I have just returned from a Dance Pull Event from, what I feel is one of the healthiest Nia communities that I have ever experienced, Richmond, Virginia. I come away with a sense of what is possible for any Nia community. Especially mine, which is the entire worldwide Nia Community! I know there are many good Nia communities, but in search of the “masterful one,” Richmond Virginia wins the “2018 Best Community Award.” Who is the judge? Me.
I am always touched by the passion and joy I see in Nia communities, but the passion and joy I felt in Richmond, Virginia felt different and deeply inclusive. Support was tangible in the way this community is connected on and off the dance floor. New teachers, no problem: there is support for you to learn and teach. New to the community, no problem: you’ll be invited to join every group. Birthday coming up, no problem: there’s a monthly birthday celebration for everyone. Looking for social activities with the Nia group, no problem: there’s a book club, there’s a get-together, and there are lunch and movie dates. Collaboration, help, support, it’s there for everyone.
Mary Beth Grinnen was my producer for the event in Richmond, Virginia. If you’ve been on Facebook you may have seen her out and about in Paris. She lived and taught Nia in Paris and has recently returned to the US where she and her husband are now living in Richmond, Virginia.
I arrived late to Richmond. Late is on par for a two-plane trip to the East Coast from Portland. Mary Beth and I drove to the most romantic, historic hotel, the Jefferson, epoch for sure! Hungry after not eating all day, Mary Beth suggested we go into the hotel bar for some food and a quick drink. I love arriving somewhere and spending time with a Nia teacher-producer. We chatted about her new life there, and her transition from Paris, back to teaching in the US. We kept the night short as the next day I was on for a Dance Pull Event and two Nia classes.
They say if you want to know how a teacher is doing watch the students. This is what I did. I watched the students and Nia teachers and saw how this community walks the talk of the Nia principles and philosophy. I learned that it is possible to create a very ego healthy community.
When we are faced with criticism we are given the opportunity to look deep within to find our truth. It is always best when what follows comes from the heart and is never used to incite people by writing and speaking viscous words that hurt the people we feel hurt us.
Having said this, I am sending my philosophy. This is what guides me when things don’t go so smoothly in a community, or when I’m dealing with a disgruntled trainee or customer. This is the philosophy I use to guide my choices and decisions that keep my communication coming from the heart. I’ve included my purpose, which I use to keep me on point with what I desire.
MY PURPOSE: to inspire people to feel in order to heal. This guides me in creating the best environment for a healthy body, mind, emotions, spirit of people to evolve from honest and loving communication, leading to a wisdom that is a result of attention, awareness, forgiveness, and healing.
I BELIEVE there is no room for love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.
I BELIEVE the best way to create a relationship is with love, not hate.
I BELIEVE it takes a lot to love when you feel hurt and victimized, when trust is broken, and when words leave you feeling hurt, angry, and mad.
I BELIEVE it takes strength and courage to forgive and when I am weak, I cannot forgive, and when I feel strong, I can.
I BELIEVE only light can take us out of darkness, and wanting to punish keeps us in the dark.
I BELIEVE all mistakes are forgivable.
I BELIEVE if we have the courage to admit mistakes we can learn from them and do better next time.
I BELIEVE listening to what others have to say without defending oneself, is a sign of respect for people’s unique experiences.
I BELIEVE violence is created in what we verbally say, what we feel, think, write and do.
I BELIEVE every person we believe attacks us gives us the opportunity to look into truth and stand for what we believe.
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