Middle-Aged Ballerina One Year Later

To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.—Agnes De Mille

Inspired after seeing a ballet at Versailles last Christmas, one year ago I donned ballet slippers and a chiffon skirt, and stepped into my first beginner class at The Washington Ballet.

As the pianist played and I attempted pirouettes and pliés, I felt something move deep inside of me (heh, Tim says it was me pulling a hammie). Here’s a post I wrote about my return. Since that first foray back into ballet, I’ve been going to classes a few times a week and grow more in love with the artistic dance in each practice.

I mean, let’s be honest, what’s not to love about pink skirts and slippers, a piano accompanist, feminine movement, and deep mental/physical challenge?

Although I still struggle each week in the very class where I began last year, I’ve observed slight progress. I’m more familiar with the terms, able to remember some of the barre combinations, and feel myself opening and expanding with each port de bras.

Merce Cunningham summed it up beautifully, “You have to love dancing to stick with it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”

Dance, be free, open wide, be a beginner, feel deeply, let go, move into who you are. Better yet, move into who you are while wearing a pink chiffon skirt. Bisous. x

March + Manifesto

My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.—Ani DiFranco

After recording a 42-minute bonus podcast (for TDJ app users and Year of Tranquility purchasers) sharing the story of bringing the book to life, I headed downtown to support the Women’s March. Although I didn’t have a pink hat, I hoped the coat would suffice. And, yes, I realize my hair was a mess. Messy hair, don’t care. Or so they say.

While close to the stage, we were moved hearing from members of the Women’s March board and activists from Standing Rock. Seeing a sea of pink hats and empowering signs while listening to chants and speeches left me fired up and eager for action.

During undergrad I was exposed to women’s studies and my world has never been the same. It opened my eyes to the many ways women face injustice daily—at home, at work, in the community, and beyond. When I started my yoga studio, Tranquil Space, in 1999, my goal was to create a safe space for women to grow and connect.

In 2004 I finished a master’s in women’s studies program where I was exposed to Gertrude Stein, Simone de Beauvoir, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (you simply must read “The Yellow Wallpaper”), bell hooks, Mary Wollstonecraft, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Betty Friedan, to name a few. There’s so much to learn and I’m forever grateful for those who have helped paved the path for us so far.

Next Saturday Tim and I are heading to NYC for the day to see Gloria: A Life, a play about the life of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. She’s quoted as saying, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” I think we can ALL get behind that!

When creating Year of Tranquility, I updated the manifesto and have included it below. Note the inclusion of equality, responsibility, freedom, and compassion. That, my dear readers, is why I march. Bisous. x

Video + Gratitude

After a full day of seeing clients, I arrived home late Wednesday night to my copies of Year of Tranquility and it felt so yummy to hold it in my hands. It’s a great size to work in (8×10) and my designer did an amazing job bringing it to life.

Here’s one email comment I received that made me smile:

I just got my copy of Year of Tranquility in the mail! WOW – it is really beautiful. It is even more packed with ideas than I realized it would be — and all presented so well — between your writing and your graphic designer’s talents — well, obviously I am blown away!

To give you a peek inside and share the book’s story, I recorded this video. I’ll also be releasing a private podcast for Tranquility du Jour app subscribers where I share more about the process. Stay tuned!

A BIG thanks to everyone who helped make this book happen: Tim Mooney (helpful input and was okay with me working through the holidays), Christy Jenkins (designer extraordinaire), Carol Meyers (creative input and eagle eyes), AMAZING beta readers (you were invaluable), early reviewers (Flora Bowley, Gail McMeekin, Beth M. Howard, Sharon Gannon, Jamie Cat Callan, Christine Mason Miller), 2018 YOT participants, and YOU. It takes a village!

Once you get your copy from Amazon, head over HERE to grab your three bonus treats.

Please share your book photos online using #yearoftranquility and if you have a moment to pen a review on Amazon, I’d so appreciate it. I’m SO grateful for YOUR support! Bisous. x