I’m here in San Francisco city for the first chapter of my five week trip to California and Oregon. My purpose of this trip is to participate in a two week training called ‘Dancing Freedom’ technique, a freeform style of dancing that offers another means to mindfulness in the body and feeling more connected to your soul. I will return to England with this practice and offer it those practitioners who already practice with me.
The course is taking place in the mountains of Oregon at a Biodynamic/Organic Farm. The training is created by Samantha Sweetwater who I met for the first time a couple of days ago. At the end of the two hour session i felt luminous, everyone in the room looked luminous and i patted myself on the back for making this leap of faith to fly to the States for a two week training with someone i’d never met. It was based on a sixth sense and healthy encouragement from Sarah Bullock, a UK Dancing Freedom practitioner who first told me about it.
I have just spent the last week acclimatising (having a holiday!) in San Francisco and preparing for this course, before I/we make the 6 hour drive up to Oregon tomorrow morning with some of the other Dancing Freedom practitioners.
San Francisco is basically a bigger version of our beloved Bristol City, as my dear friend Tom Savage (another Bristolian), who I was sitting next to in Dolores Park Cafe, on the corner of Dolores and 18th said, “even the suspension bridge is bigger!” The Golden Gate bridge is a bold statement and just like the rest of San Francisco it feels fearless in it’s creativity (just like Bristol)!
My hosts in this city have been the best a girl could get! Michael Gosney, Charlie Dolman and Daisy Carlson. I have real thanks to give all of them for making me feel so at ease in this wonderful city. Michael had me stay in his very cool apartment, where i got to soak up the old skool feel of San Fran. Michael founded Verbum, Inc. with the publication of the Verbum Journal, the first magazine devoted to the creative applications of desktop media. Michael is a dude and a man to know about town in all things interesting and fun – he made me feel really welcome. I met some of his lovely friends who I hope to reconnect with before i leave.
Charlie Dolman – the englishmen in San Fran with his dog, the zen pup of love, Norman, an adorable and docile French Mastiff, has also made me feel totally at home, lending me his phone, his dog and his keys to get myself started in this rather large city! Charlie’s moved over here to head up the operations for The Burning Man festival.
Daisy, the next host I was lucky to have, lives on the side of the Golden Gate bridge. She named me Sophie Butterfly Bolton which i quite like and so have used. Her house is in Mill Valley below Mount Tamalpais. Daisy daisy full of joy, picked me up from the ferry port a couple of days ago in a torrential storm that had just hit the bay, when I docked. We hadn’t seen each other since our dearest mutual friend Fi’s wedding in Gloucestershire 5 years ago. Immediately we remembered why we got on so well, we’ve both got the same dose of goofiness and yes’t for life.
Daisy showed me a good time in this very elegant part of SF. We went to two hot sweaty yoga classes with pumping music that successfully drowned stillness and peace and had us gyrating our hips between asanas instead. The first class we went to, the teacher celebrated us afterwards for our sense of freedom. The second teacher, the following day (yes we went back for more with our $20 x 3 class deal!!) brought out my ‘good girl’ and i stopped after a few moves. The gyrating was a way of bringing lightness to what felt like a serious pumping exercise class. In my thinking music with obvious beats, is for dancing to and for freeing your body up to.
The next Daisy and I decided to climb Mount Tamalpais, rather than taking another yoga class. With it’s enormous views of the Pacific and San Francisco city, Redwood forests nestled below and Californian Oaks perched on top this felt more like ‘yoga’; walking on the mountain and ‘being’ in nature. I had a nice ‘moment’ on Mount Tam, reflecting on how important it feels to leave your own homeland and go on adventures that blast open your perspective. I feel proud of myself for getting my act together and organising 4 weeks off. Thank you all the cover yogini practitioners who have my classes covered.
I find my intelligence best serves me when i pay attention to my body hence loving yoga and freeformdance. My recent sightseeing of the Golden Gate bridge, the mountain and the ocean felt mega to the core, a mega-ness that blessed America can only offer. I could feel the core power of these natural and manmade landmark in the Solar Plexus area. I feel like its a humming to a new tune, one that’s got deep grooves of inner confidence from a willingness to be vulnerable and dare greatly (read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown). I-can-step-into-my-power-kind-of-a-toon, right?! And i don’t need to follow the inner voices (gremlins) that limit me. The voices that say don’t publish this blog it’s shit and it’ll hurt if someone criticises you!
So on that note I’m looking forward to taking more risks with Samanatha Sweetheart and the 15 other courageous souls who are learning to lead anyone up for a freeform style of dance to unapologetically un-tighten the day-to-day survival masks that are useful, but important to take off.
The loud shouts and sometimes faint whispers that got me out here – thank you very much!!
The very cool friends and family (you are really amazing people did you know that!) who celebrated me taking time off to come out here for an adventure. Thank you! I love you very much.
To all the wonderful people who have been coming to my yoga classes ~ thank you and you better be ready – i’ll be coming at ya with yoga and dance now!! We all have a right to feel joy, to dare to listen to our hearts and remember what makes us tick!