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Hello Brave Hearts~

Earlier in July, I went to see Jagged Little Pill at the a.r.t. theatre in Boston, and it took me back to the time period of my own creative origins. I sat there in the theatre that Saturday, perusing the program, waiting for the show to begin, and came across the note from writer Diablo Cody at the front of the program, reflecting on her experience of what life was like for her when she first heard Alanis Morissette on the radio in 1995. Diablo says she was 19, in high school in a town with many churches and few bookstores. That there were male rock musicians who championed women's causes, but that there was a gap between that and the full width of women's voices that were available on the radio: "The 'girl bands' that did get airplay at the time were all punk bravado and defiance--very necessary, but not always relatable to me as a vulnerable and confused Catholic girl who had SO MANY FEELINGS and was often afraid to express them. There was an Alanis-shaped hole in my heart; I just didn't know it yet."

I think there are so many women who--whether Alanis Morissette fans or not--felt and feel a liberation in being able to express in the ways Cody characterizes Alanis on her Jagged Little Pill album: "she revealed herself to be tender, spiritual, shameless, kindhearted, eternally questioning, and utterly assured all at once." These ways of expression are universally understood by the body, and they come from our visceral voice. It may seem somewhat ironic, but these elements of expression are what allow us to access our beauty, wholeness, and sensuality, and they make my own heart sing. 

Cody's words, combined with that Saturday's poignant performance, the modern day questions the musical raises, and all the nostalgia I felt around hearing songs I listened to like prayers written for what I too wanted to be able to include in my own euphoric creative religion--sacred, mundane, and profane--reminded me again of  why I felt the need to pick up the pen. They made it easier to weather the complexities that existed within my own small town life.

The entirety of it all also spoke to the sense of connection that can be gained by engaging with self-reflection, art, and creative expression in community. The show spoke to the collective through the personal. Expressing personal perspective within community helps to create systems, relationships, and communities that reflect our individual and collective wholeness. For me, it was albums like Alanis' Jagged Little Pill and Jewel's first book of poetry A Night Without Armor that not only allowed, but celebrated the parts of my humanness I wasn't entirely sure how to reconcile, and I saw in their art the ways that expressing what hurts can help us heal. That kind of art gave me something to dialogue with and be a part of.  

I've found poetry in particular to be a place where we can build this kind of self-connected, inter-dependent relationship with ourselves & one another. Allow the integration of sacred, mundane & profane to be what makes us more whole. To see our experiences as doorways back into deeper connection with ourselves, one another, our creativity, and with something larger--all while giving rise to our expressive voice. And creating a fuller width & depth for our full humanity. I see the creative classroom, and the yoga studio, as communities that reflect our wholeness back. And both of these are spaces for creating interdependence & building healthy systems within our own psyches, and in our collective spaces of learning, & creative expression. 

My invitation to you is to join me this Summer and / or Fall to make art that soothes the jagged pieces of the heart. 

Here's when you can find me teaching at GrubStreet: 

Week of Poetry {Ages 13-19} 
August 13-17, Monday--Friday, 10:30am-3:30pm 

Poetry and the Body
Saturday August 25, 10am-5pm 

6 Weeks, 6 Poems 
Begins Thursday, October 4 10:30am-1:30pm 

Scholarships are available for all classes. See class links for details. As always, hit "reply" and let me know if you have questions, reflections, or your own unique expressions. 

To Art & Movement from the Heart,

Copyright © 2018 Luminous Rebels, All rights reserved.

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