Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s Mind

14How many of you have started a new project or class went in with a chip on your shoulders? With an attitude of indifference?

A while back I wrote a blog post about my experiences in a new dance class I went to take, where I went in with some kind of crazy judgement thing in my mind and body. WTF? I just wanted to dance, learn something new, move my body and feel great. That’s why I dance! I love to move and I love my rhythm, and I want to feel awesome great in my skin…

I smacked myself upside the head when I realized what I was doing. I went to that class to analyze the teacher, not allow myself take the class. That was not the intention at all, but maybe out of a weird insecurity, or an ego thing, or a I’m-a-teacher-too thing. But where did that get me? Absolutely nowhere and feeling crappy about the whole thing.

Now I go to that class (for over a year now) and freakin’ love it. Sure, there may be parts of the class I don’t like now and then, but I go to it with Beginner’s Mind. And that is truly a thing of beauty, of freedom, of pure enjoyment. No judgement, no big outcome except to feel so good, with my body juiced up, my mind sharp and at ease, knowing I have worked myself hard and with a sense of achievement, which sets me up for victory in all that I do. That’s what I’m talking about! Woo hoo…

So what is Beginner’s Mind? To me, it is allowing, pure allowing, to be open to receive, to enjoy, to learn, to experience something in a new way, to be enlightened.

Shoshin (??) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind“. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

The phrase is also used in the title of the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, who says the following about the correct approach to Zen practice: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”[1]

I want to experience life from my core,

with a true sense of awe, in everything I do. Knowing I have gone after what I want, done my ultimate best, stayed in alignment with myself (and the universe), done my service to the planet, loved and lived each day with the fulfillment of my desires.

After I  taught a Dance and Desire workshop in Italy last month, one of my amazing students, Amalia, and I would jokingly keep saying to each other, Life is too short for bullshit! Amen to that….right?

Why not live to our potential? Why not go after what we want? Today? Now?

I start each day with that concept of Beginner’s Mind, because every morning we are born again. We have the choice to make that day special, sacred, beautiful, powerful. We have the choice to enjoy life, let go of the past, step it up and bring it on. With joy and pleasure and personal achievement, and feel delighted and empowered.

Back when I was teaching twelve classes a week in my dance studio, with six levels of Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance ®, I loved it when my advanced students took my beginning class. And they would look at me after class, and say how hard it was! So good…meaning they were open to learn even more, even though they had advanced through the levels, they allowed themselves to be in the moment, to let go of their egos, and just dance!

How to start the day? I have morning rituals that are non-negotiable! Beside morning meditation and journaling, I have incorporated a 15-30 minute power walk (turning into a jog!) to help me embrace the day. Wow… how great do I feel? Movement is essential. Dance is necessary in my life. That is a no-brainer! I love to dance. Every day…

So how about you? Can you start each day and live your desires? Your dreams? You know that cliche that tomorrow may never come, meaning don’t wait to live your fullest, you have the choice now to be and do what you desire.

Embrace that, my friends… and have a great day…






And dancers — what are your dance dreams? What have you been waiting for? Wanting to get your Tribal on? Full on, and be more present in your body and your mind?

Our Collective Soul Intensive may be waiting for you!

We not only have warm-ups, technique breakdowns, drills, plus rhythm identification and finger cymbal patterns, but we include meditations and visualizations, journaling, lively discussions about art and dance and body wellness, and connections with our growing global dancing community! This is series of courses to help you be the best dancer, develop your skills, and also get in you ready and running for teaching this dance, if that is your desire!

Now just for you, you who have been waiting to sign up for my

Collective Soul Certification Intensives (read here),

I have a Solstice Special for you!

If you sign up now, before Sunday December 13th, I will give you 10% off the cost of the course (that is a savings of $45–awesome!) Plus I send you my Tribal Technique DVDs Volumes #1 and #2 for digital download to get your prepped and ready!

Register here! Join hundreds of other dancers and get your tribal groove on…

Gypsy Caravan Tribal bellydance collective soul buttons-green

This is my four week online course and I send you weekly emails full of Tribal goodness! Videos to work out with, questions to journal and ponder about, plus our online global community of dancers to chat it up with and learn from each other too! That is an amazing aspect of this online course! YOU have the commitment and desire to do this, and you schedule it into your calendar starting January 10th! YES! Say yes to you and your dance! Your body, your wellness, your happiness!

Plus Teacher Training Level One starts in February and CS1 is the prerequisite for that!

And if you have already finished CS1 and 2, CS Level Three also starts in January!

Get that special savings this week….10% off Collective Soul Level One, through Sunday night, December 13th! Go after what you want…

Register here! and

Happy holidays to you, what a super fabulous way to start out 2016!


Upcoming in person Collective Soul courses dates to be announced…

Australia with Nina Martinez

Melbourne dates TBA

Cairns–September, and with Paulette

United Kingdom with Deirdre Macdonald

Troon–May/June, Nottingham–September, Findhorn–September

United States with Amanda Richardson

Milwaukee, WI- Spring TBA

Italy with Cinzia DiCioccio

Milan –TBA

Email with inquiries! Want us to come to you? Workshops and more… now booking 2016!

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