Closing 2019: When a burden is gone

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

Also, as I turned 40 in June, I, inspired by the Mayan calendar, spent some time backtracking my life all the way to 2006 and back. As our Gregorian timeline currently invites us to get excited about a new decade, I remain calm. Honestly: been there, done that.

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Chance – or synchronicity, as I prefer to call it these days – introduced me to the Mayan calendar in 2005, just weeks before my first Nia White Belt training in June. You can imagine my reaction, when the very same calendar was referred to during the intensive. All things seemed to align, in a most welcome of ways.

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As I last summer recapitulated the previous thirteen years of my life, I realized that many of the most transformative events of my adult life so far were in tune with that mystical, magical calendar, that talks about 13 Moons and a parallel system of 260 days called the Tzolkin. The Tzolkin consists of twenty 13-day “wavespells”, each with their theme and their questions to face and reflect. My last name, Aalto, is the Finnish word for wave. I’m amused.

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The 13 Moon calendar – adapted for a modern age by people who were/are fascinated by its mystical poetry and intuitive logic – celebrates its new year on July 26, when Sirius and the Sun originally were aligned in the horizon at dawn. In all honesty’s name, it feels somehow more life-affirming to celebrate the threshold of New in the midst of abundance (in both light and nature), rather than from the most scarce of circumstances as we – at least in the Northern Hemisphere – are doing now. Yes, so we have turned back towards the light – but the journey from here to bloom is still a lengthy one.

Each of the 13 Moons also have a tone, a number, associated with them – and with that their own theme of 28 days. Curiously enough we’re now a bit more than halfway into the Sixth, Rhythmic Moon – which is all about getting organized and finding the personal rhythms, habits and actions that sustain, empower, nurture and fuel us further into the year. Does not sound too far fetched from what many are up to in general this time of (the Gregorian) year, does it?

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What I find most enchanting with comparing different ways of tracking time, is how irreversibly they affect my thinking and perception of reality. “2019” is no more (or less) true or real than any other way of labeling our orbit in deep space – and I love being aware of that. It tingles my imagination, and the parts of me that are more than comfortable with mystery.

That said, I know all too well also how liberating it can feel to get to switch years in the midst of the dark, and 2020 is somehow a particularly handsome number. Hence, in the name of that doubled double digit and the organizational aspects of the current Rhythmic Moon, I took a look at some body-mind-emotion-spirit-highlights from the year so many call 2019 and listed them below.

In case you feel done reading, let me conclude by highlighting a lovely, lovely interview with the fabulous Liz Gilbert, where she tackles the important subject of The Art of Being Yourself.
With what feels like a whisper from the future, here’s a quote from it:

Any talent, that you have and that you do not use, becomes pain.
Any wisdom, or insight, that you do not share, becomes pain, too.

Well, that is an interesting theory.

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And by the way, regarding the burden I mentioned. Once upon a time, there was something that I carried with me for thirteen years straight. Then, suddenly as lightning from a clear sky, I, from one sunny noon in August this year on, no longer did.

I’m still getting used to the freedom, and the possibilities it brings. My faith in the age of miracles is strong.

Until next time,
Minna

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After a BEAST experience with Debbie in Gothenburg in Sweden in October.

BODY

I have learnt to relax into the ball of my foot when stepping (back) onto it. Ann Christiansen’s Ride-routine has played a major role in this very healing and empowering experience.

I have learnt to engage a bunch of gluteal and thigh muscles, so that they support some deeper muscles that I tore in an unaware sidekick some years ago. Love the cooperation that happens in that area of my body now.

I have learnt, that I’m flexible, agile, mobile, strong and stable past my expectations. Getting to experience the Move IT 2 -format through an impromptu BEAST-session during the Evolution Event in Gothenburg, Sweden, was a dream come true. I don’t know when I’ve sweated as much as I did then, and yet I was simultaneously supercharged. Kelle Rae Oien, you ROCK!


MIND

A few examples of how I remain sane these days:
* learning/teaching Nia choregraphy – for coordination and memory
* planning and execution of Nia year/website/flyers/blogs – organisation, information, attention to details
* 5 stages, every morning
– igniting the connection between mind and body from the start
* short & simple yoga/qi qongpractices – calms the mind, centers the breath
* using my hands – utilizing surplus thought energy, concentrating
* painting, making music – form and freedom, control and “mistakes” (accidental clicks!)
* the Maya calendar – logic and mystery
* journaling – understanding my own mind
* limited usage of electronic devices – whenever I leave home, I’m basically offline. All my devices either require wi-fi, or are without web access in the first place.

To this, I would like to add a certain general mental hygiene: I refuse (to) gossip, and I do my best with truth-telling.

A bunch of lovelies showed up for my birthday jam in June.
I finally invested in a skeleton of my own. Sir Dance-A-Lot resides in my kitchen!
Summer spent with my niece, in my childhood corners, brings precious balance to work days.

EMOTIONS

As the general tone of discussion leans more and more in the divisive and polarising direction, I do my best to remain calm. That calm, and a tendency to look at any one thing from several viewpoints, is an interesting combination. It may seem like I’m distancing myself from most anything – but mostly, I’m really just taking it all in. I do allow myself (to feel) all emotional states, yet make a difference between reacting and acting (on them). At times, if not most often, the best solution is…. to dance with it.

I have also recently had the chance to look at jealousy – something that is triggered so rarely in me, that when it is, it gets my full attention. Most often the roots can be found in either me not being assertive enough to stand my ground in something that really matters to me. Another option is, that I haven’t shown myself due appreciation for the effort I have invested in something – or, then I simply have deprived myself of habits or hobbies that sustain and nurture me. Sometimes jealousy seems related to trust, too – or rather, temporary lack of it.

My colleague Riikka once described Nia as her kind of activism – and I think very much along the same lines. My work with Nia feels, in itself, as an action for for instance feminism and the environment. Joy, peace, respect, reverence, relationship – it’s all there.

A lovely moment in time: Hanna Uusiprosi, Ann Christiansen, me and Riikka Wallin co-taught a class during the White Belt in Turku in June.
What a joy and honour to get to follow the journey of these White Belts! Many of them have danced with me for a long time.
Me in front of my painted galaxies in Mökki Galleria in June.

SPIRIT

I have to admit: my Spirit feels very seen and heard this year.
2019 kicked off with an oracle card exhibition and continued with the release of my album Immersed in May and my Universe Exhibition in June. Like I once realized: the onely way to lead a happy, creative life, is to lead a happy, creative life. So, that’s where I currently am at: doing my best to lead a happy, creative life.
The international Nia Teachers crew gets a special mention: your feedback on especially my music really, really moves, supports, and inspires me.

In addition to doing and making, there needs to be the ability to receive – and especially the following things have (in addition to intimate relationships and nurturing meetings) nourished and uplifted my Spirit this year:
Lisa Star’s podcasts on the Mayan calendar, and Yoga With Adriene.
The Nia Marathons with Eija and Hanna.
The Nia manuals (the Learn Books from White to Black Belt).
The forest, and my grandmothers’s cottage.
The Minna Twice-gigs I’ve played together with my Hausmann.
Astrology by Chani Nicholas, a fantastic Kalevala-performance at the local Swedish Theater; the Evolution Event in Gothenburg.
Jane Eyre, and poetry.

Immersed was released a month before my 40th birthday.
Me and my Hausmann. 10 (almost 11!) years of serene silliness behind.
Happy dancers after the Nia marathon during the Kuopio Dance Festival in June.
Laura, my soulsister and confidante – my first Nia teacher and now I’m hers – on our 40th birthday trip to the Evolution Event.
My summer oasis, which it is extra soothing to think of in the midst of winter. We will get to the green soon enough, again.

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