So glad Margaret's right!

We have a great deal to celebrate this Fall! And you?

On Sat, Oct 3 at 11am, our 12th class of Yoga/Healing Touch Interns graduate from their 200-hour program. They are sharing yoga & holistic self-care all over the planet...with family, friends, neighbors. And as I shared with you last week, each intern offers 100 volunteer-hours in the community gardens of Cincinnati & N Kentucky.

Ever considered becoming a yoga teacher? It has nothing to do with touching your toes. It DOES have to do with becoming aware of your toes and your whole self...all in gentle, easy ways.

Celebrate with us! Hear the inspiring stories of these great people!

AND...happy 10th birthday, VITALITY!

We will celebrate Sat, Oct 31 at 11am, 12:30, & 2pm . . . all of our supporters and friends will be able to sign up to join us for a Zoom-showing of our 10th Anniversary documentary and a conversation with VITALITY-friends and the incredible film-makers Mike Maney and Liz Smith. Each session will be about an hour, and you're welcome to join us for any of them. We will need RSVPs for each of these sessions as we will limit each showing to about 75 people.

...please reach out for preferred status in choosing which time is best for you.

Then, on Sun, Nov 1 between 1 - 3pm . . . Open 'House' at VITALITY's Glean & Share Garden in Walnut Hills, with optional walking tours of the other gardens in the neighborhood...masks required, socially distanced, fun!

We decided to move the 10th Anniversary celebration up a week from the originally planned date of Nov 7, just in case the election and the potential long process afterwards scrambles our focus and imagination. The documentary offers a great deal of hope for our world -- no matter your favorite in the election.

As a lover of the history of the world on this amazing planet, I'm grateful for Margaret Mead's stunning insight...

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Join us as we celebrate a revolution of love!
Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174

 


local food, local fun!

Where do you buy your kale, your greens, your fruit, your produce?

Your answer might reveal a lot!

Sooo much of the produce at big box retailers is grown pretty far away. In a pinch I needed some greens and bought from a big box retailer and discovered that the greens were shipped from California. Who knows how long ago...

Fresh makes a difference. Locally grown often means it gets from the ground and into your hands more quickly -- and definitely with a lot less fossil fuel.

My farmers at Eden Urban Gardens LLC drive my weekly produce from their house a mile away and to my door. They deliver to a few more clients on my street too. Imagine if they grew for my whole street! Talk about a local food revolution!

Buying from a local farmer spurs the local economy and enriches that farmer's family. I wonder if the companies I enriched by buying at the big box retailer paid a fair wage to the person who planted the greens and harvested them and shipped them and stocked the produce aisle. I wonder if those companies also pay a hierarchy of executives that same farmers-wage.

So much produce that you and I buy can grow just fine and deliciously right here in our neighborhoods, either by hiring a local farmer or growing it ourselves.

It's a commitment to life to grow one's own food or to buy directly from a local farmer at a farmers market or through a CSA-share. We have so many Community Supported Agriculture buying opportunities in Cincinnati & N Kentucky.

Our Yoga/Healing Touch Interns -- all 11 of us -- will contribute 1100 hours of service this year in growing & gleaning produce on local farms, at VITALITY's Glean & Share Garden in Walnut Hills, in our own neighborhoods and backyards. We are excited to do our part for the local food revolution.

Volunteering in the gardens with Sue Plummer and our Walnut Hills friends Brenda Baker, Gary Dangel, CJ Pierce, and so many friends just might inspire you to create a garden in your own neighborhood or to expand your growing possibilities or to make some fun, new friends.

We share ideas with each other as we plant seeds, spread compost, pull weeds, repair fences, water plants, harvest food to share at food pantries and shelter-kitchens, laugh, and enjoy life. You can too. These friends are inspiring me to add more fruits and veggies to my own backyard.

Reach out to Sue to explore volunteering with us, and open yourself to a whole new, enriching, wonderful world of life, of health, of friends!

How do you grow? Please write back and share with us.

Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174


are you ready?

Click here for our latest Movement Intelligence offerings!

 


the language below

We have this process in Bones for Life / Movement Intelligence where we invite people -- in some special, particular ways -- to kick and scream 'nooooooooo' and then later 'yesssssssss.'

Rather peculiarly, such a process can help improve one's walking, the major focus of Movement Intelligence. Imagine that!

Of course, such a process as this kicking-and-screaming can help with a lot of things.

Recently, in one of the online immersions Cynthia Allen and I have been co-teaching, it was fascinating to watch this tantrum-like process unfold in people's own homes.

Dogs and cats came running when they heard the human shouts. 'Did I do something wrong?' 'Are you okay?' 'Can I help?' 'What can I do?'

Sweet love and concern communicated from pet to human.

Animals are often more tuned into some of the deeper currents of life, yes?

It's the language below the language . . . the sounds below the words that sometimes offer our deepest meanings.

Sometimes in simply remembering that I am an animal, a creature, I can capture a glimpse of this innocence, and the innocence of first-language...sounds.

Perhaps you know something of this, that you have something to say but it just doesn't come through with words. Maybe in a relationship. Maybe at work. Maybe in an interview or big presentation.

Consider checking out this three minute video about NLP . . . Neuro Linguistic Programming. Know something of the language below the language, the words below the words.

It's an invitation to feel, to feeling, as we once did through the tantrums that we threw as children and, maybe, still throw.

As children, such tantrums were not so easy for our older siblings or adults to deal with. But they and we all knew that while getting it all out was not so pretty, later such releases would allow us to be reasonable again. Calm. Alive to much more than was aggravating us in the first place.

Tantrums. Primal language. It might be just what you and I needed and still need.

Hum with me...
make your sound...
sound your 'barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world'! *

It very well could be just what the whole ever-changing world needs . . .

Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174

Click here for details about our new Advanced Yoga Training, which includes Movement Intelligence / Bones for Life immersions, ancient language study, and conversation about ancient texts...all welcomed through an 'adult learning' style (aka 'do what you can and like'). It's going to be fun, and if just a portion of it interests you, we'll invite you to jump into that portion.

* Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass . . . reimaginer of ecstatic poetry, much like the ecstatics / prophets on the mountaintops of Ancient Israel 3000 years ago & on the banks of the Indus River Valley 3000 - 5000 years ago


sounds that mean something

Ever wonder how babies learn to make sense of sounds and then sound them out themselves?

It's fascinating, isn't it?

Those first drooling 'gahs' and 'bahs' come to mean something to family members who listen, who take time to try to understand.

And a child who is heard delights in such power to express what they want, what they take pleasure in.

Do you know your own languages?

Sure, you might speak English, maybe another language like French or Chinese or Arabic or whatever.

And they do communicate. Those languages and their own ways of organizing sounds have meaning to those who know those languages. Even if we don't know those languages, if we took time to listen deeply, tried to understand what those speakers meant through the contexts of their speaking, their gestures and facial expressions, their tones of voice, we'd come to understand. We'd learn a new language.

Through such deep listening to and with one another, we create bridges. We reach out. We realize our Oneness.

Maybe you and your beloved family member or friend have a special language that wouldn't make sense to anyone else. Your own 'gahs' and 'bahs' that have meaning just for you. Your own idioms.

Again, though, do you know your own languages? Within yourself.

Movement is a language, a way of communicating with yourself, especially with what senses within you, your nervous system. Often at a very deep level.

How does that work?

Well, the language of your nervous system has to do with noticing differences, with noticing your unique reaction to those differences, and then realizing you can choose, that you always have choices.

Move in any way you'd like that feels good and you can sense for yourself that it is delightful. Move in some other way and you can sense for yourself whatever you feel, that this new movement is different from the first. Of course you'll need to move slowly, even gently, to be able to catch the differences -- your own 'gahs' and 'bahs' of your own inner movement languages. And then you can choose for yourself if you'd like to continue with one of these movements, or choose something else.

Why not choose delight?

The trouble with many of us -- certainly my own self for YEARS -- is we haven't explored many options. We haven't provided enough options that are gentle, delightful.

Tonia Smith and I are launching some new opportunities this Fall to invite some new options, new discoveries for oneself and for our world.

It's listed as an 'Advanced Yoga Training' though really it's for everyone, including some new immersions in Movement Intelligence -- people in our June and July and August immersions are raving about them. An 80-year-old friend recently reported that her doctor told her she had grown an inch through the experience. A 30-year-old friend reported that a shoulder which had troubled her since her teenage, competitive sports years finally feels pain-free and useable again.

These people learned their own inner language, their own ways of moving that responded to what limited them in the past. And such learning was pain-free.

And the languages we speak with one another -- English, etc -- are based on very ancient roots. And the roots of these languages might surprise you. Greatly.

Tonia and I are considering offering this 'Advanced Yoga Training' as a 300-hour whole experience -- and à la carte. You could jump on board for all of it -- or simply the Movement Intelligence portion or the conversations about ancient texts like the sayings of Jesus, the sayings of Gautama / Buddha. Both of these great ones are, perhaps, completely misunderstood today.

And the wisdom they offer and that so many ancient teachers offer just might be the 'language' that our world needs now.

I think you'll be quite delightfully surprised.

Come and see. Click here for details.

Much love to you, friend, on the wonderful journey, across bridges into a larger world!
Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174

PS...Filming for our 10th Anniversary Documentary has begun and gets spiced up tomorrow at our tai chi class in Green Man Park and then afterwards at the Glean & Share Garden! Save an hour on Saturday, Nov 7 to see the documentary via Zoom and at pop-up, covid-safe, in-person showings around town!


where do you...

Where do you . . .
* meditate?
* pum-pum?
* grow your own food?
* discover your prejudices and find ways to grow beyond them?

Maybe the answers to some of these questions are more obvious than others for you?

Meditation can, of course, be what and how you like . . . prayer, staring into space, going into a trance, sitting with a cup of tea and watching the flowers unfurl.

Some say that the medicine of the 21st century will be meditation & visualization. Can you see it? (!)

Ruthy Alon, founder of Movement Intelligence & Bones for Life, feels that way, that visualization will be the future medicine. Some of us have certainly found ourselves improved by meditating. You?

Ruthy is the pum-pum inventor. Not sure what that is? It might save you a lot of grief and pain. It might help you to stand tall in who you are. And it's easy! Click here and check it out.

How much longer will you and I rely on big-box retailers for our food when we can grow much of our own or hire a local farmer to grow it for us and spur the local economy? Or maybe you've joined a community garden and share seeds and ideas with friends there. Grow your life and livelihood together. Know something of the spiral of life together.

Maybe you have a curiosity about your prejudices, about the ways you experience life. Maybe life is much bigger than you and I realize? Maybe you have interest in exploring ancient texts to see how they have influenced my thinking and yours -- even thousands of years later. The basement of time and imagination is immense. Next week we'll be announcing some opportunities to join friends for such conversations this Fall and Winter. Inspire one another to open to new possibilities, new life.

So, where do you meditate, pum-pum, grow food, know the depths of life? The photos with this email tell much of my story...where bees congregate and life spirals and conversation happens.

How about you? Let us know!

Perhaps the COVID-shift is inviting you to be less reliant on what others -- modern or ancient -- tell you is the way you 'should' live and more reliant on your own sensation, your own instinct, your own inner wisdom, your own joy of life.

Maybe you're like me, needing to learn a few simple things to help yourself live the best life you can and desire. On your own terms. Not dictated by some guru. From and through your own authentic self. Among the laughter and life of friends growing together on the journey.

The Universe is reliable. Come see.

Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174

Consider joining one of VITALITY's donation-based drop-in classes...finding friends along the journey can make all the difference. $10 donation requested per class, pay-what-you-can!

PS...save an hour on Saturday, Nov 7 for our 10th Anniversary celebration via Zoom!

PPS...it's going to be a lot of fun!

 


...change...

We're all being asked to change a lot, aren't we?

COVID has disrupted our routines and expectations about the ways we assumed life should be.

Social uprisings have sparked us to question -- some for the first time, some for the thousandth time, some in more precise ways -- what our country is all about.

Whatever we've built our 'economy' upon seems awfully fragile. (Perhaps knowing the Greek roots of economy would invite us to a more enlightened viewpoint...'taking care of one's house, one's own'...and 'one's house' and 'one's own' could be as large as the planet, the universe, THE ALL.)

Maybe you're inviting yourself to change in ways that are important for you. Many of us in the VITALITY-circle are too.

Change can be difficult.

Change can be wonderful too, as we discover there are new possibilities for how you and I could choose to live on this planet.

How to navigate such change? Especially when change can be hard, unnerving, too much?

I take time to watch the flowers, and ask them to teach me. And then I listen. Maybe with a cup of tea.

It is the lazy, slow life that leads to wisdom, my college scripture teachers used to remind. Shepherds became wise prophets with wild rap-like poems that shattered the hum-drum expectations of the ways everyone expected life to be. How did they do it? How did shepherds -- considered by many to be a disgusting, low-wage-earning job in the ancient world -- do it? How could they discover ways through the hum-drum lies of the empire, the 'shipwreck of society' as Thomas Merton called it and urged more people to swim away from it?

I've never been a shepherd, though as I imagine it, such a profession offers a lot of time watching the grass grow, their animals munching so leisurely...the slow life.

Indeed, we get the word 'amen' from shepherding. Once ancient nomadic shepherds found a patch of land where their animals would thrive for awhile, they would drive in their tent-stakes, stay awhile. A relief!

'Amen' is a Hebrew word that means 'I drive in my tent-stake!'

I'm grateful for so many of you who replied to last week's email and shared who you will be in 2021, 2022 . . . your own inner resolving to find a patch of inner territory with which to flourish, to grow.

May we too become so wise as to watch the grass, the flowers grow. And may such watching, such listening lead us to wisdom, to the discoveries that invite important change, now and into the deep future.

Peace, friends!
Brian Shircliff
program director

 


who will you be in 2021, 2022?

I love ancient languages. Studied Ancient Greek and Ancient Hebrew in college, and have enjoyed cultivating them since then.

When I found yoga, I became interested in Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga.

'How will I ever be able to study Sanskrit?' I wondered, as there appeared to be no university classes near Cincinnati.

So I put it on my list, cycled it, as we say in the Bengston Method. (That three-part series begins tonight at 7pm.)

It seemed impossible that I would ever study Sanskrit deeply as an academic discipline, that I would need to stop my life and travel many miles to get in front of someone who could help me go deeply into this complex, ancient language.

And then a pandemic happened. And I had more time. And an ad popped up on social media for an online course being taught by the person who wrote the Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit.

I signed up immediately, and am enjoying it immensely with my 155 classmates around the world. The instructor is in Germany. We all meet via Zoom twice a week. There are weekly quizzes, homework submissions, even midterm and final exams...all of which we can skip if we want, though the discipline has been helpful for me.

I am growing so much!

All the times I've embarked on a new study in my life, I've found myself drawn into more life, more growth. It certainly happened for me the last seven years through Movement Intelligence & Feldenkrais Method.

There's something about a new venture that helps me to discover -- very gently -- my own prejudices, my own blocks to richer life...my sexism, my racism, my homophobia, my not being able to see and hear something or someone outside my usual daily life.

Cynthia Allen and I have been thrilled by the two Movement Intelligence / Bones for Life classes we are sharing with 100 people all over the world. And the number of people saying goodbye to aches and pains that have been with them for years -- what a gift! And such a gift to meet with and get to know people of all ages -- 20s to 80s -- from all over the world.

Some of our participants are weightlifters and avid yogins, some of our participants are just beginning to move easily again after years of very little movement at all.

Perhaps you're curious to check it out: click here Our next immersion begins on Aug 3...take it for your own health or as the beginning step toward becoming a teacher.

Here's a short video I made yesterday to show you how playful Movement Intelligence / Bones for Life is: click here

Who will you be in 2021, 2022 as we emerge from this pandemic into a new world?

And could it be possible that your engaging a new passion or curiosity might help you to do the inner work that sets you and the world free(r)?

Peace, friends!
Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174


go deeply?

Would you prepare a meal you love and everyone who eats it loves too and then say, "Well that was easy to make and delicious. I'll never make that again..."?

Would you brush away the hand of your lover who is caressing you in a way you enjoy and say, "Oh we've done that before. Never again..."?

Would you say to a child or a pet needing comforting, "I gave you affection last week. Why would I give you affection now?"

The answers seem obvious, don't they?

And yet how often do you and I have an amazing experience with yoga, with Movement Intelligence, with meditation, with journaling, with tai chi, with whatever and then go twitter off to something else.

Standing on a whale searching for little fish, the proverb goes.

Maybe these times are inviting you to know something deeply?

We've been given the gift of time, an invitation to learn something new, to set one's life on a new course, to grow in surprising ways a little at a time, to master something.

Perhaps one of these Zoom opportunities calls to you, from the comfort of your own home...

Morning Gentle Tai Chi with Mary Duennes...Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 9am (beginning July 20, drop-in, $10 donation/class)

Movement Intelligence that ANYONE can do...Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11am, Wednesdays at 6pm, all drop-in, $10 donation/class

Movement Intelligence / Bones for Life Immersion...every Monday in August from 9am - 2:30pm with Cynthia Allen & me...take it for your health or on the path to teacher certification, $450

Learn How to Magnetize into Your Life Whatever You'd Like (and use that 'selfishness' to help heal friends and family who ask for your help)...using the Bengston Method as shared by Logan Probst, CJ Pierce, and me...this is a 3 Wednesday-night series...July 22, July 29, Aug 5 from 7 - 8pm, $25 donation for the whole series

Text me at 513.300.5174 and I'll send you the Zoom links & information.

Let's encourage one another to go deeply, friends. Even simply to take the first step, a movement into depth. Your life, your health, our shared world might just depend on it.

Brian Shircliff
program director
513.300.5174

PS...VITALITY's 10th anniversary plans this Fall are getting more interesting every day! HINT...movie!