Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Finding Flowers in a Midwest Winter

The snowy and icy terrain of the Minnesota winter can feel a bit bleak on a colorful spirit.  What about locating some flowers to take in their beauty and fragrance to refresh and renew.  We traveled this past weekend to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen, Minnesota for their Fragrances of Spring, the Essence of Paradise show happening now through February 28th.

And a kaleidoscope of shapes.  Hmmm, let spring and warmth come to Minnesota.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Artist Date in Lanesboro, Minnesota

Last Saturday, January 27th was a warm winter day in Minnesota.  I traveled to Lanesboro to pick up some art prints, from the Lanesboro Arts Center, to use with my art students.  And it became what Julia Cameron would call an "Artist Date." An artist date is an activity done solo to look at art, be in nature, or do something to fill up on beauty and breathe in the good air and see new things.

I took a few pictures around this beautiful little town located on the Root River.

I took a walk up a steep hill to the golf course and found some ice along the way to crack.  Oh, that is one of my favorite things to do!  Crazy, but oh so fun!

Can you see the water trickling under that thin sliver of ice?  The water was running all over, tickling and rushing.  I could see it and hear it. Mmmmm, sensations of lusciousness every where.

Here's the road I walked up and down.

"It's Your Planet; Love It! "
These benches were all over down town made by the girl scouts.

"I only want to see you dancing in the purple rain." Prince

I found some delicious coffee at a natural foods grocery on the corner of Coffee St and Parkway.

And a delicious turkey sandwich at the Pastry Shoppe.

"You're the strangest person I ever met, she said & I said you too & we decided we'd know each other a long time." Brian Andreas, Story People.

Commonweal Theatre Company, fine professional theatre--amazing productions.

St. Mane Theatre, part of the Lanesboro Arts Center complex.

Black Crow Art Gallery  
Val is making a basket and lining.

It was a day filled with love.  And it did fill up my well to nurture my artist self.  How do you fill up your creative self?  Leave a comment below.  I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A New Year 2018 for Movement and Dance

As I ever explore how to feel more alive, I dance and play.  Nia is my practice that brings great joy to my being.  Nia is made up of three groupings of movement. And within each movement grouping are three parts.  In the Dance portion are aspects of Modern Dance, Jazz Dance and Duncan Dance.  In the martial arts portion there are T'ai chi, Tae kwon do and Aikido.  In the healing arts portion there is Moshe Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique and Yoga.

I found this article about Feldenkrais to be something to ponder.  Hope this brings you some insight in your own movement.

Move better, feel better, be better in 2018 with the Feldenkrais Method

  • November 30, 2017|
  • By Carole Bucher, BA | Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement


Increasing body awareness can help update your "brain map"--so you're move alert and connected.  If you've heard lately that increasing your body-awareness increases brain power, this article will tell you more about it.

Basically, awareness strengthens your neural pathways, and your nervous system updates your ​“brain map”​ — so you’re more alert and connected to yourself, brain and body.

Body-awareness means being in your body more intentionally: sensing where you are in space, how you move and feel, and being more present and mindful. This gives you amazing, wide-reaching results.

Studies actually show that you unlock​ creativity, increase​​ self-confidence, and boost productivity and well being; you feel more relaxed and effective, and can communicate and relate better. All this starts to happen naturally when you pay more attention to your body, movement habits and patterns.

Here’s how to start the process,​ but remember — reading won’t ​ change a thing​. You actually have to DO it to become more aware and get the benefits. So here you go!
​First, notice what you already know about yourself​ and ​your movement. If you’re not sure, make your best guess, then check it out:

  • Which foot do you start on when you walk?
  • Do you always use the same hand to open a door, scroll through your phone or use your mouse?
  • Do you feel your back or bottom when ​you ​sit ​down or ​drive?
  • Which leg/foot do you stand on more?
  • Whe​n you walk, do you look at the horizon,​ or toward​ ​the ground or sky?

Intentionally noticing​ what you do with yourself is ​simple, fun and, hopefully, non-judgmental. Best of all, it activates body-awareness, and you can start right here, right now: you’ve already got everything you need — you don’t even have to buy special clothes!

The very cool part is as soon as you start noticing yourself like this, you turn your awareness switch ON! You’re paying attention to yourself in a new and different way; you’ve taken the first steps on an exciting and transformative path, no matter what your age or condition.

Throughout 2018, we’ll focus on something special every month to wake up the brain, improve movement, feel better in our bodies and help us to be more vital, creative and aware human BE-ings in everything we do. Have a great holiday! See you in the New Year!

Carole Bucher, BA, is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner/teacher and owner of Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement. Visit renofeldenkrais.blogspot.com to learn more. 

This article can be seen directly on-line Healthy Beginnings at Move Better, Feel Better, Be Better in 2018 with the Feldenkrais Method.

 If you're curious about how more movement in your life may bring you more joy and energy, come to one of my Nia classes.  Or type in your own location and find a Nia class near you.

Here's to more joy in 2018.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Birthday Times 2017

"Today is your birthday," a Beatles' song that I love.  And today is my birthday.  I love my birthday.  It is a good time to gather with friends, eat cake, go out for some great dinner or dance.  This year, the celebrating happened over this whole weekend.  My daughter and I and her sister-in-law, Tammy got together yesterday and played in Red Wing, Minnesota.  In the evening, Bob and I had some lovely dinner and chatted and listened to music and had a low key time.  Friday evening, Nia dancing, a sauna with my good friend, Jacque, a Nia instructor; and then Bob and I gathered with some friends to listen to music.  I feel so very blessed.

Amaliya, my daughter and I

Bob and I and Noris--Tara took a little scaddle, she must have been shy of the camera. 

Chocolate cake made by Bob

And these are past greetings that were posted on Facebook and they just made me smile again.
I sure have a lot of wonderful friends.

WInter's Coming

Cleaning the wood stove chimney is an annual autumn event.  This year it happened on November 18th when the sun was shining and it felt unusually warm outside.  I'd been out looking at art on the Art Walk around Winona and when I got back, Bob suggested that we get the chimney cleaned.  I go with his suggestion on this one due to him climbing up to do the work and I hold the ladder.

He is quite good-natured about this task and we are both feeling very glad when it is complete and we'll have safe fires in the winter time.

On December 6th, we had our first fire. Nice a toasty.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Presence by Amy Cuddy

I was introduced to Amy Cuddy through her Ted talk.  And when that talk came around again and I was struck with how relevant it was to me at this time. 

In her talk Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are,
I was struck by her personal story.  In my work with the body through the practice that I live and teach called Nia, and the children who I work with who at times feel powerless due to their learning challenges, I was curious to learn more. In this review of her book, I give a few snippets of things that I found interesting.  I highly recommend reading her book or listening to her book in audio form.  She reads her book herself.  Presence can be found in local bookstores, public library or online.

In chapter 2 called "Believing & Owning your Story," she talks about authentic self and what does that mean anyway?  Cuddy's view is that our authentic self is an experience.  She talks of times when we make a decision or do an act and "it feels right."  As we build on these moments, we grow our authentic selves.

Her book is filled with stories of people's lives such as Reverend Jeffery Brown and street gangs and how he went out on the street and talked with the people.  It took time; it took listening to change a culture of violence.  He has a Ted talk about his work on the street: How We Cut Youth Violence in Boston by 79 Percent . Cuddy talks about the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks and a very powerful provocative dance before a meet. This dance is called the haka, a traditional Maori dance.  

Amy Cuddy talks about power: social and personal power. She defines social power as power over another.  Examples are one person who can make decisions over another such as a boss, a teacher, the CEO of a company.  Personal power is "characterized by freedom from the dominance of others," according to Amy Cuddy.  Personal power allows one to sense their own power within no matter the situation.  We can create greater personal power through the thoughts that we choose and the words that we use.  She talks of using power poses such as the Wonder Woman pose. Stand with legs hip distance or wider apart, hands on hips, shoulders back, chin slightly lifted gives a person a feeling of confidence and power. 

“He walked along the River Lee, his hands clasped behind his back. A new walk for him.  Large and public.  The attitude of a thinking man.  He enjoyed the pose, found it conducive to the idea of himself.”
--Colum McCann, TransAtlantic, describing Frederick Douglass

She has many more stories within her book, Presence.  One last thing that resonated with me was her idea of suggesting tiny changes in the form of nudges to change behavior in the direction that we want to go.  Dancing through Life.


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