Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Photo by Bui Bao on Unsplash

Whether the injuries be to your art, words, lifestyles, thoughts, or ideas, and if you have knitted yourself up into a many-sleeved sweater, cut through the tangle now and get on with it. Beyond desire and wishing, beyond the carefully reasoned methods we love to talk and scheme over, there is a simple door waiting for us to walk through. On the other side are new feet. Go there. Crawl there if need be. Stop talking and obsessing. Just do it.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Women Who Run With the Wolves

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Erica and I on retreat – 2008

Erica Ross

Years ago (more like decades ago) there was a tiny ad on the side of a page in Vitality magazine that read “The Gate of the Goddess”. It was a dance series for women that centered around embodying the energy of various Goddesses. There was something about that ad that I couldn’t get over. I kept going back to it, and back to it. It struck a chord in me and ignited a longing that I had buried since my feminist theology days in university. I wanted to go to that series but I felt scared. I paced around the house for hours trying to find the courage to make the phone call (Yes, we actually had to CALL one another back then!) and register. It took a long time but I eventually dialed the number and connected with a woman who would change my life forever – Erica Ross.

I sometimes look at her website or her Facebook page and wonder, “What doesn’t this woman do?” She’s a dancer who has facilitated embodied movement workshops for women around the world. She creates music sets for an online movement group called Rise and Shine…Shake Online. She’s an artist who designs clothing and jewelry. She paints and is taking offers for commissioned work. She has written a book, She Reflects. And now she’s taking her experience of over 40 years in the creative arts and is companioning people like me who are working to bring their own creative brilliance out into the world.

Erica Ross is my Spirit Mumma. I have sat at her feet and learned from her. I have danced with her, retreated with her, performed ritual with her, laughed with her and cried with her. I have pushed against her. I have rebelled. And always she is there, ready to wrap me in her warm arms and reflect back to me the absolute best of who I am. As she says, “We are divine mirrors for each other.”

Do you need to get your groove on? Maybe you need to relax in meditation? Or need to remember who you are? Or desire a unique piece of art? Check out Erica’s offerings: www.ericaross.com. As I said about her, “Her space is a safe space.  I would recommend time with Erica to anyone.

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Fitness with PJ

It was Spring 2020. We were locked down due to this charming pandemic. I was losing my mind trying to find reasonable avenues to burn off excess stress when all of my usual avenues were shut down. They closed access to the forests. Even if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gone. EVERYBODY and their neighbour was out walking. The streets were crawling with terrified-looking people all trying to avoid one another because, you know, THE PLAGUE. I was bored with the workout videos I had, as well as with my rebounder, so I started scouting out possibilities on the internet. That only irritated me some more.

Everywhere I looked there was some fake-boobed spandex Queen doing provocative squats, or some ungodly handsome guy with a man bun and a beard crunching his abs. And where, pray tell, did the over-40s live?

Waaaay off in a corner. Well, actually, it was along the right side of my screen. There was a square that said something like “Fierce over 40”. Being almost 50 and rather fierce-ish myself, I liked the sound of it, so I clicked on the video….and promptly said, “I can’t bloody do that!” And off I went to find some beginner level class. Don’t judge. It had been a long time since I had done traditional workouts. 🙂

6 months later I was bored again. I kept thinking about that “over 40” video, so I went back, tried it, and, man oh man, I haven’t been the same since.

Fitness with PJ. This woman has changed my idea of personal trainers. She is no bimbo. She doesn’t look at your age and pat your hand while she passes you a crocheting project. If she was in front of you she’d probably toss you a dumbbell, look you in the eyes and say, “Oh yes you can. 3 moves. 5 rounds. GO!” And I friggin’ LOVE that! She knows older women have far more capability than we’re told. She is saucy. She is spicy. She is 50 years old. She provides variations for her sequences for those who may be struggling physically. (My Yoga therapist self can’t get enough of that.) And her workouts will kick….your….ass.

And suddenly you’ll notice that your ass looks so much better in jeans. And you actually have biceps and triceps. And you can sleep better. And your anxiety has diminished. And…and…and.

AND…..the pandemic has impacted PJ as well. She had to permanently close her bricks and mortar studios. Has that stopped her? NO! She has built a following on YouTube and a community on Patreon. If you’re like me and you love a workout that makes you feel like you’re going to die and then be reborn (I don’t know why I’m like this. I just am! 🙂 ), check her out. If I lived in the Vancouver area, and if we could actually see each other live, I’d pick her as my trainer.

But if you have delicate ears…..give her a pass. 😉

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