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Greetings from the Shamsiverse, July 14, 2017

Greetings Fellow Space Travelers, Happy Freyja’sDay!

“If this isn’t nice, what is?”

A kind of brilliant question Kurt Vonnegut asks repeatedly in a series of commencement speeches that were ultimately complied into a book titled, “If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young.”

“If this isn’t nice, what is?” was something Mr. Vonnegut’s uncle always said in the midst of a ‘perfect’ moment, and I have taken the practice of it to heart.

It’s such a simple practice – it’s gratitude. Acknowledgement of “ALL THAT IS”, in the immediate right-here-and-now, and just being grateful for it. And I’ve been doing it multiple times on a daily basis lately.

    In the midst of so much tumultuous propaganda from what seems like every corner of my reality these days, finding small, simple, quiet moments where I can breathe deeply, smile out at the Universe, and inwardly toward myself and say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?” literally slows down the moment – almost stops time – and let’s me revel in the joy of being human. And for something that is our basic nature – being human – some days that’s just way more difficult than others, so this small, but incredibly effective practice feels like all the gold in the world to me right now.

So yeah, sitting in a moment of bliss, prolonged by my own brain’s power of suggestion. What a beautiful concept 😉 eh?

Tuesday night was beautiful for so many reasons, but I’ll share a couple.

I only had two students come for Pound Fitness®, but they both put so much into their workouts, I mean, we’re talking – moving beyond adaptation, and just going for it, full-on. They got so into what they were doing – form, technique, intensity – that I totally lost my place in leading the class a couple of times! <3 #Awesome

And THEN! In Anatomy of Bellydance, which is a movement awareness class with a focus on Bellydance (so if you’re a complete novice to dance, movement, etc …this is a really great place to begin) I had the brain-child-brilliance to line up some of my most favorite Sezen Aksu (Turkish pop music icon whose birthday just happens to have been yesterday, July 13th.) The brilliance of this move is that Sezen is a master of emotion, and in bellydance (most dance) the arms and hands quite literally hold and pass along the emotion of our dance. Arms and hands aren’t the only way we hold or pass along emotion – but they’re probably the easiest.

We had one completely-new-to-us student, but everyone went *all-in* …standing in one place for 10 minutes, scooping air? No problem! Being asked to ‘dance on your own’ with little to no instruction other than to ‘connect to your heart’? No problem! <3 I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten to have an experience where everyone in the same room is focusing on the same general principle, but are each doing entirely their own thing – they are some of the most completely real and completely ecstatic experiences of my life.

I’m pretty sure that if I have a dream for the human race, that experience for everyone is it.

This week, I also worked my way through another listen of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” and was left (again) with how much I rather adore the Adam Young character. Aw heck, I love ALL of the characters in this book. They’re all just …just …so freaking human <3 even the angels and demons, which is perhaps why I love it all so thoroughly. I highly recommend the book, but give fair warning, both Mr. Pratchett and Mr. Gaiman write with a fondness for tangents. I personally live for tangents, but if that’s not your thing, this might not be your book. Having given the warning, I leave you with this bit of Adam Young logic:

“But you can’t just leave it at that!” said Anathema, pushing forward. “Think of all things you could do! Good things!”
“Like what?” said Adam suspiciously.
“Well … you could bring all the whales back, to start with.”
He put his head on one side. “An’ that’d stop people killing them, would it?”
She hesitated. It would have been nice to say yes.
“An’ if people do start killing ’em, what would you have me do about ’em?” said Adam. “No. I reckon I’m getting the hang of this now. Once I start messing around like that, there’d be no stoppin’ it. Seems to me, the only sensible thing is for people to know if they kill a whale, they’ve got a dead whale.”

And thus endeth the lesson. *snort*

For those of you based in a Franco-centric (no, not James Franco …France ~ Franco …uhm. yeah) state/country, HAPPY BASTILLE DAY! And Happy Meg-Day! No, you don’t have to know who Meg is, just know that *this* is her day.

Probably that’s all you really need to know about July 14th. <3

Next week kicks off DANCE WEEK in New Orleans, (July 17-29) wrapping everything up on July 29th with National Dance Day! Check out your local listings, there’s probably some *really* great stuff going on in your neck of the woods.

For my own part – I’ve got $5 POUND® classes (5 days a week!!!) Y’all come on and get sweaty with us and bang sticks together!

On the non-movement side of things, I’ve got openings for Guided Soul Tours, and just for the week of July 24th-30th, I’m doing $20 email readings, or $30 – 1/2 hour phone sessions. Just shoot me an email here if you are interested in any of these services. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 15th I’ll be teaching PoundFitness® at 9am over at Crescent Lotus Dance Studio.  As ever, no rhythm, skills, equipment, or experience necessary – you can even forget your sneakers and still be able to get into this workout. I provide music, Ripstix®, and yoga mats – you just show up. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Next week my schedule over at Crescent Lotus looks a bit like this:

Mon –  PoundFitness® 5:15PM
Tue – PoundFitness® 6PM followed by Anatomy of Bellydance (A.o.B.) @ 7:15PM
Thu – PoundFitness® 5:30PM
Fri – PoundFitness® 8:30AM
Sat – PoundFitness® 9AM

In Anatomy of Bellydance (A.o.B.) just a heads up – for the last 3 months of the calendar year (I know …it kind of sounds blasphemous to say it that way right now, doesn’t it?) we will focus on floor work! <3 I’m getting giddy just thinking about it. So, yes, there will be strengthening and flexibility exercises, but OH the places we’ll go! It’s going to be quite a ride and I’d love to have you join us!

The Happy Freyja’sDay Dance video from this morning is at the bottom of this post, & as always, I hope you dance along.

Until next time, I hope you get to spend time with people you love doing stuff that fills you up and brings you joy!

~Shamsi, Charlie, Me


Happy Freyja’sDay World!


Happy Freyja’sDay World! Are You Ready to Dance?! from Shamsi Charlie Pettus on Vimeo.

Happy Freyja’sDayWorld! Are You Ready to Dance?! from Shamsi Charlie Pettus on Vimeo.