Autumnal Chakra Dance

Celebrate the fluid consciousness of Autumn
within a welcoming and supportive
woman’s circle

in Southern Vermont

Women’s circles evoke a sense of sisterhood, and also a feeling of being in a maternal space. There is a deep sense of being connected to one another, at an archetypal level. ~Jean Shinoda Bolen

Autumnal Chakra Dance
a Let Your Yoga Dance women’s circle
in Marlboro, VT
Dancing through the body’s energy centers
with the energy signature of the season: release, flow, rebirth.
Tuesdays, November through Winter Solstice
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

*With 2 options for missed gatherings:
1. Bring someone new to the dance.
2. Receive the chakra playlist to dance at home.
(* Or drop into a yoga class with my husband Casey as space is available.)

For ALL women who like to move to music!
No other experience, skill/talent relevant.

Autumnal Journey: $123.45 (pre-pay rate)
Paypal link for pre-pay rate
Facebook event page

Marlboro Elementary School is centrally located on Route 9 in Marlboro, Vermont.


Participant feedback….

It’s more than a workout–it’s spiritual grounding and a chance to experience true freedom. It’s exactly what you need each and every moment.

I feel lighter and uplifted!

I love feeling the music through my body.

It was easy to be free.  I remembered that I love to exercise.  I remembered that I do have flexibility.  I moved within and out.

I liked how the class flowed– how we had time to move to ourselves and with  others.

I find myself dancing and moving more throughout the week.

I have been feeling more in touch with my body’s needs as far as stretching, flexibility, mindfullness, and self-appreciation.

Let Your Yoga Dance helps me to come back into myself. Since I spend a lot of time leading other people and directing activities, I really appreciate the chance to support my very important intention of settling into myself.

Very relaxing, very healing, very conducive to epiphany.

Click here for more voices on dancing with Kelly through the chakras.

Kelly Salasin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in education and is a certified Yoga and YogaDance instructor, as well as a longtime crafter of classes, retreats, workshops, events & journeys–locally, regionally, internationally & online. Kelly regularly assists leading presenters/programs at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center including Let Your Yoga Dance teaching trainings and yoga and meditation retreats. Kelly serves as adjunct faculty at the Hits the Spot Yoga Teacher Training Center leading chakra experiences–on and off the mat.

Contact Kelly for more information or to hold your space in this dancing circle of women.

Schedule conflict or location a barrier? Ask Kelly about the seasonal online journey: Writing through the Chakras.

Summer Chakra Dance

Celebrate the expansive energy of the sun
with the cooling & nourishing retreat of a
woman’s circle

in Southern Vermont

God may be in the details. But the Goddess is in connections.
~Gloria Steinem

Chakra Dance
a Let Your Yoga Dance women’s circle
in Marlboro, VT
dancing through the body’s energy centers
highlighting each of the 7 chakras
*Late July through early September
Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Skill & experience irrelevant

*With 3 options for missed gatherings:
chakra playlist & meditation access or
chakra consultation with Kelly
or morning yoga with Casey.

Facebook event page
Early-bird $111.11
Paypal link
Room for 11.

Note: Marlboro, Vermont is located in the southern most part of the state between Brattleboro & Wilmington, VT.

Carpoolers take 10% off. Find a friend. Make it a date.

It was easy to be free.  I remembered that I love to exercise.  I remembered that I do have flexibility.  I moved within and out.

The music ROCKS!

OMG! I can’t believe how much fun I’ve been missing!

I love it!!! Every time!!

I feel lighter and uplifted!

I love feeling the music through my body.

I liked how the class flowed– how we had time to move to ourselves and with  others.

I find myself dancing and moving more throughout the week.

I realize that I don’t know my body very well–and I want to.  This helps. I trust you as a teacher.

I have been feeling more in touch with my body’s needs as far as stretching, flexibility, mindfullness, and self-appreciation.

It helps me to come back into myself. Since I spend a lot of time leading other people and directing activities, I really appreciate the chance to support my very important intention of settling into myself.

Very relaxing, very healing, very conducive to epiphany.

Click here for more voices on dancing with Kelly through the chakras.

Kelly Salasin

Kelly Salasin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in education and is a certified Yoga and Let Your Yoga Dance instructor, as well as a longtime crafter of classes, retreats, workshops, events & journeys–locally, regionally, internationally & online. Kelly regularly assists leading presenters/programs at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center including Let Your Yoga Dance teaching training and yoga and meditation retreats. Kelly serves as adjunct faculty at the Hits the Spot Yoga Teacher Training Center leading chakra experiences–on and off the mat.

Contact Kelly for more information or to hold your space in this dancing circle of women.

Women’s circles evoke a sense of sisterhood, and also a feeling of being in a maternal space. There is a deep sense of being connected to one another, at an archetypal level.  (Jean Shinoda Bolen)

Click here for more summer programming for women.

Summer Love for Women~2017

Celebrate the expansive energy of the sun
with the cooling & nourishing retreat of these
women’s circles

in Southern Vermont and online
(or by invitation–near you!)

God may be in the details. But the Goddess is in connections.
~Gloria Steinem

Dance where you are. Your song has already been written.

Chakra Dance
a Let Your Yoga Dance women’s circle
in Marlboro, VT
dancing through the body’s energy centers
highlighting each of the 7 chakras
Late July through early September
Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Skill & experience irrelevant
SEASON COMPLETE

“I realize that I don’t know my body very well–and I want to.  This helps. I trust you as a teacher.”

Click here for more voices on dancing through the chakras.

“I’ve learned so much from this woven fabric of feminine voices.”

Writing through the Chakras~Online
a 7 chakra online circle for the soul
Lammas (early August) through Equinox (mid-September)
weekly participation at a time/place that works best for you
(those with & without a writing practice welcome)
SEASON COMPLETE

“I’ve learned more than I could have imagined, from the process of responding through the Chakras and from each of you and your willingness to share your stories.”

Click here for more voices on Writing through the Chakras.

All the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.
~Shel Silverstein

New Moon Immersion Retreat
Sunday evening, July 23
MacArthur Road, Marlboro, VT
Collage, connection, sacred circle & irreverence.
SEASON COMPLETE

~

This circle has been a women’s womb.”

My creative life is my deepest prayer.
~Sue Monk Kidd

Coming this fall 2017
The Artist Way~A Winter Journey
a women’s circle for women with/wanting an artistic practice
MacArthur Road, Marlboro, VT
Contact Kelly

~

“Thank you for issuing the call that brought us all together. You have a gift for this work. You have held well our various hungers and losses, our deep questionings and celebrations, and you have generously contributed your own.”

Kelly Salasin

So this is where I am, I thought. How surprising.
~Terry Tempest Williams. When Women Were Birds

Kelly Salasin has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education and is a certified Yoga and Let Your Yoga Dance instructor, as well as a longtime crafter of classes, retreats, workshops, events and journeys–locally, regionally, internationally and online. She regularly assists leading presenters/programs at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center including:

Joan Borysenko, Writing Down the Light and Reigniting the Flame
Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Director/Founder of Let Your Yoga Dance
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way
Karen Drucker, A Women’s Spiritual Retreat, Learning How to Love Ourselves
Tama Kieves, Unleash Your Calling, Creating the Work & Life You Love
Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing, Hour Glass and Devotion
Jean Shinoda Bolen, Artemis, Women’s Circles & the Sacred Feminine
Robert Thurman, Living the Evolutionary Life: Through Death and Beyond

Women’s circles evoke a sense of sisterhood, and also a feeling of being in a maternal space. There is a deep sense of being connected to one another, at an archetypal level.

~Jean Shinoda Bolen

 

Note: Marlboro, Vermont is located in the southern most part of the state between Brattleboro & Wilmington, VT, with easy access to NH and MA and close “enough” to NY.

*Early-bird discount: Take 10% off when you enroll in any two programs or when you enroll in the New Moon Retreat or the Artist Way Year with a friend. Carpoolers can take 10% off the Chakra Dance Circle.

Contact Kelly for more information or to hold your space in any of the summer 2017 offerings.

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not ever complete the last one,
but I give myself to it.

~Rilke

Design a Home Retreat~With Friends

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Design your own retreat at home for yourself and friends… To celebrate special occasions, mark milestones, recognize passages, provide R&R at intense times of year.

You provide the hospitality and focus, I provide the facilitation. We work together to create a retreat for you and your women friends that nourishes, connects and uplifts.

My facilitation can include the following, adapted to your interests/needs:

  • mixer activities
  • speaking circles
  • meditations
  • yoga
  • yogadance
  • soundtracks
  • chakra explorations
  • personal journaling
  • writing work
  • soul collage
  • ceremony
  • ritual
  • and more…

Local per-person cost (complimentary for retreat host after 6 participants)

  • $35, Drop-in: up to 90 minutes of facilitation (plus 30+ minutes co-planning/prep)
  • $55, Morning, Afternoon or Evening: up to 3 hours of facilitation (plus 45+ minutes co-planning/prep)
  • $75, Full Day: 5+ hours of facilitation (plus 75+ minutes co-planning/prep)

(Minimum group size: 6 participants. Discounts for group size over 12.)

Note: Integrated facilitation packages for organizations, families and other groups available. (Long-distance arrangements possible.)

Contact Kelly to inquire about designing your own home retreat:

Life Journey Coaching

“As we write, we are both describing and deciding the direction that our life is taking.”

Julia Cameron

Combining my passion as a memoirist with my insight as a life coach, I’ve developed this unique and evolving “Life Journey” offering. Through interview and reflection, I’ll guide you on a journey that begins at the intersection of your present-day life with the stories of your past. Memories will be tracked to illuminate and empower present-day growth in an experience that is both enjoyable and enlightening.

Currently, the Life Journey contract is offered at $150 which includes up to an hour and a half interview and a personally crafted piece of writing (up to 1500 words.) I generally complete the Life Journey writing piece within a two week period following your interview.

Supporting young and old in the process of harvesting lifes’ stories for personal and public use, Kelly has worked as a free-lance writer for more than a decade with work published locally, regionally and nationally. A “sample” of her personal memoir work can be found at: motherdaughterrelations.com/soupstory.html.

A phone/email consultation is offered free of charge (802)254-7724, https://kellysalasin.wordpress.com/about-kelly/contact-kelly/
References available.

the Sea of Miracles

for Jesse and Susannah

by Kelly Salasin

“And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.” Walt Whitman

I want to write about miracles, but I don’t know how. There must be some outstanding event from my blessed life to retell, but no single moment splashes up for attention. Has my life been without the miraculous? Indeed, no. It has been so flooded with miracles that I cannot distinguish a single one… until I take what comes.

This past winter, a young friend of ours died of Leukemia. His name was Jesse and he was 19 years old. My family and I rode out the month of December with him in prayers and rituals and tears.

Tucked under our Christmas tree this year was a book entitled, The Way WE Work. Driven to comprehend blood and bone marrow as Jesse’s deteriorated, our bedtime reading ritual was heightened. We delved into a greater understanding of this amazing human body, and I was struck- STRUCK- by how absolutely miraculous our bodies are. In comparison, the miracle of Jesse’s recovery seemed a simple request.

When we got word, just after the holiday, that “Jesse wasn’t going to make it“, I wondered about prayers. So many had been sent from so far that I didn’t understand how they could be left unanswered. Were they gathered there outside the hospital doors, unable to get in? Did the Critical Care Unit refuse them? Did God or Jesse have some other unimaginable plans?

My son Aidan, age 8, couldn’t bear the news and ran up to his room sobbing. We all joined him on his bed in silence until he lifted his head from his pillow and demanded, “How can they be sure Jesse’s going to die?!”

In the face of all of our bright hopes, it was a heartbreaking thing to answer. “Death is like a birth,” I began, tentatively. “There are signs that a baby is coming and there are signs that a body is ending. No one can be certain of the exact time, but they know when it is imminent.”

Through all of our tears, I whispered again that death and birth were- both- truly miraculous; and though unfathomably painful, it was also quite beautiful that Jesse’s mother and father would be with him when he left this world as they were when they welcomed him into it.

As is the Jewish custom, friends and family sit with the body after death until the time of burial. At an hour when we would typically be heading up to bed, my family walked outside into the hushed snow and drove twenty minutes to town. We arrived at the funeral home just before 9:00 under a bright full moon and took our place beside the pine box that held Jesse’s body. We brought Rumi and lullabies and sat in sacred silence before turning over Jesse’s care to his grandmother and aunts–and finally to Lisa, his mother.

It was a magical night, holy, like Christmas Eve– perched as it was on the threshold of life and death. The next bitterly cold afternoon, we stood atop a mountain and buried the beautiful box with Jesse under the earth. Shovel upon shovel upon fistful and tears. Aidan snuck a clump of dirt from the pile and brought it home with him through the deep snow. We lit the yellow candles we had burned for Jesse each night since the New Year; and this time, we let them burn out.

Emptied in our grief, we did not find the one shining miracle we had wanted; that one defining moment that could shape a story so spectacularly such as this for you. It’s the story I had imagined retelling… the one where Jesse recovers and goes off to college like he dreamed. Because of prayers. Because of a miracle.

Who knows how miracles work… when they come and when they don’t! Isn’t it the job of a miracle to fit our expectations?! Aren’t miracles measured by specific outcomes, or is it by something else… by their effect, maybe?

If the latter is the truest account, than Jesse’s life and Jesse’s death were one and the same- miraculous.

As I type these words this morning, snow falls and falls and falls upon soft spring roads. Pondering life through my tears, I don’t know where to end this unlikely tale of miracles. Until the phone rings…

It is my sister, three thousand miles away, announcing the birth of her daughter, Susannah.

Another miracle splashes into my life

STUFF!

“You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.”

Stewart Emery

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”

George Carlin

“If we have become a people so self-centered that we are willing to step over a lifeless body to get a bargain, we have problems that go beyond terrorists, a credit crunch and bad mortgages.”

Bob Shieffer

Kelly Salasin

Last week, we spent an entire morning working on the chaos of toys, games and gagets in the cellar with our son Aidan.
There were tears and yelling and complete family meltdowns.
He and we were– and are– overwhelmed by how much there is to manage.

Once again, we’ve created beautiful, manageable order; and we’ve agreed that at 8 years old, Aidan will be accountable for that which he wishes to keep.
That said, how appropriate is it for us to allow our child to be immersed in stuff and then to berate him for it? With Christmas on the horizon and his bedroom wobbling on the constant precipice of cluttered chaos, what’s a family to do?

Surely, everyone loves new things and it is a delight for us as parents to “present” thembut at what cost? Isn’t it a call to action when fellow Americans crush another human being in order to get the best deal in Wal-Mart?

In some ways, consumerism is easier on our family than others because we just can’t afford to buy much of anything, particularly this year with my husband’s continued unemployment. This limitation forces us to put needs, desires and holiday shopping in perspective with the rest of the country and the economy.

And yet, even we– in our modest one-income rural life– are responsible for passing on the culture of “stuff” to our children.

Did you know that one of the largest growing markets in this country is– “storage”? People buy storage units for their extra things while other human beings live on the streets. Something is off with this picture, isn’t it?  And it’s off for all of us–not just the poor or the wealthy.

Imagine what we could do with our time and energy if we didn’t spend it managing our stuff— and that includes everything from our houses to our bills to our cars and our nicknacks and family treasures and photos and catalog orders and box store purchases and boats and bikes and…

With an “overstuffed” mind, I searched for support with this crisis and found two solid resources that I’d like to pass on:

The first gem is a “clutter-free gift list” posted by parents at Flylady.com.  Ideas include:

recording books on tape

-family memberships to local museums

-gift certificates for art classes.

Clutter free gift guides are available on the site for each age group–from preschoolers to college. You can also surf <flylady.com> for tips on decluttering your home and your life.

So called for her love of fly fishing, “Fly Lady” is a self-described “personal on-line coach to help you gain control of your house and home.”  Her “services” are free in the form of daily email reminders. You can also follow on her Twitter and Facebook.

A popular offering on the Fly Lady site each year is the “Holiday Control Guide,” complete with weekly Holiday Cruising Missions—“so that you can sail through the holidays.”  FlyLady covers everything from cleaning to shopping to budgeting to decluttering.

While “decluttering” doesn’t address the problem of “stuff” at its roots, it does offer some breathing room while we re-think our priorities.

The new book, Simplicity Parenting, by Australian born educator Kim John Payne, is just the place to do some of that re-thinking. Each chapter highlights both the philosophy and tools of “Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids.”

Payne’s trademark compassion and sense of humor make this an enjoyable and practical read.  Chapter Three of Simplicity Parenting discusses the toll of “too much stuff” on our children’s emotional and mental health.

Payne offers a “10-Point Checklist” of types of toys to discard and suggests getting rid of half of them—and then another half— and maybe even another half–while holding on to those sentimental items that are most precious to your child.

Surprisingly, Payne applies the same approach to books, as well as clothes and other items that crowd a child’s life.  Even lighting and “scents” are addressed as issues of “too much.”

Embrace experience over things, and ‘enough’ over always more,” counsels Payne who works on behalf of social well being in schools and communities around the world. “Clear out space, literally and emotionally (to create) a container for relationship and the slow unfolding of childhood.”

Simplicity Parenting is published by Random House and is widely available at local bookstores and on line.  For more information about Payne’s work, see <www.simplicityparenting.com>.

As parents it is often a challenge to feel that we are “enough.”  This may be the root of our constant striving toward “more.”  Perhaps if we slow down and take the time to notice just how much we truly have, our need for “more” will dissipate and our holidays will be filled with just “enough” of all the truly good “stuff.”

From our stuff to yours,
Hoping for more nice stuff,
Kelly & family

Note: Your voice welcome here.  As a parent, how do you manage the “stuff”of childhood?  What do you think about our “culture of stuff”?

REST!

by Kelly Salasin

Home sickI’ve been called to write for days, but excepting posts on Facebook & Twitter, I’ve rebuked the call. “I don’t feel good and don’t want to write,” I hiss at my muse, but the pressing doesn’t stop.

The truth is that I know I’m on the cusp of recovery because last night I moaned and complained “about” being sick (as opposed to just being sick)—and this morning, I’m ranting and raving about it. “I’m DONE!” every impatience screams.

The older I get, the more I sense that illness is a rehearsal for dying. In fact, I can apply Kubler-Ross’s stages to my simple case of strep:

DISBELIEF-Sore throat? I just got over the flu last week!

DENIAL-I’ll just have an extra big glass of wine.

BARGAINING- I promise to rest tomorrow.

GUILT-Wow, I shouldn’t have gone to that baseball game, gallery walk, the cow parade, that party…

ACCEPTANCE-I WILL stay in bed until I’m better!

DEPRESSION- I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired of feeling terrible.

ANGER-Enough already!!!

Actually, the idea of the stages is that they’re supposed to “end” with acceptance and hope—not with anger– which is where I’m stuck. Needing to ‘reorder’ myself brings me to this morning’s reluctant writing as I add another pillow behind my neck as an olive leaf toward  surrender.

Birth is the other metaphor that comes to my mind during illness. And certainly we cycle thru the same stages during labor. I remember that exact moment of despair in the eleventh hour just before my son was born—which itself lends “hope” that there is something ready to be born in this week-long labor too.

There was once a gift born of a single virulent summer flu that I’ll never forget. As the fever burned through me, I came to the realization that I needed to leave my new job. I resigned there right from our plaid couch with great clarity and peace of mind.  In exchange, I finally conceived our second son that fall.

I have no job to resign now—but maybe that, in and of itself, is what requires my resignation.

My dreams this feverish week have been plenty. One found me removing an outgrown child’s sweater from my closet. Woolen and pale, it hung misshapen with moth eaten holes throughout.

Days later, this rich image continues to speak to me. First it tells me of the winding down of my role as mother to young children. At 13, my oldest graduates this week from elementary school and my youngest, at 8, has begun the bittersweet dance of moving both toward and away from me.

In another dream that same fitful night, my chest of belongings is destroyed by fire and all the letters that I was to read for my memoir are gone. The next day, in “real” time, I find out that my great Aunt Sue has died—one of the last vestiges of my magical childhood at the ocean.  This dream of loss continues to burn in my heart.

Perhaps it was Aunt Sue then, who came the night of her death in my most comforting dream of that evening—delivering delicate skeins of just spun yarn in brilliant hues—placing the soft pile of color on the bookshelves that surrounded me.

“Let things come,” is the quote that serves me of late-  which itself “came” on a bag of green tea. Quotes arrive like friends, emissaries of light, and stay—sometimes for days or even weeks, but never as long as this one–which has continued to teach me through the seasons.

“Let things COME,” I breathe deeply, resisting my urge to strive. I have been striving for as long as I can remember. I see myself as a character in one of those war torn films where a scrappy youth survives the odds by her own tenacity.

In The Empire of the Sun, a young boy makes it through bombings, refugee camps, exile and war’s end surviving by the dogged persistence of his spirit and will. As a Social Studies teacher, I used this film every year, and each time I felt the closing scene in my bones.

Finally reunited with his parents (against all odds), the boy-turned young man–falls into his mother’s arms and finally, FINALLY, closes his eyes.

This DEEP need for “rest” is one that screamed out at me just a few years back when I left my roles in education to take a three-month writing sabbatical. A few years before that, I met “Rest”, face-to-face, in the ending of my mother’s life. The deep exhale of her travail permeated the house as she left her wrecked body.

Why do we “work” so hard at living, I wonder? What is that for which we “strive”? Are illness–and ultimately death–the only ways to truly surrender to our deep need for rest?

“When the world is too much with me,” sings Wordsworth and poets through the ages. No matter how enlightened we may be, we are not spared this weariness. Even Jesus on the cross moans, “My God, my God, why hath thou forsaken me!”

My ultimate rest is dreamed inside a mother’s fleshy arms, warm and brown–my head on my husband’s chest–just like it was last night with our boys wrapped around us.

One cannot force a birth–at least not from home–for the hour of telling–is it a boy or a girl–must come of its own accord. And thus, I wait—and hope—to know what it is hath come of this week’s suffering and surrender.

Now knowing, that if nothing else, the scene of my family in my bed–like a renaissance artist’s rendering– is worth this tiny rehearsal of death.

And remembering too, when in her last weeks in a home re-filled with family, I asked my mother, “Don’t you hate lying here in bed; waiting for someone to get what you want?” To which she responded with the smile of one who has loved 7 siblings, 9 children, 4 dogs and 2 husbands:  “No Kelly, I kind of like it.”

Maybe that’s the whole point of these striving lives we lead… so much are we in need of rest–that whenever our time comes–we’re ready.

in memory of Sue Ramagosa, in her eternal rest & rebirth

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