Movement. I LOVE to move my body how my body wants to move.
Running is my absolute favorite. I run for the sheer pleasure and delight of running. I do not require external motivation to run or nice weather.
I started running in August 2012, during the ending of an 8-year relationship (with another narcissist).
The thing is, I had a lifelong limiting belief, "I can't run because I have asthma." I was 33 and I'd never run a complete mile in my life without stopping.
But I'd been a long distance hiker most of my life, thanks to sacred time on trails with my father in the foothills along Denver.
During the breakup, my anxiety took me over and I wanted to go FAST. So I started running and setting small goals for myself: the next stop sign, the next bench, the next road. Within a week I could run a mile without stopping and within a month I could run 10!
And within that month, I became ADDICTED to running. The runner's high shifted me out of all the negativity coursing through me.
Every morning I put on my running shoes and ran for miles with tears streaming down my face and music blasting in my ears.
Running was my salvation and my number one entry point back to ME.
The following summer I took up rowing on Lake Merritt in Oakland, 10 minutes from my condo. And quickly rowing became another access point to flow state.
There is nothing like sculling alone on a lake with a pearl necklace of lights ringing the shoreline. The meditation of the push, stroke, and glide - over and over - plus developing inner trust to know the edge of the lake and glance over my shoulder as needed.
Rowing is a great metaphor for life: facing the past, what do I get to clean up in order to move confidently forward in the direction of my dreams?
Rowing and running became a combination for me. I'd run the Lake, a perfect 5K, to warm-up then row with my team into the setting sun. In the winter we'd row by the string of pearl lights and the moon.
Lake Merritt became my spiritual home. For years it was my go to to come home into me.
And on weekends, I fled the city to Lake Tahoe.
In the winter it was skiing. Beginning in November 2012, for the next 3 seasons I skied 40-60 days a season.
My skis and the slope put me directly into flow. I escaped my anxiety, my stress, how I felt inside of me. And I found my happy, my joy, my glee.
People love to watch me ski, without poles, a colorful array of ribbons attached to my helmet, and my right hand slowly turning over - back and forth - guiding my big G-turns down the groomers.
A graceful dance.
I'd be on the slopes from nearly first chair to last (and I'd often start my day with a 1.7-mile run and then conclude my day with the same loop).
Movement was what I chose every single day to feel better inside me, about me, about my life.
The more I moved, the better I felt, and the more I showed up for myself and the people in my life.
And then I discovered Ecstatic Dance.
Free form dance has been my favorite since I was a child. Pure expression. And Ecstatic Dance is a place designed exactly for pure expression.
There are a few basic rules: no talking on the dance floor, substance free, and ask for consent with your eyes & body.
The music is curated to guide dancers from warm-up, up in tempo and energy to a climax, and back down again, ending with stillness and sound healing.
And lucky me, I had the pleasure of the premier Ecstatic Dance down the road from me in downtown Oakland at the historic Sweet's Ballroom.
Wednesday nights became part of my spiritual practice, to dance for me, to move my body how it desired, to be in the joy of this beautiful body I was learning to love.
My Pathways to BLISS and ECSTASY
Running, rowing, skiing, dancing. All naturally, all exceptional.
Movement has always been and will always be my number one altered state of consciousness.
Movement to reach ecstasy is part of how Ecstatic Collective got its name. And Ecstatic Collective is also representative of all the ways to ecstatic states.
Through the years I've gotten creative in achieving ecstatic states. I love to add in meditation in the middle of movement, compounding my access to flow and the magic of consciousness.
Click the link below to learn about meditation.
My favorite ecstatic states:
The only thing I truly wanted in my life was to feel safe. Psychedelics helped me free myself from the trauma prison of childhood sexual abuse, find the Frequency of Safety, and reclaim who I AM.