Dear Soul on the other side of the screen,
I had the honor of leading something called the Women's Transformational Weekend with Movement, Dance and Ritual at Multiversity 1440 this weekend amongst the old growth redwood trees. As we began together Friday afternoon, I faced many contemplative and somber faces of women who couldn't help but feel the collective weight of the world on their individual shoulders. It's challenging for many to watch an antiquated narrative that blames and disbelieves women play itself out and reflect the experiences we've had with that toxic energy. The gift was that we were together.
I wish for each of us in our own ways and in our own communities to be able to have places where we can deeply honor one another with an embodied presence that exudes compassion and kindness. I pray that the pain of the past can be inspiration for the world we yearn to experience and that we find ways to create more of that world within the proximity of people we can touch in our daily lives. I pray that we can expand our imaginations to experience a greater collective healing many women of the world are calling for.
The theme of the Qoya class I taught was Trust in Your Transformation. I invite you to take a moment and honor all of the transformation you've experienced in the midst of what is often called The Turning of the Ages. Take a moment to honor the people closest to you and bear witness to their undeniable courage to rise up and strengthen their spirit. I recently read a really interesting article in Yes Magazine about how to turn trauma into strength. One sentence stuck with me, "Post-traumatic stress disorder gets more attention, but post-traumatic growth is much more common." How has this been true for you? For others you know?
While myself and many other women have experienced different forms of PTSD by re-experiencing trauma with the news and narratives surrounding us, I also found some solace in the awareness of my own resilience and the other women I know and feel. These issues are full of subtlety and nuance, and each person's experience will be their own journey of healing.
While I often emphasize the positive benefits of Qoya to remember our essence is wise, wild and free, today I invite you to explore how movement can be medicine on your individual and our collective paths of healing.
When we dance in a Qoya class, everything is an invitation, so we constantly strengthen our commitment to choose how we want to move. In this choice, we reclaim the agency of our bodies with each and every movement that we do or don't do. When we move our bodies, we gather the courage to feel our truth deeply in each moment. Instead of needing to mentally figure everything out by judging and analyzing, we experience the flow of emotions and sensations and their true nature — they pass. We become more familiar with truth by experiencing our ability to stay present with both discomfort and joy.
Most importantly, we create places to gather. Whether it is a Qoya class, retreat, online community, or awareness of all the other people dancing to a video in their living rooms, we remember our interconnection and honor it. We nourish ourselves and each other, and we make offerings back to life for the blessings and beauty in the natural world, our teacher on how to endure storms.
Another place I find inspiration to gather strength, heal, and support others on their path is by listening deeply to the astrology of these times. I'm grateful to Virginia Rosenberg, our Qoya resident astrologer, as she shares the energy of this New Moon:
The New Moon in Libra October 8th, 2018 (11:47pm EST) is an invitation to restore balance. Fluctuation is normal and forever ongoing. Balance is a fluid practice rather than a destination or static state of being. Familiarize yourself with the feeling of balance in your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. What does it feel like to be at peace? What influences do you notice carrying you away from your peace? Sometimes we seek to build peace on the external realm. Dwelling on the surface of things, we can create entire lives based on perceptions we want others to see of us. We anchor our decisions around ‘shoulds’ and expectations, notions of success and failure, or what we think others wants for/from us. Perhaps underneath the facade, we sense discord and unrest, but we continue glossing over the problem in hopes that it will go away. Avoidance leads to further unrest and ultimately destruction. Cultivating peace requires courage to directly confront and encounter ourselves. From there, we interrogate the status quo and stand for necessary change. What are you supporting with your silence or acquiescence? How can you come into deeper relationship with all-that-is? Be willing to become more conscious of unconscious relationships and social patterns. This Moon emphasizes restoration of nurturing relationships and the beauty that equanimity can bring into our lives. It also speaks to restoring harmony in greater society. It brings underlying issues to the surface to show us where we aren’t in our power, and give us the chance to transform. Change is us. Bring it forth, and be in the beauty of natural harmony.
With all this being said, I'm curious: what does it feel like when you notice how you feel in your body? Does that feeling help navigate your path of healing?
I offer this free video for you to dance with as invitation to explore your relationship to Movement as Medicine.
Let us be who we are and be where we are under this New Moon in Libra in 2018.
May we have the courage to embrace our path of healing and offer our embodied presence in a supportive and nourishing way to our collective healing.
In addition to this newsletter, I'm very excited to share with you a collaboration with Radzy Chugh, a Qoya teacher in India, who invites us to celebrate the Goddess during Navratri, beginning October 9th.
We'd love to invite you to join us on this free 9 day journey. Each day includes a short video to invoke the Goddess with Radzy sharing her story and mantra, learning what color is traditionally worn to celebrate her, and offerings that can be made, as well as a free Qoya movement video to embody the characteristics she inspires.
Click here to learn more about honoring the warrior Goddess Durga in all her forms to activate that fierce love inside of each one of us.
With love and appreciation for your embodied presence,
Women Rising Rooted Workshop
Join Karen Brody, author and founder of Daring to Rest, and Rochelle Schieck for a workshop to explore your relationship to the medicine in movement and rest.
Saturday, November 3rd from 6:00pm-9:00pm
Location in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan will be sent to you upon registration. Investment: $75
Click here to register.
Qoya Omega Retreat
Join Rochelle Schieck for a weekend retreat that dives into what it really means to live your wise, wild and free essence at the renowned Omega Retreat Center in upstate New York.
October 26 - 28 in Rhinebeck, New York
Click here to learn more and register.
p.s. Join Rochelle afterwards for our level two Initiation Teacher Training in Kingston, New York as well.
Upcoming Events with Rochelle Schieck
Monday, October 15th at 8:00pm: Qoya Class in New York, NY (Chelsea location will be emailed to you upon registration.)
October 26th - 28th: Omega Retreat in Rhinebeck, NY
October 28th - 29th: Initiation Teacher Training in Kingston, NY
Saturday, November 3rd at 6:00pm: Women Rising Rooted Workshop in New York, NY
Click here to find other classes near you.
Love this blog?
Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.
RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE
Omega Retreat (Rhinebeck, New York) with Rochelle: October 26 - 28
10 Year Anniversary of Qoya at Blue Spirit: March 23 - 30, 2019
India Retreat: October 13 - 22, 2019 - enrollment opens soon!
INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS
New Zealand with Samar: October 26 - 29
Rhinebeck, New York with Rochelle: October 28 - 29
Online Initiation with Claire: November 14 - 22 (taught in French)
Paris, France with Claire: February 9 - 10, 2019 (taught in French)
INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS
Woodstock, New York with Rochelle: November 13 - 18 (last few spots remaining and registration closes October 15th, 2018)
New Zealand with Samar: December 10 - 17
Nosara, Costa Rica with Samar and Claire: March 30 - April 6, 2019
Theologos, Greece with Sara and Claire: May 7 - 14, 2019