’t many ways I can say “thank you”. Breakfast is one way. So today, even though it was my first day off in about three weeks, I said yes to breakfast at Grandmas. There they were, the two seats waiting for us at the counter. We love the counter. You get to see up front and close the behind and in front scene. As the young man approached us I noticed the decor. Not my style. I grabbed the menu and began to read. My eyes froze, not on my choices, but on the title staring me in the face. Bold type, across the top, “SENIOR MENU”. Yep, that’s right. SENIOR MENU. Needless to say my day was slightly interrupted. I turned to Jeff and said, “Can you believe this? They gave us senior menus”. Where upon he said, “Debbie, we are seniors.” Sometimes, the truth hurts.

10 Things You Should Never Do with Your Employees—I’ve Done Them All

A few days ago I received an article called “10 Things You Should Never Do With Your Employees,” written by business consultant, Barry Moltz.

I’ve done them all.

I personally and professionally know Barry. Herein lies the problem: the relationship. While it’s true most people will tell you not to fraternize with the help or customers, I think differently. Yes, “I’ve suffered for it and I’ve also benefited form this way of thinking!” Here’s my opinion on Barry’s 10 things not to do with your employees.

1.     Date: I did date an employee. Matter of fact I cheated on my first husband with him. I married him, and created an amazing body of work that after 30 years is still changing people’s lives all over the world. In my office, not only have people dated, two just got married. They still work for me, coming to the office everyday along with their dog! It works because part of my business philosophy is established on the belief: when you demand responsibility, and when you treat people like intelligent adults, you attract these kinds of people. In all honesty, when Barry worked with me as a business consultant this was not my truth. I had the most dysfunctional office, and dysfunctional people working for me. It was hell. If only I’d had a reality TV show I’d become rich on all the dysfunction.

2.     Get Drunk: I don’t get drunk, but after two cosmos I’ve been known to stagger a bit and say things I’m sorry I let come out of my mouth in front of my employees. We’ve had Christmas party’s and celebratory events where too much Prosecco has been downed by the whole staff, except for those who do not drink. They become the designate drivers! A big part of my work is personal growth, helping people to grow, learn and make good choices. This means being open and honest with the people I work for. This means being me, and living in my truth in the office and at home. I for one hate hypocrites who spout one thing in the office, and when they’re home, it’s a whole other thing. I believe if you do everything responsibly the whole world would be a better place to live. Cheers!

3.     Share a Hotel Room: Yes I’ve done this, but only with women. It makes sense to not share a room with a man. I get it. I’m not afraid of two adults doing what they want. I’ve had female employees end up in a romantic relationship. Attraction is attraction. It goes down to honesty, respect, and integrity. There are things you do, and don’t do on the business clock. I personally learned my lesson by cheating on my first husband on the business clock. It destroyed my first business, and people lost respect for me. It took a while to get it back. On the financial side, it makes sense for people to share a room. Just do it with intelligence and integrity! Ask, and get agreements. What if people could not sue you for things they agreed to, or for things they were sorry they did not say not to? Might be a whole new ball game in doing business with humans who feel attractions and just need to learn how to deal with it all. As a woman, I’ve had my fare share of sexual harassment starting high school with the principle, then a teacher in college, and several employers. It happens. It’s a part of being a woman. I know how to say, “Thanks for your interest, I’m not interested”. I’m also not afraid to walk away. Safety comes first! If more women were willing to feel comfortable in expressing their beauty and sensuality in the world, and in saying “no’, things might shift. I say don’t bow to fear and dressing like a man. Teach the men we’re not something to play with.

4.     Gossip: Let’s face it, when it comes to gossip everyone does it. You can convince yourself you’re just talking to “help”, but any time you talk about someone else if they’re not in your presence, you’re gossiping. As someone who has to talk about people to measure their work and accountability in their job, I talk about people all the time. The difference is, I do so with the intent to do good, and not harm. I do so wanting to help raise people up, not tear them down. As for the rule about gossiping in my office? If you do it to tear someone down you will be fired. Talk about someone wanting to help them and you’re sure to get a thank you note from me, and a meeting where we all speak truthfully and openly with each other. It’s all in the intent. If love is in your heart, then the end result, no matter what, will be a good one.

5.     Publicly Embarrass Anyone: I’ve embarrassed myself. This is probably the worse. I most often do this by dressing like Peg Bundy, wishing I was 23, but I’m 63. The other way I do it is by cursing like a truck driver. I do this to release tension. I know it’s not right, but there are days an “F” and an “S” are the only words that work for me. I’ve publically embarrassed people on purpose for fun. I find it entertaining and an ice-breaker to “play” with people in the office. I’ve been known to buy silly hats and make everyone wear them, and demand a dance break in the middle of the day! Seems like dancing publically is embarrassing, as embarrassing situations are personal. I’m sure I have done my fare share of more embarrassing moments, but no one’s telling!

6.     Make negative or “funny” comments on their social media posts: This is the one thing I don’t have time for. If I did, I’d probably do it. I love humor. The only thing I wanted be when I grow up was a doctor or a comedian. My business: the body values humor. Humor is one of the best tools I have to use to help people deal with scary and uncomfortable things. Humor is in the eye of the beholder. Each one of us must determine if something is funny or not. It comes down to intent. These days too many people use unrelated events to release their emotions. Not a good idea. In my office, truth is important. I do my best to call people out when I feel they are harboring resentment, anger, frustration. To maintain a healthy relationship with anyone you have to be willing to go to the river of truth. This is how I establish healthy, meaningful, and strong relationships in and out of the office, and humor is a part of it.

7.     Personally Confide In Them: Done this too! I have needed to talk through personal and professional things with people on my management team. I believe I owe it to people to be truthful. To be vulnerable. A good leader leads by truth, not by an unrealistic ideology. If you want respect you have to earn it. If you want people to be open, truthful, and team players, as the boss, you have to play. It comes down to intent. I intend to be honest, not manipulative. I play on the team, with the team, as well as coach them.

8.     Ask them to lie: I’ve done this too and it came back to bite me in the ass. I don’t do it any more. I do ask people to withhold information from time to time until the “time” is right. I’ve learned how right timing can create the right and perfect moment to let information fly. Bad timing will destroy things. It makes people close, when what you generally want is for people to open up and receive.

9.     Comment on their appearance, age, or other personal details: You’re kidding. Really! Come on I’ve been told a thousands times how I look hot in a dress; how pretty I look today; how my shoes rock and they wish their wife would wear shoes like I do; how my hair is amazing; how sexy I am; how my earing’s and necklace are cure, and I could go on and on. People look and comment. It’s human nature. Given that our brains are designed to receive and decode 70% of the information coming at us using our eyes, what we “see”, how can you not look?  I believe so much of the sexual dysfunction in the world comes from people being afraid to look. Told they should not look, and more importantly, not look and don’t respond to the natural feelings of turned on, feeling good, happy, and stimulated from what they see—this creates illness and inappropriate actions. The problem is not in the looking and commenting, the problem is in the way people make the comment-the energy behind it. If I intend to praise it’s one thing. If I intend to comment, wanting something for myself, this is wrong. When people learn to celebrate beauty in both men and women, and when people begin to deal with what we feel from looking and sensing, maybe, just maybe it will be OK to dress like a woman in congress, or like a trendy hip guy as the president! Maybe then we can celebrate each other looking hot!

10. Ask them to run errands: Again, you’re kidding. Upfront, part of the philosophy in my office is: we help each other. If I’m going to get coffee, I ask anyone else if they want some, and the same goes for lunch. We help each other. If you feel taken advantage of you’re a martyr, not empowered. In my office anyone, including me can be asked to run errands. We all have the freedom to say “yes” and “no” without fear! Then there are the jobs where running errands is a part of the job. It works if you make it clear up front that this is part of the job. One of my friends who is an amazing successful business woman once told me, ”Find the martyr in the office and fire them as quickly as possible”. When I didn’t do this it was a disaster for me and everyone else in the office. When I did, I finally got how it is my responsibility as the owner to maintain a good working environment. What kind? The kind where people act intelligently, respectfully, where they honor the philosophy of the business and where they treat each other like adults, not children. I for one can’t wait to go to the movies, have a drink and toast the people I work with, celebrating what they bring to my life, and business. Without them I wouldn’t have a business!

Peg Bundy Days

June 26, 2013

Today was the first time I realized I don’t exist in the face of the woman in magazines. The clothes I wear do, but the face and body doesn’t. Maybe that’s why I sometimes get dressed and look like Peg Bundy: inappropriate. I feel good and I thing I look good because I see myself like the picture in the magazine. Problem is I’m 63, not 23. I have good body for my age. I’m full of energy and life and love clothes. When I grow old I shall wear purple make me want to throw up. What does old and purple have to do with aging. Truth is, I don’t read AARP. I read magazines like Self, People, Science, Vogue, Shape, Elle, More, Cosmo, and a variety of others. Most try their best to include me. Seems there’s always a section that makes me feel its not that bad being 63, look at these women, they look OK. I know what OK means. It means based on the situation at hand, it’s not that bad!

Today I squeezed into one of my favorite dresses. I know it’s too tight, but I love it. The extra 15 pounds I’ve gained since I was 45 are still with me. Today I look more my age. They call it mature. Tomorrow, who knows? It may be a Peg Bundy day.

Spirit

June 5, 2013

When I came to Portland, Oregon in 1990, the Pythian building was the first place I taught. Back then this space, where Studio Nia now is, was called, Body Moves. Anna Marti and Vin Marti were the owners. My then partner Carlos, and I met them at a club presenting a Nia workshop. We struck up a friendship and soon found ourselves thinking about moving to Portland, Oregon. This was November 1990, and by February 1, 1991, I was driving in a moving van from northern California, on my way to a new house in Portland, and leaving behind my life and business in search of “spirit,” something that came to me writing the first Nia White Belt training manual. Sitting at my computer, having just finished writing about the body, mind, and emotions, I was about to write about spirit. My hands hit the keys and didn’t move. I hit a wall of, “I don’t have clue what spirit means”. I could have faked it. Instead I asked the question aloud, “Debbie, what does spirit really mean?” As life would have it, my way, the body’s way, meaning: getting the answer from the mind is not enough, I have to have an in body experience to embody true wisdom. I was about to discover the answer to my question, “What does spirit really mean?” My answer would not be found in California, but in Portland, Oregon.

I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon now for over twenty-two years. I’ve weathered the weather, the endless clouds and grey for months. Infidelity, and a husband falling love with someone thirty years and more younger than myself. A divorce, the break up of a business partnership, a mudslide where I almost lost my house, marriage to husband number three, and the growth of Nia into a reputable business that is now three businesses; Nia, the lifestyle and fitness wellness company, NiaWear, the active clothing line, and NiaSounds, the compilation music label. Have I discovered the answer to my question? Maybe, I think so, and I feel and sense it is so.

When I asked, “What does spirit really mean” I was searching for a definition defining something people could relate to when they came to a Nia class, or to the training. I wanted some language I could use on the Nia website. I never imagined the journey was about me, my spirit, and my relationship to spirit, but this is what I got.

To me spirit is personality, the expression of life force that animates and shapes all things. Spirit is what brings things to life, like me—little Debbie Bender from Affton, Missouri, coming to life, into my life by finding the meaning of spirit, the meaning, and the message. As Marshall McLuhan would say, “The medium is the message”. Back in 1969, in Junior College English class this phrase was nothing more than a bunch of words. Today, I get it. The medium, spirit, is the message, a messenger.

Spirit, as a messenger, my messenger, has always spoken to me, I just didn’t know it was my spirit talking to me. I somehow thought that if I got to know spirit I’d hear angels, see God, feel one with all that is, and my life would be perfect. Not so. The ride with spirit has been bumpy, amazing, painful, confusing, and extraordinary. All in all, I’d ask the question again and take the ride.

To me the greatest gift of following my path to discover the meaning of spirit has allowed me to see life, all things, inanimate and animate things like people as: spirit embodied in flesh, in form, spirit perceived as sound, color, taste, touch, and smell. Carlos Santana and I seem to see eye-to-eye on this subject. His song, Spirits Dancing In Flesh, is one of my favorites.

To see life as spirit embodied in flesh and form removes many obstacles, particularly what I call judgment and right and wrong. It has made is easier to forgive myself, and others. It has made it much easier to be with what is, and to not fight the messenger. Not fight the fact a husband is in love with someone else, with another spirit, or that as much as I believe in expanded love, not everyone can hold the same vision and space for it. It has made it easier to trust that life is as it should be. That things as they are, whether I like it or not, are the way they should be. Should meaning, the messenger, the medium has a message, and the message is for me. If I am brave enough to follow, to ride on the wings of spirit can soar high up above the mundane of my judgment, wants, likes and dislikes, able to see where this one message fits into the whole picture.

I like flying high, seeing above what I think is important. I love even more the opportunity to live as a fully embodied spirit on her way to who knows what? As my husband always says, “Debbie, you bought the Earth Ride ticket. Get on the ride, throw your hands up, yell at the top of your lungs, and sometimes, well, sometimes, close your eyes, but ride the ride as it will be over before you know it!”

Gucci of Health and Fitness

June 5, 2013

I’ve struggled for thirty years explaining the value of the Nia Intensive training, the over fifty-hours exploring the body, and life the Nia way. I’ve finally come to realize Nia is the Gucci of health, fitness and wellness training, and that we address a part of the population that values quality. Many of the people who come understand that price and value go hand in hand. Those are the ones that never feel the intensive is too much, the Livelihood Membership too much. Then there are those caught in the middle. They’re the ones on the edge of financial abundance. They make enough to live above the line. If life is going well the intensive is a steal, and if not, Nia seems to be expendable.

I know there are those who shop in K-Mart, and those who shop in Gucci. I’m one of those people. I have shopped, and still do shop in both. Each store provides me with certain things I want. K-Mart is for the day-to-day needs of toilet paper, liquid dish soap, paper towels, and from time to time tonic water, stuff like that. Gucci? This is where I go when I want something special that will last me a lifetime. I still have my first Gucci belt given to me in 1975 by first husband George. Blue, with a silver buckle, my Gucci belt looks like the Gucci belts of today. Standing the test of time, the design of my Gucci is the same design of today’s belts. Somehow I find great a little comfort in walking into Gucci with my vintage belt, a part of greatness and value, and a part of something that represents “the very best”.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of the best shoppers on the planet. If there’s a sale I’ll find it. One of the things I’m most proud of if the ability to live life, like a queen, paying at least half for what I have. It’s a game I play. How much can I get this for? The “this” is always a thing, not my body, or my life. When it comes to my body and life the best is what I want. I guess the question is, “How do you define the best?” It’s different for everybody. For some the best is Zumba, for others it is Iyengar, and others Nia.

The best to me refers to something that will last. Something I know will stand the test of time, like my Gucci belt, and like Nia training. The best means what I am paying for has been tested. It has stood the test of time and scrutiny by the very best. By people like me, people who know the difference between K-Mart belts and Gucci belts. The people who see the details, and who understand what excellent quality means.

Other programs will always come and go. There will always be the TJ-Max, Marshalls, K-Mart, and Targets, and there will always be the Gucci and Valentino’s. I personally am proud to be a Gucci, a Valentino, and I’ll do my best to raise the bar on what that means.

Here’s to the people who love Nia’s excellence, who love our quality, who love mastery, and who know that when it comes to the body and life Nia is the best bargain around.

Celebrating 30 Years

June 4, 2013

You can’t cling to the past if you want to create the future. How true this is. New heights, that’s what I’m going for. Investing in bold moves, new ideas, this is what I’m going for. Creating for me, and you the very best, and saluting Nia’s history, this is what I ‘m doing, and I’m still committed to making more history.

Thirty years gone by and I’m still here. If you are too, like me, you’ve aged a little bit, OK a lot. There’s a bit more skin dancing with you through life, and a whole lot more on your bucket list. Time is more precious, and health and wellness is more important. Fitness is not something you do just to look good and feel good, it is now something you are aware of doing that adds to how you live your life fully, with passion, vitality, and reaching levels of human potential you desire to reach.

Since January I’ve been looking back, scanning over the past thirty years, me, my personal and professional life, reviewing all the choices I have made. I am proud of many, and others, well let’s say I’m smarter, wiser now, and given the opportunity to do some things again, I’d do it differently. Things like moving from California and leaving my kids, putting the relationship with my business first, in front of them. I wouldn’t do that again. I’d do better at being mom, and as a business woman, and as for a wife, which wasn’t part of the picture in those days with my then husband number two, I’d ask for more in my partnership. I’d also relax a whole lot more, have more fun, and see life, my life as something that will unfold regardless of what I think I do to make it all happen. I’d remember there is a big plan, and I’m a part of it all. As my dad would say, “Little Debbie Bender, doing what she does best–waking people up to life through her art, voice, dance, and humor”.

Over these past months I’ve been able to see the stages I, and Nia have gone through. It is clear that what I desired for myself, for humanity, was something people like you who knew there was a better way wanted too. My path? Full of ups and downs, with amazing opportunities and experiences most people will never have the opportunity to have. For some who couldn’t read, had a speech impediment, and was so insecure, being with people was one of the most frightening things imaginable, I’ve come a long way, and so has Nia. I’m not done either, and neither is Nia. We’re just getting off the ground, which is funny when you think about the fact that the Nia journey started by taking off my shoes, wanting to ground and center. Wanting more comfort, more pleasure from working out. That was back in 1981, and hard was better, and go for the burn was the way, and after two years of development I was ready to unleash a force. A vision that would change the face and feel of fitness, change my life and the lives of many. The force Nia: Non-Impact Aerobics, neuromuscular integrative action, fun fitness with consciousness and a whole lot more. The more was what I never expected, and the more was what I got. The good news is the more keeps on coming.

The “more” I’m talking about is personal growth, body and life knowledge, physical prowess, power and grace, comfort and pleasure in living in my body even at 63. It’s all wisdom I have gained from moving not exercising, from following The Body’s way-Nia’s Way.

I guess I’ve always been after the more, wanting to break the mold of the status quo, doing things differently, and in some way shocking and waking people up. Why? This is still one of my favorite words.

It’s taken me thirty years to personally own the fact I created such an amazing thing like Nia. It’s taken me time to let the power of my creation in, and to respect the gifts I have used to create Nia. My destiny? My purpose? Yes, what I do I have to do, and I will continue to do it until my voice says, “Debbie, you’re done!” In the mean time, I’ll continue doing what I love: inspiring people to heal.

Reminiscing, looking back, reviewing last thirty years, the faces in the scrapbooks, the first radio and TV shows with Carlos and Debbie—such a story. The days when Nia intensives meant having four to six, max twelve at a time, with everyone staying together in the house, the memories of the laughter, and intimacy that can only be created when you stay under one roof—so much richness. This can never be repeated. You can’t cling to the past if you want to create the future.

People often ask me how I can keep going, keep doing, and keep creating at my age. They are generally the ones struggling with what author Carlos Castaneda refers to as: the last enemy to defeat-old age.  The answer: I listen, follow, and trust in the voice that has always guided me. This voice is ageless and wise. It is the one that understands my spirit is ageless. This voice, the voice I listened to in 1981 is the same voice that knows life in a body can be extraordinary at any age if you go for the gold. This is the voice that knows life is supposed to be exceptional, artistic, loving, sacred, meaningful, fun, and entertaining.

I could spend time telling you about all the changes that have occurred over the past thirty-years, the new offers, programming, DVDs and education Nia has to offer, but I won’t. There’s far too much to convey in a letter. The best thing I can do is remind I’m still here. Nia is still here. The best thing I can do is remind you of the feeling you got the first time you took off your shoes, felt the earth beneath you, and discovered the sensation of Nia in your body. A sensation you can reconnect to now, today.

I invite you to check out the NEW Nia. The new routines, handouts, training’s, new programming, new training faculty, new NiaWear clothing, new Nia Sounds music, and the always, pleasurable: Nia experience. No matter how many times you come, I invite you to come again. Come, come, whoever you are—Nia is still here. Your body, mind, emotions and spirit are still here.

Thank to the many thinkers and movers who knowingly and unknowingly have inspired and taught me to keep asking questions, persevere, and dream big over the last thirty years.

To Katherine Martin, who in 1983 wrote the first published article and first book in 1985. To Dr. James Garrick of the Center for Sports Medicine, St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco, who was the first medical professional to give his stamp of approval to the healing and fitness benefits of Nia. To my mother Jeanne, and father Arthur, for instilling in me belief in myself, understanding wisdom of the body is as great as wisdom of the mind. To my children Jennifer and Jessica for allowing me to be the unconventional mother I was and still am. To my stepchildren, Colin and Monica, for embracing me even when they did not pick me. To my sister Jennifer and her husband Paul for their endless love and compassion. To some of the many visionaries of movement and thought who have inspired me: Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Al Huang, Wendy Palmer, Richard Heckler, Thomas Crum, B.K.S. Iyengar, Lazarus, Dan Millman, Ken Wilber, Gary Zukav, Stanley Keleman, Mother Theresa, and the Dali Lama. To the Nia teachers who continue to share Nia around the world. To the Nia students who give provide their body and life to us professionals. To the amazing Nia staff who over the years have tended to the day-to-day business of keeping Nia alive and healthy. To the first generation trainers who helped craft me, and Nia into one of the best somatic education programs in the world. To Karri Winn for encouraging me to see Nia as a sensation science, and as part of a nested system. To the second-generation trainers, the people who will take Nia into the long tail of a future, thank you for investing in Nia’s future. Finally, to my husband and business partner Jeff Stewart, the man who continues to believe in me, in Nia as a business, and in people’s greatness, I share my love, respect, gratitude, and friendship. Thank you for your integrity, mothering, fathering, and compassionate care that tends to the life of Nia, and to the people who dance her.

Here’s to thirty more years’ of pleasure, and exploration as sensation scientists seeking the potential of living life in a body. See you on the dance floor and wen we celebrate Nia’s sixty-year’s. I’ll be 93! Will you be there?